Entertaining miscellany for the locksmith and horticulturist
I have to do tackle some PR stuff before bed, but I’ve been putting off a “Hey, look at my kids!” kind of entry for a while, so here’s a quick update on my lovely children.
This year, in addition to the mustard greens and mint that survived the winter, I’ve planted mini-carrots and edamame, which essentially are a kind of soybean commonly eaten steaming hot on a the summer afternoon with really cold draft beer. I can’t explain how wonderful this is. Below you can see both making their way through the soil last week, provided you have really good eyes. I would have put up bigger pictures but I figured it wasn’t worth blowing the bandwidth on hi-res baby pictures of green follicles.
From the wider shots you can my three boxes laid out of my lovely southern-facing window, with the obligatory marigolds to supposedly ward off hungry neighborhood insects. Next to the yellow marigolds is what I call “mystery plant A”, since I didn’t conscientiously install this but it’s doing fantastic on its own. The current theory is that this is the result of a really hardcore seed that I planted last year that never amounted to anything. So something could have germinated, sprouted, died, laid low, and now has decided to come back in full force. I was going to tear it up and use the real estate for some other vegetable, but it’s gotten so big in the last two weeks I think it’s past the point where I can do such a thing in clear conscience. Personally, I find this a wonderful new perspective for my views about abortion. In any case, if you asked me what I thought it is, I’d say either pansies or oregano, but probably the latter since it hasn’t blossomed yet.
In the third box from the left (which receives the most sun), we have a wonderful return of my spearmint from last season, facilitated mostly by some prudent pruning a couple weekends ago. I got rid of all the dead stuff and cauterized ends from prior clippings, and then cleaned out all the dried-up leaves and cherry blossoms. It’s now doing fantastic and already harvestable. Judging from how things went last year, I’m sure I’ll have more than I know what to do with before too long. As you can see it’s grown from the far right, where I sowed the seeds initially, all the way to the other end of the box, essentially making a carpet of mint beneath the mustard green-canopied forest.
Speaking of the mustard greens, you can see how ridiculous this situation has become. Until the end of March, the two stalks I had coming out were still the same peak height they reached last season, about eight to ten inches. However, since we got that warm snap right around the beginning of April, they poured the juice they’d saved all winter into vertical growth (much like everything else in Tokyo for lack of horizontal space), and now are at an astonishing four feet tall. I cannot explain how weird this is. They grew not only up beyond the top of the window and to the roof’s overhang, but AROUND it, reaching past the rain gutter and sprouting yellow flowers unto the loving sun. As amazing and proud a parent I am, I’m almost certain that it’ll end up choking itself to death in the tiny pot. I’m sure the soil beneath it is a solid block of roots as it is. If only I had some organic-based, first floor real estate and Noah Wyle to assist in a transplant (sic).
On the west side of the house we see “mystery plant B” which is making an equally endearing rush for life in a pot formerly dedicated to my ill-fated keitou. Though this pot is really meant for something taller and more grand, again, I can’t bring myself to taking life vainly in the name of more attractive blossoms. A garnish of some sort, dark green grass seems to be growing alongside this leafy upstart. You may also notice my Christmas tree, Koji II, still appearing happy to be outdoors and have the sun. Pictures of the spider plant twins will come later, they were just moved into new homes yesterday.
Lastly, I’ve provided a little look at my poor 2003 Enjoy, which in recent days, in addition to a rusting out basket has recently suffered another blow to its ego in the form of a broken wheel lock. This was done by my own hand; as you may remember I lost the key the week before while on a drunken tour of misdemeanors. I thought it would be a lot harder to break the lock, and almost carried it a shop to pay fifteen bucks for a new one, but disturbingly enough all it took was about half a dozen wacks with my dollar-hammer to make the hasp catch and the lock spring open. No wonder so many bikes are stolen. This procedure wasn’t completely without misfortune though as I was performing the operation at about half past eight and apparently woke up my neighbor who sleeps right behind the wall where I tether my steed. Although it was pretty rude on my part, I did have a hard time not laughing when he threw open the window and said in the best groggy-old-guy-anime’-voice ever, “Douyattennoooo?!?” (Whatthehellaaredoing?!)