today was an all day rain event. i had a simple lunch consisting of yogurt granola blueberries. despite the rain, i went outside anyway to continue my pokestop streak. i captured an ursaring. i had legitimate reason for going out though, i went to the dollar store to pick up some more plastic cups for my grow closet.

after puncturing some drainage holes in the cups using a heated awl, i used up my leftover potting soil and managed to fill 12 cups. 8 cups i planted tasty green hybrid cucumbers, put them in a used aluminum tray with a bottom layer of gravel and water. of the remaining 4, i transplanted a leftover lupine and moved 3 surplus gazanias. there was no more space left for the cucumbers so i put them on the very bottom shelf, assuming they don't need light to germinate. once they do (in a week or so) i'll need to find some room for them.

still not satisfied with the bathtub drainage speed, i finally ended up pouring half a container of drain-o gel down the drain. it filled the closed-door bathroom with the smell of chlorine. an hour later i rinsed out the drain with a kettle of boiling water. hope that clears the blockage for the time being.

i began making my spinach ricotta quiche around 7pm. i had this recipe in mind since last week, but i had some frozen food i ended up eating instead. all the ingredients were already in the fridge, i just needed to make it.

i followed a basic recipe but changed some of the ingredients. as if there wasn't already a lot of proteins, i also like to add some meat to this pie. last time i tried some prosciutto, but that ended up being a waste of perfectly good dry-cured italian ham. i used simple ham this time around, prepackaged and already diced. i used 8 oz. of a mozzarella provolone blend, and 6 oz. of shredded parmesan. i might've added too much parmesan, because the recipe asked for 1 cup (more on that later). the recipe also calls for a dash (1/4 tsp) of nutmeg, which i've never add. i consider nutmeg a sort of dessert spice, and a winter dessert at that. adding it seems unusual, but i had some on hand so i did as directed. it made the sauteed ham onion spinach smell sort of funky, and i was afraid it would ruin the flavor of the quiche.

after it was done, i tried a slice. the filling was still very runny, and i think quiche behaves better after it's had a day to solidify. after one taste, i think this is probably the best quiche i've made so far. i didn't think the ham would be salty enough, but it had good flavor, even though it wasn't a special ham. if there was one bad thing, i say it's a little too salty, and i think that's because of the additional parmesan i added. i ended up having another slice while watching the season finale of legends of tomorrow, followed by the return of prison break.

karen didn't get back home until 9:20pm.

i was already preparing to go to west chester pennsylvania to visit wangyang. there were decisions to be made like how to get there (flying, bus, driving), where to rent a car, and where to stay. then i contacted wangyang tonight. even after being in the factory all day, she still needs to spend a few hours back at the hotel writing reports to the shanghai home office.

i asked wangyang if she visited wawa this morning. she said yes, and sent me a bunch of photos. she said it was very dangerous because there were no sidewalks so she had to walk along the breakdown lane of the small highway to get to the store (about an 8 minute walk). she said she wouldn't walk there again. she bought some pre-packages wraps and salad (wawa is more famous for their made-to-go sandwiches, but knowing very little of american cuisine, i understand why she went with the pre-packaged).

wangyang filled me in on more of her schedule. i wasn't sure if she was leaving the end of this weekend. she said she'd definitely finish her work by friday, if not earlier (by wednesday tomorrow). then she told me a few things that made my own decisions easier: that she wasn't leaving until next friday, and that she wanted to visit washington dc and new york city before she left. that made it easier for me, because now i can just meet her in new york, and not have to travel down to pennsylvania, although i would've liked that just for the experience as i've never been to philadelphia before.

essentially all next week is her vacation week, and although she would've love to stay longer, her company was only willing to spare her a few vacation days, so having the whole work week was already a stretch. her tentative plan: after her work is done in west chester, she'll visit philadelphia for a day or two, then travel down to washington, then back up to new york, before finally returning to shanghai. she only has a small travel suitcase so it'll be easy to carry that thing around. there was the possibility of also visiting boston since there are direct flights leaving boston to china (hainan airline), but she said direct flights from boston to shanghai for that friday were all sold out (i checked: true, no direct flight, but round trips to boston-beijing-shanghai were still available for only $567).

i wanted her to visit my hometown for purely selfish reasons (no need to travel and free living accommodations) but to be honest, boston is pretty boring compared to washington or new york. and if she's looking to save money and travel by bus, that's a 4-5 hours ride, which is essentially half a day wasted on traveling to a city that's meh at best (although she did say she prefers to see old cities, and boston is one of the oldest, established in 1630). however, boston is way better than philadelphia, and if she skipped that city, there might've been time for the bay state. further complication is that karen's boyfriend miguel is coming this friday for 2 weeks, so i would've had 3 people staying at my place (although that would've been a really interesting mix of taiwanese-american, chinese, mexican and venezuelan-spanish).