when i woke up this morning, annie had already left. the first thing i did was to rummage through my plastic bins to find my spare shower curtain. i probably bought it over a decade again for a day like this, so i was glad it finally happened and i was prepared for it. the new curtain went up easily enough, and didn't have a strong vinyl smell, something i was worried about. better yet, bed bath & beyond (where i originally purchased these curtains) still had the same style (modern leaf) in stock for the same price i paid the last time ($14.99). i may mosey down there one of these days (closest one is assembly square) to get another spare, in case i need to replace the curtain once more in another decade or so.
i left for belmont around 10am. besides getting a new tv for my 2nd aunt at costco, we also wanted to turn in our old delonghi 50 pint dehumidifier (the one with the overheated compressor) at the nearest mass save dehumidifier recycling day event for a $30 rebate.
we ended up driving 30 minutes to doyon's appliance in bedford, passing through picturesque bedford. after filling out the necessary paper work, i got a receipt for the rebate which hopefully should arrive in 4-6 weeks. from there we went to he waltham costco (via interstate 95).
my 2nd aunt wanted an HDTV that was bigger than the one in my parents' living room, which is a 40". not knowing anything about HDTV sizes, she wanted one that was 45", which they didn't have at costco. the closest size was a 43" TCL with 4K resolution and built-in roku for $220. the next size up was a 50" with the same specs at $270. in the store the 43" looked so tiny, but i reminded my parents that it was just an optical illusion, and the 43" was in fact larger than our living room tv. after several phone calls, my aunt finally decided on the 43". when we put it in our shopping cart, only then it didn't seem like it was much larger than before.
driving by the waltham-belmont order, we saw a free long table discarded on the sidewalk that could serve as a good TV stand. so we loaded it up in the already crowded car, just managing to fit, even though i had to sit awkwardly in the back with my legs draped over parts of the furniture.
arriving at the cafe, my mother relieved my 2nd aunt of duty so she could take my father and i back to her apartment to install her new HDTV. while my father carried the HDTV, i carried the table, up to the 5th floor. fortunately there was an elevator.
my 2nd uncle was lounging on the couch, didn't even bother getting up to greet us, which was kind of rude. it was my father's first time being in the new apartment. we set the table down which was a perfect fit (could use a repainting or maybe a table cloth). we faced a bit of challenge installing the HDTV since my aunt and uncle don't own any tools and we needed a screwdriver to put in the legs. we ended up using a combination of paring knife and spoon to get in some of the screws, but i need to come back tomorrow to tighten them down.
i set the HDTV to scan for channels using the spare HDTV antenna i'd brought along. i was hopefully they'd get a lot of channels because they were up high and had a good unobstructed view of the sky, but they just received the standard ones (2,4,5,7,15,25,38,44,56,68). a few of the UHF channels came in pixelated. it didn't get channel 23, which is the religious daystar channel, the one thing my uncle watches, which means they'll probably need to install basic cable after all. i may be able to get it via roku though, which would save them $20/month. (later i learned local daystar is actually channel 48, i'll check again tomorrow to see if they get it). they could also use a better antenna, the one that i brought is just a passive, they could try one with amplified power, might pick up some more channels.
we left, returning to the cafe so my aunt could go back to work. my parents and i returned to belmont.
around 6:30pm i noticed annie had texted me an hour earlier. i only saw the end of the text which said she was at a friend's house. when i read the whole thing i learned that she had closed the door too violently and might've damaged the lock because she couldn't get back into the house. she wanted to know when i'd get back home. i told her i could get home by 7:30pm, but dinner started at 7pm so wrote her again asking if i could postpone it until 7:45pm, but she never wrote back. so after eating quickly, i rushed back to cambridge in less than 10 minutes. i had all sorts of disaster scenarios running through my head, but when i tried the lock, it opened up nice and easy. i wrote her back to let her know i was home and that the lock was fine. so even though i rushed home to meet her, she was in no hurry to get back, and didn't get home until 8pm. without the rent i might add.
later i chatted with annie - not about the rent - but about the frequency of her hair washing. she said she washed it every time she takes a shower, but i've only seen her with her hair bundled up a few times a week. turns out there's a reason for that: she only showers a few times a week. she says it's a north chinese habit, but i find it kind of gross. but i haven't noticed any body odor stinks, so i'm not complaining too much. contrast that with my own bathing habits, where i shower twice a day, once in the morning, and once at night, and more frequently during the summer if i've been sweating a lot.
both of my aloes are growing in my living room now: there's enough sunlight to keep them happy (better than in my kitchen). i watered too much in the large pot and some of the arms are beginning to rot off, but the cluster of center branches still look healthy.