i didn't sleep very well, knowing i had to wake up before 5:30am to make sure mary left okay. she'd asked me earlier if i had an alarm clock, which made me uneasy, since it seemed like i'd be responsible for her waking up. she's a big girl, she should be able to wake up on her own. i asked if she used an alarm clock back at home; she said usually her husband wakes up her (they work at the same place). i told her she could use the alarm clock function on her smartphone, and if she was really paranoid, she could set all her phones.

i heard her wake up around 2:30am to pack, which is a strange time to do something like that hours before leaving. she turned on the kitchen lights because i could see the glow coming through my bedroom door. she also seemed to be cooking, because i kept smelling different odors; maybe she was finishing up some food before they spoiled. i got out of bed around 5:15am. she gave me the rent for next month and asked me to count it. she told me she's bringing home most of her clothes but left behind the food pantry she stocked up in her bedroom, including 2 carton of eggs which she moved into the fridge so they wouldn't spoil (although i'm sort of worried that she's been storing these eggs at room temperature). she also gave me back the housekey, which i actually forgot about, still surprised that i managed to get the rent from her with any resistance.

the taxi driver called me 10 minutes before the agreed arrival time and said he'd be 5 minutes late. "would it be okay if we took another passenger? going to the train station. you'd receive a discount. it's okay to say no." was this a taxi service or a rideshare service? "a discount? so would they split the fare 50/50?" i asked. "no, a 20% discount," the driver told me. i tried to do the math. what's 20% off of $40? "so $35?" i said. "yeah, $35," the driver replied. but then i got my math ability back and realized it's actually $32 and the driver was trying to swindle me. "no, i rather not take another passenger," i told him. i didn't tell mary any of this of course. and i don't think she would've gone for it anyway, even if it was a 50/50 split, simply because it'd freak her out riding in a cab with some stranger. it'd probably freak me out too but i've gotten in shadier rides to more remote spots than this.

the driver arrived right on time (5:35am) and sent a text while he waited outside. mary was in the bathroom, so i started loading her two suitcases into the car first. when she came out, she grabbed her backpack and her purse, made sure she had her passport, and she was gone. i heard her greet the driver, her english actually seemed pretty good. and they were off. i stayed outside long enough to get the license plate, just in case.

i ought to be happy with mary's departure, yet strangely i feel nothing. maybe it was just the abrupt and mysterious nature of her leaving. besides, she's coming back, just don't know whether it's a few weeks or a month. a part of me secretly hopes that she ends up deciding not to return to the US, so i won't have to deal with her drama anymore.

since i was up and not feeling the least bit sleepy, i decided to catch up on some television and films, hopping between the movie macbeth (2015), and the shows shadowhunters and the magicians. i find shakespearean drama pretentious, especially when performed in shakespearean english. this version of macbeth is just stylized enough that it kept my attention. i had to download the subtitle file to try and make sense of what they were saying. shadowhunters falls in the realm of young adult supernatural drama. i tried watching it a few times in the past, just couldn't get beyond the first episode, which may be a sign that the show is not for me. some parts of it feels like a television-version of blade. i knew nothing about the magicians going in, and immediately i picked up on the fact that it's a young adult version of harry potter, with magicians attending a magic school. i wasn't too into it (not a fan of the wizard school genre) until i got to the end, with a malevolent entity with the ability to stop time makes an appearance. it's got me intrigued enough that i want to see more episodes.

i started getting tired around 7am so decided to crawl back into my room and sleep a little bit more. i woke up around 10am.

i spent the rest of the morning making phone calls to various heating oil companies. my parents use atlas-glenmor, but the price they quoted me - $2.90/gallon - is just too high compared to the state average, which is just $2.04. the last time i called them they were able to give me a discount, and i was hoping i could do so again. but just talking to them, i got a feeling they were all crooks. first, no discount until after they refueled, which by then you'd be totally under their mercy. as for the discount amount, they couldn't tell me, but it was up to negotiation. and they never failed to point out the fact that they're a full-service company, so the high price also includes their 24/7 premium service. the more i talked to them, the more i didn't want to talk to them, so i asked them to cancel the delivery scheduled for tomorrow.

once i began calling other oil companies though, it became very obvious how terrible atlas-glenmor really are. i first called belmont oil, a nice british woman answered, told me their price for oil was $2.20, but when you sign up for their automatic plan, there's a 10¢ discount so final price $2.10. next was busa fuel, with a will call price of $2.10. cubby fuel was $2.24, but with an automatic plan and a slew of discounts (including for seniors) up to 30¢, the final price would be $1.94. i tried calling lyons - which was the company my parents used before - but their sales agent wasn't available and nobody could give me a price. fawcett was the last company i called, they had a bunch of discounts as well, with automatic plan price of $1.79, and $1.99 for will call.

fawcett was the company i decided would be the best fit for my parents, but when i called to sign up, one caveat was that they first had to do an inspection of the oil tank before they can make a delivery, so it wouldn't be until next week that my parents finally get their oil, and currently their tank is almost empty. my mother also recalled trying to use them in the past, and when they came by they asked for various fixes to the tank so my mother ended up going elsewhere. i tried belmont oil but they only do automatic plans. next was busa, which was able to deliver tomorrow (will call) without an inspection, since they assumed everything to be in working order because we've getting fuel all this winter without any problems. i filled out the form and sent it back to them. later in the afternoon i called back to see if they received it or not. debbie - the person i spoke to - said she never got it, but after she sent me a test e-mail, i replied back and she managed to receive the form this time around. while talking with her, she was surprised to discover i'm chinese because she couldn't tell over the phone. i took no offense by it, actually found it kind of amusing.

hungry but with nothing in the fridge to eat, i decided to order out. i ended up trying subway's online ordering service, a footlong sub for only $6 (although they used to have the $5 footlong). i actually like using the online ordering system better than ordering in the store, because i always feel pressured with so many choices, between the breads and the toppings and the sauces. ordering online, i can take as long as i want, design the perfect sandwich, then send it my order (after paying for it by credit card). i think i'll order all my subway subs like this from now on. 15 minutes later i went out to go pick it up. it was actually a little brisk today because of the strong winds, but of course nothing like this past weekend. i sort of went crazy with the toppings (i think i added every single topping except for two), and the sandwich was so thick it nearly burst open.

around 3:30pm my parents came by to pick me up. we were going to binbin's place in revere for dinner with her family. earlier my parents were making a slew of side dishes at the cafe to bring.

we left by 9pm and i got a ride back to cambridge. it felt weird returning to the house knowing nobody was home. my mother quickly came inside to use the bathroom. she was surprised by how warm my house was. i told her i remotely turned on the heat while we drove here.