Sunday, October 13, 2019

Greetings from Atlantic City

I'm in a hotel outside of Philadelphia, where we just had dinner with my best friend from college and one of her best friends since, after spending an afternoon in Atlantic City walking on the beach and boardwalk, wandering in and out of casinos (I played two quarter slots and skee-ball, less than $2 in total), and eating New Jersey pizza and salt water taffy, plus a visit to Margate City's Lucy the Elephant. So all in all a fabulous day, though we talked all night and now I have to go to bed! More pics soon!

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Poem for Saturday and Earhart at Boeing

You Haven't Seen a Tree
By Amelia Earhart

You haven't seen a tree until
you've seen its shadow
from the sky.


I did a bunch of chores Friday morning so I could go to the park, where I enjoyed the weather, did a raid with some locals, was told that I could catch a Heatmor if I hurried to the park entrance (and I did), raced to the other end of the park for a Ferroseed, then dropped a magnetic lure and walked back and forth for half an hour in front of the train station catching electric Pokemon and evolving Magnezones and Probopasses.

We had dinner with my parents, then came home for the Nationals game, which was a delight since they were never losing and beat a team that scored 10 runs in the first inning the other day! I organized some music files -- is it true Google Music is going to be folded into YouTube Music? please let us keep our playlists. From Seattle's Museum of Flight, Amelia Earhart and a replica of her Electra, plus a piece of hers broken in a crash:

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Poem for Friday and Chestertown Waterfront

Hundreds of Purple Octopus Moms Are Super Weird, and They're Doomed
By January Gill O'Neil

           I'd like to be under the sea
           In an octopus' garden in the shade.
            -- Ringo Starr

The article called it “a spectacle.” More like a garden than a nursery:
hundreds of purple octopuses protecting clusters of eggs
while clinging to lava rocks off the Costa Rican coast.
I study the watery images: thousands of lavender tentacles
wrapped around their broods. Did you know there’s a female octopus
on record as guarding her clutch for 53 months? That’s four-and-a-half years
of sitting, waiting, dreaming of the day her babies hatch and float away.
I want to tell my son this. He sits on the couch next to me clutching his phone,
setting up a hangout with friends. The teenage shell is hard to crack.
Today, my heart sits with the brooding octomoms: not eating, always on call,
always defensive, living in stasis in waters too warm to sustain them.
No guarantees they will live beyond the hatching. Not a spectacle but a miracle any of us survive.


"I was reading an article about how female octopuses nurture their offspring, and I was taken aback at the lengths they will go to protect their hatchlings," O'Neil told "I thought about my own teenage children -- protecting them while giving them space...teaching my kids how to live without me."

The spectacular fall weather continues -- it was warmer during the day on Thursday, during which I was somewhat slow and sluggish from staying up so late watching the Nationals beat the Dodgers in extra innings, but now it's beautiful and cool and I'd never shut the doors if only my neighbor who smokes wasn't out puffing away on the deck. I went to the park to walk and I stopped by my parents' house with a sewing question, where I saw a mom and two nearly-adult fawns on their neighbor's lawn.

Paul and I went to Giant for cat food and some people food, plus I went to CVS, which ripped me off by refusing to let me use my $4 off $18 hair coupon. My mother had given us a Rosh Hashanah challah with raisins, so Paul made French toast for dinner with that, plus cheesy eggs and veggie bacon. Then we watched the end of the Mystics' championship game, which was very exciting, followed by the Patriots-Giants game, which was less so. Pics of Chestertown's beautiful waterfront last weekend:

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Poem for Thursday and Yom Kippur

Grand Slam
By Marjorie Maddox

Dreams brimming over,
childhood stretched out in legs,
this is the moment replayed on winter days
when frost covers the field,
when age steals away wishes.
Glorious sleep that seeps back there
to the glory of our baseball days.


Nice day though I did little formal observation of Yom Kippur, little fasting, some reading, walk in the park, breaking the fast with parents plus their very longtime friends and the children and grandchildren of those friends, The Masked Singer, then the Nationals-Dodgers game which is currently in the 10th after disastrous early innings, then a great 8th for the Nats followed by a grand slam in the 10th. (My poor uncle and cousin, Dodgers fans, are at this game in L.A.!)


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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Poem for Wednesday and Wizarding Bank

From "Goblin Market"
By Christina Rossetti

Laugh'd every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,—
Hugg’d her and kiss’d her:
Squeez'd and caress’d her:
Stretch'd up their dishes,
Panniers, and plates:
"Look at our apples
Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and suck them,
Pomegranates, figs."


My day before Yom Kippur was not exciting, though I also wasn't particularly introspective -- anytime I try to think Deep Thoughts these days, I start thinking about the environment and the border and the suspension of the Constitution by people sworn to uphold it, and how I can't even read the Twitter and Facebook pages of people I like because even though we basically believe the same things, there's so much hate for candidates they still swear they'll vote for in the general if they can't knock them out in the primary, and I can feel my blood pressure shooting up. So I try only to think about things while I'm doing something productive.

The weather was lovely again -- a bit of drizzle but mostly overcast and cool, very autumnal. There was a Mewtwo raid hour just before dinnertime, at which I caught shiny Mewtwos, then leftover Asian food from Sunday (I'm not fasting because it gives me migraines to drop my blood sugar that much and that does not make me feel like atoning for anything). We watched the season premiere of The Flash, which was okay, and the newest episode of Emergence, which doubled its overnight ratings in weekly viewings so maybe it's okay that it's giving up its secrets so slowly. From Chestertown's wizarding festival, here's the goblin bank:

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Poem for Tuesday and Cabin John Frogs

Frog in Pond
By Alfred H. Marks
Based on the haiku by Matsuo Basho

There once was a curious frog
Who sat by a pond on a log
And, to see what resulted,
In the pond catapulted
With a water-noise heard round the bog.


Monday was not eventful here, nice and cool, a bit of rain though not at any point when I was out, perfect day for a walk in the park where I did a couple of raids with GroupMe friends and saw a trio of frogs in the little tadpole pond behind Locust Grove Nature Center:

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We watched most of the Nationals' victory (a must-win game that my dad was at) with breaks for the season premiere of Black Lightning, whose mythology has gotten a lot more complicated since last season (are they part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths?). So go Nats!

Monday, October 07, 2019

Greetings from Thurmont

It rained on and off most of Sunday, though it was nice and cool, so not unpleasant to be outside except during the brief periods when it was really pouring. After a quiet morning, we went to meet Paul's parents at Simply Asia in Thurmont, where we ate lunch while watching Washington-New England on one TV and Baltimore-Pittsburgh on the other (the latter ended well in overtime, the former started slow until DC remembered who they were and started playing terribly). We walked to nearby Baskin Robbins, which now has dairy-free ice cream, so my father-in-law can have it for dessert.

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Before leaving Thurmont, we briefly skyped Daniel, who is on call this weekend, and Maddy, who was on her way out (Adam was already out). Then we came home for some chores, late football games, and sandwiches for dinner since we were full from lunch. We watched the start of the CW season, beginning with Batwoman, which I liked a lot -- I was hoping Alice would be a recurring character and it sure looks like she will -- and Supergirl, which had lovely Kara/Lena moments. We also watched the beginning of the final season of Madam Secretary, which is as unbelievable and as enjoyable as ever!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Greetings from Chestertown

My morning started with Adam informing me he had survived his first significant San Francisco earthquake, but the day got better! As we did last year, we went with Cheryl to Chestertown's Harry Potter festival, though this year, for legal reasons, it's called Chestertown's Wizarding Weekend. We had met a couple of vendors at Annmarie Gardenfest who said they had heard the whole event was canceled, so we were afraid there wouldn't be many vendors, but there were plenty, and this year they were all along the streets instead of mostly packed into the park (where we ate lunch and drank butterbeer around the fountain). We visited the Goblins & Galleons (formerly Gringotts) Bank for free chocolate galleons, took a British trivia quiz, got our pictures taken with Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, and Rita Skeeter, and bought a few fannish charms.

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Because Chestertown is so pretty, we visited a few of the nautical-themed shops and art galleries, then we walked past the train station and don't-call-it-Quidditch pitch to the waterfront to see the boats and shore birds. Since we had to go over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to get home from Chestertown, we decided to have dinner at the Harris Crab House, which is where we stopped on the way home from Delaware at the end of the summer because in addition to crabs they have veggie burgers and hush puppies with Old Bay as well as views of the boats and cormorants. We also had lovely views from the bridge, though it clouded up as we headed west. Cheryl left for Virginia and Paul and I watched the second season of Fleabag, which in parts is more painful but in many ways is better than the first.