Archive for June, 2011

….By The Fourth Of July

June 29, 2011

Hot time in the city on Saturday night. Westville, Ohio, that is. Stephanie Robinette, a special ed teacher for children with autism, ADHD and other disorders was involved in an intoxicated scuffling with her husband outside a banquet hall, hit him several times then locked herself in their car and refused to emerge until the cops arrived with handcuffs. To fight back, she drew her weapon and began shoo…spraying the cops and their car with the milk from her right breast. She pleaded not guilty to various charges including domestic violence, assault and disorderly conduct. She was released on her own recognizance as long as she has no contact with her husband, or other witnesses and she must also have a mental-health evaluation. The only thing she’s waiting to find out is if she’ll face an additional charge of harassing an officer with a bodily substance, which depends on whether or not the deputies were actually hit with breast milk. Donuts, anyone?

From there we stop in Lebanon, New Hampshire, at the Timberwood Commons apartment complex, where manager Debbie Violette is asking resident dog owners to submit to a saliva test from their pet, which will be sent to PooPrints, in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the database is kept. This way, when a naughty doggie messes, or rather owner…oh wait, care giver (remember our lesson a few blogs back, pets have feelings, too and don’t like to be considered property?) doesn’t clean up afterwards, the sample can be forthwith sent to Tennessee and the mystery of the pooping pooch will be solved. Ah, if only that sort of technology was available to determine who throws all their trash onto my front lawn. How I’d love to return the gallon milk containers, glass soda bottles and the like to their rightful owners.

Knee high by the Fourth of July? As high as your eye by the Fourth of July? Either way, I’m covered. Well, maybe all except that one in the back on the left. Not sure what that’s all about.

In lieu of Provincetown, we made plans several weeks ago to go once again to Asbury Park to celebrate the Fourth of July, like we did last year. We met some friends down there and had a great time, saw the fireworks and had a little time away. Well, true to form….

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As Seen On TV

June 28, 2011

You know those Aqua Globes they advertise on television to water your houseplants? Well, we were in Home Depot a week or so ago and there they were, right at the entrance to the garden center. Wanna try them? Sure. So we brought a set home, filled one of them with water, dug a hole with the handle of a wooden spoon–the first instruction is to make a hole in the dirt so there is no excess pushing on the glass and inserted it into the philodendron. That’s a lie actually. The first instruction is to wear heavy gloves in case of breakage. Whoosh, the water emptied within a day. Refilled it, and whoosh, the water was gone again. So, I gave the plant a good watering and then stuck the Aqua Globe in again and so far, the water is emptying nice and slowly. Now all our potted plants have one. And I know for sure it’s working because the Shamrock plants, the Oxalis regnelli, that usually start to droop after about 3 days after watering have stayed perky since it got its Aqua Globe. So, so far, check on that item.

Next, we considered this:

We considered it so much we got 3 sets. Well, we ordered them, they haven’t come in yet. The only qualm I had (and I think this is the first time I’ve ever used the word “qualm” in my blog) is the one flat end. But I suppose, in the end, when you consider how sometimes we can’t always follow Mama Shirley’s advice when it comes to hard boiling eggs and we most often have to work with fresh eggs (older eggs peel easier) the time and aggravation saved will be worth a flat bottom.

Okay, on to my requisite soap news: Erin Torpey, who originated the role of Jessica Buchanan, is returning to One Life to Live, but as another character. Bree Williamson took over the role and I think it’s decidedly obvious, it’s her role now. Kind of like seeing someone else other than Erika Slezak in the role of Viki, it just wouldn’t work. Nothing else is being said about Torpey’s return, or her character but I’m seeing a lot of hating on Bree Williamson, which I don’t understand. So, that prompted me to look for something else and I came across some ratings figures for the month of June so far. For the first three weeks of this month, One Life to Live has maintained the lead amid the three ABC soaps with an average of 2.5 million viewers. All My Children maintained second place with an average of 2.3 and General Hospital, the one that Brian Frons claims to be the strongest of the three with 2.2, increasing in the 3rd week to 2.3.

  

Now, All My Children is slated to go off the air in September and One Life to Live in January. Some reports are saying that depending on how well or not its replacement show, The Chew, does, that ABC may change its mind and keep One Life to Live if The Chew tanks. Of course that’s just speculation at the moment and another ray of hope.

So, and I don’t want to beg, but come on, readers of my blog, tune in from time to time (if you already are…thanks), pass the word around. Let’s get the viewership numbers up. Please?

A Dollop, A Tarp and A Bruise

June 27, 2011

You know the best way to have a meal at camp? Have a friend join you. And how do you choose which friend? The one that just happens to have the ingredient for the dish you’re making that you forgot to pack. I’m just kidding, but it just so happens that Tim was our guest and he did have sour cream on hand for Ariel’s attempt at replicating the beef stroganoff we had last weekend at that Russian restaurant. Otherwise we would have just sat with beef over noodles, but as long as you’re sharing it with a good friend, it’s all good. And for the record, the stroganoff was a hit.

So, the weather forecast I posted earlier last week for the camping trip quite nicely petered out. Well, except for Friday. But we were half smart…finally. First of all, we left home later than we normally like to; the sky was indeed looking uncooperative and one of us, though I won’t mention who, but his first initial rhymes with a “B” was in a funk because he was frustrated about yet having to camp in the rain. But, nonetheless, we took off. We thought we’d try to save ourselves the hassle of having to put up camp all over again when we got home and put a tarp over the tent and we got a new, obnoxiously large one for over the kitchen area. We just put up the one for over the tent and the skies opened, so we sat under it with a beer until the rain stopped so we could get the rest of camp put up. The one over the kitchen was probably three times the size we actually needed but with lots of rope and extending poles, we got it secured. We left that one in good hands to be given to anyone who might need a tarp large enough to cover the entire 325 or so acres of the campground and we’ll get one more suited to the space it will cover. The upshot of all of it, our stuff stayed dry even though we did have a few sprinkle squalls go by periodically all weekend.

Remember, you gotta bruise it to taste it.

CDHB–(countdown has begun!)–including today, I have 5 more days until summer vacation. No Ptown again this year (I have my lovely patio/garden to enjoy) but we’ve got some things planned to do including a couple of doctor visits. “What I did on my summer vacation”… I went to the doctor. But the doctor is in New York and early in the morning, so you know hilarity will end up ensuing once we’re done there, including cashing in on one of our courtesy free nights at the Tutu Center. (You remember… the naked man in our bed story). For those of you new to my blog you should check out that story, starting with part one.

When I thought I would sit with some live stream of the Casey Anthony trial on Saturday morning with some coffee under my larger than life tarp, I discovered that Judge Belvin Perry recessed the proceedings due to a legal issue that had both sides (defense and prosecution) in his chambers since the beginning the day until he recessed about an hour or so later for the entire day, leaving news sources in a frenzy of speculation as to the reason. I have to admit, I’m on the edge of my seat until the trial gets underway this morning.

And on the soap opera front, I have to admit, with being on my camping trip, I wasn’t as “tuned” in to my tasks as I otherwise would have been but I did happen to be briefly introduced (at camp, of all places) to a member of the 2011 Daytime Emmy award winning writing team for Young & Restless who dissed One Life to Live when I asked him what his thoughts were on trying to save it. Of course he wouldn’t care, it’s not his show. I congratulated him, nonetheless.

Going Global!

June 23, 2011

Wasp crisis averted, but it was rather anti-climatic. Here I was expecting the guy to come in, get all suited up in his beekeeper garb. But, no, regular uniform, armed with only his dusting bulb. He squirted the dust up into the outlet cover, a few wasps flew out, he lifted the cover and more wasps flew out. The nest inside was just about the size of the interior of the outlet. He knocked it out, stomped on it, dusted the other outlets and that was that.

I need a Coke Zero. Maybe with some leftover cold spaghetti. Not exactly the breakfast of champions, is it?

Okay, so we had Grandma’s two chairs reupholstered; the blue bucket chair she always hated and the one with the flower pattern and matching hassock that was completely falling apart. We’ve had them here, waiting to be recovered since Grandma left us but it took us all this time to get with it. Of course all the redecorating (does moving furniture from room to room constitute redecorating?) precipitated having them done. What I can’t believe is that I carried them downstairs myself from what is formerly known as the Blue Room. That’s the room we keep barricaded since the attic exploded into it. The chairs were supposed to take 3 weeks, but it really took about a month and a half.

 

  

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Okay, a couple of One Life to Live items. First, here is the past week’s ratings:

This is a blurb I found through surfing through Kymba’s blog, Help Save Our Soaps (link below). It’s a rather hopeful ray of light.

Another ray of light is this article. Click here:  But then I see a posting that ABC is waiting for another company to make an offer so there can be a bidding war.

And finally, The Globe newspaper is doing a feature story on the efforts of the fans trying to save the show and the Facebook groups have organized GOING GLOBAL DAY for Friday, when the issue with their article comes out. So, we finally have some media coverage to go along with Hoover’s decision to pull their ads on ABC because of the cancellations. So, if you would, please buy a copy of this issue (and maybe sign up for a subscription?) to show our appreciation. And remember, I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, right now it’s about One Life to Live and All My Children, and soon it could be your soap, or any other scripted television show you might watch the networks deem unimportant in favor of cheaper talk or reality shows. The time to fight back is now before it really is too late. This is the cover you should be looking for:

Corker!

June 22, 2011

 

I just can’t believe how intrigued I am with the Casey Anthony trial. Well, I guess it’s because I’m able to cheer for the side of my choice while I’m watching from a safe distance and not from the juror’s box. Holy cow, that few minutes I sat there before I was excused while the attorneys were assembling a jury for their case the last time I was called for jury duty was quite enough. I can’t imagine being sequestered and spending day after day–how many is it now, 25?–of constant starts and stops, listening to indecisive witnesses and the juvenile bickering between the attorneys. The defense had quite ineffective witnesses yesterday; one woman and alleged expert in botany and forensic botany who more or less let the lawyers lead her around, answering with “if you say so” and “I don’t know” to a chemist who acted more like the prosecution’s witness being very evasive and “ignorant” to the defense attorney. Then the prosecution dropped a bombshell that a fellow inmante of Casey Anthony had a similar story in that her own child drowned in the family swimming pool and the grandfather found him and the prosecution is saying this is yet another fabricated story (where Anthony is concerned) in an attempt at a cover up.

So, Wicked was fantastic. I admit it, though you’ve probably gathered it after all this time that I’m an entertainment snob–I like to get my money and my time’s worth out of an event–and I gave my stamp of approval to the performance we saw on Saturday. Of course, no cast can ever compare to Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel and sadly I have to say, the time we saw it with my niece and her then fiancé, it was a little lackluster. It seemed very rushed and almost like there were scenes edited out. The show and the two leads from this weekend, Teal Wicks (Elphaba) and Katie Rose Clarke (Glinda) were a viable and convincing duo. Yes, some of the songs seemed rushed and a bit of the dialog was unclear (which might be due to the sound system) but all in all, it was a great performance. Lemons and limes and pears, oh my!

Afterwards, we went to Firebird, which is a Russian restaurant. That would explain the Tchaikovsky overture that played on their website. Hilarity ensued when we first arrived when I walked into a chair and nearly tripped. Thankfully no one was sitting in it. I won’t even try to remember the names of the foods we had, though I know I couldn’t go wrong with lamb. While we ate, we were entertained by a group of Russian musicians, youngsters who were quite versed on the Domra, accompanied by their teacher on the piano. A nice surprise and real treat. Then, came time for dessert and I had the Bananas Forster and look, I managed to get a picture of my bananas flaming up.

 

Okay, here we go. Ready? Guess what this means?

On top of that, now I have wasps living in the outlet cover that’s right by the garden and I suspect they’re also nesting between the front and back panels of the fencing, but that won’t last much longer. The exterminator is coming today. I thought I would try to spray the outlet with some wasp killer, but the bout I had with the bees hiding in the ground under a plank of wood, courtesy my lawn service people, taught me that leaving the extermination to the pros is the wiser choice.

I heard the word “corker”  on television last night and it made me think of a song I knew from a long time ago, one of those clapping songs I  used to play with a cousin of mine: My girl’s a corker, she’s a New Yorker, I buy her everything to keep her in sight….”

Final note: Flags being flown at half staff for saxophonist Clarence Clemens tomorrow? Really?

Christmas In June?

June 17, 2011

Christmas is coming early this year, only because it’s not July yet. I am going to see Wicked this weekend. Tomorrow, in fact. And I really feel like a kid at Christmas. We’re going with our friends Ron and Jamie; a sort of belated wedding gift and birthday gift (hers) all rolled into one. This will make our fourth time seeing the show, not sure how many times for Jamie, but Ronny is the newbie. He’s so excited about it and I can’t wait for the thrill of seeing it with someone who’s experiencing it for the first time. We started talking about seeing it together before they even got married and that was back in February of this year.

I made spaghetti sauce yesterday for dinner and I used some basil and oregano fresh from my garden. Someone hand me a towel!

Speaking of food, you probably already know this one, but Lady Gaga’s meat dress is going to be displayed in the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland until next February 2012. It has been chemically treated and will be housed in a climate controlled case.

Is it just me, or is anyone else having a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that it’s already June 17? Seems like just yesterday I was stressing over making sure my niece’s birthday card went out in time…only to have it arrive a day late anyway, and that was during the first week of the month. I must be having fun…time’s a-flyin’.

Well, that’s all I got for this week. Next week I have pictures of the chairs we had recovered. Actually, they’ve been here for a few weeks, I’ve just been lazy about putting up the pics.

Also, don’t forget the soaps. If you’re working to save them, checking the “tasks” that Kymba is posting on her blog, a big thanks to you. If you’re not, why not consider it? It’s not just the soaps that are in danger, it could be all of scripted television as we see more and more of this nonsensical “reality” crap making its way onto our sets. But it is an institution, the soap opera, the basis of any ongoing weekly show, that is in danger of fading away.

WTF!

June 15, 2011

Early yesterday morning I discovered one of my tomato plants was leafless. In fact it looked like it had been eaten. Sure it was the smallest of them all and at first I thought maybe it was a bad plant, a runt, and dropped its leaves. But they would be laying on the ground and there were no signs of them anyway. On closer inspection, it was evident they’d been chewed off with razor sharp precision. So much for that protective fencing. WTF? (Fence..see, you thought I was gonna say the other F word!)

But I wasn’t to be defeated. I spent a couple of hours wrestling with and cutting strips of quarter inch wire mesh to stuff into wherever slight opening whatever hungry varmint it was might have slipped through. Most likely it was under the front gate, the gap there is rather extraordinary but now, after having my hands cut to shreds and fingers punctured, I think we are officially critter-proof.

In the meantime, with the watering and the rain we’ve been having, everything is flourishing and my pepper plants are finally starting to sprout as well as one lima bean plant so far, exploding through the ground like an embryonic alien emerging from a fetal sleep.

I’m still engrossed in the Casey Anthony trial and today the prosecution will rest its case with and by tomorrow the defense will begin their presentation, unless they win their motion for an acquittal, but that will probably end up the same way their plea for a mistrial yesterday ended up…denied.

And of course our Save the Soaps (all of them) battle rages on. Right now our focus is on contacting any ABC/Disney personnel to pass the message on to Bob Iger to sell the soaps to another network. Trouble is, they mostly respond with that same link to the ABC website Contact Us tab. And now those replies read like canned responses, when they decided to answer or if they don’t have their “away” messages up.

What’s Up, Chuck?

June 13, 2011

Another relaxing weekend, well one with little or no fuss. It was a friend’s birthday and we surprised him with a cake and balloons in our “Rapture” finery. Since the Rapture was a bust, we held over our outfits for another occasion. Simple outfits, but nonetheless effective; big floppy flowered fisherman bucket hats and Playtex living gloves (in various colors)–a statement in simplicity. We came back home, grilled up some beef and had dinner.

Yesterday, we went to the movies to see Super 8. Was supposed to be a matinee (11:50am) but they charged me full price….$18 for two tickets!! WTF! But it wasn’t a bad little picture and in case you’re thinking of seeing it, I’m going to give a quick synopsis. A group of young friends were shooting a zombie movie and in the middle of the night, after having sneaked out of their beds, began shooting on the platform of the train station in Lillian, Ohio when a speeding train derailed in front of them thanks to an errant pickup truck driving head on into it along the tracks. Good premise and full of promise, but for me, when it turned into an alien sci-fi story, I was a bit turned off and bored. Alright, I won’t tell the end…. But I was kind of sucked into one of the kids’ performance, the girl who played Alice, the only girl in the group. As memory serves from my youth, the boys in the film did a good job portraying that awkward goofy age and Alice seemed a little more mature, a little more responsible and the acting was fantastic. It wasn’t until more than halfway through, from a certain angel, I realized it was Dakota Fanning’s sister, Elle. And I was glad of not having realized it until later in the picture otherwise I would have been on the lookout from the start, full of expectation. All in all though, I gave it a 6. And Ariel had an observation; similar to the show we saw last week, The Shaggs, where the non-Shagg singing was very good as opposed to when The Shaggs were “performing” the acting was good in the movie, but the movie the kids were shooting was, well, a terrible performance. So, kudos for that.

And an observation I’ve made over the last several weeks, either watch television shows or movies the new trend is to have at least one character, at some point, throw up…violently.

Then it was off to lunch at the Olive Garden, and Home Depot for some garden supplies including a new sprinkler and with this one, it’s all we need. It reaches both wide ends of the beds and is easy to adjust to keep from splashing against the house and the fence. The yellow flowers and the parsley were puchased yesterday because the parsley we planted never grew and sadly, I think my new pepper plants aren’t going to grow either, but I still have that one surviving one from the 18 seedlings I started indoors.

So, being a busy weekend, I wasn’t able to keep up as steadfastly with the tasks at hand in the battle to save the soaps, but just as I was writing this opened the Help Save Our Soaps site and sent out a mass mailing to the latest list of Disney email addresses. And within 3 minutes I’ve already gotten 2 “out of office” responses. They’ve probably got everything turned off so they don’t have to deal with us anymore. But, we’re not going anywhere.

Brian, Brian Quite…..

June 9, 2011

I thought I was gonna be back up yesterday, but while I sat with my laptop on Tuesday night trying to shake the cobwebs from my head, nothing came to me to write about. I thought of writing about my garden but I thought it would be better if I had some visual aids. And it just so happens, now I do.

Meanwhile, I’ve just been having a blogging dry spell, but I’ve been here (and there) doing what I do on a daily basis; work, eat, sleep, rinse, repeat. And I’ve still been doing what I can as far as the fight to save the soaps goes. We (my Facebook groups) have changed our focus to  romancing other networks to buy the shows and urging the powers that be at ABC to sell them.

I’ve also been completely consumed with the Casey Anthony trial. At 9am, the live feed goes on and I keep it going until the judge calls recess for the night. Somewhere between noon and 1:30, while the court is out to lunch, I take mine, but make sure I’m back to work by the time they come back. Even last Friday, I went to pick up some Delmonico steaks to grill for dinner and while I was out, I had the website going on my phone and was listening (and watching when I could) through my bluetooth.

I feel like I’m starting to ramble…gosh, that’s a good feeling so while I am, let me show you this video. It’s the Shaggs. We saw this Off-Broadway show over last weekend and found out later it was based on a true story. The band consisted of the Wiggins sisters, Dorothy, Betty and Helen. Later Rachel joined, but the show concentrated on the first three. Austin Wiggin, their father formed the band on the belief that his mother saw their rise to fame. They released one album, Philosophy of The World, but failed to gain national notoriety. They remained a locally popular attraction in and around their native Fremont, New Hampshire until their father passed away in 1975 and they disbanded.

So, here is some of my garden, finally!

 

I looked, but couldn’t find  a word that meant contrary and rhymed with Brian.  Looking from the patio to the back,  we have Nasturtiums (you can also see some mint leaves–those are plants), just beyond that are poppies (3 rows). Then you’ll see straws and little paper cups.  Well, the straws were the original markers we used where we put the seedlings I started in the house but died of shock when we transplanted them. I should take them out, but now they’re kind of like tombstones. And that would be disrespectful. Or perhaps hopeful that something might eventually pop up there.  The paper cups are because I started new seeds but to keep confusing down as to what is and what isn’t weeds, I figured it would be easier to tell what needed to go. This set of cups is for wax beans. In the center, which you can also see in the second picture are sunflowers and squash. You might also be able to see basil, red and green.  From the other picture, you can see my corn and in the cups are new seeds I’ve recently started and they are starting to grow.

 

Mirroring the other bed, we have mint, Nasturtiums and poppies.  You won’t be able to see it, but there is one of my original pepper plants that survived the transplant.  Also in the center are sunflowers, squash, tarragon and red basil. Looking from the opposite end are the new batch of tomatoes, both beefsteak and cherries (again in the paper cups) and the empty paper cups will hopefully turn into a new batch of pepper plants. So, there you go. As the season goes on, I’ll post more progress pics.

And I’m just sayin’… when I was in school, we had hot days and didn’t get sent home like many schools in NJ are planning on doing today, as they did yesterday.

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One Man’s Lawn…

June 3, 2011

…Is this man’s garden. I swear. The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to think the soil brought in to fill my garden beds was dug up from someone’s lawn. You’ve seen pictures of my garden beds, at least I hope you have. If you haven’t, first of all, shame on you, and secondly, click on House Construction under the “categories” tab there in the right hand margin and scroll through. Anyway, yesterday morning marked the third day in a row I spent pulling weeds. Well, weeds is a subjective term and while there are what would classify as that, most of what I pulled was grass. And this wasn’t the first time, but with the rains we’ve had recently, it’s all shot up so quickly.

Now that I’ve done that, the garden looks alarmingly sparse, thanks to the bounty of tomato and pepper plants that died from shock when I first put them out there. I’ve since reseeded and the new tomato plants are about 4 inches high already. I think there is still time to start some seeds so we’ll get some other stuff to put in the dead zone and really get my garden hoppin’.

Looking into my crystal ball, I can see a coupla steaks cooking on the grill later on tonight, with some onions and mushrooms steamed up in a foil pouch to go on top of them. Maybe I should put some A1 on my shopping list, or at least some Worcestersistershire sauce. How about a side of crinkle cut fries? Wash it all down with an ice cold beer. Come on five o’clock. Would I be pushing my luck if I tried to plan for a fire as well?

The Casey Anthony trial was circus  yesterday and the only thing I was wishing for while Yuri  Melich was on the stand, and the courtroom heard a tape of his interrogation of Casey that the camera would have panned to her, to get her reaction. The one thing I find so interesting is how during the video presentations of phone conversations in the jail with her brother and her mother and father (that made up the last few hours of the day) is her reaction to the suggestions of different people they might enlist for help (speaking in the timeline as the evidence is being brought forward). The ones who have no bearing whatsoever, like a schoolmate from junior high (there I go again…er, middle school) was actually brought to the witness stand. People she knew later in life, she conveniently forgot their last names and the imaginary people, like the nanny, have full-blown histories. And not only that, their families have full-blown histories.  Now, the defense wants to bring in a professional on human emotions to testify on how different people react to death and dying, precipitated by how Casey has been accused of being unfeeling when her daughter’s remains were found. Of course, when you’re that calculating, you don’t have time for emotion.

Got a nice relaxing weekend ahead. A matinee tomorrow, followed by a possible overnight visit by some friends and a movie on Sunday.

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Okay, one more before the weekend gets here:

Thank you, Jamey Giddens!