Thursday, August 07, 2008

Presenting Punkenstein ...

As regular visitors know by now, recently I've been allluding to Punkenstein, our inadvertent pumpkin patch growing out of the compost in the back veggie garden, so I wanted to give an update to my original post, which explained its appearance and location.

At this point (exactly one month later), it extends much further than this shot really shows ... it has advanced several feet further and is clambering over the top of the old jungle gym skeleton we inherited in the middle of the veggie garden. That part is definitely going to have to be cut back, because it's starting to shade the tomatoes, and we don't really think it's a good idea to have pumpkins dangling from the top of the rungs! We also need to go out and do some bloom clipping to make sure the ones that do set on get bigger ... we're hoping we can get enough larger pumpkins to use for Halloween, so we better hop to that! If you think some of the leaves look a bit battered, they are ... from that sudden storm that erupted Monday night, bringing us that round of hail...

If you look in the top left of this shot, you can also see our ever expanding Horseradish. I suppose we should dig some roots again this year and make some more, but talk about a painful experience, lol! If you're a fan of Horseradish, just plant some and wait 2-3 years before you dig the roots and prepare it ....

Now I'm going to put on my sci-fi-geek-Brit Humour hat (I don't wear it that often, honestly) to give a big shout out to the BBC for finally releasing their series Spaced on DVD in the US. If you've never seen this --all too brief-- series starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Jessica Stevenson (of Shaun of the Dead fame), you may be in for a real treat. Spaced only lasted two seasons from 1999-2000, but it has achieved a pretty respectable cult following since then ... we first saw it about 4 years ago on BBC America, who was annoyingly erratic about when they aired it, and not necessarily in sequential order, quite a frustrating introduction to this brilliant series. We fell in love with these lovable slacker late 20-something Brits and their sometimes surreal, always comical adventures which most often paid homage to (or downright parodied!) classic sci-fi movies, as well as other films. To say it's quirky is an understatement, because at moments it is truly disorienting and downright bizarre, but always with a gentle "spacey" sense of humor that should disarm most viewers with an open point of view.

When I discovered Shaun of the Dead, (the best zomedy of all, even though Fido comes close), we knew that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were headed for bigger things, which culminated most recently with their quite different --yet hilarious-- Hot Fuzz. I read a while back that Simon Pegg was cast as Scotty in the new version of Star Trek that has probably finished production by now ... so it looks like Simon has met at least the near big-time in his career. In one sense, Simon Pegg has already become quite the star in Britain after the success of Shaun and Hot Fuzz, and he even had a guest starring role in 2005 playing "The Editor" in an episode of season 1 of the new Dr. Who.

I'm glad to see Simon making a bigger mark in film and TV, but I fear that the wonderful work he did with his core compatriots Nick Frost and Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes) in Spaced and Shaun may suffer a bit, but with any luck, I'll be wrong about that! Still, the remarkably natural (improvisational at times) characters they played in Spaced are what really endeared these people to me ... Tim, Daisy and Mike, along with the other oddball denizens of their apartment building created a series that managed to be edgy, innovative and just downright hilarious thanks to the brilliant writing from Pegg and Stevenson, coupled with the spot-on direction from Edgar Wright (who also directed the subsequent films mentioned here).

I bet you'll never guess I got the newly released box set on Tuesday ... so we're working our way through from the very beginning with no more commercials, no more bleeped out words, no more blocking out the end sequences for promos ... Ah, the way this series was meant to be seen! And it's been even more enjoyable than seeing the scattered episodes that BBC American occasionally deigns to toss our way. After all, there are only 14 episodes, and then, alas, the series ended. If you're a Spaced fan or a novice, the set offers plenty of extras that we're looking forward to exploring, once we see the whole series again. Tonight we watched Episodes 4 and 5 and totally enjoying revisiting these old friends! (And we're also noticing some small things that were obviously snipped for the American audience, so that's a nice treat too....) If you've seen Simon and Co. in the films I referenced and liked them, you truly owe it to yourself to check out Spaced if for no other reason, then to see where this great group of actors started out. (I'm sure Netflix has this now if you don't want to plunk down for the set.)

Oh, and a note to Gail: It doesn't look like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is available for purchase as a single disc right now, only in the boxed Almodovar set I mentioned recently. I did search Netflix though, and it's available for rental if you want to go that way. And a disclosure, I've never used Netflix, and have no vested interest in this comment, lol.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Punkenstein looks like Kudzu. Are any of the neighborhood children missing? They could be lost in there:) Wow, it's massive.

Can't wait to see the jack-o-lanterns.

Janet... Arrrgghhhhh said...

Whoo Hoo! I love Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Thrilled to learn that I'm not the only Zomedy loving person out there. We just adore Fido! Fun Zombies as well as Thriller Zombies. I think it's genetic. My brother has tons of old Italian Zombie flicks and even has the cheesiest movie of all... Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things akak Hippie Film Makers Piss Off Zombies.

Pegg will be in another film this Sept however it won't be a Rogue feature. Run, Fat Boy, Run. I don't believe it has Frost in it. Which is a same. Ooooooooh you're my best friend. :)

Also, have you read Max Brooks books? Zombie Survival Guide & World War Z? Incredible reads!

Beautiful breathtaking photos as always dear one. Stay cool if you can. It's even hot here in rainy Portland.


Gail said...


I lost this comment once and you know what that means; this one is at best seconds! The other was far more clever!

You continue to educate this naive midwestern living in the midsouth! Now it's zomedies and punkenstein. Can't wait to see him in his autumn orange glory. Perhaps the Horseradish will keep him in line!

Thank you for checking out netflix...I can order it from a friend's account. She will love watching it with me!

Now I am off to spend a weekend with my kid!


boran2 said...

Wow, IVG, that photo gives new meaning to the phrase it's a jungle out there. Punkinstein is nothing if not, umm, punkinsteiny. You'll have to keep us updated.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Lol, no kids are missing that I know of! It is huge, and we do need to chop some back soon, alas. I guess that's what happens when they sprout in pure compost! We've created a monster ...

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Long time, no see, babe! Glad you stopped by again, and do come back when you can ... have you updated your site recently? I'll look later...

Have you seen Spaced? If not, get it ASAP! We just watched another 4 episodes tonight, and we just keep getting more and more of the jokes ... well worth owning.

Glad you liked Fido too! That's such a fun movie, and with some sharp political commentary thrown in too ... a real sleeper. And the whole 1950's (?) take on the town/people was just brilliant.

I had heard of Run, Fat Boy, Run, but I expect we'll see it when it gets here. And no, I don't think I recall Nick being in it either, pity.

Actually it's cooling down today and over the weekend, so we might even be able to get outside and open the windows again! That's weird you're hot out there ... what was that about climate change? hmmm

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
I've been losing comments right and left too, the past couple of weeks (just the other day I was over at Marnie's place and it just swallowed mine whole).

Educating, well I'm flattered you don't mind me sharing some of my non-garden related obsessions, lol. I know a lot of my picks/preferences are off most folks' radar, but I like to tip people off to cool stuff from time to time.

Can't wait to hear what you think about Women ... you might want to make a batch of gazpacho for the occasion, as it has an important role in the film, hehe.

Hope you have a great weekend with your son! Enjoy... I'll probably be out staking hibiscus up and rescuing them from the bindweed!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
LOL, that it is! Wait till the Castors get bigger and it will really be jungle land ... don't worry, I'll do updates when there's something new to show.

Daisy said...

No shading the tomatoes! Bad, Punkenstein!

I grew pumpkins out of a raised bed last year. I let them crawl a little bit. Then they ran right up the fence. I traveled alot, so soon enough, there were pumpkins on the fence. These were sugar pie pumpkins, but they did really well hanging there. I couldn't believe it. I suppose giant jack-o-laterns might be a little too plump for acrobatics, but there are always melon slings! (google it... there are some great images.)

Janet said...

(((IVG))) nope, haven't touched the blog for a while. Almost a year. I leave it up because I hope to add to it. But I get home with stories and pictures and the words just fail. At one point my family asked me not to blog about it as we did get some threats. So I'm a bit more in the shadows... so to speak. Pink shadows that is. :)

I will most definitely get Spaced.

Fido was alot like another favorite of mine, "Pleasantville". Both were political and both were treats for the weary marcher. :)

I'm around. My schedule is a bit strange. Still loving Portland. It's truly my home.

And I haven't killed off the roses. My neighbor brought over some praying mantises for our bushes. Imagine that! Most neighbors get a cup of sugar... I get husband eaters. :)

xoxox Janet, damnit.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Daisy,
Nope, don't want those tomatoes shaded, so maybe on Sunday (I have work work to do on Sat) I'll go at a bit of it. Interesting to hear about your pie pumpkins, those are small enough to get away with that, I bet. Jack o'lanterns, nuh uh. :-)

Guess I'll need to google that, as I have no idea what those are, lol.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Janet, hugz right backatcha there!

I think family was wise there ... no point in pointing it out, but every time I see/hear of a pink action, I think of you... (of course!)

We just finished watching the rest of Spaced and finally saw a few episodes we'd never seen before. You will fall in love with it instantly, I guarantee! What a unique and outstanding series, and the last episode was a tear jerker but a great finish, all in all.

Lucky you with the mantises! We had a few show up last year and have had glimpses of them this year, and hoping to shoot more (with the cam, of course)!