kevin was long gone by the time i woke up at 8:30am; it meant he probably got up at 7:30am then left for work no later than 8am. i can only guess because i'm never up that early to see when he leaves. my father said he'd get to my place at 8:50am but they didn't arrive until 9:10am. it was still raining a little bit, remnants of the thundersleet system that tore through the area yesterday. my father decided to cut through central square and get onto the turnpike. traffic was light, a combination of post-rush hour traffic moderation and end-of-the-year absence. we got to the upper level departure wing of terminal E by 9:25am. after a few minutes of unloading the suitcases and taking their photos, i was off, on my way back to belmont. i decided to go through the sumner tunnel and get back via storrow drive (that's the only way i know how, i don't think i know how to get onto the turnpike from the airport). i got back by 9:48am.

there were a list of things i needed to do at the house while my parents were away: lock all the windows; lock the door; close the blinds; close the kitchen cabinet doors; set timers; dump out the radiator overflow bucket; unplug the heated toilet seat; and check the electronic moustrap hasn't been triggered. one year while they were away during the winter, i even turned down the thermostat in the hot water tank. that winter it snowed so much, i had to stay overnight at my parents' house so i could shovel the next day, and taking a shower in 90°F temperature water was an unpleasant experience. anyway, i wasn't doing that this time. the hassle of not having hot water in the house is too high a price to pay for a few dollars savings in electricity when we have an electricity surplus.

i also went to the grow house to stake a few cactuses. sunday i added a bunch more yellow sticky traps to keep the fungus gnats in check (i also ordered some more traps off of ebay last night); less than 48 hours later, a few of those traps are now covered in bugs! especially the lemongrass soil, that must be infested with gnat larvae. i only have a few more traps left before my resupply arrives. i ended up dusting some of the dirt with diatomaceous earth powder. it works slowly, such that i wonder if it even works at all. in the meantime, i'm going with my strategy of only watering the plants once a week, to let the top of the soil dry, since the worms can't survive when it's not wet.

i finally left an hour later, taking the bus back to cambridge. checking the transit app, the 73 was due to arrive in 6 minutes, but i didn't have enough time to catch it. however, the 75 would get here in 13 minutes. i ended up trampling across the muddy playground and ran across the street. i felt a jostle and heard a thud and when i looked back, my dSLR camera was on the ground! i quickly picked it up and examined my equipment. thankfully it was in its neoprene pouch, and fell to the ground in one of the few angles that didn't smash the body or the telephoto lens. i'm lucky the 55-250mm lens is so light (plastic body); a metal body lens would've definitely dented. everything still worked, there was just a tiny blemish where some plastic contact had nicked the camera body, invisible unless you knew where to look. a real tragedy was avoided today, my end of the year miracle.

i waited for the 75 bus in front of 700 huron avenue. i didn't have to run even though i did, i still had plenty of time before the bus arrived. i rarely take the 75, it doesn't come that often (the last time i took it was 2015 leaving harvard square to get to my parents' place to shovel). an old pudgy apartment resident wearing her pajamas and a knitted patriots hat waited alongside me below the awning, smoking a cigarette. when she finished she flicked the still-lit butt out onto the street and went back inside the apartment; apparently she was only out there to smoke, the legally set distance one had to be from the main entrance.

later 2 teenage girls showed up. they asked if i was waiting for the bus, i told them yes, and that i'd been there almost 10 minutes. as soon as i said that, i saw the bus coming up the hill over the horizon. the only other people on the bus was a chinese father with his young son sitting in the back. halfway into our trip the kid discovered the stop request button and kept hitting it, causing the bus driver to stop repeatedly and annoyingly look in his rearview mirror until he didn't bother stopping at all.

when i got home i ate some leftover chicken and porkchop from last night for lunch.

i watched a screener of ford vs. ferrari. the qualities of these screeners are getting better and better, i wonder if they didn't transfer it from a digital source, like from a digital projector? when you're watching one of these historical drama, one of the most important things to remember is to not google anyone from the film while you're watching, otherwise you might just accidentally discover some spoilers and ruin the story. i'm glad i didn't do that, it was a pretty good film. only afterwards did i look it up, to find out what things they kept and what things they changed for movie purposes.

kevin came home surprisingly early, around 4:30pm. but he wasn't here to stay, quickly leaving to meet up with coworker friends to attend some new year's eve first night festivities in boston.

i heated up the rest of the chinese leftovers for dinner: microwaved the rice and warmed up the lamb chunks over the stove. there was still a lot of food, i probably could've saved half for tomorrow.

the mason jar lid silicone rings that i ordered last night arrived today, much sooner than expected. i tried one on my solar mason jar light lid. these rings are thinner, but still not thin enough, and i couldn't fit it to the lid and still be able to close it on the jar. so the search continues. fortunately because this is an amazon purchase, i should be able to return it (unlike the silicone rings i bought on ebay).

kevin came home earlier than i expected, around 8:30pm. they caught the 7pm fireworks and went to a thai restaurant for dinner. he stayed in the living room to chat. he asked about past roommates and how they stayed. he heard that i only have short-term roommates. reason why he was asking was he wanted to know if he could stay here for 2 years, instead of relocating to my grand uncle's apartment, which he's seen before. the answer is obviously no, made more ironic by the fact that he hadn't even paid the rent yet, and already thinking about living here for 2 years! next he asked if his bedroom door had a lock. i have a generic skeleton key, but i can easily defeat with another skeleton key, and with the old lock, you're more liable to accidentally lock yourself in your room. i asked him what was so important that he needed to keep safely locked. did he bring hordes of cash? collection of jewelry? no, he said he wanted to make sure his passport was safe. a passport? and a chinese passport at that, one that only allows visa-free entrance to 60 countries (compared to an american passport with allows visa-free entrance to 174 countries), who would want to steal that? finally, he asked me if i had a dresser for him to use. that one of the things i don't have in the guest bedroom, but in all the times roommates have lived there, not one has requested a dresser. when i asked if he was going to keep clothes in them, he said no, it was more for documents (so not really a dresser, more like a filing cabinet, an even more esoteric request). regardless, i think he's going to buy one online, kevin needs his filing cabinet!

new year's eve, kevin went to bed early at 11pm, missing the midnight countdown. i missed it too because i was doing something on my computer, but when i looked up, it was already after midnight.