By Aaron Belz
Somehow your fangs have disappeared,
and you no longer look spooky.
That's good, because you're just a kid.
Admittedly, a deformed kid, but now
at least less spooky looking. Hey,
perhaps lose the orange soccer jersey.
It does nothing but illuminate your acne.
Don't worry. I was once like you.
I wore squirrels once to school.
Oh, I know it was vanity, and I stopped
to look at myself in the windows
of empty homes, and to pee in hedgerows,
and I took to the art teacher too--
these things are nothing to lose sleep over.
Some people are just this way,
drooling, complicated revolutionaries,
half vampire, half human, half canary.
Another by Belz, who teaches English in California and whose book Lovely, Raspberry is being published by Persea this year.
We are going to lose Daniel every weekend and most weekday afternoons to robotics until after the competition season, so as will happen every Sunday for the next several weeks, we got him to the corporate sponsor's office, did some stuff around the house, then went out. Our first stop was Trader Joe's because we were out of pita, running out of hummus, and in need of red pepper, walnuts, and Manchego. The Ravens were already ahead of the Patriots when we arrived and were winning easily by the time we left, so although we saw almost none of the game on TV, we enjoyed it greatly on the radio. Then we went to Brookside Gardens, which like the US Botanic Garden was in the last weekend of its holiday train display -- this one somewhat less ambitious but still quite lovely, with several different trains weaving around displays of holiday flowers and greenery.
Lots of families admired the train display at Wheaton Regional Park.
There were multi-level tracks with bridges and tunnels.
There was even a miniature of Brookside Gardens...
...with a miniature of the train display!
And there were many cute track-side decorations, like Yoda from Star Wars and like this fisherman whose catch was being eaten by a bear.
Plus there was a miniature ice skating rink in which many of the figures moved around...
...including the penguins.
In addition to a couple of locomotives that blew real steam and a little bee train like the one at the Botanic Garden, Brookside Gardens had its own delivery car.
After picking up Daniel, we took the entire family to get haircuts, stopped in CVS and Giant for the necessities we couldn't get at Trader Joe's, came home and watched the Cardinals-Packers game, which did not end the way I wanted but I can't really complain since the Ravens won and anyway it was a terrific game -- every time it looked like Arizona was going to pull away, Green Bay came back, and I have no doubt that if they'd gotten a turn after the winning defensive touchdown, they'd have matched that one too. When overtime finally ended, we watched The Simpsons ("The world may end in 2012 but this show won't") and the anniversary special, which had some insane segments like the wild popularity of the show in Buenos Aires (though NOT in Rio) and the guy with the Simpsons Geek House that puts the Trekkie homes I've seen to shame.