if i thought i could vanquish my frenemy overnight, then i seriously misjudged my own ability to engineer a social coup in an environment i wasn't entirely familiar with. as i planned last night with loren, i asked fengya to come to dinner with us saturday night after work. just the people in our cubicle square, which was her, loren, and myself. "and maybe the printer, because it's lonely," i joked. "saturday?" she wrote via instant messaging, "i might have plans." i told her we'd guarantee she'd have a good time or her money back. after some digging, i discovered guo and his gang has already locked up her saturday evening (xiaolong was treating this time). "sorry i can't go with you guys, have a good time," she said. i then tried to guilt her into coming with us, kind of a cheap move, but i was desperate. "i was really hurt that guo didn't invite me to dinner last night, i thought we were friends," i told her, "come out with us, you can speak freely. also we invited you to dinner after you came back from your vacation, and now that i've come back from mine, where's my dinner invite?" it didn't work. "i'll eat with you guys next time," she said, but that wasn't enough. next time might as well be never. i was defeated.

to make things worse, i had a 3 hour long change & claims meeting in the afternoon. i couldn't concentrate, i was thinking about my failure the whole time, wanted to go back out and try to convince fy one last time.

as for my frenemy, the air between us has turned sour overnight. i'm not sure why or how it happened, but now guo can't even look me in the eye. not at the bus stop, not in the office. i feel like he's almost afraid to hear what i would say to him.

depressed, i asked loren out to dinner again, my concession prize.

in other fronts, zeng fei wandered into our half of the office today. i was standing by my cubicle at the time, glancing at her, and when we saw each other, we both smiled awkwardly. we might've even subconsciously fixed our hair. i was also flirting with sun meng over instant messaging. she's a really interesting girl, but too bad she's leaving at the end of november. maybe to go back to school, but today she discovered the possibility of being a chinese-speaking au pair overseas, possibly the US. she acts tough but it's all an act: today i discovered she's only 22 years old. i also fished out that she has a boyfriend, but she quickly changed the subject, for reasons unknown. or maybe she's looking for an upgrade.

so that was my day. at least i looked good in my tailored shirt and pants, strutting around the office. if you're going to fail miserably in securing the affection of a lady, at least go down dressed well.

loren and i got off at my bus stop and found a place that served big (pork) intestines rice, which apparently is a changshou specialty, although you wouldn't know it from all the hot pot restaurants everywhere. intestines rice is pretty cheap too, just RMB$10 for a bowl of rice and a bowl of stewed pork intestines. the total cost was just RMB$30 (we also ordered a bowl of gelatinous pork soup), loren was going to pay, i told him i got it, and that we'd eat something better next time, my treat.

all day lihui was hounding me about helping him buy the new nexus 5 google phone that just came out in the US. he wanted me to get it and then have it shipped to china and then he'd pay me back. he used a VPN to access google play but unfortunately it didn't accept paypal and i didn't have my credit card with me. so i told him when i got home i'd try to get my parents to order it for him. back at home, i first got my parents to give me my new credit card number (my old one expired yesterday) then i called the credit card company to activate the card and let them know i'd be in china until spring 2014. i then called lihui and went over to his apartment (first time, he has 2 other roommates) to access google play again via VPN. the first time didn't work because i accidentally typed a wrong shipping address, but the second time went through fine. he ended up getting the 32gb nexus 5 in black for US$399, plus US$25 in taxes and US$10 in shipping.