it was a horrible day to be outside, but i had my eye doctor appointment to go to. i walked in the slush with my rubber boots and deflected the freezing rain with my umbrella. i made it to harvard square and took the 73 bus to 625 mt.auburn street. i had a hard time finding the OCB office because the building is one of those where the 1st floor is actually the basement (OCB is ophthalmic consultants of boston, not to be confused with old country buffet). a pretty young woman in librarian glasses filling out forms was waiting in the large empty waiting room. i checked in and a few minutes later nurse amanda put me through a series of eye tests: visual acuity, retinoscopy, refraction (with the phoropter), visual field, slit lamp test, and tonometry. for the eye pressure test i was given a few drops of yellow liquid (it stung a little bit) that numbed my eyes. later the nurse dilated my pupils and led me into a different examination room that was a near copy of the one i was in before.

i was under the impression the doctor would see me right away but i ended up waiting for almost an hour. fortunately i had the foresight to bring a book ("the invisible kingdom" by idan ben-barak), although it became harder for me to read as my pupils grew increasingly dilated. finally the doctor showed up, moving me to yet another examination room, this one a clone of the others as well. i was supposed to see a doctor "shue" but turns out it was a chinese man named hsu. he was also born in taipei, immigrated to california when he was 10, hasn't been back to taiwan in over 20 years. for making me wait so long, he really didn't do very much. he tested my cornea for thin spots and that was it. he wasn't even going to write me a new prescription until i reminded him. the prescription for my left eye went up a little bit, but my vision with my old glasses is still 20/25 so i don't need to get new ones. instead of bringing my chart up to the front desk, he asked me to do it for him.

doctor hsu told me i had the healthiest eyes he'd seen all day. i didn't really get what he meant until i was back in the waiting room and saw half a dozen senior citizens waiting for their eye exams. the freezing rain was still falling when i went back outside. fortunately mt.auburn street is a major thoroughfare for a few buses and i managed to grab a ride back into harvard square immediately. the sky was overcast enough that i didn't need to wear sunglasses (not that i had any, and neither did OCB offer me those cheap throwaway visors).

that tickle sensation in my nose tells me one thing: i have a cold. i've been pushing myself a little bit too hard recently, being outside in the cold improperly dressed and not eating well. but it's no secret how i really got it though: my roommate coughs and sneezes without covering up. every time i hear a loud "achoo!" i can't help picturing all the germs being released in the house. when i used to live alone, i never got sick. the fact that this roommate almost never leaves the house makes me feel like i'm sharing even more of his diseases. with the weather condition like it was today, i wasn't surprised he didn't go to work again. his constant presence stresses me out. even my worst chinese astrophysicist roommates still went to work everyday. had i known it'd be like this, maybe i wouldn't have agreed.

so besides the early stages of a cold (if i take care of myself properly, maybe i can nip it in the bud), there's something else that's ailing me. when i pinned myself underneath my motorcycle last week, i actually bruised my left hip. i didn't even notice until i saw the darkened spot and felt a little pain when i pressed down on it. not too big a deal, but apparently i didn't escape unscathed like i originally thought.

i won my ebay auction for a pair of used ibook keyboards. i was the lone bidder with a winning price of $2.50. as a matter of fact, the shipping ($5) cost more than the items themselves. both keyboards are missing the delete key for some strange reason, but i'm buying them to replace the broken keyboard on my sister's hand-me-down circa 2001 ibook, so i'll just recycle the delete key.

my roommate was asking me about macs today. he called his office in nanjing last night to get authorization to buy a new computer here in the states. he decided he wanted to buy the 15" 2.8ghz macbook pro and asked my help to order it for him. we tried macmall first because there was no taxes (unlike ordering directly from the apple store); unfortunately they wouldn't validate his foreign visa credit card, despite the fact that he just turned off his fraud protection. we ended up ordering from amazon.com (which we knew would work because it worked before with his camera purchase), which was $50 more expensive but still cheaper than the apple store (and no taxes either). i feel like i've helped the US economy in some small way by getting a chinese national to spend over $3000 in merchandises. just doing my part to decrease the trade deficit! the only downside is since the computer is arriving on friday, my roommate has decided not to go to work just so he can wait for his package to arrive. that. just. sucks.

with my pupils still dilated i did some debug work the rest of the day. the computer screen was a bit fuzzy and my eyes were tired from having to focus all the time.

maybe it's because my roommate is in the house so often that i find myself finding excuses to leave, regardless of the nasty weather. in the evening i went to harvard house of pizza to get myself a steak & cheese sub. it wasn't raining when i went, but there were some startling lightning flashes in the sky. while i was waiting for my food, it began to pour again outside. i happened to grab a broken umbrella so it didn't help me from getting wet but it was just a short walk back home. i've noticed that my roommate never seems to eat out. maybe he doesn't know the local food very well, but seems reluctant to explore the indigenous cuisine. maybe he just doesn't have an appetite for american food, preferring his daily noodle soup broth for lunch and dinner.