so i went down to the cafe around 11:00 to prepare the room. the couple that'd lived there took everything except a dresser, a desk, and several dozen empty shopping bags. all the room really needed was a bed, which my father had a spare in cafe basement. my 2nd uncle helped me carry the mattress and the box spring while i hauled and assembled the metal frame myself, cutting my leg in the process (when was my last tetanus shot? i think i'm safe). it wasn't all that much work but i was sweating afterwards. there was nothing left to do except wait for the tenant (no longer my roommate) to arrive.
riding to belmont, i had one of those aggressively spandexed cyclist race right up behind me, riding in the middle of the street because he couldn't wait for the cars to get going. despite his speediness, i still managed to catch up with him while he was stopped at the traffic lights. he looked back at me with disdain. to make matters worse, it was an asian guy, and i hold them to a higher standard of excellence that this poser obviously wasn't living up to. when the light turned green i managed to get the jump on him and rode ahead. i was waiting for him to blow by me again; what i didn't expect was to infuriate him enough that he shouted, "get a helmet!" as he flew by. it took me a few seconds to register what he was saying and that he was saying it to me. no time for a witty comeback, i shouted back weakly, "well...well...you should slow down!" but he was already maybe 100 yards ahead of me.
i had some belgian waffles for lunch. my mother made some this morning for my father and had perfected the pour so it wouldn't spill out so much.
i dumped the 2 barrels of grass clippings onto a tarp on the driveway in an attempt to dry them off before composting. the grass was already decomposing and parts of it were steaming. there was also the strong odor of hot grass which given enough time would eventually putrefy. i don't think we can make any good compost the rest of the summer because we just don't have enough dry/brown ingredients. our best bet is to saving all those bags of raked leaves after autumn and use them for next year's compost. maybe grass clipping compost might work if we had a tumbler that we could turn daily to easily aerate the grass.
when my father returned home in the afternoon, we dug up the bamboo runners in the yard, some as far as 8 feet away from our bamboo groves. the bigger shoots we broke off so my father could cook them for dinner. it began to drizzle so we put away the grass clippings. i also covered the compost to keep it dry.
the sage flowers have begun to bloom. they're not that pretty since the flower stalks aren't compact but stretched out, so you hardly even notice the flowers. maybe when more buds blossom it'll look different.
the pale purple irises seem to be doing well post-transplant, even though i planted some of them lopsided so the flower stalks are pointing at an angle instead of straight up. they made an interesting addition to the rows of deep purple irises that are already established. we also have some blue/purple irises which are actually supposed to bloom first; not sure what happened this year (maybe the plot could use some fertilizer).
finally, the peonies! these are my proudest gardening accomplishment this season so far. there can be no doubt now that some of the flower buds will blossom this year; the only question is how big will the flowers get? i noticed some of the lateral flower buds have shrunken in size, as most the nutrients seem to be focused on swelling the main buds. i'm just a little worried that the area is getting too crowded, with a quince bush on one side and a japanese maple on the other; in a few more years the peonies will be eclipsed again and once it loses the sun it'll go back to becoming dormant again.
my love of gardening has destroyed my hands; more exactly my love of digging without tools. dry, chapped, splintered, and fingernails caked with dirt no matter how many times i wash my hands. hopefully things will get better once everything is planted and no more digging required. i think there's another round of planting this weekend (squashes and cucumbers, some flowers) and i should be done.
i didn't think it'd rain today and i was confident the drizzle would soon stop. so when the sky darkened and suddenly there was a torrential downpour, i was surprised. it was already too late to put the rain cover on my bike seat; at least my motorcycle back in cambridge was covered up.
the raw bamboo shoots were tender like the ones from the stores, but slightly bitter. after boiling they were better, and placed in a pork soup stock they actually weren't bad. i'm just glad we managed to get something out of the bamboos other than a pockmarked lawn and potential future lawsuits from disgruntled neighbors.
the rain had stopped by the time i went home, although the doppler radar showed an ominous swath of rain clouds slowly drifting towards eastern massachusetts. my front door lock felt a little weird when i tried to open it until i saw that my key was nearly torn in half from the accumulative torque. that's kind of surprising because i've never had to turn the key very hard and i didn't think metal could fatigue like that (brass?). i was lucky the key didn't just snap in half and i was able to remove it. besides the key my roommate uses, i only have one other spare key; i'll have to get a few more made tomorrow.
watched some basketball: even though the celtics lost it felt like a victory because they didn't go down without a fight, and even in the final seconds boston was dropping 3-pointers to put the game within a single point. the other game was between the lakers and the thunders, and los angeles received a serious beat down (30+ point deficit). i don't know if the celtics can win another championship this year, but so long as neither miami nor los angeles wins, i'll be happy.
not having heard from my 2nd aunt or the new tenant, i was beginning to get a bit worried. the new arrival finally wrote me an e-mail later in the evening; apparently her flight was delayed in new york and she's only just arrived. she seemed happy with the new arrangement and not have to sleep in the closet.