by noontime the temperature had risen to above freezing for the first time since the weekend snowstorm. i had some leftover fried chicken for breakfast. when kelvin left for harvard square to get some lunch at hokkaido santouka ramen (after a lengthy late morning research on his phone), i walked down to the cafe. the snow was at the point in its lifespan where it was the dirtiest, speckled with trash, mud, dog urine, and the occasional dog poop. the melting couldn't come soon enough. today was just the beginning: rain is supposed to arrive late tonight and rain throughout tomorrow with temperature as high as 56 degrees.

when i got to the cafe i noticed the sidewalks were clean down to the asphalt for the most part, helped by the fact that my sister had been liberally salting the walks. the parking lot however was still covered in a layer of ice. i worked the edges with the ice chopper, breaking the ice into pieces, while my father shoveled. we cleaned up the icy sidewalk but there was no way we could clean the entire parking lot (besides, too many cars were parked there). the only solution was to just let everything melt naturally, which was already happening.

my father and i then went to belmont to clean the snow off of the solar panels. the panels above the dining room area had melted the most, but all the panels were still covered. with the melting snow creating a slick surface on the panels, it all took was some gentle tapping with the sno-pro roof rake to create avalanches of falling snow. the area on the main roof above the sunroom was harder to get to. my father removed what he can but left the rest to melt. then there was the snow on the sunroom panels. the slope isn't enough for the snow to slide off on its own so we had to help it along, working from the bottom edge. the top layer was a thick ice crust 2 inches thick, while down at the bottom was a centimeter layer of melting ice. i cleaned as much as i could before my father had a turn. he seemed to have a knack for snow removal, hitting the snow with a karate chop of the snow rake to break it apart before sliding it off the panels. we stopped with 3 sunroom panels still partially covered and 3 more entirely covered. hopefully the melting will take care of the rest.

i got a ride home by 3pm. my father waited outside while i grabbed 4 jars of fresh kimchi and another ham radio catalog. kelvin was back from harvard square, watching netflix on the couch. a bag of tatte bakery cheesecake was on the coffee table. from the window i saw EJ digging out her car. i debated whether to help or not, but when i heard her wheels spinning futilely on the ice, i couldn't stand it anymore and went outside.

EJ had cleared 3 wheels but the left rear wheel was still stuck on a pile of snow. i grabbed a metal shovel from the basement and helped her dig out. while we worked, i was also able to ask her about kimchi (being that she's the only korean person i know). i told her i made some just recently, and had just given my father several jars. she told me she hadn't made any yet this winter. she asked what ingredients i used, and confirmed everything was authentic with the exception of the asian pear. she said sugar has to be added to feed the probiotic bacteria, but it's usually in the form of glutinous rice flour. she also adds anchovies in her own recipe. she said if she ever made any kimchi, she'd let me try some. with that EJ tried running her car again and this time it managed to free itself from the ice patch. she gave me a grateful hug, got my phone number, and left to go pick up her son at school.

while speaking with EJ i discovered that i've mysteriously lost my voice, even though i haven't been talking very much. maybe waking up with a dry mouth all these days and weeks have taken a toll on my vocal cords. physically i feel fine, no soreness or irritation in my throat. if this continues i'll go see a doctor, but hopefully it'll clear up after a few days.

kelvin was streaming a pirated release of polar, a netflix's produced john wick knockoff starring mads mikkelsen. sandy came home sometime after 4pm. she and kelvin tried to figure out where they were going out to eat tonight. after some research, they decided on clay pot cafe in chinatown, which specialized in authentic cantonese clay pot dishes. i looked up the location and realized it used to be king fung garden, a restaurant i've been to a few times when i used to work in chinatown. they left a bit after 6pm.

i took the few hours that my roommates were gone to comfortably use the bathroom (without worrying that somebody else might need to use it), take a hot shower, and reheated my leftover mexican chicken soup for dinner.

sandy & kelvin came back around 9:30pm. they said the clay pot was excellent, very authentic. they ordered a medium signature yellow eel clay pot with rice ($18), which sandy said tasted just like the ones at home. part of the attractive of having clay pot rice is the crispy rice crust (i've never been a fan). afterwards they got some bubble ice tea before returning to cambridge.

as there was nothing good on broadcast television, i said they could watch whatever they wanted, except at 11:35pm i have to watch my stephen colbert. so kelvin fired up netflix and started watching animal world (2018), a chinese remake of a japanese gambling fantasy based on a manga. parts of the movie felt like a wanted (2008) knockoff, with its one claim to fame seems to be luring michael douglas to play the big bad. i half watched the film while surfing the web on my laptop. the plot revolves around a high stake card game of rock-paper-scissors with a confusing mathematical exposition that would only seem to appeal to mathematicians or game theorists. when 11:35pm came around the film still wasn't over so i had to watch colbert in my bedroom. i was annoyed, but after today kelvin has just 11 more days before he returns to england.

after some colbert and corden, i decided to call it an evening (1am) while kelvin and sandy still hung out in the living room. but they decided to go to bed as well, so that when i left the bathroom after brushing my teeth everything was already turned off in the living room.