SM contacted me at 4am then again at 8am. i still don't think she understands the concept of time zones. she was calling from a hotel in longgang (yunyang, chongqing), one of the only two guests staying there, as it's the low season. at first she tried staying at a farmer's guest house for 50RMB, but that was with a shared bathroom and no heat. then she found the hotel, with VIP rooms normally at 300RMB but now reduced to 150RMB, with all the luxuries of a typical hotel (HDTV, heat, bathroom, wifi). she almost died when she went to go take a shower and found out she was locked in the bathroom because the latch was broken. despite her yelling, nobody heard her through the concrete walls (there was also no other guests on her floor). she eventually managed to open the door using a toothbrush as a makeshift handle.
my california uncle called last night, said he was coming back to new york city at the end of the month, and wondered if i wanted to come down to manhattan for a few days. that meant i had to reschedule some appointments, including an annual physical (moved to the second week of february) and a gas meter replacement (first week of february).
in the late morning my craig's list seller contacted me regarding the cable modem. it was a vietnamese guy who spoke to me in a thick accent that was hard to understand. we finally negotiated a time and place, jfk/umass around noontime. i wasn't sure if i was supposed to call him before or after i arrived, but i figured i'd wing it. he said something about a star market parking lot. i got lost trying to find it, and was on the other side of the highway when i finally saw it across a pedestrian overpass. that's when i called to say i was almost there.
but there turned out not to be there, as i made subsequent calls trying to figure out where my seller was, even going as far as circling the entire star market perimeter. turns out he wasn't even waiting for me at the parking lot, but rather on the other side of the MBTA station, underneath interstate 93. everything would've been so much easier if we just spoke the same language. he gave me the SB6141 cable modem, which looked a little dirty, but he assured me it'd work, and that basically all i had to do was to plug it in (having switched out cable modems before, i know it's not as easy as that). i paid him $40.
from there it was an easy ride back to porter square, 10 stations. from across the way i spied a pretty blonde girl, sitting in a rigid position almost like an mannequin, staring blankly straight ahead, not even busying herself with a phone which was what most other people were doing. the fembot got off at harvard square.
at porter square i went to the CVS to update my insurance information at the pharmacy and to see if they had no amlodipine prescription. the doctor never sent it. back at home, i got my bike and went out to run some errands. first stop was the comcast office, where i wanted to be sure the new used cable modem was kosher, that it didn't already belong to comcast, or had an overdue account attached to it. the woman told me that there was no active account corresponding to the modem, but because i was going to use it on a business account, she couldn't help me because they only deal with residential customers.
next i went to rite aid, thinking my doctor might've sent my prescription to them instead. it was my 4th visit asking for the prescription, and once again they didn't have it. back outside i called my doctor asking them to resend the prescription, but they told me they already sent it, so back inside i marched, and now the pharmacists say they have no prescription, and it'd take a few minutes to fill out. finally, i went to market basket to get some groceries.
at 2:30pm i rushed to the cafe to replace the old cable modem with the new one after a series of lost internet connections. at first everything seemed okay, i was on the phone with comcast business, they were assigning the MAC address of the modem to the account. but when i went to register it gave me errors, and the assistant i was speaking to said apparently the MAC address has already been registered (no doubt, since it's a used modem), and she can't seem to clear it out, and would need to send this item to the account cancellation department in order to get it fixed. how long would it take? around 2-3 days. this shows you the level of bureaucratic red tape to get anything done at comcast. plus, it seemed like i was on the phone for almost an hour, being put on hold, only to get the answer that the problem can't be fixed right away, and i'd have to wait several more days. i reconnected the old modem, which seemed to be working for the time being.
i arrived in belmont around 4pm. the trip was made easier because my parents' carried my backpack with them in the car when they left the cafe earlier (while i was still on hold with comcast). my mother said she said the squirrel attempting to climb onto the feeder but failing every time. i also saw some birds today, chickadees and downies.