Thursday, September 21, 2017

Poem for Rosh Hashanah

"Prospective Immigrants Please Note"
By Adrienne Rich

Either you will
go through this door
or you will not go through.

If you go through
there is always the risk
of remembering your name.

Things look at you doubly
and you must look back
and let them happen.

If you do not go through
it is possible
to live worthily

to maintain your attitudes
to hold your position
to die bravely

but much will blind you,
much will evade you,
at what cost who knows?

The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door.

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My Wednesday morning and afternoon were all chores and not worth reporting on in detail other than an hour at lunchtime walking in the park, where the chipmunks were very busy hoarding the acorns that were falling everywhere. Niece is returning tomorrow so there is a lot to organize and clean up.

Rose visited to see us and the cats. We watched Inspector Morse, then we started watching the Orioles but that was too depressing to stick with so we watched some Bones instead. What a way to start the new year! Happy, healthy, peaceful 5778 to everyone who is observing Rosh Hashanah.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Poem for Wednesday and Annmarie Gardens

On Children
By Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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Tuesday mostly involved chores for me and half of them did not get done despite my best intentions. I have a bunch of chaos to deal with but on the scale of problems people I know are facing -- a couple in Florida STILL without power and several facing upheaval from the earthquake in Mexico and hurricane approaching Puerto Rico -- not worth detailing. In happy news, I got an invitation to the EX Raid on Thursday evening, but in unhappy news, it's right when Rosh Hashanah dinner should be ending so really lousy timing for American Jews.

We watched most of the Orioles game against the Red Sox, which was just as horrendous as it was the night before when the Orioles went into extra innings and proceeded to blow the game in humiliating style. That took up so much of the evening that we gave up on maybe starting any of the HBO shows that won Emmys and waited for Hillary Clinton on The Late Show (where Colbert annoyingly did not acknowledge why people were so upset about the Spicer stunt). Some photos of the art at Artsfest at Annmarie Gardens on Sunday:

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Poem for Tuesday and Flag Ponds Beach

Distances
By William Stanley Braithwaite

Just where that star above
Shines with a cold, dispassionate smile --
If in the flesh I'd travel there,
How many, many a mile!

If this, my soul, should be
Unprisoned from its earthly bond,
Time could not count its markless flight
Beyond that star, beyond!

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My Monday mostly involved chores, since Maddy is even now flying to the east coast and I thought I was going to have another few weeks to clean up some stuff in Daniel's room for her, but I did get a bunch of work done. And I did get out to Pokemon Go raids at both a Sprint store and a Starbucks because no one is sure which one is going to get the next EX Raid (the big Raikou ran away, but I think it's the win that counts for raid passes, not the catch).

We started watching the Orioles game and the Orioles were winning handily, but then terrible things started to happen (by now it's in extra innings and it's even worse) so instead we caught up on The Orville from Sunday night, which I must confess I really loved -- okay, there's still more bathroom humor than necessary but the scenes between Kitan and Finn are awesome and I appreciate Grayson's eye-rolling. Some pictures from Flag Ponds Park yesterday:

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Also, I haven't done one of these memes in ages! Ali tagged me to list my ten favorite characters from ten different fandoms. I hate tagging people and I don't even know exactly who's around these days, but please feel free to share yours!

1. Kira Nerys - Star Trek
2. Severus Snape - Harry Potter
3. Boromir - The Lord of the Rings
4. Elizabeth Swann - Pirates of the Caribbean
5. Claire Bennet - Heroes
6. Steve Rogers - MCU
7. Diana Prince - DCU
8. Sarah Jane Smith - Doctor Who
9. Leia Organa - Star Wars
10. Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games

Monday, September 18, 2017

Greetings from Solomons

Paul and I spent Sunday in Calvert County with Cheryl, first at Annmarie Garden, then at the beach! The garden was having its annual Artsfest, with more than 150 painters, sculptors, beaders, knitters, and many other artists, as well as music throughout the garden -- in fact, my most significant purchase was a pair of CDs by The Honey Dewdrops, a husband-and-wife folk singer-songwriter duo who I'd never heard (or heard of) until their music wafted through the trees and I told the others I wanted to go sit and listen to them. Plus I bought a pair of inexpensive glass earrings.

After lunch and fresh lemonade at the picnic tables, and a lot of admiring crafts, we drove to Flag Ponds Park, where we walked through the woods to the beach and spent an hour and a half wading in the Chesapeake, looking for shark's teeth, and spotting herons and egrets hiding in the tall grass (there were plenty of fish but we only saw a couple of crabs). We left when the beach closed for the evening and drove home, stopping at Attman's Deli for dinner since it was just about the only thing still open nearby. Cheryl headed home and we watched the Emmy Awards -- yay, The Handmaid's Tale!

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Poem for Sunday and Mount Vernon Colonial Fair

George Washington
By Adam Fitzgerald

You were my gym buddy ferreting along spotty florescent ramps.
Misbegotten signals blinked out bumpkin lanes over sable grass.

We passed through many things. Peach sirens, entryway orderlies.
Mangled disposition-stations. Chief in disbelief was concrete love.

Firmer still, a melee awkwardness that showed all registrants just
how we managed to pickpocket night. Then came dark crowds.

Some doodled for the pad, debriefed what pumiced eyes meant
in multi-dotted foreign rows. Buildings like a spider’s clothes.

Later, we sped backward. A maw orchard, windless in the mind,
boomed electronic lifts. I spied you at the prow of some sensation.

I declined to call another name. Pelting noise flew off fairy citadels.
Clocks, first thought abducted, were switched. Dialogues dispelled.

My love heard a mug crash on the countertop of Long Island Sound.
Our people became as ones lost. Not many rebounded with pledge,

not many fetched familiars, stretched legs, reread white meetings.
O stream, ring your ears. Handsome tubers, go ahead and wig out.

Modern territories click like a mouse. Body becomes human body.
On a skinny avenue I hushed up pyramidal steps older than sorcery.

You know how I want to share a dust ball with misty partner.
Dance one fabled evening and hear the skylark do something.

Picnics bended over, they happen below. Swings parks rung.
I inject chlorine into my memory-parts with lady satisfaction.

Are you gay? A political campaign sanctioned a quart of moose.
So stars soon quarreled back to the travel section of the North.

I ignored that and opened my lips for a job to crunch and push
at me, seeing the flat spacey wherewithal of disconnected items.

I want a second act. What can I say but this was my second act.
Must wrangle a look-see. The sign revenging its timely laziness

in the ruffled strut of an accusing pillow. I hibernate in phrase
as perfect as the mood of the blue lotus flower. Public aspects.

The last shipment of vhs tapes left its factory on this day in 2008
or 2009. Meanwhile, delis around town don’t go like they used to.

Who cares if I can’t hose you down my you, my Newfoundland.
And George Washington, someone we can’t really know, rows

over famed waters, wondering what his face will be, not in
the future, not for the monthly book clubs. But as sovereign:

as beast with dunce cap. I will dress you down in fresh lettuce
and gobble your ear off with smutty keys principled as music.

The marching saints won’t bother in battalion to much know.
We make of him so much hackneyed affection, dress wounds

as if equivocal all need. Hunger passes through to the other side.
Entertaining pals you wouldn’t call but couldn’t not think to.

A disfigured face’s humiliated psychic debris sprawls on gussy rug.
It talks you into needing solace while cup passes from sleep to sleep.

The positional plot warps but is the same. The deluxe mattress drifts
on gravitational subtleties like the rest of us, practicing the gut’s banjo.

No, in fact, I don’t know how he ever crossed the channels or canals
from that stout city. I don’t really know if I ever really need to know.

One thing we share is worshipping the image of a person we never knew.

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On Saturday we picked up Annmarie and went to lunch at Layla's Lebanese Restaurant in Woodbridge, then drove to Mount Vernon for the Colonial Fair. We met Alice, Jeremy, and Avery there and looked at pottery, ate bread and cheese, visited the farm animals, thought about buying glass but they didn't take credit cards, got fans in the gift shop, learned how to weave linen, got sodas because it was warm, met George Washington, saw the area behind the mansion that slid down to the Potomac River during storms earlier in the summer, and hung out with the rat catcher and his rats:

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Avery and I won an Arcanine raid before he went home with his parents and we took Annmarie back to Woodbridge, stopping at Baskin Robbins for ice cream and drinks before going to her house. Then we drove home, went to Giant to get toilet paper and other necessities, and came home to the cats, with whom we watched some college football and Skyped Maddy who is coming back to Maryland next week. Now we're watching the rerun of the Tom Hanks pre-election Saturday Night Live and I can't figure out whether to laugh or to never stop screaming.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Poem for Saturday and Mewtwo Capture

Chess
By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Exactly four different men have tried
to teach me how to play. I could never
tell the difference between a rook
or bishop, but I knew the horse meant

knight. And that made sense to me,
because a horse is night: soot-hoof
and nostril, dark as a sabled evening
with no stars, bats, or moon blooms.

It’s a night in Ohio where a man sleeps
alone one week and the next, the woman
he will eventually marry leans her body
into his for the first time, leans a kind

of faith, too—filled with white crickets
and bouquets of wild carrot. And
the months and the honeyed years
after that will make all the light

and dark squares feel like tiles
for a kitchen they can one day build
together. Every turn, every sacrificial
move—all the decoys, the castling,

the deflections—these will be both
riotous and unruly, the exact opposite
of what she thought she ever wanted
in the endgame of her days.

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Three exciting things happened on Friday. The first was going out to breakfast with Alice at Bagel City and stopping in AC Moore, where we found Halloween decorations including glass pumpkins and Day of the Dead artwork. The second, which I found out after I got back, is that Adam was offered the internship for which he flew to Seattle to interview less than a week ago. The third was that I got to take my pass to the gym at the Sprint store in Montgomery Mall, where, along with over 50 people, many of whom I know from an online group, I got to participate in a Mewtwo raid, which my Mystic team won...and I caught Mewtwo!

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The rest of my day was not as eventful, and I didn't even get the laundry folded, though I did fix a piece of jewelry that needed a charm reattached. I didn't get to hear Cassini's final flight till after the fact, though I guess due to the speed of transmission, neither did the scientists at JPL. We had dinner with my parents and saw the beginning of the Nationals game, but Things Did Not Go Well At All, and since the same could be said of the Orioles game and there was no college football on we really wanted to see, we gave up on sports for the evening and watched two Bones episodes instead. Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Poem for Friday and Boonsboro Raptors

Still to be Neat
By by Ben Johnson

Still to be neat,
still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes losely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes but not my heart.

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My Thursday was just as uneventful as my Wednesday. It was warmer, so I took a longer walk in the park where the leaves are starting to change, but otherwise it was chores and stuff, though I got to have dinner with Paul whose company event ended earlier than the day before.

We started watching the Orioles-Yankees game, which was going terribly, so instead we watched Thursday Night Football which was fine because I couldn't bring myself to root against Houston this month. From Boonesborough Days, the rehabilitated birds of Raptors Up Close:

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Poem for Thursday, Toulouse Architecture, Paris Can Wait

Toulouse
By Joan Bodon
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

So, why Toulouse at night?
A long shriek through the air...
The woman with big breasts
In the long street out there.

I will cross the canal:
Clamença awaits me there!... 
But I won't find the house,
Or the room of yesteryear.

Who'll speak with me of love?
So many teeth chipped, weak...
Colorful ladies' dresses
And all the hands that seek...

The last Count Raymond's fall...
Montmorency's last stand...
They'll think I'm nuts. My story
They will not understand.

So why Toulouse at night?
The faucet and the sponge,
The woman with big breasts
Sitting on a chaise lounge. 

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My Wednesday was mostly uneventful, as I had boring chores and stuff in the morning, though I did get an EX raid pass for a Pokemon Go raid on Friday evening so that was very exciting! I went for a walk in the park and saw lots of animals there and near home -- squirrels, chipmunks, a bunny, a toad, a praying mantis. Paul had dinner at work because they were having a company event, so I had dinner alone, but then our neighbor Rose stopped by to visit me and the cats. When Paul got home, we watched Inspector Morse.

Then, since the Nationals were losing, I subjected both of us to Paris Can Wait, mostly because I wanted to see the road trip from Cannes through Provence and all the food Diane Lane gets to eat. It's a fairly harmless comedy about a very rich white American woman and an only slightly less rich Frenchman who toy with the idea of having a minor flirtation while enjoying spending money on their travels, and they go to Pont-du-Gard and churches. It made me nostalgic for southern France, so here is some Toulouse architecture from this spring:

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