i went to the garden to plant a few scallion roots i'd saved. there were a few silver-haired ladies who didn't bother to say hello when i waved at them. the community garden is a lot like high school with the various cliques! instead of showing just the healthy plants, i decided to highlight some of the damaged ones. the idea of the idyllic garden can't be further from the truth. this early in the season, when the plants are still just seedlings, they're vulnerable to all sorts of predation and the unpredictable new england weather.

i planted 4 basils on tuesday. already one had been mangled, and another one has been nearly defoliated by a slug. a third one has also suffered similar chew damage, but not as severe. even the one last healthy basil has a hole in one of its leaves (i think maybe a bird pecked at it). in the future, i think i'll grow the basil in raised beds, like a bottomless wooden planter box. down on the ground, they're susceptible to a lot of pests.

elsewhere, my pepper plants don't seem to be doing very well. i did eventually grow a few plants from seeds last season, but because they were so small to begin with, the eventual adult plants were stunted and looked like pygmy varieties. i have 3 surviving plants, all with some kind of chew damage.

i went out again to put some gasoline in the motorcycle. i went to the hess station at the intersection of mass ave and walden street. afterwards i paid a visit to pemberton's to see if they had any salsa peppers (no they didn't).

the mail arrived and i got another check from client N. i decided to make a deposit at the ATM on the corner of beacon and kirkland street. there used to one closer to me on mass ave that i could easily walk to, but that little air-conditioned ATM kiosk was demolished when lesley college decided to expand. afterwards i went to that indian convenience store right across the street from market basket to pick up some garam masala (for some indian popcorn i was making for later tonight). i know it's possible to mix my own, but at $1.99 for a large bag, it was cheaper and more efficient to just buy it. i also picked up a roll of floral incense as an impulse buy (99¢).

coming back, i stopped in front of the grove of paulownia street on beacon street to get some photos. paulownia trees only flower on the very tips so a casual observer wouldn't see them, were it not for all the dead white and purple flowers carpeting the ground below. and there's the scent of paulownia, something unlike any other flower. if i ever had my own large yard, i would grow a paulownia tree.

sophia was at home for most of the day. i told her she should go outside when she got the chance, but she was busy packing up her suitcases and trying to book a train ticket for when she returns home to england. she still not quite sure when she's leaving. her london flight is monday night. to further complicate the situation even more, she's leaving from new york. originally her advisor/coworker/whatever said he'd drive her down sunday afternoon, but he didn't contact her all this weekend. later i found out she wasn't leaving from new york but rather from newark instead. worse case scenario she leaves monday morning; best case scenario she's gone by tomorrow afternoon (but i highly doubt that, since her advisor is somewhat unreliable).

later in the evening sophia went out to a friend's barbecue party in central square. i stepped out briefly myself, to market basket to buy a rotisserie chicken for dinner.

i made some indian popcorn for the game (game 6 between the cavaliers and the magic). basically the same steps as my usual stovetop popcorn: heat up some oil on high with a few popcorn kernels, once the kernels pop, pour in the rest of kernels along with some salt. but instead of just salt, i used a mixture of salt (teaspoon), brown sugar (teaspoon), garam masala (teaspoon), and cayenne pepper (1/8 teaspoon). the end result was edible but wasn't very pretty. my spice mixture burnt in the oil and scorched some popcorn as well. next time i may add the spices after the kernels have popped.

oh yeah, the cavaliers lost and the magic will advance to the NBA finals to face off against the lakers. so king james didn't fulfill the prophecy. i've always thought that was a load of crock; how can they coronate a player when he's never won the championship before? seems a bit premature, and lays too much pressure on his shoulders. was it all just hype? now cleveland only got as far as game 6 against the magic. the boston celtics, with its depleted lineup (no garnett, no powe), went all the way to a game 7 against orlando. so which is the better team? i really thought the cavaliers would sweep the celtics should they have met again in the playoffs, but now i'm seriously reevaluating that assumption. had the celtics beaten the magic in game 7, would the celtics have beaten the cavaliers as well, to go on to another finals rematch against the lakers? we'll never know, but in the back of my mind, had that game 7 gone the other way, it'd be a whole different story tonight. who will i root for in the finals? the magic of course, although i still don't think they deserve it. but i can't root for the lakers, i hate kobe bryant with a passion. maybe i don't root for either team, and will watch something else instead.