Welcome to my blog, and thanks for stopping by. I'm a Hong Kong-born global nomad, currently based in Boston where I'm finishing a law degree at Harvard. I love to travel, explore new cultures and make people laugh. When I'm not trapped in the law library, I can be found camera in hand, occasionally in a tree. Feel free to drop me a line or get in touch on facebook or twitter!
I love commencement season. I know some find the speeches silly but each year some truly inspiring ones emerge that remind us of what the big picture is. This year Oprah will be giving our commencement speech, and I’m excited to hear what she has to say (and maybe the slight glimmer of hope that one of her new favorite things will be under my chair)
I came across this incredible commencement speech by David Foster Wallace, originally given to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College, but wasn’t popularized until his death three years later. It’s a powerful reminder to be conscious of the invisible, and the true meaning and value of an education
I never understood why my brother constantly talked about the weather in Boston. New England in winter often feels like it’s never going to end. And just when you’ve forgotten what sunshine feels like, Spring arrives bringing along with the irresistible urge to be outside.
Last Sunday I joined some friends for brunch at the Harvard Faculty club. We’re all graduating in three weeks, and it was a really special way to round out our year together. The Harvard faculty club is hidden just beyond Harvard yard and is open to all Harvard affiliates, even students who are attending summer school. It serves up a really impressive brunch. Mimosas? Eggs Benedict? Oh stop. You had me at unlimited macarons.
Spotted in the Harvard Yard quad – giant teddy bear, small dorm room.
I paused for a minute, not sure whether she was making fun of me or just kidding. And then it hit me. I’ve probably become the plant version of the crazy cat lady, haven’t I. Any newbie gardener will be able to relate to the little victories I experience. Signs that I’m slowly developing a green thumb, like seeing sprouts rear their heads, or watching a wilted plant spring back up after forgetting to water it for a couple of days. This morning I reached out of my window and saw my first strawberries ripen. I swear, it was like being Captain Ahab, and spotting Moby Dick. Strawberries, AHOY!!!
I’m currently growing Quinault and Sequoia strawberries (and possibly a third variety, I’m not entirely positive). Quinault is an ever-bearing variety, which will put out berries throughout the season, whereas the Sequoia is June-bearing and will give me a flush of berries in a month’s time.
The above two are what remains from the first batch of flowers the Quinault plant produced. I either need to get my own bees, or get better at pollination. Apparently prodding flowers with a Q-tip isn’t really effective plantsexypartytimes and I only got two berries, while all the others shriveled up. (You see what I mean by little victories? It feels like one step forward, two steps back.)
I did manage to get two beautiful strawberries which finally ripened today. I’ve heard the first few aren’t very sweet, but I assure you – they were delicious. Sun-ripened, and freshly plucked from the plant. Willy Wonka couldn’t make candy that tastes better than this.
And just to round off a strawberry-laden post, here’s a shot of a baby strawberry plant developing on a runner. Strawberries are creepers and will shoot out little clones of itself. It is by far the easiest way to grow strawberries. Once the runner gets big enough, just stick it in some potting soil and it will take root and even send out additional runners. Strawberries. Truly the plant that keeps on giving.
It’s finals season and predictably, the caffeine in my bloodstream (which normally hovers between hyperactive and “manic chipmunk”), has spiked through the roof. Last week was rough. And I mean really rough. But despite the exhaustion, I somehow managed to finish my thesis, sit an exam, attend my graduation ball and write two papers all within 4 days. When you’re dragging your sleep-deprived self from warm bed to cold library, there is no sweeter sight than your faithful Keurig, and no aroma more wonderful than coffee. For it means active brain function is not far away, and maybe, just maybe you’ll make it through another dusty tome of constitutional law.
But then, what to do with all those k-cup pods? What especially, when you have a bounty of basil seedlings and not enough pots? Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the k-cup garden. For this is what emerges from my caffeine-and-law-addled brain at 3AM in the morning.
Method: Peel off the foil label, dump out old coffee, and tear away the interior coffee filter – and you have yourself a perfect little pod for growing seedlings. Fill with potting soil and seeds/seedlings. Just make sure you punch a few more holes for drainage at the bottom (I ahem.. may or may not have returned to my Keurig for that part)
I repotted at least two in each pod and intend on thinning them as they get bigger. This is the one lesson I learned from my first attempt at container gardening. Seedlings will remain dwarfed if you don’t thin them. In a week or two I’ll snip off the weaker seedlings and leave the strongest one behind.
Ta Da!… now if you excuse me, I have to troop back to the library now. Le sigh.