without fy in the office, i can actually work without distraction for a change. however, with the boss away on vacation, i have very little work at the moment, so this will be a long week of pretending to be busy. i've already decided that i will not come in on saturday, treating myself to a real 2-day weekend. yuwei once again was absent. apparently taking saturday off without telling us wasn't enough, and she's extending it into a long weekend. unfortunately she's in charge of pricing material and construction work so without her all our claims grind to a halt.
these boat shoes are terrible. designed for boats, they should have pretty good gripping capability. but because they're kind of old, they've lost their treads long ago and the rubber soles have slightly vulcanized. now they can't grip anything and i've almost slipped a few times just walking around town and the office. hopefully i can finally dry out my regular shoes tonight and not have to wear these boat shoes anymore. i was reading an online article from the new republic about the possibility of elizabeth warren being the democratic presidential candidate for 2016. honestly, it never even entered my mind, i just assumed hillary clinton would get the nomination, but i think warren would be a great president. of course i may be biased, since warren lives just a few blocks away from me in cambridge.
my cough seems to have subsided. maybe two days of firing up the dehumidifier helped with my recovery. could the coughing by mold related? scary if it is. maybe i should leave on the dehumidifier all the time, electricity cost be damned. my shoes were still wet this morning though, so maybe dehumidify isn't the best option. i finally tried out the heating function and set the temperature to 30 degrees celsius because i don't know what the conversion is in fahrenheit. turns out that's 86 degrees fahrenheit, felt like i was running a mini blowdryer in the room. that's probably the better option to quickly drying my shoes. i was tempted to leave it on while i went off to work, but thoughts of burning appliance made me decide otherwise, safer to do it while i'm at home to monitor the progress.
i followed yangyi outside on one of his many smoke breaks. it was raining by that point, i tried to keep my canvas boat shoes dry as best as i could. we watched as loren made his escape and got a ride back to changshou. i told yangyi that since our boss wasn't here this week, people in my department were taking advantage of the situation and not coming into work. i asked him if when his boss (guo) leaves for his vacation, if he'll be free like us too. "no, i'll be busier," he said. then i casually asked when guo was leaving, "must be soon," i said. yangyi told me in probably 2 more weeks. perfect. i'm already formulating a strategy for when he's gone.
zhuyan came by and told me a lot of my pictures were blurry after i gave her a copy of my 32GB sports meet photo bonanza. she told me she was using the company dSLR and all her photos are way better than mine because she used the sports setting. "you should give it a try next time," she advised me. i tried to explain to her that when you take 4700 photos in a single day, some are bound to be blurry, and that the sports setting is just a faster shutter speed matched with a higher ISO, but finally just gave up.
at 3:00 there was a management meeting between all the heads of the various departments. mr.lee usually attends, but because he's on vacation, he delegated the responsibility to loren. but since loren wasn't here, he casually passed the responsibility to me. so there i was, at this meeting, surrounded by all the heads of departments. at first i thought i was there just to listen, but when i flipped through the meeting agenda, i noticed i also had to provide a status update for my department. fortunately this isn't the first time i had to bullshit my way through something i had no idea what it was about, and since the meeting was in english, as long as talked fast, nobody would know i was totally clueless. when it was finally my turn to speak, i got a little nervous, but did my department proud.
since loren wasn't eating dinner at the office, i didn't i wouldn't eat here tonight either. thank god, because a lot of people who got onboard the bus were complaining about the horrible smell in the cafeteria. i sat next to lihui, who pined away for his nexus 5 phone that won't get here from US until the start of december at the earliest. he helped me call a different shipping service and found out the cost for sending 7lbs. to the US is RMB$470; cheaper than EMS, but still expensive enough to be cost-prohibitive.
when i got back i decided to get a haircut first. i went to the same hair place i went last night. while they were washing my hair, the girl asked me if i had a stylist here. "no.13 cut my hair last time," i said. after a pause, the girl told me no.13 didn't work here anymore. i kind of figured that out, since the past few weeks i've been passing by the place i haven't seen her once, the pretty stylist with the big smile. did she leave on her own? or was she fired? i don't know and i didn't ask. i told the girl in that case anyone will do.
the best part about getting a haircut in china isn't so much the cutting (which is actually terrible as i was about to find out again) but the washing. normally they wash your hair before and after the haircut. it feels so good, i would pay just to have my hair washed. you basically lie back in a lounge chair with your head over a special basin. then the attendant basically gives you a scalp massage for the next few minutes. the girl who was washing my hair - no.11 i later learned - did something where she was playing with the inside of my ears to get the water out. it felt so good i actually began to be aroused.
no. 15 ended up cutting my hair, a male stylist with a cascade of hair draped across his forehead. "short on the sides and back, enough hair on top to comb," i instructed. sounds easy, but nobody has ever successfully cut my hair the way i like with the exception of my mother. no.15 was no different. i didn't have my glasses on, but when he told me to check out what he did to the side of my head, i was practically bald. "it's a little short," i understated. maybe i should've stopped while i was ahead, but i let him continue. he gave me a haircut where i'm basically bald all around except for a wisp of hair on the top of my head. it's pretty awful, but my hair will grow back again after a few weeks, not a big deal. besides, i have a cap i can wear in the meantime. haircut cost: RMB$25. plus a complimentary keychain.
back at the apartment, i turned on the heat function of my air conditioner, hoping to leave it on overnight to maybe dry my still-wet shoes. i cooked my frozen dumplings for dinner then did a load of laundry. my bedsheet was dry so there's an unsightly puke stain so i will probably need to buy new sheets, something i should've done a long time ago because the ones that i have are pretty hideous (pink with anime drawings of a couple kissing).