coming back home, i bumped into my upstairs neighbor david. he was dressed like maybe he went out for a run, but he wasn't sweaty enough, and he told me he just went out for a walk. i asked him what kind of writing he does, he said mostly policy stuff (political science?) but he also dabbled in sports journalism, covering the harvard crimson basketball team. we talked sports, he too is excited about the NBA playoffs but we both agreed boston wasn't going to beat brooklyn. i said if the celtics can win at least one game, it'll be something to build on for next season.
for lunch i made a cold matcha latte, forgoing the honey this time around since it doesn't dissolve in the cold milk. i found it taste just as good, and whole milk has a natural sweetness anyway, this way i also lower my daily sugar intake. my mother called me saying my sister was ready to run her errands and asking if i was ready to go with her.
my sister came by around 12:20pm, giving me just enough time to quickly use the bathroom after drinking the matcha latte. first stop was the somerville home depot, where she picked up some brackets she'd ordered. i checked out the outdoor garden department, there was nothing really worth getting. inside, they had some bulbs on sale (50%), but they were all old, not worth the risk. i did buy some seeds on sale though, some dill and some more lupine. the lupines i won't plant until late fall or 4-6 weeks before the last frost date early next spring.
next we went to the medford OSJL to look for cantilevered patio umbrellas. my parents are thinking about creating some outdoor seating in the parking lot. i saw a large 10ft diameter umbrella at home depot but it cost $500 without the base. here at OSJL, they had one the same size that just cost $80. the separate base cost $45. we ended up buying it, although i think we might not need the base, and could make do with bags of playground sand.
finally we went to the medford aldi's. just like yesterday when i was at market basket, i noticed all their one-way aisle stickers were gone. my sister bought a shopping cart full of stuff; i just got some beef jerky, some white cheddar shells, and some frozen soft pretzels. i was hoping they'd have some orchids but it's rather late in the season for them, and the only plants they had were some cut flowers.
next door in what used to be an ac moore crafts now is now a lowes outlet. we decided to take a look, i was hoping to find some discounted garden equipment. turns out it's actually their slightly distressed appliance repository, full of discounted refrigerators and stoves and washing machines, all with dents or cosmetic issues, but prices slashed by a few hundred dollars. there were some amazing stainless steel refrigerators, i really should consider a fridge upgrade now that we're out of winter.
we finally left medford by 2:30pm. my sister dropped me off at my place. i was getting ready to clean the aquarium when i couldn't find my phone. i used google's "where's my phone?" search to locate the phone, it was at the cafe, i must've dropped it in my sister's car. i tried using google voice to call the cafe but for some reason the server must've been done because i couldn't get through the website. i had no other way of contacting anyone there, so i got on my bike and quickly pedaled to the cafe.
i found my father in the parking lot, about to set up the cantilevered umbrella. i suggested we do it in the empty florist shop first. with the umbrella fully extended, two tables with a pair of seats can fit underneath. later we moved it outside to see how well it blocked the sun. in the late afternoon it was no match for the lower sun angle, and there was only a small area that actually had shade. also in strong winds the umbrella seemed like it might fly away. that's why a heavy base is needed to keep it steady. the base we bought is supposed to be filled with either water or a combination of sand and water; i think we can just make do with bags of playground sand, just have to figure out how heavy a bag of sand is.
my sister made a tiger sugar boba drink. we're still testing the formulation, what part boba, what part milk, and part tea, and what part tiger sugar syrup. what she made tasted pretty good though, the secret is to add a lot of syrup, because you're mostly drinking that. we just need to make a new sign advertising the drink and hopefully by next week they can start selling it.
i returned home by 4:20pm. i didn't start to finally clean the aquarium until nearly 5pm, and i didn't finish until an hour later at 6pm. it's been over 2 months since the last time i cleaned the aquarium. so much for my ambitious weekly cleaning schedule. the aquarium water had already evaporated by 3 inches worth.
i took a shower before making dinner around 8:30pm. another buffalo chicken wrap, i first preheated the tortilla with some cheese for 30 seconds in the microwave. the tortilla was more supple this time, but i got too ambitious and added way too much ingredients and could hardly fold the wrap together again. the way they do in the burrito stores is they steam the tortilla. it's also been a while since i last bought a burrito, i'm due for a visit.