it was rainy for most of the day. just sort of a mist that makes the plants happy but not enough to fill the rain barrels. i packed up 3 6-pack of nigella seedlings and 3 green bitter melon plants and walked down to the community garden. now that i've planted my seedlings, i'll probably be going down to the garden every day to check on their progress, like a new parent. i was giving one bitter melon to ann, and another one to david. i was hoping to see them so i could tell them about my gifts, and just my luck, ann showed up with some new seedlings she'd bought.

i planted the bitter melon between the 2 long beans, and the nigella seedlings on the western edge of my plot, the side that doesn't have the most sun. i also took straw from a large bag on the sharing rock and used it to mulch my grow bags.

i'm very proud of my garden layout this season. the flowering chives especially, like a sea of pink pom poms surrounding my grow bags. to be honest though, it's a bit hard to move around, and i've used up every available space. there still maybe a spot or two for that habanero seedling and a future thai basil, but that's about it. i'm curious to see how well the trellises will perform once my vining plants start growing and filling out.

i then went around the garden taking photos of the various flowers. rainy days are the best for photography, the rain gives the plants a dramatic flourish. also, nobody comes to the garden when it's rainy, so i have the place all to myself.

i returned home by 11:45am. i threw a chicken cordon bleu in the oven and waited for it to finish baking, approximately 40 minutes. by the time the noontime news was over, my lunch was ready. i ate while finishing watching everything everywhere all at once. i can't believe the film only had a budget of $25 million, it looked a lot more expensive given the amount of visual effects, compared to $70 for the northman, which looked like a much cheaper (though still beautiful) movie.

the rest of the day was waiting for 6pm, the start of the monthly cambridge board of zoning appeal meeting. my sister was contesting the business across the street from her, the owners wanted to turn it into a night club. they've already been having loud and alcohol-filled weekend special events for months now without a permit, with the caveat that the event organizers bring their own permit, the owners just turn a blind eye.

i biked down to the cafe beforehand. not only was my sister attending the meeting - virtually via zoom - but so was my father, both abutters. i helped him set up using my laptop. when the meeting started, they had a list of residential zoning cases to go through before they could get to the commercial cases. we had to sit through cases of homeowners and developers who want to expand or rebuild their houses, but there's always a neighbor who complains. every case was either represented by a lawyer or architect, in some cases both, and occasionally the owner would phone in and voice their own opinion, followed by abutters who either objected or supported the decision. all the residential zoning cases were granted in the end, and it was interesting to hear the cases, even though it seems like such a bureaucratic waste of time, and they could get through them much faster.

while waiting for our case to come up, my mother pan-grilled some steaks and i had a piece for dinner. the only way to properly cook steaks is over the barbecue grill. but i was hungry and quickly ate my piece.

it wasn't until 7:15pm before they got to the commercial cases. our case was the 5th one. first two cases were t-mobile related, as they wanted to expand some antenna towers. even though they were approved, the chairman had to read through a lengthy chunk of legalese. 3rd case of the nearby mexican restaurant wanting to revert their property back into a single family home. the 4th case involved the inman square clover restaurant that wanted to expand their business into an adjacent store, but they were facing stiff residential opposition, with various complaints about noisy deliveries in the middle of the night or employees loitering outside. the board wanted to give them more time address neighbor's complaint, but the next meeting would be until 2 months, so clover decided to have the hearing anyway, despite the risk of not getting the zoning decision. in the end the board granted their expansion, but the situation with their neighbors given to the licensing board to settle.

finally - 9pm - our case was up. in the end we didn't have to do anything. the owners - represented by a friend who also happened to be a lawyer and was just "hired" a week ago - wrote in their proposal that they wanted a night club permit. the lawyer said that was a mistake, but that seemed to have poisoned the well. the board chairman also noticed the lack of parking space. for a property of their size, they require at least 7 parking spaces; at most they have one. the chairman told the lawyer he could file for a variance explaining why they didn't need to have so many parking spaces, but the earliest the case could be addressed would be in another month.

so we sat through 3+ hours of zoning board bureaucracy, only for the board itself to not even entertain the idea of the zoning request. at least know we know where to submit our evidence of license violations, but even without it, our sense is the case will never get approved. in the meantime another event is scheduled for this weekend, according to my sister.

i quickly hurried home, to catch the final few minutes of the first half of game 2 between the celtics-heat. marcus smart and al horford were coming back tonight. i must've missed something good because the score was 70-45 in favor of the celtics. in the second half, the heat came back to life, but the lead was insurmountable, and the celtics managed to match them point by point even when they subbed in all their bench players, for a final score of 127-102.