Friday, July 29, 2005


Today's book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I am catching up, gradually. I had no intention of starting this book today, but it was here, and next thing I know I'm over 200 pages into it. It's marvelous to see Harry display some flaws and meet with misfortune; it's very refreshing after three books of "Oh, don't worry Harry, you're very rich and here is some delicious candy." GoF was a little harder-edged but only at the end; that was more "Don't worry, Harry, you're incredibly brave and look, you've succeeded at everything!" It's nice to see him mad. I hope this means Draco gets a sympathetic moment or two.

Today I walked to Hyde Park Square and met a woman trailed by a little girl blowing a whistle. "That's getting old already," the mother sang our wearily to the empty air, then she saw me and smiled. "We're going to find a way to lose that, I think."

In front of the post office is an iron garden sculpture of a person holding his arms out; a basket of petunias had been hung from each arm, but they were blasted and brown. I suppose they fried in the heat. The effect was delightfully grim and got me hankering for fall. This year I want to harvest something; I want to play the role of Death, even if it's just putting up a bunch of dried herbs. On the walk back I passed the Baptist church and noticed with a start that one of its stained-glass windows has a sickle as its centerpiece. It felt like a secret cool breeze.

Today's plant: Assorted foliage from the Bigg's garden aisle. I bought it months ago to put in a new pot I had just made for my gentleman-caller out of an empty White Castle coffee bag. The thing is now three times taller than the bag. I repotted it yesterday and it resembles a tree.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And the heat goes on

I am heading into my seventh day of work in a row. Aggh. Because of a staff shortage, I'm having to do other people's jobs instead of my own, so every night is unpredictable and stressful. Tomorrow I'm off, but my week starts right back up again on Saturday. Aggghh.

Today's book: "Murther and Walking Spirits" by Robertson Davies. I finished it this morning. In theory, I enjoyed the combination of history and metaphysics; still, I couldn't wait to put it down. Thank God I can now move on.

Today's plant: Drosera binata. It's coming up as a volunteer alongside a Sarracenia leucophylla plant from California Carnivores. Free plant! What's amazing is that I ordered a D. binata from them at the same time and managed to kill it after a month. (It was in a separate pot.) This feels like forgiveness from the carnivorous-plant gods, who have to be scary.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

You're a lizard, Harry!

Today's plant: Black plum tomato. Volunteer seedlings are coming up all over the yard. Two are even setting fruit.

Today's book: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I've behind on Harry Potter. I read up through "Goblet of Fire" when everyone else did but then never bothered with "Phoenix." So, having fallen prey to the "Prince" media frenzy (and admittedly curious to see who dies), I'm reading them all starting with the second book. I had really forgotten how annoying the early books are. Draco & Lucius are tedious villains, and the whimsical fanciful magical crap gets old fast. If memory serves, book 3 is more complex. Gotta slog through. My favorite thing about Harry Potter is the fanfiction, in which the character archetypes become characters.

Vince, Vincent

We are back and Nashville was as scorching as could be hoped. One night we had dinner with my family, and the next we saw Del McCoury Band at the Ryman. After an hour they popped out Vince Gill as a surprise guest, prompting the man behind me to call his mom on his cell phone & hold the phone up for her to hear. After Vince left they played "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." It was a damn good show, and very Nashville.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

warm rain

Heavens! Let's pull ourselves together a bit, shall we? Warm rain is falling and the cats & I are quite snug. Tomorrow my gentleman-caller and I are off on a trip to Nashville, my humid scorching sweet hometown. We plan to have cocktails with my parents and possibly attend a concert at the Ryman. Mmm.

Today's plant: Nepenthes coccinea. God, this plant loves summer. The humidity is spurring it to form large hairy beautiful pitchers. I'll have to post pictures, but not tonight.

Tonight's book: "Murther and Walking Spirits," by Robertson Davies. This would be a perfect beach book, with its meandering pace and ranging narrative. I thought it would be a gripping page-turner, but reading it is very relaxing. It's a very mellow book.

Am unlikely to blog from Nashville, but I do promise to come back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I became a grownup at 23. I was living alone in a ground-floor apartment, a six-hour drive from my family and at least an hour drive from any of my friends. The apartment wasn't in a nice neighborhood. One fall night I turned on the microwave, and it went dark; a fuse had blown. When I opened the fridge door, the light was off. If I didn't fix the fuse, all my food would spoil, or at least be highly suspect by morning. To reach the fuse box, I had to go outside, walk around the unlit corner of the building with dead leaves blowing in my face, unlock the basement door and descend a horror-movie wood staircase. The light switch was at the bottom. You should've seen this basement, too: a series of rooms going all the way under the house, ceilings lowering progressively as they got further away from the stairs. Once the light was on, fixing the fuse was the work of a minute, and then I was back upstairs with the microwave going and all the blowing leaves firmly shut outside. That was the night I conquered fear.
Although zombie movies still scare the living shit out of me, so maybe it didn't work.