Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poem for Tuesday and Mount Vernon Scenery

Titian vs. Roadrunner
By Dan Chiasson

If you are made for flight, intended for it,
you had better find a pursuer, fast.
Otherwise all that fleeing is going nowhere.

This bull, he's got a bad intent, he wants
to hog the entire corner of the picture.
The girl is looking tasty to the espying putti.

This small bird crisscrossing my childhood
at enormous speed, outrunning everything,
running out of road to run down, running

out of canyon, running out of cartoon
runs out of the cartoon, never to return.
That’s why this landscape looks forlorn.

The world turned upside down and shaken
like a piggybank, the one last coin
rattling around inside, just coughed it up.


From this week's New Yorker.

I did not have the best of mornings. I went to pick up my new progressive-lens glasses, only to put them on and find myself functionally blind -- I see much, much better without any glasses on than I did with these, both trying to read and for distance. After an hour of walking around the mall to see if I could adjust -- I could only see at all by keeping my head down and looking through the very top of the lens, which was not conducive to, you know, not tripping -- I went back and said screw this, I am not spending hundreds of dollars for glasses that leave me literally unable to see a thing. So now I have one pair of glasses for distance vision, aka driving, and I will have another pair for reading as soon as they get the lenses in. Apparently my astigmatism is not a good fit for progressive lenses. I can read better with the distance lenses than I could see anything at all with the progressive lenses, so that's that.

While I was walking around, I did a bit of shopping -- $10 turquoise shirt on sale at Sears, $16 black denim shorts on sale at Macy's -- and browsed Brighton's spring jewelry, though they don't have the little braid bead spacers they're supposed to get so I didn't buy anything. I am completely in love with this spring's clothing -- lots of crinkly blouses, lots of bright jewel-tones and primary colors. I couldn't pick up the glasses for driving till almost 2 p.m., so I had excellent Greenberry frozen yogurt with granola and a handful of the superb roasted peanuts we got in the Mount Vernon gift shop on Sunday. Speaking of Mount Vernon, here are some photos of scenery other than lambs:

Paul and Martha Washington on the porch at the rear of the mansion at Mount Vernon.

A cow and a calf in the field behind the new smithy.

Here is the blacksmith at work inside. He made everything on the table in the foreground.

No photos are permitted inside the mansion, but they are allowed in the connected kitchen. The stove had to be lit by a slave at four in the morning to be hot enough to cook dinner.

Pigs in the upper pens. There are piglets out Mount Vernon, but they're newborns and are in the modern barn off public display.

The graves of Washington's slaves were unmarked, but freed slaves who later worked on the estate were able to identify their locations. This marker is in the area where the slaves were buried.

Adam bonds with the chickens in the coop behind the recreated slave cabin at the pioneer farm.

The trees around the mansion are only just beginning to bud, but the bowling lawn has clearly been tended.

I am pleased Virginia Tech beat UConn in the NIT -- not that the NIT counts for anything, since, as I told my in-laws, if Connecticut had won then it would make them the 66th best team in the U.S. We spent the evening watching the last two episodes of Eastwick, the ones that aired in England but not the U.S., which were delightful and very frustrating at the same time -- they opened up a bunch of storylines that are obviously never going to get concluded and ended on a gigantic cliffhanger, but I was so happy to see Paul Gross and Rebecca Romjin again that the good aspects far outweigh the aggravation. And Kat has some really awesome stuff in these final installments.

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