Thursday, September 20, 2018

Placeholder for Thursday

Been fighting all &$+%ing evening with Shutterfly, which has unlimited free magnets today but the shopping cart has not been working so I can't actually buy the magnets I've made with France photos. (Pokemon Go similarly glitched earlier in the day, costing many people I know their raid passes.) So I'm behind on everything, especially since we were out for several hours earlier in the evening breaking the Yom Kippur fast with my parents and several of the Goldmans, though some of the usual guests were sick and Adam was swamped preparing for interviews. Tomorrow once again I am not going to have a vehicle, since the Toyota dealer needed to order a part for the van! Here are me and Paul in a fairy ring trying to ward off any more craziness:

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Poem for Wednesday and France en Lumieres

Moonlit Apples
By John Drinkwater

At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
And the skylight lets the moonlight in, and those
Apples are deep-sea apples of green. There goes
A cloud on the moon in the autumn night.

A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
There is no sound at the top of the house of men
Or mice; and the cloud is blown, and the moon again
Dapples the apples with deep-sea light.

They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
On the sagging floor; they gather the silver streams
Out of the moon, those moonlit apples of dreams,
And quiet is the steep stair under.

In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
On moon-washed apples of wonder.


As expected, I did not have a vehicle all day on Tuesday, though as it turns out I won't have one on Wednesday either because whatever is wrong with the van air conditioning is going to take more than one day to fix, which does not bode well for the expense as well as my need to get out of the house. That was not a problem at lunch, at least, because I had plans with my neighbor Carole, who drove us to Bethesda so that we could have Korean food and compare notes on our recent European trips (hers was to Scandinavia). We barely saw each other this summer because our lives were so crazy so we had a lot to catch up!

Paul needed to stop at the library when he came home from work, and it turned out the Pokestop there had the new Spinda quest, so I ended up having a good Pokemon day: in addition to catching two Spindas, I also hatched a Kangaskhan and finally finished the Celebi quest, plus made Paul drive me to an Articuno raid at the mall. We had leftovers for dinner, watched some baseball, then since I was in the mood and he'd only seen it once we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Here are photos from the light shows we saw in France on cathedrals, in castles, and projected around the buildings of cities:

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This crown projected onto Rouen Cathedral...

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The nightly show at the Chateau de Blois shows off the castle's famous staircase...

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...and focuses on the castle's famous history, including plots and assassinations.

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The Round Table in light at the Chateau de Comper Arthurian Center...

...and the Sword in the Stone in light.

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"Luna" at the Musée des Beaux-Arts as part of Chartres en lumières...

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...and the spectacular history of Notre Dame de Chartres.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Poem for Tuesday and the Maid of Orleans

Give Joan a Sword
By Sister Mary Therese

The night is down on Domremy,
Dark wings have circled every tree,
Shut out the stars and steeped the sky,
In anguish lifted like a cry.

Shaking the young stars from her gown,
Pushing the moon back, Joan peers down
On lands by terror twisted bare
That shakes with battle everywhere.

A blight is on the world again;
A blight is on the souls of man;
And dark is death and dark is birth,
As sorrow runs along the earth.

How can she keep her soul in calm,
When towers of Reims and Notre Dame
Send up their cry of muted bells,
That tear her breast with moans and knells?

How must her hands have ached to hold
Her shining sword when pain patrolled
The glory-ridden crimson shore,
Of Batan and Corregidor.

How must her lips have burned to cry
A challenge to the southern sky,
For heroes who would never see
The sunset stain the Coral Sea.

Young Joan is restless in the sky;
Young Joan is burning to defy
The sign that sickens men with pride,
Back to the wars young Joan would ride! 

To rout the bitter pagan horde,
O God of peace, give Joan a sword!
And in this moment, send her down,
To Domremy, to every town!


Quickie as it has been kind of a pain in the ass day with a couple of bright spots, the main one being dinner with Angela and Carrie at Lebanese Taverna, though while I was heading out of my neighborhood to go there, a crazy neighbor came driving past at three times the speed limit, blared on his horn and rolled down his window to scream and curse at me for not realizing (because his fucking turn signal was never turned on) that he intended to turn. I feel like the national mood has infected many people, but especially young white guys who believe they are entitled to scream at anyone for any reason, particularly when they get caught fucking up in the first place. I did not watch the Emmys but I am happy for the Queen and Mrs. Maisel, though Keri Russell deserved one.

In other news-we-did-not-need, I have been complaining that the van air conditioning was not working right for months, but today in all the rain I was out getting gas and the defroster was not doing a single thing -- I was afraid to drive home -- so now the van is in the shop and I'm sure this will cost more money we don't have budgeted, along with rebuilding Daniel's entire room since we still have no date when the roof and closet will be repaired. But hey, at least the tornadoes in the remnants of Hurricane Florence stayed away from us! And tonight's Elementary was not the very final one after all! Here are some photos from Joan of Arc exhibits we saw in France; I will do another post of the buildings, churches, and towers:

Outside Blois Cathedral

At the Musee Jeanne d'Arc in Rouen

At the Chateau de Chinon

At the Eglise Saint Pierre on Mont Saint Michel

In comics

In a US Treasury Bonds advertisement

In a tapestry at Chinon depicting her visit there

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In light on the walls of the Chateau de Blois depicting her visit there

Monday, September 17, 2018

Poem for Monday, Hamilton Exhibits, Postal Museum

O Burr
By Anonymous

O Burr, O Burr, what hast though done?
Thou hast shooted dead great Hamilton.
You hid behind a bunch of thistle,
And shooted him dead with a great hoss pistol.


Cheryl, Paul, and I were going to go to Mount Vernon for the colonial fair on Sunday, but Mount Vernon postponed the fair because of Hurricane Florence, so since it was warm and humid with a bit of rain but the remnants of the storm won't arrive here for a couple of days, we went downtown to see the Alexander Hamilton exhibits at the Society of the Cincinnati and the National Postal Museum. The former has several books and maps that belonged to Hamilton, plus his epaulets and his widow's ring with a lock of his hair, while the post office has letters and the pistols used by Hamilton and Burr in their fatal duel.

While we were in the postal museum, we also visited many of the permanent exhibits, including the history of airmail and the Pony Express as well as rarities like the Inverted Jenny and John Lennon's stamp collection (a.k.a. the Green Album). Then we came home and watched songvids for a while before attempting to go to the new Cabin John Village Cava, which was so crowded that we headed for nearby Attman's Deli instead. We missed most of the day's football other than hearing the home team lose on the radio, though we caught the very end of the Packers-Vikings tie, but apparently the Orioles and Nationals both won, so that's good!

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With George Washington outside Anderson House, the headquarters of the Society of the Cincinnati, a hereditary organization honoring the ideals and officers of the American Revolution.

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The bar tab from July 4, 1789 of the members of the Society of the Cincinnati -- the City Tavern apparently made a lot of money from them.

A Society of the Cincinnati eagle insignia given as a badge of membership to Alexander Hamilton.

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This pair of pistols at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum are believed to be the pair used by Hamilton and Burr in their duel.

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With Benjamin Franklin, first US Postmaster General.

Amelia Earhart stamps and her flight suit.

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With John Lennon's stamp collection.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Poem for Sunday and Thurmont Visit

By E. E. Cummings

Great carnal mountains crouching in the cloud
That marrieth the young earth with a ring,
Yet still its thoughts builds heavenward, whence spring
Wee villages of vapor, sunset-proud.—
And to the meanest door hastes one pure-browed
White-fingered star, a little, childish thing,
The busy needle of her light to bring,
And stitch, and stitch, upon the dead day’s shroud.
Poises the sun upon his west, a spark
Superlative,—and dives beneath the world;
From the day’s fillets Night shakes out her locks;
List! One pure trembling drop of cadence purled—
"Summer!"—a meek thrush whispers to the dark.
Hark! the cold ripple sneering on the rocks!


We went to meet Paul's parents in Thurmont for lunch on Saturday, since we haven't seen them in several weeks (we were hoping to take son with us, but he had piles of homework plus two interviews to prepare for, and niece had to work all day). We went to Simply Asia, shared lots of great veggie Chinese food, and showed them some trip photos as well as a video Paul's brother made about how his current job is living his dream after the awful time following the death of his wife. They brought some old family photos to show us, like the one below of Paul's three aunts looking like they're living in three different decades in the same picture. Afterward we got ice cream before coming home.

We couldn't watch the Terps game because the restaurant didn't get the Big 10 channel -- we were stuck with Florida State-Syracuse, which at least Syracuse won -- but that is probably just as well, considering that Maryland lost badly to Temple. And we did see the horrible end of the Wisconsin game, which they lost to BYU, which was bad enough. In between bouts of west coast football in the evening, I insisted on catching up on Burden of Truth, which is coming back for a second season at least in Canada so I am hopeful the CW will pick it up here again -- the scripting isn't great but the actors are better than the material, at least when they're not called upon to play kids with neurological twitches.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Poem for Saturday, A Little Chaos, Napoleon at Fontainebleau

At Fontainebleau
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

At Fontainebleau, I saw a little bed,
   Fashioned of polished wood, with gold ornate.
   Ambition, hope, and sorrow, aye, and hate
Once battled there, above a childish head:
And there, in vain, grief wept and memory plead
   It was so small; but ah, dear God, how great
   The part it played in one sad woman's fate.
How wide the gloom that narrow object shed.

The symbol of an overreaching aim,
   The emblem of a devastated joy,
It spoke of glory, and a blasted home,
Of fleeting honors, and disordered fame,
   And the lone passing of a fragile boy.
It was the cradle of the King of Rome.


I did a bunch of work on Friday morning, then I goofed off for a couple of hours doing Articuno and Moltres raids. I still don't have a shiny one of either, but I got to raid with people I haven't seen since before I went to Delaware, so that was fun! Paul's office hackathon ended but he didn't win a big prize, though he didn't seem devastated. We had a late quick dinner and watched A Little Chaos with Cheryl, since she had not seen it and a movie about a Versailles gardener with scenes at Fontainebleau (though they were filmed in England) was just what we were in the mood for. And that's not even counting Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet. The Nationals and Orioles were playing terribly, anyway.

Speaking of Fontainebleau, here are photos of some of Napoléon's rooms and belongings from there. Because the palace is so old, many of the rooms contain elements from multiple eras or replica furniture alongside originals, though these are mostly restored to specific years. These are the emperor's throne room, bedroom, library (I don't envy much in castles but I do envy that), bathroom (in which he also took meetings, because why waste time), office (with "camp bed" in case he needed a rest during his long work days), salon (also the room in which he abdicated), nursery furniture for Napoleon's son a.k.a. the King of Rome, and the steps to the courtyard that Napoleon descended to make his abdication speech.









Friday, September 14, 2018

Poem for Friday and Chartres Marys

By sam sax

the time for nuance is over
i argue over breakfast
explaining how it's oft used
to confuse descent—knife
through my poached egg.
politicized work made all yolky,
easy to consume & forget.
i dab with the toasted bread
agitation & propaganda i rant
is the only just path for artists
gesturing with my utensils
heavenward. i've said a lot
of things which in retrospect
would've been better
had i kept my mouth shut.
i once said something to a friend
i wont repeat here
& now she’s no longer my friend.
i'll never forget what her eyes did
as i finished speaking
stones in a bucket.
words have consequences
they’re both material & reveal
the spirit that speaks them.
what i meant over breakfast
is the time's too urgent for work
that doesn't have blood in it.
what i meant is insurgency
is our birthright, that nuance
comes from the french meaning
to shade—why another painting
of a lake when there's so much
rage boiling outside the canvas?
what does it mean i don’t mean
what i say when i say it? i don’t know
what i mean. silence is golden
& gold's the standard measurement
for capital. the golden rule is do
unto others as you would have them
do unto you. but what when they do
you ugly first as they always
seem to? i finish my coffee &
it’s political whether i want it
to be or not.


Thursday was a dreaded photo organization day -- now that they're all backed up to Flickr, I had to decide which ones are going in a book and on calendars at Shutterfly and fight with the uploader. I did not get this done in time to use the free book coupon that was out earlier this week, but I'm hoping to get the book done while there are unlimited extra pages. I also got out to the park between rainstorms and for a Pokemon raid, yay!

Paul's office is having a hackathon of sorts for all employees this week so he hasn't been home for dinner the past few nights, and tonight, after I got to pick Plantagenet movies for two days, he wanted to watch the Ravens game, which did not exactly fill us with joy, though it ended better than it began. Here are some of Chartres Cathedral's images of the Marys -- the Virgin, the Magdalene, and some that are questionable:




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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Poem for Thursday, Becket, Mont Saint-Michel

The Canterbury Tales General Prologue 1-18
By Geoffrey Chaucer

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.


Wednesday actually had a couple of hours with no rain here, so I tried to do all my grocery-and-bagels chores before it returned. (Not that I'm complaining, since it looks like Hurricane Florence has decided to make life miserable in the Carolinas instead of barreling up here.) The rest of the day was quite dull but I am pleased to report that all the trip laundry is now washed and folded! Also, Daniel got me watching metal versions of songs from The Greatest Showman.

Having watched The Lion In Winter and being in the mood for more Plantagenets, I checked Amazon Prime and discovered that they were showing Becket, the prequel -- not just about Henry II but even starring Peter O'Toole in that role. It's a less witty drama but still great. Since I can't do what Monet did and paint Mont Saint-Michel in different light, here are photos from one evening and one morning (plus a painting by post-Impressionist Paul Signac for comparison):


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