it's starting again. i experienced it monday morning, the intense itching of the throat, and i knew right away that it was ragweed season. it doesn't help that i sleep with my bedroom window open, nor that i work outside. it comes and goes, but now i'm getting additional symptoms, like violent sneezing, itchy eyes, and running nose. i also have a overall sensation of feeling tired. i have to get some drugs for this!

the big project this morning in belmont wasn't sanding but rather helping my father move the tall filing cabinet from the hallway outside my old bedroom to the basement. the cabinet belongs to my sister and contains a bunch of her documents. why it sat in the hallway for years is a mystery, but it was finally time to relocate that behemoth to the cellar. i tried to removed the drawers yesterday but was unsuccessful. my father managed to remove them this morning. but even without the 4 drawers, the metal cabinet was still heavy. instead of moving it directly down the stairs, we had to move it outside first, put it on a handtruck, and then move it into the basement through the basement entrance.

i didn't start sanding until 11a, detailing the shingles to the right of the front door, using just the orbital sander, with and without the shop vac attached, depending on how high i was sanding on the step ladder.

i did take a break to go up on the roof to check the water-damaged shingles. i used to go up on the roof all the time for fun, but nowadays i find it very scary. i think one realize is the soles of my shoes not have very good grip, so i always feel like i could slip and fall off the roof at any moment. i came up by a ladder from the back of the house. i wore gloves at the time but threw them down below (which i'd later regret). a few of the shingles on along the sun room above the roof of the garage are crumbling and could use a replacement. in order to avoid slipping, i crawled around on the roof on my hands and knees. that quickly became a problem as the asphalt roof shingles were burning hot from the sun. that also meant i couldn't crawl back down the ladder without potentially scalding my hands.

fortunately there was another ladder on the other side of the house, leaning up against the garage. that side is in the shadows, so the roof shingles aren't as hot. that ladder was shaky, but slowly i managed to get my footing and climb down. i narrowly avoided getting stuck on the roof! if i ever got back onto the roof to work, i'm going barefoot and on an overcast day. those shoes are just too slippery.

i stopped working and finished cleaning up by 1p. after my mother came home, i went to home depot to return my old toilet seat and pick up the new one i ordered online. the cashier told me that normally they don't allow returns on toilet seats if they're out of the box for obvious health reasons, but said he'd allow it in this case (i never took the seat out of the bag). i then went to pick up the new seat, and got to choose a piece of free chocolate candy on some special promotional campaign for using their ship-to-store service. i got the kit kat, which began to melt the instant i went outside.

i went to target to get 2 new pillows for my new roommate. the ones that were currently on the bed are old and lumpy. unfortunately with back-to-school shopping currently going on, most of the good pillows were already taken. i ended up just grabbing a pair of cheap soft pillows, which might be too soft.

my mother made me some duck broth rice noodles when i got back. i wasn't sure if ana would be moving in today, but i had the feeling she'd move in on friday, after her english classes were finished for the week. nevertheless, even if she wasn't moving in today, i still wanted to get home and enjoy one last day of single living. so with the pillows and toilet seat strapped to the back of my motorcycle, i left for cambridge. i returned a few minutes later because i forgot my iphone.

back at home, i biked to market basket to stock up on schweppe's pomegranate seltzer. it's my favorite carbonated beverage because it has a similar taste to taiwanese apple sidra but without any of the sugar. the weird thing is i went to the company website and i don't see any mention of the pomegranate flavor, which makes me think they might be phasing it out. maybe that's why there's that unadvertised sale! in any case, i bought 4 cases ($2 each) and a bag of pluots.

joel from the community garden called me this afternoon. i only picked up because i didn't recognize the number but saw it was from cambridge and thought it might be important. joel called to ask me if i could help water his garden the first 2 weeks of september while he's away on vacation. "i'll water it when i visit the garden," i told him, but i think that wasn't the answer he wanted, because i'm guessing he'd prefer i'd go and water it every day. "i planted some seeds," he said, a subtle way of saying i should go water more often. i almost told him to go find someone else. the only way i know that will make him never ask me to take care of his garden ever again is to let all his vegetables die.

i installed the new toilet seat. not sure what to do with the old toilet seat, maybe put it back in the basement as a spare. it's not like i could give somebody a used toilet seat, it's simply unsanitary. i may end up just tossing it out, which was my original plan.

ana finally called me, said she was thinking of moving in tomorrow at 3p. as much as it makes me anxious to have a new roommate for the next 3 months, i also look forward to chatting with her, hear her thought on america.

for dinner i made some white cheddar shells with spinach. later, i took a 10mg of loratadine AKA claritin, to help keep my allergy in check. it's actually my aunt's prescription, but for some reason i have it because my parents brought it to me when i was in china while i was suffering through a mild bout of chinese hayfever. anyway, loratadine seems to be pretty powerful, doesn't cause drowsiness, and only need a single dose a day.