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i had a greek yogurt for lunch, then went to the cafe in afternoon to check out some shelves left behind by the yoga studio when they vacated the 1500 square feet commercial space. the place is so big it's nearly twice the living space of my condo, with an additional renovated hardwood floor apartment in the basement with working bathroom and kitchen. it'd be an awesome place to live, with a loft area big enough to ride a bicycle, and a ceiling tall enough for all sorts of elevated furnishings.

there were two 4ft long steel shelves, already disassembled by my father, along with a black 5x5 ikea kallax shelving unit. the steel shelves would be perfect for a growing station, so every winter i won't be forced to empty out my closet again to make way for plants.

the day was hot and dusty, as i slowly made my way to belmont. somewhere by fresh pond my parents passed me in their car as they made their way home. my sister was home with hailey, whom i haven't seen in more than 2 weeks. she made no special effort to greet me or any signs of recognition.

now that students have left boston, there's all sorts of freebies to be had on the curb, things they leave behind. my father found a portable weber Q200 gas grill, in pristine condition after washing off the grease. it was probably used once or twice and then discarded. he connected it to gas cylinder and turned it on to see how it was working. the only thing is it doesn't have a stand, so you basically have to squat down to use it on the floor. not sure when we'd ever use it, because we already have a barbecue grill, plus another portable weber grill as well (that one does have a collapsible stand).

since i put up the barricade around RB1 and RB0, no new rabbit damage to report. i was afraid the rabbits would take out their frustration and eat the seedlings in the other raised beds (like the tomatoes and peppers and eggplants on RB4) but all my plants are safe for now. i planted the remaining delphiniums and lupines on the western side of the house. i still have half a dozen snapdragons; i'm waiting for the biennial money plants behind the garage to go to seeds before i can uproot them and plant the snapdragons in their place.

i left soon after dinner, hoping to make it back while there was still daylight out so i wouldn't have to clip on my lights. back at home, the indoor temperature was 80 degrees while it was in the low 70's outdoors. i opened up a few windows to ventilate the house.

i had 2 things to do this morning: pay my dentist a visit at allston center to get a cavity fixed, then go down to the fenway REI and return the pair of unused merrell moab hikings shoes (womens variant) plus some hiking socks.

the appointment was for 10:00, i set my alarm to 9:00, which gave me 30 minutes to get ready before i had to leave. at 3.5 miles to allston center, it takes 25 minutes of street riding to get there. i had my REI returns in the rear basket. for some reason my legs felt dead, like i didn't have any strength. maybe the hot (near 90's) overcast weather had something to do with it. i immediately regretted wearing pants instead of shorts. another regret? the fact that i ate garlic chive chinese dumplings with a chopped garlic dipping sauce the night before a dentist appointment.

when i finally arrived, i was a little sweaty and out of breath. sitting in the exam chair, i realized that my oral surgeon dr.chan had been sharing progress reports of my dental implant procedure with my dentist dr.huang. that explains why out of the blue dr.huang called me about the cavity, which i didn't think he knew about. i don't mind this personal dental data sharing, but i don't think i ever consented to it. i also found out the dental implant inside of my mouth is a keystone brand genesis implant, made of grade 4 titanium with a proprietary textured and ionized surface for quicker recovery. dr.huang had also finally upgraded his x-ray equipment: even has late as my previous visit, he'd develop the x-ray images on negative film. this time, he had a digital system, which gave instant results on the computer. he must've recently gotten it because he was still trying to figure it out.

the cavity was to the rear molar on my upper right jaw, right next to the dental implant. it cavity was actually inside the tooth, which i'm not quite sure how that could happen. the only risk was if the cavity was too close to the nerve, in which case the subsequent filling would transmit heat/cold sensations directly into the tooth (which is a bad thing). i got two shots of novocaine before he started working. i could smell the burning enamel as he drilled into my molar, and at one point he even accidentally cut the inside of my cheek. the procedure was actually pretty soothing, and i almost wanted to fall asleep, despite having fingers and tools inside of my mouth. total cost: $145. the next time i come will be for a crown fitting in the fall (i can then finally eat with the right side of my mouth, hooray!).

i've never gone from allston center to fenway before. at 2.3 miles, the calculated time to arrive at my next destination was only 15 minutes. for some reason around 11:00 there wasn't that much traffic, so i leisurely made my way east to REI via commonwealth, st.paul, then beacon. the car parking lot was mostly empty, so i was afraid they weren't open, but all the bike parking was full. returns are actually processed downstairs, and i effortlessly got $138 dollars put back onto my credit card (which just about covers the cost of fixing my cavity).

from there i returned home via the BU bridge then along the memorial drive pedestrian trail all the way to harvard square.

i had to wait an hour before i could eat. technically i don't eat with the right side of my mouth anyway, but i decided to wait just to be safe. i ended up not eating until 1:30, heated up some leftover chinese dumplings from yesterday.

in the late afternoon (3:00) i went market basket to get some groceries then to my CGP to do some more weeding and watering.

for dinner i had a salad kit (caesar) with half a can of garbanzo beans for protein. i ate a nectarine for dessert, washed it all down with some sweet southern ice tea. i watched another episode of the roosevelt documentary on PBS followed by a new episode of frontline, which basically explained how the obama administration had a part in the creation of the ISIS crisis currently engulfing the middle east.

wangyang contacted me late last night (i was already asleep), with an already-written invitation letter i had to sign and a request for a copy of my passport: all documents she needed so she could apply for a USA visa. i took a look at the invitation letter, which was a very formal cookie cut letter written in the first person, with wordings like, "i guarantee she will leave the USA before the expiration of her authorized stay. please kindly grant her a multiple entry visitor visa." if i was going to write an actual invitation letter, it'd be in my own voice and style. so i wrote this really genuine letter, which she received later in the evening (morning in china). she's actually using a visa agent (the process is so complicated, people hire agents to file the proper paperwork) and the agent told her to edit out certain lines, which i had no problems doing. hopefully she'll be able to get her visa. she'll be the first person from my recent china trip to come visit me.

memorial day is so very quiet. besides the numerous neighbors that are still away on this long weekend that unofficially kicks off the summer season (as evidenced by the many empty curbside parking spots), many college students are gone as well. the streets are virtually empty, many stores are closed, and cambridge is a ghost town. as it was hot outside (temperature in the 80's, though with an overcast), i elected to stay indoors and enjoy the natural air conditioning courtesy of a well insulated shady house.

i made some pressed pennies while i was in gatlinburg and superglued some rare earth magnets to the back so i put them on the fridge. i did some research online and apparently you're supposed to use pennies that were made in 1982 or earlier because of their higher copper content. you're also suppose to clean the pennies before you press them, so they get a nice shine. there's a whole art of penny pressing i didn't know about! my only question is how to prevent them from corroding, which has happened to the older pressed pennies on my fridge.

there was nothing to eat in the house except some canned soup and frozen lasagna. for lunch i heated up a campbell chicken and rice soup with a handful of frozen kale for a healthy balance. i needed groceries but i didn't know if market basket was opened today (probably was) and didn't want to ride down there in the heat and be disappointed. the only important thing i had to do was to go water my community garden plot, which i did in the afternoon.

just getting down to the garden took a while. i bumped into dennis and susan, back from newport, then saw bruce and jack putting in their window air conditioner and chatted with them for a while (i knew bruce was in town because i saw his car yesterday when i was coming back from porter square). i normally don't install my AC until the end of july, and there's been summers where i've been tempted to not even bother putting it in. now that i have better insulation, so long as the night time temperature is relatively cool, i can open the windows at night to let in the breeze and trap the cool air for the next day.

next i bumped into ed, puttering down the street in his white honda scooter. he invited me to check out the circa 1990's kawasaki ninja 500 motorcycle he was working on in his backyard. i've never really checked out a sports bike before, the whole layout of the vehicle is different than what i'm normally used to (cruiser style). you sit leaning forward, the handlebars are short, and when you steer the readout display doesn't turn with the handlebars. it feels like it's primarily designed for speed, not really about comfort or safety (although to be honest, how safe can a motorcycle get anyway?).

when i finally made it to the CGP, i got there just when dave was arriving. i had first dibs on the watering hose, but as soon as i finished, he switched to the hose i was using. i chatted with him for a while, with his thickly-accented attempts at speaking chinese, and even gave him an extra zucchini seedling i'd pulled up from my garden. i also went around taking photos of the numerous new flowers that'd sprung up since a week ago.

as for my own plot, it was in pretty good shape (my parents told me they came by to water a few times, even taking some fat garlic chives), but just a week without weeding and the eastern half of my garden has been taken over by morning glory seedlings. it was too hot to really do a thorough job pulling out the weeds, so after i watered my plants, i went home.

i've become quite fond of sweet southern ice tea while i was down in tennessee (particularly the free sweet tea refills at cracker barrel), and was looking to reproduce some for myself back at home. it's really not that hard to make, just steep some regular black teabags then add sugar. what i wasn't expecting was how much sugar is actually involved. i had a gallon pitcher and i added 1.5 cups of sugar, but to match the sweet tea i had down south, i probably needed to add 3 cups. if i'm looking to lose weight, drinking sweet tea isn't going to help! the recipe i used involved 7 teabags steeped for 30 minutes covered in a 2-cup pyrex measuring glass. once that was down, i poured it into the pitcher and added the sugar (1.5 cups). i added some more hot water to melt the remaining sugar before filling the pitcher with regular tap water. i then put the pitcher in the fridge. when the tea was properly chilled, i gave it a try, into a glass of ice cubes. it was sweet, but needed to be sweeter. otherwise, it tasted similar to what i experienced down south.

my parents didn't leave the cafe until 4:00, so i wasn't planning on going to belmont today, but then my mother called and said they were making garlic chive chinese dumplings for dinner, so i went over to their place. when i arrived, i saw my father finishing up mowing the front lawn (he mowed the backyard last week). i went out back to water the raised beds and garden area, as well as doing some weeding (grabgrass, lamb's ear). i noticed that in RB1 some of the leafy greens seemed to be chewed by rabbits, and earlier when i came out i saw a small bunny scampering away from behind the garage. i collected all the old window panes and screens and formed a protective barrier around RB1 and RB0. it doesn't look very pretty, but if it can keep out rabbits, it will have served its purpose.