Tuesday, June 29, 2010

megablooms, megaheat, and jury duty

nearly all of my large heirloom tomatoes are putting out these big blossoms that are totally unlike the little yellow flowers i’m used to on tomato plants. i really hope i get some crazy fused tomatoes, or at least huge ones befitting the size of the flower...none of these megablooms have fruited yet, though. they seem to last a lot longer than the normal small flowers, dozens of which have already come and gone and set fruit on the cherry/currant/etc. tomatoes.

boise reached 101 degrees today. and to think just a week ago i was doubting we’d reach 90 in june. it was oppressively hot, but now a cold front is coming in and the temperature’s headed back down to the upper 70s. a refreshing thunderstorm came this evening with lots of dark clouds, horizontal lightening and cooler wind, but no real rain, just drizzles.

this morning i dragged my ass out of bed at 7 to get to the courthouse at 8 for jury duty. a note about the courthouse: to this day i cannot accurately speak the words “ada county courthouse” without slowing down considerably, pronouncing each word separately with a space of about 3-5 seconds in between. otherwise it always, unfailingly comes out “ada cunty cowt-house” or “ada cowty cunt-house.” i can’t help it, and it is strange.

i made it to the cunt-house on time, was given a little clip-on badge and sent to sit in a large room. nearly 60 potential jurors gathered in the room, spacing themselves out as much as possible, no one talking to anyone else. i glanced around a few times and it seemed like nobody else thought to bring a book, which is ludicrous to me, but maybe they were counting on entertainment.

and indeed there was entertainment--a movie screen playing the film “radio.” i don’t know much about this movie, but i gathered from the few moments i paid attention that it’s reasonably offensive and terrible. (reed was “livid” that i chose to read a book instead of watching “radio.” he is a shitty movie connoisseur.)

i’m reading “what is the what” by dave eggers, a semi-fictional autobiography of one of the lost boys of sudan. it’s a horribly upsetting, funny and wonderful book that sometimes makes me laugh and cry on the same page. so, during two hours of what ostensibly qualifies as jury duty, i continued my lengthy reign as the weird kid in class who buries their nose in a book and reacts emotionally to the text as if the events are unfolding in real life right before their eyes.

i did stop reading and pay attention when they played an ultra-patriotic orientation video--a brief, pointless synopsis of our duty as members of the jury and the crucial role we play as pawns in the perfect and infallible legal system of these fantabulous united states. the weird thing about the video, though, was that one of the on-screen narrators is a local media guy who writes for some of the same magazines i write for, only he changed his last name. i’m aware of TV people changing their names to avoid stalkers and whatnot, but for some reason this confused me deeply and i couldn’t get past it. i wanted to object loudly and tell everyone he was perjuring himself.

there were momentary glimmers of hope during the two-hour waiting-for-something-to-happen, like when they assigned us new numbers (separate from our identification numbers, which were also separate from our juror numbers. i just love being reduced to a numeral!) and had us line up, then sit back down, then line up again, stand there for a while, then sit back down.

eventually, a large old man in a black robe wandered to the front of the room and breathlessly explained what had just happened in what was supposed to be our trial. it ended in a plea agreement, so why he felt the need to give us a play-by-play with details and commentary was beyond me. then we were dismissed with a reminder that we’re on call for the rest of the week and an assurance that we'd be paid for half a day of service, despite not actually serving. the whole morning was such a frustrating waste of time when i could’ve been sleeping.


GoneferalinID said...

Sorry it was such a pain (jury duty), Going to court is like going to the DMV or Walmart. It also invokes a deep sense of something in me as well.

Regardless, I hope your frankenmaters do well. Since mine are heirloom, I plan on keeping some seeds for next year. Maybe we can make an exchange.

Emily said...

hahaha, i like your comparisons...i think i'd be much more freaked out by walmart than either the DMV or court. so thank you for reminding me it could be much worse.

yeah i'd love to do a seed swap with you! the heirlooms i'm growing are yellow pear, white currant, big rainbow, paul robeson, and at least three of the following (but i'm not sure which): aunt ruby's german green, black from tula, brandywine red, cherokee purple and dixie golden giant. i've never tried saving tomato seed before, but i read about how to do it so hopefully i'll have a good result and you can have as many of any of them as you want.

Holly said...

That was certainly an odd-sounding court experience you had. Glad you didn't get sequestered or anything.
What does it mean if one's tomato plant is about 7 feet tall with no blooms??

Emily said...

wow, i've actually never heard of that...i've read that tomato plants will grow huge with lots of leaves and not fruit if they're given too much fertilizer (especially nitrogen-rich fertilizer)--could that be the problem? is this happening with your plant? if so i would completely stop fertilizing and maybe cut back on watering to stress the plant out a little, make it feel like its life is in danger.