after bram left for work at 10:00, i was in the bathroom towel drying the water on the floor from his morning shower. i pushed the shower head so it sprayed inwards, hoping to prevent this from becoming a daily ritual.

i finally went ahead and renewed my condo insurance, about to expire on the 9th. i discovered yesterday that the policy i have is actually a homeowner insurance. condo insurance just covers the inside, but homeowner includes both interior and exterior. homeowner insurance is more expensive; but when i got a progressive online quote, the condo insurance was the pricier option. i talked with an agent on the phone yesterday and he gave me a price for the homeowner insurance: $900, not including the buyer's inspection that i'd have to pay for on my own (between $150-500) before they'd insure me. the insurance i have now is still cheaper ($635) so that's why i went with them.

the pressure was on to get out of the house on this nice 70's day. i uncovered the motorcycle. the weather was warm enough to just ride in a t-shirt.

first i went to the nearby community garden. wayne moved the bricks a few inches like he said, but i really wanted him to put back the pathway, which he won't do, since he already planted a small bush on the former pathway. i wasn't happy with his solution but it was at least tolerable. his plot is mostly in shadows anyway, if he wants to extend it a few more feet so he can do more shadow gardening, more power to him. before i left, i pulled some weeds from the basil plot. i didn't bother watering since it rained last night.

i went to the cafe next. when i checked the webcam the place was still empty but was crowded when i arrived. my mother gave me a container of watermelon and i headed towards belmont.

nobody was home except for the dog. i let her outside to use the bathroom then she went back inside the house while i stayed in the backyard watering the plants and documenting the garden. last monday the southwestern and southeastern rain barrels were already empty, and the southern-facing triple barrels were each about half full. i was beginning to worry that maybe we'd have to start watering with the hose again. but all it took was a single rain shower to fill the barrels. after last night, the 2 in the corners were full and the trio was 4/5 full each.

raised bed 0

RB0 basically requires no maintenance. other than the few wild tomato seedlings, everything that's growing here are perennials.

raised bed 1

most of the sugar snap peas have finally found the trellis. the arugula seem to be bolting - maybe because we grew them too close together? every time i check there seems to be less and less beets. are they difficult to grow? or is something eating them exclusively? the radishes are growing too close together that they don't have their classic ball-shape but are rather olive-shape.

raised bed 2

even though i pinched off the cucumber and tomato flowers, they still managed to make more since my last visit. i'll tolerate some flowers, hoping that these plants will also keep on making more leaves. i saw my first morning glory flower of the season.

basil seem to be dying left and right in the garden. i hope there's still enough time to sow some indoors and transplant them when they grow big enough. sowing directly into the garden is too risky (also hard to see what's a weed and what's not).

raised bed 3

the cocozelle squashes have finally sprouted. hope these seedlings will be able to survive. the couple of nasturtium seeds i buried in the corners have also germinated. and of course all the sunflowers are growing well (too well even, i hope they don't block the sunlight for the cucumbers and squashes).

raised bed 4

a single cypress vine seedling has emerged. maybe it can replace one of the two vines that have recently died. i thought both were dead but one of them is still alive and growing fresh leaves. a few cucumbers have also sprouted.

west side

the bulb-type irises have bloomed. i think they're prettier but they're more delicate since it's just a single flower per bulb and should the stalk snap at any point it won't flower for that season.

corner garden (southwestern)

two summer squash seedlings have emerged in the compost "box" of the corner garden. the first true leaf is interesting in that it's completely round. they're pretty well protected, enclosed within a tomato cage. the only thing that can harm them would be squash vine borers, which don't appear until the end of june. in the other "box" a few corn have sprouted. a seedling i saw over the weekend has disappeared though; i wonder if a slug ate it? i'll have to sprinkle some slug poison soon.

the corner garden is next to the compost bin, which i turned with a long-handle garden cultivator. when i turned it on monday the pile was steaming hot; it wasn't so hot today. on the sufrace it still has a bit of that decomposing grass smell. further down however, it continued to smell nasty, like a pungent public bathroom. that means it needs more brown material, in this case shredded newspaper. i could also use a better turning tool, like a pitchfork.

east side

confirmed: that perennial herb that we thought was dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is actually just lovage (Levisticum officinale). the flowers gave it away: dong quai has white flowers, lovage has yellow ones. flavor-wise they're pretty much identical.

i went back to cambridge around 3:00. since last night, a few of the local channels have been broadcasting tornado coverage non-stop, sending out their top reporters into the field. i had the television on in the background the rest of the day. i ran into bruce who just came back from florida, narrowly dodging the path of yesterday's storm. he gave me an oversized alligator gummy candy as a gift. it tasted of lemon, not of reptile.

bram came home around 7:30 and quickly disappeared behind the closed door of his bedroom. i heated up some leftover pasta for dinner. i was almost expecting bram to go out again, which he's done the past 2 nights. around 10:00 i heard some stirrings in the kitchen. as soon as i heard any cooking sound, i would make my entrance and lay down my kitchen rules. after a while the silence made me suspicion so i went into the kitchen under the pretext of filling up my glass of water. i was surprised to discover that he'd already finished cooking. "i made some quinoa," he told me (he's a reformed vegetarian). he was so quiet about it, i didn't even notice. i saw he used the wooden spoon on the non-stick pot. you've passed the test. i have no problems if he continues cooking like this, this kind of low-impact cooking.

bram also paid this month's rent. he's actually going back to atlanta even earlier, the 10th of august, so he's only really here for 2 months and a few days. after that i didn't see him the rest of the night. he remained silently in his room with the door closed. my past 2 spanish roommates, they had a habit of saying good night before going to bed. i don't this current roommate has the same habit.

finally, game 2 between the dallas mavericks and the miami heat. the heat was up by 15 points in the final minutes, putting on a demoralizing dunk contest against the dallas defense. mavericks didn't help themselves with multiple turnovers. but then a miracle happened: dallas crawled back to tie, went up 3 points, went down 3 points, but finally scored the last points of the game to put them over the top and win the game. can't wait to see game 3!