i woke up this morning with a swollen lower lip, like i got punched in the mouth or something. never happened before, could either be caused by a small pimple on my chin that i popped last night, or maybe an allergic reaction to all the mold spores living in the bundle of marsh grass. it didn't hurt, but the pressure on my lip felt weird and made it feel numb. and wouldn't you know it, the day i have a meeting with client S, the day i have a dentist appointment, i end up looking like a freak. there was little i could do and the must still must go on so i got dressed and went down to alewife for that meeting. i don't think anyone really noticed, but i was very self-conscious about my deformity, a hand over my mouth whenever possible. an hour later i left, went to the cafe briefly to ask my mother if i should cancel my dentist appointment and pay a visit to the emergency room. my aunt recommended some tiger balm; figuring i had nothing to lose, i rub some on, thinking that if things don't improve, i could still make a run to the hospital tomorrow.

i ended up going to the dentist anyway, told them about my special situation. by then i was on the mend, and the dentist didn't think it was necessary to reschedule. i was back to patch a cavity on one of my upper molars. the dentist shot me up with novocain and quickly finished turning more of my teeth into metal (i feel like jaws in 007). when i left his office, my entire mouth was numb: upper lip from the novocain, lower lip from the swelling. i kept on touching my mouth to make sure i was drooling since i wouldn't even feel it.

i went to the watertown home depot to pick up some more CFL's (soft white this time) before stopping by in belmont to help my sister fix her computer ("it's broken!" was as much info i could get out of her over the phone). my father was going to work and asked if i could go to my aunt & uncle's place in arlington to help them water their garden (they're on vacation in maine).

arriving in arlington, i was surprised to find a produce section worth of vegetables growing. it looks like everyone's getting into the gardening game. the last time i saw the backyard, it was when they first moved in and it was pretty much a barren terraced rock garden. now it's crazy lush with growth, and if the weather continues to be warm and sunny, it looks to be a season for the crops.

returning to cambridge, i stopped briefly to admire a flowering tree on the corner of garden street and fernald drive. i thought it was another paulownia tree but this time with white flowers instead of purple ones. upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a catalpa tree, native to north america (unlike paulownia, which is an asian import). the flowers are very similar to paulownia, orchid-like, but they're just white. however, there's no particular fragrance. i saw a big grove of catalpa on my ride to sudbury this past weekend.


the downpour of mulberries is non-stop. now i know what people were talking about and why they hate the mulberry tree so much. it's too late this year, but if i set up some sort of netting to cover my garden for the few weeks that the mulberries are falling, i might be able to avoid having my entire plot covered with berries.

back at home, i put on some more tiger balm. i've never been a big believer in the healing powers of "the balm" but i was surprised that it made most of the swelling go away. it could just be my own immune system working itself out, but i have renewed faith in the tiger balm.

i have an old jar of the stuff and i was intrigued to see what appeared to be burmese script on the lid. i went online and did some research, and sure enough, the inventors of tiger balm were two chinese brothers from burma. also, a little "did you know" fact, but in chinese tiger balm is called "10,000 gold oil."

today i relocated all my young guppies from the 5 gallon minibow into the larger 10 gallon tank. i can already tell the males from the females so i'll probably need to separate them tomorrow. this will be a challenge because i have 30+ guppies in the tank and it's hard to distinguish them from above, much less catch them. i have to start thinking about giving some away, i have way too many to keep them all.

i couldn't wait for the day to get dark. it meant testing my new soft white compact fluorescent bulbs. unlike the bright white, these have a warmer yellow glow and are virtually indistinguishable from normal incandescent lights. now all the lamps in my living have been converted to CFL's. to think, even if i have all 3 turned on (3 x 4 watts), it still wouldn't equal the amount of electricity used by a single lamp using a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. i love turning on these CFL's; everytime i do i feel like i'm saving money. i might want to convert all the ceiling lights at some point as well.

for dinner i was some leftover barbecue and watched the red sox lose to the braves.