without realizing i was doing it, the past few days i've actually been able to put on a shirt in my normal way, which is head first followed by one arm after another. it hurts but not so much at the formerly broken region on my collarbone, but rather elsewhere, like my deltoid muscles or the top of my shoulder blade. it's kind of a dull muscle ache, nothing so sharp it'd stop me in my tracks. by tuesday it will be 4 weeks since i broke my bone. doctors said it takes 4-6 weeks for the collarbone to heal so i'm right on schedule.

biking into belmont, i hit a small pothole. that sort of impact would've left my clenching my teeth in blinding pain maybe in week 2, but now almost in week 4 it was uncomfortable but almost imperceptible.

my mother and i were taking my sister to the waltham ocean state job lot, which she's never visited before. for some strange reason my sister asked if i wanted to drive; this coming from someone who gets angry if you back out her car from the driveway. we were just leaving when we saw a glass jewelry case out on the curb in watertown. we turned back to pick it up. 2 women were cleaning out their garage, and told us they had more things they didn't want. we also picked up a metal wheeled leafed desk as well as a heavy 3-piece folding mirror. the mirror was especially surreptitious since my sister was going to the job lot to look for mirrors to decorate her room.

after we packed up her car, we decided to go home to drop everything off first (there wasn't any room for me to sit in the backseat, i basically had to lie down on top of the furniture).

everything seemed to be going fine but with my sister's bipolar condition, shit can turn at a moment's notice. past watertown center, my sister decided she would go her own way even though i was giving directions. for some reason this didn't sit well with me. my sister thinks she's god's gift to navigation even though often times she takes the longer and lengthier route. and you can't call her up on her mistake, or it's an all out bitch fest, and i can remember several occasions in the past where we had family fights over her total lack of following anyone else's directions except her own.

i had other reasons to go my route, including some trees i wanted to see. so i threw a tantrum in the backseat, which resulted in my sister pulling over and telling me to get the hell out of her car. when i hesitated, she said she'd call the cops. i nearly punched her in the face. my mother got out hoping it'd diffuse the situation, but the stalemate continued, and i told my sister if she was going to push it, there would be no going back. my mother got back in the car when a chinese family saw us arguing. my sister finally gave a half-hearted apology, and we continued on our way. i was so angry that i felt dizzy afterwards, probably not good for my high blood pressure.

i ended up getting a new portable umbrella ($10, the one i currently have is broken, this new one is a similar style) and a trio of 52" tomato cages ($2.75 each). the biggest haul was 2 cases of vanilla pear polar seltzer. i didn't think they had any left but i found some in the center of the pile. my mother and i had to play a game of box jenga to get to the secret stash hidden in the middle.

i brought my dSLR camera today. i've been reluctant to carry it around because it's heavier and i can usually make do with just my panasonic ZS20 point-and-shoot camera. but the image quality on the canon is magnitudes better, and i wanted to get some videos as well (30fps MOV files but better looking videos since i can get shallow depth of field with my detachable lenses).

i saw something new in the backyard: a carolina wren. it's sort of plain-looking, resembles a sparrow with a longer curved beak. but the song it sings! kind of reminds me of the song of a cardinal, which i also saw. carolina wrens live in the area year-round, but this is the first time i've actually seen one, and only because of it's very loud and distinctive song that made me look.

also through pure coincidence i caught sight of what appeared to be a sharp-shinned hawk flying overhead while i was shooting a video of the cardinal up in the dead elm tree. it might've been in the area checking out the backyard neighbor's chickens.

garden peonies have been bred to produce flowers so large they can't stand on their own and need support. i have small tomato cages to hold up the flowers once they emerge. i believe this is the 3rd season since i relocated them. the first season there were buds they all died. 2nd season last year was the first time we've had peony flowers in more than 2 decades. this season i think the flower show will be even better.

lovage is kind of like peonies in that they sprout from super-hardy perennial roots. lovage don't produce pretty flowers though; their blossoms are modest enough it's easy not to see them. we've been growing lovage in the backyard for more than a decade but i don't think we've ever used them before. the leaves have a very strong celery-like flavor, good for soups.

some of the snapdragon plants have died, so they are in fact not perennial after all, at least not when it gets too cold like it was this past winter. still, enough survived that we'll still have snapdragons, but i really should grew a few more from seeds. i think most of them in my own cambridge garden are dead. they had some pretty colors to an otherwise drab plot, and they seem to bloom all season long.

another 3-solid hour of sunday night television: game of thrones, mad men, vikings. possible (maybe definite) spoilers: i'd heard that the 4th episode of this season's game of thrones was pretty awesome, and it didn't disappoint. daenerys finally gets her army! since i read the book, i knew what was going to happen, but that scene was still pretty bad-ass. i wanted to rewatch it but HBO takes a while to upload the latest episode to their on-demand choices, so i went online and downloaded it instead. i less don draper less and less: tonight's mad men had him visiting megan on set during a love scene. talk about hypocrisy, he chews her out for making out with somebody on camera, then goes back home and sleeps with his neighbor's wife. i can't wait for his life to explode again. finally, vikings, a very special episode about human sacrifices.