my new roommate arrived this morning, a cheerful fellow in his early 30's. during our preliminary get-to-know-you chitchat, i found out he works and lives in nanjing although he grew up on the western edge of xinjiang close to the kazakhstan border. he's from an earlier generation of mainland chinese which meant he actually has siblings, a brother and 2 sisters. although he wasn't wearing a wedding ring, i learned he's married with a kid. he's been abroad before, spending years in paris and germany (never managed to pick up any of the local languages), but this was his first time in the united states. i issue every new roommate 4 items: the front door key, a map of cambridge (free from the local real estate office), a shaws card (to qualify for super market savings), and a charlie MBTA card (to take advantage of public transportation). i told him if he wanted i could give him a tour of boston during the weekend, but what i suggested he should do is take the chinatown bus to new york city one saturday because no visit to the united states should miss an opportunity to see the big apple. i had to leave for an 11:00 meeting in cambridgeport but before i did, i saw him texting his wife in china with his cell phone (it was actually her birthday) and taking out a brand new unibody macbook pro. talk about your fancy gadgets!

i had what amounted to a project kickoff meeting with client P. i met sherman (their new video guy) and was reintroduced to mark. maybe because i don't attend very many meetings, but i actually like them, they make me feel relevant. if my 15-year-old self could see my 35-year-old self talking at these meetings, i think he'd be impressed. john was playing with his new smartphone, and kept on taking panoramic photos with the fancy auto-stitching technology. i left around 12:30.

my roommate was still at home when i got back, just finishing his lunch. he'd gone to the super market across the street and i was impressed by his purchases. for someone who's never been to the US, he has very discriminating tastes: a bottle of fancy mustard, a crate of blackberries, some apples, some sandwich meats, a loaf of wheat bread, and a jar of organic grape preserves. the good stuff! he paid me a month's worth of rent (he's only in town for that long) before leaving for the office. he asked for a receipt so he could get reimbursed when he goes back to china (so i don't feel so bad charging him to stay here - just doing my part to reduce that trade deficit).

in the mid-afternoon i went with my father to the restaurant depot followed by a trip to market basket. our third consecutive 90+ degrees day meant we were officially in a heat wave. warm as it was, i actually found it quite comfortable since it wasn't so humid.

the rest of the day i spent working on client N's project. i haven't heard from them since the deadline extension last week, so i'm not sure if it applied to this 2nd interactive as well, which was originally scheduled for a friday beta delivery. this particular application is actually a lot easier to code since it doesn't have any video components. i sat in front of the air conditioner, which stopped intermittently once the living room got cold enough.

my roommate didn't get back until much later, around 9:00. i was watching the red sox on television and asked him if he knew anything about baseball. "nothing," he replied. he tried turning on the television in his room but it wouldn't go on. i fiddled around with it a little bit but quickly realized the television was dead. i brought out the dead tv and told him i could get him a new one by tomorrow, quickly hopping on craig's list.

the samsung TX-P1430 14" dynaflat was a great little television. i bought it from a korean graduate in 2007 so it's only 2 years old. it's not worth it to get it fixed, and i thought about finally upgrading my television equipment and buying one of those HDTV's. staples was having a sale on the samsung 2333HD 23" 1080p LCD/TV, but it was still $280. high definition would have to wait, it was much cheaper to just buy a used traditional television. i contacted 4 different sellers, 2 of which replied. the first seller was a neighbor but her 14" television ($20) was a mono set with a bowed screen and i wanted to try and get a stereo flat screen if possible. and just to put things in perspective, size doesn't matter because i could just as easily buy a 27" tube tv for the same price and some people were just outright giving away there old tv's (i saw an ad for a free 54" set). the 14" flat screen seller ($15) did get in touch with me but told me he'd call tomorrow morning to schedule a pickup time. the only downside is to get rid of the broken samsung i need to pay for the removal since it contains hazardous waste (mercury) inside. the cost for a tv pickup is actually how much i'm paying for another used tv.

with my new roommate i've been afraid of going to the bathroom in anticipation of the possible mess i might find. but so far there hasn't been any accidents. could this be true? could this be the one china roommate who appreciates a clean bathroom and understands the proper technique of using a toilet? only time will tell but it looks promising. he also went to bed at a reasonable hour, sometime before midnight. i don't like the roommates who compete with me to see who can stay up the latest (because it's a game i'll always win).