i broke my toilet seat this morning. i must be using it wrong because how is that even possible? the screws that attach the seat to one of the hinges actually sheared off. i purchased this seat almost exactly 6 years ago; apparently august is the month where toilet seats go to die. i got the kohler stonewood ($17.99), which turned out to be a perfect fit. i tried to superglue the hinge to the seat as a temporary fix, but the new bottle of superglue i bought turned out to be defective and i ended up destroying the bottle just to get a few drops of cyanoacrylate. it didn't work anyway.

i woke up at 8:30 right when laura left the house. still unable to open the front door from the inside, she's been leaving the house from the back door. i heard the fence door swinging and saw her as she walked away, hair tied in a ponytail, wearing a pair of jeans.

i didn't arrive in belmont until almost 10:00, making a stop to get some gas for the motorcycle, before taking a long detour route because of road construction on walden street.

after a blueberry chobani greek yogurt for breakfast, i started to work while my father left for the cafe. earlier he'd already set up some tarps on the right side of the northern front, and enclosed space to trap the drifting dust. up on ladders, i belt sanded then orbital sanded. the sanding strip of the belt sander kept slipping off because it'd been stretched. i kept changing it with an older strip until finally the strip broke apart and jammed the sander. my mother biked home around 1:00 and that's when i stopped working.

in the afternoon i drove to the watertown home depot to pick up a new toilet seat.1 i'd forgotten how much they cost, figured it'd set me back $30-40. the cheapest one was just $5 (a very cheap plastic seat). seats with slow-closing lids seem to be all the rage (they cost $30-40). i needed a small round seat and found one that seemed promising: glacier bay 540 456 molded wood in white for $10. i also bought a small stainless steel brush for cleaning paint brushes.

laura wasn't there when i got home, but i knew she'd been back to the house because the door was unlocked! i took the opportunity to quickly switch out the toilet seat. before i even installed it though, i put it over the toilet to see if it fit. i was disappointed to see that it was too long and i'd have to return it. later i took a measurement of my toilet bowl: 16.5". the glacial bay seat was 16.8". too long.

fortunately i had a spare brand-new toilet seat in the basement. i'd been tempted to throw it out, but finally had a use for it, which unfortunately will only validate my hoarding tendencies. it was a mayfair brand seat, covered in dust and some mildew. i cleaned it off in the kitchen sink before installing it. it too was long, but this was just a temporary fix, until i could get my hands on a better toilet seat.

i went online and ordered a new toilet seat from home depot, the kohler ridgewood round closed front in white ($13.31). i ordered it before i checked my notes and found the model of my previous seat. the ridgewood looks an awful lot like the stonewood though, even down to the material and dimensions, except the difference in price.

laura came home around 11:30. she asked me if i'd be interested in renting to her somerville spanish friend who doesn't have a place to stay because her place burned down. it'd be for 3 months, starting in september. i said i'd give it some thought. as accustomed as i am to living by myself, since i don't have any work right now, this would be an easy source of income, so i'm probably going to agree to rent. i asked laura more about her friend. they met in college, when they were both majoring in physics. her friend is in boston learning english, and starting next year she'll move to brazil to work for her father who has an import business. she has a brother in boston who's also in the family business. she's temporarily living at her brother's place, but would like to move out since space is cramped.

i also finally taught laura how to open and lock the front door. the trick is to push/pull at the same time you turn the key. apparently she didn't have any problems with the key, but realized you also had to turn the doorknob in order to open the door.

in chatting with laura, i learned that besides english and spanish, she also knows french, participating in a few student exchanges, and doing her masters degree in toulouse. she also understands catalan from her years spent in barcelona, but she can't speak it. her boyfriend is basque and can speak the basque language.

earlier tonight she and her research associates went to dinner around fenway park, where she shared a lobster. apparently they have lobsters around the spanish coast as well, but they're called bogavante; lobsters from america are called langosta. she showed me photos and they look the same, with the european version appearing to have a more bluish color.

1 i also returned the strip of aluminum ($7) we were going to use to make our own replacement support struts for the front door awning, but now that we're going with a brand new awning, we don't need this material anymore. i didn't have the original credit card so returns department gave me store credit instead, while i used to buy my toilet seat.