i was in the bathroom when i heard banging in the walls. i sort of had an idea of what was: steve was finally getting his leaking pipe fixed. it's been leaking since january. originally he thought it was because of a leak in the roof, and figured it'd get fixed once we replaced it. but the steady drips finally made him realize it was something else so after months of delay he got a plumber to come by 2 weeks ago who told him what was already obvious, that his 3rd floor pipe was leaking and dripping into his 2nd floor ceiling. it was supposed to get fixed last friday, but with the city under siege, repairs didn't happen until today. i was annoyed that steve didn't let me know though, because i figured they'd be turning off the water main to the house, but that never happened (so maybe he had shut-off valves upstairs).

i love paulownias. when those twin paulownias on beacon street were chopped down, that was a dark day. however, i did have a few seed capsules which i never got a chance to use until today. but first i had to test them, make sure they're still viable. i used the old trick of sprinkling some seeds onto a wet paper towel inside of a ziploc bag and waiting to see how many seeds will germinate, if at all. paulownia seeds are amazingly small which makes me think they're hard to grow from seeds. they kind of remind me of miniature elm tree seeds.

i must also really love umbrellas because i have a lot of them. the blue one i got from japan that i always use is starting to show its age. the fabric has torn off one of the corners, but worse yet is there are leaks in some of the joints. i was due for an upgrade. the one thing i've always wanted is a clear umbrella. they're good for naturing in the rain, because i can still get enough light to take macro photos.1

hearing that it might rain tomorrow, i went to the supermarket today to get some groceries (though first stopping at union square to deposit a check from client N). "watch where you're going!" a bald townie woman scolded me as she barreled her shopping cart in my direction. "i don't want to hit you!" i just barely squeaked by the 12 items or less express line with 12 items exactly. i got some ingredients to make some tuna fish sandwich but also a few things to experiment with some rice and bean recipes.

i moseyed over to belmont in the afternoon. with temperature only in the 40's with a gusty wind, it was too cold to be working in the backyard. to think, last week i was seriously debating whether to turn off my heat or not. i'm glad i didn't do it because it's still too chilly.

i ordered a new electric toothbrush, the oral-b professional care 1000 ($18 after $20 rebate2), to replace my oral-b vitality. i bought the vitality back in 2007, nearly 6 years ago, and that was to replace another electric toothbrush i got back in 2004. the vitality is so old that the rubber molding on the back has turned black, and it can't hold a charge so it basically has to live on the charger. all it needs is a new battery but they're not designed to be opened, at least not their entry level electric toothbrushes. i've been using an electric toothbrush for nearly a decade now. not sure how it started, i think i read somewhere it cleaned more than manual brushing, and when i asked my dentist if this was true, he said yes, so i was sold. so i don't use an electric toothbrush because i'm lazy, but rather because it does a better job cleaning my teeth. i'm excited about the 1000 model, because not only does it oscillate, but it also pulsates.

after dinner i hurried home before it got even colder. the worst part was riding uphill with the wind in my face. locking my bike in the back of the house, i was happy to see that the drip hose coming from steve's house was gone, so i assume his pipe was fixed successfully.

1 when i showed my mother the photos of my umbrella collection, she was able to identify their inner mechanisms just by a cursory glance. having grown up in rainy taiwan, she knows her umbrellas. even though the duck head and my new umbrella have the same diameter (42"), she could see that the duck head one has 2 folding segments inside while the smaller umbrella has 3 folding segments.

the new umbrella is also advertised to be made from "100% deluxe pongee fabric," which i've never heard of before. pongee? it's actually a real thing, manufactured in china for nearly a century, used in silk lining.

2 originally i was just going to buy another oral-b vitality. the cheapest i could find was $25.99 through drugstore.com (without rebate hassle).