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i rode the bike to the more distant porter square star market in the late morning in search of fresher mussels. the ones i saw in the nearby star market across the street looked dead. besides, i left my star market card at home and needed to go back anyway. the sky was clear blue and temperature was in the 40's but a blustery wind made the day feel colder. 

i went through the porter square supermarket twice before i finally found the fish department. 2 ladies behind the counter were making sushi. one of them pointed in my direction and muttered something. i was confused. i looked behind me, and then back at them, and then looked around. what was she pointing at? she muttered something again. "push the button!" she told me. push the button? several more confusing seconds passed before i finally saw what she was pointing at, a button to call the fishmonger. a push later brought forth a 3rd woman who helped me with the mussels that i could've easily done myself had they been in front of the glass counter instead of behind it. 

i planned on bringing all the ramekins of flan, the case of root beer, and 5 lbs of raw mussels to belmont via bicycle. it was for the best that i didn't because the wind would've made for a very difficult (and wobbly) ride. instead my father dropped by in the early afternoon to pick up all that stuff for me before he himself went to market basket ("masket") to get some last minute thanksgiving supplies. i would've volunteered to go for him since masket was probably a crowded death trap for anyone traveling by car, but he needed to buy 6 gallons of milk and that would've been hard to carry on my bicycle. 

before he left, he checked out the ross bike sitting upside-down in my kitchen. he said the rear fender looked like it could be removed without taking off the wheel. he also left me a power drill with a few steel brush attachments. so i went ahead and unbolted the rear fender. it came lose, but with the wheel still in place, it was impossible to remove the fender. i ended up taking off the wheel, making a mess of my hands from the infinity dirty bike chain. once the wheel was off, the fender was easy to remove. 

i started cleaning the inside of the rear fender with a steel brush and a can of WD40. it was hard to hold, a semi-circle of flexible metal with 2 eye-poking brackets. scrubbing the inside was an awkward task, with little clearance to work the brush. i had to clean outside in the cold because i didn't want the rusty lubricant to drip inside the house. after i was done, only a small percentage of the inner fender was actually free of rust; the other parts had so much embedded grime that no amount of hand scrubbing was going to clean it completely. the rear fender looked to be more rusted than the front fender. i wonder why that is?

i came back inside and decided to give the power drill a try. it was an old unit with a frayed cord that my father warned me to rewrap with electrical tape otherwise risk electrocution. i squirted a little WD40 and began working the steel brush attachment on the drill. good thing i put down some newspaper because the spinning brush head splattered the oil when i worked it inside the fender. if using the hand brush was hard enough, using the electric drill was even more difficult. i realized it was impossible to do this indoors without completely splattering oil everywhere. what little i did try to clean, there hardly seemed to be any improvement in taking off the rust. 

i also cleaned the chain as much as i could. it was so dirty it looked like somebody had coated it with black shoe polish. globs of grease fell off, which i quickly vacuumed for fear of tracking the stuff throughout the rest of the house. the good news is all that grease preserved a lot of the gear shifting assembly. once i wiped off the grime, the derailleur looked brand new. 

pau came home relatively early, around 7:00. katarina came as well, and would spend the night since her landlord-roommate was hinting that she wanted the guest bedroom for her relatives who were visiting for thanksgiving. pau actually had some work to do, and spent most of the evening in front of his laptop, sighing in frustration as he tried to finish two proposals that had to go out by midnight. for dinner they decided on takeout; after showing them a few menus, i suggested they try domino pizza's online ordering. they got to create their own pies and watch as the online progress bar tracked every step of their pizzas until it finally arrived on the doorstep. 

for dessert katarina ordered a domino chocolate lava cake, but i also treated them to some extra flan i had in the fridge. since they were only a day old, the melted sugar layer didn't have enough time to liquify so there was still a lot of sugar left in the ramekins. pau also ordered a taxi (he tried 5 different companies before finally getting one that had a car available around 6:00 in the morning) and printed out some maps and boarding passes. after he sent out his proposals close to midnight, he began packing for tomorrow.