i was happy to learn that my roommate tried out the electric kettle this morning. how do i know this? because hours later (by the time i woke up), the water inside was still warm. as for me, to be honest, i don't have too many reasons to boil water. but now i'm looking for excuses, just so i can use the kettle. suddenly i have a craving for tea, and i made myself some oatmeal for lunch1. i can also use it as a shortcut for making pasta, by electrically boiling the water first before adding it to a noodle filled pot on the stovetop. 

my search for a replacement 20" tv continues. a woman contacted me about a free emerson tv-vcr, and the seller who i tried to score a $15 20" slyvania flat screen got in touch with me this morning as well, something about his prospective buyer not coming through and now willing to sell me the tv again. i told him if i didn't score my freebie, i'd buy his set. 

20" is the perfect size for a television set because if it ever breaks, i can just toss it out since 20" is the maximum size limit the city of cambridge will allow for a discarded television without requiring the purchase of a $25 pick-up sticker. i went down to my basement today to see how many broken tv/monitors i have: a broken 19" sony trinitron monitor, a broken 14" samsung dynaflat tv (tx-p1430), a semi-broken 13" sony tv (i think it belonged to my friend alex), and a working dell 15" monitor. since i'm limited to one discarded tv/monitor per week, i decided to toss out the sony trinitron monitor. i checked it one final time, just to make sure it was really dead. the lights turn on, but there's no image, not even the menu screen. i wrote "dead tube" on the top and put it out on the curb. 

i had a follow-up doctor's appointment at mt.auburn hospital at 2:00. i was hoping the rain would let up, but it kept falling at a steady pace. i put on my long green raincoat which i bought in china for jungle hiking but never got a chance to really use. hiding my camera bag like a quasimodoesque deformity, i barely managed to zipper up the raincoat. i was pretty sure the lower half of my body would still be soaked, if not from the rain, then from the splattering of the bicycle wheels. i took a circuitous route, barely managing to see through rain-soaked glasses.

i was greeted by a different woman at the primary care reception desk, but she seemed to be adhering to the previous dress code of revealing tops. after i made my co-payment, i sat in the empty waiting room, the rain still dripping from my wet hair. i was called into an examination room minutes later.

it was a different room from the one i had last week, a large window facing the charles river, although not much of a view today with all the rain. a tough looking nurse with tattoos peeking out from her hospital clothes took my measurements. instead of using the scale, she just asked me how much i weighed and my height. she then took my pulse and my blood pressure (high, at 150/100).

i waited for my resident doctor to tell me the results of my blood tests. my aldosterone level was normal (produced by the adrenal glands), which means i don't have hyperaldosteronism, but my renin level seemed high (produced by the kidneys). my doctor told me he wanted to refer me to a nephrologist, who would have a better idea of what's going on. so just a few minutes of conversation and i was done. trying to get my money's worth, i asked him if there was a generic version of the diovan drug i've been taking, since my current insurance labels it a tier 3 (the most expensive grade of drugs, which they only cover 50%). he prescribed a 30 day supply of generic losartan, a similar drug, and asked me to come back for another visit in about a month.

it took a while to make an appointment, because residency doctors only know their schedules a month at a time. the receptionist told me to call back at the end of september to make an appointment for october. back out in the waiting room, it was suddenly crowded with people. not just people, but silver foxes. i navigated an obstacle course of wheel chairs towards the exit.

i made a stop at the cafe since it was on my way home. my sister showed up, helping herself to a salmon tomato sandwich on a cream cheese bagel. i criticized her for waltzing into the shop and eating the most expensive thing on the menu for free. she gave me a bunch of excuses ("the salmon will spoil if nobody eats it") but i told her to be more considerate next time. whenever i'm at the cafe, i try not to take anything. or i'll only take something that's about to go bad and hasn't sold yet. my sister was at the cafe to take bing bing out shopping again for home furnishing items.

by the time i left for home, it was raining even heavier than before. i didn't mind it though, since i was minutes away from getting out of my wet clothes and taking a hot shower. i just leisurely pedaled back, even whistling through the rain.

the woman giving away the free emerson tv-vcr got in touch with me around 7:30. she asked if i could come by before 8:00, otherwise figure out a time to meet tomorrow. i wasn't in a rush, but i didn't want to wait another day for fear of somebody else snagging the free tv from me. since i don't have a car, i called my father at the cafe, who was just about to close shop and said he could swing by and take me to get the tv. fortunately she lived just half a dozen blocks away from me. if it was for something smaller i could've just walked there in 10 minutes, but a tv demanded a vehicle.

it was a terrible time to move electronics, with the rain and the dark. besides the tv, she was also giving away a small bookshelf that also functioned as a tv stand. my father left after dropping me off at my place. back inside the house, i suddenly realized the remote was missing. i called my father to check the car but he didn't see anything. i ended up calling the seller to ask her if i could swing by her house and check her driveway, where the remote might've accidently fallen out of my jacket pocket. with the rain falling at a furious pace, i fitted my bicycle with lights and pedaled back to the house with a flashlight. i couldn't find the remote, but it was so dark and wet, it was hard to see anything. i figured myself i could come back tomorrow during the daytime to check again.

i returned to the house completely soaked, which was the expected outcome. that's why i didn't bring anything with me, including my cellphone. that turned out to be a mistake, because my father had tried to call me after i left, to let me know he found the remote after all. by the time i got back it was already too late. i changed into some dry clothes and set up the new used tv-vcr.

the model was an emerson EWC1902 19" TV/VCR, supposedly purchased in 2003. i wanted to check to make sure it was working okay before letting my other seller know i wouldn't be buying his tv after all. i could've done without the VCR (i just put away my old VCR this year, after using it only as a living room clock for many years), but it didn't make any difference in the picture quality. the set was mono audio only, but i usually can't tell the difference. after i hooked up the cable, the picture came in without a hitch. the only issue was due to poor design, menu options can only be accessed via the remote, which i temporarily don't have. that means i can't turn on the closed captioning2 and i also can't turn off the VCR display ("SP COUNT 0:00:00 EJECT") that flashes on the screen when i first turn it on. other than that, wedged in the corner of my bedroom, i could swear i was still watching my old panasonic 20".

my roommate was out of her bedroom tonight, eating dinner in the living room while watching a show on her laptop using earbuds. i heated up some toaster oven pizza for dinner, and we watched the latest episode of warehouse 13 (the one where pete and myka switch bodies - hilarity ensues!).

1 i made a mistake with the oatmeal. it wasn't the instant kind, so it needed actual boiling in order to make it more palatable. i ended up transferring everything into a small pot and cooking it on the stove for a minute.

2 i like to watch television in my bedroom with the closed captioning turned on. that way i don't have to turn up the volume in order to "hear" what's going on, and not disturb neighbors and roommates when i'm watching tv late at night before i go to sleep.