it was a wet and cold day, with temperature barely above 50°F and the cool moisture seeping into the house. while taking a shower i missed a phone from one of the stewards of the community garden; it was a personal reminder to trim the plants around the border of my plot. i checked who it was and naturally it was somebody with a much better plot than mine, a case of the haves telling the have-nots what to do. if they only knew the sort of hardship i have to endure planting underneath a mulberry tree! then they wouldn't care what i do.

i contacted my current roommate who's still in new mexico. i told him if he didn't mind, i'd help him move his things (which he packed up before he left) to the new apartment before he returned wednesday evening. that way he could also go directly to his new place. he agreed to the idea but didn't know how to return my house key. he suggested that he could give it to my new roommate, who happens to be at the same astrophysicist conference. i thought about it but told him to give the key to my parents instead; i don't like the idea of somebody whom i've never met before having a copy of my house key. it's better i do it myself (as part of my introduction ceremony); besides, i have spare keys.

my neighbor renee knocked on my door right after i finished some oatmeal for lunch. the woman has no sense of propriety and knocks as if she was trying to break down the door. i seriously considered ignoring her, but it'd only mean she'd come back later. so i opened the door. she gestured like she wanted to come in. i hesitated, but she only became more insistent, so i let her inside. to her credit she did take off her wet shoes, but serves me right for not learning my lesson: NEVER OPEN THE DOOR WHEN RENEE IS KNOCKING.

she wanted to talk to me about a tall elm tree growing in franz and jen's backyard but overhangs into our yards. apparently there's a dead branch and she's worried that it might snap and hit somebody, so she wants franz and jen to pay to have it pruned. this tree is tall, approximately 7 stories, so it won't be cheap. when i went outside to take a look, it was only a potential hazard to her yard, but she wanted to alert all the nearby neighbors and put our names on a legalese letter before even talking to franz and jen about it.

she also came by to ask me to sign a petition to add some sort of amendment question on the ballot. "is this a petition?" i asked, telling her i was reluctant to sign anything because i wanted to keep impartial. she started talking about how it's not a petition, that it's a non-binding resolution, etc. i ended up not signing, i make it a general rule not to sign anything i don't understand or even really care about.

i'm finally caught up on game of thrones and mad men (SPOILER ALERT). i had a choice last night to watch one of them so i went with GoT, figuring that was the lighter fare and season finale to boot. overall i was happy with the episode, the coolest part being the zombie army lead by white walkers. the worst part was daenerys escaping the house of undying with her dragons; they must've used up their SFX budget on the blackwater battle scene because the dragon roaring fire effect was incredibly cheap. then this afternoon i finished watching mad men after being alerted to the fact that something shocking happened last night. at first i thought the shocker was lane pryce getting fired for embezzling company funds, but turns out the bigger shocker was his eventual suicide in his office. whatever queasy feeling i felt about last sunday's episode (joan prostituting herself, peggy leaving the firm) was quickly overshadowed by lane's gruesome death. i can't wait until next sunday for the season finale.

i went to the cafe in the late afternoon. i left my camera at home and dressed like i was going scuba diving, with my rain pants, rain boots, and rain jacket. i purposely went out because i didn't think it was raining anymore but there was a pervasive mist and the temperature was still cold. i went to the cafe to reprogram the LED display sign. the battery backup doesn't work very well anymore and just transporting it from belmont to the cafe was enough time to lose everything in the memory. after i was finished, a kid customer stood there mesmerized by the animation.

i also planned on going to belmont to deliver the latest episode of GoT for my mother, but on my way to the cafe i noticed my brakes were acting funny - like not being able to stop kind of funny. the pads were seriously worn down, and the rims were coated in black grease. i decided to return home so i could repair my brakes.

by pure coincidence the cheap brake pads i ordered on ebay were waiting on my doorstep when i got back home. the ones i had on my bike were XLC brakes i installed back in december 2010. more than a year later they were due to be replaced. the ones that i had were worn down by a quarter of an inch. the new ones smelled strongly of rubber. they were also thicker, and i had to swap them to the smaller washers. they seemed to stop fine when i tested them; i'll find out for real when i ride the bike tomorrow. they were only $1.72 a pair (compared the XLC brakes which were $3 a pair); i ordered 4 pairs, enough for 2 bikes (front and back brakes). i only replaced the front brakes but i should replace the back ones as well.

besides the brake pads, also on my doorstep was another new mini-torch ($3.08) and accompanying velcro bicycle mount ($2). the light comes in a random color and i got red this time. now i can pair it up with my purple light and get a double headlight effect when i ride at nights.

with roommates old and new arriving on wednesday, i did some cleaning today. i took advantage of my newly cleared-out hallway closet to clean out my room. i'm still wondering if i should rearrange my bedroom furniture.

i was a bit lazy in the evening and simply heated up a brick of lasagna for dinner. i ate while half-heartedly watching game 5 of the western conference final. the thunder beat the spurs, the first time in the conference finals of either coast that a visiting team was able to win. perhaps the celtics can mirror OKC's accomplishment tomorrow night in miami?