Thursday, September 10, 2009

Poem for Thursday

Sonnet 49
By William Shakespeare

Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advis'd respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand, against my self uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love I can allege no cause.


Most of this entry will be about things I watched Wednesday, so if you were hoping that I did things, you may be sorely disappointed. I did go to California Tortilla for lunch with Cidercupcakes, who told me she thought after Comic-Con that it would be safe for me to watch Eastwick. We picked up food -- chicken tortilla soup and burritos are sometimes a necessity for happiness, even if younger son had to finish mine for me -- and watched some Futurama (one of our traditions, along with Arrested Development) and agreed that even though too many people told us to watch Glee and Leverage respectively, they were right.

In the afternoon, I watched The Secret Life of Bees, which I'd been hairy about watching after the previews; I'd read the beginning of the book and found it a bit cloying, and the film previews had every cliched platitude spoken by the characters (things like "finding out the truth is only half of it, it's what you do with it that matters"). I am ashamed to say that I watched just to see Paul Bettany and Jennifer Hudson -- I like Queen Latifah but her character seemed to embody several cliches in the previews, and I was wary of the often-too-cute Dakota Fanning. Well, Fanning is terrific, even though she has plenty of overly precocious dialogue that somehow doesn't ruin the story. Some of the facts are off -- the stuff about Jews putting written prayers in the Wailing Wall, which was certainly not a widespread practice in 1964, before Israel gained control of it during the Six Day War -- but the performances were very moving, and the music was so fantastic that I had to download Lizz Wright's "Song for Mia," Joe Purdy's "Mary," and India.Arie's "Beautiful" as soon as I finished watching.

After dinner we all started watching Obama's health care speech, for which, like his school speech, I felt like we were not the target audience. He doesn't need to convince me that we need health care reform, that no one should die for lack of health care or go bankrupt trying to pay it, and that insurance agencies with profit motives screw things up more often than Medicare, Medicaid, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. Nor does he need to convince me that the Republicans misrepresenting what's in the current proposal are liars (which makes it even more despicable that a congressman would call the president a liar in the middle of a speech, and what's with waving signs like they're at a football game -- is THAT what the Republican Party has come to?).

That said, I still would like to hear some specific examples of how the plan will work for specific people -- a middle-aged man who is diagnosed with a long-term debilitating condition, a single mom with chronic arthritis, neither able to afford private insurance -- how much will premiums cost, where will treatment and tests be offered, will my doctors be compensated as much as private insurance would compensate them, will I have to deal with red tape before I can get treated? Who is going to make such decisions? Of course I favor coverage for people who don't have enough, but how will such sweeping changes affect the cost and number of medical tests, how will it affect the salaries of people in all areas of the medical profession, how will it affect people who do have private insurers whose corporate practices will have to change to remain competitive? I wish someone was talking about practicalities instead of "Health care reform now!" or "Health care reform is socialism!"

Then we all watched Glee, which I enjoy a lot but can't say I adore like the people I know waxing rhapsodic about every aspect of the show. I love the musical numbers, I love the core glee kids...I really do NOT like the way Sue, Terri and Quinn are being set up as irredeemable, shallow bitches whom we're supposed to laugh at while not taking seriously enough to care about any pain they might be feeling. Spoilers: Quinn's been indoctrinated into her parents' religious and cultural values, desperate wannabe mom Terri has more serious psychological issues than cutie-passive neat freak Emma, and we don't know what Sue's deal is yet, but I bet there's a world of truth under her flippant accusation of being treated with a double standard because she's a woman. It's too soon to know whether, on the one hand these characters are going to be fleshed out, or on the other hand, Will, Kurt, et al are going to be set up for mocking as well. But embarrassing premature ejaculation scenarios aren't anywhere near comparing the loss of one's ideal home to losing a child in the Holocaust.

A spider and its web in late afternoon sunlight Saturday at Flag Ponds State Park.

My family at the beach setting up the umbrella and chairs.

This is one of the jellyfish that made Paul nervous enough not to want to swim, though they were few in number, very small and mostly dead.

Adam was not at all nervous, and stayed in the water pretty much the entire time we were there.

Bright afternoon sunlight on the fishing dock...

...gave way to hazy afternoon light behind fossil-rich Calvert Cliffs.

The historic shanty where the woods meets the beach was a working fisherman's house 50 years ago.

One more view of the Drum Point Lighthouse, now at the Calvert Marine Museum.

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