i was chatting with SM this morning: in china, people know that chinese president xi jinping is visiting the US today, but they have no idea that his trip has been completely overshadowed by pope francis' historical US visit happening the same week. in fact, a search of chinese language news sites makes no mention of the pope's visit, despite his meeting with the president and people throwing parades in his honor in several cities. people love the pope. chinese president? not so much. catholicism is a touchy subject in china, as the communist government is sensitive about any organization where they don't have direct control over (even in cases of spiritual matter, as evident in the chinese government meddling in tibetan buddhism). i also didn't know this but the vatican has full diplomatic relationship with taiwan, a country that china considers a part of its own territory; any friend of taiwan is not a friend of china.

i got out of bed a bit before 10a, right when ana was just about to leave the house. i actually thought she left a lot earlier than that, but i can always count on her to go to class late or not at all.

i received word from frances that they got the latest package i sent out a little more than a week ago. unfortunately it was missing a kid's ninja costume. i went to my bedroom to check the pile of empty boxes. behind my bedroom door was a box i'd missed, and inside was the costume. we agreed that i'd send it out with the next shipment happening in about 2 more weeks.

after making an english muffin sandwich for breakfast, i went to the bank in union square a bit before noontime to deposit some cash. that amount will disappear next friday when i visit boston oral & facial surgery one last time for my final checkup before paying the last installment for my dental implant. maybe by november i can finally eat with both sides of my jaw!

i went to my community garden plot to do some fall clean-up. i don't plan on putting down any autumn crops. maybe at most i might sow some green manure to improve the soil for next spring. i don't even remember the last time i was at the garden, must've been almost 2 weeks ago. there's nothing to harvest, just a bunch of cherry tomatoes and golden raspberries, neither of which is worth my attention. but i did some clean-up, chopping down all the spent sunflower stalks, pulling out the diseased tomato plants, and clipping all the old garlic chive flowers. i was there for almost an hour, before finally returning home with streaks of dirty sweat on my glasses.

i didn't even bother taking a shower. after changing into some pants, i left for belmont via motorcycle. i brought nothing but my two phones and it felt liberating riding without having to carrying anything.

my mother was already home when i arrived in belmont, her usual routine of knitting while watching some streaming video on the HDTV (either netflix or something from the mango line-up). after disassembling the exhaust vent of the living room floor unit air conditioner (i wanted to close the window), i did some vacuuming in my parents' bedroom (one of the last few rooms in the house that hasn't been properly dysoned yet).

outside, i watered the garden, then went around the house with a paint scraper to see if there were any loose paint that needed to be removed. i noticed a few spots on the western side of the house that needed to be sanded with the orbital sander, awkward locations in front of former wasp nests. only then did i finally hook up the pressure washer to the front of the house so i can spray the facade before we begin painting.

the pressure wash gun is actually pretty fun. the attachment i've used before has a jet nozzle, which is very strong and can't be adjusted. the attachment i used today is more gentle, although anything other than the high setting isn't pressurized very much. my next appointment with the power wash is when i bring it back to my house to treat the backyard deck and front steps.

i was done by 4p and went back to cambridge. by then ana was already home, asleep in her room. the house smelled like burnt fish, which is probably what she had for lunch. i opened a few windows in a feeble attempt to get rid of the smell. what's going to happen when the weather gets colder, and i have the heat turned on, and the smell from the kitchen circulates through the house? i can't wait until she leaves in 68 more days.

i came back home because i still had a lot of leftover clam chowder in the fridge. by 6pm i got hungry enough that i heated up a bowl of it on the stove. that's also the time when ana woke from her nap. it seemed a little early for her, but it turned out she was going out, so it meant 1) she wouldn't be cooking tonight, and 2) i'd have the house to myself for a few hours. she finally left around 7:30p to meet up with friends in davis square. i recommended red bones to her.

i'm almost finished reading the martian, about 86% done (according to kindle). if i blow off any semblance of a bedtime tonight, i can probably finish reading it. i still want to see the movie though, i might ride down to assembly square in a week or two to catch the matinee.

past few days my seasonal allergy has developed into a runny nose as well. up to that point, the only symptoms i had was an annoyingly itchy throat. i think now is the symptom of ragweed pollen. the claritin i've been taking doesn't have any decongestant, so i might have to get some stronger medicine.