i woke up this morning nervous about the patriots-broncos playoff game this afternoon. actually, i'd been nervous ever since last sunday, when denver beat pittsburgh, which meant new england would have to travel to mile high stadium, where it's the only place where they having a losing record. to make me better cope with the stress of game day, i imagine them already losing, so if they should (will!) win, it'll be a pleasant surprise.

mary was already out of the house by the time i woke up, i'm assuming she went to the harvard library. with steve out of town (in denver no less on business), i spent some time in the backyard cleaning the snow off of the backyard deck. i seem to more the more responsible party when it comes to deck maintenance. besides, if i don't clear the snow from their deck, when steve finally decides to clean it, all that snow falls onto my deck and i end up having to clean it a second time. i sort of like cleaning the snow, gives me a chance to be outdoors and get some exercise, which can be hard to come by when it becomes icy all around. i also took a snowfall measurement: 3.5" this time around.

i made some salsa with the ninja food processor. the blender container is a good size, but the processing jar was just too small. however the blades for the processing jar are slacked closer together so they're better at chopping. the salsa i made ended up being too soupy as i nearly pulverized the ingredients. next time i plan on just processing a little bit at a time instead of trying to cram everything into the jar. also, short quick pulses, to prevent blending everything into a mush. the salsa tasted okay, spicy (due to the 2 jalapenos), but not as salty as i'm normally used to, which i guess is a good thing. i see some recipes that roast the peppers, which might be something i might want to try in the future.

i got a ride from my sister who was on her way to take hailey to winchester. my mother made some belgian waffles for lunch. the belgian waffle mix we got from OSJL is not as good as the krusteaz mix; unfortunately i can't seem to find any place that carries the krusteaz mix (jet.com has it for only $2; i'm tempted to try them just to score cheap waffle mix).

not a lot of birds came to the feeder, which was a surprise after a snowstorm. maybe they just came earlier, but from the tracks below the feeders, there doesn't seem to be a lot of activities (birds are messing feeders, which means seeds scatter onto the ground, which attract ground feeding birds and of course squirrels). the occasional downy woodpeckers, which are frequent daily visitors. a carolina wren also visited the suet feeder. i've yet to see any birds feeding from the globe feeder yet.

my sister made dinner tonight. you'd think it'd be a good thing, but she snags my mother into helping with cooking, so it's not like my mother can take a break. and there's always a mess in the kitchen, which my sister thinks will magically clean itself after she's done cooking. finally, no one can criticize her creation, no matter how terrible they are, otherwise she will get very angry. it's like being held hostage really. she made fettuccine and wings, which may look delicious, but the flavor was bland. i almost didn't want to eat it. my mother knew what i was thinking but everyone was afraid to say anything so she just laughed. i don't think my sister noticed otherwise she'd scold us for not appreciating her cooking.

the patriots lost tonight against the broncos. somehow i'm not as devastated as i thought i would. for one thing, the game was close. it wasn't easy for denver to beat us, and we did everything possible to win, or at the very least tie the game and go into overtime. we didn't lose because gostkowski missed his extra point kick, because you could also blame brady for throwing 2 interceptions. if anything was at fault, it was our offensive line, which couldn't do anything to protect brady from the denver defense. later i watched the cardinals-panthers game. carolina is scary good, and their gaming seems effortless. it makes me think that had new england made it to the superbowl, they would eventually lose to the panthers, which i'm now staring believe are the real thing.

mary was already home when i returned to cambridge. she told me a few days ago that she likes to get back before it gets dark. she asked when i was going to NYC (monday through thursday) and if it was okay for her to be at home alone. that left me scratching my head. for a woman who's so concerned about privacy and personal safety, i'm surprised she even agreed to become a visiting scholar, maybe it would've been better for her to just stay home in shanghai. she asked if her friend can come over to keep her company; i said sure, i really don't care since i won't be here anyway. she asked me to teach her one more time how to reset the router (in the closet) should the wifi break again.