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25 October 2011 @ 01:10 pm
Vote-Pimping, Books, and Tiny Produce  
Voting for Real LJ Idol has opened up! The nearly 300 competitors have been separated into tribes (currently, alphabetical chunks), so you can read entries within a tribe and vote for the ones you like best. I'm hoping to make it at least a few rounds on this, to see what it's all about. I'm in this group. Lots of variety in all the tribes, lots of fantastic stories (maerhys' story is a standout).

On the book front, I'm reading (among other things) Cloaked In Red, by Vivan Vande Velde. This is the second book in which Vande Velde takes a well-known fairytale, skewers its weak points, and then writes alternate stories based on them. For The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, that included Why does that little man WANT a baby? and Why does he announce his name just when he's practically won the bet? This new book addresses issues with Little Red Riding Hood, such as, Who names their child after an article of clothing?, Who lets a little child wander the woods alone?, Seriously, you can't tell your own grandmother from a wolf?, and Where did that deus ex machina woodcutter come from, anyway?

On the gardening front... I mentioned my garden's tendency toward tiny produce yesterday. I know the soil isn't great (I'm still slowly getting the gravel out of it), and we should probably fertilize. But come on-- our largest watermelons were the size of tennis balls, and the cherry tomatoes were in the blueberry range. I took a picture for comparison, featuring the smallest micromelon and some tomatoes. It felt like I was halfway to making a model of the solar system:

Yes, the watermelon is barely bigger than the golf ball. I included the tiny green tomato because I actually harvested a few ripe ones that size about a month ago. Seriously. Well, at least they're cute. :)

*koff* Back to work. Toodles!

Clair de Lune: text - i knowclair_de_lune on October 25th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain ;) I grew cherry tomatoes on my balcony this Summer: the first ones were regular size; then the next ones started looking very much like yours. They tasted good, but were tiny.

The watermelon is adorable. I'm not sure at all your goal was to get adorable watermelons, but well... ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on October 25th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
I might have had two, from multiple plants, that were not marble-sized (or smaller). A coworker told me last year that if you overwater tomatoes, they won't do very well. Ours are in an area with automatic sprinklers, where some of the garden needs that much water, so I may be hosed. I think I planted a Roma tomato that produced no fruit, but that's another option-- plant larger tomatoes, so that their micromatoes will be cherry sized. ;)

Isn't that watermelon cute? My daughter was upset that I'd picked it (the vine was dying), because she thought it would get bigger if I left it. Hah! It's got stripes and everything- it's as big and ripe as it's ever going to be. About one spoonful's worth of fruit... :D
Maerhysmaerhys on October 26th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Thank you, m'dear! ♥

The books sound interesting, sort of up my current alley, so I will check them out.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on October 26th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

I've enjoyed both books-- Vande Velde is a fun writer to begin with. The "Introduction" sections in both books, where she points out the fairytales' flaws and mocks them mercilessly, are priceless. My son got his 3rd-grade teacher so interested in "The Rumpelstiltskin Problem" that she read the intro to his class.

Both books are likely to be in the kids' or teens' section, which makes them no less worthy in my eyes!
brigid_tannerbrigid_tanner on October 26th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
The fruits are so cute! LOL!! There's got to be a prize for smallest watermelon, and you've won it :) Are they getting enough water?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 26th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Isn't that watermelon tiny? I wish the picture had shown its stripes better.

IDK about the water. They're all in the same garden area, where they get watered enough so that nothing dies. That's probably too much for the tomatoes (according to a coworker) and not enough for the watermelons. Mainly, I think the melons were planted too late (partly the curse of a long, long winter). :0
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 26th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
How do they taste, though? Have you tried them?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 26th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
The tomatoes are really good, just miniaturized.

My daughter is digging her heels in about the watermelons, because those were her garden project this summer. As in, she's disappointed that they didn't get bigger, but they might be too cute to eat. :0
cindy: let's talk about foodtsuki_no_bara on October 26th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
i don't know if i could bring myself to eat that watermelon. it is SO CUTE. do you watch futurama? your wee fruit reminds me of the episode where bender and fry move in together and someone brings them a fruit salad tree as a housewarming present. it's a wee potted tree covered with wee fruit, like your micromelon and micromato. but it also has microbananas.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on October 26th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
:D That's my daughter's problem, I think-- the watermelon is TOO CUTE to eat. Maybe one of the tennis-ball-sized ones, instead. ;)

I haven't seen that Futurama episode! I've been missing out since it went over to cable, except for what comes on Adult Swim when I'm at my parents house. The episode with Bender's electricity addiction and The Church of Robotology and Beelzebot (complete with production number!) is still my favorite. :D
dearpeterxoneal: Neal smirkdearpeterxoneal on October 26th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
My mind just did a flip at the size of your watermelon. Just throw the melon baller contraption away -- they're pre-formed
straight from the garden!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on October 27th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
Haha! That's about the size of what would come out of that little one if you cut the rind off-- one melon baller's worth.

The others were slightly bigger, as in tennis-ball-sized. But none of them made it to anything like real-size (and all of them are round instead of oblong). Not enough growing season, and the vines are dying away, so that's all we're getting this year.

Christopher thinks we should market our microproduce for its cuteness. ;)