i was tempted to install my air conditioner on another sweltering day. but july is too early! last year i didn't put in my AC until august. the turning point will be tomorrow afternoon, when hopefully some thunderstorms will break this 90's weather pattern and send us back into more comfortable 70's.

in the morning i took the motorcycle to assembly square mall. while waiting for the light to change at the intersection of broadway and mcgrath highway, a man driving a truck said of my motorcycle, "it sure looks as pretty as a harley!" but he pronounced it with his thick boston accent so it came out as "hahley." i told him it was a 2003 and cost only $3000. he rolled his eyes in disbelief.

i was at k-mart in search of a bunch of things: seed packets, smoke wood chips (i want to try something other than mesquite), hex wrenches, and krylon fusion plastic spray paint. seeds were 40% off, i was trying to some that i could plant in the belmont community garden at this stage of the growing season. i ended up picking 8 packets (more on that later) and a tomato seedling ($3.50). they had smoke wood chips but only in mesquite (cheaper than at home depot); they also carried hickory but in bigger lumps. like home depot, k-mart only carried rustoleum spray paint. i left with a flat-head screwdriver ($1, the only i currently have has been filed down into a prison shank) and a bag of short plastic ties (black, 100, $1, for possibly tying wire fences to posts).

i went to nearby ac moore looking for spray paint but they only carried rustoleum as well. when did rustoleum corner the spray paint market? (although the krylon website says their products are available at home depot, k-mart, and ac moore - weird). but instead of spray paints i got half a dozen homespun yarn for my mother (2/$7 in pesto, amethyst, and barrington).

after dropping off the yarn at the cafe, i returned home where i took a shower then made an omelette for lunch. i also washed a load of laundry. i biked to the super market to get a large rump roast for the pulled pork i've been commissioned to make for this weekend's barbecue. when i got back home my clothes had just finished drying. in hindsight it was a mistake to do a load of laundry on such a hot day, since running the dryer raised my room temperature by a few degrees to an uncomfortable 82°F.

i'd been asked to go to belmont in the afternoon to empty out the fill bucket for the free-standing air conditioner in the living room. since i didn't want to give up my nice motorcycle parking spot, i took the bicycle instead. i wore this black sleeveless synthetic fabric t-shirt that i had; combined with my gradually shaggy hair that's approaching mullet proportions, i looked like an asian redneck pedaling on my bike across town. it also exposed the white shoulders dark forearms of my serious farmer's tan.

i soaked some mesquite chips, hoping that i could try it in the grill even if it's empty just so i'd know what mesquite smells like. dried, i detected no smell. it did brown the water, but that had no smell either.

of the seeds i bought, only 3 (maybe 4) can be planted immediately: asparagus beans, senposai, melons, and probably the wildflower mix. all the others are either early season crops or late season crops (meaning they require slightly colder temperatures). another thing i didn't consider was the ideal plant shouldn't require too much watering since we can only make it down to the belmont community garden about once a week. delicate plants that need constant attention? they're not going to do well. that's why my father is pushing for a lot of garlic plants since they're very low maintenance.

when my parents came home, we ordered some pizza for dinner since my mother didn't feel like cooking on such a hot day. afterwards i helped my father install an AC in my parents' bedroom and swap out the floor unit AC in the living room with a window unit.

i took a shower as soon as i returned home. LJ wanted to tell me something funny that happened to her today: she spilled water all over her laptop and fried her computer. it seems she's on track to destroy one major appliance per week. the astro center can find her a loaner machine to work from for the time being. i told her she could just buy a new inexpensive laptop but due to some bureaucratic reasons, she can only be reimbursed if the machine is purchased in china through an authorized supplier. but the main purpose why she told me all of this was to ask me if she could use my laptop briefly to get in touch with people back home, to see if they can ship over her other laptop. briefly meant almost an hour, as i became increasingly fearful of her finding all my inappropriate links and files.

maybe i felt sorry for LJ, but i told her about my NYC trip on saturday, and invited her to come along if she's interested. since she has zero audacity when it comes to exploring her surroundings (she's been here almost 3 weeks and has yet to visit boston), there was no way she'd ever see manhattan without someone taking her. i wasn't going to tell her originally (since she rarely spoke to me anyway), but felt a little guilty about it: for me it's trivial taking someone with me, but for her it could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see new york city. i was essentially offering her a gift, but even then she couldn't see the value of it. she said her china advisor's daughter who lives in the local area might contact her this weekend to get together and do something. "you guys can get together on sunday, or another weekend," i told her, but she felt obligated to reserve her entire weekend on the off chance this stranger might call. either way it's fine with me; i offered, if she doesn't want to go, it's her loss.

finally, the miami heat won the NBA finals tonight, beating OKC in only 5 games. what's worse, lebron james finally has a championship ring to brag about, even though he burned a lot of (cleveland) bridges to get here. it makes me hate him even more if that's even possible. at least the boston celtics were able to push miami to the brink of elimination, all the way to a game 7. no other teams this playoff season were able to do that to the heat. the most touching moment had nothing to do with the heat, who were celebrating their not-at-all-deserved victory; it was kevin durant walking to the locker room, normally very emotionless, but just tearing up as he continued to hug people who were offering their condolences, until he buried his face in his parents' embrace. how can a guy like lebron james who has no class nor loyalty win the championship while a humble and nice guy like kevin durant go home empty handed? apparently bad guys do get ahead in the NBA.