since last night catone (3rd instar) has moved to the center of the milkweed awaiting its next molt. i can see it's about to happen because the head has become transparent. cattwo (2nd instar) was busy feeding.
i haven't visited the community garden plot since thursday so i went down to water my plants and to harvest any vegetables. i managed to pick a bag of tomatoes plus a long cucumber. i don't know what i'm going to do with all these tomatoes. ideally i could turn them into tomato sauce because they're not pretty to look at, but these are not the right kind of tomatoes for making sauces. though honestly, making fresh tomato sauce takes such a long time (2011, 2012), it's not worth it.
elsewhere in the community garden:
i ate 4 leftover ribs for lunch in belmont after arriving by motorcycle. my mother told me she finished watched defenders. i introduced her to stitchers on the freeform roku channel. i've already seen season 1 (recommended by lihui), it's the sort of procedural show that's a staple of her tv diet. she did complain about all the commercials (spoiled by commercial-free netflix) but i reminded her these breaks give her time to use the bathroom or grab something to eat.
there was a rumor that we might be visiting binbin's new house in burlington today. we were supposed to go yesterday, but my aunt and uncle were away, and i didn't get back from the caribbean parade until almost 4pm. when my father came home at 1pm, he called binbin's father ZY who was at home with his wife taking care of his newborn grandson while binbin and jason were away. my mother made a traditional chinese post-natal braised chicken dish for binbin.
we left by 2:30pm. it was actually very easy to get to, just follow route 3 until we hit burlington. i've got milkweed eyes now, spotting them growing along the side of the roads. i can spot milkweed with just a glance, though a few occasions i've mistaken pokeweed for milkweed. we arrived by 3pm.
the last time i saw ZY was february 2016, 1-1/2 years ago. besides the new house, we were also there to see the new baby, lucas, less than a month old. it was a strange feeling seeing a baby, as i'm raising some babies myself. but instead of a human baby, i'm raising monarch babies. newborns are similar to caterpillars in that all they do is eat and poop and sleep. and they have their own schedule and you sort of work around them.
as for the house, it sits on a cul-de-sac hilltop of a relatively new development, half commercial office space, half residential townhouses. the house itself is quite massive, 4 floors (including a furnished basement) for 3500 square feet. 4 bedrooms and 3-1/2 bathrooms, though the 3rd floor attic and the basement can easily be made into loft style bedrooms as well. you could fit my entire condo in each floor. in the back of the house sits a forest and a hidden vernal pool. downsides include no yard space (though there is a sunny outdoor porch) and a steep maintenance fee ($625/month).
i never realized it but burlington is a great place to live, conveniently located to malls and shopping plazas and supermarkets, although you really need a car to get anywhere, and ZY can't get a MA driver's license with his tourist visa, and can't get an international driver's license back in china because china is not a party to the IDL treaty (likewise, tourists visiting china aren't allowed to drive either). for now it's not a big deal since ZY and his wife are housebound taking care of the baby.
jason was the first to come home, taking anderson out to the park. i played basketball with anderson in their miniature indoor shooting range in the basement. it's incredibly hard to score a bucket and anderson ended up throwing all the balls out onto the floor. he also found a dead insect which he said was an ant (it was actually a click beetle) then went around the house looking for more ants. later binbin came home, out at a play rehearsal.
we weren't planning on stay for dinner but they talked us into it; besides, jason already went out to pickup some chinese takeout. anderson was pretty clinging and kept pulling me away to go play with him. we went upstairs into the attic room (AKA the toy room) to play with foam swords. it's easy to have a swordfight with a little kid since they always lose, though anderson wasn't pulling his hits (double-handed sword chops), and a few times i came narrowly close to getting hit in the face.
we finally left around 8pm. i ended up driving because both my parents had too much to drink. i returned to cambridge soon after arriving in belmont. i used the bathroom then took a shower.
catone finally finished it's molt today, transforming to a 4th instar caterpillar. i didn't notice at first (as it ate the old skin leaving no evidence), but the distinctively longer front antennas are a giveaway. these longer antennas remind me of those ubiquitous tour buses in china with the double cantilevered side mirrors that make them look like giant metal caterpillars. measuring catone reveals it's now 18mm long when it was just 14mm this morning.
i didn't watch the last episode of the penultimate season (7th) of game of thrones until 10:30pm, after spending some time photographing my monarch caterpillars. i didn't worry about not watching it live as i simply streamed it from the roku HBO app. spoilers: GoT has become surprisingly predictable as it nears the end of the series. john snow is a legitimate targaryen? they've been telegraphing that for a while. jon and daenerys getting it on? of course. sansa and arya working together to kill littlefinger? that was a shock but it wasn't unexpected as he was due his comeuppance. the hound confronting zombie mountain to set up the cleganebowl? fan service head exploding. i wasn't sure how cersei would react to the truce. when she agreed i cheered, when she reneged i booed, but her backstabbing way is classic cersei so i shouldn't be surprised. i was worried that jaime was going to get killed by the zombie mountain but relieved that he didn't. i was surprised that he left cersei's side to run off to fight with team targaryen. finally, that ending with the ice dragon blowing the hell out of the eastwatch-by-the-sea wall? i got a real 9/11 twin towers getting destroyed vibe. it was so devastatingly horrible yet at the same time so spectacular in its epicness. and it seemed so easy too, like of course they would zombify a dead dragon and turn its powers against the wall, in hindsight i'm curious why they never tried it sooner. and when they showed the white walker king riding the dragon? mike drop. so much goodness in this episode, now i can't wait for the very last season to begin.