i got up this morning, had some yogurt with granola for breakfast, then headed outside for day 2 of snow shoveling. today i had to clear the snow from my 3 floor backyard deck then clear a pathway to the basement. the deck isn't as important, but i know when my upstairs neighbors return from their very secret vacation tomorrow (if their return flight wasn't cancelled), they'll clean their 3rd floor deck and all that snow will end up falling onto my deck down below. more importantly is getting to the basement, where my bike is stored, and my only mode of transportation besides walking.

i continued digging out the pathway to the basement when i realized it was a better idea to shovel the deck first, since all that snow would be falling down and i'd have to redig the pathway again.

the deck is actually harder to shovel because i wanted to be careful not to nick the wood. i picked a smaller plastic shovel for just this reason. the wood on our front steps is all scratched up because either steve or paul used a shovel with a metal blade a few winters back to clear the stoop. also since i had to work my way up, all the snow on the top level would fall to the bottom levels so i ended up having to shovel a little bit going back down just to clean up.

digging out the rest of the pathway seemed kind of daunting, but it went pretty quickly. the trick to shoveling nearly 2 feet of snow is to do it in layers starting from the top. the top part is the hardest because of the slight icing, but down below the snow is all powder.

after 2 hours of non-stop shoveling, i finally finished. i was cursing my upstairs neighbors the whole time for not being here, suffering through my coughing and congestion, building up a pile of wet kleenex. i was in no shape to do any of this but who knows when they're coming back. my arms felt sore afterwards, as well as my thighs. i added a few more blisters to the one i got on my palm from yesterday's shoveling.

for some reason it was really warm outside. temperature was only in the upper 30's, but all that shoveling burns energy apparently, so i started by taking off my winter coat, followed by my sweater, and by day's end i was only in my t-shirt. i also didn't need gloves. it made me wonder whether i was feeling warm because i was running a fever? so afterwards when i went inside i took a measurement and my body temperature is a perfectly normal 98.2°F.

i was going to ride my bike to my parents' place, but i was so tired from the shoveling that i called my mother to let know her if my father could come pick me up after work a few hours later since i was just too exhausted to navigate these still-snow-buried streets. besides, i also had to fix the brake lever and i wasn't in any mood to do bike repair work today (i did however bring out the bike to make sure i could get it through the snowy pathway and then locked it up on my deck to work on tomorrow). i was looking forward to some time to unwind but my mother called back to let me know my sister volunteered to come pick me up.

i quickly stopped by star market to get some milk before my sister arrived because my mother was making niangao. with parking space at a premium, there was someone at the supermarket parking lot making sure the people who were parking there cars there were actually there to do grocery shopping and not just a convenient place to stash their vehicle.

my mother made some chinese dumplings for a late lunch. i took some tylenol sinus congestion & pain daytime capsules. when my father came home, we had more dumplings for dinner, along with some niangao cake, before i got a ride back to cambridge.

i watched the end of the nuggets-celtics game. i knew boston was on a winning streak (6), having not lost a single game since they lost rajon rondo for the season. i didn't realize denver was on a streak as well, with a count of 9 consecutive wins. the game ended up going into triple overtime, with both teams playing awful and fighting for points. in the end though, the celtics came out on top. how long can this streak continue? what does it mean when the team loses its star point guard and seems to be playing better than ever?