my roommate left early this morning; early for her anyway, which was 10:30. i didn't know where she was going or when she'd come back, so i didn't feel like i had the house all to my house entirely. i went out and shoveled the sidewalk, figuring this was just the beginning of a series of weekend shoveling. i also cleared out the backyard and swept the snow off of the backyard deck.

i burned season 3 of mad men onto a few DVD's that i wanted to give bruce before he went back to pittsburgh tomorrow. he was having brunch with susan and dennis, along with his brother and his family visiting this weekend. i got invited to have some pie and watched them play with magnets and a remote control spider/crab robot. they were going out to see the USS constitution and asked me to join them, but i had a mug of warm hot chocolate waiting for me back at home.

it stopped snowing in the afternoon after about 3" of precipitation. it stayed calm for the rest of the evening, although the bulk of the snow will arrive later at night while everyone is asleep. earlier i'd gone out and taken some snowflake photos. these weren't the classic snowflake shapes, but rather needles, plates, and capped columns.

i dug out the old metal hand warmer i bought from rob's friend dave at one of their garage sales. i've been meaning to try it out but i just don't have any lighter fluid handy. it doesn't even seem like it'd work, but i love retro technology (coleman lamps, sturmey-archer 3-speed bicycle hubs, glass insulator, mortise locks), so i'm willing to give it a try.

my roommate finally came home close to 10:00. she must've gone out shopping because she returned with an armload of name brand designer bags. she walked right into the house with her snow covered boats, and i ended up having to clean up the puddles of melting snow and mud. this girl is very similar to my last roommate in that she's very distant and stays in her room when she's at home and never talks to me. however, my last roommate - despite his faults - was at least considerate. this new roommate, whenever she comes into the house, doesn't put back the candy pillows i use as a door snake to keep out the draft nor readjust the door curtains. she also wears her shoes in the house: this i kind of don't mind (it is a western custom after all), but i take exception in her case because it's a chinese custom to remove ones shoes before entering the house. since she's chinese she obviously knows about this courtesy gesture, but has so far decided to ignore it. to make matters worse, it's the snow season right now so every time she comes back into the house, she tracks the stuff everywhere. thing is, i hardly ever see her (i don't even think she eats or drinks, to be quite honest), so i haven't had a chance to confront her yet. i'm at the point where i'm like, "screw it," since she should be leaving next thursday anyway. if she represents china's next generation, i sort of feel sorry for the people's republic.