unable to sleep, my father woke up late last night and sketched out a blueprint for a possible layout in our garden plot. he gave it to me when i stopped by the cafe on my way to pay the $40 annual garden due for our plot. i went to their house where i installed the pull up car on the kitchen door frame. it fit perfectly on the smaller molding. i did a few chin ups and hammer pull ups. i wish i could install it at my own place, where i'd rock some pull ups everyday. i still can, with some modifications to the pull up bar (drill some new holes), something to think about for the future.

my sister wanted to see the garden (along with the dog) so i got her to drive. first stop was town hall, where i hand-delivered a check, making us officially the proud owner of plot 136 (at least for one season). then up concord avenue we went to the community garden.

armed with my father's blueprint, i laid out rocks so i could get a feel for the eventual shape. basically it's a long u-shaped raised bed (with the bottom of the U facing south) with another raised bed in the middle along with the tree. since our plot is so small, we tried to maximize the total amount of growing area. kathy the garden coordinator was there, trimming the paths with a weed whacker. she was with a friend who came by and critiqued our plot as if we weren't there. it was another bright but hazy overcast day so i couldn't see where the shadows fell. there was a bunch of carpenter ants foraging around the base of the tree; does it mean the tree might be unhealthy and die soon? one can only hope.

back at my parents' place, after watering the garden, i motorcycled to cambridge. i could've easily stayed longer, but i had to see an arborist at 2:30, an appointment my neighbor renee had scheduled, and the only reason why i agreed was to shut her up that one time where she kept on knocking on my door. why wasn't i surprised when the arborist tried to cancel? and when he finally did show up, it was an hour later? the arborist wanted $400-500 just to remove a dangling broken branch that i could easily pull up for free using some ropes. and when he saw the elm tree, he said it was dangerous due to structural failure, and then added it might have dutch elm disease and would probably be dead by the end of august.

after he left renee was all excited because now she had new ammunition to go after our neighbors franz and jen, the owner of the tree, to force them to pay for the removal which would easily cost $4000-6000. i told her i didn't want any part of her ongoing feud with our neighbors, and would rather wait and see if that elm tree really is going to die like the arborist predicted. even if that tree should collapse, it would only barely affect my property. so after our heated discussion, she had the audacity to ask me to troubleshoot her printer problem. i'm pretty sure i'll never give her any free advice from now on.

the worst part was my neighbor steve was at home (because i could hear him upstairs), but he pretended not to be, because he didn't want to deal with renee, so he basically threw me under the bus. i'm sure he heard me arguing with renee afterwards, i made sure i was extra loud just for him.

it was 4:30 by the time the arborist appointment was over. i quickly biked to the super market to get some ingredients for tonight's dinner. i'm trying to eat healthier so i'd be making a mushroom + anchovies + spinach pasta.

when i came back i installed the vintage red wellgo pedals onto the schwinn super sport. the red of the pedals isn't an exact match to the red of the frame but close enough. the only thing left to do on that bike is possibly clean up the rusty fenders a bit more, but the bike itself is in rideable shape (i'll take it out on a test ride tomorrow).

the thing with cambridge is there are so my academics living here, be it professors or students or graduates, that the streets themselves are literally littered with books. just yesterday i came across some hard covers on the sidewalk. what attracted me wasn't the subject matter, but rather the physical size of the books themselves: they'd make great hollow books! it almost seems sacrilegious to deface them like that, but they were going to be thrown out anyway, at least this way i'm giving them a second life as a receptacle for hiding illicit merchandises.

the mushroom + anchovies + spinach penne pasta was definitely healthy but uninspiring in flavor. what it needed was a bit of meat (like some prosciutto), besides the anchovies, which i couldn't taste at all (or maybe i needed to add more anchovies, i only added 5 small pieces).