Strangers in Woodward Park
A local homeowner really likes Christmas. Every year, he keeps making his light display more spectacular, and it includes broadcasting music over his own radio station. Drivers can stop (turn off headlights, please), tune in, and enjoy the synchronized music and light show. Here is a brief sample; sorry for the occasional shakiness and the few cars that went by–they couldn’t be avoided. Also, just as a disclaimer, I don’t know the music or the artists. YouTube was able to identify them and had me electronically acknowledge that I don’t have claim to the copyrights. Well, duh. It’s not like I’m the one broadcasting them over the radio. Anyway, please enjoy!
Note, Benny: The following blog post was written before the July 25 blog post.
When I started this blog, I decided I would, above all else, not waste readers’ time on useless posts that say or accomplish nothing. Otherwise you’re bored, I’m bored, and nobody gives a rodent’s behind. As Hugh Grant’s character George Wade says in Two Weeks’ Notice (I corrected the apostrophe for them): “It would be impossible to tell you how boring it will be, because (beat) it would be too boring.” So no excuses, no laments about how busy I’ve been, no same-o/lame-o.
Instead, let me tell you about my awesome new kitchen container gardening plants! Oh, yes: not content to go outside in triple-degree heat daily to ice-water my existing container garden plants and make sure they are protected from the maliciously burning sun, I rescued some leftover and bedraggled herb starts from a local store. This local store, which I won’t name (it rhymes with tall heart, all art, and fall start—as well as with all fart, come to think of it) keeps its plants outside. Nothing wrong with this at all—until July hits and we all start withering. No amount of watering by even the most diligent store employees can keep up with the cruel full sun of an Oklahoma summer. Most of the herbs were utterly, inexorably, profoundly dead. As my friend Monkey says, it gives me the sads.
However, I managed to find a few starts that, having the good fortune of being in the back, under the shade of the shelf above, were actually managing to hang on. The flat-leaf parsley (a must for decent tabouli) literally fell apart when I picked it up. The peat pot was soaked so thoroughly in an effort to combat the heat, the plant fell through the bottom. Poor little fella! I scooped it up in one of the store’s plastic sacks and bought it anyway. He had survived that long in less-than ideal conditions, so who was I to condemn him? Plants, like people and cats, just need some love. I also found similarly salvageable rosemary and Greek Oregano. (Mom: what’s the difference between Greek oregano and regular oregano? Me: it has an accent.)
The problem is I do not like most commercial pots, but I love container gardening. Specifically, I do not like commercial pot prices. 20 to 50 dollars for a machine-produced piece of clay pottery, glazed or not, or cast concrete, is ludicrous to me. For that, they should be hand crafted by Lithuanian artisans according to secret techniques handed down over no fewer than 17 generations, or at least by war-refugee amputees who are eking out a living making lopsided, misshapen pots. At least then I could feel like a philanthropist of sorts: yes, this pot cost $30, but my money is going to feed an entire village of orphans in Darfur for a year. I’ll think fondly of the little darlings every time I harvest basil for my spaghetti sauce.
Alas, the one-armed, orphaned third-world potters haven’t been selling their wares around here, or, if they are, they have very poor marketing.
I turned instead to the kitchenware department and selected three 4-quart clear glass bowls, made in the U.S.A., thank you very much, Anchor Hocking! (I forgive you for confusing me in my youth by your name—I never did figure out how one could hock an anchor.) I placed about 3/4-inch of pebbles in the bottom of each pot, then mixed a commercial organic potting mix with perlite for the soil. The results are simply yummy. Usually, herbs just look like plants to me. But since they are in serveware, these make you want to dig right in and eat. Even though they have scarcely had time to grow since I bought them, I have already used some oregano and rosemary in my cooking.
A couple of advisory notes, though, for those wanting to follow suit: when indoors, due to the lack of porosity and drainage, the soil stays damp for a long time. After about 10 days, I had concerns about growing mold, so I moved mine back outdoors. In less than 2 days, they had dried completely, and were ready for more. They are also scalding to the touch, so I can’t move them without gloves. Eventually, I want to get a metal plant cart to hold them. That should help protect them from accidental breakage from acts-of-klutz, as well as adding style and mobility to my container garden.
My friend, who recently moved to Florida, has been quizzing me on all sorts of container gardening information for her new townhouse’s patio. This, along with incorporating a food-growing project into my English classes this past semester, has inspired me to get planting. Over the last couple of days, I’ve planted bay, ginger, stevia, 2 kinds of basil, 3 kinds of mint, and, to fight those pesky Green Country mosquitos, citronella. Not only do I love working my hands into a nice, rich, organic soil–I always loved playing in the mud as a child–but I will get the satisfaction of eating something that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic and coated with who-knows-what.
I stopped at a roadside gardening stand yesterday to pick up some daisies for my mother, and the sales clerk there charmed me with her skill at tying a simple sheet of plastic into a carrying sack for the plant. This seems like a handy skill to have, so I grabbed my camera and decided to pass this one on. It could be used with fabric as well.
Don’t get the idea that I think about nothing but television, or specifically the show Chuck, but I came across a couple of YouTube videos of the Jeffster swan song from the series finale I’d like to share. And if you haven’t seen the finale, this is a pretty major spoiler, so you’ve been warned.
In one of the final scenes, Chuck and the team must capture the bad guy, Quinn, and diffuse the “sonic bomb” he has placed under Gen. Beckman’s concert hall seat: if she gets up, or when the music stops, the bomb will explode. It’s time for Jeff and Lester, a.k.a. the 80s cover band Jeffster, to step up.
First, watch this clip, taken and posted by a crew member of the show, which features the complete song, start to finish. Next, watch this completed scene from the episode. Besides the shots of the other actors being cut into the scene, we see special effects, more creative camera angles, and better shots of their faces. This illustrates the work that goes into producing any show; it is truly a collective effort.
And while this may not have a lot to do with being female, it sure is a lot of fun.