no time to write, just took 2 benadryl tablets with my usual evening cocktail of blood pressure medication, so i'm prepared to fall unconscious shortly. i got a haircut today, went to the cafe to water my sister's garden and the sidewalk trees, went to my parents' backyard to water their garden, was going to stay longer and do some yardwork but the outdoor temperature today was 90°F so i decided to wait for a cooler day, and finally watered my own community garden plot.
woke up this morning with all the signs of hayfever: itchy throat, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. it started late afternoon yesterday, after being outside watching the eclipse, but that ragweed pollen can get everywhere, even insid the house. i noticed the monarch caterpillar had stopped eating and retreated to the center of the milkweed leaf; not sure what it was, but if it's dying i still have another unhatched monarch egg. for breakfast i had some cereal.
my last haircut was more than 4 months ago, when i went to new york city to visit wangyang. usually in a typical year i have only 2-3 haircuts, as i'm used to keeping it relatively long, whether for style or laziness reasons. but i was due, and decided to try a place called fast phil's in west cambridge, near the cambridge-arlington border, close to my 2nd aunt's apartment. i left by 10:30am, taking the motorcycle. inside was filled with wall-to-wall sports memorabilia. they also cater to a lot of children, as there were toys to play with and free complimentary balloon afterwards. a little boy was getting a haircut in his father's lap while being ditracted by a cell phone video. another little boy climbed onto a barber chair highseat and got his haircut. they don't call it fast phil's for nothing: each haircut took just a few minutes, quick and simple. in the brief chat i had with phil while getting my haircut, i learned he's french canadian-italian somerville native who can speak the respective languages though he doesn't get much practice nowadays.
i wasn't entirely happy with the final cut, which is more often the case. sometimes it takes me a few days to get used to it. it's the sort of haircut i could get from my mother for free. at least it wasn't as terrible as the kim jong-un haircut the flushing stylist gave me. nor was it as terrible as most of the haircuts i got back in changshou (all those hair shops, not one of them could give me a decent haircut). with a little styling gel i could shape it into something presentable, and at least now i don't look like a homeless person. cost of haircut was just $10 plus $2 tip.
next i went to the cafe to bring in the empty trash bins and water my sister's backyard garden as well. my 2nd aunt greeted me at the shop, didn't notice my new haircut, but instead complained about her swollen itchy eye. my sister's garden doesn't get a whole lot of sunlight, but what limited amount she does have she's managed to grow a lot of plants. i was happy to see the striped mallow seedlings i gave her a few months ago were doing well; hopefully it will reseed and there will be plenty more to come next season.
afterwards i filled the treegator bags of the 4 newly-planted trees along the sidewalk. each gator can hold 15 gallons of water, which would take nearly 4 trips with the large rubber flexible watering bucket. i only managed to make 2 trips for the first 2 trees; the other 2 were closer to a faucet and i managed to fill each of them three times. i noticed the one bag outside the florist has a small hole in it, which leaked water. i'll need to patch it up at some point. treegators are actually kind of expensive, around $25 a bag.
i left for belmont around noontime, to water my parents' garden. i was planning on making a day of yard work (primarily weeding the lawn of crabgrass and filling in any bare patches with fresh grass sod), but the temperature today was just too hot (it hit 90°F in boston) and humid. next week the temperature looks to be in the 70's, a much better time to be working outside. i spotted a new insect i've never seen before: a red-headed bush cricket. at first i wasn't sure what i was seeing. i thought it was a spider by the way it was moving it's front legs. but then i noticed it had long hind legs like a cricket or grasshopper. could it be a cricket-spider hybrid? only later did i discover (after viewing a small video i managed to record) that those front two legs were actually waving antennas. this is the second consecutive day where i managed to spot a new insect (yesterday was a mayfly).
just as i was about to leave, my 2nd aunt called me. she said she needed peanut butter to make a patay sauce. i was going to run all the way to market basket to get a jar, but realized i could just stop by the mt.auburn star market and get it there along the way.
after dropping off the peanut butter at the cafe, i returned home, stopping by my own community garden first to water my plants (2:30pm). there was a forecast of showers overnight, possibly torrential, but better to water too much than not enough.
i stayed home the rest of the day. i thought about getting some groceries but i still have enough food in the house for a few more days. i'm trying to eat as much as i can from the fridge in an attempt to clean out some of my old food. as this was the first day of a potential hot stretch of weather, my house was still cool, though i couldn't do anything about the humidity. for a brief second i thought about installing the AC, but i've already gone this far in the season without it, so i believe this will be the first summer where it never got hot enough to install air conditioning.
for dinner i made some white cheddar pasta shells with kale. i always just get the annie's shells & white cheddar, but i wonder if it'd be better if i made my own using a different pasta with real cheese not powdered cheese.
i chatted with bruce briefly, asking me if i wanted a new blender. i also asked him about the lethargic caterpillar, he said it wasn't eating because maybe it was molting, which i totally forgot about.
i couldn't wait to toss out the trash. GC's friday stay meant there was seafood refuse in the garbage and it was already getting ripe from being outside.
late breaking news: the celtics have traded isaiah thomas to the cleveland cavaliers in exchange for kyrie irving. i don't think fans of either teams are happy. i thought IT was the one play boston wasn't willing to give up. cleveland got the better end of the deal, as they also get jae crowder and celtics' 1st round draft pick from the brooklyn nets next year.