i woke up at 6am to witness the planetary conjunction of the moon, saturn, pluto, jupiter, and mars. i almost didn't wake up, just too early and too cold, but the astronomy buff in me didn't want to miss this rare event. besides, i simply had to get dressed and step outside onto the main street, the easiest thing i could do for the sake of astronomy. it was already dawn but not yet sunrise when i ventured out onto beacon street so i could look in the southwestern direction. up in the air was the thin crescent of the waning moon. it was dim, but yet bright enough that i couldn't see any of the planets. had i woken like i should've been, i probably would've seen it. good thing this conjunction will happen again in another month. that early in the morning, i was also surprised to see the amount of car and bike traffic, the hidden world of the early morning.

i tried going back to sleep but i couldn't so i decided to get up and start my day early. around the same time i knew my father was dropping my 2nd aunt off at the airport, as i could track his progress via google maps location. when kevin finally woke up around 8:30am and left for work by 9am, he wasn't surprised that i was already in the living room tapping away on my laptop.

the right side of my face felt a little weird this morning, a tightness. i twitched my face muscles to make sure i wasn't paralyzed, exhibiting the symptom of a stroke. it just felt off. maybe it was a sinus infection (it's awfully dry in my bedroom and i often breath through my mouth, hence the snoring), the right of my nose did feel stuffy, though it wasn't runny.

i went out for a grocery run around 10am, first stopping at the nearby walgreens to pick up my prescription. i tried calling 2 days ago but they don't seem to be doing automated phone refills anymore, so i used the website instead. my prescriptions aren't tied to my walgreens account but i could still refill my prescriptions as a guest using just the prescription numbers. they were supposed to sent me a receipt e-mail which i never received and after i submitted my refills it told me that there was something wrong with my insurance. anyway, when i stopped by the pharmacy this morning i was sure if i would be able to pick up my drugs. fortunately, everything worked out smoothly, one of my favorite pharmacist happened to be working, the friendly young woman with the glasses, my prescriptions were ready to go. it was relatively empty at market basket, i picked up some ingredients for making a pasta sauce for tonight's dinner. they also refilled their supply of tony chocolonely (my newly discovered favorite chocolate), i grabbed a bar of milk chocolate caramel.

when i got back home i decided to wash my grocery bags. one of them - the light green star market bag - is heavily stained with what looks to be meat juices. it just looks kind of gross. i soaked them in a warm tub of oxiclean, that stuff is laundry magic. after rinsing them out, the bags looked brand new, although some of the branding logo were starting to chip off. the star market bag was perfectly clean, not a trace of stain.

my sister called asking if i wanted to go to the medford aldi's around noontime. she's asked a few times in the past, i've said no every single time, but she's persistent, so i finally agreed to go. turns out she still doesn't quite know how to get there, and needed me to come along to navigate. next to aldi's the ac moore, in the final throes of a chain close liquidation sale. we stepped inside to check it out. i think this store at the very least will become a michael's, as there was a michael's representative handing out coupons as we entered. still, it sucks that all crafts stores will be michael's now, no variety, no competition. even with a sale, there was nothing i needed there.

i grabbed a few things from aldi's, including a chicken salad, a package of everything bagels, and some frozen cordon bleu (those are good and super cheap).

it was already 1:30pm, i didn't eat yet, so i toasted one of the bagels and spread some cranberry almond chicken salad on it. i can't even begin to describe how good it was. the savory warm bagel combined with the chicken salad, sweetness from the cranberry, crunch from the almonds. the ingredients seem simple, i bet i could make this myself (other than the bagel), and it definitely seems very healthy. i finished it off with one of the extra large oranges i bought earlier from market basket. oranges seem to get bigger and bigger, this one was grapefruit size. big oranges don't necessary mean they good, and the rind was pretty thick. i had to cut the orange into 8 slices (normally it's just 6).

i made my meat pasta sauce, a pound of ground beef mixed with some raw italian sausages. i also added some sardines just because i had them on hand, but turned out to be a mistake, as it left the sauce with a faint fishy taste; with two different kinds of meat, it already had plenty of umami, didn't need to add more. i had the sauce served over 2 cups of cellentani pasta.

DNCL TECHZONE received the pixel 3 phone i returned today and issued me a refund. the amount looked a little off and that's when i realized they took off 10%. when i wrote them to ask about it ("was the phone damaged?"), they said the reason was buyer's remorse, which according to their return fine print was something they can charge you for, as much as 20%. this is what happens when you buy through amazon but through a 3rd party vendor. not only did i have to pay for the return shipping, but they also charged me for returning the item. i wrote back again, saying i was disappointed, especially after i bought another phone with them (the 3XL). to their credit, they said they'd be willing to reimburse me for the full amount, minus the $11 cost of shipping they paid to send it to me in the first place. i agreed to their terms.