it doesn't make any sense: i sleep later than my roommate, yet i wake up before he does. "see you later," he said to me in his spanish accent as he slipped behind the draft curtain and out the front door. now my day can get started!
after a sandwich, after a shower, i debated whether or not to bike down to haymarket. the only thing i really needed was garlic and it wasn't worth the effort to go all the way into boston to get them just to save a few cents. even i have a limit to my frugality.
instead i took advantage of the natural daylight to shoot a good photo for my overdue passport renewal. that was what the poster board was for, the mandatory white background. it took 34 takes; the hardest part was getting my messy hair exactly right. also i had a hard time getting myself centered and in focus.
my upstairs neighbor steve send my next door neighbors franz and jen an e-mail about the recent water bill, asking if they noticed any recent rate increase. i was one of the forwarded recipients, which made me think he was accusing me somehow of using too much water. if anyone is to blame it'd be him; a few months ago he left for the long weekend with a leaking toilet that cost us an additional $100 in water bill. i am the archetype of water conservation: i take quick showers and i reuse my aquarium water to either water the garden or my indoor plants; when there's a leak, i fix it immediately; even the mechanism inside my toilet tank has been replaced with a more efficient setup.
just to make sure there wasn't a hidden leak, i went down to the basement to check the water meter. while walking into the backyard i was shocked by just how warm it was today, downright summery. it made me quickly yearn for colder days. since i was the only person in the entire house and i wasn't using any water, the numbers on the meter stayed still, which meant there wasn't a leak. it might be a faulty reading, since steve said he noticed the price increase ever since they installed a fancy automated wireless reader.
since i was down there anyway, i decided to clean up the far end of the basement wall, the side closest to the street. the way the cellar is partitioned, this is actually my 40% of the basement. there used to be an unused oil heater that was removed before i moved in. removal was one thing, but they did a poor job cleaning up, leaving rusted pipes and piles of cat litter (to soak up the oil drips). in all the times i've lived here, i never bothered to clean up that area; it was a dirty region to avoid. now that i've piled my basement with more junk, i find myself needing more space. with a broom i swept all that cat litter (and now cobwebs) into a paper leaf recycle bag. the basement became cloudy with dust before i opened a window and ventilated with a fan. even then i'd already breathed in some of that stuff, so my life expectancy is properly going to drop now.
in the afternoon bruce and i went on a walk around fresh pond to take advantage of this nice weather. unbeknownst to me, he'd already been there yesterday. the 70°F temperature matched a record high for this date. despite the spring-summer-like condition, there was a very strong wind (40mph+), but it was a warm wind. we weren't the only ones out there as we mingled with joggers, bikers, strollers, dogwalkers, and golfers (by the golf course).
there was still some ice on the pond, but everything was pushed to the edge and quickly melting. the ice came in 3 flavors: large ice floes, broken bits of medium white ice, and smaller transparent ice. the transparent ice made a pleasant crackling sound. the wind was also so strong that it formed whitecaps on the water surface, and at one point i even saw a thin branch fall from a tree.
besides the ice and the wind, there wasn't much else to see. i hardly saw any wildlife besides the ubiquitous mallards and canada geese. the only "active" trees were some witch hazel with their yellow flowers.
coming home briefly, i grabbed my gap/banana republic/old navy discount coupon before we left for the galleria mall. bruce needed to buy a new belt, which he found at banana republic, a very fancy reversible variety. with my coupon he managed to save an additional 30%. we went to the apple store before we left.
even though it was warm outside, it was cold inside my house. i opened a few windows hoping to draw in some warmth but it was little use. it was so windy that it made the house feel even colder so i decided to close all the windows. ambient heating alone raised the temperature inside the house to 65°F, so i didn't even bother turning on the heat later on. of course this will all change by tomorrow, when the daytime temperature will be in the 40's.
victor came home at 7:00 and stayed in his room for most of the night, venturing out only to get some groceries. he microwaved some popcorn which i didn't mind even though it did leave the house smelling like melted butter for a few hours. for dinner i had some frozen chinese dumplings.