i didn't check anything off my todo list today, other than go to belmont in the afternoon to clean up the stacks of branches. i spent some time repairing the loose chain from the electric chainsaw. i wore gloves but i could still smell machine oil afterwards. my father and i ended up completely disassembling the smaller pile of branches. he used the oversized looper (for cutting smaller branches) while i manned the newly-repaired chainsaw (for larger branches). before we could tie them up into bundles however, it began to rain and we went back inside.
it was a strange type of rain, dark clouds and heavy drops on one side, while on the other side blue sky and white clouds. i was tempted to go outside and look for rainbows, but i didn't think it was the right type of rain (later i learned that people did in fact see a rainbow - a double rainbow actually - and on st.patrick's day no less).
my panasonic ZS40 arrived tonight. i only played with it briefly, there's much to learn, but that's part of the fun of getting a new camera. it's bigger than my previous ZS20, so the old pouch won't fit, but for some reason it came with its own ugly faux leather pouch. it also came with a 16GB SD memory card, i wasn't expecting that. maybe it's part of a costco camera kit. i'd read a bunch of reviews about the camera, and many of the gripes people had, i can see what they mean: the hand grip is too small, the electronic viewfinder is a little grainy and activated via button instead of auto-sensing my eye, and the proprietary USB cable. but you can't complain too much over a $200 camera. i'll explore the camera more fully tomorrow morning.
i chatted with mary briefly tonight. i asked her if she'd be okay living by herself while i'm off to china for 2 months. what i wanted to hear was, "yes, i'll be fine, don't worry," but the answer she gave me left me a little concerned. she told me maybe she might invite a friend over if she gets scared (if my friend called me in the middle of the night complaining about being scared, i'd turn off my phone), and that she might stay later at the library. i've never had to worry more about the safety and welfare of a roommate than i've had with mary. at this point i know it's something psychological with her, and i shouldn't worry too much about it, nothing really i can do. she also told me that she'll pay me april and may's rent, since i could use the money when i'm in china.