i finally got my 2008 economic stimulus check today. not that it'll do me any good because that money is going right back to the government in the form of my quarterly tax payment. i can still remember the first year bush was president, he sent out a tax relief check as well. back then the amount was a bit less but the dollar was worth more in 2001. the euro didn't even exist yet. i sort of feel this economic stimulus is kind of like a bribe though. the administration feels that if it gives every american a few hundred dollars, that maybe we can overlook how screwed up the government is right now. i also don't understand how the federal government can be giving me money when we have so much war debt to pay off. it kind of doesn't make sense. at least i'm giving the money back. $600 will pay for a microsecond of the iraq invasion.

last night i got sick of my goatee and decided to shave it all off. i get rid of that thing about twice a year, but then quickly grow it back again. i'm not used to seeing myself with a goatee. and with my fat head, the clean-shaven appearance is not a good look for me. maybe if i can lose some of this head cheese i might reconsider going light on the facial hair. but i kind of like that scruffy look that happens when i'm growing out my goatee. i like playing with the stubbles on my chin.

tweaked my foot this morning while i was waking up. I think i turned my ankle in such a way that re-aggravated the broken bone. i hope it didn't set me back in terms of recovery. i've been super careful about wearing my aircast 99% of the time i'm awake, ever since the doctor told me last week that i wasn't making as much progress as i'd hoped. the pain this morning last just 30 seconds and was gone, so hopefully it was nothing.

going to the garden used to a fun activity but not so much now. all i can think about is how dirty the bottom of my aircast is going to be when i get back home and how long i'm going to have to scrub all that dirt out. things have gotten exponentially worse not that mulberries are involved. i'm squishing them like i'm making mulberry wine and the stench of rotting berries is kind of a turn off. hopefully another week or two more and they're done producing for the year. only then do i have the unenviable task of cleaning up the mess in my garden.

early last week i found three-lined potato beetles eating my chinese lantern plant. i also discovered a bunch of eggs which i immediately destroyed. i usually see these beetles on nightshade plants, but apparently they like chinese lanterns as well. the caterpillars can quickly defoliate a healthy plant so hopefully i managed to get rid of them all.

i have two tomatillo plants, one healthy, one stunted. the healthy one is already at the third rung on the tomato cage, while the stunted one is barely making it past the second rung. i don't care too much about the stunted plant, but i need it to survive to produce enough flowers so it can cross-pollinate with the healthy tomatillo, otherwise i won't get any good fruits.

poor seedlings! at least one is zinnia, and there's also a cup with basil and another with a chinese gourd. the cucumbers are healthy, but of the four cups, i think one of them is dead. no matter, because each cup contains 2-3 seedlings. they just need to get planted into the ground, as well as the cypress vines. i'm going to fashion some sort of trellis tomorrow, but unfortunately it'll only be good for the cypress vines (because the holes in the chicken wire is too small). but who knows, maybe they'll also work for the cucumbers. only a few of the sunflowers actually came out. not a big deal, they're easy to grow, i'll wait until the mulberries stop falling before planting some more. i also planted some nasturtium seeds last week but i haven't seen any seedlings yet. the cosmos are doing fine but they look really similar to some common weed i've been pulling out of the garden, so i'm starting to wonder if those supposed weeds are somehow related to cosmos.

in the evening i headed back to belmont again, where my sister was making chili dogs. i thought maybe we'd be having spicy sausages but turned out it was just mexican chili (the kind with ground beef) paired with hot dogs. i told them about the mexican tortilla chicken soup i made one time back in february (maybe i'll make it for them one of these days).

today was a hot and humid day. my sister was by herself in the living room with the air conditioner, texting on her new blackberry. hailey was sleeping in the kitchen, her black body perpetually hot. once i got back home to cambridge, i took a shower immediately to rinse off the stickiness, my 3rd shower of the day. since i don't have my AC installed yet, all i had was an oscillating fan, which was good enough. not exactly a heatwave this week but a series of hot and humid weather hovering in the 80's. in the back of my mind i'm already dreaming about fall weather.