because i get home so late (8pm+) after a day of census work, i have to prepare my dinner in the mornings so i don't have to cook at night and not eat until 9-10pm. i decided to make a pasta salad that should last me for the rest of the week. i biked down to market basket in the morning to get a few ingredients and started making the salad when i got back. i was using the same recipe from september 2019, the last time i made it. it took about an hour, from cooking the pasta, letting it cool, and mixing it with the other ingredients. as i chopped the vegetables the ingredient list seemed to growing, until i was using a total of 18 ingredients including what i put in the homemade dressing. i had some cherry tomatoes and a shishito pepper from the garden so i threw that into the salad as well. you're limited only by your salad making imagination (like the first time i made pasta salad, i had beans and corns, 100% vegetarian). i was finally finished by 11:50am.

pasta salad italian dressing

1-1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp dry oregano
2 tsp dry basil

mix all ingredients in food processor.

18-ingredient pasta salad
4-6 servings

1 lbs. tri-color rotini

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
6 oz. feta cheese
8 oz. ham steak, cubed
1 cup olives, chopped

1 cup fresh arugula
1 cup pepperoncini, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 shishito pepper, chopped

cook pasta. let cool. mix with remaining ingredients including dressing. serve cold.

the census assigned me 64 cases today, with a starting time of 12:30pm. most of the cases were local, around where i live, except a few were down by inman square and south of harvard university.

i had my first low-income housing visit today. a man sitting in the back of a mini-van called me right when i was about to sneak into the building behind some tenants. "what're you doing?" he asked. i flashed him my badge. he shook his head and wished me luck. a kind superintendent let me in after i told him i was with the census. i was assigned about 10 cases here, i managed to contact 4. it went from one extreme - a mother of three very nicely volunteered to answer all my census questions - to another - where a very angry man swore he wasn't going to answer any questions and warned me not to leave anything under his door. on a different floor, another man answered the door but said his lady usually takes care of things like this, and i got a little girl who told me her mother was sleeping.

i had a few cases that were repeats when there was nobody home the first time around. i even saw my old notes. none of those cases panned out.

i took my government-mandated 30 minute break at 3:15pm, knowing i had a conference call with my supervisor at 6:30pm. i was going to take my break later, maybe right before the call, so i could have a whole chunk of time where i was at home, but it was just too hot (another 90+ day). originally it was just going to be a short break, but i extended it so it became my official 30 minute break instead.

i was right around the corner when i returned home for the 6:30pm meeting. it was a conference between between my supervisor and all the enumerators under her care, about 20 of us. she wanted to give us some tips - many of which i actually worked out with her, seems like i was one of her first enumerators out in the field. one thing i learned was we didn't actually have to start on the time assigned to us because somehow the scheduling component is broken, so we could start earlier or later; basically, work when you want. afterwards there was a Q&A. that got a little messy, as people were talking over one another, asking their questions. a lot of questions i'd already encountered out in the field, but just my 4th day of enumerating, i felt like a seasoned veteran listening to rookies.

after the meeting was over (around 7:20pm), there was still enough time (and more importantly daylight) for me to knock out a few cases before 8pm, my official stop time. the last case i went to was an in-mover (rather pretty asian girl with broad shoulders) who didn't know the status of the tenants living at her place before she moved in. this was a house i enumerated before so i was familiar with the landlord, whom she took me to see. even the landlord wasn't sure, with coronavirus some tenants (mostly students) had decided to return home. he did give me the contact info for the person that actually lived here during april, i called but i didn't leave a voicemail message. i did leave her name and number in my notes, whoever gets the case can close it out by calling. before i left, i chatted with the landlord about his mother's beautiful garden. her cucumbers and tomatoes were free of bacterial wilt and blight, an amazing feat during these disease-heavy times. he said his father used this soap to spray on the plants to keep them healthy. he also pointed out the fig plant and told me that they're not supposed to survive this far north - i already know this! they also had a plum tree, and a sour cherry tree, and black berries the size of quail eggs.

i normally look forward to coming home, but more so tonight because i had my pasta salad waiting for me for dinner. after a shower i ate a large bowl of salad. it was so good after a hard day's worth of work. afterwards i had a good baby, but still enough room for a green pluot and some ice cream.

before going to bed, i felt rumbling in my stomach and quickly ran to the bathroom. i had a bout of diarrhea, and immediately thought it was the feta cheese i ate. but then i remember there was also an onion recall because of salmonella, but later when i checked the sticker my onion was safe. usually if lactose intolerance is going to get me, it happens quick, like an hour after ingestion. the stool also had a (gross) pudding consistency, like all that olive oil i ate emulsified everything.