Sunday, August 31, 2003

Summer's End

...was always Labor Day weekend when I was growing up, though now that the kids start school the last week in August it actually seems to come sooner. I thought I was going to have to work today and actually started on Trek Nation's site columns before learning that one of my editors intended to do them, since I had to work alone for four days last week, though I would have worked this weekend because whether they know it yet or not I'm taking Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur off.

My parents ended up deciding not to come to Baltimore with us, not wanting to do so much walking, so we went to Port Discovery for a couple of hours and then to the aquarium; Port Discovery had the central climbing gym decorated for their new road trip exhibit and had revamped the ancient Egypt exhibit, and the aquarium seemed to have twice as many sharks in the big tank as the last time we were there. We had thought about walking over to the science center to see Mars in the observatory, but it was once again overcast by the time the sun was setting.

Dragons in the Waters

Poem for Sunday

By Xuan Quynh

It's the season of birdsong.
The sky is deep blue, sunlight is everywhere.
The soil climbs the tree; the sap tends the fruits.
Man's footsteps break new paths.

It's the season in which nothing can hide.
The whole world is dressed in light.
The sea aqua, the white sails full.
And bitterness turns into poetry.

It's the seasons of hopes and dreams,
Of man's ancient and innumerable cravings.
Winds turn to storms, rains into rivers and seas.
A simple glance might light the spark of love.

It's the season of twilights.
The paper kite parts the high open sky,
The crickets stay awake in the warm night singing,
The moor hen breaks the noon's silence.

O summer, have you gone?
O desires of youth, are you here or not?
The earth still holds the deep blue of the sea,
And the sweet fruit, the faint color of blossoms.


Discovered via this morning's Poet's Choice column on Vietnamese poets.

We think we are going to Baltimore with the kids. We think my parents have just invited themselves along. My father has a sore achilles tendon which probably means no walking from Port Discovery to the science center or the aquarium, which was going to be my compensation for doing stuff purely for the kids for half the day. Sigh.

This is silly but I liked my answer so I'm posting it...gacked, I think, from who's going to have to share:

Which HP character will you end up with? by Doom_Song
Who you will end up with:Remus Lupin
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Saturday, August 30, 2003


Great exhibit at National Geographic with some interactive stuff (strap on a heavy pack and practice walking across an aluminum ladder with a photo of a crevasse beneath you, etc.) Kids enjoyed it. We left right as the sky opened up and drove back alongside the surging canal in the pouring rain. Stopped at the co-op to get necessities and discovered that they now carry Sun Dog shampoo! *happy dance*

Festival Mask, Nepal, From Edmund Hillary's Collection

We got tomorrow's newspaper advertising supplements early. There's a fold-out poster for Master and Commander! A great big color print of the well-known pic of Russell Crowe, plus a bunch of others on the back. How lovely of the studio!

Poem for Saturday

From The Dead
By James Joyce

The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover's eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live.

Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


No, that is not technically poetry, though one could argue that the entire short story (indeed the entire short story collection) is poetry. And I was in the mood for it. Not sure why, because I'm not depressed; am trying to work on depressing fic, however, and this exactly reflects a certain state of mind.

Why yes, I WAS feeling very silly last night. However could you tell?

Have just discovered the HP artwork at Art Dungeon. Oh my god, heaven. And I just want to snuggle her Sirius and Remus.

Have also been killed dead by 's Viggo/Sean animation (MAJOR warnings for RPS! Do not click this if you are going to scream -- I screamed when I saw it!) I had noooo idea that such things were possible without serious filmmaking software. Ohh the possibilities. Am having issues with this being posted in public, as this is certainly the sort of unauthorized use of someone's image that Alyssa Milano sues people over, but if it weren't posted in public, however would I have found it? I am such a guilty perverted hypocrite and I don't even care...

made the following great comment about the MTV VMAs: "I don't care that the Brit/Madonna/Christina bit was exploitative because it was fun and hot and I loved it. I love spectacle. I don't care that pop has no credibility. Boring music has credibility. Fuck that."

We are going to go down to the National Geographic Explorers' Hall to see the Sir Edmund Hillary Exhibit and then otherwise entertain ourselves downtown. It's merely 90 degrees and very very humid. Back and undoubtedly headache-y later!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Poem for Friday and <a href

The Hummingbird: A Seduction
By Pattiann Rogers

If I were a female hummingbird perched still
And quiet on an upper myrtle branch
In the spring afternoon and if you were a male
Alone in the whole heavens before me, having parted
Yourself, for me, from cedar top and honeysuckle stem
And earth down, your body hovering in midair
Far away from jewelweed, thistle, and bee balm;

And if I watched how you fell, plummeting before me,
And how you rose again and fell, with such mastery
That I believed for a moment you were the sky
And the red-marked bird diving inside your circumference
Was just the physical revelation of the light's
Most perfect desire;

And if I saw your sweeping and sucking
Performance of swirling egg and semen in the air,
The weaving, twisting vision of red petal
And nectar and soaring rump, the rush of your wing
In its grand confusion of arcing and splitting
Created completely out of nothing just for me,

Then when you came down to me, I would call you
My own spinning bloom of ruby sage, my funnelling
Storm of sunlit sperm and pollen, my only breathless
Piece of scarlet sky, and I would bless the base
Of each of your feathers and touch the tine
Of string muscles binding your wings and taste
The odor of your glistening oils and hunt
The honey in your crimson flare
And I would take you and take you and take you
Deep into any kind of nest you ever wanted.


Friday Five:

1. Are you going to school this year?

Only if working in my children's school counts.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
B.A. 1988, M.A. 1990, dropped out of Ph.D. program in 1993.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
English and history.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
Anything involving practical math, including chemistry and geology. (Oddly, I loved astronomy.) I liked theoretical math but give me a word problem and I'm lost.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
I have been in love with more teachers than any other class of human being. My very favorite was the single most influential person on my life for a twenty-year period. She taught me how to think critically, how to read multiple layers of allegory at the same time, and how important passion for one's subject matter can be.

has me playing Severus to her Lucius. I am going to go to Hell for extra millennia for this, aren't I.

Am going to go have lunch with so am once again behind on e-mail and feedback, though not, thankfully, on work, as my editors' computers are working once again! For anyone who hasn't checked out the results of TORN's 7-Up LOTR product placement challenge, this is a must-see; make sure to look at the Boromir-Faramir toast at the bottom right!

Oh yeah, and the very pretty Tom Welling. Bring on the Red Kryptonite.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Poem for Thursday

My Hero Bares His Nerves
By Dylan Thomas

My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
That rules from wrist to shoulder,
Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
Leans on my mortal ruler,
The proud spine spurning turn and twist.

And these poor nerves so wired to the skull
Ache on the lovelorn paper
I hug to love with my unruly scrawl
That utters all love hunger
And tells the page the empty ill.

My hero bares my side and sees his heart
Tread, like a naked Venus,
The beach of flesh, and wind her bloodred plait;
Stripping my loin of promise,
He promises a secret heat.

He holds the wire from the box of nerves
Praising the mortal error
Of birth and death, the two sad knaves of thieves,
And the hunger's emperor;
He pulls the chain, the cistern moves.


That's for , because I don't think I've ever posted any Dylan Thomas here.

Had no power most of the night last night. At least it mostly stayed on during the school ice cream social, which was cut short when the lights started flickering and we all ran to our cars in the pouring rain. I talked by candlelight on the phone to two of my best friends and realized that we were delivered when I heard the sump pump start up in the basement -- none too soon.

This morning I had to get six, count 'em, six articles up for TrekToday and CSI Files because both my editors have been offline all week, one felled by a computer virus, the other by motherboard problems. I got to -120 on my Friends list and gave up. I am dreadfully sorry if I owe you feedback. If you wrote any fic in fandoms you know I love to read, would you please please leave me links in my comments or write to me or post them to some appropriate mailing list where I can save them in my inbox? (Glares at Rugbytacklers.) Those of you to whom I owe betas I apologize; I was bitten by a small bunny yesterday and followed where it hopped, while I had an hour to spare.

Because screen caps are all we have, till November: The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

href="">Which HP Kid Are You?

My son's elementary school has somehow, for the second time in two years, lost his immunization forms. Must go have them faxed over.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

The White House
By Claude McKay

Your door is shut against my tightened face,
And I am sharp as steel with discontent;
But I possess the courage and the grace
To bear my anger proudly and unbent.
The pavement slabs burn loose beneath my feet,
A chafing savage, down the decent street;
And passion rends my vitals as I pass,
Where boldly shines your shuttered door of glass.
Oh, I must search for wisdom every hour,
Deep in my wrathful bosom sore and raw,
And find in it the superhuman power
To hold me to the letter of your law!
Oh, I must keep my heart inviolate
Against the potent poison of your hate.


: Tender, for the challenge to write about the mothers. I am sure this violates canon in some significant way but it's an interesting a/u, at least to me.

Kids are home for another hour because the county delayed all school for two hours due to power outages. Fortunately that's not affecting this area. Must go finish filling out the eight, count 'em, eight medical forms that instead of being on carbon paper or held over from previous years pending changes must be filled out in quadruplicate for each child.

Gacked from , the Which Marauder Am I quiz, with reasonable results:

And because I can, a photo.

Blue Dragonfly, Great Falls, Maryland

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Look, my mind is very one-track today.

A Lament For Boromir
By J.R.R. Tolkien

Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?'
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.'
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.'

From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.'
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell - so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!'
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth.'

From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.'
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.'
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'


Am off to meet -- whom I met in line waiting to get The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition -- at Circuit City so we can get The Two Towers and watch the previews together. My children have been sent off for their first day of second and fifth grade respectively, the breakfast dishes are in the sink, and both my editors are having computer problems so my time is my own this morning. *g*

Monday, August 25, 2003

Poem for Monday and <lj comm

Along With Youth
By Ernest Hemingway

A porcupine skin,
Stiff with bad tanning,
It must have ended somewhere.
Stuffed horned owl
Yellow eyed;
Chuck-wills-widow on a biassed twig
Sooted with dust.
Piles of old magazines,
Drawers of boy's letters
And the line of love
They must have ended somewhere.
Yesterday's Tribune is gone
Along with youth
And the canoe that went to pieces on the beach
The year of the big storm
When the hotel burned down
At Seney, Michigan.


: Adjacent, for the rerun challenge. I looked in the Mirror of Erised. As Snape. With pretty obvious results.

Couple of recent HP stories I really, really liked: 's Conjunctions and ' An Alphabet of Objects.

Thought this quiz was quite interesting though I can't figure out how I got this result given the answers I gave; I didn't even check "wise" as one of my attributes.

Ichi - "That one with wisdom"
What would your Japanese name be? (female)
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Poem for Sunday

( Poet's Choice: Charlotte Mew )

Here, a New York Times article on Matt & Ben -- the Off Off Broadway satire, not the actual boys, though there's plenty of them discussed in the article, which amused me greatly.

It's not even eleven and I am already being FUCKING NAGGED TO DEATH by my mother, who desperately needs her own life and her own hobbies, about What We Are Doing With The Family Today. She is giving us the caveat that anything we decide may be vetoed by my father when he gets home from playing tennis anyway. We had been talking about maybe going to the Renaissance Festival but somehow, if my parents are coming, or even if one of my parents is coming, I am not in the mood for it. And I haven't even started Site Columns at TrekToday.

And this is FALSE! FALSE! I have no idea how it happened! The results must have been skewed wildly! *sobs*

Hermione and Ron
You are a Hermione & Ron Shipper!
!!!~What Harry Potter Fan Fic Ship Are You?~!!!
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Poem for Saturday

Don Juan
Canto the Fourth
By George Gordon, Lord Byron

Nothing so difficult as a beginning
     In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning
     The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend,
Like Lucifer when hurl'd from heaven for sinning;
     Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend,
Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far,
Till our own weakness shows us what we are.

But Time, which brings all beings to their level,
     And sharp Adversity, will teach at last
Man, -- and, as we would hope, -- perhaps the devil,
     That neither of their intellects are vast:
While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,
     We know not this -- the blood flows on too fast;
But as the torrent widens towards the ocean,
We ponder deeply on each past emotion.

As boy, I thought myself a clever fellow,
     And wish'd that others held the same opinion;
They took it up when my days grew more mellow,
     And other minds acknowledged my dominion:
Now my sere fancy "falls into the yellow
     Leaf," and Imagination droops her pinion,
And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk
Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.

And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
     'Tis that I may not weep; and if I weep,
'Tis that our nature cannot always bring
     Itself to apathy, for we must steep
Our hearts first in the depths of Lethe's spring,
     Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep:
Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx;
A mortal mother would on Lethe fix.

Some have accused me of a strange design
     Against the creed and morals of the land,
And trace it in this poem every line:
     I don't pretend that I quite understand
My own meaning when I would be very fine;
     But the fact is that I have nothing plann'd,
Unless it were to be a moment merry,
A novel word in my vocabulary.

To the kind reader of our sober clime
     This way of writing will appear exotic;
Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme,
     Who sang when chivalry was more Quixotic,
And revell'd in the fancies of the time,
     True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings despotic:
But all these, save the last, being obsolete,
I chose a modern subject as more meet.

How I have treated it, I do not know;
     Perhaps no better than they have treated me
Who have imputed such designs as show
     Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see:
But if it gives them pleasure, be it so;
     This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free:
Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear,
And tells me to resume my story here.


Ashinae is a goddess and I bow and slobber at her feet. She knows why. *bows and slobbers*

Today we are going hiking at Great Falls (the Maryland side this time) with my in-laws, the doing...something...with them for dinner. It is absolutely gorgeous out, low eighties, low humidity, and I only have to write one article so I am quite content.

Potomac River Warning, Great Falls, Virginia

Friday, August 22, 2003

There's Got To Be A Morning After

I would like to announce the extent to which I suck: Target had The Poseidon Adventure on DVD for $5.99. And I bought it.

They also had Michael Hoffman's very up-and-down A Midsummer Night's Dream (Kevin Kline: wonderful, Calista Flockhart: the less said the better), but I figured I could rationalize that as Educational Materials, seeing as I was there with my children on a school supplies run.

They wouldn't break the TTT street date. I asked. *g*

Gacked from , The Negative Fannish 5:

1. Name the worst movie you have ever watched (you don't have to have sat through the whole thing).

Less Than Zero. Made Plan 9 From Outer Space's screenplay seem clever and witty.

2. Name one or more actors/actresses that you will avoid a movie, show, play etc. because they are involved.
These are not hard and fast, as I have made exceptions for films of theirs before and will probably do so again, but I loathe Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Douglas, Kate Hudson and Sean Connery.

3. Name the squickiest pairing or pairings for which you've actually seen/read fic.
Any and all underage Harry Potter RPF.

4. Name a fandom that just makes you say "someone actually reads/writes fic for that?"
Anything involving critters from Pokemon, Sesame Street, etc.

5. Name one thing about being in fandom you could live without.
People who cannot distinguish between fiction and reality.

Poem for Friday and <a href

The Embrace
By Mark Doty

You weren't well or really ill yet either;
just a little tired, your handsomeness
tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment doubt you were dead.
I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.
You'd been out--at work maybe?--
having a good day, almost energetic.

We seemed to be moving from some old house
where we'd lived, boxes everywhere, things
in disarray: that was the story of my dream,
but even asleep I was shocked out of the narrative

by your face, the physical fact of your face:
inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.
Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,
your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth
and clarity of you--warm brown tea--we held
each other for the time the dream allowed.

Bless you. You came back, so I could see you
once more, plainly, so I could rest against you
without thinking this happiness lessened anything,
without thinking you were alive again.


, that's for you. Friday Five:

1. When was the last time you laughed?

About five minutes ago, reading 's "Human".

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
My son, who refused to stay in bed last night.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
My husband, with the Variety headline about the December Rings-a-thon.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
Bathed as opposed to showered? I'm not sure but it's been a few weeks. I showered yesterday, late morning.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
A handful of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Go you! You really know what Boromir is made of.
LOTR - How Much Do You Know About Boromir? (Could Be Hard)
brought to you by Quizilla

Because how could I not post that? Meanwhile the son who would not go to bed last night is now refusing to wake up this morning. Must have him on school schedule by Tuesday -- oh dear. Also must drag him shopping for school supplies presently, as my father is taking them to the pool this afternoon so I can get work done.

On Tuesday morning, after taking them to school and running to Best Buy, I am sitting down and watching all the extras on the DVD because they will want to watch The Two Towers as soon as they get home.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Poem for Thursday

The Art of Blessing the Day
By Marge Piercy

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let's not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends'
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can't bless it, get ready to make it new.


, that's for you. I love Piercy. Still working on getting you a number.

Last night because of , my husband and I ended up watching Kiss of the Spider Woman for the first time in several years. It's always remained on my Top 10 list, but I'd forgotten all the little details of just how good it is. Like the lighting, where Babenco uses the prison lights-out and candles to illuminate certain moments, and the use of space -- they're in a claustrophobic prison cell for most of the film, it could easily become very boring to look at, but he keeps finding new angles. Also, William Hurt and Raul Julia both give performances so good that I don't even know what to compare them with. I might have to ask Mia whether I can write this one up for GMR, because I don't think I've ever written a formal review of that film and I want to.

Bodie Lighthouse Stairs, Outer Banks, NC

Addendum: Maple and Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats. How long have they been around? Why didn't anyone TELL me? Yum! , feel free to come over and have some, as I owe you a big bowl of cereal...

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

By Nina Cassian

Climbing the scales three octaves at a time,
I search for you among the high notes where
the tender flute resides. But where are your
sweet eyelashes? Not there.

Then I descend among the sunlit brasses--
their funnels glistening like fountain tips.
I let them splash me with their streaming gold,
but I can't find your lips.

Then daring ever deeper I explore
the depths the elemental strings command.
Their bows will not create a miracle
without your stroking hand.

The orchestra is still. The score is blank.
Cold as a slide rule the brasses, strings, and flute.
Sonorous lover, when will you return?
The orchestra is mute.


I've posted this before but I like it...discovered it in the Poet's Choice column and saved it.

Creepy-good Dead Zone this week, end of the world with a side of commonplace suburban adultery and murder. Is this it until January? How frustrating!

My parents are taking my kids to Hershey, for amusement park rides, trains and chocolate, so I must go get them organized. But first, discovered via and really too amusing not to share:

My LiveJournal Sitcom
cruisedirector at the lake (TNN, 9:00): cruisedirector (Sharon Stone) accidentally throws away trektoday (Billy Crudup)'s end table. Later, brenantrim (Carrie Fisher) hits on beckyo (Jane Krakowski)'s co-worker. The week after, divineway (Milla Jovovich) eats heathcee (Patricia Arquette)'s raspberry cheesecake. On the other side of town, cortese (Tom Waits) and ashinae (Catherine Zeta-Jones) build a shed at a hotel. The next day, dellastarr (Ralph Fiennes) and keelywolfe (Jane Fonda) sneak a cookie into a party. (Part 1 of 2.)
What's Your LiveJournal Sitcom? (by rfreebern)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Next Day
By Randall Jarrell

Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,
I take a box
And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.
The slacked or shorted, basketed, identical
Food-gathering flocks
Are selves I overlook. Wisdom, said William James,

Is learning what to overlook. And I am wise
If that is wisdom.
Yet somehow, as I buy All from these shelves
And the boy takes it to my station wagon,
What I've become
Troubles me even if I shut my eyes.

When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I'd wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I'm old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. It bewilders me he doesn't see me.
For so many years
I was good enough to eat: the world looked at me
And its mouth watered. How often they have undressed me,
The eyes of strangers!
And, holding their flesh within my flesh, their vile

Imaginings within my imagining,
I too have taken
The chance of life. Now the boy pats my dog
And we start home. Now I am good.
The last mistaken,
Ecstatic, accidental bliss, the blind

Happiness that, bursting, leaves upon the palm
Some soap and water--
It was so long ago, back in some Gay
Twenties, Nineties, I don't know . . . Today I miss
My lovely daughter
Away at school, my sons away at school,

My husband away at work--I wish for them.
The dog, the maid,
And I go through the sure unvarying days
At home in them. As I look at my life,
I am afraid
Only that it will change, as I am changing:

I am afraid, this morning, of my face.
It looks at me
From the rear-view mirror, with the eyes I hate,
The smile I hate. Its plain, lined look
Of gray discovery
Repeats to me: "You're old." That's all, I'm old.

And yet I'm afraid, as I was at the funeral
I went to yesterday.
My friend's cold made-up face, granite among its flowers,
Her undressed, operated-on, dressed body
Were my face and body.
As I think of her and I hear her telling me

How young I seem; I am exceptional;
I think of all I have.
But really no one is exceptional,
No one has anything, I'm anybody,
I stand beside my grave
Confused with my life, that is commonplace and solitary.


My in-laws came over for dinner last night, then we sat around watching The Road To El Dorado which has got to be the slashiest non-anime cartoon ever. Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh need to star in a live-action buddy movie together ASAP.

, that Opera Babes song to which you quoted the lyrics, which of course made me go hunt it down reminded me very much of the song Christian Bale sang at the beginning of Empire of the Sun, which cannot be coincidence, though I never before noticed the similarity between the latter and the New World Symphony. Why does it not surprise me that Dvorak is among John Williams' sources for swiping homage. I see that I am going to be wallowing in the Bale love today.

Am in the mood for being at the beach, which will not be possible till this weekend at the earliest and then probably it will be the Chesapeake rather than the Atlantic which is what I'm really craving. I would also like to be here:

Dover Castle, Late Spring Afternoon

Monday, August 18, 2003

Poem for Monday and <lj comm

Holy Sonnet XIV
By John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for you
As yet but knock; breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


For , because she mentioned it and it's one of my very favorites.

: Terminus. For the challenge to write about thestrals. I suppose there are ways to do that without being morbid but this idea was instantaneous so I went with it. No moral judgments are implied.

Below, my favorite of the photos I took at Camden Yards yesterday. Thematically I suppose my son should be holding cracker jacks, not cotton candy, but you still get the idea.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Sunday, August 17, 2003

NYY 8, BAL 0.

The less said about that, the better. Except that Mike Mussina looks good in a Yankees uniform, which sucks because he always looked good in an Orioles uniform.

The stadium, however, rocks. (And I mean literally -- baseball music is so much better than football music, "Centerfield" and "Sultans of Swing" instead of "We Will Rock You" and "Born To Be Wild"...) We had great seats on the club level, where the barbecue is excellent and there are much, much shorter lines than down on Eutaw Street, plus there's air conditioning inside which on a day like today was much appreciated between innings.

Unfortunately the club level also seemed to be the Yankee cheering section -- we were lone orange shirts surrounded by a sea of blue. But the views were great, the peanuts were very salty which is just the way I like them, and I got to see a beautiful throw home for an out after what would have been a sacrifice fly if the runner had run just a teeny bit faster.

Then we drove to Westminster and barbecued over a pit fire with my in-laws, in their beautiful campground full of deer and rabbits which we saw on the way in and out but not at the campsite as their beagle tends to discourage visitors of that sort. And s'mores. Any day can be improved with s'mores.

Out of 24 votes no one thinks I need a fic journal and two people said they'd read this but not that, so I think I'll stick with one LJ for now. Which is rather a relief, as I'd hate having to sign out and sign back in as someone else.

While There Was Still Time

Poem for Sunday

Praise of a Collie
By Norman MacCaig

She was a small dog, neat and fluid --
Even her conversation was tiny:
She greeted you with bow, never bow-wow.
Her sons stood monumentally over her
But did what she told them. Each grew grizzled
Till it seemed he was his own mother's grandfather.
Once, gathering sheep on a showery day,
I remarked how dry she was. Pollochan said, "Ah,
It would take a very accurate drop to hit Lassie."
She sailed in the dinghy like a proper sea-dog.
Where's a burn? -- she's first on the other side.
She flowed through fences like a piece of black wind.
But suddenly she was old and sick and crippled . . .
I grieved for Pollochan when he took her a stroll
And put his gun to the back of her head.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch today, on living in Edinburgh and studying Scottish literature. MacCaig, who took Hirsch in, published 16 books of poetry "and wore his erudition lightly."

Last night while folding laundry I watched the episode of Dawson's Creek in which I first heard Beth Nielsen Chapman -- "Seven Shades of Blue" played while Pacey is walking down the beach after twilight, shortly past the stunning breakup scene with the sun shining blindingly off Tamara's hair, so that he was already seeing her as if in faded memory. Sometimes I am embarrassed about how very much I love that show, so it is always wonderful to receive reminders about how good it was even during its soap opera beginnings...the cinematography, the music, the light on the water. I loved that episode the first time despite the Lord's Prayer and I loved it even more this time because it has all the nostalgia I have tied into that Beth Nielsen Chapman song wrapped up in it.

My parents gave us their Orioles-Yankees tickets for this afternoon because they're visiting my sister out of town, so I will be spending the afternoon in Baltimore and the evening in Westminster visiting my in-laws who are camping there. Hopefully it will neither rain nor reach 100 degrees.

Swan in Snow, National Zoo, Washington DC

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Poem for Saturday

The Distant Moon
By Rafael Campo


Admitted to the hospital again.
The second bout of pneumocystis back
In January almost killed him; then,
He'd sworn to us he'd die at home. He baked
Us cookies, which the student wouldn't eat,
Before he left--the kitchen on 5A
Is small, but serviceable and neat.
He told me stories: Richard Gere was gay
And sleeping with a friend of his, and AIDS
Was an elaborate conspiracy
Effected by the government. He stayed
Four months. He lost his sight to CMV.


One day, I drew his blood, and while I did
He laughed, and said I was his girlfriend now,
His blood-brother. "Vampire-slut," he cried,
"You'll make me live forever!" Wrinkled brows
Were all I managed in reply. I know
I'm drowning in his blood, his purple blood.
I filled my seven tubes; the warmth was slow
To leave them, pressed inside my palm. I'm sad
Because he doesn't see my face. Because
I can't identify with him. I hate
The fact that he's my age, and that across
My skin he's there, my blood-brother, my mate.


He said I was too nice, and after all
If Jodie Foster was a lesbian,
Then doctors could be queer. Residual
Guilts tingled down my spine. "OK, I'm done,"
I said as I withdrew the needle from
His back, and pressed. The CSF was clear;
I never answered him. That spot was framed
In sterile, paper drapes. He was so near
Death, telling him seemed pointless. Then, he died.
Unrecognizable to anyone
But me, he left my needles deep inside
His joking heart. An autopsy was done.


I'd read to him at night. His horoscope,
The New York Times, The Advocate;
Some lines by Richard Howard gave us hope.
A quiet hospital is infinite,
The polished, ice-white floors, the darkened halls
That lead to almost anywhere, to death
Or ghostly, lighted Coke machines. I call
To him one night, at home, asleep. His breath,
I dreamed, had filled my lungs--his lips, my lips
Had touched. I felt as though I'd touched a shrine.
Not disrespectfully, but in some lapse
Of concentration. In a mirror shines

The distant moon.


Got A Woman's Guide To Adultery in the mail yesterday. Have not had a long enough stretch with sleeping children to watch much yet but I did put it in long enough to see if the disc was all right, whereupon I discovered that I MUST HAVE SCREEN CAPS FROM THIS MOVIE. Anyone know where I can find any?

And oh! PSA for U.S. shoppers that I forgot to mention. The other day, when I was shopping with my kids, KB Toys had Lord of the Rings playing cards -- two decks, heroes and villains, together in a tin with Frodo etched on it. And even though the packaging has TTT art, the cards are from FOTR so Boromir's on all the threes. Have I mentioned that in addition to Tarot decks, of which I have about fifty, I also collect transformation decks and decks of ordinary playing cards with interesting backs? I appreciate interesting court cards, like the Grateful Dead deck with skeleton aces, jacks, queens, kings and jokers, but much prefer decks where the twos through tens have art on them as well, which these LOTR decks do. They're not quite as nice as the Star Trek decks which have glossier, thicker cards with no repetitive images, but the LOTR tins were only $3.99!

Today, in theory, we are going to the county agricultural fair. I say "in theory" because it is supposed to be over 95 degrees, and I may traipse across the fairgrounds to Borders and sit and read while my husband and kids go on the rides. I don't want to miss the pig show, though.

In the Butterfly Garden, Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland

Friday, August 15, 2003

Poem for Friday and <a href

From 'Leaves of Grass' (1855 edition)
By Walt Whitman

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night;
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.

Press close barebosomed night! Press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night! Mad naked summer night!

Smile O voluptuous coolbreathed earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset! Earth of the mountains misty- topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbowed earth! Rich apple-blossomed earth!
Smile, for your lover comes!

Prodigal! you have given me love!...therefore I to you give love!
O unspeakable passionate love!

Thruster holding me tight and that I hold tight!
We hurt each other as the bridegroom and the bride hurt each other.

You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft...rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet...I can repay you.

Sea of stretched ground-swells!
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths!
Sea of the brine of life! Sea of unshovelled and always- ready graves!
Howler and scooper of storms! Capricious and dainty sea!
I am integral with you...I too am of one phase and of all phases.

Partaker of influx and efflux...extoler of hate and conciliation,
Extoler of amies and those that sleep in each others' arms.

I am he attesting sympathy;
Shall I make my list of things in the house and skip the house that supports them?

I am the poet of commonsense and of the demonstrable and of immortality;
And am not the poet of goodness only...I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also.


Friday Five

1. How much time do you spend online each day?

My computer is on pretty much whenever I'm awake and it's online, though I'm not in front of it much of the time. I work online, so it's rare for me to be completely without access for more than a couple of hours.

2. What is your browser homepage set to?
It's blank. Don't like to wait for it to load a page I don't necessarily need.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
Trillian, which lets me use AIM, ICQ, Yahoo and MSN. I use AIM nearly all of the time but pop onto the others to look for specific people.

4. Where was your first webpage located?
America Online's member pages, quickly moved to Geocities.

5. How long have you had your current website?
I've had the domain for about three years and my current web host for two.

Capitol Pillars, National Aboretum

Talked to who has no power and no phone (she was on a failing mobile) but who is well despite the blackout, though probably overheated. Still have not spoken to my sister, my college roommate or any of my New York friends. LL, if you are reading this, do let me know if the lights are on in Metropolis. Hope everyone else is coping with the disruptions and no one was in an elevator or on a subway when the power went out.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

In the Dark

! Are you missing because of the blackout? Or are you just off watching B5 and having fun?

My parents are supposed to leave early tomorrow to go to my sister's in the New York suburbs tomorrow, while my in-laws are supposed to be driving down here from New York. Obviously we have no word at the moment on whether either of those things is going to happen.

Hope y'all without power are surviving okay!

Poem for Thursday

Skunk Hour
By Robert Lowell

For Elizabeth Bishop

Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village,
she's in her dotage.

Thirsting for
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria's century,
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.

The season's ill--
we've lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.

And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall,
his fishnet's filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler's bench and awl,
there is no money in his work,
he'd rather marry.

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill's skull,
I watched for love-cars. Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind's not right.

A car radio bleats,
'Love, O careless Love . . . .' I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat . . . .
I myself am hell,
nobody's here--

only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their soles up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes' red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.

I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air--
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the
garbage pail
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.


Getting stitches out in an hour and perhaps I will no longer feel like tearing my neck from my body! Yay! Then meeting and her entire family for lunch with my entire family. And then have to come home and write droll Trek news, if my children will permit it. So am late on correspondence and feedback again...apologies.

Washington Through the Blossoms

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

POTC Take Two

It's still pretty silly. There are still plot holes I could toss a chest of gold through. But I actually think I liked it even better this time around. The sense of FUN is just incredible. How do movies like Attack of the Clones manage to be so thoroughly NOT-FUN? Everything about Pirates of the Caribbean screams of fun -- not just the actors and the extras, but the costumes, the hair, the hats, the sets, the's pure unadulterated pleasure. More so than Finding Nemo which is about to eclipse The Lion King as the most ridiculously overrated Disney movie of all time. Having sat through a number of Serious Movies With Meaningful Plots recently, I have no qualms about admitting how pleased I am with POTC.

Line from a joke e-mail my father sent me: "Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants." HOWL! In other news, when children eat a lot of popcorn at 3 p.m. they do not eat dinner. And bears...well, you know.

I owe everyone a decent photo but could not resist this quiz, gacked from who has a delightful amount of S/R fic on his site. And speaking of HP, everyone go read 's Lucius/Severus story that I betaed line by line, "Taboo"!

I am a sleepy folded & creased kitty
Which sleepy kitty would you be?
brought to you by Quizilla

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

Astrophel and Stella XXXI
By Philip Sidney

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What, may it be that even in heav'nly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries!
Sure, if that long-with love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case,
I read it in thy looks; thy languish'd grace
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, ev'n of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be lov'd, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?


: Ruse, for the blackout challenge.

I have about 30 pieces of mail to answer, 20 LJ comments to respond to and two stories to beta. And my kids are home, and it's raining, and guess what they said they wanted to do today if it was raining and we couldn't go swimming or play miniature golf? Go see Pirates of the Caribbean again. So I am making the great *snerk* sacrifice and taking them to the movies. Will get back to everyone as soon as I can!

Discovered via . But I don't want to be a princess, I want to be Mulan!

You are Jasmine from Aladdin!
What Disney Princess are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


My dentist's new hygienist went to the fucking Marquis de Sade school of dentistry. I'd swear she trained under Orrin Scrivello, DDS from Little Shop of Horrors.

In other news, I'm contemplating running for governor of California. No, I've never lived in the state, but everybody's doing it and I couldn't be worse than Ronald Reagan, could I?

Gacked from the whole bleepin' world. This is actually quite charming and inspires me to write fic, though I don't really understand the syllable count:

LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:cruisedirector
Your haiku:lines of two plotlines
somebody goes away
and somebody
Created by Grahame

Poem for Tuesday

A Hill
By Anthony Hecht

In Italy, where this sort of thing can occur,
I had a vision once - though you understand
It was nothing at all like Dante's, or the visions of saints,
And perhaps not a vision at all. I was with some friends,
Picking my way through a warm sunlit piazza
In the early morning. A clear fretwork of shadows
From huge umbrellas littered the pavement and made
A sort of lucent shallows in which was moored
A small navy of carts. Books, coins, old maps,
Cheap landscapes and ugly religious prints
Were all on sale. The colors and noise
Like the flying hands were gestures of exultation,
So that even the bargaining
Rose to the ear like a voluble godliness.
And then, where it happened, the noises suddenly stopped,
And it got darker; pushcarts and people dissolved
And even the great Farnese Palace itself
Was gone, for all its marble; in its place
Was a hill, mole-colored and bare. It was very cold,
Close to freezing, with a promise of snow.
The trees were like old ironwork gathered for scrap
Outside a factory wall. There was no wind,
And the only sound for a while was the little click
Of ice as it broke in the mud under my feet.
I saw a piece of ribbon snagged on a hedge,
But no other sign of life. And then I heard
What seemed the crack of a rifle. A hunter, I guessed;
At least I was not alone. But just after that
Came the soft and papery crash
Of a great branch somewhere unseen falling to earth.

And that was all, except for the cold and silence
That promised to last forever, like the hill.

Then prices came through, and fingers, and I was restored
To the sunlight and my friends. But for more than a week
I was scared by the plain bitterness of what I had seen.
All this happened about ten years ago,
And it hasn't troubled me since, but at last, today,
I remembered that hill; it lies just to the left
Of the road north of Poughkeepsie; and as a boy
I stood before it for hours in wintertime.


I am very, very grateful to for pointing out "Aragorn: The Owner's Guide and Maintenance Manual", which made me howl for several minutes this morning. Am hoping for a better day than yesterday. Right now I am off to a dentist appointment which is rarely the best way to start one, so more later.

In the Japanese Garden at the Water Reclamation Plant (a.k.a. Starfleet Academy), Van Nuys, California

Monday, August 11, 2003

Poem for Monday and <lj comm

my father moved through dooms of love
by e. e. cummings

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who,his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father's fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer's keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father's dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
yes humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned)as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he'd laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that's bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
--i say though hate were why men breathe--
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all


: Whitewash, for the challenge to pick someone else's plot summary and write a drabble based upon it. My summary was "All she wanted to do was prepare a nice meal for the man she loves," by HRHBunbury.

And from The Green Man Review, my review of Angels & Demons. Perhaps not as amusing as Bjo Trimble's scathing comments on Enterprise that I got to report for TrekToday yesterday, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Yesterday we did go down to the Civil War Days festival at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, where we went to a wonderful slide show and lecture about 3D photography of the war and its key figures. We also walked through the exhibit on pueblos of New Mexico. Then we wandered next door to Natural History (see below) where one son wanted to see the Hope Diamond and the dinosaurs while the other wanted to see sea life and mammal bones. Afterwards we had ice cream and went to my parents' house for dinner. They have graciously agreed to babysit tonight since I have an early dentist appointment tomorrow morning and my mother is going to watch the boys, so I must think of something exciting to do tonight while child-free!

The Elephant in the Rotunda, National Museum of Natural History

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Real Update

There are red leaves on the maple. Signs of fall before summer has truly arrived. Not that I am complaining -- Washington's usual summers are beastly, and for some reason London seems to be getting our weather this year instead -- but it will be strange when school starts in a couple of weeks and I feel like I missed the summer here entirely.

Some of this is tripe, but I was still amused by this article parallelling Orthodox Judaism and the world of Harry Potter.

I am not bothering to learn my afterlife, my LOTR actor dream date or my HP fandom fate, but I discovered this via and really liked it:


Ehwaz - Abrupt changes, moving into new home and environment, travel, swift change in situation.


Lagaz - Intuition, imagination, success in studies, creativity, vitality and passion (especially for women).


Neid - Need, desire, fulfilling those needs, love and sex magick, motivation created by distress.

Cast the runes here: Rune Caster

Below is where we went yesterday. We weren't headed there -- we were headed downtown to the Capital Children's Museum via the George Washington Parkway, which was inexplicably closed, as were large sections of I-495 and Route 123. So we took the road of least resistance, so to speak, to Great Falls, Virginia and climbed the rocks along the Potomac...which would have been easier had my son and I been wearing sneakers rather than open shoes for walking downtown, but what can you do!

Great Falls from the Virginia Side

Now we are going downtown to the Civil War festival at the National Museum of American History. Report on that tonight.

Poem for Sunday

( Poet's Choice: Miklos Radnoti )

Oh, I can post this, also from , though I am more drippily romantic than her:

The Princess Bride
I'm sure it's no big surprise to you that your
romance is The Princess Bride. A heartwarming
tale of "Twue Wuve" that has giants,
Spainards and swashbuckling. You really do
think that love can overcome anything. You may
be a touch naive but your heart is certainly in
the right place. You've probably got one of
those relationships where proper nouns have
been replaced with "Snookums" and
"Pookie Pie". Eww. Beware a cuteness

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Poem for Saturday

The Flower
By Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

A dead, pale flower falls,
Forgotten, from a yellowed page.
And so by a strange dream
My soul is filled.

When did this flower bloom, and where?
In what long-distant spring? Was it a familiar
Or a stranger's hand that picked it?
Who pressed it in these pages here, and why?

Was it in memory of a tender meeting
Or anticipation of a fateful parting?
Or was it found on a solitary stroll
In a quiet field, or shaded wood?

And is she still living? And is he?
Together, did they find their way?
Or were they lost, like youth, like love,
Like this forgotten flower?


I woke up this morning with this poem in my head. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly the translation of it I first read in college 16 years ago, and a lengthy online search brought up entirely inferior translations (some with clunky rhymes, some with colorful additions). I don't read Russian, so this was the best I could do from memory, trying to translate the translations back into the spare language of the version of the poem I fell in love with.

For some reason LJ is not forwarding me notifications when people leave comments on my posts. I thought the story I posted last night must have been incredibly godawful until I realized that in fact people were leaving feedback -- it just wasn't getting to my mailbox. If you leave me a comment someplace and I don't respond to it, please don't think I'm ignoring you -- I probably have not spotted it. Write to me if you want to be certain!

Speaking of mail, I owe a great many letters that need to be more than two sentences and I have been putting those off until I have time not to rush. But I have not had time not to rush. If I owe you e-mail, I apologize and the reason I am so late is that I want to write an actual letter!

So I took the Slash Purity Test and discovered that I have been reading and watching way too much gen and het. No surprise there; I LIKE gen and het...
Here is the result of your Slash Fanfic Purity Test.
You answered "yes" to 95 of 123 questions, with a total value of 153 points out of 189, making you 19.0% slash pure (81.0% slash corrupt); that is, you are 19.0% pure in the slash domain.
Your Weirdness Factor (AKA Uniqueness Factor) is 47%, based on a comparison of your test results with 4882 other submissions for this test.
The average purity for this test is 59.9%.
The first submission for this test was received December 22, 1999.

Happy belated birthday to and happy early birthday to , two of my oldest friends from Trek fandom! TFW!

Laura Barnes Shipwreck, Coquina Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Friday, August 08, 2003

Poem for Friday and <a href

This Is a Photograph of Me
Margaret Atwood

It was taken some time ago.
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough,
you will be able to see me.)


Friday Five:
1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country?

I circled the U.S. with my family in a minivan, driving from D.C. across the southwest to L.A., then north to Seattle, then home across the north via Chicago.

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
We met people who belong to our Jewish Community Center while sightseeing near the Globe Theatre in London. Though the more I travel, the more I realize how interconnected certain communities are, no matter how global their spread.

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go?
I would spend two years traveling all over Europe, then go to the Himalaya region, visit Kathmandu and circumnambulate Mount Kailas. Then on to Australia and New Zealand, and home via extended travel in the South Pacific.

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
Plane is the only practical way to reach many of the places I want to visit. Within the U.S. I prefer traveling by car and making many stops along the way.

5. What's the next place on your list to visit?
Locally: Williamsburg, Virginia. Nationally: Armonk, New York. Internationally: Rome.

Last night I tried to rest but I was too sore -- my stitches are right on the part of my neck that hits my pillow on my left side, which is the side I sleep on. So my better half and I watched The Ice Storm, which I had never seen previously, despite Sigourney, Kevin, Joan, Elijah, Tobey, Katie, et al. And somehow, no one had spoiled the ending for me.

I absolutely loved the first 3/4 of The Ice Storm. It's one of those movies where you find yourself laughing aloud, even though what's happening onscreen is more horrible than funny; there's a superb balance of twisted humor and real pathos for the characters, who are all believably quirky if not downright messed-up. I am sure it's a reflection of my age that I related more to the adulterous adults than to the children, even though I was much closer to the kids' ages in the 1970s (when the film is set) than to the grownups'. The cinematography is stunning and made me envy my sister's home in Armonk, which is not far from the film's Connecticut locale -- not the house itself, but the trees and the footpaths within the neighborhood, and having an actual town to bike through.

But then Elijah Wood's character died, and I realized I'd seen this movie a gazillion times before: the one where the woman with selfish, independent sexuality is punished by the loss of her family and everything she does or should care about, while the male protagonist goes back to his wife and kids. Other than her barely-there husband, who's more a sketch than a full character, Sigourney Weaver's character is the only person the film truly condemns, in a final shot where she lies in bed looking like shit as she hears her husband sobbing (assuming, wrongly, that it's over her infidelity). We're not supposed to feel terribly sorry for Elijah's character, as he's a flaky kid who goes on about molecular transformation and there's a pretentious speech about death being just another molecular transformation around the time that he dies (compared to the death of a comic book character, which is rather disturbing).

Of course this is the catalyst for Kevin Kline to realize that he has what he really wants right at home, even if his daughter is toying with sex with Elijah's character's younger brother and his son is desperately trying to lose his virginity with Katie Holmes' character and Nixon is ruining the country. And of course, after brief and terrible revenge sex (it has to be terrible so as not to stain the woman with the taint of having enjoyed sex for its own sake, right?), Joan Allen's character decides she'd rather have bored cheating Kevin's character than ponder the independence with which she briefly and disastrously flirts earlier in the picture in a pathetic attempt to emulate her daughter.

Why are they still making shit like this? Is the 1970s setting supposed to make us feel better about the reactionary values, how we're supposed to despise Allison Janney's character (I should look up the characters' names, huh) for encouraging spouse-swapping, and to scoff at all the sexual frustration not being channeled into creating neat little families? Ick. Yuck.

I wish Tobey's character and Elijah's character had been onscreen for a single second together so I could slash them.

's meme, discovered via : Post a picture of a kickass woman from your fandom. I give you Vedek Winn from Deep Space Nine on the eve of her ascension to Kai.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Poem for Thursday

My Last Duchess
By Robert Browning

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said
'Frà Pandolf' by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 't was not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say, 'Her mantle laps
Over my lady's wrist too much,' or 'Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:' such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart -- how shall I say? -- too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 't was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace -- all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men, -- good! but thanked
Somehow -- I know not how -- as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech -- (which I have not) -- to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, 'Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark' -- and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
-- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I have commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!


I have novels sitting here by my two favorite living novelists, Richard Zimler and Janette Turner Hospital. *happy dance* Which should I read first, Zimler's Hunting Midnight (Marrano Jews, necromancers, the slave trade and Napoleon's armies in Portugal) or Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague (terrorism, cults, knowledge as power and heroism that outlasts death)?

Yesterday I had lunch with my mother, and today, with luck, I am having lunch with . No wonder I am not losing any weight. This afternoon I have to submit to my dermatologist's scalpel to make sure they got all the abnormal tissue last time around. At least I only have to write one article today (CSI calendars -- does this mean that the Pre-Raphaelite calendars will be out soon?)

This morning I got 36, count 'em, 36 spam messages about Viagra. Cheap, discreet, will make women scream for me. Last weekend while watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, I was startled to learn that the image below is actually a place on Vulcan, minus the greenery...

Vasquez Rocks, California

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

For K. J., Leaving and Coming Back
By Marilyn Hacker

August First: it was a year ago
we drove down from St.-Guilhem-le-Désert
to open the house in St. Guiraud

rented unseen. I'd stay; you'd go; that's where
our paths diverged. I'd settle down to work,
you'd start the next month of your Wanderjahr.

I turned the iron key in the rusted lock
(it came, like a detective-story clue,
in a manila envelope, postmarked

elsewhere, unmarked otherwise) while you
stood behind me in the midday heat.
Somnolent shudders marked our progress. Two

horses grazed on a roof across the street.
You didn't believe me until you turned around.
They were both old, one mottled gray, one white.

Past the kitchen's russet dark, we found
bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace:
Verlaine, L'Étranger, Notes from the Underground.

Through an archway, a fresh-plastered staircase
led steeply upward. In a white room stood
a white-clad brass bed. Sunlight in your face

came from the tree-filled window. "You did good."
We laid crisp sheets we would inaugurate
that night, rescued from the grenier a wood-

en table we put under the window. Date
our homes from that one, to which you returned
the last week of August, on a late

bus, in shorts, like a crew-cut, sunburned
bidasse. Sunburned, in shorts, a new haircut,
with Auden and a racing pulse I'd earned

by "not being sentimental about
you," I sprinted to "La Populaire."
You walked into my arms when you got out.

At a two minute bus stop, who would care?
"La Populaire" puffed onward to Millau
while we hiked up to the hiatus where

we'd left ourselves when you left St. Guiraud
after an unambiguous decade
of friendship, and some months of something new.

A long week before either of us said
a compromising word acknowledging
what happened every night in the brass bed

and every bird-heralded blue morning
was something we could claim and keep and use;
was, like the house, a place where we could bring

our road-worn, weary selves.
  Now, we've a pause
in a year we wouldn't have wagered on.
Dusk climbs the tiled roof opposite; the blue's

still sun-soaked; it's a week now since you've gone
to be a daughter in the capital.
(I came north with you as far as Beaune.)

I cook things you don't like. Sometimes I fall
asleep, book open, one A.M., sometimes
I long for you all night in Provencal

or langue d'oc, or wish I could, when I'm
too much awake. My early walk, my late
walk mark the day's measures like rhyme.

(There's nothing I hate---perhaps I hate
the adipose deposits on my thighs
---as much as having to stay put and wait!)

Although a day alone cuts tight or lies
too limp sometimes, I know what I didn't know
a year ago, that makes it the right size:
owned certainty; perpetual surprise.


, the television challenge: Nightly. Eek! I wrote Chloe/Lionel! Again! I should add a note that in this drabble she's over 18.

Last night I Friended a bunch of people whom I know under another identity (if you know what I'm talking about please don't out me). I never get through that person's Friends list, even the highly filtered version, and wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything of yours. So if you're wondering who's that strange person who's added you, you know me already -- you just may not know it's me.

Gacked from , an Avalon quiz! I liked Eilan very much, too. Not quite as much as her namesake Helena perhaps, but of the ones who remained in Britain, she was probably my favorite. And one of my pictures of the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey to go with it.

Congratulations, you are the beloved High
Priestess, Lady Eilan! She is gentle and
caring, attending to those who are abandoned.
She brings herself down to earth by doing the
same daily chores as the other priestesses.
Unlike Lady Lhiannon she knows of the Druid's
plans, and attends to things accordingly. Eilan
is the last High Priestess of the Forest House.

Which Priestess of Avalon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

From The Divine Comedy, Inferno: Canto I
By Dante Alighieri
Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.

But after I had reached a mountain's foot,
At that point where the valley terminated,
Which had with consternation pierced my heart,

Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders,
Vested already with that planet's rays
Which leadeth others right by every road.

Then was the fear a little quieted
That in my heart's lake had endured throughout
The night, which I had passed so piteously.

And even as he, who, with distressful breath,
Forth issued from the sea upon the shore,
Turns to the water perilous and gazes;

So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward,
Turn itself back to re-behold the pass
Which never yet a living person left.


So I did the 50 Closest Non-Friends thing, and discovered that over 3/4 of the names are on my alter ego's Friends list already, anyway. Hmm. Someone will suspect that I read RPS. *eg*

Yesterday a good friend of mine originally from Trek fandom, a captain in the army, called me from Chicago for the first time since her return from Baghdad. While her unit was over there, she had visited Babylon. I suppose it is very wrong of me to feel jealous of this -- she was sent as an officer in a war of which she could not vocally disapprove if she wanted to, given her career, plus her position is in media relations, and you couldn't have paid me anything to have gone as an observer let alone a soldier. Yet she has laid eyes on a 6000-year-old city that in all likelihood I will never see, even if regional attitudes towards Americans and Jews change markedly at some point. To stand where the Hanging Gardens once stood...I can't even imagine.

Quiz spotted in 's LJ. Again Ravenclaw, even though the questions were less obvious. I should stop taking quizzes and accept that I have been sorted into that house!

Ravenclaw. Logical and dedicated to learning, you
sometimes forget the smaller things in life.

A genuine Sorting Hat quiz
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, August 04, 2003

Poem for Monday

Acquainted With the Night
By Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain --and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


Yesterday we bought a new entertainment center thingie for our new TV (inherited from my parents when they got their huge plasma screen TV installed). So we spent the late afternoon putting the entertainment center thingie together, then we went to my parents' for pizza and watched Star Trek IV on their great big HUGE TV. I was careful not to slash Kirk and Spock too much, though when Kirk throws himself and Spock into the bay, it's hard not to. I mean, damn that water must be cold.

My evil plan is pathetic. Am faced with the consideration that perhaps I am not very evil. No wonder I never get sorted into Slytherin.

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan (tm)!
Your objective is simple: World Domination.
Your motive is a little bit more complex: Love (Yes, it works)

Stage One
To begin your plan, you must first seduce a superman. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, amazed by your arrival. Who is this criminal mastermind? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in your wizard's robes?

Stage Two
Next, you must seize control of the Pyramids of Giza. This will all be done from a medieval castle, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will faint, as countless hordes of computer programmers hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three
Finally, you must send forth your time machine, bringing about an end to sanity. Your name shall become synonymous with the spice girls, and no man will ever again dare interrupt your sentences. Everyone will bow before your extraordinary charisma, and the world will have no choice but to fall madly in love with you.

I'm still in this sort of mood:

Avebury, The Stone Circle