Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Poem for Wednesday and Maymont Animals

In the New Garden in All the Parts
By Walt Whitman

In the new garden, in all the parts,
In cities now, modern, I wander,
Though the second or third result, or still further, primitive yet,
Days, places, indifferent—though various, the same,
Time, Paradise, the Mannahatta, the prairies, finding me unchanged,
Death indifferent—Is it that I lived long since? Was I buried very long ago?
For all that, I may now be watching you here, this moment;
For the future, with determined will, I seek—the woman of the future,
You, born years, centuries after me, I seek.


Tuesday was not as much fun as Monday in that I had work and laundry and things like that to get done, but it wasn't a bad day. I got done most of what I needed to do, and in the afternoon both Paul and Madeline had shopping to do at Kohl's and Target, so while they were trying things on, I took a walk around Washingtonian Lake in surprisingly nice weather, hot but not humid. There were geese and ducks and Dragonairs, and I found adorable long-sleeve Renfaire-appropriate shirts at Target.

Madeline had work in the evening, so Paul and I had Israeli couscous (faux) chicken and watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory long-distance with Cheryl. The great parts are still great and the too-creepy-for-children parts just get creepier with every viewing, but there's no question that Wilder's performance makes the movie work (and if you've never watched the DVD extras, they're worth the time!). From Maymont's Virginia zoo on Sunday:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Poem for Tuesday, Imperium, Genius, Lewis Ginter Butterflies

To the Garden the World
By Walt Whitman

To the garden, the world, anew ascending,
Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding,
The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being,
Curious, here behold my resurrection, after slumber;
The revolving cycles, in their wide sweep, have brought me again,
Amorous, mature—all beautiful to me—all wondrous;
My limbs, and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous;
Existing, I peer and penetrate still,
Content with the present—content with the past,
By my side, or back of me, Eve following,
Or in front, and I following her just the same.


I got to spend Monday with Cheryl watching movies and seeing animals! We started by getting Indian food while dropping Madeline off at the mall to shop for work clothes, then we went to Imperium, which I really didn't think I'd like -- it has Daniel Radcliffe in a role in which he's gotten pretty good reviews, but it's about white supremacists and I was afraid it would be a lot more violent and vile than it was (I mean, it was vile, but it was mostly white supremacists spouting conspiracy theory garbage, not physically attacking the specific Jews and people of color who are the targets of their venom). Radcliffe and Toni Collette are both very good in it and it's an interesting cautionary tale.

After that, we retrieved niece, then watched Genius on demand with Paul. This one is about editor Max Perkins's relationship with Thomas Wolfe and to a lesser extent F. Scott Fitzgerald, and stars Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Guy Pearce plus Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, and a generally fantastic cast. (I mean, you knew I wasn't going to miss a movie with Bertie and David from The King's Speech anyway.) There's a lot of vague talk about what makes literature great (apparently men telling stories about their fathers) and the female roles veer from barely tolerable to utterly cringe-worthy, but it has wonderful performances and passionate bromance.

We learned that Gene Wilder had died while we were watching Genius and were going to watch one of his movies, but we got so distracted talking about which of his Mel Brooks movies was our favorite that we ended up watching High Anxiety because none of us had seen it in many years and it remains utterly hilarious, even without Wilder. We'll watch Willy Wonka and Young Frankenstein later in the week. Cheryl and I took a walk, saw a pair of bunnies and rescued a cicada before she went home. Meanwhile, Madeline went to work, Paul and I had vegetarian jambalaya for dinner, and the Nationals beat the Phillies. Some of Lewis Ginter's butterflies (live and Lego) on Sunday:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Poem for Monday and Richmond Gardens

Ghost Eden
By Erika Meitner

after Anthony Haughey's "Settlement"

            Garden of rock.
Garden of brick and heather.
            Garden of cranes with their hands raised
as if they know the yellow answer:
            to gather together—safety in numbers.
Garden of drywall frames, holes for windows
            punched out like teeth. Garden of bar fights.
Garden of rubble and gaps,
            spectral for-sale signs knocked
from wooden posts, bleached down
            to numbers ending in gardens of overgrown lots.
We are falling into ruin, garden
            of scaffolding and shale and gravel—
give us back our peace: a half-built garden
            of theft, treasures hidden in darkness,
newspapers crumpled on subfloors telling us
            to hold fast to that which is good.
Garden of rebar and saplings with trunks
            encased in corrugated piping
because many animals can girdle
            a tree's bark quickly: deer, stray cats, rabbits.
Garden of Tyvek wrap loosed
            and flapping like a ship's sail
in the gales, in the sheeting storms.
            Hanging laundry left out in the garden
past darkness, fruit from the tree
            of human-ness: socks, shirts, underpants.
Garden of long exposures, half-light, traces
            that empty themselves in tire treads running
like ladders through red clay mud:
            the dirt from which we are formed
and crushed and formed again.


Another quickie because we got home late again! Paul and I spent Sunday in Richmond, where we met Cheryl at Maymont and walked through the gardens and regional zoo. It was very hot but there were lots of flowers and animals! Then we met Lin at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which has its annual butterfly exhibit in the conservatory and giant Lego sculptures around the gardens.

We were going to go to Mexico Restaurant for dinner but it was closed. Instead we went to Thai Flavor next door, which was really good -- they make vegetarian curries without fish sauce, so Paul and I split red and yellow curries and swapped some of Cheryl's ginger tofu. Then we drove home in moderate traffic and picked up Maddy, who had had her first evening of training at the movie theater!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Poem for Sunday, National Gallery, Mystic Warriors

By Sidney Wade

The great blue
song of the earth
is sung in all
the best venues—
treetop, marsh,
desert, shore—
and on this spring
day in the wetlands
where, under
a late sun,
we stand alone
and in love
with each other
and the passing day
we watch a cormorant
whose eye is ringed
in blue diamonds,
a shimmering lure,
and we love this blue
and this dark bird
and this deepening sky
that pinks and hums
in the west, and then

the bird opens his beak
and flutters his throat
and the late
afternoon light
the inside tissue
of his mouth
which is as blue
as his ocular jewelry,
as blue as the bluest
ocean, as blue
as the sky in all
its depth, as blue
as the back of the small
and determined beetle
who struggles to roll
his enormous dung ball
in his own breeding bid
to enchant another
small blue miracle.


I got home quite late, so here is our day in photos!

After lunch at home, we went downtown with Madeline to the National Gallery of Art...

...where we saw the very enjoyable Hubert Robert exhibit (he did lots of Roman antiquities, architectural capriccio, ruins, and depictions of the aftermath of the French Revolution including the development of the Louvre Museum).

We also saw the outdoor works in the Sculpture Garden.

Then we went to visit Alice, Jeremy, and Avery (plus their bird and all their local Pokemon) at their new house.

We brought a picnic with them to see Mystic Warriors perform at Potomac Overlook Park...

...and Avery and I walked to the nature center, which has many turtles, snakes, and frogs, plus several Pokestops surrounding it.

Now we're home, somewhat overheated and very tired! More tomorrow!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Poem for Saturday, The Gift, Seaside Country Store

Incised Moon
By Rachel Barenblat

Once I would have woken at three
to see our planet's shadow
carving a black crescent.

To watch her face disappear
only to return, round and red
as though hiding aroused her.

But after the year
of night wakings,
breasts full as the moon

I don't want to see
the numbers on the digital clock
creeping unavoidably toward day.

I hear she was coy, anyway --
did the striptease
behind a billowing sheet of cloud.


It was quite warm on Friday, which was fine because I had a lot of work to get done at home. I posted a review of Voyager's "The Gift", worked on an article, folded laundry, and talked tax paperwork with Madeline, who had pizza for lunch with us. Someday I'll have all my vacation laundry put away!

We had dinner plus excellent Seasons 52 desserts with my parents, watched a bit of pre-season football, then put on some more seventh season Bones (the baby in a manger episode and the extreme couponing episode). Pics from our visit to the Seaside Country Store in Fenwick Island last week:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Poem for Friday and Coastal Kayak

Landscape with Happily Ever After
By Lynn Melnick

Near midnight I’m held
hostage to the hazy upshot in the corner

velvet near a laced up tree and curious how I got here.

What a crowd! I think
and I think I should hoard my stash in my shoe.

Did you catch the census takers trying to autocorrect
the shelterbelt out of my history

when meanwhile

I’ve been fending off elements
since I first showed up at this latitude so

I don’t trust easy.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
you ask me outside

where the music dims
against the complicated bramble

and I love how the moon

is gilding the rusted basketball hoop in the driveway
and bouncing off the sheen of the rubber tree

and onto this fable
in a city that bleeds its saline soil

into another difficult year.


I had a lot of work to get done on Thursday, but I got two major long-distance phone calls that were awesome because I got to catch up with people, and now I'm not quite caught up with work but it's all good! Niece was offered the job at ArcLight Cinemas for which she interviewed the day before last, which is great news -- in addition to it being a good job, with nice benefits and hours that will work better than retail since she'll also be taking classes soon, she'll be around people closer to her own age now that son and his friends are mostly away at college.

It wasn't as hot as it's been earlier in August, but it was very humid and sticky out late in the afternoon. I walked long enough to see some bunnies but not long enough to catch any exciting Pokemon (I mean, there was a big Spearow, but I need a couple more Slowpokes and a Rhyhorn to evolve, plus it would be awesome to find a Charmeleon and where have all the Digletts gone?). Right now there is apparently a moth inside the house, because the kittens are going crazy looking, but I don't see it anywhere. We also watched some Bones. At Coastal Kayak in Delaware:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Poem for Thursday and University Move-In

Ode to Country Music
By Sandra Simonds

If I wasn’t such a deadbeat, I’d learn Greek.
    I wouldn’t write sonnets; I’d write epics
and odes. I’d love a man who was
    acceptable and conformed to every code.
I’d put together my desk and write my epic or ode
    at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs!
But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni)
    and smoke. Judge me judge me
judge me. Oh I’ve been through the shallows.
     I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know
I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.


Adam has been successfully moved to College Park to begin his junior year of college, though it's going to take him five years to finish because he switched from finance to engineering so maybe I should just tell people his sophomore year to avoid confusion. He's living in the same complex where Daniel lived his junior and senior years, meaning there's a swimming pool, sand volleyball court, gym, print center, and he and his roommate share a big kitchen, washer/dryer, living/dining room, plus they each have their own bathrooms. It's like he's living in a very nice residential hotel.

Our other big event for Wednesday was taking Madeline to prepare for the job interview she had this evening, meaning she needed to have her nose ring replaced by a retainer, since piercings are against company policy, plus she needed to get new shoelaces and dress up for the interview, which was in the mall so went with her to get Starbucks first. She won't know whether she got the job for a couple of days but they kept her until the last round of a big group, which has to be good news! We've spent the evening watching the Orioles beat the Nationals, and now we're watching some seventh season Bones.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Poem for Wednesday and Discover Sea Museum

By Mary Weston Fordham

Night and a starless sky,
Ship on wild billows tost,
With tattered sails and opening seams,
And deck bestrewn with falling beams,
Swift plunging to her doom.

Red lightnings round her flash,
Loud thunders crash and roar,
And the noble vessel mounts the crest
Of the reeking waves, then sinks to rest
Mid carnival of woe.

The Petrel soars aloft,
Wailing her hymn of death,
And the dirge like sounds pierce the blackened sky,
While the crew send forth one anguished cry,
Sinking to lowest depth.

Some ships go out to sea
That never more return,
Souls that from heaven in infancy come,
Tarnished and ruined by sin may become,
Like the Dove to the Ark they never return,
But sink as ship to doom.


Adam went to College Park for more lab training on Tuesday morning, so I took Madeline shopping at the mall for clothes to wear for job interviews. She wasn't entirely satisfied with what she found, but eventually we came home for lunch because we were ravenous. Then Adam and Christine arrived and we all hung out for a while and watched videos.

We had dinner with my parents since we're moving Adam into an apartment in College Park on Wednesday, stopping so Madeline can get her nose piercing replaced by an invisible retainer before her interview in the evening. The evening has been about packing and laundry! Photos from the Discover Sea Shipwreck Museum at Sea Shell City in Fenwick Island: