it's been something i've been thinking about ever since i found out about it and this morning was the first time taking that newfound knowledge into practice. i'm talking about restoring my bath towels so they no longer have that mildew smell every time i use them. i had some new towels i was using for a while, super-absorbent, never a funky smell after use. but after a few washes, they started acting like all my old towels: the moment after they get wet, they start smelling of mildew. a search online revealed the reason why: bath towels build up soap residue over time, which prevent them from absorbing as much water as possible, and prevents them from drying completely. this in turn allows the build up of bacteria in the fabric, and in short time, they start smelling of mildew. but here's how to fix that: wash the towels in hot water with a cup of white vinegar (once it fills up with water), then add 1/2 cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle. the vinegar acts as an acid to kill the mildew, mold, and bacteria, while the baking soda acts as a neutralizer to get rid of any remaining vinegar smell. i've seen methods that call for two washes, but you can save time and water by doing it in just one. afterwards throw the towels into the dryer (no fabric softener) to dry and fluff them up.

did it work? i won't know until after i take a shower later today, but the premise seems sound. the towels came out of the dryer fluffy and scentless. it makes me want to wash all my clothes in a vinegar/baking soda combination as well.

i had planned to go to haymarket/chinatown today, but i didn't really need anything. my mother called and asked me to go to trader joe's instead, to get some persian cucumbers and baby spinach. i left around 2pm, it was super warm outside, temperature today almost reached the 80's. i decided to go to the allston trader joe's. i also picked up some ube ice cream, after many years of futile searching. i checked out their wine selection, i'm sorry to report that inflation has also affected the price of 2-buck-chuck: it's now $4.49 for a bottle of cheap trader joe wine. they used to sell tons of it but now it's been relegated to a dark corner of the liquor department.

i biked to the cafe by 2:50pm to drop off the supplies. my aunt was there eating some lunch. i was there for nearly an hour before finally returning home. the ube ice cream in my bag had already turned soft.

my sister wanted to take my parents to the kura revolving sushi restaurant in watertown for their 50th wedding anniversary, even though we already celebrated it last night. my parents said they would close the cafe early around 5pm so they could go, and told me to wait in belmont. after resting a bit at home, i arrived at my parents' place via bicycle around 4:45pm. my parents ended up unable to close the cafe early because it got busy. they ended up staying until regular closing time at 6:30pm.

my sister finally showed up at the house and we left for arsenal yards around 7pm. the place was crowded, on a rare warm october weekend night. trying to get a table at kura on a friday night turned out to be impossible. there were already groups of people waiting outside to get in. my sister asked someone at the restaurant who said the wait time was 2 hours. it's a weird restaurant to eat in anyway, super bright for some reason, more geared towards children than adults. my mother wanted to try shake shack, but we went next door to ask about tori jiro and ended up going there when the waitress said she could seat us immediately.

tori jiro is an unusual restaurant. it's actually a chain, with stores in japan. this one is their first US store. based on the restaurant name, you'd think their specialty would be skewered grilled chicken, but it's not an item heavily advertised in their menu. it's also not exactly a ramen shop, as the only ramen flavor was chicken, with various iterations like plain, shoyu, or miso. i didn't want to eat there at all, would've rather gotten some shake shack take out and eat back at the house.

for appetizers, we got the tako wasa ($7), which is basically marinated raw octopus. i took one bite and didn't eat anymore, like eating a slimy sea slug. the takoyaki ($10) was okay but only 5 balls slathered in tonkatsu sauce. the fried oysters ($12) seemed like a novelty, the plate arrived with just 4 pieces. chicken karaage is japanese fried chicken ($9); never had japanese fried chicken before, but if this is indicative of what its like, it's pretty underwhelming. finally we got the ika skewers ($9), which was just 3 pieces; at least the dipping sauce was spicy, the only spicy thing we ordered from the menu. my father ordered a sapporo ($8, i imagine most of their revenue comes from alcohol sales).

my sister got the miso ramen with an extra egg ($15, my sister didn't realize it already came with half an egg) while i got the shoyu ramen ($14). both of these orders were wrong as my sister wanted the shoyu and i wanted a plain broth. there was no tonkotsu option, i think i'd rather prefer a rich bone broth instead. my mother got the surf turf seafood ramen ($17). the ramen was also underwhelming, similar tasting if i cooked a package of instant chicken ramen at home. for some reason they added corn to the ramen, which seems like an odd choice, but i kind of liked it. otherwise it was $14 for a ramen i could've easily made at home for less than $1.

afterwards i felt like i got ripped off. at least we got to experience the place, but i doubt we'll ever go back there ever again. the food just wasn't that good, and expensive for the portions you get. plus, hardly any asians there, which says something about the authenticity of this supposedly japanese cuisine.

we went next door to roches brothers so my mother could take a look. my father and i had been there once before, looking for eggs. the feeling i got was it was a nice enough super market - clean, well-stocked - but needlessly expensive for the same groceries i can get cheaper elsewhere. it's about the same as star market prices if you buy anything that isn't on sale. if money isn't a consideration, it's actually a nice place to shop, but i'm a diehard market basket stan, so every other supermarket is more expensive in comparison.

we got back home by 8:30pm. my sister left immediately after dropping us off. i left soon after as well, riding the bike back to cambridge. even though i didn't go to boston today, i still managed to bike about 10 miles.

i was eager to get back home so i could take a shower and try out my newly vinegar-baking-soda-washed bath towels. afterwards i went back into the bathroom to smell the towel: it was still wet, but no discernable mildew odor, which means my laundry science experiment worked.

i opened up my box of cologuard home colon cancer screening test kit. i'd already watched the how-to video yesterday. i could've collected my sample this morning when i took my morning poop, but only remembered after i'd already gone. i'm going to try and get a sample tomorrow and send away the kit at the UPS store afterwards. one thing i don't understand is why it needs the entire content of a single bowel movement (my words). wouldn't just a tiny sample on a swab be enough? i don't envy the lab technician who has to analyze the boxes of poop people send in.