the weather this morning was cool (60's) but dry, a farcry from all that rain we received last night. i wore shorts and a long-sleeved pullover and left by 9:20am. i made it down to MGH by 9:40am, behind a convoy of other cyclists heading into the city. i was the last bike but i didn't mind, i just don't like it when other cyclists are behind me, i then feel pressure to ride faster. being the last bike, i could take my time.
hospitals are one of the places were masks are still mandatory. i washed my hands with disinfectant gel, got a new mask, then spoke with someone at the checkout table to let them know what i was doing here. upstairs in the doctor's office, all the workers were back. the last time i came there were just a few seats in the waiting area, now they had all returned as well. before i had time to settle down, a nurse called me in to take my initial blood pressure, weight, height, oxygen level (via finger), and body temperature (via ear). she then brought me to a windowed office to wait for doctor L.
i didn't have to wait long. annual physicals are more about just chatting and catching up than any sort of actual examination. before my doctor could get started, he was called away to another patient. i waited patiently for him to come back. earlier i'd shown him my blood pressure readings for the past few months and he said they were good enough that he didn't even bother to take one himself to verify. after i took off my shirt, he listened to my chest a few times, and that was pretty much it. i did show him the weird growth on my left pinky toe, looks like a flesh tag but when i cut it off, it bleeds profusely then grows back. he snapped a few photos with his iphone camera to add to my medical file then asked for dermatology to get in touch with me.
instead of making an appointment for my next annual physical (like i've always done), their new system is after 10 months they'll contact me via e-mail to ask me to then schedule the appointment. i had to get some blood work but i didn't even need any forms or labels like in the past, i just had to go to the lab and tell them my name, they already had my info.
blood works was on the 5th floor today instead of the 2nd floor. there was already a crowd of people waiting. i found an empty seat and sat done. i texted on my phone a few times, but for the most part i had the phone in my pocket while i just sat there patiently. even though they had two nurses drawing blood, it still took something like 5 minutes per patient. a young woman came out while i was waiting and asked me if i wanted to volunteer for the biobank research. apparently they're collecting the DNA from 200,000 patients which will go into a database for them to study. there's no compensation other than the fact that if they find anything noteworthy genetically, they'd let me know about it. i asked her how much additional blood they'd need to take, she said just 3 test tubes. i agreed to take part in the research and she had me sign a waiver form.
when it finally came time for me to get my blood drawn, i discovered the 3 research test tubes were actually the largest ones, and that i was tricked when they made it sound like they were just taking a little bit of blood. i bet that's why it was taking so long per patient. i wasn't chatty this time around, ever since i realized being chatty is a sign of nervousness. it's not the first time i've had blood drawn! once it was done, i finally left MGH around 11am.
i could've gone home, but since i was so close to chinatown, i called my mother to ask her if she needed anything. at first she said no, but then told me to get some bokchoi and ginger. the sky looked awfully threatening, but i already checked the weather when i came out this morning, and was confident it wouldn't rain today.
i arrived at c-mart by 11:25am. they had everything i needed except for the ginger, which they only had in mesh bags, with half the ginger rotting. i decided to get my ginger my ming's market instead. i left with $40 worth of groceries, including two bags of longans ($10 for 3lbs).
walking outside, i bumped into my parents' friend KC. i seem to see her everywhere, the last time was at the waltham costco, helping her carry some watermelons into her car. she told me to went to go pick up a friend from the hospital (after nose surgery) and happened to be in the chinatown neighborhood so decided to come to c-mart to get cherry plums. i'd never heard of them before and she asked me to follow her back inside to show me. these were hard plums the size of golf balls that she said tasted exceptionally sweet and flavorful. she was going to give me some after she bought them, but i told her i'd buy some of my own after listening to her tell me how delicious they were. she was going them for her daughter who was coming home. she also got some for her other daughter last week - the one who lives in manhattan - spending $15 on shipping alone. i told her they'd definitely have these at the manhattan chinatown, but she said her daughter was too busy to go shopping. she also told me trader joe sells them as well but at $4.99lbs. (c-mart had them for $2.99/lbs.). KC was going to offer me a ride back to cambridge but i told her i got here via bicycle.
after the cherry plum detour, i finally went to ming's market by 12pm. it was eerily quiet and empty compared to c-mart. ming's market has better prices, but they don't have as much stuff as c-mart. they did however have better ginger, i got a big bag for my mother. while browsing the aisles, i came across a bottle cap watering sprinkle. at $1.99 i couldn't resist not buying one. i left to pay but they wouldn't take credit card because my purchase was less than $10. fortunately i had enough cash on hand to pay.
my original plan was to get some lunch takeout at chinatown cafe (haven't done that in a while), but i was already carrying so much stuff, i decided to return to cambridge and find something to eat back at home. i was going in the direction of the charles river bike path when i realized it's close due to renovations. i had to take a big detour and cross the charles over the longfellow bridge instead. heading to the cafe instead of going home first, it ended up taking me a whole 45 minutes before i finally arrived at the cafe by 1pm.
we were just about to wash the cherry plums when KC called my mother asking her how they tasted. i was sampling one, getting ready to experience a mouthful of tartiness from such a small, hard plum, but they turned out to be very sweet, completely surpassed my expectation. we also tried the longans, sweet as always.
my sister had been complaining about the leak in her kitchen ceiling and kept asking us to go inspect it. so my father and i went down there, extending ladders to check the roof and later the gutter. the roof looked solid, but the window to the apartment above my sister's kitchen was wide open, possibly allowing some rain to get inside the house. but when i went into the apartment to check, there was no water damage. then we checked the gutter and the downspout. we were using a short ladder at the time, and digging with my hand but unable to see, i could feel that it was clogged with pine needle debris. so we got out the taller ladder (a pain to raise up) and my father climbed up to dig out the blockage and then drain it with a garden hose. hopefully that fixes the ceiling leak issue. it wasn't hard work, but made more difficult by the fact that mosquitoes were eating me alive, feasting on the back of my legs.
we were finally done close to 3pm. i hadn't had anything to eat up to that point, so my mother fixed me a bento box to take back home for a late lunch. i ate it immediately once i got home, didn't even bother taking a shower first to clean up. i ate while watching episodes of mike tyson mysteries. by the time my mother called, i'd already finished everything. i also opened up a bunch of windows inside my house and ran several fans to ventilate the place as it was much warmer inside than outside. i went down to the basement to empty the bucket of leak water.
by the afternoon the cloudiness of this morning had mostly cleared up, and we had beautiful blue skies. the haze we experienced earlier in the week was also gone. i watched as two neighbors each carried home a star market pilea. i wonder how many are still left, or are they all sold out? i'm go check tomorrow.
i didn't think i was hungry but by 9pm i fixed myself a ham sandwich with a large bowl of rainier cherries. i bought so much cherries last friday haymarket, i think i'm pretty much cherried out. i still have another pound of red cherries i need to finish, plus some pluots, and the cherry plums, not to mention all the longans. i'm seriously deciding whether i should even bother going to haymarket again on friday since i have so much unfinished fruits.
i ate while watching the red sox game. jarren duran had an inside-the-park homerun that was later changed to a triple scored on an error. later i caught some olympics women rugby and saw matthew's niece playing against china. china scored first, but the US team then scored 4 times in a row to win the match. afterwards i watched some angels game. ohtani had a homerun and i missed it!
my glass screen protector cracked again today, just 3 weeks after i replaced it. i discovered the damage after we finished cleaning the gutter, so it makes me wonder that maybe the heavy ladder banged against it at one point, causing the fracture. i installed a new one, wonder how long this will one last. i ended up ordering a few more from amazon, as i'm now done to just one left.
finally i took a shower. going to the bathroom makes me feel gross, seeing all the water damage blisters on my wall. it's getting worse now, expanding. i might try making some calls tomorrow, so if i can get a plumber earlier. this may involve more than a plumber though, could require the service of a water damage expert because there's a good chance a section of my bathroom wall will need to get torn down. can i wait until monday? and would the plumber able to fix it? on the phone they sounded hesitant, like this could either be something small or something big. and who's going to pay for it? i might make a claim through my homeowner insurance, but it's going to come out of my neighbor's end, and could raise their premium. but that's their problem.