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You are looking at the very first edibles that I have been able to harvest from my garden this year.  Don’t they look cool?  Even if you’re not into radishes, they are pretty cool looking, I think.

I’m very, very glad that I decided last minutes to plant a garden this year.  It has gotten me out of the house far more than I would have otherwise, and it’s been quite relaxing, not to mention that now I get to eat the fruit of my labors.  It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however.  I have been in a huge fight with some pretty impressive (and gluttonous) slugs.  I had to re-plant my peas five times because they kept getting eaten by slugs (or rabbits, or moles, or voles, or deer, or birds, or who knows whatever else.)  One of my eggplant starts was eaten down to the ground by the slugs.  I came over late one night to garden and found about a dozen of them all mounded up on the ground over the remains of the plant.  They all died a heroes death.  I’m sure they have been elevated to the status of slug martyr amongst their kind.

But everything else, with the exception of the cilantro, which was only planted a week ago, is finally starting to make some progress.  I’m going to try to remember to bring my camera with me to the garden soon so I can take a few snapshots of my work.  (Let’s be honest…it’s mostly for my parents.  I know y’all aren’t that interested.)

I’ve had several of the long-time gardeners at the pea patch tell me how impressed they are with how well my garden is doing.  One gentleman stopped by to introduce himself and tell me that I certain had a green thumb.  It’s nice to hear things like that on occasion.  Especially when the woman who gardens the four plots next to mine has run her own landscaping company for the last 30 years, and has turned her garden into a verdant wonderland.  Mine looks pretty pathetic by comparison.

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Burlesque is a pretty standard small-town girl comes to the big city to become a star, experiences some hardships, gets discovered, and falls in love along the way kind of story.  There are a million of these in the musical theater world.  If you’ve ever seen 42nd street, or Dames at Sea, or Fame, you’ve basically seen Burlesque.  Although, to be fair, Peggy Sawyer never wore a leather bustier while tap dancing. 

Burlesque was…well…okay.  The script is weak.  Very, very weak.  The first half of the film is stronger than the second half, but at no point does the writing ever rise above Showgirls-level drivel.  The only thing that saves the film from being a complete train wreck are the performances and the visuals.

I am a bit of a rarity: a gay man who doesn’t like Cher.  Actually, she’s quite a good actress.  Or she can be if she’s directed well.  And I suppose that she’s a good performer, although I’ve never seen her live.  But I can’t stand her voice.  It sounds like someone shot botox into her vocal chords and then stomped on her throat.  That, and she looks like a drag queen whose makeup has melted.

But in Burlesque, she actually does a fairly good job with the drivel that she’s been given.  And her big 11 o’clock number helped me see, for the first time, how much talent she actually has.  She even managed to impress me when she hit a few notes in the songs that I didn’t think she had in her range. 

Christina.  Oh Christina.  You’re a talented girl.  But you try too hard.  And for the love of all that’s good and holy, are you even capable of holding a single note for more than 1/16th of a second?  Yes.  We get it.  You can do runs.  You’ve got a bunch of vocal gymnastics.  But you know what?  You’re ruining your voice singing the way you do.  You keep it up, and 10 years from now, you’re going to sound like Cher.  And we don’t want that, do we?

I’ve started tracking my interest in a movie by how many times I turn on my iPad while watching it.  Burlesque gets a pretty low score here.  I knew what was going to happen before I was past the 15 minute mark of the movie.  There were a couple of scenes where I know the actor’s next line before he or she actually said it.  The pacing was off, the numbers were repetitive, and the music, with only a couple of exceptions, was just dull.

Hey, I’m a guy who likes musicals.  This could have been a really fun romp.  The costumes were great, the performances were pretty good (especially Stanley Tucci, who I adore), and the look of the film was slick and shiny.  It’s just too bad that it was a bit like polishing a turd.

5 out of 10.

  • Billy

    This explains why Burlesque did so well in the box office and revived the careers of its stars.