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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Thought Pops, Edition 4: Tropic Thunder

This post, Thought Pops, Edition 4: Tropic Thunder , was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Can it really be almost two years since the last "Thought Pops" post? That tag was made up to designate a post with unconnected ideas, so it's useful for this misty day in January. We're getting only mist- not rain - but with possibilities for freezing sleet and rain tomorrow night. The pale peach iris that opened this morning may be in for an unpleasant surprise.Annieinaustin, Pale peach iris

Texas Home and Garden Show

Philo and I went to the Texas Home and Garden Show yesterday courtesy of Lindsey George. Thanks, Lindsey! We didn't expect a lot of gardening products so weren't disappointed that the emphasis was home improvement. After interesting conversations with many of the exhibitors we came home with a few purchases and lots of information and literature about future house projects. Philo likes browsing (and grazing) at the food booths - he found some good stuff at Joy Peppers of Austin. We bought the Blueberry jalapeno jelly and love it!Joypepper.com via Annieinaustin

Someone Has Eaten My Daylily

For GBBD on the 15th I showed you a confused daylily in bud. That bud opened and more buds were in waiting. How odd to see a daylily in flower with narcissus!January daylily, Annieinaustin

There are no buds in waiting now - the entire stalk has been bitten off - by a squirrel, no doubt.
Bitten daylily, Annieinaustin

Another Flower Open
The Camellia japonica 'Pius X' had no open flower for Bloom Day, but there's one today. Only two more buds left - sure hope squirrels don't find them delicious, too.Pius X camellia, Annieinaustin

Attn Ben Stiller!

Although the all-male cast was irresistible (Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte, etc.), I refrained from seeing Tropic Thunder at the theater last summer. Seeing Mamma Mia with an audience was fun, but I wasn't so sure about seeing this rowdy comedy with a crowd. When Robert Downey Jr was nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actor last week, the DVD was serendipitously waiting on the coffee table.
JBlack, Tropic Thunder websiteDid anyone else see this loud, violent, funny, very 'R', over-the-top movie about making a movie? Should I admit how much I liked it? I also watched the actors' commentary track and if there were an Oscar for acting on the extra tracks of a DVD, Robert Downey Jr. should probably get that one!
The commentary told which scenes on the DVD were not in the original movie - including many of the scenes I liked best. Directors feel obliged to cut out exposition and dialogue and amusing asides to move a movie forward and make it commercially viable.

But like Tristram Shandy, I'm all about the asides.

This post, Thought Pops, Edition 4: Tropic Thunder , was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.


  1. I love the asides, your little update on movies and flowers. That hot sauce looks interesting. Our home show comes to town this coming weekend.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Mmm that pepper jelly looks delish. Our garden club has its plant sale in a month, hope I am home to be able to catch it.

  3. Annie, I attended the previous' weekend Home and Garden Show, and that's where I got my great pink power tools. I'm confused as to the difference in the two shows, both on back to back weekends at the convention center? And I didn't know that squirrels will snap off a bud and take it away! Do you want to borrow my guard kitty? :) And I definitely want to check out the movie; anything with Robert Downey, Jr is good by me.

  4. Annie...one more thing (I sound like Columbo). You mentioned the different climates on Diana's post between her place and yours...I have to admit I'm jealous of both of you! She has the sunny tropical climate that grows hundreds of lemons ready to pick, and you can make anything bloom - like a camellia! I think my climate is somewhere in between both of you...

  5. Love that camellia, Annie. It's good to know you liked Tropic Thunder. It's on my Netflix list, but I'm expecting City of Ember and Vicky Christina Barcelona first.

  6. Just saw Tropic Thunder last Sunday... loved it. Laughed my backside off.

  7. Those rotten squirrels. It is difficult enough to get something to bloom this time of year but then to have a squirrel take it away as an afternoon snack. Grrrrr

    Love the camillia. They don't grow this far north.

    I haven't seen the movie. I figured it would be over the top. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  8. Annie,

    Oh the camellia is a beauty...does it take much work to keep it happy in your more alkaline soil? Like you I thought that the movie might be too much. But now I do want to see Robert Downey, Jr...I love much of his work.


  9. Annie,
    I soooooo ready to see what kind of show our Irises will put on this year. I hope it's spectacular. Jamie and I have Mama Mia, it was SUCH a feel good movie!--Randy

  10. We enjoyed talking to the Joy Pepper owner, too, Carol!

    Garden club sales are great, Nicole - I missed a recent bulb sale so better mark my calender for the next one

    I know there are two shows but don't know how they differ, GetGrounded Robin. RDjr is so talented!
    Diana's garden is practically tropical! Don't be jealous -my camellia is not thriving - just barely surviving.

    Hi Pam/Digging - weird thing is I notice the camellia flowers more in years when they are few in number rather than abundant. Haven't seen City of Ember but did watch Nim's Island. We saw Vicki Cristina Barcelona at the theater and have it in queue to watch again...Javier Bardem without the No Country for Old Men hair helmet! Yay!

    Welcome, d.a. - nice to meet you and hear you liked the movie, too.

    Squirrels can be a pain in any year, but ongoing drought means no pecans so they'll eat anything, Lisa at Greenbow...you were right about over the top!

    Coffee grounds, seaweed with iron and extra water keep the camellia alive, Gail, but it's not happy.
    RDjr is wonderful, but be aware that most elements of 'R' movies are present in Tropic Thunder: vulgar and suggestive language, violence, drugs and nudity. And fart jokes.

    Good morning Randy & Jamie - I hope your irises have stayed asleep...we've dropped nearly 20 degrees in the last 2 hours so these early bloomers may be mush by tomorrow.
    Philo gave me Mamma Mia for my birthday - love the movie, the singalong version and loved the director's commentary on that DVD, too!

    Thanks for the comments,


  11. It IS odd to see a daylily bloom with the daffodils. How different. I bet the squirrel was hungry and he found a good delicacy and could not refuse.

  12. Hi Annie, thought pops for a cold rainy day are great! Maybe more frequent postings? :-) Asides R us!

  13. I'm putting Tropic Thunder on our Netflix queue right now. For my spouse to watch - it sounds like his kind of movie. Maybe mine too, if the violence isn't too gory.

    Glad to see that Austin is getting some rain!

  14. Camellia, blooming NOW? Oh that sight sure makes me long for my old home where Camellia is the state flower. They are, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful flowers.

    LOL on the daylily/daffodil blooms!

    Thanks for the thought pops, Annie. It certainly brightens up the long winter day.

  15. I haven't seen Tropic Thunder, yet, but everything I've heard about Robert Downey Jr.'s performance makes me want to.

  16. My, but you have eclectic tastes! I never would have figured you for a Tropic Thunder fan. I too, missed this in the theater, but enjoyed it at home.
    Sorry about your lilies.

  17. OMG! I LUVVVVV Tropic Thunder. I tried, unsuccessfully, to get my coworkers to go see it with me for a second time (the first time I went with my husband's coworkers). Thankfully my mom listened to me, and bought it for Christmas. So far my parents are refusing to watch it (my mom because of Jack Black, and my dad because of Ben Stiller). but I'm working on them.

  18. Annie - fun post with lots of good information. Sorry about the lily snatcher - they are annoying, aren't they? I was going to ask you about your beautiful Camelia and then I read your responses and so now maybe I won't plant one. I saw so many lovely specimens in posts last year that I had a serious case of envy. I don't think she's hearty enough for me here -- I kind of have a "live or don't" garden!

  19. Haven't seen the movie yet, but have heard only good things about it. And yes, you do have eclectic tastes--one of the charms about your blog. I'm sorry about the lily-munchers. Bad critters!

  20. Keep doggies away from camillia buds, when I lived in CA I had a tone of camillias, come to find out dogs love eatting the buds. LOL!

  21. I hope the poor plant survives, Tina - but at least I saw it bloom!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the asides, Frances...don't my Tweets (in Twitter on the sidebar) count as frequent posts?

    The violence is very theatrical, Entangled. In the commentary Ben Stiller talks of rejecting certain effects for being too realistic, because he wanted it more like a cartoon.

    You'd laugh at my camellias, Carolyn Gail - I've seen them in Seattle and on Pam in S.C'.s blog so know what they should look like!

    The actor-characters are given backstory with trailers for excruciatingly bad fake movies. Robert Downey Jr is so wonderful, MSS of Zanthan Gardens, that I wanted to see his fake movies.

    I'll take that as a compliment Weeping Sore - and use one of Blackswamp Girl's favorite quotes: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. (I contain multitudes.)"
    - Walt Whitman

    Philo & I usually take movie advice from our adult children, Katina, but not always. I found out my daughter also rented Tropic Thunder, and for two of the same reasons - RDJr & Jack Black! Maybe it's a secret chick flick?

    The earlier-blooming Camellia sasanqua is actually doing quite well, Diana - but not this taller Camellia japonica. I might buy another sasanqua.

    Thanks, Jodi - eclectic tastes sounds better than scattered mind!

    Dogs eat camellia buds! I had no idea,Nickie. Both my camellias are inside the fence so should be safe.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!


  22. What a beautiful iris, Annie! I do hope it survived the freezing rain. Enjoyed all your "thought pops"--this is the way my brain works most of the time, LOL. I am going to have to rent "Tropic Thunder"; I saw the previews and thought it looked fun, and I usually like anything with Ben Stiller in it.

  23. I hope you're staying warm and dry there in Austin, and that your plants come through this cold snap relatively unscathed. It's chilly enough here that I don't want to get outside and fill the birdfeeders. My goldfinches are waiting, though, so off I go!

  24. 'Thought Pops' posts? Love it and this one. Love hot sauce but blueberry/jalapeno sounds like a must try. Great iris, nice daylily, sad daylily and fun movie.

  25. Annie, I enjoyed this "Thoughts Pop" post with your potpourri/gumbo of topics. My mind works like this hopping from one thing to another so I can easily follow your train of thought. Wow...your iris is a brave lady ready to face any sort of enemy weather coming her way like Joan of Arc, isn't she?

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  26. Lately my thoughts and my blog, both are a bit discombobulated. I cannot think on a single topic. And when I write I am tempted to include tits and bits of everything.
    I love this post, especially the heading:Thought Pops!...An interesting mix of thoughts.

  27. I am glad to see that I am not the only one having other flowers out at the same time as the narcissus. What a shame about that squirrel. I know the feeling because the same has happened to some of my plants. Hopefully, it will bloom again at the right time.

    Always Growing

  28. I definitely blame the squirrels for the Daylily damage. You could smear some of that blueberry jalapeno jelly on the Camellia buds to keep the squirrels away from them. I haven't seen "Tropic Thunder" because I have trouble w/ strong violence in films. Otherwise it sounds like my kind of movie.

  29. Our garden shows are all in March; I may hit the trifecta: Toronto, Rochester and Buff this year. Maybe more farther afield.

    I heard TT was great and look forward to seeing it on cable.

    Those look like your Grand Primos.

  30. Hello Prairie Rose, the iris stalk that was up with buds showing color was frozen,but there are more stalks coming. Did you see Ben Stiller in The Royal Tenenbaums?

    I'll have to take photos and make an after post, Cindy - those repeated freezes changed the garden!

    There's a Hot Sauce Festival in Austin each summer, Layanee maybe you should add it to your calender!

    Gumbo is a good word for it, Jon - the kind with okra. This iris came to me with the wrong tag...your idea of calling her 'Joan of Arc' is great!

    Thank you, Green Thumb - at one time I thought this was a temporary phase but have accepted that it's a permanent condition!

    Hello Jan - later on there should be some larger narcissus with roses. It did seem strange when we first moved here.

    The squirrels feasted in the winter of 2007-08, when the pecan crop was the best in years. Now they're ravenous, MMD. If Tropic Thunder was cut into a PG-rated version it would be about 15-minutes long ;-]

    Good to see you, EAL - three garden shows sounds great! I've been to the shows in Chicago and Seattle and always hoped to get to Philadelphia.
    This clump has no ID but some sold with a Grand Primo tag is almost open in front. In this climate the little daffodils can cross-pollinate and seed themselves, which is pretty cool.

    Thanks for all the comments - if anyone rents this movie please let me know how you liked it.


  31. A day lily and iris in January. Amazing! The garden is always full of surprises.

  32. I love your flowers! They're such show-offs! Here in central Louisiana, we had our first Narcissus in December---it lives up to it's name, no?

    I have Gerbera Daisies and a few Azaleas peeking out now. I hope we don't get a hard freeze before Spring. February usually kicks our butts, though. (I can't wait to see 'Tropic Thunder'. I'm crazy in love with Robert Downey, Jr.)

    I have a special place in my heart for Austin---my favorite nephew is a police officer there. I've never visited, but love what I read about your wonderful city and hope to see it this year, for sure!

  33. Oh my, Annie. Your "Thought Pops" describes my blog to a tee :o/ LOL!

  34. Annie, at least you managed to get all your thought pops together into one post and come up with a heading. For me, deciding which subject to concentrate on is sometimes very difficult.
    Life is full of subjects, after all :)
    Your lovely peach iris looks a lot like my Beverly Sills.
    What a shame about the pretty daylily. Well, your hungry squirrel has good taste :)
    I only dream about camellia..and remember the beauties my mother grew. Yours is beautiful, even if it's not thriving.
    You've tweeked my interest in seeing Tropic Thunder. It sounds like fun. I always enjoy your movie reviews. I may be one of the few people who have yet to see Mamma Mia!


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