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i woke up at 6am (actually got about 5 hours of good sleep) and we left by 6:30am to logan airport. we took the turnpike and didn't hit any traffic, arriving before 7am. by coincidence, we got there at the same time as matthew and lili, who were just getting out of a minivan taxi in front of us.

i drove back to belmont, hitting a bit of traffic at the entrance to the sumner tunnel where for some reason 2 lanes of traffic was reduced to 1 and then reemerges as 3 lanes before entering the tunnel as 2 lanes. also coming back into cambridge i hit some city traffic. it was only when i was almost to my house that i realized i wasn't supposed to come back to cambridge but to belmont instead.

finally arriving in belmont, i went through the house setting everything to vacation mode: unplugged any unnecessary appliances, set the nest thermostat to 50°F, and turned the hot water tank to the lowest setting. there was a lot of confusion with the water tank because i misread the numbers and thought 32° was fahrenheit (it was actually celsius). i only realized my mistake when i saw the photo i took, and went back down to the basement. i also realized that the tank has two thermostats, one on the top and one in the middle, so i changed the temperature setting for both. the lowest temperature it can go without shutting down completely is only 90°F (i read online the ideal vacation temperature is 50&def;F).

i also did some cleaning throughout the house, including vacuuming the basement area near the solar inverter because the electricians left a lot of debris, and changing the dead batteries from the wireless weather meter. my plan was to wait until they picked up the trash before leaving so i could bring in the bins. in the meantime, i watched the early morning news (which i rarely see because of my sleep schedule) on channel 7 (WHDH) with amaka ubaka and tried to eat all the perishable goods for breakfast before they spoiled, including a banana, a blueberry muffin, and some orange juice.

i wasn't sure when the garbage men would come (my mother said sometimes they come late), but they came at 10am and i left for cambridge soon afterwards via bike.

i stopped by the cafe to drop off bags of potato chips, return a plastic container, bring my sister her raisin bread, and bring in their trash bins. i coordinated with my 2nd aunt as to my schedule and when i'd be back to defrost the freezer and shovel the snow. i bumped into marc who told me that the empty commercial building across the street was being turned into one of those communal shared workspaces.

i finally returned home, even though hours ago i drove by my place. i brought home some leftovers from last night's dinner and had it for lunch. i thought about getting some groceries, but i had enough food in the house to last me a few days so i didn't bother (didn't want to brave the pre-storm crowd anyway).

alex contacted me, wanted to try sending money using his paypal account. he forwarded me 500¥ which arrived instantly as $4.03. i've always wondered how this work when you're transferring international currency. it works because paypal takes a cut during the exchange: the actual amount should've been closer to $4.72. when i tried resending the money back ($4.03 as 413¥ when it actually should be closer to 427¥) it wouldn't go through. i think the reason is because alex only has a credit card attached to his paypal, not a bank account.

i guess i was still tired from last night and fell asleep on the coach around 4pm, waking up 1-1/2 hours later to shut the blinds. feeling lazy, for dinner i heated up a pair of french bread pizza. tomorrow: a mini nor'easter.