Friday, March 24, 2006

Gardening is hard work.

The wind is coming out of my sails on this horticulture thing. Every morning I take my precious little seedlings downstairs for a warm water bath, then wrap them up real good in their ghetto greenhouse:
Private Greenhouse
That seems to be working - look at all that condensation. I bet my babies are losing a lot of weight in their private sauna. Then I turn on the halogen while I'm at work so they get plenty of light and warmth during the day. At night, I refresh the water a little and turn off the light.

And what do I get for all my hard work:
Peek-a-boo
DIRT!

Honestly, it's been, what? Five days now? I'm getting wrinkles. I'll be on social security by the time they feel like peeking out of the mess there. Where's the instant gratification? I planned a tomato salad for Sunday. Looks like I'll have to scrap that. C'mon boys, people are waiting for your grand arrival.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm bad at titles today

I've had blogger open for an hour but kept opening tabs to surf the net instead of blog because I couldn't think of a snappy title. That's twice today. Snappy blog titles are part of my repetoir, so I hope this isn't a symptom of things to come. Soon I won't be able to remember fictional dialogues verbatim or draw snazzy stick figures on Adobe Illustrator. And then where would this blog be? That's right: sucktown.

I went to see Brandon Morse's show at Connor Contemporary on Friday. I am totally enamored. If you're looking for a way to avoid doing any work for a couple of days, go visit his website. My review is up at DCist, which gave me a chance to geek-out just a little. Like a need an excuse.

I dragged a couple of my friends around to the gallery openings on Saturday, but I don't think I made any art converts. T was visiting from NYC and he and his boyfriend were just sitting around waiting for my roommates to get gayed out for a liquored-up night at Cobalt, so I forced them to walk down 14th with me. But for a couple of guys who think Cher's swagger on a navy ship is street art, I'm not sure the show at Transformer impressed them much. I even promised them free booze, but the gallery only had a keg and these boys don't touch the hops. Buzzkill.

Anyway, I had no idea how small Transformer is. You can stand in the middle of the room and practically touch every piece of art in it. We also stopped by the show at G Fine Art, which I found entertaining in a "oh my god, where am I??" kinda way. I don't think that's necessarily an unusual feeling in art galleries though.

In other news, my lovely web designer hooked me up with the new passwords for my website (which he changed servers a couple of months ago), so I'm all ready to update. Since I got home early tonight I was planning to knock some stuff out, but I think it'll be tougher than I hoped. My friend is, like, a real designer, so I think the html is a little more complex than your average fancy font work. That, and my roommate and I are doing burrito night in a minute, which takes precedence.

Lastly, how about some work stories? On Friday, I finally got my lazy-ass into work around 2pm, after playing hookie all morning. Of course the office was mostly empty, so I was sitting at my desk rocking out to my iPod and doing some shitty paper-shuffling project. Since I work at a receptionist-type desk, people walk back and forth in front of me all day, often looking over to smile or say hello. So this older attorney who I see a lot, but have never been introduced to so we don't really talk, walked by my desk. I looked up and we smiled...but he kept staring at me as he walked past, like turning his head as his body kept moving forward. He kept staring as he started to pass the wall next to me, then stopped and backed up a step. By this time I'm totally weirded out, and slowly take off my earphones as he reversed back towards me. He leaned in close and said, "Don't celebrate too hard tonight!" Then walked off. What. The. Fuck. In my confusion, I hesistated, then called after him, "Um, you either!"

Then today, since I had about four thousand projects I've been working on, my desk has become one huge pile of paper. A guy from the records department came by my desk with a big box, and said that my boss told him to bring it to me. Thanks, boss. I asked him to leave it on the non-window window-sill that divides my desk and the hallway. Later on that day, a woman came by and tapped the box, which scared the living daylights out of me because I couldn't see her behind it, and said, "trying to block the view?" I laughed, but then realized that if one more thing is placed on my desk, I will have officially disappeared. I could start small fires with my excessive kindling and roast marshmallows, or knit a sweater, or look at porn. Porn! Now I know what's on my agenda tomorrow.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Denied.

Remember way back last fall when I magically transformed this:
In the beginning...

Into this:
New Backyard!

Well, the winter has come and gone (please?) and it's time for round two: planting. I want the back twenty looking like a blue ribbon botanical exhibition by June. The thing is, I know absolutely nothing about gardening. I don't really see this as a problem. I just need to go out there with a burlap satchel over my shoulder and start tossing out my unborn plants like Johnny Appleseed, right?

So today I took my roommate and the grandma-cart down to 14th Street to pick up supplies. Then I made the Big Mistake. When I went inside to the cash register to ask how much their bags of top soil were, the head honcho was standing there giving advice to the city-folk, so I told him I was new at this and asked if I was doing anything totally egregious or missing some Obvious Gardening Step in my plan.

Apparently I was. He proceeded to give me a dissertation on the scientific process of soil testing and plant placement. Was I planting flowers or vegetables? Are the flowers bushes or stalks? Do they need partial or full light? Are you planting anything near a drain pipe? What's the quality and composition of your soil?

It was that last question that hit the final nail the coffin of my shopping expedition. He said I needed to find out if I have "terra cotta" soil. To do this, I have to dig four, one-foot deep holes and see if I hit clay. If I do, well then, forget it. Nothing will grow and I'll have to slow the rotation of the earth and invent a chemical process that will turn my lead soil into gold. I think it involved mulch.

When he realized I knew the answers to none of these questions, he more or less forbade me from buying anything. Because, of course, I couldn't possibly be buying top soil and plants if I ended up having the Terra Cotta Soil From Hell. Go dig a hole, he said. Eff me.

So the garden-man totally denied me. And if you think I'm digging a goddamn series of holes in my yard, you're crazy. Look at that first picture again - things can grow. I had a whole freaking forest in there when we moved in. So, I'm going to go back later this week and buy the shit I need. My roommate thinks there's going to be a picture of me by the register that says, "Don't sell top soil to this woman." I told him I'd wear my glasses and a hat, just in case.

I did foil him a little bit, though. I had stopped by the hardware store on Saturday and picked up some seeds and a starter kit. Behold:

The Garden - Day 1

Morning Glories and tomatoes. Beefsteak tomatoes, to be exact. We want to cultivate the Morning Glories onto our back fence, so we'll see how that pans out. I'll try to document the process, so start filling out your brackets now to pick which seedlings I kill off first.

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