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i woke up around 9:30am to get ready to go out by 10am for a run. using the bathroom, getting ready, stretching - all those things took time - and i didn't get out of the house until 10:24am. this was my 5th run into my return to running journey. every time i go out i find myself with more endurance. i walked down to the river, but whenever i could i'd do a bit of running (like crossing the street, or going around a crowd of people on the sidewalk). i actually ran for most of the way along the charles river, only stopping when i was crossing the two bridges. i was also chewing a piece of gum this time, i think that helps in some small way, but by the time i was finished the gum had lost all its taste (next time: only chew the gum once i arrive at the river). i made very good time, and could've been home in under an hour, but i stopped at the at the community garden to water.

i haven't been in the garden since friday. striped mallow flowers continue to pop and some of my hyacinth beans have also blossomed. the buttercup squashes continue to produce female flowers but no male flowers, and at least one of the immature squash fruit from a few days ago looks to be aborting soon. it's now at a point in the garden where things are starting to run on its own with very little help from me. i just need to stop by once in a while to water and make sure the vining plants are climbing the trellises correctly. gail and jen were both in the garden. i noticed jen was wearing a face mask. i asked her if cambridge kids were still in school, she said they don't get out until the 29th, next wednesday.

i got back home by 11:45am, which isn't bad, considering i left the house at approximately 10:25am, and i even stopped at the garden. i changed out of my sweat-soaked clothes and took a shower. instead of having lunch, i went out to run more errands.

these errands required taking the motorcycle to everett-medford. i would've gotten them done a lot sooner, except they're doing road repairs again in somerville, and there were a bunch of detours to navigate.

i went to the everett gateway shopping plaza, first stop michael's. i didn't bother wearing a facemask (and didn't even bother bringing one either). [do you know that more than half of all massachusetts residents have been infected with covid-19?] they had a bunch of yarn and i sent my mother photos, but she got busy at the cafe and didn't reply to me in time before i left the store empty-handed.

next was bath & body works, with their semi-annual sale, a good time to stock up on scented hand soaps. unfortunately i failed to see that only select items were on sale, and the sale price on hand soaps now is $3.25, and none of the classic aromatherapy fragrances i like either, but mostly their newer seasonal scents ready to be discontinued. i left with 5 fragrances: cucumber & lily, wild flower rose, terracotta canyon, white oak & vanilla, and pink lilac & vanilla. i was the only guy shopping in the store i later realized, but i love me some scented hand soaps!

finally i went to total wine & more to check out their selection of chinese baijiu. i looked everywhere, saw korean shoju, saw japanese sake and plum wine, but no baijiu. i finally ended up asking one of the workers there, and just by coincidence, we were standing by the spot where the baijiu were located. the guy seemed pretty well-versed in baijiu, and even asked if i was looking for the (expensive) moutai ($250-$1300). they only had 4 choices: the most expensive was lucky cat baijiu ($67.99 which seemed more like a gimmick than a serious drink), beijing erguotou ($16.99 which if you know anything about baijiu, it's the cheapest kind there is, it sells for pennies in china), luzhou laojiao (this one isn't bad, but a bit pricey at $44.50, maybe if you were having guests over), and finally xifeng jiu ($23.49). i ended up getting xifeng jiu, i think we had it before, but it used to be in a green bottle, and now it's in a clear bottle (probably updated for the american market). i also looked for a cheap bottle of mezcal, but all the ones in my price range were 40% alcohol, which i think is too little.

i left the gateway center by 1:30pm. my very last stop was bianco's and sons, to pick up two boxes of chinese sausages. instead of putting them into my saddlebags, i had to tie it to the back with bungie netting because my mother didn't them the sausages to all slide to one side. with that done, i headed to the cafe, getting there by 2pm.

my mother packed me a boxed dinner before i left the cafe, getting back home by 2:30pm. there was street cleaning this morning and there were still no cars parked on my side of the road. i parked the motorcycle in front of my house. while i was chatting with don (we were wondering if trash pickup would be delayed by a day), melissa pulled up in her minivan. i don't think she's ever seen me riding my motorcycle, but seeing me in my helmet must've confirmed it for her. she told me she was picking up her daughter to take her to the airport.

i finally had some lunch, a honey castella pastry my sister got from h-mart over the weekend, along with some homemade lemonade. i also called the massachusetts tax department, where they recently sent me a letter to let me know that their audit of my 2021 tax returns showed i didn't qualify for a refund because i failed to submit some documents. which documents they didn't say, but i called to inquire. after going through the phone tree, i got an agent who sounded chinese from her accent. she did some digging and said i forgot to submit my 1099-NEC form. they probably lost it because i most definitely submitted that form along with my state tax returns, but i still had a copy and it was a simple matter of scanning it as a pdf and submitting it online using their special document submission portal page. hopefully that fixes the problem.

i went out one more time, to whole foods to return the two incompatible crimpers, with a stop at market basket on my way back. i didn't wear masks in either places. i didn't really need anything at market basket, since i already prepared what i'm going to be eating this week last week (hot dogs!), but i went there to get some diet coke for the cafe, and some frozen soft pretzels for myself.

around 4:30pm i heard some commotions outside: they were delivering the new trash bins! cambridge has decided to go with uniform trash bins for easier trash disposal and as a way to control the rat problem. we only asked for a single medium trash can, but now i'm wondering if we should've gotten another one as well? although to be honest, we don't produce all that much trash, and only on special occasions, when we're doing some kind of household cleaning.

in the evening i finally got around to taking another shower, this time washing my hair, which had been sweat-soaked from this morning's run. around 8:30pm i got around to reheating the dinner my mother had prepared. she gave me some stirfry my 2nd aunt had made: i could tell immediately because of the fishy smell from all the dried shrimps she adds, which are not my favorite.

i finally changed the cracked screen protector on my pixel 3XL phone. i could've used it some more, but there was too many cracks, and i think i've been getting trace amounts of tempered glass slivers in my fingertips, which make them hurt. i didn't do a good job applying the new protector, and there are air pockets, but it will do. i still have 3 more protectors, and judging by past actions, this one will probably develop a crack in a matter of months if not sooner.

i did a home covid test tonight. i've been having a bit of a cough the past few days, and just out of curiosity, and the fact that the home tests will expire in a matter of weeks, i decided to try one of the tests. it's pretty easy, just swap your noses, dunk the q-tip into the solution, then drip the solution onto the test strip. i only had a single C line, which means negative. i'm actually sort of disappointed.