i returned to cambridge around noontime, finally getting started on my marathon cleaning session. first item on my to-do list was to recaulk the bathtub. i barely finished before my father showed up. i went with him to costco looking to buy another shelf for my basement. unfortunately they were out of stock. unbeknownst to me, my father had a few more errands to run, so i had no choice but to tag along, finally getting back around 4pm, with plenty more cleaning to do. my father helped me bring the air conditioner downstairs and i gave him my sick jasmine plant to take care of when he left. i started emptying out the guest bedroom, making no less than a dozen trips to the basement with boxes. what i couldn't put in the basement, i piled into my bedroom. i washed all the bed sheets. i vacuumed all the rooms. i dusted. i swiffed. i moved furniture. in the evening my parents came over briefly. my mother helped me with some more cleaning. they brought over some readymade pizza for dinner which we heated in the oven.
then my father received the phone call. the girlfriend of my chinese astronomy researcher (whom we were picking up at the airport later tonight) was on the other end. it seemed weird, because we thought she was in china, although we knew she was coming to boston to stay with her boyfriend in 6 months. turns out, she wasn't in china. turns out, she was actually in the US already. boston to be precise. tonight. and she was calling to get the address so she could come over and stay with her boyfriend. this threw us for a loop. i was planning on having just one roommate, not two. and this was the first time we heard anything about this sudden change of plan. fortunately, she was only visiting until the weekend, then she goes back to delaware where she's a plant biology graduate student. what is it about these chinese researchers and their magically appearing significant other? my last researcher roommate, he surprised everyone when he broke the news that his wife would be visiting for a week. it's not that i mind all that much, but i'd consider it a matter of common courtesy to maybe let me know ahead of time. since it is my house after all. instead of having her arrive at my place without her boyfriend, my father told her to meet us at the airport. the flight was delayed and didn't arrive until almost midnight. i listened to the final few innings of the red sox game on the radio. with my father waiting outside, i went into the airport to look for my new roommate and his girlfriend. i didn't know what she looked like but she told my father she'd be wearing a white jacket. at the baggage carousel were two asian girls - both wearing white jackets. one was strikingly beautiful, but it was the other girl who turned out to be the girlfriend. soon afterwards my researcher arrived, along with three large suitcases (he's going to be staying for 3 years - but only 2 months with me). back in the car, the game was about to wind down. in between lost reception whenever we went through a tunnel, i could hear papelbon deliver the final strikeout to end the game. driving down storrow drive, with the glowing citgo sign in kenmore square on one side, and the glistening charles on the other (with a building that said "sox" spelled out in office lights), it was pretty magical.
back at my place, my father helped bring in the luggage before he left. i demonstrated to zhu lei (my researcher) how to use the dead bolt house key then showed the both of them where we were on a map, and the location of his new office, as well as the closest supermarket. they went to bed, leaving me to ponder the ramification of a red sox 2-0 lead in the world series. and day 2 without my macbook pro, i'm definitely feeling the withdrawal pains of being without a laptop. this is going to be a long week!