Happy Independence Day

It didn't occur to me yesterday to make a special blog post about the 4th of July, but I realized that I Tweeted throughout the day and took several pictures. Here they are for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter. (You're missing out on a lot of fun, btw.)

This post is also good because I am so behind on my New Year's Resolution to make 300 blog posts in 2009.

I took a couple pictures in the garden in the morning... The pure pink Clarkia that I show you a lot on this blog C. bottae, from southern California. This is C. rubicunda which you can find around in northern California if you know when and where to look for it. I just have a couple volunteers this year; next year, hopefully more.

Clarkia rubicunda

In previous years I've grown Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) with mixed results. This is Amaranthus cruentus 'Autumn's Touch' which I thought might be fun to try. It has just recently begun to flower, and I'm not sure what to expect. I saw it in a magazine combined beautifully with succulents and tropicals. My curiosity was piqued. I have three of these growing in an inaccessible container, and they're not really paired with anything in particular. This is really just a trial run. So far, so good.


I put my camera down for most of the day and used my phone to take a few pictures. Miss Patty is so adorable!


We invited a half-dozen people over for shish kabobs and cake. We grilled chicken and vegetables for the meat eaters and tofu and vegetables for the vegetarians. Guy marinated the tofu overnight in a store-bought sesame and ginger sauce. I marinated the meat and vegetables with rosemary and thyme (no relation to Rosemary & Thyme) and some olive oil to help extract the flavors, and a dash of soy sauce. These are the last six kabobs.


I carried out the grilling duties in the garden. It was a tight fit, but no one was harmed.


Guy bought an ice cream cake from our neighborhood ice cream shop, Maggie Mudd.


After eating we played cards for a few hours then everyone went home. Fireworks are illegal in much, if not all, of California, but people still get them. And of course local governments put on big fireworks shows every year. I never feel motivated to go watch fireworks, but last night I was able to see (and hear) quite a few from my bedroom window. This video also includes what I assume is a news helicopter covering a fire that broke out around 11 p.m. on Bay Shore Boulevard (you can just make out the flashing lights of emergency vehicles sort of south east of the fireworks display). I have no idea what the search lights on the left were for. Meanwhile, in the lower left the neighborhood seems quiet and peaceful, oblivious to all the drama going on elsewhere.

It took me awhile to fall asleep last night. I watched music videos on YouTube.

Lisa Stansfield makes fabulous jazz hands.

If I could have my fantasy job, I would wear a tuxedo and play piano and sing sad songs for tips in a dark hotel bar for a few hours every night. This song would be in my repertoire for sure. (Note: In real life, I can neither sing nor play piano.)

As would this one.

While I'm not usually a Def Leppard fan, I do love this song...

And I would do a version of it similar to Mariah Carey's (also not usually a fan):


anna maria said...

I must admit, I really enjoyed listening to the Mariah Carey version. Never know quite what to think about that woman!

Frances said...

Hi Chuck, you were in such a retrospective mood with your insomnia. Imagining you as a piano man struck a chord. I would tip lavishly.