i found out this morning that my upstairs neighbors were gone for the week, off to denver, back late sunday. that means i have a few days of peace and quiet. macy contacted me this morning as well, to let me know that the glass pitcher i purchased last night was ready for pickup in boston.

after bringing in the trash, i left for boston around 10:30am. i took the cargo bike because it was already out, adjusting the rear brake because it wasn't catching the rim. i thought i'd need to shorten the cable but i ended up just realigning the rear wheel because one of the brake pad was actually rubbing up against the rim. i thought i'd fixed it but soon realize that the brakes weren't catching at all now. so essentially i was riding into boston without brakes. it wasn't so bad on level ground and uphills, but going downhill i had to stop flintstone-style with my feet.

i was picking up a 57-oz. martha stewart collection glass pitcher that i bought for $6.99 (normally sells for $17.99). not sure why i needed one, but it's nice to have if i'm making sweet tea or sangria during the summer. i thought it'd come in a box, but it came as-is. fortunately i had my bag and stashed it inside. as chacarero was just around the corner, i decided to get a chilean beef sandwich for lunch before returning home. at 11:15am the place was empty, usually when i come there's a line of people out the door. i got the large beef ($11), asked for extra spicy. i cut through downtown crossing via franklin-province-old city hall-court square onto cambridge street by government center.

i made it home by 11:45am. i was so sweaty i took a quick shower before eating my chacarero sandwich. it was so large, i decided to only just half and save the rest for dinner. at 12:15pm i biked down to CGIS south building for a harvard fairbank lecture titled, "managing local cadres" by jessica teets. it was very interesting, teets was a great speaker, identifying the different personality types of chinese officials through a survey of nearly 1000 officials over 2 summers at a cadre training school. i returned home by 2pm.

i finished filing taxes for my 2nd aunt as well as myself. she's filing by mail (nothing owed, nothing refunded) while i e-filed my federal taxes (payment) but printed out my state taxes (refund). at the least minute i remembered to add my home office deduction and managed to shave about $100 off my taxes. after addressing some envelopes, i biked down to the cafe to give the forms to my 2nd aunt who was there.

the paved basement floor cement yesterday had already dried. i helped my father move the large chest freezer back into place. when we moved it last that thing weighed a million pounds. but once we emptied most of its contents, it was actually pretty light, and i could actual lift it with my foot.

i left by 4:40pm, stopping by rite aid to get some beef jerky snacks. outside i bumped into my neighbors carrie and jen who were discussing what plants to grow on their front yard. jen asked if i had a green thumb, i shrugged, then she suggested we ask paul, whom she thinks is an expert gardener. paul, who dug up all our backyard perennials? paul, who without consulting me cut down the backyard cypress? that paul?

i was only home briefly before i left again by 5:35pm, walking down to the harvard natural history museum for another lecture, "chasing ants (and their microbes) in the rainforest" by corrie moreau. moreau seemed like a hipster entomologist, with her tattoos, love of comics (she even had one made of her childhood), and love of photos of herself doing field work all over the world. but her talk was very technical, all charts and numbers, hardly any photos, so i tried hard to stay awake but i was dozing off intermittently.

i got home by 7:20pm, quickly finishing off the other half of my chacarero sandwich along with a rice pudding for dessert. tonight was a new episode single parents followed by whiskey cavalier.

google contacted me today, said they were adding 8 discovery channels but raising the price of youtube tv from $40 to $50/month starting in may, no exceptions, even for those who had grandfathered lower rates. all those discovery channels are garbage (discovery, HGTV, food network, TLC, ID, animal planet, travel channel, motortrend), i don't watch any of their shows. it's a joke forcing people to pay an extra $120/year for channels and programs they don't want. the discovery channels should've been an extra package that mandatory with a price increase.