it's not something i struggle against, but on the rare occasion when it does happen, i take it in stride, maybe rolling over and surfing the web a little bit, maybe reading a book until i get drowsy again. whatever i was doing though, it wasn't sleeping.
the darkness started to get light. around 4:30am i heard people arguing. i thought it was my inconsiderate indian neighbors waking up for an early morning shouting session, but when i peeked through the blinds, their kitchen was still dark. i got up and looked outside the living room window and saw a group of young men shouting at one another on the street, ready to get violent. someone even smashed something to the ground, i couldn't see what it was. i rolled up the blinds so i could take photos, but the situation was thankfully diffused when more level-headed friends got the warring parties to calm down. with local street drama over, i crawled back into bed. sometime after 5am, with the sun fully risen and birds singing outside, i finally fell asleep, only to wake up less than 5 hours later.
i had an interesting phone call this morning. i didn't recognize the number, but the caller id showed a chinese name. curious, i answered. a young woman was on the other end, asking me if i spoke chinese. i said yes, but her english was perfect so we continued talking in english. i didn't catch what she said initially, thought maybe it was census work related because she said nowadays people can go door-to-door anymore. but when i quickly realized it wasn't census-related, it then sounded like an asian community outreach, maybe related to coronavirus information. but then i discovered it was in fact church related. i chuckled and told her i've never been to church before (a lie, but just the sort of thing a non-church-going person would say). she said it was okay, i could still check out their website for information. i asked her for the URL. "it's really easy to remember: jw.org". "jw"? the "j" probably stood for jesus, but what was the "w"? so i asked her, "what does 'jw' stand for?" she paused for a split second, then revealed the answer: jehovah witnesses. because they can no longer go door-to-door proselytizing their religion, they've resorted to ethnic targeting by phone. on a weekend morning no less! i immediately told her i wasn't interested once the truth was revealed. we remained cordial for the final few seconds before i finally hung up.
i get a little offended whenever i get targeted ads based on my ethnicity. it may work well for some people, but it rubs me the wrong way, like somehow appealing to my ethnicity will make me more receptive to their messaging. i am not that gullible and frankly it's kind of offensive. treat me like anyone else, treat me like an american! i occasionally get chinese real estate advertisements, asking me to contact them if i ever want to sell my place. the worst one i recent memory was a political flyer for mike bloomberg, written in chinese (after all the others were in normal english). i admired him for his chutzpah, but the message was written in simplified chinese, and being from taiwan, we take our zhongwen in traditional script, so they obviously didn't do their research. i wasn't going to vote for bloomberg anyway (i cast my ballot for biden after buttigieg dropped out just days before).
a few minutes after i got off the phone with the jehovah witness girl, i got another phone call, with a different chinese caller id name. i picked up, the guy on the other end started immediately speaking in chinese. "do you speak english?" i asked him, as he switched to accented english. before he could continue, i straight up asked him, "are you call about the jehovah witness?" he answered yes, a bit surprised. "well, somebody already called me about that, i'm not interested," i told him before he sheepishly apologized and i hung up. too much jehovah to start off my saturday where i didn't get enough sleep!
i chatting briefly with wu weiyu, who told me she went to shapingba yesterday not to go shopping, but rather to check up on another apartment she was buying. property value in chongqing is expensive, i'm really curious how so can afford to pay for a second apartment. when i asked for details she didn't respond, i'm figuring her parents has something to do with it, an investment property. she said shapingba is closer to her work, but i looked on the map and it's about equal distance, but maybe a more direct commute, no buses or line switching.
around noontime i rode to belmont, temperature was already in the upper 80's, as we're scheduled to hit the 90's today. the air conditioners were on when i got my parents' place. the floor unit in the living room was okay, and they're not as efficient as window units, and the feeling was slightly less humid, though not noticeably cooler by any significant degrees. my mother made me some avocado toast for lunch.
it was very much too hot to be doing any sort of gardening outside, especially in the afternoon with the sun searing the backyard. but i was out anyway, in my jeans no less, water the garden and the lawn as everything looked awfully dry. earlier my father and i disassembled an old all-metal impact sprinkler with the set of crescent wrenches i brought over. they didn't seem to be an obstructions, but when we tested it outside, it still wasn't performing well. if we cranked up the faucet pressure to maximum, the sprinkler will turn somewhat, but it seems like an awful waste of water. we then field tested all our different sprinklers (impact, oscillating, fixed, rotating), but none of them seemed to work well: either it sprayed too much water, hard to control, or leaked too much. looks like we're in the market for a new sprinkler again. in the end i just watered the lawn manually from the hose. in hindsight, watering in the middle of the day seems like a bad idea, as the water will simply evaporate from all that heat.
while inspecting my lotuses, i noticed these little flakes of what looks to be black soot floating on the water's surface. naturally curious, i took a closer look (and by that i mean over my glasses as i now have presbyopia brought on by old-age). at first i thought it was pieces of styrofoam because of the honeycombed pattern, but it took me a few seconds to realize they were in fact eggs. and the only kind of insect that would lay its eggs on water? mosquitoes, Culex mosquitoes to be exact, very common, and carrier of several diseases, including nest nile virus, japanese encephalitis, and eastern equine encephalitis. as cool as it may be to finally spot mosquito eggs out in the wild, the fact that there were so many "egg rafts" floating on the lotus barrels surfaces was concerning. i immediately went inside and found my mosquito bits to sprinkle in all the barrels. mosquitoes are no match for Bti.
just like last night, i took a scroll after midnight to hit a poke gym so i could make an easy 50 coins overnight. the gym i was going to visit went from blue team to yellow team, so i had to walk a bit farther to find an open blue team gym to deposit one of my pokemons. there's a special summer solstice event happening, and lunatones are appearing everywhere, i picked up nearly a dozen. i saw a few young people walking about, all without masks. it was still so humid and hot tonight that even after i got back, i didn't feel much relief, and i even started to sweat a little bit.