wangyan contacted me this morning via qq voice message to let me know that she finally received her postcards - ones that i'd sent back in october and november! they probably got there earlier than that but it was to her sister's house and they lost their mailbox key. wangyan said the cards were dusty, which is proof that they'd be there for a while. i guess apparently her sister doesn't use her mailbox very often, which says something about how things work in china, that is, everything is done online. in my own experience, i remember getting utility bills that were little strips of paper tied to my doorknob. and as for packages, they don't leave it on the doorsteps (easy way for something to get stolen), but instead the delivery person calls me to come and pick it up outside. anyway, wangyan was leaving snippets of english voice messages, but i replied back in chinese, until she asked me why i wasn't helping her practice her english. the place she lives now is north of chongqing city, by the west outlets shopping mall, which is next to an ikea. she sent me a photo from her 20th floor apartment window, she has an incredible view of the mall.

i was up fairly early today which gave me enough time to get some much-needed groceries before lunch. the weather was exceptional nice with temperature in the 70's. today would've been the perfect day for naturing where it not for the fact that my motorcycle doesn't have a reliable battery. it'd totally suck if i was in the middle of nowhere and unable to get back. when i put in the battery this morning the honda started up without a hitch, but it'd still make me nervous riding it out and having to restart it again.

i had a craving for potato salad for some reason so i got some. i came home and made some scrambled eggs (with 2 leftover eggs in the fridge) and kielbasa sausages as well, washed down with some vanilla almond milk.

after lunch i paid a visit to the garden to water my plants. it is now officially the season of the falling mulberries. annemarie told me that the tree was aggressively pruned last year so i was hoping this season would be better but there's still a lot of mulberries everywhere. and now that the fruiting branches are up so high, the berries fall with greater velocity and actually do more damage, puncturing delicate leaves as they come down. it's only for a few weeks though, and afterwards things will go back to normal. there are ways to keep out the berries like putting up a net but that requires too much work and materials.

the other noteworthy community garden plot (CGB) event is the flowering of the delphiniums. profusion may be the wrong word but these tall showy flowers with their purples and pinks and whites finally added some color to my otherwise very drab and green garden. my only regret is i didn't plant ever more because they look the best when they're close together with different colors, but planting them farther apart gives them better chances to grow even bigger. i just love how they come in so many different colors, i love flowering plants that like (some other examples: snapdragons, zinnias). this is only the beginning of my color show: in maybe 2 more weeks the zinnias will finally flower (they're already flowering elsewhere in the community garden), and by next month maybe my sunflowers will bloom as well. i also have some snapdragons (just a few) and columbines (which are tiny at the moment, but even if they were large, they still don't flower in their first season, so this is still a work-in-progress).

i'm already thinking about next year and what other new perennial flowers i can introduce. hopefully i get my act together and buy seeds online in advance (wait too long, they sell out). i always buy the seeds i can find locally, but those are usually burpees or ferry morse, and i want more variety.

joel showed up while i was in the garden. "hey tony! when did you get back? where did you go?" he asked me. he must have a terrible memory because i've already ran into him a few times. he was also more animated than usual (sometimes he can be a little quiet). besides an abundance of beans, his garden plot is looking a little tattered this year, as rows of crabgrass interspersed with his leafy greens mostly chewed up by slugs/insects. he also didn't know what were the "butterfly-winged seedlings" that had sprouted in his plot this season until i told him it was probably wild morning glories that'd escaped from my garden into his (he did confirm that morning glory had basically taken over my plot last year, my sabbatical surrogate gardener didn't take good care of it). before he left, he told me he's been to chongqing before as well, just for a day, when he went to china during the SARS scare (2003?). he was actually in guangzhou before the outbreak, and visited a place what he thought was a pet store that turned out to be a restaurant which happened to be serving civet cats.

by parents dropped by the late afternoon. they were on their way home, and came to deliver a dozen zongzi for my eating pleasure. my mother stopped in to use the bathroom, my father tried to pry the set screw from my slightly broken delta kitchen faucet (i think he managed to loosen it a little bit). afterwards i went across the street briefly to get some chicken on sale but they were all sold out so i came back with 2 bags of cape cod potato chips instead.

in the evening i ate 3 medium-small zongzi. these were taiwanese steamed zongzi (with fried garlic and pork, no mushroom however), and for some reason the rice was really sticky so by the time i scraped everything off of the bamboo leaves, it was this mess on my plate.

i noticed my right leg starting to hurt, from the groin downwards, like maybe i sat on it wrong. as the evening progressed though, it became a shooting pain, and i could barely shuffle about the house. maybe i pulled something, i'm hoping a good night's sleep might cure it.