one thing i noticed about the whole post-thanksgiving black friday/weekend shopping experience is that i suddenly get e-mails from every online store i've ever purchased anything from, even if i told them long ago to take me off their mailing list. it's like suddenly hearing from long-lost buy annoying friends. made me realize once they have your e-mail address, they have it forever, even if you tell them to remove it. it also means even if they promised they won't send your anymore e-mails, the temptation of the black friday cash grab is simply too irresistible and they will break the rules just to get your attention again. fortunately i'm pretty liberal when it comes to exercising the delete button.

after more than 2 years, i finally made that appointment to see the boston dentist about getting my teeth cleaned again. i'm scheduled for next friday, early morning. i could turn it into a photo expedition, end at haymarket to pick up some produce before heading home.

since it was going to rain heavily in the evening, i took the bus to belmont in the late morning. the walk to harvard square was wet but it wasn't raining. i used the transit app on my iphone to figure out which bus was leaving soonest. that turned out to be the 75, which arrived almost exactly on time. i haven't taken the 75 in a while and wasn't sure if it was 1) going where i wanted to, and 2) stopping where i wanted to. the bus wasn't crowded, less than half a dozen riders. most had already gotten off before i arrived at my intended destination. from there it was just a few minutes of walking through empty streets.

the opposite door neighbors' contractors showed up to work today. the past few weeks there's been days where i didn't see them so i wonder if this is actually their second project, and they have a more lucrative contract elsewhere. even though it was drizzling out, they worked through the bad weather to put down the wooden joists for the floor. at least it wasn't cold, temperature in the 40's. the high temperature really saved us because this was the same storm that caused a snowy headache in the midwest yesterday, stranding a lot of travelers trying to get back from thanksgiving. had it been 10 degrees colder, all this rain would be coming down as snow, and a pretty sizable amount at that.

i didn't eat anything yet, so my mother said i could have the leftover egg and zucchini omelette she'd made earlier, along with a bowl of cold sweet red bean soup with taro-filled glutinous rice balls. i poured myself a cup of my sister's sangria, which tasted too much of her raspberry liquor (in my opinion, sangria should be more citrusy).

there was nothing good on either netflix or amazon prime; verizon FIOS cancelled or complimentary showtime once the 2-year contract was up; and dramafever went out of business back in october; so my mother ended up watching these cooking shorts on a youtube channel called "农村四哥官方频道" or "rural 4th brother's official channel." these shorts show rural life but more importantly shows them cooking various dishes. apparently it's very popular in china (so of course there are many imitators trying to cash in on the rural lifestyle videos). i thought things looked familiar, so i did some digging on some chinese language search engines and found a bio page for this 4th brother. more importantly, i wanted to know where they were filming. turns out it's sichuan, on the outskirts of luzhou city, in a little village called huihu (回虎). just so happens i've been to luzhou before, as well as chishui in guizhou province (huihu lies equidistant between luzhou and chishui). they're speaking a dialect of sichuanese which is hard to understand, but every once in a while i hear some "yaode!" which is characteristic sichuan lingo.

not sure what we were originally having for dinner, but while surfing online looking at cybermonday deals, i saw that domino's pizza was having a 50% discount on all their pies this week. so when evening rolled around, i ordered two pizzas online: 1 large (14") extravaganzza ($8.50: "robust inspired tomato sauce, extra cheese, pepperoni, italian sausage, ham, beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives") and 1 large cali chicken bacon ranch ($8.50: "garlic parmesan white sauce, cheese, bacon, premium chicken, diced tomatoes, shredded provolone cheese"). driving out to pick up our order, the rain had picked up. my father was going slow (20mph) due to the rain and the fact that the headlights on the camry seem much dimmer than all the other cars.

my mother only ever eats two slices, and didn't finish the crust on her last slice. both my father and i had 4 slices each. the remaining pizza i took home for leftovers. afterwards my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. the rain was falling even heavier than before.

there was a package waiting for me on the doorstep: the 4 new smart plugs (BN-LINK, $26.94) i ordered on saturday, which comes out to $6.75 a piece. i don't really need all 4 but thought it'd be nice to have them handy in case i ever wanted to set up some auto lighting.

after a shower, i turned the tv to monday night football between the titans and texans. i wasn't really watching and switched to legends of tomorrow at 9pm. 10pm it was the good doctor. afterwards i finally finished watching the little drummer girl. it was pretty good. i was sorry to see it end, but was satisfied with the ending. korean director park chan-wook is amazing, i still don't understand how he was able to direct everyone without knowing how to speak english (at least not in any of the online interviews i saw of him, he always used an interpreter). i've seen a few of his korean movies (thirst, oldboy) but i love the handmaiden (2016) the best. it makes me want to revisit stoker (2013), his other english-language film. i tried watching it a few times in the past, but i can't stand mia wasikowska.

being cybermonday, i couldn't resist not ordering a few more things online. i ordered a pair of chromecast (v3) ($45) originally from best buy for immediate pickup tomorrow, but discovered i could get them cheaper through target.com because of their special 15% off everything sale today ($42.50), so i cancelled my bestbuy order and bought them from target for home delivery. i bought 3 64GB samsung microSD card ($10.99/each) from amazon.com. i remember just a few months ago a 32GB was still $10 but now the price of memory cards have dropped again. i'll use these cards for local storage on the wyze cam pans. i renewed my torguard VPN service, $30/year. finally, i got a 32oz. nalgene bottle ($8) from amazon.com.