i went to bed a little late, a bit after midnight, after struggling with a candy crush level. they weren't kidding - that game is kind of addiction! it's got elements of bejeweled but additional features unique to itself. i like that there's no time limit (there is however a limited number of swipes). the music is terrible though, maybe there's an option to turn it off, or hopefully it'll change once i get to more advanced levels. i fell asleep soon after i stopped playing. it was both scary and welcomed. although it was cold in my room (61 degrees), it was warm under the covers. a little too warm as i stuck my feet out for ventilation.

i stayed in bed a few more minutes before finally getting up. the darkness and the cold makes it hard to get out of bed in the mornings. not so much the lack of sleep though, but that usually catches up with me in the second half of the day. i continued with my candy crush in the bathroom, finally reaching a high score on that difficult level, before shaving and taking a shower.

breakfast was just some bengal spice tea along with 2 leftover fermented rice cakes from yesterday. i left the apartment a few minutes late because i was copying some pretenders songs and ganji photos onto a thumb drive. i was going to try copying the music files onto my mp3 player: even though it turns on, when i try to play back the music, it cycles through all the menu options. maybe give it another day or two to give it some time to dry out some more.

zengfei returned from her vacation. my morning bus waits are becoming super complicated. i've got this week to get to know zengfei before shirley returns from her vacation and then both are there in the mornings. zengfei is super stylish, probably one of the more stylish young ladies in the office. unfortunately she works in a department that requires her to be out on the construction site fairly often, so she can only wear pants to work. imagine what sort of outfits she'd wear if she actually worked a desk job! she wore red pants this morning, which if you know anything about my history, you'd know that i have a weakness for red pants.

i get the feeling zengfei wants to chat but like me she doesn't know how to approach it without seeming awkward. i asked her about shanghai, she loved it, spent almost a week there. i didn't ask who she was with though, but i figured if she had a boyfriend, she would've make it point to bring him out. our conversation continued on the bus: she sat with her roommate (whom a few weeks ago started saying hi to me as well even though i don't really know her and don't remember ever being introduced) but we talked across the aisle, until we arrived at the next bus stop and xiao shen (the girl who has a crush on me from very early on) sat next to me, pushing me into the window seat.

xiao shen is pretty harmless, and someone told me she has a boyfriend in shanghai, which i now kind of wonder whether or not that's the equivalent of "i have a girlfriend in canada." she knew i went to a market day yesterday because she saw the photos i posted on my QQ website. she told me that ganji these days are pretty much just open markets, not like in the old days when transportation wasn't that good and farmers actually went to these things to buy things they can't get elsewhere, and bartering was the norm because nobody had money. but still, ganji is a very chinese tradition, and i want to go to more of these.

another super sunny day, just like yesterday. the arrival of clear weather however also means colder weather. it was cold enough this morning that i wore gloves. zengfei gave me a surprised look, like, it's cold but it's not that cold. fortunately i didn't wear my knitted hat.

i was worried that the mouse would do more damage this weekend when i wasn't in the office, although there's not much i can do anyway since they work at nights. no chocolate was violated, but a mouse did eat through one of my korean butterscotch hard candy. that's not the worst part: seemingly frustrated at not finding any chocolates, the mouse decided to take out its anger on my poor toothpaste, biting some holes through the tube. why mouse why? but it made me realize that nothing short of a metal container would be able to stop a determined and angry mouse from getting to my cache of office snacks. maybe i shouldn't leave food at work anyway, perhaps it's one of those life lessons (like not pouring boiling water into a glass container). so far i still haven't told anyone at work yet, my secret shame. as a countermeasure, i relocated my office cabinet to the other side of my desk (the thing is on wheels). maybe this will confuse the mouse, buy me some time to pick up a tin of cookies and save the metal box as a mouseproof food shelter.

fengya received some packages today, possibly a few things she ordered during the 11/11 online buy spree. she was calling my name a few times but i didn't hear her (or possibly i've grown so used to her not speaking to me at work, i didn't even notice). she knew i was looking for some bubble wrap and had some to give me. it's probably the nicest thing she's done for me in more than a month, giving me something she was just going to throw away. it's the thought that counts.

this is also a weird week because my frenemy guo is on his 10-day vacation. maybe a few weeks ago i would've seized the opportunity and try to invite fengya out to dinner. but in the few weeks that've gone by, my feelings for her have changed. maybe i secretly still like her, but i'm trying hard to convince myself otherwise. plus, now i have other avenues of interests i'm pursuing. but maybe in the back of my mind my dream is we'd still get some dinner sometime this week, and possibly thaw this coldness between us. maybe she will never be what i want her to be, but at the very least we can't still be friends. maybe. i know loren is working on my behalf. he brought up the idea of going out for a special fish dinner sometime soon. i hate fish, but i'm willing to make an exception under these extraordinary circumstances.

alex sent me an e-mail today, said my weblog was done. sure enough, i was experiencing database/server issues. this happened before back in august, so hopefully all i have to do is contact the sysadmin of my webhost and get them to redo whatever they did to fix it the first time. my blog code is super messy, but i don't have time to fix it until i return home to cambridge. in the meantime, hopefully another bandaid will get the site running for a little while longer.

after lunch i sat outside on the steps with my hot tea, enjoying the warmth of the sun despite a slight breeze that made the cold weather just a bit colder. xiao shen was out walking with fengya and came back to the office. xiao shen said hello while fengya smiled but didn't look at me. they were hanging out for a moment before fengya disappeared back inside. then 2 admin girls came out, zhuyan and candy he. all three of them were asking me questions about how come i couldn't read chinese, and whether or not taiwanese people actually talk like they way do in taiwanese soap operas. zhuyan cut to chase and asked me how come i still wasn't married. i didn't have a good explanation. i found out xiao shen is from nantong (where my uncle willy has his factory - the same uncle who visited me in chongqing) and majored in accounting. zhuyan on the other hand majored in aquaculture, specifically fresh water fish farms. she told us about it like it was super boring but that to me is actually pretty interesting. i told her i have an aquarium back in the US. we also talked about knitting, all three ladies have done some degree of knitting in the past. the two admins also talked about various chongqing accents. even from town to town, accents can vary greatly.

as for work, there wasn't much of it today, another day of pretending. yuwei once again was a no-show. i still don't understand why she hasn't be fired at this point, other than the fact that she's the only person doing cost estimation for our department. i think the company has to be seriously considering getting someone else onboard because yuwei just isn't reliable and even when she's actually working, her backlog is so much that she can't do it all on her own.

everyone in our lunch group stayed to eat the office dinner except fengya. loren told us she went home to eat. i hope it wasn't because i started to sit next to her during lunch but then suddenly moved to the other end of the table when i saw loren there. likewise on saturday i sat with her during lunch before leaving a few minutes later to sit with yangyi. i'm not specifically trying to ditch her, it just happened to work out that way. zengfei ate dinner tonight in the cafeteria as well, something i almost never see her do. she sat with the guys from her warehouse department. wangyan was also eating dinner tonight, which i've never seen before. she seems so sad these days around the office, and this morning i saw her wearing a surgical mask because she must be sick and didn't want to spread her germs. i almost wanted to stay late in the cafeteria so i could sit with her, as she was eating alone. i have no designs on wangyan, but when i see a pretty girl in distress, i have an overwhelming urge to try and save her.

when we got back into town i went to go pick up my shirts and pants from the tailor shop. liu came with me, angry that after more than a week they still haven't fixed my pants. i think he came along to argue on my behalf, but my strategy is you catch more flies with honey, and i have plenty of time on my hand anyway. the guy charged me RMB$2 for the pants and RMB$15 each for the 3 shirts.

i didn't try out the shirts but i should've. i did when i got home. they're okay, at the very least better than that speedy tailor shop in chongqing. unfortunately, the tailor forgot to put back the wrist buttons on the cuffs. for all 3 shirts. but since i was going to the gym, i changed into my gym clothes, put on my hoodie sweatshirt, and went back to the tailor shop.

fortunately they were still opened, but the guy was in the middle of a heated card game. he told me to just drop off the shirts in his office.

i was closer to the sports stadium, but because i was wearing my sweatshirt, i didn't have a good place to put it, so i had no choice but to run in the gym. all the treadmills were occupied when i got there, but a guy left one of the machines so i grabbed it. monday night is a busy night! i ran at 11km/h, kicking it up to 12km/h for the final 1000m. i didn't have my music (since my mp3 player isn't working right) but it wasn't that bad as i hummed some tunes in my head. the treadmills face a window that overlooks a garden plaza down below, but i was more preoccupied watching my own reflection in the glass. i've never seen myself running before, i've got a weird run face. my cheeks get a little red and the muscles in my face sort of relax and slosh around, like i've seen on the faces of marathon runners (not that i'm comparing myself to them). i finished 4000m in 21:20, which is actually kind of slow despite running the fastest i've ever ran at the gym. i was hoping for a time of less than 20 minutes.

when i left, there was some sort of aerobic exercise class with a lot of ladies thrusting on floor mats. there was one guy there, an older balder gentleman in a corner. i caught a glimpse of a really pretty woman wearing an all black sports ensemble.

back at home i showered, did a load of a laundry, chatted with my parents, and showed them my ironing skills. they suggested i elevate the low ironing board so my clothes don't drag on the floor when i'm ironing. the setup is kind of awkward, but at least my clothes don't get dirty.