Thursday, June 03, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Back to the Past

War Lullaby
By Meghan O'Rourke

Wet daggers of grass
cast shadows over one another
beneath the porch light—

the boy stretched on the lawn,
fighting sleep,
fingers the tournament ring:

inside the house
his mother shouts, blinds
slap in the breeze,

and upstairs the smallest stir
as they sleep, eyelashes like
tiny whips against their cheeks.

The dogs bark, a door slams,
the boys breathe deep,
then shudder—

I have seen them
out of the arms of mothers.


Every time I looked at the computer today, there was some horrible news headline -- mass murder in England, the Taliban targeting the Afghan peace summit, the new unimproved Korean War, BP's diamond-tipped saw getting snagged, dead dolphins and turtles -- so I tried to stay away from the computer. (Jon Stewart just gave a great summing-up of the fact that commentators in the U.S. seem incapable of talking about Israel-Gaza in anything other than black-and-white absolutes like a Miller Lite commercial: "Great Hate! Less Killing!") Adam has been researching inexpensive green screens, inexpensive video editing software, and inexpensive video cameras, so I spent some time looking at his links and trying to figure out whether there's a way to get video off our camcorder using some kind of IEEE-to-USB connector, since his computer has no Firewire port (apparently it is not possible, hence the research into alternate cameras).

After dinner (penne with sauteed peppers and veggie sausage), we watched the Tim Burton Alice In Wonderland on DVD and agreed that Alice Kingsley would make an awesome companion for Doctor Who. Every time I watch this movie I like it better, and although the DVD doesn't have a navigable menu to the special features, it has nearly an hour of interviews and making-of footage, in which we really got to see what professional green screen work looks like and the amazing rendering software that created the Frumious Bandersnatch. Paul McCartney is in DC tonight performing at the White House, which won't be televised until later in the month, but my Paul announced in his honor that "I Am the Eggplant" should be the new vegetarian version of "I Am the Walrus," and really, what can anyone say after that? Here's a last set of photos from the Virginia Renfaire last weekend:

An armorer designs jewelry and accessories for non-combatants.

The pirates set up a map and have mock battles in their tent.

A rescued greyhound appears at a discussion of dogs at the Queen's court before a friendly race. (It was quite warm for the dogs, so I'm not sure if the race actually happened.)

The Queen plots with her ladies in waiting.

A piper and a harpist perform on one of the smaller stages.

A corgi greets guests to a vendor selling gypsy scarves, cauldrons, incense, goddess figurines, and miniature swords.

Untrained warriors can try their hand at archery.

and Lin visit with the alpacas.

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