i left for boston at 11:30a for a 12p dentist appointment at boston oral & facial surgery. i'd be cutting it close and i knew i'd be drenched in sweat by the time i arrived. the weather also wasn't cooperating, having rained earlier, with intermittent light showers and strong headwinds. i arrived on time nevertheless, wiping myself clean with some kleenex from my bag. the visit was just a progress check, taking one final x-ray to see that the bone graft and implant have successfully fused with the jaw. the visit was also a chance for me to pay the final installment of $700.

oral evaluation (11/14)
panoramic x-ray (11/14)
tooth removal (12/14)
bone graft (12/14)
periapical x-ray 2x (5/15)
sinus lift with bone graft (5/15)
dental implant (5/15)

(crossed out prices meant paid through regular health insurance)

so far i've spent $2900 on the dental implant. i'll probably spend another $700 at least to get the actual dental crown made so i can begin eating on that side of my mouth again. i was hoping to see my regular dentist (doctor huang, who will do my crown) immediately, so i can get my crown made and eat by thanksgiving. but doctor chan told me i should wait another month for optimal bone fusion, so i'm looking at the end of october for the appointment, and about a month for the crown to be made.

i said good bye to doctor chan, his assistant, and the receptionist. i've been seeing them intermittently for the past year, they feel like family now, and this was the last time i'd see them, barring any future dental implant work i might have.

i then went to the china mart next door to pick up a few grocery items, mostly things for my parents (noodles, ginger, tofu), some snacks for myself. i bumped into 2 assistants from doctor chan's office.

skirting by chinatown i spotted the secret battle of chinese flags being wages on its streets, oblivious to most passerbys. from my earlier visit to chinatown, garlands of US and taiwanese (republic of china, ROC) flags were already festooning the streets in preparation for chinese independence day. but today i noticed some large china flags (people's republic of china, PRC) hanging from a few buildings.

chinese independence day is different depending on who you ask. if you ask a chinese person from taiwan, he will you tell that independence day is 10/10, to commemorate the wuchang uprising (1911) which led to the end of the qing dynasty and the beginning of the republic of china, headed by the nationalists, AKA the koumintang (KMT). if you ask a chinese person from china, he will tell you that independence day is 10/1, to commemorate the founding of the people's republic of china (1949) under communist mao zedong after they defeated the nationalists and drove them to taiwan.

as you can will imagine, there is animosity between nationalists and communists, as each vie for legitimacy overseas. the nationalists had always had a stronghold in chinatowns across the world, as they were the recognized chinese government after WWII (1945), before the united nations recognized communist china as the legitimate government in 1971. but with the recent influx of PRC chinese coming into these chinatowns, the balance of power is shifting, and old hostilities can arise, especially on sensitive dates like chinese independence day.

i decided to take the charles river bike path, just to avoid the mess of car traffic i'd have to dodge and navigate if i wanted to get across the longfellow bridge. there was hardly anyone along the river, just a few passing joggers, and certainly none of the sunbathers one would normally find on the now-empty docks. the wind was especially strong, billowing the trees as i made my way to the mass ave bridge and crossing over into MIT/cambridge.

ana was at home, smoking in the backyard, preparing to make lunch. i heated up some leftover pizzas. i casually brought up the subject of what her plans are after her classes are over mid-october. "next week, actually," she told me. a friend of hers will be visiting from spain, and together with another friend in boston, they will take a tour of new york city, followed by washington dc, then niagara falls. "all this in a week?" i asked. "2 weeks," she said, not sure if she saw the glitter in my eyes knowing i will be roommate free for half the month. in fact, they're leaving next weekend, destination NYC. october won't be so bad after all. unfortunately i think november she won't be going anywhere.

she was making some homemade tomato sauce and asked if i had a blender. i got a chance to try her sauce, pretty good, a bit acidic, but nothing like the processed sauces i'm used to eating.

my amazon package arrived in the late afternoon. i received a call first from the delivery guy. it confused me at first because the number was from pittston, pennsylvania, a place i'd never heard of before. i thought it was someone trying to sell me insurance, but it was the delivery guy asking to see if i was home, because he didn't feel safe leaving my package on the doorstep. "i'm outside your house," he said.

inside the box was a peterson field guide to northeastern moths, a sun-lite cloud 9 cruiser bike saddle (more on that tomorrow, but a very large bike seat!), and a set of etekcity remote control outlet switches.

i've bought these etekcity remote control outlet switches before (october 2014, $29.99). i then bought a set of 3 capstone remote control switches from costco (november 2014), and gave the etekcity ones to my parents. size-wise, the capstones are better because they're slightly smaller, which means they don't take up two outlets. the etekcity ones have a better signal, and have a response rate of 100%, versus the 80% of the capstone ones. when i saw the same set of 5 switches for sale on amazon for $21.48, i couldn't resist getting them again. i have three set up in the living room, and am looking for creative ways to use the remaining two. the capstone switches i'll give to my sister. i think we're just at the beginning of remote outlet switches. for one thing, i don't know why they have to be so big and bulky. it'd also be great if i can control them online, like remotely over the internet. i know they have those type of switches already, but they seem unreliable and depend on a 3rd party server to coordinate the signal switching.

when ana came out of her bedroom to use the bathroom around 5p, i was hopeful she was going out. when i heard the sound of her small suitcase wheels, i knew she'd be gone for the weekend. sure enough, she told me she was going to stay over at her friend's house and won't be back until sunday night. let the free times begin!

for dinner i reheated the rest of the leftover pizzas. i caught up on some shows and movies, including it follows, a horror film that's been on my watch list for the longest time. it's sort of slow-paced but that only builds to the horror when strange things begin to happen. it was definitely scary and i caught myself yelling at the television, "girl, you in danger!"

i got a chance to browse the moth field guide. i've been meaning to add it to my natural history field guide library. the amount of moths is dazzling, i honestly didn't imagine there could be so many. but because many moths are nocturnal, they're easy to miss. the guide itself has 1500 moth species, and those are just the most common ones. unlike the peterson bird guide which are drawings, the moths in the guide are depicted through actual photos (like the kaufman field guides). using the book, i was able to identify the moth on my doorstep a week ago: a sensitive fern borer (Papaipema inquaesita). the one gripe i have about the guide is there is no identification for corresponding caterpillars. some of these moths have amazing larval forms that deserve some mention in their identification. maybe that would've made the guide twice as thick.