a call from my sister woke me up this morning. "are you coming to help shovel the snow?" she asked. "how much snow is there?" i said, but she couldn't give me a straight answer, so i knew there wasn't a lot. i asked if my father couldn't shovel it instead, but my sister interjected and said she can't shovel it because of her recurring back pains. when i repeated the question only then did i find out that the snow amount was so insignificant my father didn't even bother clearing it (plus he has a cold). it was only my sister who was off on another one of her bipolar rants, raving about shoveling the commercial sidewalk to bare ground, said that all the other nearby businesses had already done it. "fine, i'll do it myself," she said angrily before abruptly hanging up.

when i finally looked out the living room window, i saw just a dusting on the sidewalk (a few millimeters thick at most). it wasn't even worth clearing, but a gentle push of the shovel would quickly clean off the snow. i called my sister back to tell her it wasn't worth shoveling, but she was full on angry mode and hung up abruptly again with, "fine, i'll clean it myself."

i saw sandy's laptop on the coffee table. that meant she didn't go to work this morning. this is really my fault, because i told them i was going to a harvard lecture today. at first they thought i was sneaking in, and wondered if that was even allowed, but i told them it was a free lecture series and i've done it before in the past. the topic was about the success (and failure) of china's family planning policy. that piqued their interest as they both decided they would go as well. with kelvin just a few days away from returning to england (couldn't come soon enough), sandy has been shirking off her work to spend more time with her boyfriend. on monday she left work around noontime to hang out on newbury street and have dinner at gyu-kaku in harvard square. yesterday they met for lunch at ma magoo's then returned home afterwards. and it looks like today she's not even bothering to go to work anymore. i've also noticed she acts like a little girl when she's around her boyfriend.

sandy and kelvin didn't wake up until 11am. they immediately started making lunch, scrambled eggs with prosciutto on toast with english tea. i of course wasn't offered any but i wouldn't have accepted even if they did. while they ate nonchalantly in the living room, i told them i'd be leaving for the lecture sometime after 11:30am. sandy told me she was going to go to work after lunch, and kelvin said he was too tired to go outside today. i sucked on a cough drop for my own lunch and walked down to the harvard-yenching library.

the lecture was at 12pm and i sort of suspected there'd be a complimentary lunch but there was no mention of it in the event description. but sure enough, there was a table of familiar lecture food: sandwiches, drinks, chips, cookies, caesar salad, fruit salad. i grabbed a drink, a bag of cape cod potato chips (last one, everything else was smartfood popcorn), and two sandwiches (roast beef and chicken wrap). i wanted to get some fruit salad as well but i didn't want to hold up the line fishing for fruit pieces with a fork. i didn't recognize anyone there except for an old lady crumpled in her seat who looked homeless (faculty?).

the room filled to capacity, and they even had to add a few more folding chairs. a few late arrivals and didn't have a place to sit so they left after standing awkwardly by the doorway. i felt a little guilty because i was possibly taking a spot away from somebody with actual harvard affiliation, yet at the same time you can't expect to arrive 30 minutes late and still expect to be seated. i quickly finished eating before the lecture started, two sandwiches was too much and i didn't finish the chicken wrap. the chair was an woman who arrived late herself, first making a long excuse saying she was just at her doctor's to make sure she didn't have the flu, then humblebragged another apology that she was pronouncing some chinese names with a japanese accent (she was white).

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