i woke up late enough today to realize i'd only have 3 hours of daylight before it got dark again. so much for seeing the sun. i feel guilty enough as it is waking up so late, but more so imagining what my roommate thinks of my delayed awakening. i heard him taking the bicycle out of the basement and by the time i opened my bedroom door into the kitchen he was already gone. i made a prosciutto egg english muffin sandwich for lunch, sprinkled with some homegrown wild mushroom stems, washed down with a fruit smoothie. i spent what i had left of the daytime watching the final 2 leaked episodes of dexter. it took just 2 episodes to conveniently wrap up all the pieces. afterwards i searched the internet for news of a possible 3rd season (confirmed). there's also report of possibly bringing dexter to network television (with obvious edits) to plug in the scheduling holes left by the writers' strike if it extends too long. an unexpected surprise of season 2 is keith carradine's role as agent lundy. haven't seen him in too many movies, but this guy is cool. maybe the series will restart his career. now that i think about it, i have seen keith carradine before: senior year of high school i took a class field trip to NYC (1992) and saw Will Rogers Follies on broadway, with carradine playing the eponymous role.

i spent some time throughly cleaning out the rice cooker today. although normally i don't use it very much (i'm not a big fan of bland white rice), zhu lei uses it all the time. in fact, he really puts that cooker to the test, doing stuff with it i'd never dream up, like steaming vegetables and meats along with his rice. unfortunately for me, he sometimes forgets to clean out the rice cooker, leaving a mess behind, which i then have to clean, because apparently i'm his maid. even if he does remember to wash out the teflon-coated metal cooking bowl (which i've noticed some scratches, like he tried to scoop out the rice with a fork - cringe), the actual rice cooker itself is still dirty, caked with food spittle from the steaming, muck all over the counter top, and running all inside the cooker. this cooking byproduct is not only hard to remove once its dried, but smells terrible when its wet and slimy (like strong cheese). i don't even think zhu lei knows i do all this behind-the-scene cleaning on his behalf. maybe he just thinks elves come into the house when we're all asleep and clean up the house. i wish that was true!

i ordered some stuff from amazon tonight. one of them is a set of LED christmas lights. is it kind of too late to put them up? my upstairs neighbors only got their annual christmas wreath a few days ago. i don't think i have any christmas spirit, but i just wanted to do something festive this year. i only got one strand of lights so enough to adorn just one window. it's not going to arrive until sometime next week, and by then there'll be less than 2 weeks before christmas. but people put out lights all the way until the end of december, right?

i try different things to get myself to sleep. normally it's just television, but sometimes there's nothing good on, and the constant channel surfing to find something suitable for bedtime actually gets me so worked up that i end up wide awake. an even better sleep aid is reading: if i'm already sleepy, 2-3 pages means lights out. unfortunately my bedtime book is howard zinn's people's history of the US, and although i was excited about it when i first got it, now it's become really boring (women suffrage issues). you'd think boring is good but boring makes my mind wander which results in not being able to sleep again. just recently i tried listening to music on my mp3 player before going to bed. it worked for the first week, but now i've heard all the songs, so i'm bored again. it's a fine line finding suitable bedtime entertainment! not too stimulating to keep me awake, but still dull enough to lull me unconscious.

so now i have a new trick: audio books. it kind of merges watching television, reading a book, and playing my mp3 player. the book i chose was the wind-up bird chronicle by haruki murakami. i've often heard of that author but never read any of his works. as a matter of fact, when i was in college, murakami was actually a resident writer at tufts, and i'm sure i must've seen him in the hallway when i was going to my japanese language classes, but i just didn't realize he was a celebrity. unfortunately, wind-up bird is kind of boring. there's not a lot of actions and the story sort of meanders. there are some quirky characters, which reminds me of another japanese author, kobo abe, who's books i used to check out from the belmont public library (they had an extensive collection of kobo abe novels for whatever reason). however, this particular audio book is still effective as a sleep aid, although i normally don't become drowsy until 30-40 minutes later (i'm better off reading a book, works much faster - just need to get a new book - suggestions?).