my mother brought over my grandmother around lunch time so she could take another bath. after they left, i biked to market basket to get a few things. i didn't realize it but they sell quarts of kefir in the yogurt aisle. i bought a bottle of plain kefir (evolve brand, $2.50) to try out. you'll recall that i tried bidding on ebay for some kefir grains, but fortunately never won any. kefir has the consistency of very thick milk. it tastes like yogurt, this sour milk flavor, but with a bit of carbonation. it goes down very smoothly and leaves a clean mouth feel. it doesn't taste sugary at all (the kefir grains eat the lactose), and actually tastes a little salty. it's definitely nothing i've had before.

found out some bad news today: the transportation department shut down lucky star after a series of safety violations. now with both fung wah and lucky star out of business, getting to new york city from boston has become more difficult and decidedly more expensive as well. i'm not normally a conspiracy theorist, but in this case i believe the big bus companies are muscling in on the small independent bus lines. maybe lucky star can get back on its feet soon, but rather than simply hoping, i ended up buying tickets for megabus when i go down to NYC in 2 weeks. total price was $40 roundtrip (plus an additional 50¢ bogus reservation fee), about $10 more expensive (lucky star tickets cost $15, no reservation needed), but it seems unavoidable. maybe by year's end a new cheap bus company will rise from the ashes of the chinatown buses.

later in the afternoon my parents swung by my place. we packed most of my seedlings into the trunk of the car and went to the assembly square mall. there, i returned my 20 qt stock pot at christmas tree shoppe (took forever; 5 people ahead of me in line and the woman behind the desk was super slow) before meeting my mother at ac moore to help her with her yarn purchase. we then continued onwards to the ocean state job lot at the wellington circle plaza in medford. i was trying to score a $14 stock pot which would reduce to less than $10 with my father's 30% senior discount. unfortunately they didn't have any left. we still ended up buying more than $100 worth of stuff.

during the peak of rush hour, we made it to the porter square CVS to refill 2 prescriptions for my grandmother. the thing was, she only had the container for one of the drugs, and the other was just a loose pill. fortunately her info was in the CVS database and they managed to identify the drug; however, since her refill wasn't due yet, we weren't able to get a refill until later next week. we ended up refilling just the one drug and sat in the waiting area for my grandmother's name to be called. my mother and i went out briefly thinking there was a chipotle nearby that turned out to be a panera (i get all these fancy healthy fast food joints confused).

we went to the cafe to drop off my grandmother's prescription. i was tasked to ride my mother's yellow bicycle back to belmont, but also make a detour at ma magoo's in fresh pond to pick up a few subs. with bumper-to-bumper congestion around the rotary, i was glad to be on a bike and not have to deal with all that traffic. i got a chicken finger dinner plate for my mother, a large steak & onion sub for my father, and a large steak & cheese for myself.

i made a mistake with my mother's order: she wanted a chicken finger sub, not the dinner plate. but it didn't matter too much since we were all too hungry to care. i only managed to eat half of my sub, saving the rest for tomorrow.

since it was still relatively early (7:00) and ocean state job lot doesn't close until 9:00, we got into the car and drove to the one in waltham. this was the store we were at yesterday when we found out the senior discount wasn't until today, so i knew they had the 20 qt stock pot that i wanted. we also stocked up on some biscotti.

after getting a ride back to cambridge, i tried some of the salada black tea i bought. it tastes pretty much the same, maybe red rose (the brand i was using before) has a stronger flavor. in the future i'll probably stick with red rose just because they come with those little porcelain miniatures!