cristina sent me an e-mail early this morning. originally she was due to arrive august 15th, but asked if she could push that back to september 1st since she already booked an airbnd for 2 weeks in boston. however this morning she asked if she could come early because the airbnd fell through. also instead of the 15th, she asked if she could come on the 12th instead. i wrote her back saying it was okay, and didn't fall back to asleep after that (it was already 9am anyway).

of course this meant that the little bit of home renovation work i planned on doing for august would have to all be done in 10 days. i should've started it earlier instead of putting it off! but i can do it in 10 days. it's mostly patching and repainting the guest bedroom door. i also have to clean up the house but i keep the house fairly clean to begin with, just a bit of clutter in the living room that can be easily tidied up in a few hours.

i wanted to get started on the repairs but the weather had something else in mind, as it was actually raining today. not a little rain, but a steady drizzle that last well into the early afternoon. it caught me off guard because typically i'm pretty up-to-date on my weather forecast. by the time the sun finally came out, it was already too late to do anything. i will just have to get my supplies tomorrow. the only thing i did was go across the street and get some grapes from star market.

i did have time to finish watching netflix's stranger things. i don't much like the series very much - i think it's too saccharine with the 80's nostalgia and i don't like the casting. winona ryder is in the series but she plays a distraught single mom who's crying in most of the episodes and acting crazy, not the winona i know. nevertheless, it caught enough of my attention that i watched the whole series, all 8 episodes.

my clothes from gap arrived today: a polo shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, and a pair of khaki pants. they fit perfectly, i almost regret not buying more when i had the chance. i'll just have to wait for the next 50%-off-everything online sale.

in the late afternoon i finally got around to cleaning the fish tank. i haven't cleaned it since back in march, when i got the new LED aquarium lights. the java ferns have done worse since then, which is surprising, since the LED's are supposed to be brighter than my old fluorescent light. it's probably the algae that's killing the ferns. it's not that green carpet algae that used to affect my tank; it's more of a translucent slime that coats the leaves. it's hard to notice, that's why i wasn't in any hurry to clean the tank, but it's definitely not a good thing, and was slowly choking the life out of my plants. i'm hoping more frequent water changes will bring the java ferns back to life. and since there hasn't been any fish in the tank for many years, i'm thinking about starting up another DIY carbon dioxide reactor to goose up the plants.

as if not wanting to stop moving, i decided to bake some brownies after i finished cleaning the aquarium. it's actually a nice day for baking since the temperature outside is on the cool side (70's today). i have several boxes of expired bake mixes i've been meaning to use up instead of throwing them away. i decided to bake the brownies in a cupcake tray to get more crispy edges. besides expired brownie mix, i also used expired (2014) olive oil (i don't have any cooking oil). i did have some non-expired oil (2017) but i tasted both and couldn't tell the difference.

i baked them for 45 minutes. the brownie ended up sticking to the non-stick tray. i didn't have a plastic knife so i used a plastic fork instead to pry the brownies out. the fork broke with 2 brownies left to be freed. i used a metal butter knife instead which turned out to be a mistake and i ended up scratching the pan. the brownies tasted okay, but they dry up and turn hard pretty quickly once cooled. they also tasted a bit like olive oil, i really should buy a bottle of vegetable oil for next time.

since the oven was already preheated, i threw in a brick of lasagna for dinner, baking for about an hour.