Viewing blog entries in category: Random Cultural Things - Page 3

  • realitybites
    Penelope and Sid look like little Christmas trees with bright red bulbs.

    Yesterday afternoon...

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    Just picked these this morning...

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    There are still dozens yet to ripen on the plants. So far I have harvested eleven pounds of tomatoes. Not too shabby. I am so happy and excited that my parents will get to taste some when they visit next week.
  • realitybites
    Netflix: no breaks; no commercials; no pauses to go pee; no opportunities to defocus—just one episode after another—binge-watching on the cheap. With a trial subscription it's free for thirty days. Thirty free days to get you hooked. Once hooked, your endless drug supply will cost a mere $7.99 a month. That is less than 30 cents a day for all the TV shows and movies one can ingest. Is there a cheaper drug on the market? Doubtful.

    I spent the last few days in a daze-induced Dexter bingefest. By the time the sun went down last night, I was thoroughly drugged—in a toxic stupor. I needed air. Exercise. Human interaction. Having a few days off work in a row is not always in one's best interest. I didn't even put on mascara or a bra all weekend. What a waste of free time. I could have been outside enjoying the cooler weather. Or even have gone out on a date or two. But no. I chose to hole myself inside all weekend and watch episode after episode of a TV show about a serial killer. I feel heavy—hungover—this morning. Work will save me—for now—until tonight, when I return home—when/where Netflix is just one tab click away. Will I be able to resist when boredom sets in after 6 pm?

    What happened to watching one episode a week? Isn't that the safe and healthy way to view? It would be if I had a TV hooked up. Can I possibly be expected to watch in moderation when I can binge-watch instead? Who eats just one potato chip when there is a whole bag on offer, right? Same thing. It looks like my only option is to not renew my subscription at the end of the month. That way I won't be tempted to view. But if I am going to cancel my Netflix, shouldn't I hurry up and watch as many Dexter episodes as I can before it expires?

    Netflix is the Devil. And it knows it.
  • realitybites
    A lot of men can't dance—either because they are uncoordinated or self-conscious. Or both. Some do dance but not very well. They are stiff and/or unoriginal. But hey, more power to them—at least they are out there trying. Then there are professional dancers who are highly skilled athletes. But that gets old after a while as it looks so choreographed.

    Then there are the naturals. These guys got the moves. They shake and groove effortlessly—like butterflies fluttering across the sky. Billy Elliot—from the film Billy Elliot—is one of these dancers. As are Robert Smith, Michael Stipe, and Moz. They all have passion—inspiration running through their veins. They feel the music organically—become one with it. And each has his own style.

    My son is one of these dancers—a Billy Elliot.

    This last Friday I drove down to Phoenix to visit him. We went out to a club downtown and danced to live music until 2 am. I was blown away by just how amazing my son dances. But I was not the only one. Patrons literally cleared the floor to let him do his thing. It was adorable, charming, entertaining, skilled, free, flawless. Who would of thought a skateboarding whiz kid would also be able to dance so masterfully? I didn't. But coordination is key to both sports/activities—so it makes perfect sense.

    I wish I had some video footage to share. I know you would also be impressed. Next time I promise to film him.
  • realitybites
    Was just at my local market. Look at what I came across...

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    That is right. Large tomatoes selling for 3 lbs for 99¢!

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    I couldn't resist buying a bunch...

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    All these for $1.37!

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    Look at my small tomato perched on top. Going price for mine? Four dollars a pound. Enough to make this gardener weep.

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    Next season, I am growing heirlooms. So the taste will definitely trump the market varieties'. But how will Penny's tomatoes stack up against these large market tomatoes? I will let you know later today.

    Later today...

    Aesthetics:

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    The top slices are the market tomato; bottom ones are from Penny. Clearly Penny's are redder and less watery. And have far fewer seeds.


    Market:

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    Penny:

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    Now for the taste. Both are flavorful and tangy—the way I like tomatoes to taste. But the texture makes Penny's a much better experience in the mouth. Are they worth 12x the price? No. But they are far better overall. And they are organic and grown with lots of love— locally—by yours truly. That makes them priceless, imo.
  • realitybites
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    [video=youtube_share;zeDQycp262Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeDQycp262Y[/video]

    [video=youtube_share;a247WRFrl_E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a247WRFrl_E[/video]

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  • realitybites
    Waiting for my tomatoes to turn red is like watching paint dry—it seems to be taking forever. Sid has over thirty tomatoes. Penny has over forty. I can't even count them all. I've tried but I lose track. There are so many clustered together. But they are all green. Some are quite large. Looks like they are full size. As soon as they start to get a little orangeish at the bottom they are good to go. It usually takes about seven days for them to fully ripen on the vine once they start.

    I bought a small kitchen scale so that I could weigh my bounty. I am so excited. It is awesome growing your own food. If I had the space, I would have a huge garden. My dad was a suburban gardener as was his father. The torch has been passed.

    I will post pics as soon as I spot any color changes.

    Update 9/14: Color! One of Penny's tomatoes is ripening. It is not one of the larger ones but it was the first tomato on the plant. Interesting.

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    More pics to follow...

    Holy Toledo! Later the same day...

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    Update 9/15: This morning...

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    And at 5:30 pm this evening...

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    When they say sun-ripened tomatoes, they aren't kidding!


    One of Sid's larger/older tomatoes is turning as well!

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    Update 9/16: Looking good!

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    Later that afternoon...

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    And another one of Penny's tomatoes is ripening...

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    Update 9/17: Penny's first tomato:

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    Update 9/17: Penny's first was delicious!

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    Update 9/22: Six ounce red globe...

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  • realitybites
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  • realitybites
    Bad personality traits/characteristics: stupidity, ineptness, laziness, incompetence, unresourcefulness. Which traits stand out in this exchange between myself and a PoF guy?

    So, a few days ago, I receive this message from a guy who lives a few hours south of me—outside of Phoenix:

    Hi where is Sedona az

    I don't reply because he has exhibited these traits: ineptness, incompetence, laziness, and unresourcefulness.

    Today, I get another message from him:

    You don't like me none??

    My reply this afternoon:

    I like resourceful people who know how to use Google maps. ;)

    So I figured he would take offense to my sardonic comment and block me. Or, at the very least, I'd never hear from him again. But no. Oh no, it went right over his head.

    He responds:

    Not sure how that reflects me

    Wow. Just wow. Stupid is an understatement.

    Folks, it only takes one or two messages to screen out the undesirables. If you are going to do online dating, you have to be efficient. Time is a valuable resource. No sense wasting his or yours.

    And no, I will not be continuing with that conversation.

    I'm holding out for exceptional. Good enough won't do.

    Next.
  • realitybites
    People can change.

    I often hear and read others claim that people can't change: a zebra doesn't change its stripes; a leopard doesn't change its spots.

    This is false. I know. Because if even one person can change, it renders that statement invalid. I am that one person.

    Ten years ago I was sixty-seven pounds. Not dead; certainly not living. I was in the deepest throes of full-blown depression and anorexia. All my energy was spent surviving—barely—to be a good enough mom to my son. I didn't want to die. But I had no enthusiasm for life either. But fortunately, somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered a different Jehne. The Jehne of my childhood and early adulthood who was vibrant, positive, and happy. This gave me hope that one day I would return to the real me—my core identity. I went from stripes to spots.

    But now I am back—in stripes—and possibly even stars! The old Jehne has returned in full force. I feel alive! Ambitious! Not just hopeful, but also thrilled to be alive and living. I am at a normal, healthy weight. My mind is clear, focused, and sharp. I have short-term goals that are materializing. And long-term ones to keep me on a forward-moving path. I am no longer just in the present; I have a future as well.

    My twenties were spent being a single mom. My thirties spent being sick. My forties are about returning to form—and improving upon that form. I reckon my fifties will be fantastic: a decade of resolve, stability, and peace.

    I am on fire! But please don't put me out. Let the flames burn bright and high.
  • realitybites
    Sid has produced his first tomato. Baby Sid—vine-ripened—was picked yesterday, August 22nd.

    Just got home from running all of my errands. Baby Sid looks delicious sitting on the counter:

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    I think I will slice him in half:

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    Now slice him into wedges and sprinkle him with a little sea salt:

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    Now, for the taste. Holy mother Rhea of Zeus, he is the most flavorful and juicy tomato I have ever tasted. I am not kidding. No exaggeration here. If you can, I highly recommend growing your own tomatoes.

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    Sid minus his Baby. He is not sad:

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    He is finally staring to grow. He has two more tomatoes that are coming along nicely.


    Update 9/1: Sid now has fifteen tomatoes. Here is his largest cluster:

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    Sid:

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    Update 9/5: Sid now has twenty tomatoes! You've come a long way baby...

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  • realitybites
    It is no secret that I hate dogs. I mean really hate them. I'd never purposely be cruel to a mild-mannered dog. But I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to be kind to one or make any effort to save one from, say, drowning. I honestly don't know anyone who likes them less. Would I watch my parents dog if there were an emergency? Yes. That is the kind of sacrifice one makes for the people he or she loves.

    One of the reasons I detest this type of animal is because they are dangerous. Not all dogs, of course. Not ones with responsible owners. Or ones that have been trained properly. But let's face it, most dogs are not well-behaved. They run away, chase cars, jump on house guests, defecate on the carpet, chew up your shoes, bark in the middle of the night, and BITE. This last behavior is the kicker. And sometimes results in serious or fatal injuries. Are some dogs more prone to injure and kill? Yes. And pit bulls are one of those breeds.

    What kind of person owns a pit bull? Not a gentle and quiet person. Not a person who feels secure. But rather a person who wants to prove something. A bully of sorts. A person who wants to intimidate others. Protect themselves and/or their property from 'violators'. Someone who lives in fear of being violated. Not much different from a gun owner, in that regard. I'd be willing to bet that while most gun owners do not have pit bulls, most pit bull owners have guns—legally or illegally.

    Far more people are injured by dogs than guns: Significant dog bites affect tens of million of people globally each year. It is estimated that two percent of the US population, from 4.5–4.7 million people, are bitten by dogs each year. In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26. 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner's property. Source.

    Just this morning I was pulling into my drive. Two women were walking a pit bull. A small girl was standing outside with her caretaker. The women and dog approach the child. Dog jumps up on girl—exceeding her in height. Then it latches onto a rolled up paper she is holding in her hand. The handlers tell her she has to let go of it. She throws it; dog retrieves it. One of the handlers pulls on paper in a game of tug of war. Dog holds tight. One woman says, "She's strong. Good girl." I could not even believe what I was witnessing. I called out, "Looks like a pit bull. Should be illegal." I am glad they didn't have a gun—or rather, use it on me. They did have a big, mean dog though. And I was on high alert. I entered my apartment—now safe and sound.

    I'll say it again: I really hate dogs. I mean really hate them. But I also hate some dog owners/handlers. In this case, probably the owner(s)/handler(s) even more than the dog. Irresponsible idiots.

    Certain breeds of dogs should be illegal. I nominate the pit bull as one of those breeds. The pit bull is like the automatic machine gun of dogs. No commoner should have one in their possession. It's overkill. Get a decent sized pistol and a shih tzu instead.
  • realitybites
    Penelope and Siddhartha ~ Sid for short because he is...

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    I have two tomato plants which I transplanted into containers to grow on my porch this past July. Very late in the season—a risk. It was an impulsive thing—to start a tomato garden this year. I was inspired by a new friend of mine who is a master gardener/scientist. But so far things have been running smoothly. I named them Siddhartha and Penelope. Siddhartha—because he looks like a compact Buddha sitting all stoically in a green tote—like a Zen garden. Penelope was named after Penelope Cruz—my favorite actress.

    Penelope is a Phoenix heat resistant determinate hybrid. This photo was taken right after I transplanted her into her tub on July 27th:

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    Penelope this morning ~ Just 17 days after transplant:

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    She is now two feet tall and has one tomato and many blossoms. She is really thriving:

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    Sid is a basic container tomato determinate hybrid—bred to thrive in containers but suitable for the garden as well:

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    He has one large tomato and another few small ones. He also has many blossoms:

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    I will keep you posted on their progress with regular updates.

    Update 8/15: Both Sid and Penelope each have three tomatoes. I couldn't be more thrilled.


    Update 8/16. Penelope now has six tomatoes! Sid? still three. Come on Sid!

    Isn't she lovely...

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    Update 8/17: Sid's large tomato is starting to ripen.

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    Update 8/19: Penelope has nine tomatoes and is almost three feet tall.

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    Sid's large tomato is ripening nicely. Weekend bruschetta for one?

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    Update 8/21: Just a few more days.

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    Update 8/22: Succulent Sid.

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    Update 8/25. Anticipation.

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    Update 8/28: Penelope has 22 tomatoes and dozens of blossoms. Sid has 3 tomatoes and close to a dozen blossoms.


    Update 9/5: Penny has thirty tomatoes. Sid has twenty.

    Look how they have grown in the last three weeks...


    August 13:

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    September 5:

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  • realitybites
    [video=youtube_share;xmUZ6nCFNoU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmUZ6nCFNoU[/video]

    It really is! Because... I just got some excellent news. My bid/proposal has been accepted. I am in! Plus I just got a $1,000 bonus. Also, found out my parents will be flying out in October to see David and I. We will have a blast, I am certain, just like we did on my mom's last visit. And to top it off, David and I have decided to fly down to Florida for Christmas. Will visit my parents and go to the beach! Can't wait. Life is good.
  • realitybites
    Desert: 5. any place lacking in something.

    Vacation: 1. a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity.

    So, I am on a desert vacation. It started last Monday. I don't know when it will end, tbo.

    What have I been doing? Working! Doesn't everyone work on vacation? Also, been out shopping for a bathing suit. I have taken the plunge and joined the community recreation center. Starting tomorrow I will be committed to an exercise program of lap swimming, rowing, StairMaster, treadmill, and possibly fitness classes. First step is the pool. I am a great swimmer. Was on a swim team in my youth. Swimming is an excellent way to get back into cardio fitness. It is low impact and almost anyone can do it. I am thin. And pretty fit for my age due to the type of work I do which keeps me physically active. But my goal now is to get toned. I want nice, sexy arms and legs. And I want to have some killer endurance so that I can take long hikes and explore my wonderful, beautiful state of Arizona. Did you just see me mention hiking? Yes, you did. Are you shocked? I am too. :p

    Also, since Friday night, I have been binge-re-watching Sex and the City. I am now halfway through season two. I plan to watch all six seasons before my vacay is over. Love that show! Mr. Big rules!

    And... this afternoon I bought two octopuses and made octopus ceviche. Yummy. Nothing like eating seafood on my desert vacation to remind me just how far I am from the ocean.

    Oh, and I painted my nails the coolest sea-foam green color! How fun is that?!

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    Update: Sunday, July 20th: Vacation is over.

    Update: Wednesday, July 23: Still watching Sex and the City. Just started season five.
  • realitybites
    All I want is just one kiss and I will know...



    [video=youtube_share;yphvun78QAM#t=98]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yphvun78QAM#t=98[/video]