i noticed the lotus roots in my fridge storage had some white mold on them. so i took them out of the ziploc bag and washed them again in a diluted bleach solution. hard to even say if these roots are still alive. they didn't grow very well last summer even though i gave them the best growing conditions. i'm going to see if i can revive them in a jar of water before planting so i don't waste my time replanting dead lotuses.

iafter a matcha latte for lunch, i rode the bike to market basket to get some groceries. i decided to make italian subs for dinner the rest of the week, went to the deli to pick up different flavors of cold cuts (ham, capicola, prosciutto).

after dropping off the groceries at the house, i went out again, this time to the cafe to pick the house key for my sister's godmother's apartment in central square. she's coming back on thursday, and i wanted to see the place before she returned.

after i got the key, i made my way to harvard square to get my covid-19 test. the empty space that used to be the fire + ice restaurant had been converted into a testing site. two ambulances were parked outside, not sure if they were related to the testing. some people were outside, waiting to get in. before you went in, they had you disinfect your hands, blow your nose (throwing the used tissue into a waste bin), then disinfect your hands again. apparently you could be tested even if you didn't make an appointment and there were supposed to be two lines, but since there weren't a lot of people getting tested, there was just a single line.

the woman who saw me asked for my birthday, if i'd made an appointment, and when did i make it. she found my record and verified my name and e-mail address. she said they'd send the test result via e-mail in 48-72 hours. she printed out a sticker with my info on it then affixed it to a small test tube and handed me a nasal swab. she told me to follow the tape and go to the other side of the room. there someone greeted me, asked if i've ever been tested before. when i said no, he demonstrated with a nasal swab (basically a q-tip). he instructed me to swab 5 fives in one nostril (no deeper than the head of the q-tip), then repeat with the other nostril, before putting the swab inside the test tube. there was somebody else who was doing the test as well, and since he faced the wall, i did too. afterwards i put the test tube in a container with other test tubes and i was free to go.

from harvard square i rode to central square. from my days as a census worker, i knew which side streets to cut to get to the manning apartments. i noticed right next door is a cambridge library branch. the apartments were recently renovated, so it had that new apartment feel to it. to get inside i used a key fob to activated the sliding door. i checked to see if there were any mail in the mailbox (none). i then went upstairs to the 16th floor (there's a total of 19th stories).

the whole reason why i came here was for the view. i wanted to see for myself the spectacular panorama of boston from the comforts of the living room window. photos don't do it just, the moment i walked into the apartment was like floating above the city of boston, it felt that close. as for the rest of the apartment, there was a little kitchen with an island, brand new stove and refrigerator. the bedroom was a little dark but a window that also looks out onto boston makes up for it and i imagine it must get pretty sunny in the morning (facing east). there was also a bathroom attached to the bedroom, shower only.

from that height, not only could i see the skyscrapers, but also many boston landmarks: MIT dome (cambridge), trinity church, logan airport control tower, fenway park, boston medical center, rainbow swash gas tank, hyatt regency hotel (pyramid hotel).

i could've spent the whole day here, just watching all the things happening down below. or the view of boston at sunrise or sunset. instead i just spent an hour there, taking photos, before i finally left.

next i went in search of an empty park where i could launch my drone and take a 360° panorama. i was basically just wandering around cambridgeport, navigating the maze of one-way streets. i ended up going to hoyt field. there was nobody there except a woman playing with her dog on the icy field. i pulled the drone out of the bag and set it into the air. before it even reached 400ft, my DJI fly app froze up. afterwards it went to a blank screen and i had to restart the app. unlike in past crashes, it seemed to have logged me out for some reason, and wanted me to create a new account. i started getting worried, because if i can't regain control of the drone, it would hopefully initiate a self return-to-home command and land. or maybe it would just hover in the air until the battery ran out and crash to the ground. after some tense moments, i skipped the login and it somehow brought me to the normal splash screen where i was able to regain control of the drone. but it wasn't happy, and kept freezing up intermittently throughout the flight. after taking a 360° panorama, i finally brought the drone down.

i left by 3:20pm and returned home less than 20 minutes later.

for dinner i made an italian sub. i also cooked up a new batch of jiu niang. this time i used 3 cups of glutinous sweet rice (added 3 cups of water) so i could make 3 jars. my mother asked me to make more so she could give one to my godmother. i used half a packet of angel rice leaven (4g). a full packet (8g) is supposed to be enough to ferment 2-2.5kg of rice. 3 cups of glutinous rice is only 620g, so half a packet should be more than enough. i started a bit late as the jiu niang needs at least 3 days of room temperature fermenting. it'd only be 30 hours using the heated instant pot but i personally feel a slower ferment yields a sweeter jiu niang. this friday is the lantern festival which marks the end of chinese new year. traditionally glutinous rice balls are eaten on that day, and they're best served with some jiu niang.