i stopped by the rite aid on my way home. there wasn't anything i needed in particular, i just had to get some change for a $20. i left with altoids and coolmints.
i was only at home for a few minutes before going back out again, this time to beacon hill to pick up the wifi router. it seemed a lot farther than i'd imagined, but i figured it was good exercise. the temperature was in the lower 50's, i only wore a hooded sweatshirt, a little cool at first, but i warmed up quickly enough.
when i arrived at s russell street at noon i called the seller but there was no answer and it went to voicemail. i then texted the seller, but there was no response as well. i was starting to get the feeling that this was a no-show, when i finally got a text message back. jen said she just saw my message and would be right down. i waited for several more minutes, still not certain this was going to be a successful craig's list buy. finally she came out, an asian girl. more often than not, most of the craig's list sellers i've dealt with have been asian. i didn't even inspect the box, i gave her $10 and went on my way.
i got back at 12:30pm. the lock felt a little funny, and when i came inside i noticed my roommate's shoes were in the foyer, which meant she was home. our social contract stipulates that during the day she won't be home so i can have my quiet time. if she's going to be the sort of roommate who's coming in and out, then that's not something i'm going to like.
mary decided not to go to class today because she received an e-mail regarding filing US taxes and it left her completely anxious. i asked her if she was receiving any stipends or grants or salary from harvard; she said no, that all her money comes from china. i told her in that case she doesn't have to file any taxes. but she didn't seem to believe me, so i told her to ask some of her other visiting scholar associates. she was eating her rice porridge mixed with fish heads and the smell was distractingly disgusting. later she went to her room to take a nap it seems. i quietly slipped away.
i went down to the cafe to install the new tplink router (replacing an old belkin). earlier i'd changed the settings (wifi network name, LAN address, forwarding ports), to make it an easier switch. i did have to shuffle some of the forwarding port numbers for the wifi cameras, but after a reset, everything worked fine. i'm starting to get the hang of this router setup thing!
i returned home around 4pm. i put my bike away in the basement since rain was forecasted for tomorrow. mary was gone again (from the fact that her shoes were gone). she did come back around 5pm, still worried about her taxes. she showed me the form they asked her to fill out: the 8843 statement for exempt individuals and individuals with a medical condition. for use by alien individuals only.
i got a postcard in the mail, the one WWY sent me from sri lanka. she probably did it on purpose, but the postcard featured ancient murals of topless asparas. in return, i sent her a postcard from NYC last week.
mary also came home with some groceries, and bought a package of bacon she wanted to cook. bacon is my kitchen nightmare. the oil splatter, the smoking, and then having to vent everything out with multiple fans. the way i was talking about it, she thought it'd be too much of a hassle and said she could just boil the bacon instead. you do not boil bacon. so i insisted she fry her bacon, just under my supervision so i could make sure she didn't make a complete mess of my house. it was a warmish day anyway (50's) so the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors wasn't that great (worst is kitchen venting on a cold winter's day, letting all the hot air out). i suggested she buy ham next time, since ham comes precooked.
mary is a terrible cook, or maybe just not used to our gentle american cooking style (traditional chinese cooking is oily smoky stirfry). she tried to keep the splatter down to a minimum, but bacon grease was still getting everywhere, especially whenever she flipped the bacon strips with her chopsticks. if i didn't supervise, she would've never known to use the mesh splatterguard, nor not to dump the bacon grease into the sink (instead pour it in an oil refuse can for later disposal). i don't think her family does much cooking at home, preferring to eat out instead, since food is cheaper in china, especially street food which can be found anywhere urban. she also seemed impatient, and complained that frying the bacon was a waste of time. the bacon she bought - some star market brand - wasn't that good. or maybe it just wasn't salty enough, since all good bacon has a high level of fat and sodium. maybe one day i might treat her to some good bacon, but i also don't want to encourage her to cook more bacon. hopefully she learned this lesson tonight.
later in the evening i bought a bern brentwood bike helmet on sale from REI for $24. it's to replace the giro bike helmet i have now which i purchased used from a 2009 garage sale (i believe $2) and that i've paired up with a baseball cap so i could have a visor. the old helmet's a little beat up and doesn't quite fit like it used to. also if i get a cool helmet, i might wear it more often (even though i'm pretty much a helmet convert nowadays after my most recent bike accident). my only concern is the overstock bern cames in just S/M size, but hopefully it'll fit. i also got an ABUS ugrip 585 chain lock for $11.
for lunch and dinner i heated up the leftover pizza from yesterday. i used a frying pan to bring back some of that crispiness, but it left a slightly burnt smell in the house.