it felt like i'd been sleeping outside when i woke up this morning. the temperature inside the house had dropped down to the low 50's. even though i said yesterday i wouldn't turn on my furnace until it got to 50 degrees, there's also no reason to suffer needlessly. whether i turn on the heat today or a week from today doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, which is we're now in winter mode. nothing like going to the bathroom in a cold house, as i quickly ran back to my bedroom. the warmth had already left the bed. i tried to go back to sleep but it was just too cold.

my mother laughed at me when i told her i was going to turn on my heat. i told i had to bust out the long underwear and wear a hat inside the house to stay warm. my parents haven't turned on their heat, so maybe it wasn't really that cold. but tell that to my face, where my nose feels like an ice cube. i decided to postpone heating for a while longer.

in the meantime, i could start winterizing the house. i put up the curtain dividers separating my cold foyer from the living room. there are 7 forced hot air vents in my house that i went around and vacuumed the dust out of them. one of the vents - the one in the closet - is the intake vent, and that one i pretty much had to crawl inside with a flashlight and a mirror to vacuum all the dust that'd accumulated within.

i then went to the somerville home depot to return a few things (duct tape, tool kit) and to buy a new filter for the furnace. i didn't want to get there via mcgrath highway, but instead plotted a different course involving smaller back roads. i can't wait for the new assembly square mall ikea to open up in 2011 because it'll mean i'd 5 minutes away from cheap furniture. i ended up picking one of the more expensive filters - the 3M filtrete ultimate ($20) - supposedly capable of filtering pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander, dust, smog, bacteria, and even viruses.

in the early afternoon i went to the cafe. my father had gone ahead and boiled a few quince fruits to make some jelly without first consulting with me (i'd done a bunch of research a few weeks ago so i knew all the steps). he used too much and water and didn't put in enough sugar, so the product was runny and sour. i printed out some new directions for him, hopefully the second batch will be better.

i was also at the cafe to take care of my great uncle's digital cable situation. for some reason the cable bill was in my father's name, so we canceled his account and signed up my great uncle as a new customer. unfortunately comcast doesn't have senior citizen discounts anymore, but as a new customer, my great uncle will pay a special promotional reduced rate for the first 6 months. we had to return the old cable modem, then issued a new one (that looked exactly like the old one), along with a main decoder box and two additional digital transport adapters. after setting up the new modem, i went back home.

i didn't stay home too long, because i tagged along with my parents on their trip to chinatown to pick up some supplies. we went to the new c-mart (formerly super 88). my father and i went there earlier in the year, when they just changed management. i wasn't very impressed and i thought the prices were a bit high. now many months later, business seems to be booming. one of the big attraction is their produce selection, which takes up almost half of the store. later we went to ming's market a few blocks away, and the parking lot was only half full, as their business seems to be waning. i still like ming's because of their lower prices and their large selection of cheap spices. in order to drum up more business, they were in the process of renovating the store, in that haphazard way that chinese laborers do just about anything, with very little concern for safety and as much noise as possible.

we left boston right around rush hour so the ride back wasn't very nice, particularly going through harvard square to drop me off at my place. in an effort to stay warm, i brought the spaceheater into the living room and cranked it on high for a few hours, which seemed to make it a lot less chilly. i even sat right in front of the heater just so i could thaw out. i had my leftover macaroni and cheese for dinner.