i arrived at the concord apartment by 9:50am. i waited at my sister's place for the MIT girls to show up. although i said 10-11am, they told me they'd get here by 10am. of course they were late and didn't arrive until 10:30am via lyft. so already they made a bad first impression. maybe i was similarly inconsiderate in my younger days, but i don't think they even knew that i'd already been waiting for them for 40 minutes. i showed them the upstairs apartment but i could already tell they were not impressed, old and furnished with found furniture. they were getting the largest bedroom with the caveat being they had to share but they were essentially getting two rooms for the price of one. they also wanted to see the bathroom but my sister's godmother was taking a shower and i told them i could send them a photo. i asked them if they'd been looking at other apartments and they said not yet. as they left they told me they'd think about it and get back to me. i said no rush, but i'd already decided not to rent to them.
usually this apartment is rented to long term chinese graduated students (sometimes post-docs) who are doing research at the nearby harvard-smithsonian astrophysics center, not irritatingly inconsiderate MIT undergraduates who are only going to be staying for a month. the way i saw it was beggars can't be choosers. nowhere else are they going to find a better deal. they were also asking me about laundry (there's no washing machine) and whether or not it gets hot (there's a window AC unit). i don't even really know them. they're friends of annie who might be staying at my place for 2 months during the summer, but i've never met her before and i only know her through sandy. that's 3 degrees of seperation. and undergraduates are notorious for having bad life skills, not cleaning after themselves and making a mess, and we're talking two of them. i'm going to wait until next week and write them back saying the apartment has been taken.
afterwards i biked to belmont, arriving by 11am. i thought it'd rain by noontime, but the day stayed dry for the most part, though gloomy and some light sprinkles later in the afternoon. as united solar is tentatively supposedly to replace the inverter next week, my father and i went down in the basement to do some cleaning so the electrician can have some space to work. we ended up doing a good bit of organizing, putting some stuff away on the shelves and throwing out some junk. my father found a cache of PC power supply units that i collected at some point for some DIY projects that never took off (like controlling multiple fans for the closet grow house). he brought them upstairs to play with.
for dinner, in a repeat of what we had on the day my mother left for taiwan, my father once again made crispy orange chicken with the dried orange peels he's been hoarding over the past few weeks. it's actually a frozen trader joe meal, but after baking the pre-fried chicken pieces in the toaster oven, my father punches up the recipe with actual orange peels. this time around he also had dried hot peppers which gave the chicken a spicy kick.
by the time i biked home what little rain we had had already stopped. it was still overcast, but a break in the setting sun lit up the top of trees making them glow. i stopped a few times just to admire the effect and take some photos. a man walking his dog was smiling; i thought maybe he found i was also admiring the weather effect, but he was actually noticing the led spoke lights on my bike wheels.
the highlight of the weekend is waiting for the sunday night broadcast of the latest game of thrones episode (3). this was the battle of winterfell between the army of the living and the dead. it was 1-1/2 hours long, i managed to use the live HBO streaming source i found 2 weeks ago to watch all the episodes of this final season. all was well despite some streaming breaks (nothing that a few browser refresh can't fix) until the final 10 minutes when the streaming suddenly stopped. i went online looking for a torrent source to download the episode and noticed that they were already up (that was fast). i hit the HD quality file out of habit, but realized it was taking too long to down, so grabbed an SD copy instead to watch the final 10 minutes of the show. i was finally able to finish watching by midnight, but by then the momentum was lost, and the climatic ending where arya kills the night king wasn't as impactful had i seen it continuously.
so that happened, the battle of winterfell. a few people died - lyanna mormont, jorah mormont, melisandre, theon greyjoy, the night king, all of the dothraki - but not as much as i'd feared. of course there are 3 more episodes left, so still plenty of time for some fan favorites to lose it. some of the battle strategy was confusing, but the desperation of fighting overwhelming odds was palpable. throughout the battle there were times when it looked like the living had the advantage, only for the wights to regain the upperhand once again.
i didn't think jon snow would be the one to kill the night king - assuming the night king would be killed - even though that would be the expected duel to settle the score. my own personal theory was that bran would somehow warg into the night king at the last moment, either becoming the night king himself (i think i read some fan theory about it) or possibly just commanding the undead army to simply leave or maybe even join up with the living to take back the iron throne. but the eventual ending - arya sneaking up on the night king, getting caught, but with a bit of trickery dropping her valerian dagger into her other hand before stabbing the night king - was the better ending by far. in hindsight, of course she'd have been the one to get him, since she is a skilled assassin after all. but her brief interlude of running scared through the castle being chased by wights made me temporarily forgot what a killer she really was.
next sunday can't come soon enough! what will people do once GOT is over?
i had trouble falling asleep because of a hemorrhoidal flare-up. usually my digestion and overall intestinal plumbing is top-notch, nothing goes wrong, everything works perfectly. but every once in a while i experience some inconvenience. usually it's a combination of things. i think in this case it was a sudden bout of constipation that resulted in some hemorrhoids while i was forcefully trying to go to the bathroom. it hurt so much i had to sleep on my side. it felt like burning, like maybe i had something really spicy and now i could feel it in my backend. it also felt like i had something stuck, that feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. i finally got out of bed in the middle of the night to go. besides the pain of trying to pass hard stool through an inflamed rectum, there was also the discomfort of having to do it in a cold bathroom. after i finished and cleaned up, i went back to bed. but soon afterwards i felt some intense discomfort again, and returned to the bathroom. this time i plugged in the space heater to provide some heat at least. i didn't really produce anything, but afterwards soaked my ailing bottom in a plastic tub of warm water, hoping to lessen the swelling. i kept doing this a few more times throughout the night, never really feeling quite comfortable. it was already 5am and i could see the sun coming out before i finally fell back to sleep.