i had some errands to run, including copying some house keys and getting a new shaws card. the temperature today would eventually hit 59°F. besides all the snow melts creating puddles all over the streets, i noticed a proliferation of bicyclists. i would join their ranks as i brought out my bike from the basement and rode to tag's hardware in porter square to get the keys made.1 on the way back i stopped by star market to apply for a new discount card (for my roommate as well).
since the weather was so warm, it was the perfect time to wash the bike. the only problem was there wasn't a lot of space in the backyard. i still managed, first wiping down the bike with a wet sponge, then spraying with the simple green foaming cleanser, and finally wiping down the bike one last time (normally this would all be done with the spray hose, but the faucet is still off for the winter). i locked the bike around one of the deck posts figuring i might want to use it tomorrow (another warm day, temperature might sore to the 60's).
my bike lights from dealextreme finally arrived. i ordered them almost a month ago but they still hadn't arrived. i even got an e-mail saying the shipment was sent out 1/26. i figured maybe due to the chinese new year the delivery was delayed. but the package was actually sent to the wrong address, and finally rerouted to me this afternoon:
i opened the headlight first. even though it takes 4xAAA batteries, it still wasn't as bright as my 3xAAA planet bike beamer 3. but for 1/6th the price, it's okay. i like the translucent glowing ring that provides some side visibility. the rear light seems to be well-made and it even comes with a rubber gasket that gives it at least some water-resistant protection. it looks a lot like the planet bike blinky 3, but once again, only 1/5th the price. i'd definitely buy more of these rear lights (the head light though, i probably wouldn't get another one). i went down into the basement and installed it on the spare bike.2
at 4:00 i had a 5-way conference call. i was told to expect some tension but the call went off relatively calm. once it was over, i had nothing left to do but wait for my new roommate to arrive.
he said he'd get here at 6:00, but i wasn't sure if that meant his plane was arriving at that time or he was going to show on my doorsteps. around 5:30 i get a phone call, which i figured must be him. he'd borrowed the taxi driver's cellphone to call me asking for directions: turns out he picked the only cabbie at logan airport who didn't have a GPS. half an hour later i get another call, this time from the driver himself. more directions later and they finally arrived.
my new spanish astrophysicist roommate victor is on the introverted side. at 25 years old he seems much younger despite the beard. he also sports a mouth full of braces which further enhances his youthful appearance. pretty much as soon as he got here, he spent most of the time in his bedroom, working with his laptop, watching television (for once a roommate who actually uses the tv!). this is his 3rd time in the US, but his previous visits were all to new mexico (which apparently is an astrophysics mecca for star formation research). while he's here in town he's looking forward to visiting NYC and seeing a celtics game. he's a life long real madrid (soccer) fan, although he admits barcelona is currently the better spanish team. back home in madrid he lives with his girlfriend. i asked him if he had any hobbies. he said he was a movie nerd. the most exotic place he's ever visited was egypt a few years ago for vacation.
i don't remember how many astrophysicists i've hosted now. you figured by this time i'd have everything down to a science, but every roommate is different. but with every new roommate i give them a copy of the house key and then teach them about the dead bolt and how to lock the door. i give them a shaws card for when they want to buy groceries. i also include a charlie card for when they want to ride the subway. finally, each person gets a complimentary map of cambridge and somerville (courtesy of the nearby real estate office) so they can walk to the harvard-smithsonian astrophysics department without getting lost.
victor went to bed early, still on spanish time (where it was
5 hours 6 hours later). he ate on the plane so didn't partake in any of my leftover pasta. tomorrow morning he's going to go buy some groceries and then go to work. just walking for now, but maybe biking once more snow melts.
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - "Dancing In The Street"
1 roommates who live here for 3 months or longer have a tendency to leave with my house key when they go back home. an tao has a copy of my key, and so does pau. by the way, a single house key is $1.49 (i made two).
2 why go through all this trouble? i figured if a roommate's going to borrow one of my bikes, the least i can do is provide for their safety. a dinky reflector is not going to cut it when riding at nights! i'd hate for him to get into an accident because a car just didn't see him. i'm not in the roommate injury business! besides, when nobody's using the bike, i could always use the lights for myself to create one dazzling blinking red and white ride!