i was up by 9:30a. after some cereal for breakfast, i taped up sunmeng's package and attached some mailing labels. i biked to the porter square post office by around 11a. i filled out a customs form for a package less than 4lbs. there was no line but my package took so long to process that by the time i left there was a line behind me. the problem was i wrote chinese for the send address and the clerk couldn't read it so he asked me to translate it into pinyin english so he could input it into the computer. i wonder if i can do the customs form online for a small international package like i normally do for a larger parcel. anyway, the price for a 8.7 oz. package to china? $16. that's more than the cost of the t-shirt and liberty statue figurine combined!

afterwards i rode to the cafe, to take a look at the broken cable/internet. the cablemodem wasn't working, with one steady light and one flashing. we checked the outdoor splitter, which seemed fine, but i wanted to make sure, so i hooked up the cablemodem and the wifi router directly to the input coaxial cable with the help of a long extension cord. to our surprise, the modem and the router started working, which meant it was definitely the splitter that was broken. not that surprising, since the splitter actually sits outdoors, exposed to the elements.

but where to get a replacement 4-way splitter? in the past i'd gone to radio shack, but they don't exist anymore. the next closest option was microcenter on memorial drive. my father dug around the cafe basement and found 2 2-way splitters and a length of coaxial cable, enough to make our own temporary 2-way splitter. so that's what we did, and it ended up working, until i can order a new 4-way splitter online. so a problem that started on sunday was finally fixed tuesday noontime.

i rode back home and went to use the bathroom. the fact that the toilet seat cover was closed alerted me to the fact that my roommate had been home earlier. after a while i began to think maybe she still was home, probably taking a nap in her bedroom. later when i went into the kitchen i saw a piece of pork cutlet defrosting on the countertop. so she was definitely home!

today was probably the hottest day of the year, with temperature in the 90's, and possibly as high as 96 degrees. tomorrow looks to be another 90+ degrees day, which will officially make it a rare september heat wave. after some rain on thursday, the temperature will drop into the 70's and 60's, so i should enjoy the heat while i still can! this amount of heat meant i had the air conditioning on in the living room.

i went to amazon.com and ordered a pair of 4-way gold-plated splitters for $10. i also ordered a gopro handlebar bike mount ($8.80), a sandisk ultra 32GB micro SDHC card ($10.99), 4 liberty hardware double prong robe hooks ($2 each), and a copy of wild urban plants of the northeast: a field guide ($16.88).

ana finally came out of her bedroom around 2p and started cooking. cooking for her is a noisy oily affair, a lot of frying, and her laptop volume cranked up to maximum. it made me wince, as slowly the house filled up with her cooking smell. when i went to the kitchen to get something to eat we finally chatted. "how was your class today?" i asked her. "i wasn't feeling well so i skipped it," she replied. is she going to be the kind of roommate who's always here? i hope not. since she also didn't go out today, i hope she didn't forget that she's supposed to go to the bank and pay the rest of her rent (sometime she'd promised last night she'd do today).

i finally had enough. i made an excuse to gather up all the cans and went to star market to return them. i bought some green grapes and a bag of chips. i then walked down to the community garden to water my plots. when i finally came home the kitchen was clean again. for a split second i thought maybe she'd gone out, but i knew i wasn't that lucky. later i heard noises in her bedroom so i knew she was still in the house.

all was well until later in the early evening. i was feeling kind of sleeping and decided to relocate to the couch so i could watch the news. i casually checked my phone and saw that i had a new e-mail message from my upstairs neighbor steve. he said he was shocked and angered to see the condition of our backyard and that i'd neglected my duties. that got me incensed and i wrote him back an e-mail. while he's been summering on the islands, i've been here weeding and raking and general backyard upkeeping. his reply was a, "thanks for the snide response." i can't wait for the day when my neighbors die.

i ate some hot dogs for dinner while watching the venus vs. serena williams US open quarterfinal. ana came out of her bedroom around 9p to make dinner. of course after hours of quiet, she was back to blaring her laptop audio again. 83 more days before she leaves!

later in the evening i watched the premiere of the late show with stephen colbert. i felt it had many similarities to his comedy central show, except less obnoxious. he was still doing a lot of political humor in that news report style, but it may just be because it's the political season. i don't think his show is any better or worse compared to the other late night talkshows out there. in the end, it all depends on the guest lineup.