seems like everyone's getting their roof redone in my neighborhood: renee got her's done at the start of march, and this morning my neighbors across the street were getting their's fixed. i was dismayed to see them using farina, the same company that did renee's and damaged parts of my house in the process. true, they did come back and repair the damages (weeks later), but still, not a company i'd recommend. i was surprised to see them working on a saturday, but maybe business is so busy they have no choice but to work weekends.

i biked over to my parents' place in the late morning and spent most of the day working in the backyard. my attention was divided amongst: weeding dandelions and garlic mustards, mixing compost into the raised beds, and chopping up dead branches. i dug up the rosemary in RB4 and transferred it into a pot. my father thinks it's still alive, but i'm pretty sure it's dead, especially after pruning off the dead branches and seeing how dry it was inside. when my father came back from the cafe, he was out in the backyard as well, cleaning up the dead branches. with his 2 good arms, he made pretty quick work of it, and brought out the chainsaw later to cut up the larger branches.

i felt tired afterwards and slept for an hour before a dinner of wonton soup. i left around 6:30, taking advantage of the daylight. the ride to and back were uneventful, but my jacket layers felt tight on my collarbone and the messenger bag didn't help either (i slung it across my other good shoulder).

small packages were waiting for me when i got back. my mexican miniature watermelons seeds arrived ($2.63 for 15 seeds). it didn't come with any growing instructions but i should be able to find some online. also included was a bonus package of mammoth russian sunflower seeds.

the other package was the RCA matching transformer i ordered through ebay ($2.78). i attached it to a length of coaxial cable and connected it to the digital converter box. the split ends of the transformer is supposed to fasten to an antenna, but just having the coaxial cable combined with the transformer was enough to improve my HD reception, at the very least better than just a simple paperclip antenna. i tried recording something on NBC (7), which was one of the channels that was giving me problems. it recorded fine, but with occasional quick pixelation, which is better than before, when it was all pixelation.

i should've known my upstairs neighbors were having guests over tonight because the noises began starting at 8:00 this morning. and then when i got back the sounds of heavy footsteps were non-stop, thankfully ending at midnight when the guests finally left. they invited me to a dinner party at their place tomorrow night but i told them i couldn't come. it's to celebrate the chopping of the elm tree, which i'm still kind of unhappy about due to the unfair way the cost was divided (in which our house paid 3x more than anybody else). the party was renee's idea (the gall of that woman), but my upstairs neighbors ended up hosting, because apparently they have a high tolerance for getting screwed over.

speaking of getting screwed, i finally finished watching season 3 of downton abbey to completion, including the infamous christmas episode. i immediately went online looking for an explanation, which was quite simple, that certain actors weren't renewing their contracts so the writers had no choice but to write them off the show in the most dramatic ways possible. i'm shocked at the ending but i don't feel too bad, since the majority of the actors will be returning for season 4 (fall 2013 in the UK).