Saturday, October 31, 2009

Poem for Saturday

I Went To Heaven
By Emily Dickinson

Part Four: Time and Eternity

I went to heaven,—
T'was a small town,
Lit with a ruby,
Lathed with down.
Stiller than the fields
At the full dew,
Beautiful as pictures
No man drew.
People like the moth,
Of mechlin, frames,
Duties of gossamer,
And eider names.
Almost contented
I could be
'Mong such unique


Poem for Cidercupcakes in honor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date."

This is going to be an all-fannish entry, so if fannish is not your thing, you may want to move along. I wrote a review of Next Gen's "Cost of Living" -- which I love, though if you can't stand Lwaxana Troi, you'd be forgiven for not feeling the same -- while waiting for the second segment of "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith" to air. When my family got home, we watched both parts, and I love that episode even more, right from the start, when Mr. Smith and K-9 get jealous of each other's abilities and start competing. Spoilers: When I first heard the episode title, I predicted that Sarah Jane's husband was either going to be an alien villain in disguise or that he was going to be an innocent pawn who would nobly sacrifice himself for her sake, and I'm very glad it was the latter; it was more like the Doctor having to let River Song die, made both Sarah Jane and Peter Dalton stronger characters, and was touching if, well, predictable.

I laughed a lot too, and just as much during the first half, while Luke, Rani and Clyde were joking that they didn't want to have to watch grownups kiss in public (I loved Sarah Jane saying "Cheek!" when Luke said he didn't know people her age did those things). Having just watched the aforementioned Buffy episode "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date," I found it amusing as well as sad that Sarah Jane has the same problems with dating that Buffy does; how do you tell your boyfriend about your job, or hide it from him, without making him flee? Of course, none of the kids would have recognized the stuttering TARDIS sounds as such but I expected more alarm from everyone, not just Clyde, when Sarah Jane orders Mr. Smith to shut down completely right after detecting the anomaly. The whole idea that she needs someone reliable, she doesn't even know where to send the Doctor an invitation -- as if he'd come purely to be happy for her, and not to save the world -- that makes me sad. I actually prefer her relationship with Clyde! Though I did snicker at Clyde's line about hoping the Doctor is as good as Sarah Jane says, and the Doctor's reply that journalists are always exaggerating but he is pretty amazing. Also Rani telling the Doctor to call her Sarah Jane rather than Sarah and his reaction...hee!

Not sure about the whole "there's nothing outside" from either a sci-fi or visual standpoint; it was hard to look at the screen at times, particularly when Sarah Jane, silhouetted in painfully bright light, talks to Peter about his "angel" and suspects he was using the red kryptonite ring to manipulate her (I am very glad she accepts the proposal before she puts on the ring, otherwise there would be very icky consent issues since they apparently were together for two weeks afterward). But you'd think the Pantheon of Discord would know that Sarah Jane is not so easily tempted by now, and would never fall for a man who isn't strong enough to do the right thing once he understands what it is, that he's already's very much like Rose's father, living up to his greatest potential for love and duty just as he realizes he has to die. I bristle at Clyde deciding he needs to go fight the Trickster because "it's what Sarah Jane would do, it's what the Doctor taught her" -- all right, but she learned from plenty of other people too, and Peter has learned enough from her to do what he knows she would do.

The Doctor's implication when he finds her, I think, is that ultimately Sarah Jane is more important to protecting Earth than he is himself, talking about the things she's going to do. When she asks if this is the last time she'll see him and he says he hopes not, I assume that means he knows that the until-now Doctor does not see her again in her future...does "don't forget me" mean him, Ten, his current incarnation, or is he actually sort of jealous of his previous self and possible future self? It's a nice conundrum. I mean, Peter doesn't deserve Sarah Jane, but really I don't think the Doctor does either. And I'm really glad Peter loved her and made her realize she could have a happy love life with someone, just not him -- more Martha, less Rose, without the violent erasure that Donna got. Anyway, I was completely satisfied with this episode, and wish Torchwood would take some cues from Sarah Jane.

Painted pumpkins in the store at Jumbo's Pumpkin Patch.

In addition to pumpkins, a variety of gourds are sold there.

Plus there are Halloween decorations for sale, including witches...

...and painted gourds designed to serve as birdhouses.

The pumpkins at Jumbo's were so picked over, though, that we got ours from this small local market.

They sell excellent corn and vegetables all summer, and, at this time of year, many varieties of apple, all locally grown.

A cool spring and lots of rain during the growing season made this a tough year for pumpkins -- there are plenty of big ones, but a lot of them aren't fully orange.

Still, there's plenty that can be done to make a less-than-perfect pumpkin festive!

The Friday Five: Memory and Desire
1. What is your happiest memory?
Being at Stonehenge for the first time with my family.
2. What is the most important life lesson you've learned? Being poor sucks, but wealth is no guarantee of happiness.
3. What is the most difficult decision you've had to make? Whether to drop out of grad school.
4. What is the best thing about your life? My kids.
5. What is the biggest challenging you're facing right now? Finding a job that's enough hours doing something I actually want to do.

Fannish 5: Five favorite fannish Halloween costumes - that you have worn, or seen someone else wear. My tastes are simple and I am easily impressed.
1. Yoda from Star Wars, which I wore in college (it was a cheap storebought one, but I was short enough to pull it off better than most adults, heh).
2. Pikachu from Pokemon, worn by older son.
3. Harry Potter from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, worn by older son (who did not then need glasses, so he had fake costume glasses).
4. Bele from Star Trek, worn by Paul (created with black and white face makeup plus a neutral-color turtleneck and trousers).
5. Jim Morrison, whom my friend Suzy's then-boyfriend agreed to dress as because she had a total fetish (we're talking hundreds of old magazine photos taped inside her closet door). He didn't look much like Jim, but he must really have loved her to agree to try.

My parents are home from California but my father is sick, so we didn't have dinner with them; instead Paul made apple and cheddar strata with chicken in mushroom sauce, both of which were fabulous. Then we watched Smallville, which I didn't think was such a great episode -- it's like they can't figure out what to do with Oliver from week to week, though Tess is awesome and I love her. Spoiler: But I forgive everything, even the stupid Good Morning Metropolis storyline, for the last few seconds when Clark and Lois finally kiss, though this is so much earlier in the season than I was expecting for that that I am now worried how many stupid ways they'll be split up in future episodes a la Clark and Lana. Then we watched Sanctuary, which also had some silliness, but also had awesome women -- I always love Magnus, and go Kate! (I don't think Magnus is fooled by her for a second, which is part of the fun.) Spoiler: Also, any episode in which a geek gives the Live Long and Prosper hand gesture to misunderstood alien creatures before becoming a successful comic book writer gets bonus points from me.

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