Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Poem for Tuesday and Chihuly in the Garden

Travel
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
    And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
    And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
    And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
    No matter where it’s going.

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I had plans to get a lot of work done on Monday, but after doing some of it in the morning, I went out at lunchtime to run a couple of errands, noticed there was a Lugia raid in Cabin John Park, and spent the next hour bonding with strangers from GroupMe and Discord while we waited for enough people to arrive to battle said Pokemon, which we defeated and I caught!

So yes, I had a very grownup afternoon. Angela came over when she got off work, I showed off my Thor and playbills, and we ended up getting Lebanese Taverna and watching the musical episode of Once Upon a Time because she hadn't seen it and it remains the best thing they did over the course of the past four years, especially the Charmings.

We watched the beginning of the Orioles game with Adam (poor Wilson Ramos!), then Will: The Velvet Goldmine Episode (I'm sure it has another title but that's how I'll remember it -- Marlowe's coat!), then the Orphan Black we missed (I can never decide whether I feel sorry for Rachel or want her to die). Some more Chihuly from the New York Botanical Garden exhibit:

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Greetings from the NYBG

On Sunday we met my sister, her husband, and two of their daughters -- the third had to work -- at the New York Botanical Garden to see the Chihuly exhibit. It's wonderful, and I say this as someone who has seen many indoor and outdoor Chihuly installations. This one doesn't quite have the scope of the Seattle museum devoted entirely to him, but it makes fantastic use of the gardens, so for instance this is the first time we've seen one of his float boats actually floating in water rather than on a platform in an exhibit space.

We all got there later than expected, so we were ready for lunch at different times, but we sat at one of the outdoor tables and talked for a while before going our separate ways. The drive home had one hellacious stretch just past the Delaware Memorial Bridge when it poured so hard the Delaware Shakespeare Festival eventually ended up canceling its evening performance, but we made it home to son and cats who had all been fed though the latter denied it vociferously! A few Chihuly family photos, more when I'm unpacked:

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Greetings from New York

Here are five photos from my Saturday!

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Seeing Vienna Teng's The Fourth Messenger at the New York Musical Festival with a fantastic cast (and we spotted Vienna outside the theater and got to say hi)...

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...and my college roommate Tracey came to the show with us and our college friend Michael came to say hi afterward.

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At the Mets' Hall of Fame in Citi Field...

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...where, despite an inauspicious beginning, the Mets beat the As in the bottom of the 9th...

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...and it was Syndergaard as Thor bobblehead night, though we had to buy this one off someone else in the stadium because they ran out of them at the right field entrance about six people before we came through, even though we got there nearly three hours early!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Greetings from Elmsford

After an uneventful morning which I spent with Adam, who decided to work from home, Paul came home early so he and I could pack up and drive to New York. (Adam opted to remain in Maryland so he could continue to celebrate his birthday among friends.) We had moderate traffic, with a brief stop in Delaware for gas and a slightly longer one in New Jersey for dinner, but we enjoyed good weather and we saw many deer and several groundhogs along the side of the road. Here are a few photos from before the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the sky over Elmsford:

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Poem for Friday and 21st Birthday

Dinner of Herbs
By Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
When season'd with love, which no rancour disturbs
And sweeten'd by all that is sweetest in life
Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone
A man should sit down to dinner, each one
Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil
With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
The chances are ten against one, I must own,
He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.

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Thursday was Adam's 21st birthday! He had to work, though he didn't need the car so I got to get done various chores that required going out, but when he and Paul got home, we picked up my parents and went to The Melting Pot for dinner. We all ate way too much -- we had the four-course meal, which in my case included fiesta cheese, the California salad, tofu and veggies, and three kinds of chocolate in two fondue pots -- but it was all awesome and I hope Adam enjoyed it a much I as I did. We stopped at home briefly to give him presents, then he went to College Park to celebrate properly with his friends! A few photos:

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Poem for Thursday and Little Birds

Pied Beauty
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

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My whole Wednesday was boring chores. Adam had one vehicle and Paul had the other, so since I had no transportation, I figured it was a good day to get work done (some of it anyway) and get things done in the house (not that you can ever tell that I got things done unless you're me). The cats found me boring and lounged around on my bed or the couch all day.

The Orioles won again really well, which was nice, though the Nats game is ongoing and not good since the bottom of the first. We caught up on Still Star-Crossed, which hasn't officially been canceled but has not picked up the cast, which means it will be soon so I might as well enjoy it while I can. Here are some of the sparrows who live on our roof:

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Poem for Wednesday, Gifted, Emmitsburg Grotto

The Atheist Wore Goat Silk
By Anna Journey

I've wanted to visit the genetically modified goat
spliced with silkworm DNA
spinning white threads from its pink udders
like a piebald spider. I've wondered how much
for a whole goat silk dress? Always I save
the spiders that shimmy near my eyes
but never the bristled silverfish
which drop to the boatwood dinner table
from the skylight. Come Indian Summer
the fuchsia bougainvillea unpurses
its dry lips, licks the sweat
from my neck. My mother tells her childhood
best friend — who's dying from liver
cancer in Jackson, who consults
a Pentecostal woman who speaks
in tongues—that her two daughters
are atheists. Meaning my little sister and me.
Somewhere there's a goat that squirts
a rare silk so bizarre maybe
no one would actually wear it. That webbed dress
sticking to my chest, the grandfather
clock, all over the bedroom walls like a past
that drags everything with it. The thread
leading back to an animal I badly
need to believe in. Its impossible milk
steams in the twilight. There’s a dress
that rises from its udders with a misted
sleeve I can almost see.

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My Tuesday was much less eventful than my Monday, though I got out long enough to pick up a Lisa Hunt painting I was having framed at A.C. Moore by a fellow fannish person (it is now hanging in my bedroom and looks fantastic). I spent most of the rest of the day doing household chores that included moving around other art and laundry. Adam worked from home waiting for his new driver's license that was supposed to arrive today but we're hoping I can sign for if it comes tomorrow.

We watched the start of the Orioles game, then the movie Gifted, which is well-acted and enjoyable (hard not to like a movie about a genius girl with Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, and a halfway decent script), then we returned to the Orioles game in which they were trouncing Texas so that was nice! We also watched the start of the Nats game but they're on the west coast so now we're watching Colbert in Russia. From Emmitsburg's Grotto of Lourdes a few weeks ago:

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Poem for Tuesday, Spider-Man, Churchill, Kenilworth Lotuses

Clearing at Dawn
By Li Bai
Translated by Arthur Waley

The fields are chill, the sparse rain has stopped;
The colours of Spring teem on every side.
With leaping fish the blue pond is full;
With singing thrushes the green boughs droop.
The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks;
The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist.
By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud
Blown by the wind slowly scatters away.

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I got to spend Monday with Cheryl, who came up to see Spider-Man: Homecoming with me, which was also a good excuse to have lunch at the mall (she had Indian, I had Mediterranean) and do a bit of window shopping before the movie, which holds up extremely well on a second viewing. Then we came back to my house and watched Churchill, which is one of the recent spate of sad elderly statesman portraits -- in this case not because of his lost daughter or depression but a sort of PTSD from the first World War. It's well acted and I loved James Purefoy's George VI.

We took a walk before Cheryl went home and saw several bunnies, including the baby around the corner. After she left, Paul and I had barbecued chick'n while waiting for Adam to get home and watched some baseball -- even the Orioles managed not to lose on Monday! -- before Will, the utter-crack young Shakespeare faux biography which wants to be A Knight's Tale but mostly comes across as a mediocre Renfaire sketch. Tomorrow I must watch some Martin Landau. Here are some more photos of the lotus flowers blooming at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens:

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Poem for Monday and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Lotus
By Rabindranath Tagore

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

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We all slept late on Sunday, did chores, had lunch, and went to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where the lotus blossoms and water lilies are in bloom (the Lotus and Water Lily Festival was on Saturday, but we figured it would be much more crowded then). Most of the frogs and turtles were hiding, but we saw lots of fish, egrets, herons, songbirds, and dragonflies, plus hundreds of huge pink lotus flowers and many water lilies in warm but not stifling weather:

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We stopped at the food store and for Starbucks/Baskin Robbins and got home just as the Nationals finished another high-scoring game against the Reds. Adam went for a run before dinner, I took a shower and folded laundry, we has (veggie) barbecue for dinner with macaroni and potato salad, and we watched the start of the Red Sox game. But we turned it off since Adam had never seen The Shawshank Redemption so we could watch that instead. Now I'm sad about Martin Landau and wanting to watch Space: 1999!