while feeding my first this morning i noticed one of the tetras had died. tetras can live up to 10 years but i've never had a tetra live that long. i'm not sure what killed it, but i can't believe it's old age. did it get tangled up in the hair algae? or perhaps it was the heatwave we experienced this past week. now there's just one tetra left in the tank. having no fish does allow me to experiment with CO2 injections though without worrying about killing anything. or i may just retire the tank altogether, although i do like have an aquatic garden (i probably won't need to heat it though). or i could get some new fish.
i made it to belmont a bit after 11am. my father and i left soon afterwards to foodpak in south boston to get additional supplies for the cafe. we cut through the fenway-boylston area to get onto mass ave, but we didn't realize it was moving weekend for berklee so traffic was terrible. there was also some serious construction on bolyston street, with high cranes, while all around swarmed people.
foodpak is right next to atkinson street, better known as methadone mile. going there is always scary, as hordes of homeless drug addicts shuffle along the street like zombies, injecting themselves in broad daylight. the past few visits we saw a tent city springing up. now tents have appeared on topeka street as well, basically surrounding foodpak in a sea of heroin users. why the city doesn't do something about it i don't know. is it because the foodpak people don't complain? or is it because it's an asian business, so it's lower on the list of priorities?
despite being at ground center of the boston opiate epidemic, business at foodpak seems to be brisk. if you're an asian food business, where else are you going to get takeout boxes, or bubble ice tea supplies? it'd be great if there was an alternative place (one that doesn't make you lock the doors and always look behind you) but foodpak is the only game in town.
my father followed the checklist my mother gave him as we quickly collected all the supplies we needed. at one point my father asked one of the workers if they had anymore lavender milk tea powder. he was a hispanic guy and didn't know their inventory very well, so he asked one of the chinese workers, who told us they didn't have any. but when my father looked around, he saw an unopened box of lavender powder. it was the hispanic guy who opened the box for us, the chinese worker was zero help and even gave us false information. my father also bought a container of mango-flavored bursting boba ($21) to try out. finally, foodpak actually had 20 oz. clear drink cups in stock at $120/box (1000 cups). we ordered some online a few weeks ago but they seemed to be backordered, so we bought a box as the cafe's supply is running out. we also got matching lids for $40/box.
we finally left foodpak by 12:45pm. a car was blocking our way, the driver having a casual conversation with someone on the street, did care their were cars behind him. normally we'd honk but we didn't want to disturb all the sleeping drug users, so we finally went around. we'd gone past boston medical center before i was looking at the receipt and realized they overcharged up for the pickled cucumbers. instead of $3.50 for a pack, we were charged the case price of $50.
so we went back to foodpak to get it fixed. instead of exiting out at atkinson, we left via topeka. and instead of returning home via mass ave, we got onto 93 north. that turned out to be just as slow, as there was traffic going into the tunnels. once we were inside the tunnel though, it was smooth sailing as we made it back to cambridge via storrow drive.
we finally made it back to the cafe by 1:30pm. after unloading the supplies, my father and i went to the apartment to replace the blinds and make sure there were clean linen for the incoming post-doc couple arriving tomorrow afternoon. i also saw kevin. he didn't look so good, a pasty complexion, his face dotted with acne. the problem is he never goes out. even though his office is open, he chooses to work from home. he has his meals as well as his groceries delivered. i think kevin returning to china is a good thing for him and for us. anyway, the blinds didn't need changing, we put a screen on the window of the middle bedroom (so it can get some air at least), and brought home all the bedsheets so they can be washed. my sister volunteered to get new pillows tomorrow.
we didn't leave the cafe until almost 3pm. my sister tried some of the bursting boba. it was a unique experience but i still prefer regular tapioca pearls for their chewiness. with bursting boba there's nothing to chew.
when we got back to belmont my mother made me a bowl of wonton soup for lunch. there were also some figs but they weren't completely ripe yet.
after conferring with my mother, i ended up buying the $37 4x6 ft red chindi hand woven rug from amazon.com. she liked it because it looked similar to my current rug. the good thing is if this ends up being a good rug, i might get another one to replace the faded chindi rug in my dining area.
my father and i harvested about 60% of our buttercup squash after my parents discovered an old on-the-vine squash had burst open. i didn't have a change to weigh them so i won't know which one is the biggest until tomorrow. september is typically when we start harvesting our squash anyway. this way they'll have some time to cure.
close to evening my father grilled some steaks on the barbecue. they were good, but i think they can be improved with even higher heat. we should also use fresh ground pepper, or something more complex for the rub besides just pepper and salt.
it rained a little bit during dinner. returning home, the motorcycle seat was wet. i stopped by walgreens on my way back to get some more blue diamond extremes almonds. this time i found some cayenne, which is the better flavor. i let my mother try some ghost pepper almonds today. at first she was repulsed, but then couldn't stop eating them.
after a shower, i cut up half of my watermelon and cut them into cubes. half went in the fridge, the other half i ate while watching the end of the red sox-indians game. boston and cleveland were tied at 2-2 going into extra innings. jd martinez shot a homerun in the 10th inning to score 3 runs, which was enough for the red sox to win, final score 5-3.