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Coming home a bit at a time.

I just got the invoice from Northland Rosarium, so I can stop biting my nails! They were having some problems with their online ordering system, and I was worried that I'd miss the fall ordering deadline. Thankfully, none of the roses are backordered. I'm really interested in finding out what the "Rose of the Year" is going to be next year between the Buck Roses (Quietness, Prairie Sunrise and Simon Estes) the Old Garden Rose (Crested Moss) the Floribundas (Moondance and Julia Child), the Gallica (James Mason) and whatever Aptos is (Northland Rosarium says Polyantha, everywhere else says Hybrid Musk). We still have a lot of room in back, so I got myself wait-listed for Madame Hardy. I don't know when one will be available, but it's worth casting my line early, right?

Last night I watched what was probably the longest movie I've seen in the past year, 1951's Quo Vadis. It was a whopping three hours long. I'm not sure what I thought of the movie in the long run. It was worth it for Peter Ustinov's awesome performance as Roman emperor Nero. Deborah Kerr was fine...but Robert Taylor as Marcus Vinicius was absolutely terrible! He was wooden as a post. I've only seen him in one other movie, Camille, with Greta Garbo. (Which is worth noting not only because Garbo's doomed courtesan character was the inspiration for Satine in Moulin Rouge! but also because it was the film that they saw in the theater in the movie musical Annie.) I don't remember if he was a bad actor in that. I don't know if he was supposed to be a bad actor in general...but he was at Shatner level in Quo Vadis. I kid you not!

I found certain scenes near the end hard to watch, because I hate even low-grade violence. But hey, it was all worth it because Peter Ustinov was awesome.

The real-life Petronius (Marcus' uncle in the film) wrote a nasty, nasty book called The Satyricon. I had to read it for a college course which was, ironically, taught by a nun (who had a great sense of humor about it). At least, most historians believe it was his work. The book was about a man who, after viewing a forbidden rite of the fertility god Priapus, is cursed and loses his ability to have an erection. He goes on a hero's journey to regain his stiffy and has all sorts of adventures, gets raped by a bunch of eunuchs, blah blah blah...I have no idea where my copy of the book went. I gotta find it!


Historical quibble: St. Peter wasn't crucified upside down because the Romans didn't want to give him the honor of suffering the same death as Christ. He asked to be crucified upside down because he didn't think he deserved the honor of suffering the same death as Christ.