a little greener, a little bigger - that pretty much sums up this morning's plant check in a nutshell. i woke up at a normal hour to work on a small project for client S.

during one of my breaks i decided to transplant the seedlings, one plant to each container. i started with the nasturtiums. the first i used a knife, which was the wrong way to do it, and i ended up cutting the seedlings needlessly. after that mistake i started using a spoon to dig out the plants and gently separate them by hand before relocating each seedling to its own plastic cup. i had some spare containers already filled with dirt but i also mixed up a new batch of potting mix and filled a few more empty cups. i also recycled the ones where i was growing some chinese cabbage. i poked at the dirt with a knife but didn't see any growth so i figured it was okay. later on i noticed a few of them had some very tiny sprouts, but they seemed to be buried too deep in the dirt to have germinated properly.

i ended up saving all 12 nasturtiums (i planted 3 seeds in a total of 4 cups). what surprised me the most was how deep and thick their roots were. next i transplanted the cypress vines, throwing away a few that looked like they weren't going to make it.

on my next break i decided to transplant the basil. i didn't do it earlier because i didn't think it could be done: basil seedlings are tiny and fragile, and i figured it'd be better just to cut the ones i didn't want. problem is when it comes to growing plants i am strictly pro-life and the idea of even throwing away a single healthy basil seedling didn't sit well with my conscious. so i went to work, digging out the basil group with a spoon (i think i initially put 5-7 seeds per container) and separating them out. it felt like i was performing surgery, splitting apart conjoined twins or something.

by the time i finished i had a whole bunch of new containers of single basil seedlings, covered in plastic wrap to keep the fragile sprouts in a state of high humidity. nevertheless, i still had too much basil on my hand, and i reluctantly had to throw away the orphans (i did think about eating them - which may need more psychoanalysis at some future date - apparently uprooting them is wrong but consuming them is okay).

caught a great movie on television tonight, to live and die in L.A. (1985). i've seen the movie before and actually remember going to the video store and renting the tape (back in the heydays of VHS greatness). when i originally watched it though i didn't quite understand it completely (i was young at the time), and probably got the movie in the first place because i thought there were boobies. watching it again as an adult, i can't believe how awesome it is. first of all, it's directed by william friedkin, the same academy award winning director who did the french connection (1971) and the exorcist (1973). it stars william petersen - of CSI fame! - as the stereotypical detective (richard chance, and actually, secret service) who doesn't play by the rules. willem dafoe plays a counterfeiter (eric masters) who chance is trying to take down after masters kills his partner (maybe back then that was a cliche yet). a young dafoe plays a villain once again; back then maybe he could've still gone with different roles before he fell into typecast hell and would play the villain in almost every one of his later movies. the entire movie features a rocking 80's original soundtrack by wang chung. speaking of the 80's, the film lives and breathes 80's, almost like a tribute. what i remember most is a very detailed scene where masters is making fake money in a warehouse. it's so meticulous that it's almost like a blueprint for DIY counterfeiting. nowadays everything is probably done on the computers, which is another thing that's missing from film. they walk into an office, not a computer in sight. no computers, no cell phones, no internet research. how did people even live back then? did they retreat to their caves after sundown and watch TV broadcasted through the airwaves? the movie also features one of the most amazing car chases you'll ever see. unfortunately i wasn't paying attention until it was over ("did that really just happen?" i thought to myself). there are also gratuitous fight scenes, and every single character gets beat up at least once throughout the film. oh, and as if that wasn't enough, william petersen wears really tight jeans for the first half of the film (before he goes undercover) and in an early scene, there is a censorship-worthy bulge.

later in the evening i checked up on my chinese cabbage forced germination test. wedged between two wet paper towels and encased in a plastic sandwich box, hopefully i can figure out what percentage of the seeds are still viable. from digging up the used chinese cabbage containers i know some of them are still good, but i think it's probably a low number.

finally, a single cilantro has sprouted! i'm surprised it'd take 14-21 days for cilantro to germinate. if you've ever seen coriander (AKA cilantro) seeds, they're pretty big, and as a general gardening rule, bigger seeds sprout faster. maybe i should've soaked them overnight, but there was nothing about that on the instructions. hopefully the rest of the cilantro will germinate soon (if nothing else, at least to alleviate my fears that maybe they're all dead underground), even though i'm starting to run out of shelf space in my grow closet.

bonus fish tank photos! hard to tell if the new aquarium fluorescent lights are doing anything. i really need to get some more plants to really know for certain. i have noticed the elodea seem to be doing much better in the male guppies tank, and many of them have even sprouted rootlets to try and reach the gravel substrate.