Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tired! (updated with photos)

I think I worked a wee bit too much today. We're having company next weekend for an afternoon to evening party, and since it's now officially spring (but you'd never know it from the chilly weather), I figured I should get some things in the ground and in pots.

So I headed off to the local nursery for some pansies. I have six large pots in the backyard that run along the line of the landscaping that I put giant pansies in each year. So, I bought four flats of pansies while admiring the handsome young kids they hire there...I swear the person who does their hiring is either a gay man or a very choosy young woman, because their guys are always hot!

At any rate, no sooner had I got the pansies home and out of the car than my phone was another nursery I go to about seven miles away. They were calling to tell me that the rhododendrons that I had been waiting on for more than a year had arrived! I was thrilled.

So I hopped back in the car and made the drive to that nursery. When I got there, I chatted with the master gardener who is their buyer. He was telling all me about some other rhodies and azaleas that I should have when I picked up a delightful scent that was wafting through the place. "What's the great scent coming from?" I asked, and he pointed to a male Japanese Skimmia. It's an evergreen that grows best in shade, which is perfect since I am trying to put together a shade/woodland garden this year. So I picked up one of those and continued looking around. I should have gone to the register! I found a pink Mountain Laurel that I coincidentally had been admiring in a catalog...but the catalog plant would have been much smaller, so I picked that up as well. Oh, and I needed a couple of plants to go in the concrete pots, so I had to pick those up, too. No wonder there is always more month than money!

Here is what the pansies looked like in their respective pots. Further back and to the right, you can see the Japanese Skimmia if you look hard.

A view of a pansy pot from the top.

This is the Mountain Laurel. It hasn't bloomed yet, but there are plenty of little buds down there waiting to open in about three weeks.

So I brought it all home and planted the three large shrubs, the two plants for the entry, and the six large pots of pansies. Lotsa digging, lotsa planting. Later, I assembled and frosted the layer cake I had baked earlier this morning, which I will be freezing for next weekend's party. And I am officially wiped out.

This is the rhododendron I bought...lotsa buds will hopefully mean lotsa flowers!

The cats watched while I worked. The older cat (at left) slept through most of it, as she usually does. Note the younger cat's eyes are different colors. It's the only thing he has going for him; he's about as dumb as cats come.

And here is the cake I made for next weekend's party, in the midst of being frosted. The cake is fudgy chocolate and the frosting is chocolate with a touch of orange oil. It's quite wonderful. It went into the freezer and will come out Friday night.

Earth Hour

Did you observe Earth Hour on Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m.? We did. We got a tip from our friend Alex several days ago that it was coming up, and we decided it was worth it.

The lights went out and the candles were lit. We passed the hour with a nice bath that was just the ticket for sore muscles from doing the gardening. We should all do Earth Hour more often and save the planet from itself.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New ride

Well, I finally got the car I've been waiting years for. Today I traded in my 2002 Toyota Camry XLE for a Volvo S80. It not only rides beautifully, it handles better than anything I've ever driven; well, except Jess' S80. In fact, his S80 and my recent promotion are the principal reasons I decided to go car shopping.

Now, I didn't intend to buy the same car Jess had when I went to shop. I was actually looking at the C70 hardtop convertible, which would have been a totally guilty pleasure, and I was almost prepared to get it...almost. But then when the salesman began discussing all the incentives that were available on the S80, which is the top-of-the line Volvo sedan, and told me I could get it for $160 less per month than the C70 due to all those incentives, well, my practical side came around very quickly. I knew the S80 and knew I loved it. I had test-driven the C70 and had two complaints: 1) the ride was significantly stiffer than the S80's ride; and 2) I couldn't find the perfect sitting position in it. I tilted and telescoped the wheel, I adjusted the seat up, down, back and forward. No combination of seat and steering adjustment gave me a super-comfortable driving position. And I am not buying a car if that comfort's not just right. So I went for the Willow Green. And I'm very happy I did!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Well, slap my ass and call me Sheila

Governor Eliot "Fucking Steamroller" Spitzer has shown us once again that he is such a class act. That the supposed paragon of ethical behavior is caught up in a prostitution scandal is really quite the paradox.

Eliot, you're just getting what you dished out. No doubt there are two people who are pissing themselves like nobody else over the whole situation: Joseph Bruno, the NY Senate majority leader, who has been Spitzer's arch-enemy from practically his first day in office; and Lt. Governor David Paterson, who stands to become the first African-American governor of New York. It'll be a good night's sleep for both of them.

Meanwhile, marriage equality is out the window for the short term, and that sucks.

Friday, March 07, 2008

When brilliant is not brilliant: Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard gave a brilliant performance as Edith Piaf, the French singer who rose from the streets to become France's national treasure, in the film La Vie en Rose. But brilliant actress does not equal brilliant person. The recent revelation of her ignorant comments regarding the events of 9/11 and the 1969 walk on the moon being fabricated is enough to make my blood boil.