Saturday, September 17, 2011

Poem for Saturday and Hillwood Gardens

days of awe: elul: psalm 27
By Alicia Ostriker

we are told to say the following
every day for a month
in preparation for the days of awe:

you are my light my help
when I'm with you I'm not afraid
I want to live in your house

the enemies that chew my heart
the enemies that break my spine
I'm not afraid of them when I'm with you

all my life I have truly trusted you
save me from the liars
let me live in your house


I had a long post about my fabulous fangirly day on Thursday but I lost it, arrgh. Short form: Dementordelta came to my house, bringing me a snake scarf, I gave her birthday presents, we went to Lebanese Taverna for lunch and had hummus and grape leaves and good stuff like that. Then she drove me to the Hillwood Museum, which was at one time the home and personal treasure trove of Marjorie Merriweather Post, who had an enormous collection of Russian imperial art and also collected French decorative art, as well as formal gardens and a woodland walk for her fountains and sculptures. It looked like rain, so we walked through the gardens first (the exhibition of Post family wedding gowns is in one of the side buildings). Then we toured the house, whose most famous treasures include two Faberge eggs and a room of Russian icons, though there are also two spectacularly decorated pianos, a French roll-top desk, and enough porcelain, glassware, and needlework to take a week to fully appreciate. Plus the biggest shoe and hat closets I have ever personally entered.

Then we drove downtown to Alisanne's hotel, where we met her, Torino and Emynn in the lobby Starbucks. We all walked to the Old Ebbitt Grill, where we sat at the bar talking about fannish stuff and everyone had mimosas but me (who had taken migraine medicine too recently, making ginger ale my drink of the night). Eventually we were shown to our table, which was right near the bar but ironically quieter than the more visible tables up front. There aren't a lot of vegetarian choices on the menu but they had a fabulous seasonal cheese plate with raisin walnut bread and peach slices in some kind of praline sauce, which was delicious -- Treewishes had the same thing when she arrived. We all shared a bunch of desserts, Ali gave us all cupcake necklaces, there was much hugging, then Delta took me home. I didn't bring my good camera because last time Hillwood made me check the entire bag, including my phone, so of course this time they allowed photography. Here are some photos mostly from Hillwood's Japanese garden and lunar lawn and the dacha:

Friday was not nearly as eventful, though it was gorgeous out, the first real day of fall, with temperatures in the 60s and leaves coming down in the woods where the squirrels appeared to be in their seasonal panic collecting acorns. I posted a review of "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" -- not one of my favorite animated Star Trek episodes by a long shot -- and had dinner with my parents. During the course of discussing movies, my father discovered that we had never seen Entrapment and loaned it to us. I liked Catherine Zeta Jones in it a lot and enjoyed the heist plot and international travel (I am always shocked when I see a movie set in New York made before 2001, when the WTC shows up on screen). But nothing is ever going to make me a Sean Connery fan; he well and truly ruined himself for me with some of the idiotic things he said in interviews about women.

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