there's been a pair of wald folding baskets kicking around craig's list for a few weeks now. at $30 it's more than what i paid last year ($20 pair) but still at least $10 cheaper than buying a new pair. i figured somebody would've purchased them by now but i kept on seeing the posting, tantalizing me with ideas of installing folding baskets on my fuji road bike. i've resisted because i want to keep the fuji light, but i just couldn't resist having a spare set of baskets in case i ever get another bike. so i contacted the seller this morning.
the seller called me back around noontime. i didn't answer the phone because i didn't recognize the number but when i heard the voicemail message i called her right back. she lived in arlington right on the arlington/cambridge line. i told her i'd swing by in 10 minutes. the address was on broadway street, and i'd never been on the arlington side of broadway. broadway is surprisingly long, stretching from arlington center, right by tufts university (powderhouse circle), to sullivan square in charlestown.
the seller was an old woman sporting a pair of matching white thermal underwear in that unself-conscious manner senior citizens have about the way they dress. she looked at me and asked where i was from. "porter square," i told her, but she meant my ethnicity. turns out she was cooking some kind of macrobiotic japanese dish with chinese roots. i asked her specifically what she was making but she never told me. she started talking about how cancer is an unnecessary disease caused by all the chemicals we ingest.
since i was already on the motorcycle, i decided to take it to the bike shop in union square to get my annual inspection done ($15). a young man ahead of me was also getting his inspection. we chatted while waiting. he had an old 1982 1000cc kawasaki CSR (?). he bought it off of craig's list from a guy in new hampshire for $1500 who delivered it to him in somerville. this kid had never owned a bike before, but had motorcycling experiences from friends and family. the bike was old, with a bit of backfire when he started the engine and the inspector noticed his left fork was leaking fluids. the chrome looked faded and there was a little bit of rust. this was going to be his project bike. i had a feeling he was regretting his purchase.
back at home, i swapped my motorcycle with my bicycle (trek) and made my way to belmont to pick up some more chinese chives for the mid-cambridge plant swap tomorrow afternoon.
my 1st year snapdragons look very different from my 2nd year snapdragons that've been left outside during the winter. last year's plants have multiple tall woody-like stems with smaller leaves but more of them. the new ones i started from seeds indoor this season are single floppy stemmed plants with big leaves. they don't look like much now but hopefully they'll put on a colorful show when they eventually bloom.
the basils have shown some cold temperature damage in the old leaves (pale spots) but the new leaves are all healthy.
some of my hot peppers and cherry tomatoes have prematurely developed flowers. i'd be surprised if the bear fruit (that'll mean tomatoes in june when most other people have just put their tomatoes in the ground).
we sowed the radishes too close together again because some of them don't seem to be bearing any radishes below ground (just a tiny red stem); it's not that big a deal because my parents actually prefer to eat the leaves over the actual radishes.
the ever-swelling peony flower buds leave me guardedly optimistic that we'll see flowers this year. it's probably been decades since these plants last flowered. getting these peonies to bloom has been a long project, started back in fall 2009 when i dug them out of my eastern shade garden 2 and moved them to the western side of the yard with more sun. they were nothing but pieces of roots. when they emerged in spring 2010 i was just happy to see them alive. i'd read it takes them a year or two after transplanting for flowers to bloom. spring 2011 i was excited to see flowers bud; but by the end of may the buds all shriveled up and died. this year the flower buds have returned; what's different is some of them are pretty big, hinting at a possible happy outcome.
we never planted creeping buttercups in the backyard but they just showed up one day by the gerbil graves. they considered an invasive weed but i'm allowing them to grow for the time being because they brighten up an otherwise gloomy area of the backyard. they do contribute to dermatitis so i have to remember to wear gloves when i prune them back a bit.
i made a brick border around the newly-transplanted chinese chives at the southwestern corner of the yard. i put a mesh fence around the whole setup to prevent the dog trampling through the chives when she's chasing after squirrels.
i stopped by the cafe to drop off a revlon file-n-smooth for my mother (i got her one yesterday when she saw the one that i had). it was almost 4:00 and i didn't have anything to eat yet all day. they had some leftover sushi which they gave me.
back at home i washed the chinese chives outside (learned that lesson already, they make a terribly muddy mess in the kitchen sink), rearranging them into 2 large plastic rectangular crates. besides the chives, i also have a vase of chinese lantern plants i want to give away as well.
i finally ate lunch, some inarizushi (fried tofu pouch stuffed with sushi rice) with some edamame beans.
my neighbor renee knocked on my door right when i was getting ready to relax with a quiet evening of backlogged shows and a box of candy. her new printer was going crazy and she asked for my help. the problem: she was scanning (it's one of those all-in-one printers) instead of actually printing. before i left, she told me all this stuff about her 24-year-old developmentally-challenged son who's having problems with his also-developmentally-challenged roommate that escalated into the police being called on several occasions. having told me all this, she asked if i had an opening in my guest bedroom. i should've lied and said just no, but i told her my place would be free for a month in august. that's when she asked me if i'd be interested in housing his son for a month and also being his primary caregiver when she's not around. as tempting an offer as that may be (because everyone knows i love socially-awkward roommates obsessed with porn with a potentiality for violence), i told her i didn't want to get involved. "just think about it," she said as if there was even any possibility. i swear, the next time she knocks on my door, i'm not here.
i finished the other box of sushi while watching the season finale of fringe. they should've just ended the series with this episode because the show kind of sucks now. i'll still keep on watching it, because the storyline of a superpower olivia - she's the chosen one, just like how peter was also the chosen one last season - is just stupid. i liked that one episode of a watcher-dominated future, and i'd totally watch that show instead.