with less than 24 hours before returning home to china, my roommate left for work this morning. if i was her, i would've taken the day off to buy last minute presents and explore boston one last time. had she done that, i would've gladly chauffeured her around.

i called up my doctor again to let him know the lisinopril wasn't working. my blood pressure this morning was close to 160/110, which kind of freaked me out because i'd never seen it so high. plus i started having a dry cough last night than continued this morning. all this so my health insurance can establish a drug history before they'll cover me for angiotensin receptor blockers (what i'd been taking before). after talking with the nurse, the doctor called me back an hour later to ask me to stop taking the lisinopril (doesn't work anyway) and come in on wednesday for some additional blood work. in the meantime, he was working on getting prior authorization for my losartan prescription.

nobody was home but the dog when i left for belmont via bicycle in the early afternoon. besides dinner, i also needed to borrow the car so i could drive my roommate to the airport early tomorrow morning (3:00).

what's surprising is there seems to be a resurgence in new squash growth. my own theory is now that the squash vine borers have all pupated, and the weather is too cool for the spread of powdery mildew, the squashes (AKA fancy gourds) have taken the opportunity to stage a comeback. besides a flourish of healthy leaves, there are also new flowers. unfortunately none will into gourds before the growing season is officially over.

today was a cool overcast sort of day, which meant the flowers outside were all partially open, from the moonflowers, to the morning glories, to the cypress vines.

i collected a few dozen morning glory seeds but i'll probably have half a jar's worth by season's end. they're such prodigious seed producers that i can easily see them becoming a weed given the right conditions (for instance, they need something to climb). i also collected a handful of cypress vine seeds, which are similar to morning glory seeds but a bit smaller. they're a bit rarer so i'm making extra sure i harvest as many seeds as possible.

moonflower seeds are a different story. unlike a morning glory seed, which resembles a black sunflower kernel, a moonflower seed is yellow and bigger than a pea. i don't think i've ever seen a moonflower seed case until now and it caught me by surprise how big it was. not only that, but not every flower produce seeds, as i've seen plenty of shriveled seed cases. maybe there aren't as many night pollinators, and now that our nights are becoming autumn cold (40-50's), i doubt there are anymore left. i did a check of the vines and only saw 3 moonflower seed pods.

i churned the compost bin today. we don't have a fancy bin, just a converted large plastic commercial trash bin with a hinged lid. it's starting to smell a little (of decomposing grass clippings) which means we need more dry ingredients. i thought the addition of some early season dead leaves would balance things out but apparently that's not enough. every once in a while i'll find a newspaper and send a few pages through the shredder and add it to the pile. the compost is really cooking this season, as it was actually steamy while i turned it with a spade.

it looks like another good year for collecting quince apples. ever since we drastically reduced the height of the backyard maple and finally let some sunlight shine on the quince bush, it's been producing a lot of fruit. hopefully this year we'll be able to make some quince jelly. my father tried last year but didn't follow the instructions and ended up with quince juice.

for some reason there's a sedge plant growing in the garden. it's obviously a stray, since sedges are usually found in marshes. i noticed it back during the summer, but figured it was the immature stage of some pretty flower.

a gallery of gourds:

like the gourd/squashes, the cucumbers have also shown a resurgence of new growth. given the forecast though, i'm not sure if any of the immature cucumbers can develop into adults.

finally, we have a second pepper harvest. don't know if these will be any good since there aren't very many hot days left in the season, if at all. will they even have a chance to turn red?

for dinner we got some burger king. my mother and i drove out to pick up the order. i noticed they gave us french fries when i ordered onion rings. i asked if i could make an exchange. the guy working there tossed the fries into the trash and handed me an order of onion rings. i couldn't believe the waste of some perfectly good fries! maybe there are safety reasons, like i could've contaminated the fries - but to toss out perfectly good fries seem so wrong to me. had i known, i wouldn't have said anything, and just ate the fries instead.

i borrowed one of the cars and drove back to cambridge. it'd started raining in the early evening and continued to drizzle on my trip home. there was a parking spot right in front of my house but i went with the easier spot down the street.

my roommate was home, watching a video on her laptop with headphones. "so, your flight is later tonight, right?" i asked, just to verify. she said she planned on taking the midnight train to south station and then to the airport, spending the night at logan before her 6:00 united airline flight. i told her that was nonsense, that i'd drive her, and that i already had the car. i said we'd leave at 3:00. talk about looking a gift ride in the mouth: she said that was too early, and suggested we leave at 4:00 instead. i hesitated but agreed. if she wants to risk missing her flight, i wouldn't stand in her way. i recommended 3:00 since that's the advised leeway time for international flights (although it wasn't exactly international, since there's a flight change in chicago first). i also recommended 3:00 because normally on a good night that's when i go to bed. it wouldn't crimp my routine at all to drop her off right before my bedtime and come home and sleep for 6+ hours. but 4:00 definitely puts a kink in my schedule. now i'm not sure whether i should bother going to bed at all.

that didn't seem to bother my roommate. i spoke to her one last time, when she returned my house key and gave me her unwanted metro card. she then went to bed early, like around 10:00. i began to think maybe i should've let her go to the airport on her own. it's not exactly like we're friends or anything. and i'm pretty sure i'm not going to get any "thank you" for my service. i'm just doing it because it's the right thing to do.

i just remembered: afterwards i have to return the car, and then ride my bicycle back home. so my night is just getting started.