Saturday, June 11, 2011

Poem for Saturday and Mount Vernon Skink

Good Night
By Wilhelm Müller
Translated by Louise McClelland Urban

I came as a stranger; as a stranger now I leave. The flowers of May once
welcomed me warmly; a young girl spoke of love, her mother even of marriage.
Now all is bleak--the pathway covered with snow.
The time of departure is not mine to choose; I must find my way alone in
this darkness. With the shadow of the moon at my side, I search for traces of
wildlife in the white snow.
Why should I linger and give them reason to send me away? Let stray hounds
howl outside their master's house. Love likes to wander from one to another,
as if God willed it so. My darling, farewell.
A quiet step, a careful shutting of the door so your sleep is not disturbed,
and two words written on the gate as I leave, "Good night," to let you know I
thought of you.


Daniel spent his last day at high school -- it was the day when the seniors were supposed to arrive just as the underclassmen finished their last exams, to pick up their caps and gowns, have a panorama photo taken, and have a class picnic (plus some sports, though with a broken arm, son did not participate in the latter). Meanwhile Adam had his English and history final exams, which left him unimpressed -- the English exam is county-wide and designed to make sure all students have met certain basic objectives, meaning that the test is very boring. Despite the heat, he ran three miles afterward.

In between shuttling Daniel to school and retrieving Adam, I posted a review of the animated Star Trek's "Once Upon a Planet". We had dinner with my parents and watched the two most recent episodes of Game of Thrones, so at least we're caught up, though I'm ambivalent about watching any more, Sean Bean or no Sean Bean. The level of misogyny is just so high -- I know we're not supposed to admire Robert with his screwing everything female in sight and punching his wife when she disagrees with him, though the show has worked hard to make us think she deserves whatever happens to her, and has given us little reason to care about the monstrous mother who's Stark's sister-in-law or the prostitutes who head south for the winter or anyone, really, besides Stark's daughter who hates everything feminine.

I had what I long considered to be an inevitable breakup with one of my imaginary boyfriends before I went to bed last night, when I glanced at my Twitter feed and read Russell Crowe's anti-circumcision rants mixed in with remarks like, "I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies." I unfollowed him on Twitter and Facebook before I shut down, then today I was bemused to see him backtracking and apologizing in a panic when he realized that the Jewish friend to whom he had directed the Jewish comments was only one among many thousands who had read (and reported on) what he'd said. Oh, Russell, I believe that you're no Mel Gibson, but will you ever learn to STFU?

The Friday Five: The Five Senses
1. What sense are you most in tune with, and why?
I respond more to sounds and smells than images or touch.
2. What do you smell like and is that a good thing? I have vanilla and sandalwood most often in what I spray/put on my skin.
3. What materials do you like to touch most/least? Most -- velour. Least -- anything sharp.
4. The noise that annoys you the most that people would be surprised bugs you is: I despite popping balloons. I've been known to leave parties where there are too many balloons and rambunctious people.
5. Cannibalism time--what's your flavor? I don't understand the question and I really don't want to know.

Fannish5: Five characters you feel are most likely to read or write fanfiction. (That don't already do so in canon.)
1. Lex Luthor, Smallville
2. Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Gabrielle, Xena: Warrior Princess
4. Donna Noble, Doctor Who
5. Alan Shore, Boston Legal

This skink was at Mount Vernon the day we visited last month...

...hiding in the shade beneath the vault where George and Martha Washington are interred.

It appeared quite content to lurk just below the gate in the shadows.

I felt a bit guilty for paying more attention to the lizard than to the Washingtons, but they weren't going anywhere.

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