i was shipping out alex's hakshop purchase (elite field kit and radio starter). everything is so much easier with a food scale, i know the exact weight of the box, no more having to use the bathroom scale (which would probably work, but i typically add an ounce or two to account for accuracy discrepancy). i haven't shipped an international package in a while, so maybe the rules have changed, or maybe it's because i'm shipping it to japan, which have different packaging regulations. for one thing, i didn't have to print out additional custom forms like i typically would. also, there wasn't the option to treat package as abandoned, or an option to add insurance (i'm assuming it's already added).
when i left my house in the late morning to the porter square post office, it was already 60°F, our second day of unseasonably warm weather, before the temperature drops down to the 30's and 40's. it was warm enough that my sister took hailey to the beach. when i got to the post office, the line was 5 people deep, but there were 2 clerks, so the wait wasn't too bad, 15 minutes at most. "i've got some bad news," the clerk told me when it was my turn at the counter. apparently the post office won't take packages in UPS boxes. i don't know why, anti-competition clause, or maybe it confuses the carriers, but in order for the package to ship, i had to cover up all UPS markings. i asked if they had spare masking tape, but the clerk said with the amount i needed, they'd have to sell the tape to me.
so i left. good thing i had business at michael's, my mother asked me to buy a skein of fishermen's wool (in brown). but while i was there, i also took the time to look for cheap masking/packaging tape. i figured if i had some tape, i could repackage the box and wouldn't have to go all the way home again. they had some, but they were more for crafts purposes, so they weren't cheap. as for the yarn, i couldn't find any fishermen's wool. maybe lion brand doesn't make it anymore, or maybe this smaller store just doesn't have it in stock. before i left though, i went to check out their mason jars, and bought a jar i've been long searching for, a large 2 quart (half gallon) mason jar with a wide mouth ($5 but $3 after 40% coupon). i went to ace hardware next door looking for packaging tape; they had masking tape but for the price it wasn't worth it. i decided to go home.
as it was already noontime, i had some lunch first before continuing my errands. i made a bowl of chicken sausage oatmeal combined with a kale-banana-almond-milk smoothie. i repackaged the box, not completely mummifying it with packaging tape but close. i was a little worried it'd throw off the weight but i'd already added an ounce for safety to the shipping label when i created it.
there was no line when i went to the post office a second time around 1:30pm. i dropped off the package and got a receipt, mission accomplished. for my troubles, now all i have left to do is wait for alex to reimburse me the cost of the package and shipping, which comes out close to $400. this, despite his reluctance to use the 21st century method of money exchange through paypal, and would rather go with western union, which has very expensive fees.
i biked to market basket next, to pick up some box tissues for my grand uncle, and also get some ingredients for making my next fermented vegetable recipe, el salvadorian curtido. it was surprisingly crowded for some reason, or maybe i got there right when there was some shopper congestion. a little old lady in front of me was unnecessarily rude to the cashier, speaking down to her as if she didn't understand english. i've found the rudest people at market basket to be little italian ladies.
after returning home briefly, i went to the cafe to drop off the kleenex. by then the temperature was 61°F, warm enough that wore just my t-shirt. i don't think i'd ever imagine i could be biking in a t-shirt in the middle of january. it was getting close to 2:30pm and neither my father or 2nd aunt were at the cafe yet. we were most concerned about my father, who went to go retake the servsafe food safety manager training course and certification exam. the last time around he got out early, so we thought maybe his lateness meant he might've failed the exam a second time. but my mother saw e-mails alerting us that his exam score was available for viewing. while i was trying to log into my father account, he finally returned, smiling, which could either mean good or bad news. he said he passed, but just barely, scoring 76% when passing is 75%. he ended up taking an electronic version of the ipad (administered on ipads), and a bilingual chinese/english version at that (hence he was able to get his exam score immediately afterwards). he said there were about 11 other in class today, mostly hispanic.
i continued on my way to belmont. the house felt improved some how, now that the basement oil furnace was no longer making strange noises. for dinner we had xuelihong noodles. i helped my father order some smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors/solar motion security lights before returning home.
a package was waiting for my upstairs neighbors. i was going to tell them about it but then i heard the music blaring from upstairs and decided against it. it was annoying enough that i pounded the walls to get them to stop, i don't know if they heard it. it didn't stop until 10:40pm. i hope maybe they go away this weekend (MLK jr. weekend).