cristina was returning to spain today, but first she had a kidney walk to attend this morning at lechmere. the walk itself was at 11:30am, but she wasn't attending since her flight is at 3pm. she was just there to help her clinic coworkers set up the information and registration booth. i waited at home so i could see her off, knowing she'd return sometime after 12pm. she took the fuji bike, one last ride through cambridge-somerville. she finally came home around 12:20pm. claire - her chinese coworker - had volunteered to bring her to the airport, but she called cristina and told her she was suffering from a hangover from last night's drinking and wouldn't be able to come. so instead cristina called an uber to drive her to logan. while waiting for the car to arrive, we said our good byes. when the uber finally did come, it was a large black fancy mercedes-benz SUV.

and with that cristina was gone. she was a good roommate, one of the best. her research job made it so she wasn't here a lot of times, which is what i like in a good roommate, and her active social life meant she wasn't here very much in the evenings either as well as weekends. as a doctor she was responsible, so i knew i could trust her. she was also a vegetarian, which meant low impact cooking and a relatively clean kitchen. my next roommate will arrive in 2 weeks, so i have 14 days to enjoy the house. hopefully he's just as good as cristina, although he'll only be here for just a month.

i raced to belmont on my motorcycle so i could catch the start of the bengals-patriots game at 1pm. this was the first home game with tom brady back on the team (last week against the browns was in cleveland). nobody was home and i thought maybe my mother went with my sister to go hiking in new hampshire, but they just went to the fells and back. my mother made some chongqing noodles for lunch.

i think few new england fans had any doubt that the 4-1 patriots would win against 2-3 cincinnati. many also thought it'd be a display of new england football dominance, but the hometown team felt flat; or maybe the bengals put up a good fight. no fireworks in the first quarter, pats managed to only score 3 points. in the 2nd quarter, the bengals managed a touchdown, but the pats managed to get a touchdown of their own in the final few minutes, an effortless series of plays that made you think they should've been doing this the whole game. in the 2nd half, cincinnati came out strong again, scoring another touchdown. but then the pats put up the most points of the quarter, with 2 touchdowns and a safety, and finished the 4th quarter with another touchdown and a field goal. the bengals could only watch as time dwindled away and they left with a loss. next week new england faces pittsburgh, but the latest news is steelers QB ben roethlisberger tore a meniscus in his knee and will undergo surgery tomorrow, missing at least next sunday's game, if not more games depending on his medical outcome.

my mother wanted to cook some kale for dinner but all our garden kale are infested with aphids. this time of the season is terrible for leafy crops because natural insect predators are all dead due to the cold weather, leaving these weather hardy aphids and caterpillars to feast unopposed. i may have some organic bug spray i might try, but i've sort of given up on those plants.

after dinner i returned home. because of street sweeping, one side of the street was empty of cars, while everyone else was parked on the other side. i had my goto motorcycle spot at the end of H street, so i wasn't worried that i wouldn't be able to find a place to park.

i then went about taking an inventory of all the things cristina left behind. she didn't leave much in terms of non-food items. she collected a bunch of pens from the various health clinic events she attended, that was something i'd never seen before. she also left some toiletries, including a tube of AIM toothpaste that seemed to be from spain and a bottle of german body wash (although the palmolive brand i recognized).

most of the items she left behind were food items, which normally is the case, although i have had roommates in the past who were very good about eating up all their food so nothing was left behind. from her food choices, i could see she didn't recognize any american brands, and bought things mainly based on (cheaper) price; that's something i do myself when i'm in china, going with the cheaper item, but then switching to a different brand if i discover the first item wasn't very good. she's actually very thrifty with her food purchases, which made me feel bad charging her as much as i did (although the rate she paid is the same one i've had for a few years now), given that last night she also told me how much she makes a month back in spain (€1000/month plus another €1000/month for being on 24-hour on-call duty 4-5 times a month).

i watched episode 3 of westworld, streaming off of HBO go. this episode isn't as good as the past 2 episodes, makes me a little worried if the series will stick the landing and deliver a satisfying finish by the end.

john got back in touch with me, said we are a go for shawangunk ridge this sunday. i'm to arrive saturday and we leave early sunday morning for a hiking day trip. i hope the foliage will be just as beautiful as last time, the weather forecast says temperature in the 50's with diminishing chances of rain. john suggested bonticou crag, which is rated a difficult trail (with rock scrambles) but supposedly offers breathtaking views and not many people climb the area. there are also "beautiful wildflowers" although i'm not sure if i'll see much this late in the season. my only concern is our trip back. last time i tried to catch the 8pm megabus leaving boston, but ended up on the 9pm one. by the time i got to boston it was almost 2am and i had to call my father for an emergency ride home. i'm hoping to avoid the late night drama this time and maybe crash at john's place overnight sunday, leaving early monday before the family wakes up to take the first bus back to boston.