i took my roommate to the artbeat festival happening at davis square this afternoon (i went last year). the day was hot but dry as we walked a mile up elm street to get to our destination. i tried to fill her with as much local insight on the lives of americans. arriving at artbeat, i was quickly reminded that it's very much a money-making event, with artists selling their handicrafts and restaurants selling their foods. my roommate was shocked by how much handmade items sell for since handicraft is very cheap in china. to punctuate that point, somebody was selling those rasping frog drums that i found in southeast asia and china. i got them for a few dollars a piece, but they were selling here for $13 each, a markup of 400-500%.

live music was promised but i didn't see much in terms of performances. some local youths were rapping at one point, followed by punk rock playing mummies, who today probably wished they'd picked another theme for their novelty band (basically anything not having to do with being covered up in rags from head to toe on a 90+ degrees day). while sitting on a bench people watching and enjoying our cold drinks, i spotted my sister in the crowd. "your blood-related sister?" my roommate asked me, coming from a one-child-per-family culture where the idea of siblings is foreign. after i chatted briefly with my sister, my roommate and i returned home. i took us on a detour through porter square, followed by the japanese eateries of the porter exchange, finally a visit of the community garden (where my roommate spotted her very first bluejay and was amazed by the size of the garden mulberry tree).

after returning home i soon left for belmont via motorcycle. i haven't visited the garden in 5 days. bad news first: found a few more borer worms. most of them were in leaf stalks, but one particularly nasty one had eaten through the base of one plant to the point where it wasn't worth saving. it wasn't one of the main ones (which was good), but i still had to remove about 6 feet worth of squash vines. this one grub must've been feeding for a week because it was much bigger than any of the ones i've discovered since. i also found a few more eggs, but given the small amount, i'm pretty sure the egg-laying adults have all died by now.

good news is there are some new gourds. the one single large bottle gourd has a partner that's gaining on it for the crown of biggest gourd in the garden. by season's end i predict that i'll have some many bottle gourds i won't want to grow them again next year. a new variety of fancy gourd has emerged too, half yellow and half green. the korean cucumbers have also grown another few feet since my last visit. putting up the additional higher wire fencing turned out to be a good idea because they're climbing all over that. thank goodness for these korean varieties, because my burpless cucumbers are doing terribly. i'll be lucky if i can eke up a few more cukes. so far they've managed to produce just one cucumber, a stunted one at that.

i went with my parents to h-mart in burlington, that korean super market. this was only my second visit, but my parents have already been there multiple times, going every other week or more. although they have great selections, my feeling is they're still more expensive that what i can find at market basket, any chinatown supermarkets, and of course haymarket. but if you're specifically looking for korean food, the place probably can't be beat (although i have my own korean grocery store in the form of reliable market in union square, much smaller though).

by the time i got back to cambridge around 8:30, my roommate was already in her bedroom. less than an hour later i noticed the lights were out. did she really go to sleep so early? for someone who managed to match my endurance for staying up late the past two nights, i was surprised. maybe she's planning on a big day of sightseeing tomorrow, or maybe she's just tired out from all the walking we did early (3 hours worth).

later after watching the news and seeing a band of thunderstorms passing through our area, i decided to relocate the motorcycle and cover it up.