By Jason Bredle
The horse discovered a gateway to another
dimension, and with nothing else to do, moseyed
into it just for grins, and man, you
don’t even want to know what happened
next—it was just, like, Horse at the French
Revolution. Horse in Franco’s living room.
Horse on the moon. Horse in a supporting role
in an episode of ER. Horse being shot
out of a cannon. Horse on The Price Is Right.
Horse in a Whitesnake video. Horse
at Kennedy’s assassination. Horse in the Tet
Offensive. Horse at the Gap gawking at some
khaki pants. Horse in Julie Piepmeyer’s
bathroom. Horse being tossed out of an airplane
with a parachute strapped to its back, plummeting
toward Nebraska. Horse on Capitol Hill
(Yes, I’d like the floor to recognize
the distinguished horse from Arizona). Horse
on the subway. Horse authorizing a peace treaty
between the U.S. and Iraq. Horse
in the Evansville State Hospital. Horse caught up
in a White Hen robbery. Horse in the Kentucky
Derby. Horse staring at the merry-go-round
at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The list goes on and on. And so goes
the horse’s adventure, where one minute
it’s standing next to Pat Sajak and with a violent
flash like that of a murderous camera or the twirling
screen and music of a Batman episode
it’s standing in the middle of US-23
with a screaming motorist speeding toward it.
And this horse, whirling through dimension
after dimension, spiraling carmines, suicidal
jasmines, and mathematical theorems tornadoing
past it, being placed in situation
after situation—what had it learned
when all was said and done and it was back
at Tom Wallace’s farm? Nothing is better
than Rachel Wallace while they stand in the barn
in the middle of February and she draws pictures of it
to take to school tomorrow.
While Daniel was at robotics, we took Adam to Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park for the annual maple sugar festival...or, to be more precise, we took Paul there, since he was determined to get free pancakes and maple syrup and we knew we couldn't get to Mount Vernon early enough to get THEIR free hoecakes and syrup. Adam felt a bit tricked when he realized we weren't only there so he could photograph geese and flowers, though he was a good sport about it, even though he picked on me all day because I called him a "failer" at one point which he cited as ample proof of my failure. The maple sugar festival was quite crowded with kids watching the sap being boiled and pancakes being made inside the log cabin, but the greenhouses weren't crowded at all and the trails either -- there were more geese than people.
Paul checked out the sap on one of the trees at Wheaton Regional Park.
Volunteers were boiling down the sap...
...and handing out pancakes and homemade syrup to visitors.
Families sat around the fire by the cabin, though it was nearly 50 degrees, so not very cold.
We also visited the greenhouses and took a walk to see the geese, who scurried away whenever people came up their hillside.
Adam photographed them when they refused to get off the bridge so we could cross.
Like the geese, the ducks were starting to pair off.
And since most people and geese were where the food was, I got to walk the labyrinth in peace.
We came home to watch 60 Minutes because I wanted to see Lionel Logue's grandson, who was fabulous -- he had Logue's diaries and said he was struck that the King and his grandfather were obviously good friends and pointing out that Logue had edited Churchill's speech for the King to get rid of some of the more hard-to-pronounce words for a stammerer, and Colin Firth said he found the "you still stammered on the 'W's" bit while he was reading Logue's diaries in bed, and in general I am just so happy to see a major news venue treating The King's Speech like the absolutely wonderful film it is instead of "Oh, this just isn't as young and hip as James Franco cutting off his arm or The Social Network," which just makes me seethe. Also, Colin Firth explaining that he did Mamma Mia because you can't dangle spandex and a bit of mascara in front of him without him dying for them because he's such a drag queen is my favorite quote of 2011. (Also, I haven't particularly followed Scott Brown's voting record and I'm sure he's done things that would enrage me, but I found him very impressive.)
We took a break from Colin Firth to watch The Simpsons for the Ricky Gervais-Russell Brand angle, but it was the Toy Story and Wallace and Gromit parodies that make this week's episode an instant absolute classic. Then we watched Dorian Gray, which it's probably a good thing I haven't read in decades or the screenplay would have made me screech even more than it did...I really liked Ben Barnes' performance, which I wasn't sure I would, having only seen him in the Narnia films and Easy Virtue which makes a delightful contrast in father-son dynamics to this one, and Colin really, really needs to play the devil more often because he does it better than Jack Nicholson or Gabriel Byrne and nearly on par with Viggo Mortensen. I laughed a lot that in the commentary, Emilia Fox and everyone else was talking about how homoerotic Henry's feelings for Dorian were while Colin was insisting, oh, no, it's very destructive, he just did not want to go there. Come on, Colin, where was your inner drag queen? I also loved when they asked the actors whether Oscar Wilde would like cinematic adaptations of his work, and Colin said oh, definitely, and Fiona Shaw said no, he'd hate it, and Maryam D'Abo said yes, he'd love it...must have been a fun set!