Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Teh Runway

Oh yeah! Project Runway is back! The initial eps are always a bit slow, but looks promising so far. Fun to see Austin back! He was always one of my favorites. You gotta love a guy who will wear makeup and be no-holds-barred gay gay gay on national television. I see him as someone who has found his place in life to be who he really is, and it's beautiful. Sorry to get all sentimental there for a moment, but really, if you were some gay kid in East Nowheresville, suffering the jerks in high schiool (well, wait, didn't we all suffer jerks in high school? but I digress), well, I can just picture that kid seeing Austin and thinking, Man, there is hope for me. When I get to New York I am going to let it all out! I gotta be me, I just gotta be me! I hope that kid has cable.

Anyway. Tim's awesomeness continues. Heidi looks gorgeous as always, although it looked at one point like she forgot her pants. Sure, if you are a super-hot supermodel you can wear a short dress, 3 kids or no 3 kids, but somehow this just didn't work for me.

I was pretty surprised at who went home. I thought it would be the other guy. I think here we have a clear case of good-TV-potential outweighing designing talent. And how crazy is that crazy lady? She makes Ms. Spit-Mark from last season look like Walter Cronkite.

Can't wait to see what's up this week!


Such was my response to Kherington getting voted off of SY last week. Sigh. I had a soft spot for her. Oh well, gives Comfort a little more time to shake her thing, although I don't think she's got a lot more time left. Am loving the mixing up of the couples, and how about that Joshua? That man be workin' it. I realized that with Gev gone all the guys left are my faves, so I am pretty happy from now on. Especially if they take off their shirts. Not to be too shameless. I have never been a big Courtney fan, so once she is gone the other girls are also ones I like. But maybe Courtney is growing on me. They should tell her to lay off the self-tanner when she's standing next to, say, pasty-white Gev. I guess the only white (ish) guy left is Mark so at least they won't have that problem anymore. I do think the wardrobe department has gone completely insane this season. Maybe they're taking advice from Mary Murphy. (shudder)

My garden is trucking along. I'm having trouble lately with how to keep it properly fertilized without overwatering. We've had plenty of rain, but the fertilizers are designed to be dissolved in water, so I don't know what to do. A bona fide little eggplant is hanging out at the base of a stem. It's so cute! The yellow cherry tomatoes are coming along and I've harvested a few. It really makes you realize what giant farms the people who sell at the farmer's market must have, to be able to sell quarts upon quarts of tomatoes or blueberries, because from my one plant I get about two ripe cherry tomatoes at a time, once or twice a week. The red cherry tomatoes are like in stasis or something, along with the big tomatoes and my many zucchini plants. I'm hoping August will bring more production. Blossom-end rot, chipmunks, and cucumber beetles are still my big nemeses.

Speaking of Latin plurals, is there a fitness instructor anywhere in the country who knows that the singular of "vertebrae" is "vertebra"? If I hear one more person tell me to "roll up one vertebrae at a time" I am going to lose it. I don't think that would go over too well in yoga class. And the teacher is otherwise super great, so. Perhaps best not to piss her off.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Dance" Fever

So You Think You Can Dance is on tonight. Whoo! I am typing this from the World's Hottest Guest Room (where the computer is, and A/C isn't), so I can't get into a full discussion lest I melt, but briefly: Was pretty happy with the eliminations. I think Comfort had gotten about as far as she could given her lack of training, and Thayne--he was just never my favorite. Obviously a sweet boy, but. I still love Twitchington and enjoyed the chance to see their solos. But this was a reminder that eventually everybody, even my favorites, goes home. (Well, except the winner, duh.) I'd also like to say that the krump routine was an example of how this show kicks all other dance shows' asses. OK, I never watched more than one or two eps of Dancing with the Stars, season 1 no less, because it is an affront to all that is beautiful about dance. GOD, I hate ballroom dancing, this style anyway. All the spangles and over-the-top showmanship. Don't get me started. But anyway, does that show have KRUMPING? I doubt it. And if so, do they krump to songs like 2 Buck 4 TV? I doubt it even more. This fucking rocked. I may be a white girl from NH without, alas, a drop of soul, but I LOVE krumping, and the faster and harder and dirtier the better. Compare to Step It Up and Dance, which features such gems as "Umbrella" and that dippy Gwen Stefani song. And their hip-hop dancing was repetitive and dull.

I can't wait for Will's partner to go. Mia is right, she is dragging him down. Luckily we know the judges would slit their own throats before they let him go. But did they have to torment us with shots of the divine Miss Allen? I love her. Oh well. I guess it's worth it to keep him in the competition. I totally called it, by the way, that he was just as good as the Alvin Ailey dancers. I was watching them and commented to T that although the SY dancers are very good, the pros were orders of magnitude better and you could really see a difference. Then Will came out for his solo and I said, He must have been backstage watching the AA guys and thinking, Got to bring it! And he did. Love you, Will.

Still hate the quickstep. Stop the insanity! Speaking of which, Mary's outfit was as hideous as usual. And could she visit a cosmetic dentist, because her horsey teeth and gums are really getting on my nerves.

That's all that occurs to me at the moment. Still have a deep love for Chelsie and Mark. Can't wait to see what they do this week!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Amazing what a few weeks of heat and sun will do. Here are the latest photos.

If only I knew why Blogger is posting this zucchini pic portrait-style instead of landscape (as I took it and as it appears in Picasa). But here they are! They were very yummy. At left you can see a flower still attached. The female flowers become zucchini (sort of--a swelling at the flower's base becomes the fruit), and the males just grow on stalks. Then bees or other bugs facilitate the magic of pollination. These flowers are absolutely delicious dipped in batter and fried and salted. Especially with Parmigiano-Reggiano, as I accidentally discovered last night. (I guess I knew this, but I had forgotten. I gave ASH some cheese for dinner and when he didn't eat it, I thought, "Yay, I get to eat it!" and made the happy discovery of how good the flowers and cheese are together.) Marcella Hazan says use a cup of water to 2/3 cup flour (sifting the flour slowly into the water and mixing well to avoid lumps), although I find I usually need a bit more flour than this (you want it to be like thick cream, or maybe melted ice cream or something), and I halve the recipe because this is way too much. Dip the flower in briefly and let the excess drain off, then fry in a skillet of hot oil. You'll know it's hot enough when it bubbles madly when you put in the flower. Be careful. Brown lightly on both sides, drain on paper towels, salt, and serve immediately. This makes good onion rings too.

It's not the healthiest recipe, but dang, it is good. I will say that I feel faintly disconcerted about eating the pollen-covered stamen (pistil?) inside the flower, because, you know...that's like flower sperm. But whatever.

Here are my cherry tomatoes!

You forget, when you go to the farmer's market or supermarket and pick up a pint or more of these at once, that each plant produces maybe one ripe tomato at a time. At least, around July 14 they do. So that kind of stinks. But I'm hoping as the season progresses I might be able to eat, oh, 5 at a time. (And I'm a good mom and all, but I do have to fight the urge to keep most of them to myself. I'm selfish that way. But I do fight it and give [most of] the produce to ASH.) These are yellow cherry tomatoes, that's why they're so...yellow. They won't get redder. This makes it hard to know when they're really ready, though.

Eggplant! I am so proud! A little purple baby sprouts from this flower. Note our friend the bee.

Here is a yellow squash, and a flower.

Here are the overview photos.

Sadly I discovered this week that my big tomatoes are suffering, I think, blossom-end rot. I learned from this site (which I just now discovered so that I could show you all what this rot looks like), it says that the manner in which I applied calcium (as instructed by the garden center) may not in fact fix the problem. Good to know! Thank you, intarwebs. And OSU. This may be why I got the rot in the first place, since I dutifully applied liquid calcium to the leaves before the fruit even developed. So I guess it's time to buy lime.

I actually had to prune the tomatoes a little, they were taking over. And the zucchini was stealing all the sunlight from some of my basil, so it was Pesto Time this weekend. (Stop! Pesto Time!) Oh, so tasty. I had forgotten.

Well, someone is sounding very unhappy, so I think it's time I give him a bath and send him to bed. Hope everyone is enjoying a happy summer with plenty of good things to eat. And if you know someone growing zucchini, hit them up for some flowers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ASH's first joke

As promised in my first blog post. It is probably not as funny to others as it was to me, but:

The Scene: The changing table.
ASH knocks on the wall next to the table and says, "Kna kna!" (Knock-knock.)
I say, "Who's there? (We haven't really gotten into knock-knock jokes, just the knock itself, but I make the knee-jerk response.)
He says . . .(pause): "Baby!"

I don't know if he knew this is how a knock-knock joke is supposed to go (and if so, how did he know?), or if he just has natural comedic talent. That's my boy.

Maine Fourth of July

An image that pretty much sums up our weekend. If there were a pie or some pork products in the picture it would be even more accurate. Good food, good friends, a lake--what more do you need?

Sorry you can't really see the adorable face of my son (not to mention my husband), but that is sort of on purpose to thwart creepy pedophiles, who probably are not reading this blog anyway, but one never knows, do one? If you are looking for a lovely Maine getaway, may I recommend the Union area? Beautiful hills and farms and ponds, just inland from beautiful seaside Camden, and, best of all, only a few minutes from pie heaven. Try the four-berry pie. You won't be sorry. Mm mm mm. We ate pie there twice in 3 days. That's what I'm talkin' about. Weekend highlights included much drinking of coffee and alcohol, floating on rafts in the perfect-temperature lake (OK, it is technically a pond, but we are not picky), and a campfire singalong followed by a rollicking dance party lasting until Oh-My-God it's 2:30 AM! Just to give you an idea of what a fun group this was, the singalong featured songs like Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," not so much "Kum-ba-ya." We also set both marshmallows and sparklers on fire and, happily, avoided setting each other on fire. T revealed his inner caveman by bringing armloads of wood for the fire pit, over and over. Grrrr. Be still my heart! (Aside: I see now how easily a forest can get denuded, because MAN do you need a lot of wood to keep even a small fire going for a couple of hours. Imagine if that were your only fuel source.) I unleashed my inner Patsy Cline, singing "Crazy" with all the full-throated pathos of a woman betrayed, and my campfiremates were polite enough to not throw sticks at me. One person even applauded. He might have been drunk, though. ;-)

I can't wait for next year.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Away for the weekend

So my usual infrequent posting rate will be down to nil. And I haven't even gotten to finish watching So You Think You Can Dance yet! Argh! But very happy about each couple dancing twice. I had forgotten about that. Twice as much dancing, far less rehearsal blah blah blah. What's not to love? I only saw the very beginning, but am totally confirmed in my love for Chelsie and Matt, and Twitchington. And confirmed in my negative feelings for Kourtni and what's his name (they did the white-outfits hip-hop routine). They pretty much sucked. Not enough crispness, too vague, not in synch. They did not BRING IT. It was terrible. There's a reason they keep ending up in the bottom. Plenty of contemporary dancers can do some bad-ass hip-hop, and I don't think these two have a bad-ass bone in their body. More later.

Happy Fourth, everybody!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Last week I was all set for So You Think You Can Dance (aka SY). I was literally counting the days. Snickollet was coming over and I was excited to indoctrinate her into the One True Faith (although, to get ahead of myself, I'm not feeling so devoted to it this season). She is new to the show and I hope to get her good and hooked, like me. Then I spent most of Wednesday afternoon being, shall we say, indisposed with (I think) food poisoning. I left Snick a message saying maybe we should cancel. A few hours later, after the 4th and final vomiting episode, I felt miraculously restored to health. I left her another message saying I was still game if she was, though I couldn't have blamed her for not wanting to come over, in case it wasn't food poisoning. Then I saw her email message saying she had to cancel. OK, no big deal. I could still watch on my own, yeah! Cut to a few hours later, ASH is asleep, T on his way home from golf. He comes home and practically runs to change, and I'm thinking, Wow, I know he's into SO You Think You Can Dance, but I didn't think he'd RUN. I settle in with the remote and watch 2 minutes of SY before he comes down and commandeers the TV to watch his Tivo'd Germany Euro Cup game. Um, hi! I was here, ready to watch SY! I said, "You know, Snick was going to come over to watch SY tonight." And he said, "But you knew this game was today." Of course, I didn't know he HAD to watch it the very same day, but I should have, because he is German and soccer really matters. So it was lucky Snick couldn't make it after all, because I don't think any of my neighborhood bars would have been showing SY, more's the pity.

[Let's pause a moment to bow our heads for Germany's loss in the Euro Cup final.]

Then it took me another day or two to even get to watch SY and the results show, let alone blog. (Garden is doing great but it's true, it's time consuming.) I can't tell if it's the passage of time blurring my memory or what, but I continue to wait to be blown away by SY as I was almost every week last season. This week the only one that brought me back to those feelings was Matt and Chelsie's. I actually had chills watching it. One way you can tell when the dance is good is when it elevates a song you thought was just OK. I admit I turn up the radio and sing along when OneRepublic's "Apologize" comes on, because it was part of a great Danny dance last year. I'll now always associate that song and the one from Matt and Chelsie's routine with these amazing dances, and that makes them special to me.

I really like Matt, for his quirkiness and elegance and Valentino good looks. I finally figured out who he really reminds me of, though--he's like a younger, hotter, Japaneser Pee-Wee Herman. Sorry, Matt--you really are cute and not Pee-Wee-like, but I can't help it. I feel like Chelsie's just OK, but after this performance I like her a lot.

Twitchington: I love them. So cute, so funny, such good dancers. I felt like this wasn't the most PC routine in the world (is prison a dancing matter? I guess it can be, right, Elvis?), but I liked it a lot, particularly how the dance and music went together. That should go without saying, but I don't feel choreographers always work it this well. I loved the bit at the end where they go down the "elevator."

Courtney/Gev: (First--it is so annoying that there are two girls named Chelsea and two named Courtney, which would be bad enough, but then two of those 4 spell the names wrong. Don't get me started on Kherington either. Cor.) This routine was just OK for me. I think I was thrown off by the illusion that she was naked every time she turned that side to the audience. With a show this (generally) great, why can't they have a talk with the wardrobe people? Jesus, it's appalling. I thought it was a beautiful dress except for the nakedness aspect, and even that could have been appropriate on an older woman. Anyway, I'm just not loving this couple, and I didn't feel the chemistry between them. I felt like they were trying too hard.

Comfort/Chris: I like Comfort, but something about Chris doesn't do it for me. I loved this piece at the start, and then it just fell apart for me. ("I was interested, I was VERY interested--then, suddenly, I lost interest.") I totally agreed with the judges that they needed to bring more, be bigger. Generally Comfort does a much better job with this than Chris. I'm not surprised this was his last week. I am excited to see Comfort with a new partner. Why can't they get rid of Tyce Diorio and get more Shane Sparks? Broadway, jazz, whatever--if it's a Tyce routine, you better run, because you are getting voted out this week. (OK, every once in a while he has a good one, but rarely. And the Tyce=Going Home thing tends to hold true, just watch.)

Jessica/Will: Oh, Will, you make me forgive you for the absence of Debbie Allen. (Will is her protege, so she can't be a judge until he's gone, lest there be intimations of undue influence.) I love, LOVE Debbie Allen (doesn't everybody who watched Fame? "Right here is where you start paying. With SWEAT." I love her so much I even watched the Fame reality show she cohosted with Joey Fatone a few years ago that tanked because I was the only one watching.) so this is a big deal. He did not disappoint me, but I'm not into his partner. She's cute and all, but even back in Vegas week I was surprised she made it. My husband and I were sort of rooting for her to be voted out, along with Comfort's partner, and then Comfort and Will could be together, which I think would really work. Although it occurred to me I might only think that because they're both black. It's uncomfortable when you realize you are holding an idea that might be based on nothing more valid than prejudice. Ahem.

Where was I? Ah, Kourtni and Matt. Hey, what's Sinead O'Connor doing choreographing for this show? Choreography was quirky and cool, but I don't know how I felt about the routine overall. It reminded me of the wind-up-doll dance from last season. I'm just not into this couple. He, Thayne, and Chris are my least favorite guys, and Kourtni just doesn't do it for me. Is her resemblance to Courtney Love just an unfortunate coincidence?

Chelsea/Thayne: (Again, WTF with the names on this show? My God. Did all of today's 40-year-old parents get hold of some bad acid back in the day or what? Chromosomal damage is the only explanation.) Oh, the quickstep. Talk about a kiss of death, it is worse than getting Tyce Diorio. Why, WHY keep using a dance that everyone hates and hardly anyone can do? Just to torture people? ONE time, ONCE, it was good, and that was in the season I can't shut up about, last year. Just stop. There are plenty of lovely ballroom dances they could use instead. (More Argentine tango, please!) I noted, as did the judges, the painful rictus of a smile plastered on Thayne's face. I'm ready to see him go. He has just never impressed me. She's cute, but also not my favorite. Bye-bye, Chelsea.

Chelsie/Matt: Best routine of the night. Chills, etc, cf. above. I almost cried, actually. I love you, Matt! That's suit's hot on you!

Katee (please, Lord, make them spell properly!!!)/Joshua: He is another one of my favorites. Baby got BACK! Yowza! (I need to get my husband some pants like those. He too would fill them out nicely.) Great chemistry, great dancing, great bum! I think I was prejudiced by the film preceding where Katee said she was uncomfortable with sexy dancing, because I thought she didn't look so comfortable, and if I hadn't seen that film I probably wouldn't have noticed. Doesn't matter too much because I was busy watching Joshua. What a cutie! His dad, too.

I love seeing the parents and thinking about what ASH will do with himself someday. I am so excited for the possibilities. (Here my Irish superstition requires me to say God willing or knock on wood or something.) I was talking with Snick about this, actually, during an audition show. I am always surprised and disappointed at people's parents trying to stand in their way of following their dream. I used the analogy of, if ASH wanted to be a pro football player--I could hardly imagine something I would LESS like him to do. But if he were really talented, and loved it? How could I say no? I'd just have to do a lot of praying for him not to get injured. Or on drugs. Or--well, let's not imagine all the horrible possibilities. We'll just see how fate takes us. At the rate he's going, truck driver or firefighter is looking likely. That boy loves him some trucks.