i went out to bring in the trash and to shovel the thin layer of snow that fell overnight. contrary to what i said previously, this bit of snow finally put us (boston) over the 100in mark for total snowfall this winter, setting this season as the second snowiest on record. we just need another 7in of snow to break the all time record for accumulation.

i finally did some work on the afbhs upgrade by installing a copy of wordpress on my site. i've played around with wordpress in the past, but that was close to maybe a decade ago. the package has really matured since i last used it, and i'm even tempted to switch my regular blog to wordpress just because it's a more robust blog experience.

i got a call from my mother asking if i wanted to have dinner in belmont today, where my parents were thinking about ordering pizza (mondau through thursday, domino's $7.99 large 3-topping carryout deal). they arrived around 3:00, with hailey in the back. at one point we stopped by porter square, where a chubby black girl caught hailey's attention, perhaps thinking it was my sister.

i got in touch with XL this afternoon, she arrived in venezuela late last week to begin a 3-year petrochemical project there. she'd posted some photos on her qq zone, living at a swank company-facilitated hotel with turquoise pools right by the ocean in puerto la cruz (north of barcelona). she was in the office, complaining about the air conditioner that had just gone out. according to her, venezuela seems to be just as hot as chongqing. in her commercial department there are just 10 people, a mix of chinese and locals. yangyi is there as well, actually sits next to her. the wifi in the office is better than at the hotel; at nights she can't access any streaming entertainment (neither video or music) but this may just be geolocational media blocking courtesy of chinese providers. she has an apartment mate, it takes 30 minutes to get to the office, and they work 7:00-5:30, monday through saturday, with a paid trip back to china every 4 months. breakfast is served at the hotel, but lunch and dinner are provided by the company. on sunday some coworkers are planning on taking a trip to a nearby island; XL did want to go because she was afraid of getting tan (staying pale is very important for chinese women) and didn't have a hat or sunglasses (not that she could a pair anyway, since she wear glasses normally). another reason she doesn't want to go out is the rising crime rate due to the poor economy. she said on sundays and mondays most stores are closed.

we ordered 2 pizzas (after having some ribs earlier) for dinner that my father and i went to go pick up on trapelo road around 6:00. i have a lot of salads waiting for me back at home, but all this pizza will throw off my attempt at losing some weight for the time being. not sure how many slices i had, around 5-6. my sister came by around 7:00 after her nanny gig to come pick up her dog; i got a ride with them back to my place.

my lavender essential oil from piping rock arrived in the mail. just so happens i was soaking my humidifier earlier today, so after i rinsed everything off and refilled the tank, i added 4 drops of lavender oil. it doesn't smell like i thought it'd smell; it has more of a household cleaning product fragrance. added to the humidifier, it does add a scent to the vaporized water, but i wouldn't identify it as lavender. i still prefer the eucalyptus essential oil, it has a minty clean fragrance.

around 11:00 i heard someone shoveling outside. at first i thought it was don, but when i peeked through the blinds, i saw a guy digging out the snow/ice buried car in front of my house. it's about time! but way so late at night? was he going to use the car tomorrow morning? he ended up taking 2 hours to dig out, and although he was careful with the snow mound, it was still kind of a mess, with broken piles of snow all over the sidewalk.

i went ahead and ordered a zoom H1 portable digital audio recorder ($98). i've been eyeballing it for a while, and finally decided to get it. i want to use it when i record videos with my dSLR to get better quality audio. i also want to use it to record ambient sounds, like nature noises. one thing i didn't pay very much attention to when i was away in china was just all the interesting background audio. a noisy chongqing hot pot restaurant, tibetan touts shouting by the bus stations, monks chanting, noises you hear in a chinese supermarket, office chatter - all those rich audios that i never got a chance to record. i also ordered some accessories from ebay, a pair of hot shoe mounts. i still need to get a pair of 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable.