Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poem for Wednesday and Canal Boat Ride

Sonnet 134
By William Shakespeare

So now I have confessed that he is thine,
And I my self am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore to be my comfort still:
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous, and he is kind;
He learned but surety-like to write for me,
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
   Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
   He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.


Not a very exciting Summer Solstice for me -- I had to do more scheduling and rescheduling around our travel plans (Daniel will be taking driver's ed in July and needs road time, cats need their annual epic torture aka veterinary exams), and I had laundry to fold. My mother asked whether we wanted to meet her for lunch, so we all went to Bagel City, then she took the kids to play miniature golf while I came home to deal with the aforementioned laundry, which I folded while watching Letters to Juliet. I am slowly shedding my lifelong disinterest in romantic comedies: I still think they're too often condescending to men and women both, but given the rampant misogyny and intense violence in nearly every genre film I've seen in the past year, that increasingly seems a minor sin, and they usually take women seriously as human beings, even if the women's interests tend to be on the shallow end.

This one is no exception -- minor spoilers -- it's about a girl who goes with her fiance to Verona and feels neglected when he doesn't treat her romantically. All the young lovers are sketched out in the broadest possible terms, but I am willing to forgive that because I like that it takes people in their 60s seriously as romantic interests when in most films people over 50 are only allowed to have romance as comic relief or tragic balance. In fact I was betting that one of the seniors was going to be dying of cancer or something because that's so the typical cliche among older people in love in the movies).

I had a Colin Firth George VI Lost Generation evening -- first we watched The House of Windsor episode "The King Who Saved the Crown," which had loads of footage of Bertie and Elizabeth and was utterly delightful if completely fawning, then we watched the first episode of Lost Empires, in which a ridiculously young Mr. Firth goes to work in British music halls and risks seduction by sophisticated women and getting caught up in the Great War. Disappointingly, though Cameron Diaz was on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart did not ask her a single question about filming Gambit with Mr. Firth and Mr. Rickman. Daniel had dinner with my parents and Adam is sleeping at a friend's and both kids have early dermatologist appointments so hopefully they will remember to be home.

The C&O Canal boat Charles F. Mercer awaits passengers.

Park rangers in period costume explain the history of the canal to people... they pass through the lock in front of Great Falls Tavern.

Park visitors help the rangers open the lock gates.

Mules pull the boat a couple of miles up and down the canal...

...where the breeze and views are both lovely.

The boat is never very crowded, though there is a lower level that takes on additional passengers at the tavern itself.

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