i blame it all on 80's music. i was all set to go running this morning when i came across wikipedia's billboard's number one single listing for the 80's. i then spent the next hour downloading forgotten favorites and trying to solidify my personal collection of 80's music. i'm hoping i won't make the same mistake tomorrow, otherwise i'll never leave the house to go running.

i finally left around noontime, came back at 1pm. my stamina was good today, but i still walked down to the river midway on my approach. it was hot and i was panting and sweating heavily, but i felt like i could've kept on going if it wasn't for the cramping on my left side as i neared the eliot bridge. after getting a drink of water and wetting my whole head in the parabolic spray from the fountain, i sped the rest of the way to the finish line.

after my shower i ate lunch in the form of leftover barbecue items from yesterday. i'd invited my mother+aunt+grandmother over for dinner, and went to market basket briefly to buy a single navel orange. the woman in the checkout line let me cut her when she saw i was only buying a single item. coming back home, i visited the garden for the first time in a few days.

the tomatoes and basil plants are bigger, and even the pepper plants have more leaves (although they're still very low to the ground). the cucumbers have really started to take off, every time i visit they cover up more of the chain-link fence. i have to be careful and make sure they don't encroach on my neighbors' plots. mixed in with the cucumbers are some morning glories. not sure what kind, and also not sure how they ever got in my plot. i did plant them last season but they were the heavenly blue variety. the ones that are growing now (judging from the leaves) are of the scarlet variety. i guess i'll find out in a few more weeks (just have to remember to come by the garden early enough to see the morning flowers).

and finally, in my bare patch of dirt where i'm trying to start some flowers from seeds, i think the sunflowers have sprouted. on the other half, there are some little seedlings that may be the daisies i plants. having never seen daisy seedlings before, i can't tell, but there's a pretty good chance. for some reason there's a single morning glory seedling. i might have to thin it out if i don't decide to transplant it elsewhere (i have enough morning glories as it is).

today i decided to take a tour of some of the other gardens. some people are just growing flowers, while others focus on vegetables, and a few do both. i'm surprised to see some of my neighbors with red tomatoes already - i'm very jealous! but taking into account how late i started to plant my vegetables, it's not too bad, and in a few weeks i should have red tomatoes of my own.

so my guests came over in the evening. while my aunt went to the laundromat, i continued on with my china slideshow for my mother and grandmother. in the kitchen, i was baking raisin bread in the machine (i started at 4pm, it wouldn't be done until 7pm). we stopped at yading (only in week three!) before i had to go start preparing dinner. i was making the pea & proscuitto rotini pasta with creamy mushroom sauce (the one i made a few weeks ago). all was going well but since i was doubling the recipe, i forgot to add enough flour to thicken the sauce and when i tried adding more flour after i already poured in the chicken stock, the flour formed pellets that i later had to fish out. despite the fact that the sauce was rather soupy, when i combined it with the pasta the noodle sort of soaked up everything so it wasn't a disaster after all. the bread was a different story however. for some reason it failed to rise. was it because i opened up the lid to show my grandmother the progress? even though i made bread a few dozen times already, it's still very much art than science. i still don't understand why even if i use the exact same amount of ingredients, that sometimes the bread comes out all puffy and perfect while other times it's all dense and ugly? the jalapeno bread i made last night was pretty good. i'm going to try the raisin bread recipe again tomorrow until i get it right.