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July 2009
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September 2009

I'm Going on Vacation

I am just now getting excited (and suddenly a little anxious) about my upcoming trip to Chicago with my BFF, where "upcoming" means I'm flying out THIS Thursday evening. I have been pretty nonchalant about this trip, I guess because I'm such a "seasoned traveller", but this air of "Oh, yeah, I'm going to Chicago over Labour Day weekend, whatever" I've been giving off has at least one of my coworkers concerned. She asked me about the trip this morning - how excited I must be and how organized I must be and how I must be all ready to go and how I'm just counting down the days/hours/minutes till I leave, and I told her I had only just brought my suitcase in from the garage yesterday and hadn't yet taken it out of its protective plastic covering. *shrugs*

She was shocked and now that I think about it, so am I. It's true, usually I am not only already packed by now, but have changed my wardrobe several times and made sure I had all the right accessories and shoes to go with each and every outfit. But, not this time. I have a couple ideas in my head, but really, since this is a casual, non-themed trip, I'm really just planning to pack jeans and t-shirts, maybe a sweater or two and a nice outfit for our one fancy dinner on Saturday night.

I have yet to check the weather forecast for Chicago. Normally I'm obessivly checking the weather of my destination city and/or state once or twice a day, mostly to see if I need to make any changes to my wardrobe or maybe include an umbrella or pair of gloves. This time? Not at all. It hasn't even crossed my mind to see what's happening weatherwise in the midwest. I have no idea if it's going to be sunny and warm, or rainy and cold, and I'm afraid I don't really care. 

I don't know what my problem is. It's not that I'm not excited about this vacation because I am: I love Chicago and hanging out with my BFF is always fun (except for last March, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be no trips to the ER this time!). And I have always enjoyed travelling despite what a pain in the butt it's become, so I just can't figure out why I'm not squeeing over this trip. Maybe I'll be excited on Thursday when I'm strapped into the plane, sipping on my cup of water (out of a bottle, not the tap!) and munching on pretzels, flipping through the latest SkyMall or Hemispheres magazines. Maybe then.

Sunday in the Garden

It has been hotter than madness around here lately, but the Earthbox garden is still holding its own. For the most part.


I really thought that zucchini plant was a goner, but here it's got two large, yellow blossoms! The little pepper plant is doing really well, too and has some blossoms of its own, although they're white instead of yellow:



The other two pepper plants are doing really well, and one of them has finally delivered a beautiful red pepper:



The ginormous tomato plant is still ginormous and still covered with tomatoes, though most of them are still green right now:


And, finally the little Early Girl tomato plant that has been hanging on by the skin of its roots this year actually has a few red toms on it:


Generally everything is looking pretty good considering the hot, dry weather we've been having. Luckily it's supposed to cool down a bit this next week (into the 90s, what a relief!). Of course it won't really matter much to me as I'll be off to Chicago on Thursday to celebrate my BFF's birthday in the Windy City!

Teaser Tuesday: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser today comes from page 78 of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book:

Bod fell, tumbling through the darkness like a lump of marble, too startled to be scared, wondering how deep the hole beneath that grave could possibly be, when two strong hands caught him beneath the armpits and he found himself swinging forward through the pitch-blackness.

Bod had not experienced total darkenss for many years.

This is the first Gaiman bood I've read, although I've been hearing great things about him for years. I must admit I'm really enjoying this book and think I might become a Neil Gaiman fan myself.

Gardening Update

Happy Sunday! It's a weird, humid, party cloudy day, but even so it's been lovely. I slept in, drank coffee and watched my new favourite obsession, Yard Crashers (Ahmed, please crash my yard!!! I need help and lots of it!), and the European GP I recorded from early this morning (Congrats, Rubens!! Awesome drive and well-deserved win!). Now, it's time to check out the Earthbox garden:


No, you're not imagining things - the tomato plant at the top of the picture IS starting to fall over! It's so huge and weighted down with fruit the bar that's supposed to support it is losing the battle with gravity.

The little Early Girl tomato plant that wasdying at the beginning of the summer is still hanging on to life:


And it's still producing little tomatoes:


The zucchini plant is nearly done, I think. I didn't see any more little squash and the couple blossoms I did see were dried out and crumbly. The little bell pepper that shares a Box with it seems to be making a bit of a comeback, however:



The other two bell pepper plants are still going strong, although they're still quite small. I am holding out hope that eventually we'll get some red peppers out of these plants as we've done in the past.



And, here's the ginormous Big Boy tomato plant - yes, that's just ONE tomato plant:


It is amazing how big this plant is and how loaded with tomatoes it is:


The tomatoes we've harvested have been delicious - juicy and sweet! My mom and I have been enjoying the tastiest BLTs lately!

And now it's time to relist my crap, er, stuff, yeah, stuff, really super nice stuff for sale on eBay, catch up on Twitter and Facebook, fix some lunch and take a nap. Oh, how I love lazy Sundays!

Teaser Tuesday: Zenith by Julie Bertagna


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser this week is from Page 60 of Zenith by Julie Bertanga:

This is not land. The ship has smashed into a floating city. And horribly, the ship's engines are still driving forward, smashing the city's bridges and boats.

Musing Mondays: Movies from Books


How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?


I always prefer to read the book before seeing the movie, unless it’s a type of book I’m not really interested in reading, such as pure science fiction. I don’t usually like to read all the technical/scientific stuff the pure sci-fi books include, but I love watching sci-fi movies (Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001: a Space Odyssey, etc.). I haven’t been too terribly disappointed in a movie based on a book with a couple exceptions: Bambi by Felix Salten (the Disneyfied version was cute and all, but they totally left out Faline’s brother Gobo) and Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Pay it Forward is an awesome book, and when I first heard a movie was being made from it I was SO excited. Then I saw the cast list and was mortified. The adult male lead? Who is very clearly described in the book as a black man? Would be played by Kevin Spacey, who is, last time I checked, white.


Really, Hollywood? I'm sure Kevin Spacey is a good actor and all, but c'mon! Surely there is a black male actor out there who could've just as easily played the part of Reuben (yes, they changed his name as well as his colour!)! Like, oh, I don't know, Lawrence Fishburn? Denzel Washington? Heck, even Wil Smith could've pulled it off, I bet!


Oh, and they changed the ending as well (which I'm sure happens to a lot of books that are made into movies, but there was really no reason to do it with this one because the ending CRH wrote is PERFECT IN AND OF ITSELF!!!)! Plus a bunch of other stuff was unnecessarily changed for the movie. Why, Hollywood? Why?


Gah! Even after all this time, I'm still really mad about it! (And it's not even MY book!) Mad to the point where when I first heard about the casting (or miscasting, imho), I decided I would not ever see that movie. I just couldn't bear to see a book I really loved and enjoyed so thoroughly ripped apart for no apparent reason whatsoever. To this day, I never have seen it. I'm sure it's a very good movie, but the original book with all its original characters, ideas and ending is good enough for me and always will be.


Phew! Sorry for the little tirade, but that really upset me. It was just so wrong on so many levels!


More recent movies I've seen based on books I've read have been much better. I'm talking about Twilight, Harry Potter series and Inkheart, specifically. These films followed the books as closely as possible, have fantastic casts, and are really very good. I see now that Where the Wild Things Are has been made nto a movie. At first I was terrified - what would they do to my beloved childhood book?!? Recently, however, I saw the trailer for it and it looks fantastic! In fact, I'm excited to see it! My fingers and toes are crossed!

A Gardening Update

After mowing the lawn last night (and SO glad I did since the air quality in SLO County is terrible right nowso there's no way I could do it tonight, and who knows? it could be bad all weekend!), I went to the back and checked out the garden for the first time in several weeks:


The dying tomato plant is still trying to hang in there, but really doesn't look very good:


The zucchini plant looks like its on its last legs (although it's still producing - we harvested one and there's another that should be ready this weekend) and the bell pepper plant beside it looks kinda sad:


The other two pepper plants, however, look great, although they're not very tall. They are still producing:



This tomato plant is SO BIG I couldn't even get the whole thing in the frame:



And it's COVERED in tomatoes:


In the end, mom and I came in with a little zucchini, a few peppers and some tomatoes:


I may end up stuffing the peppers and using the tomatoes for BLTs. LOTS of BLTs!