march is the month where i start to grow my seeds indoors. last year, because it was so unusually warm, i started my seeds much earlier (though only earlier by 10 days). the year before that (2011), i planted a bit later (10 days later in fact). i still have some seeds to plant, but for today i was planting: 3 tomatoes (super sweet 100 hybrid cherry, sweet aroma hybrid roma, better boy hybrid), 1 pepper (kung pao hybrid), 1 delphinium (fantasia mix), 1 calendula, and 2 zinnias (pinwheel and fruit smoothie).

i began by filling 48 cups with miracle-gro potting mix. since i put them on trays filled with crushed gravel, they were liable to tip over so i had to be careful. next came the soaking, where i dip them into a bucket and let the water soak up from the bottom. once each cup was properly saturated, they were heavy enough that there was less change of it tipping over.

since the top of the soil was still dry, i had to spray the cups. i had a spray bottle (recycled from some empty household cleaning container) but the sprayer was broken. so i went down to the dollar store, hoping their early stock of garden supplies would contain some spray bottles. i didn't see anything but i did get a replacement metal sink strainer ($1) and a ball of cotton twine ($2.35, 300ft). while paying for my things, i asked the eritrean cashier lady if they carried any sprayers. she brought me to the hair care aisle where they had some small ones ($1), perfect for what i needed. while leaving, i noticed the brazilian supermarket was closed. looking inside, the place was empty. not just closed, but closed for good! ever since i've lived in the neighborhood there has been a brazilian grocery store here. i think it changed management at some point, because it used to be called something something supermercado. i'm sorry to see it closed, i didn't realize business was bad, i used to see people in there all the time, although i personally haven't shopped there in a while (i used to go for the canned guarana sodas). i wonder what's going to go in its place?

back at home, i sprayed the containers, then planted the seeds, 2 seeds per cup, 6 cups per plant. i then covered up the containers with plastic wrap and put the trays in the warm guest bedroom for germination.

also this morning i called comcast, asking how much it'd cost to upgrade from standard cable service to HD. the operator told me an additional $9.95 a month (on top of what i pay now, which is $123 including internet), plus another $2.35 month to rent the cable box (not even a DVR version, which costs an additional $8/month). however, they do have a special HD preferred package, which includes internet phone, that costs $126/month. that includes a $7/month rental fee for a dual internet/phone box (unless i buy one myself), plus a one time $50 install fee for the cable guy to come to by house and basically replace the cable box. it's still kind of confusing and i'd like to get something in writing so i might go down to the comcast office at some point and get their price list for their various services.

in the early evening i played some dishonored:

i went to star market in the afternoon and got some chicken broth. for dinner i made some risotto. i also made another mango lassi, this time with a drop of rose water. it's okay, but i think using frozen mango chunks is a farcry from using fresh mango, something i can look forward to during the summer, when i came buy a whole box from haymarket (they don't even have to be good looking mangoes since i'm going to blend them up anyway).

the highlight of the evening was another new episode of the americans. can phil and elizabeth ever just get along? it seems like every episode, one of them wants to get back together, while the other one is standoffish. talk about the cold war!