Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Is How My Garden Grows.

Holla back, jardiƱieros!

(Click on photo for an enlargement.)

On request, here is an update on my little garden.

I'm certainly going to have zucchinis growing out of my ears in a month's time.

This is a detail of the largest blossom I've got on the zucchini. I hear they're good fried, too, but I don't want to jinx the whole crop by prematurely aborting the veg itself.

I've got 4 big plants and then 2 more that came from seeds but I thought were all dug up by cats/squirrels/demons. The 4 "bush zucchinis" each have about a dozen blossoms and are bursting with deliciousness already.

The sugar snap peas are not looking great. Something's gotten to the leaves, so they just look like sad little squirts of silly string. I hope they're able to grow properly. You can see them (trying to) go up the fence behind the zucchini in the last photo of this post.

As for the tomatoes: wow!

Some are almost as high as me, which, in case those of you who haven't seen me in a while have forgotten, is very high! My housemate, "The Big Tomato" L, was helping me prune them. She's ruthless when it comes to snapping off suckers. I hope it helps the yield, but I'm a little concerned that they'll fall over on themselves anyway.

Little green marbles of proto-tomatoes are appearing. I wager in a couple more weeks they'll be ripe and L will start to bathe her teeth in acid like she did last summer. (Did you know I have some enamel erosion and my dentist told me to steer clear of acidy tomatoes? The Horror!)

This is my rosemary shrub. I have fantasies of my own focaccia. I have made bread twice in my life, but I dream of making my own focaccia with my own rosemary.

If you remember, I planted strawberries, dreaming of fresh, sweet, ruby treats from my own back yard and not bullshit California. Well, my big disappointment was: strawberries only produce fruit in their second year. Blah! I'm a renter! I'm a transient! I don't know where I'm going to be next year! (I could be in California for all I know!)

The cruellest part is: I have to prune any blossoms it does produce this year so it can use all that energy to establish itself as a good fruiting plant next year.

This is my beet box. It's not doing so great, either. Something is nibbling on the greens, and I don't know if the roots are growing to be delicious! I have to wait and see. I do know that the ones in the sun are thriving compared to the ones with less sun - they're all but dead.

Here's a creepy peek into the way my mind works: when one of my housemates dubbed it the "beet box" my first thought was (and this seemed to be a rational, scientific thought), "Justin Timberlake is coming over." Yeah. Welcome to my life.

So, in closing, here's a good shot of my dresser drawers-cum-planters. I found the dresser on the sidewalk and kicked the bottom panels out to raise the soil level. You might be able to spot the wild spearmint growing to the left of the frame. It's really invasive, but that's fine by me, because I got all the fixins for mojitos!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Holy Crap: Oscars News.

The Academy is going to have TEN Best Picture nominees for the next awards show. Apparently it's the way it was back in the 30s and 40s.

It's going to make my life a great deal more difficult, as I really like to see all nominees for Best Picture by the time they're awarded.

My Oscars reviews and prestidigitations:

2005 Predictions

2005 Post-Mortem

2006 Predictions

2006 Post-Mortem

2007 Predictions

2007 Post-Mortem

2008 Predictions

2008 Post-Mortem

2009 Predictions and Post-Mortem

My Oscars Date

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Remake Of "The Shining"?

I recently re-read "Pride and Prejudice."

It makes me so happy. It's funny as all get-out, achingly romantic, and bittersweet. It had been about 4-5 years since I last read it, so I needed some help from my go-to Austen guru, Jax.

What, you might ask, is the natural follow-up the euphoria of P&P?

How about the classic horror novel, "The Shining"?


I'm an idiot.

But, by god, "The Shining" is good. It got it for $0.99 at a Value Village and thought it was a good size to read on the streetcar. I'd never read any Stephen King, and I'm not generally a fan of the horror genre at all. To be fair, I haven't read much.

There's no wonder he's known as the master of horror - King is so adept at cultivating dread, I was on tenterhooks before the Torrence family even got to the damned Overlook Hotel.

I was also surprized by how many changes were made in the 1980 film adaptation. Jack, the father, and Danny, the son with "the shining," experienced a lot of things that were not in the Kubrick classic, and other things that weren't in the book at all that were added in the film.

The book was way scarier. Way scarier. Last week there was a raging lightning storm that woke me up at 1am. I thought some reading might lull me back to sleep, but it happened to be the chapter with the corpse lady ghost in room 217. A corpse lady ghost! Jeez god.

Still, perhaps the makers of the movie adaptation simply couldn't do justice to the horrors described in the novel - CGI would now cover it, but the technology of the late 70s wouldn't have.

I couldn't help but wonder who would play Jack Torrence in a remake. It would be a big pair of shoes to fill after Jack Nicholson's iconic performance in the original. Still, if the re-make was true to the novel in a way the Kubrick film wasn't, a new one would be so different, maybe an actor would be up to putting his own stamp on it.

Might I suggest Ryan Reynolds? Too hunky? Ryan Gosling? Still too hunky? I think they would be good, though. Jack has to be about 30, but have chops. Who? Oh! Maybe Joshua Jackson - not too hunky, but should be able to handle the rage cage of the Overlook.

How about Ryan Reynolds? Wait...

(It would be a monumental mistake to remake this movie, I know, but there's nothing new in the world and there's certainly nothing new in the world of cinema these days. {Let's look at movies out right now: Star Trek, Land of the Lost, Angels and Demons (ger-ow), Night at the Museum 2, Wolverine...})

I might have to pick up another King novel.

In the meantime, to cleanse the palatte, I'm now reading Carlo Petrini's "Slow Food Nation." It's basically making me sad and angry. It makes me want to put a push on my dream on moving back the east coast, building my own house with a root cellar and growing an epic garden of heirloom veg.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Two Scots In A Row.

I've been watching more and more Craig Ferguson. His frenetic giddiness is fun to watch. He gets excited and makes effete gestures.

On Monday, I turned it on in time to see this clip, no intro, no explanation - just utter nonsense:

If you're not sure, and think Craig is just a dip, listen to how he eulogizes his father.

Part One:

Part Two:

Also, he addresses making fun of celebrities and his qualms thereof:

Well, I think his show is a real gem. It's not always polished and it's rarely high-brow, and I have a problem with some of the embedded advertizing he's done in the past, but I think all the chinks makes it all the more endearing.