Friday, October 31, 2003

Traumatic Halloween

Well, I ended up doing something this evening I did not anticipate. Saying Kaddish for my son's hamster, Ham. By his request.

Noticed when I was in the kitchen getting candy into the plastic cauldron that Ham was very still. Didn't look like he was breathing. I nudged him a little with a pencil. He was obviously stiff. We didn't tell the kids until after trick or treating -- I didn't want the holiday to be ruined for them. Good decision, as older son cried inconsolably, while younger son pretended that he was not that upset, then went upstairs and got his blankie and cried inconsolably.

What's interesting is that my little cat had been acting strangely all day and refusing to eat her food, which is in a dish right under the hamster cage. She was pacing and yowling and we decided it would be best to bury Ham immediately, so we held a candlelight funeral in the backyard. Kids took turns with the shovel, crying inconsolably. And older son wanted the prayer. In Hebrew.

Interesting that after four years of struggling to use Sephardic pronunciation at Washington Hebrew when I grew up with Ashkenazi grandparents, now I can't do the Ashkenazi pronunciations either without tripping up. (The hard Ts are soft Ss in some places with Ashkenazi pronunciations; if you've ever been to a Jewish funeral or Yom Kippur service, it's the prayer that starts either "Yitkadal v'yitkadash" or "Yiskadal v'yiskadash.")

I did not expect to be spending any of Los Dias De Los Muertos presiding over an actual funeral. In Hebrew. Am rather freaked out, though not nearly as upset as my poor kids. Maybe we should have waited till morning to tell them, but I wanted them to be able to see the hamster one more time and had no idea what kind of shape it would be in in the morning.

Ham in happier times.

Where I Spent My Afternoon

My kids. Not that you could tell. *g*

More Barbie-ness

Kai Winn as a Barbie Doll, by Delta Story.

Poem for Samhain and <a href

A very happy and blessed Halloween, All Souls, Samhain, Day of the Dead or whatever else you might be celebrating this October 31st.

By Louise Glück

In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come
so often here, while other regions get
twelve weeks of summer. All this
belongs to you: on the other hand,
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of
that term. You who do not discriminate
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence,
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible
for these vines.


From The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and Kipling West.

Friday Five:

1. What was your first Halloween costume?

I was a jester, in a homemade costume by my mother.

2. What was your best costume and why?
The Statue of Liberty, also made by my mother.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?
I've never played a trick on anyone other than surreptitiously trading their prized Junior Mints and Baby Ruths for my overabundant Snickers and Milky Ways.

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)
All of the above. We do the family pumpkin carving the night before and I toast the pumpkin seeds while the kids sketch on the pumpkins the faces they want for their jack-o-lanterns. Since we've discovered Yankee Candle's spiced pumpkin candles, we usually burn one of those every night for at least the week before the holiday, too. We try to have pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie, though not always on Halloween necessarily as we know we will be eating so much junk later that we keep dinner to a minimum. I burn incense for Samhain after everyone is back from trick or treating.

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!
I've never been a big horror fan, but the stories that have appealed to me have tended to be the ones about how horrific people can be to one another. Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is probably my favorite of those.


1. What is the movie that scared you the most? (Notice I didn’t say the scariest movie.) Does it scare you still?
Actually it was Darth Vader's voice in Star Wars. I'd been scared shitless of James Earl Jones since I first saw him on Sesame Street teaching kids to count -- when he got to ten he would scream it and I would run out of the room. I called him "the bald man," since he was bald then. And I got over it at some point, though when I first saw the movie in elementary school (in 1977, I'm first generation), I had to sleep with the hall light on.

2. What is the tv show or episode that scared you the most? Does it scare you still?
The X-Files about the doctor who did the liposuction psycho stuff. I walked out the first time and I never want to see it again.

3) Do you watch horror movies/tv shows or avoid them? Why?
I've never seen any of the Halloweens and I only saw the first Friday the 13th. I'll see horror if it has some other compelling attraction, a story like Alien or an actor I like (I've probably seen more bad horror for Louise Fletcher than anyone else).

4) What is the best “Very Special Halloween” episode of all time? Why?
I'm going to have to go with Star Trek's "Catspaw." Heh.

5) You have an unlimited budget and the best costumers and makeup people from Hollywood to help you, who or what do you dress as for Halloween?
I don't care what kind of robes I'm wearing but I want to be a Hogwarts teacher with a broomstick that actually flies.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Poem for Thursday

The Young Fools
By Paul Verlaine
Translated by Louis Simpson

High-heels were struggling with a full-length dress
So that, between the wind and the terrain,
At times a shining stocking would be seen,
And gone too soon. We liked that foolishness.

Also, at times a jealous insect's dart
Bothered out beauties. Suddenly a white
Nape flashed beneath the branches, and this sight
Was a delicate feast for a young fool's heart.

Evening fell, equivocal, dissembling,
The women who hung dreaming on our arms
Spoke in low voices, words that had such charms
That ever since our stunned soul has been trembling.

Les Ingénus
By Paul Verlaine

Les hauts talons luttaient avec les longues jupes,
En sorte que, selon le terrain et le vent,
Parfois luisaient des bas de jambes, trop souvent
Interceptés--et nous aimions ce jeu de dupes.

Parfois aussi le dard d'un insecte jaloux
Inquiétait le col des belles sous les branches,
Et c'était des éclairs soudains de nuques blanches,
Et ce régal comblait nos jeunes yeux de fous.

Le soir tombait, un soir équivoque d'automne:
Les belles, se pendant rêveuses à nos bras,
Dirent alors des mots si spécieux, tout bas,
Que notre âme depuis ce temps tremble et s'étonne.


Since I write about this show I was curious where I would end up, and I don't think I am sorry about this, despite having a less exotic past:

You're Catherine Willows.
You know you can't right the world's wrongs by
being a CSI, but you still try.
You work cases because you love the challenge and
the buzz you get off it--after all, anything
that makes you feel like that can't be all bad.
Which CSI Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Off to find !

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

Since Susan Cooper inspired so much discussion, I thought I'd post two poems discovered via another favorite children's book, Madeleine L'Engle's A Ring of Endless Light. This book did not have quite the impact on me that A Wrinkle In Time did -- I read that one much younger, in fourth grade -- but it certainly influenced my decision to study the metaphysical poets in college.

The Night
By Henry Vaughan

John 2.3

          THROUGH that pure Virgin-shrine,
That sacred vail drawn o’er thy glorious noon
That men might look and live as Glow-worms shine,
            And face the Moon:
          Wise Nicodemus saw such light
          As made him know his God by night.

          Were all my loud, evil days
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark Tent,
Whose peace but by some Angels wing or voice
            Is seldom rent;
          Then I in Heaven all the long year
          Would keep, and never wander here.

          But living where the Sun
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre
Themselves and others, I consent and run
            To ev’ry myre,
          And by this worlds ill-guiding light,
          Erre more then I can do by night.

          There is in God (some say)
A deep, but dazling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
            See not all clear;
          O for that night! where I in him
          Might live invisible and dim.

The World
by Henry Vaughan

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
     All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time is hours, days, years
     Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov'd, in which the world
     And all her train were hurl'd;
The doting lover in his quaintest strain
     Did there complain,
Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,
     Wit's sour delights,
With gloves, and knots the silly snares of pleasure
     Yet his dear treasure
All scatter'd lay, while he his eyes did pour
     Upon a flower.

The darksome statesman hung with weights and woe
Like a thick midnight fog mov'd there so slow
He did nor stay, nor go;
Condemning thoughts (like sad eclipses) scowl
     Upon his soul,
And clouds of crying witnesses without
Pursued him with one shout.
Yet digg'd the mole, and lest his ways be found
     Work'd under ground,
Where he did clutch his prey, but one did see
     That policy,
Churches and altars fed him, perjuries
     Were gnats and flies,
It rain'd about him blood and tears, but he
     Drank them as free.

The fearful miser on a heap of rust
Sat pining all his life there, did scarce trust
His own hands with the dust,
But would not place one piece above, but lives
     In fear of thieves.
Thousands there were as frantic as himself
And hugg'd each one his pelf,
The downright epicure plac'd heav'n in sense
     And scorn'd pretnece
While others slipt into a wide excess
     Said little less;
The weaker sort slight, trivial wares enslave
     Who think them brave,
And poor, despised Truth sat counting by
     Their victory.

Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
And sing, and weep, soar'd up into the Ring,
But most would use no wing.
O fools (said I,) thus to prefer dark night
     Before true light,
To live in grots, and caves, and hate the day
Because it shows the way,
The way which from the dead and dark abode
     Leads up to God,
A way where you might tread the Sun, and be
     More bright than he.
But as I did their madness so discuss
     One whisper'd thus,
"This Ring the Bridegroom did for none provide
     But for his bride."


My reading for today (via Arianna's Daily Tarot) says:

Nine of Swords: If you can go back to bed today; do so, if not be prepared for a bit of a rough ride today. It is a day of upset as plans go awry and stress levels are very high. This is a day where nothing seems to go right, you meet up with obstacles on each step you take though there is not much to change things, and you must ride this out. Do not make plans or try to accomplish serious tasks today, it is not a good energy day for completing tasks instead you will find that the obstacles caused by others are just to much to overcome. When plans become impossible just step back today and regroup your thoughts; if you can get through today this could be the catalyst for big changes.

Any reason I should NOT take this to heart? *looks out window* Maybe not. My throat hurts, my head is off and I STILL can't get my body off Daylight Savings Time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

I have Halloween on the brain, and was talking to my son last night about books I read when I was his age, so I had The Grey King on the brain, and then I discovered that I could still recite all but two lines of this poem. And since Samhain is Friday, and this unites a lot of my fannish interests, though it will probably make no sense to anyone who's never read the books.

On the Day of the Dead
By Susan Cooper

On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the Light shall have the harp of gold.

By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan's Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.

When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the Midsummer Tree grows tall
By Pendragon's sword the Dark shall fall.

Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae'r arglwyddes yn dod.


Rec: 's "Pivot". Boromir and Finduilas. Very sad, very lovely.

Happy birthday ! May you get many happy returns of the day.

Oh, that reminds me. Where did the use of the word "pressie" come from? I LOATHE that. It sounds to me like a combination of prissy and press, and makes me think of people shoving their cutesy, whiny, false generosity onto others. It's certainly not like I'm a language snob -- I like guh and squee and meep and ROFLMAO as much as the next person. But pressie? Every time I see it, I think of obnoxious fourth-grade girls who draw hearts instead of dots over their eyes and give the ugliest valentine in the set to the class nerd because they have to give cards to everyone, with mean, taunting comments on it. I'd rather not get presents than get pressies. Ick.

And since I'm already grousing... [cryptic] Why didn't I comment? Because YOU FUCKING PLAGIARIZED ME! Don't think I didn't notice. I couldn't care less if someone borrows characters, ideas, themes, plots, settings, even OCs from my fic, as we are all doing the same to Tolkien, Rowling, Paramount, et al -- but we use DISCLAIMERS. We tell people WHERE WE GOT OUR IDEAS. When one is in the same fandom as someone else, and one posts a story with SO MANY similarities...well, let's just say IT IS RATHER OBVIOUS, ESPECIALLY TO THE ORIGINAL FAN WRITER AND HER FRIENDS, WHERE ONE GOT THE IDEA. [/cryptic]

Gacked from and too charming not to post:

Eb major - you are warm and kind, always there for
your friends, who are in turn there for you.
You are content with your confortable life and
what you are currently achieving; if you keep
in this state you will go far.
what key signature are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, October 27, 2003

Poem for Monday

From The Gardener
by Rabindranath Tagore

Your questioning eyes are sad. They seek to know my meaning
as the moon would fathom the sea.
I have bared my life before your eyes from end to end, with
nothing hidden or held back. That is why you know me not.
If it were only a gem, I could break it into a hundred pieces
and string them into a chain to put on your neck.
If it were only a flower, round and small and sweet, I could pluck it
from its stem and set it in your hair.
But it is a heart, my beloved. Where are its shores and its bottom?
You know not the limits of this kingdom, still you are its queen.
If it were only a moment of pleasure it would flower in an easy smile,
and you could see it and read it in a moment.
If it were merely a pain it would melt in limpid tears, reflecting its
inmost secret without a word.
But it is love, my beloved.
Its pleasure and pain are boundless, and endless its wants and wealth.
It is as near to you as your life, but you can never wholly know it.


More very soon when I get organized!

Sunday, October 26, 2003


says, "I declare this LJ Favorite Fandom Picture Day. So everyone out there... post in your journal your favorite fandom pic. Could be a shot of Xena, a shot from X-Files, Dr Who, Lord of The Rings, Star Wars...Stargate SG-1... you get the idea. Let's see everyone's favorite pic."

Surprise. Because some old habits die hard, even after you've killed them 37 times.

Poem for Sunday

In the Suburbs
By Louis Simpson

There's no way out.
You were born to waste your life.
You were born to this middleclass life

As others before you
Were born to walk in procession
To the temple, singing.

From today's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post. Creeped me out, but Hirsh's commentary is wonderful: "It's complicated, being an American," the poet recognizes, "Having the money and the bad conscience, both at the same time." Here's another poem by Simpson:

Carentan O Carentan
By Louis Simpson

Trees in the old days used to stand
And shape a shady lane
Where lovers wandered hand in hand
Who came from Carentan.

This was the shining green canal
Where we came two by two
Walking at combat-interval.
Such trees we never knew.

The day was early June, the ground
Was soft and bright with dew.
Far away the guns did sound,
But here the sky was blue.

The sky was blue, but there a smoke
Hung still above the sea
Where the ships together spoke
To towns we could not see.

Could you have seen us through a glass
You would have said a walk
Of farmers out to turn the grass,
Each with his own hay-fork.

The watchers in their leopard suits
Waited till it was time,
And aimed between the belt and boot
And let the barrel climb.

I must lie down at once, there is
A hammer at my knee.
And call it death or cowardice,
Don't count again on me.

Everything's all right, Mother,
Everyone gets the same
At one time or another.
It's all in the game.

I never strolled, nor ever shall,
Down such a leafy lane.
I never drank in a canal,
Nor ever shall again.

There is a whistling in the leaves
And it is not the wind,
The twigs are falling from the knives
That cut men to the ground.

Tell me, Master-Sergeant,
The way to turn and shoot.
But the Sergeant's silent
That taught me how to do it.

O Captain, show us quickly
Our place upon the map.
But the Captain's sickly
And taking a long nap.

Lieutenant, what's my duty,
My place in the platoon?
He too's a sleeping beauty,
Charmed by that strange tune.

Carentan O Carentan
Before we met with you
We never yet had lost a man
Or known what death could do.


Must go work so I can take my son to a birthday party at Shadowlands and then come home and edit the last segment of "Sons of Gondor" for the beta. ! We actually finished it!

It is helpful to have this decision made for me:

Automatic Halloween Costume Generator by kendokamel
Your name
Your costumeDarth Vader
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

And let me explain something. The fact that I think Aragorn could possibly have loved Boromir, Faramir, Arwen and Eowyn simultaneously does NOT mean that I am ever, ever going to write or even read Aragorn/Legolas. I would probably write Aragorn/Gandalf before Aragorn/Legolas. I LOATHE Aragorn/Legolas and find it revoltingly OOC even under the best of circumstances. Also, though I can OT3 or 4 or 5 Aragorn, Legolas ends up with Gimli post-Fellowship and before Fellowship it's fine with me if you want him with Haldir, Elrond or some other Elf but NOT ARAGORN. In my universe, no way does Aragorn cheat on Arwen with another Elf! Sheesh!

I feel wrong about being happy not that the Marlins won but that the Yankees lost. I am trying to point out to myself that it is far better to have had the Marlins there to win than to have had the Cubs there and watched them lose, but it is small consolation.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Poem for Saturday

Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines
By Dylan Thomas

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter's robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics dies,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.


1. Who is your favorite animated character? Why?
I have next to no interest in animated characters. I suppose it's Shrek.

2. Who is your favorite television character? Why?
Clark Kent (hah! you thought I was going to say Lex or Lionel, didn't you?) because the constant analogies between growing up gay and growing up a superhero move me in spite of how bad Smallville so often is.

3. Who is your favorite (no longer in production) televison character? Why?
I only get one? Major Kira Nerys. Greatest female character I ever saw on television, flaws and all.

4. Who is your favorite television ensemble cast? Why? (If you don't have one/want to imagine the possibilities, assemble one and explain your choices and the fandoms they are from).
Currently, since there's a distinction drawn in the previous questions between new and old shows, it's probably the West Wing cast, though it's not what it once was and the women's roles irk more more and more. Historically I don't know whether to pick the original Trek cast, the DS9 cast or the Mission: Impossible cast during the Landau-Bain years.

5. Who is your favorite movie character? Why?
I get ONE? No. William Hurt's Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Glenn Close's Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, John Cassavetes' Phillip in Tempest, Anjelica Huston's Lilly in The Grifters, Katharine Hepburn's Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion In Winter...and I can't even choose among my LOTR favorites. Why? Because they made me rethink my life in some way.

In case I failed to mention it last night in posting ROTK spoiler pics: though I know that LiveJournal has been terrible for my vocabulary, reducing me to gacked and guh and *snerk* on many occasions, I now understand on a visceral level the need for ***SQUEE!***.

And speaking of gacked, from , who got the same result, and it is a thing of beauty:

What is Your True Enterprise M/M Slash Shippage?
brought to you by Quizilla

And speaking of Trek I had better go write an article on Viacom's third-quarter profits. Please feign excitement. Thank you very much.


Friday, October 24, 2003


We had no phone service for several hours yesterday.

This morning I have been waiting for two people to call me. I just gave up and picked up the phone to call them.

And we have no phone service again.

If you need me and you know my cell number, try me there. Otherwise write me here. I will be screaming quietly.

Addendum: WAHAHAHA! Oh, anyone who knew me at all will be laughing hysterically. I don't know where this came from!

quite result
Quiet Girl
What kind of little girl were YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

Poem for Friday

Daughters, 1900
By Marilyn Nelson

Five daughters, in the slant light on the porch,
are bickering. The eldest has come home
with new truths she can hardly wait to teach.

She lectures them: the younger daughters search
the sky, elbow each others' ribs, and groan.
Five daughters, in the slant light on the porch

and blue-sprigged dresses, like a stand of birch
saplings whose leaves are going yellow-brown
with new truths. They can hardly wait to teach,

themselves, to be called "Ma'am," to march
high-heeled across the hanging bridge to town.
Five daughters. In the slant light on the porch

Pomp lowers his paper for a while, to watch
the beauties he's begotten with his Ann:
these new truths they can hardly wait to teach.

The eldest sniffs, "A lady doesn't scratch."
The third snorts back, "Knock, knock: nobody home."
The fourth concedes, "Well, maybe not in church. . ."
Five daughters in the slant light on the porch.


Why, asks one of my Friends, did I not respond to her lengthy, clever post on a fannish topic that she knows is near and dear to my heart? Well, sweetie, it's because the last time I went near this subject with a ten-foot pole (and it wasn't me, it was The Other Me, the one who used to read RPS), I got my head bitten off for an innocuous and self-deprecating post full of apologies, disclaimers and smilies so no one could possibly think I was taking myself too seriously.

And this week, despite LJ's bottomless hunger for devoured comments, I received a couple of reminders that when one's Friends are ranting in their LJs, making outrageous statements on topics about which they are certain their own opinions are the only ones worth sharing, one is better off ignoring the posts than getting involved. Because if one tries to open an intelligent discussion, one is likely to be slapped down by the Friend as unsupportive in a public forum, and if one leaves a brief, snappy post pointing out the outrageousness of the Friend's initial argument, one is likely to be dismissed by one of her other Friends as a "random wanker."

Hee! Then again, maybe that is not so bad, as it has made me giggle every time I have thought about it. Woo hoo, I'm a random wanker! Now that I'm thinking about it again, I like the idea of intellectual disagreement reduced to the level of someone who races through crowds groping anonymous penises. Sounds just like my ex-Ph.D. program. For anyone who wonders why there is so little meta in my LJ or my comments, THAT's why. I had enough random drive-by slamming to last a lifetime while I was in academia, thanks.

I am thinking that I am going to take the entire month of November off from fic. Not only for NaNoWriMo, though that seems as good an excuse as any. I just need some time to blink and clear my head, to talk to the people on my Friends list who are actually FRIENDS, rather than getting distracted by all the people with whom I share a fandom or an artistic interest or a political belief but not much else. I feel thin, stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday...


For anyone who has managed not to find the link elsewhere on their Friends pages, Viggo Mortensen in Salon. Sometimes he'll say the most intelligent thing and then follow it up with something so naive-sounding that I just want to wail. He'd make an excellent addition to the blogging world.

No Friday Five today. Off to the races.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Poem for Thursday and <lj comm

A Song of Despair
By Pablo Neruda
Translated By W.S. Merwin

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the dwarves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.
It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!


: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, for the song challenge (thought it's not the song it sounds like it should be from the title).

And no, I am not a fan of Lana Lang. But I realized once again over the course of the past couple of days that I am royally effing tired of reading slash fans bash women. I know this phenomenon is discussed in metablogs until everyone is sick of analyzing it, but I'm not in the mood for dealing with the fact that the women on many television shows are written very poorly and it's easier to identify with the men and marginalize the women...I'm just sick of it, and would much rather read some great Lana fic than a great explanation of everything that's wrong with the way Lana is written on the show. Since it's a good bet that Miller and Gough are reading neither our blogs nor our fic, I'm much more in the mood for something positive like a rewritten Lana than for more bashing.

Though I am still slobbering over Lionel Luthor, once again I have suffered...Death By Orlando Bloom! So to keep myself grounded, gacked from :

What innuendo from HP book 5 are you? by Lunadeath
Fav. character(s)
Innuendo:"...any part of your body, really, we're not fussy where we stick this."
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

Tiare Tahiti
By Rupert Brooke

Mamua, when our laughter ends,
And hearts and bodies, brown as white,
Are dust about the doors of friends,
Or scent ablowing down the night,
Then, oh! then, the wise agree,
Comes our immortality.
Mamua, there waits a land
Hard for us to understand.
Out of time, beyond the sun,
All are one in Paradise,
You and Pupure are one,
And Tau, and the ungainly wise.
There the Eternals are, and there
The Good, the Lovely, and the True,
And Types, whose earthly copies were
The foolish broken things we knew;
There is the Face, whose ghosts we are;
The real, the never-setting Star;
And the Flower, of which we love
Faint and fading shadows here;
Never a tear, but only Grief;
Dance, but not the limbs that move;
Songs in Song shall disappear;
Instead of lovers, Love shall be;
For hearts, Immutability;
And there, on the Ideal Reef,
Thunders the Everlasting Sea!

And my laughter, and my pain,
Shall home to the Eternal Brain.
And all lovely things, they say,
Meet in Loveliness again;
Miri's laugh, Teipo's feet,
And the hands of Matua,
Stars and sunlight there shall meet,
Coral's hues and rainbows there,
And Teura's braided hair;
And with the starred 'tiare's' white,
And white birds in the dark ravine,
And 'flamboyants' ablaze at night,
And jewels, and evening's after-green,
And dawns of pearl and gold and red,
Mamua, your lovelier head!
And there'll no more be one who dreams
Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff,
Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems,
All time-entangled human love.
And you'll no longer swing and sway
Divinely down the scented shade,
Where feet to Ambulation fade,
And moons are lost in endless Day.
How shall we wind these wreaths of ours,
Where there are neither heads nor flowers?
Oh, Heaven's Heaven! -- but we'll be missing
The palms, and sunlight, and the south;
And there's an end, I think, of kissing,
When our mouths are one with Mouth. . . .

'Taü here', Mamua,
Crown the hair, and come away!
Hear the calling of the moon,
And the whispering scents that stray
About the idle warm lagoon.
Hasten, hand in human hand,
Down the dark, the flowered way,
Along the whiteness of the sand,
And in the water's soft caress,
Wash the mind of foolishness,
Mamua, until the day.
Spend the glittering moonlight there
Pursuing down the soundless deep
Limbs that gleam and shadowy hair,
Or floating lazy, half-asleep.
Dive and double and follow after,
Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call,
With lips that fade, and human laughter
And faces individual,
Well this side of Paradise! . . .
There's little comfort in the wise.


: Fal-Tor-Pan. Three men and a katra.
: New challenge! Go do it!

Once again I am running behind schedule. What a surprise! But before I go off to work, I may as well offer this spam, gacked ages ago from and discovered in my folder where I keep such things:

Your Heart is Red
What Color is Your Heart?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

The Sleepers
By Peter Didsbury

They lie on short grass,
in a place where whiteness
builds hedges to filter the blue,
nowhere more than a dozen yards away.

Time eludes them.
Passing clouds have stained their backs
with unfelt shadow,
but otherwise nothing has moved.

Their small enclosure is the perfect frame
for all that a lengthy posture can express
of love or of strangeness,
two hands of cards disposed by careful hands
face down upon the turf,
as if in the expectation of return.


Bird, Tree, Cemetery, Little Bighorn

The poem's about a burial ground in Britain, much older, but I wanted some sort of grounding visual.

I can't seem to wake up today even though I went to bed at a decent hour and didn't get up outrageously early. Got some work to do but am feeling an overwhelming compulsion to get out of the house for awhile. I think I shall go to Michael's to see if they sell the little marbles that people use in aquariums and floral arrangements; I'm having an urge to make my own set of runes, to see if that makes me feel more connected to them. And as long as I'm up there I might as well stop in the Pagan store and see if they have the new miniature Goddess Tarot deck so I can carry it around and flip through it when I'm uninspired in public.

Have fic to post later that I rather like but I bet no one will read because of the pairing -- Aragorn/Arwen, of all things -- damn but she is difficult to write, even from someone else's POV. Of course Faramir's all over it, anyway. Not that Arwen minds.

Have had interesting fic-based discussions this week about what counts as betrayal of committed relationship/marriage -- sexual desire without love seems to be tolerable, love without sex seems to be admired, but suggest that it's possible to experience both love and desire for someone other than your life partner, and you may suddenly find yourself the target of...not judgment exactly, it's not like the Moral Majority suddenly rearing its ugly head, but the suggestion that you're not really as romantic as someone thought you were. Which is just odd to me. I'm the queen of schmoop and committment and I honestly don't see mutual polyamory as a threat to either. And if I were dead, I would so much rather my spouse remember me fondly forever while in bed with someone else than try to stay celibate forever to honor my memory.

Right, off to shower and get my life in order...

Monday, October 20, 2003

Poem for Monday

O Little Root of a Dream
By Paul Celan
Translated by Heather McHugh and Nikolai Popov

0 little root of a dream
you hold me here
undermined by blood,
no longer visible to anyone,
property of death.

Curve a face
that there may be speech, of earth,
of ardor, of
things with eyes, even
here, where you read me blind,

where you
refute me,
to the letter.


Gacked from . My initial result was so appalling that I realized I should not have chosen Celine Dion as my favorite singer as a joke. This is much better.

You are Drawn to the Rhythm
You are Drawn to the Rhythm
You're always searching for that place where you can find inner peace and calm.
Trying to escape your reality maybe as simple as coming to grips with it.

Which Sarah McLachlan Song Are You?
Created by Noor

And now I must go edit a story, as Aragorn is trying to be schmoopy and WILL NOT BE IGNORED.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Poem for Sunday

six apologies, lord
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

I Have Loved My Horrible Self, Lord.
I Rose, Lord, And I Rose, Lord, And I
Dropt. Your Requirements, Lord. 'Spite Your
    Requirements, Lord,
I Have Loved the Low Voltage Of The Moon, Lord,
Until There Was No Moon Intensity Left, Lord, No Moon
    Intensity Left
For You, Lord. I Have Loved The Frivolous, The Fleeting,
    The Frightful
Clouds, Lord. I Have Loved Clouds! Do Not Forgive Me,
    Do Not
Forgive Me LordandLover, HarborandMaster,
    GuardianandBread, Do Not.
Hold Me, Lord, O, Hold Me.
Accountable, Lord. I Am
Accountable. Lord.
Lord It Over Me,
Lord It Over Me, Lord. Feed Me
Hope, Lord. Feed Me
Hope, Lord, Or Break My Teeth.
Break My Teeth, Sir,
In This My Mouth.


From Edward Hirsch' Poet's Choice in this morning's The Washington Post Book World. There's also a review filled with excerpts of the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

Younger son's soccer practice got moved, older son has Hebrew school, I am frantically trying to get work done so I can try to see while she is nearby! Of course The New York Times had to go and do a big article about the women who co-produce CSI. And where are all these Enterprise reviewers coming from? The review roundup gets longer and longer...

Happy birthday ! (Sorry if I am a day late -- I'm behind on my mailing lists again!) And congratulations on the sale!

From , who was a Phoenix, which is what I was on my last quiz...

You are a muse.
What legend are you?.
Take the Legendary Being Quiz by Paradox

Saturday, October 18, 2003

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep

...and full of plastic skeletons, space aliens and werewolves.

And the sand pit is full of plastic spiders, animals, candy-corn men and ornamental witches.

And the jalapeno mustard is really, really good.

The Haunted Woods at Burke Nursery.

The perfect place for children.

Fic to come. This, from half my Friends list, a perfectly delightful result and in keeping with my various astrological profiles that I don't believe in:

border="0" alt="pho">
You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.

"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum

The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.
His sign is the eclipsed sun.

As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optimism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life
as a journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

href=""> Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Poem for Saturday

The Abandoned Newborn
By Sharon Olds

When they found you, you were not breathing.
It was ten degrees below freezing, and you were
wrapped only in plastic. They lifted you
up out of the litter basket, as one
lifts a baby out of the crib after nap
and they unswaddled you from the Sloan's shopping bag.
As far sa you were concerned it was all over,
you were feeling nothing, everything had stopped
some time ago,
and they bent over you and forced the short
knife-blade of breath back
down into your chest, over and
over, until you began to feel
the pain of life again. They took you
from silence and darkness right back
through birth, the gasping, the bright lights, they
achieved their miracle: on the second
day of the new year they brought you
back to being a boy whose parents
left him in a garbage can,
and everyone in the Emergency Room
wept to see your very small body
moving again. I saw you on the news,
the discs of the electrocardiogram
blazing like medals on your body, your hair
thick and ruffed as the head of a weed, your
large intelligent forehead dully
glowing in the hospital TV light, your
mouth pushed out as if you are angry, and
something on your upper lip, a
dried glaze from your nose,
and I thought how you are the most American baby,
child of all of us through your very
American parents, and through the two young medics,
Lee Merklin and Frank Jennings,
who brought you around and gave you their names,
forced you to resume the hard
American task you had laid down so young,
and though I see the broken glass on your path, the
shit, the statistics--you will be a man who
wraps his child in plastic and leaves it in the trash--I
see the light too as you saw it
forced a second time in silver ice between your lids, I am
full of joy to see your new face among us,
Lee Frank Merklin Jennings I am
standing here in dumb American praise for your life.


Today I think we are taking the kids pumpkin-picking at one of those big festivals with hay rides and slides into bales and bluegrass music. Meanwhile a couple of pictures from yesterday :

The war correspondents' arch.

Gath estate ruins amidst fall colors.

And because other people are doing it, in case anyone is interested:

My desk, minus the stack of books and the printer on the right side and with only a vague view of the bookcase on the left.

: New Age, for the "when in Rome" challenge. : Evermind, for the argument challenge.

Yesterday I discovered ' vids. I also discovered that she made them by stealing 's footage, including edits and even some glitches that she couldn't possibly have gotten from the original films as she claims. I am all in favor of people sharing things in fandom and have never denied anyone permission to use my ideas, my OCs, my graphics, my scenarios or anything else, but it is basic courtesy to ask and to give credit where credit is due! How hard is this for children to understand? We disclaim what Tolkien and Rowling own, we need to credit for what our peers own as well!

Oh, and a quiz, gacked from much of my Friends list. Not sure why but since I don't 'ship A/L (in fact I run screaming in the opposite direction), this works as well as any, I suppose.

border="0" alt="thorongil">
You are Thorongil.
What is Your Slashy Aragorn Persona?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, October 17, 2003

Saturday Night

Spent a perfectly lovely day in the hills in Frederick and Washington Counties, first at Gambrill State Park, up on High Knob where we picnicked and hiked around to see the fall colors, then at Washington Monument State Park, where we visited the OTHER Washington Monument (used as a Civil War lookout, just off the Appalachian Trail, on a route lined with information about George Washington's life).

From there, since we were so close, we drove to Burkittsville and Gathland State Park. It was drizzling, but gray and dark is the proper atmosphere for the Blair Witch town, and the War Correspondents Arch and the ruins of the Gath estate looked wonderful in the middle of all the wet leaves.

Fall Color Above Boonesboro, Washington Monument State Park

After hiking, we went to my parents' for dinner, then I came home and remembered that I had two articles to write that I didn't get done this morning. I am only now about to check my Friends pages so hope everyone has had a great day! Oh, a quick pimp: 's Healing Hands -- my secret plot to get my friends to tolerate Arafara before ROTK must be working! Also, is trying to kill me with MORE Orlando pictures.

Poem for Friday and <a href

Sonnet LXXVIII: Body's Beauty
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.

The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.


Yesterday Comcast was supposed to come at 2 p.m., giving me the morning to get work done. Instead they called at 10:30, and showed up at 11:15, and swapped modems and tried to blame my router for my cable problems. It took much longer than they expected. Then I had no cable until they initialized the new modem. At 4:10 p.m.

So I never got to have lunch with , who is probably no longer speaking to me (though she did post this utterly hilarious quote about the Bush administration). Nor did I get any work done until nearly 4:30, which is when my in-laws arrived for dinner. Needless to say, I did not accomplish terribly much, other than having a grand time drafting with .

And then The Thing happened in the sports world. Damn Red Sox. My father dislikes them because they never beat the loathed Yankees when they should have, back when he was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. I understand how he feels. Suffice to say that it's nice to know I won't need to waste time watching the Series. And hey, since most of the networks including UPN and NBC have yanked original programming in favor of reruns next Wednesday, I can actually watch Smallville when most of my friends do, and even watch Angel if I want to see Spike and Angel get it on together.

Today my children have no school due to a statewide teacher's meeting, and my husband has taken the day off, and we are going to go hike along the Appalachian Trail and watch the leaves fall.

Friday Five:

1. Name five things in your refrigerator.

Cranberry juice, hummus, milk, maple syrup, a half-empty Diet Vanilla Coke.

2. Name five things in your freezer.
Ice cream, corn, coffee, fish sticks, picnic freezer packs.

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.
Dishwasher soap, napkins, garbage bags, scouring pads, barbecue skewers.

4. Name five things around your computer.
Miniature jade foo dogs, sweetgrass scented oil, Scotch tape, eyeglass cleaner, Tarot cards.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.
Motrin, dental floss, sunblock, antiperspirant, nail clippers.


1. What character would you love to see get his/her own show?

Ares from Hercules and Xena. Yes, I know this can never happen.

2. If you could get rid of one character, who would it be?
George Steinbrenner. Oops, Freudian slip. Um, I disliked a lot of Buffy and have never watched Angel because of Cordelia. Now she's gone, but I feel like I've missed too much to start watching, even with Spike.

3. What character do you hate, but wouldn’t get rid of?
Seven of Nine. I loathed her from the moment she arrived on Voyager and wish that they had done the entire show without her. At this point, though, I don't think they could do a Voyager movie without including her and resolving her arc.

4. What character do you love but think has overstayed his/her welcome?
Anakin Skywalker. I absolutely don't care how he became Darth Vader.

5. If you could move one character to a different show, who would it be?
Sydney from VR5. She could have been on X-Files. She could have been on La Femme Nikita. I am dying to know how her story ends.

And gacked from , NO! NO! This is so not true! This is so not my fault! It's because I picked green as my favorite color, isn't it!

I'm Aragorn/Eowyn
What Non-Canon Lord of the Rings (LOTR) Pairing Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Poem for Thursday

By Naomi Shihab Nye

A man leaves the world
and the streets he lived on
grow a little shorter.

One more window dark
in this city, the figs on his branches
will soften for birds.

If we stand quietly enough evenings
there grows a whole company of us
standing quietly together.
overhead loud grackles are claiming their trees
and the sky which sews and sews, tirelessly sewing,
drops her purple hem.
Each thing in its time, in its place,
it would be nice to think the same about people.

Some people do. They sleep completely,
waking refreshed. Others live in two worlds,
the lost and remembered.
They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone,
once for themselves. They dream thickly,
dream double, they wake from a dream
into another one, they walk the short streets
calling out names, and then they answer.


: "Forgiving", for the addiction challenge. : Concealment, for the argument challenge.

Enterprise review: "Exile". A much better hour than I was anticipating, though perhaps residual fury at NBC over the postponement of The West Wing and screaming frustration at the Cubs affected my good temper toward UPN. My editor is still AWOL. Have in-laws coming for dinner, and Comcast coming, in theory, in half an hour to fix my cable at long last. Hopefully they will be done in time for me to make my lunch date with , since they just moved my appointment from 2 p.m. to 11 a.m.

Gacked from , gotta love it:

You are smart and sexy!
Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

Sonnet From The Vulcan, Omicron Ceti Three
By Shirley Meech

I thought the memory of you was gone,
I thought it buried underneath the years.
But now it rises, bright as Vulcan dawn,
And I remember you, and Earth, and tears.

Your tears were falling like the rains of Earth,
You were the storms and roses of Earth's spring.
You could not know that almost from my birth,
The rights of Vulcan bound me to T'Pring.

I could not break those ties; I had no choice,
Returned to space, left you and Earth behind.
But still I heard the echos of your voice,
Found rain and wind and roses in my mind.

You told me that you loved me, and you cried,
I said I had no feelings, and I lied.


Today's poem is for whom I knew would appreciate it. Happy Birthday!

: Paragon and Perfect. Vedek Bareil and Seven of Nine...not the characters I meant to write at all.

First these quizzes tell me I'm supposed to have Karl's baby, and now...

What is your LotR relationship?? by petertork4eva
Favourite Colour
Favourite Number
Your LotR guy isKarl Urban
Your relationship isForbidden love
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Which just makes it doubly ironic that I have been slain by 's photos of Orlando Bloom with a ring in his mouth!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

The Restoration
By Peter Didsbury

Birthday candles, strewn like the spokes
of sadly dismantled wheels,
could be screened going backwards,
could be seen to go back on the cake.

And brutal clowns, from their half-way down the lane,
could by invisible hawsers be recalled
to mend the innocent carts the very
sight of which had caused them to go berserk.

There could be restored, in the cinemas of time,
the luminous frames we imagine preceded the action,
even from splinters of wood and ruined foods,
the many morsels of glistening bright gateaux.


Nothing really exciting to report from yesterday, except that my younger son succeeded in overflowing the toilet and completely flooding the upstairs bathroom for the second time this week. His teacher seems wonderful; maybe I can get her to explain the dynamics of toilet paper, water and flushing. My older son's classroom teacher seems very bland but his math teacher seems superb.

This morning I have been invited to a scrapbooking party at the home of one friend and am bringing another, so I must go shower and get ready. I only scrapbook electronically these days, so this ought to be interesting. And tea parties! Gacked from :

You are The Mad Hatter
You are The Mad Hatter
One thing is for sure - you're as mad as a hatter.
You have an obsession with time and if tea time
were to ever cease, you would probably be even
more confused.
href=""> What Alice in Wonderland Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And re: quizzes and cuts in general, as I had this conversation with someone yesterday: I would so much rather people not put single quizzes or longish entries behind a cut. Because LJ is only working properly half the time, and it takes ten times as long to go through my Friends list trying to see things behind cuts, waiting and waiting for pages to load, as it does just to scroll past things I find boring on my Friends page. For me, in most entries, cuts aren't polite so much as frustrating. Sure, if you're going to post fifteen photos of your kids or four quizzes with graphics or a long, long rant about your mother in law, feel free to use one, but if you actually want me to know who your imaginary boyfriend is? Put it where I can see it without doing more work!

Monday, October 13, 2003

Poem for Monday

By Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow tall?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The nighttime Whatifs strike again!

Which tarot card are you?

It's Columbus Day, and therefore visiting day at my kids' school since many adults have the day off while the children do not. More later!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Sunday Evening

We reworked our weekend schedule because it was supposed to rain and we figured we were better off going to the Renaissance Festival next weekend. So of course it was gorgeous and glorious today after we'd decided not to go. Not that I am complaining.

Instead, after I mostly finished work and my older son finished Hebrew school, we drove into Virginia to Huntley Meadows, where we saw changing leaves in the woods, a perfect blue sky over the wetlands, and

Below, this pleased me, though I could have cheated and done all the gay ones just to be Frodo and Sam, who despite being an obvious OTP are not my personal OTP. I had to correct the spelling of the quiz results before I could bear to post them, though. (And yeah, I do want to add something about how Faramir fell in love with Eowyn even though he wanted Aragorn first...heh.)

eowyn and faramir
faramir and eowyn
your love was not intentional but it ended up
happening anyway. you believe in falling in love
with anyone even if you first had eyes for
someone else.
what lord of the rings romance are you?
brought to you by quizilla

Now I shall go fold laundry and watch last week's Smallville which I still have not managed to see!

Poem for Sunday

By Jennifer Grotz

"Try to praise the mutilated world." -- Adam Zagajewski

To love the world is what you try to do,
describe the trash, the bombs, the fisted greed --
when it does not love back, does not love you.

There are still breezes, kisses, and a few
more pleasures between gratitude and need.
To love the world is what you try to do

after seeing the slow old man pursue
in the parking lot a cart that gathers speed.
When it does not love back, does not love you,

the world seems like a hammer and a screw.
Aside from watch and act, can one succeed
to love the world? What they say's untrue,

that what you do won't matter. View
the world as a book that needs to be reread
when it does not love back, does not love you.

Or, watch it like a candle troubled into blue
under a fan, a candle filigreed
to love the world. It's what you try to do
when it does not love back, does not love you.


From today's Poet's Choice column in The Washington Post, on villanelles.

Icon in honor *snort* of Marriage Protection Week. Not that anyone here really wondered about my position on that, I trust.

Below, this is interesting because neither my real name nor my most common pseudonym yielded my usual answer, Ravenclaw. And I was a Gryffindor twice as often as a Slytherin even though my last name is one of the Slytherin colors. Yet my LJ name gave me:

Your Years at Hogwarts by nevermindless
The Sorting Hat places you in: Ravenclaw (Blue and Bronze)
Subject you are naturally best at: Defense Against the Dark Arts
Your favorite book: Prefects Who Gained Power
Pet you bring to school: A dragon, but you don't have it for long.
You are most known for: Who you are dating.
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

On that other quiz, gacked from , I learned that I should have Karl Urban's baby. Hopefully this means I should also go to New Zealand in the near future. Ooh, do you think Lucy Lawless will come to the bris?

Lots and lots of work to do (site columns, review round-up, news bullets) and it's a gorgeous day so I want to get outside. See you all later!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Baseball Annoyance And Great Weather

They're all overpaid, ego-inflated, immature jackasses (and no one is going to convince me that the Yankees are the wounded party! Zimmer's the one who ran in with his fists flailing!) Would offer to write smut for anyone so kind as to provide me with Martinez/Zimmer slash, but I've sworn off RPS. *g*

Am back from lovely afternoon spent mostly in the woods with my in-laws, once both boys had finished with soccer games. The campground had a Halloween festival, complete with late afternoon trick-or-treating which my younger son did a bit of (using soccer uniform as costume) when we walked the dog while certain other members of the family obsessed over the unworthy athletes on TV. The trees are turning very red this year -- does extra rainfall bring out the reds instead of yellows and browns in the fall? Now my hair smells like campfire and I have had s'mores, so life is good.

And on an unrelated note, gacked from ,

You seem to have just been severely hurt by the
Cave Troll. Fortunately, the Troll DID die, and
you just ... lived. Poor Troll though.
href="">Which Frodo are You?
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Poem for Saturday

From "A Game of Henge"
By Philip Gross

A game of Henge, my masters?
The pieces are set. We lost the box
with the instructions years ago.

Do you see Hangman? Or
Clock Patience? Building bricks
the gods grew out of? Dominoes?

Your move. You're in the ring --
of the hills, of the stones, of the walls
of your skull. You want to go?

You want out? Good. That's
the game. Whichever way you turn
are doors. Choose. Step through, so,

and whichever world you stumble
into will be different from all the others. Only
what they might have been,
                               you'll never know.


And a visual to go with the poem:

Ravens at Stonehenge, April

from yesterday:

1) Do you have any rare fandoms/pairings? If so, what are they?
I don't know how to answer this -- in the circles in which I run, none of my pairings are terribly rare, and the fandoms, while sometimes isolated, connect to much larger ones -- I don't know very many other people who've written Indian Runner fic, for instance, but I know hundreds who've written fic about characters played by Viggo Mortensen. And in the circles in which I run, Space: 1999 is practically unheard of, yet it's had a thriving fandom elsewhere for decades. My favorite DS9 'ship is Winn/Dukat, which practically no one has any interest in despite the fact that it was canon, but I can get people to discuss it with me just because the show's fandom is so large.

2) What is your favorite fandom to pimp? Why?
Aragorn/Boromir. The people I've met through it and the quality of much of the writing itself is superlative. I've read some wonderful Remus/Sirius but I've also read some totally crappy Remus/Sirius and have encountered more casual sloppiness (lack of beta etc.) and generally insane behavior even in the little corners of HP I frequent than in LOTR, though I'm sure my utter lack of interest in tinhats and laughing at people who think one of the actors is in love with them has helped there.

3) Do you remember to send feedback to authors of stories you recommend? Why or why not?
Yes. It's very rare for me to recommend someone with whom I haven't exchanged notes about why I like their work.

4) What attracts you to a character? Looks? Voice? Snarkiness? What?
Intelligence, emotional depth, a certain amount of humor, empathy...looks certainly don't hurt but I have never gotten into a character because I liked his or her looks first and foremost. I have also come to realize, much to my shame, that I get into relationships more than I get into individuals -- most of my obsessions were kicked off by a 'ship, not a single character, which I'm sure says something terrible about my lack of independence. But it was always Kirk WITH Spock, Janeway WITH Chakotay, John WITH Helena, Aragorn WITH Boromir and/or Faramir and/or Arwen, Remus WITH Sirius (and without Sirius, and maybe with Severus afterwards since the wicked has stuck that in my head).

5) How do you get a new fandom? Someone pimps you in? You watch the show? You're desperate for fic? What?
Usually I see a show/movie and fall for it, find that I am compelled to write about it and then to read about it and meet other people with the same compulsion. In a couple of cases (X-Files, La Femme Nikita) I got in ass-backwards -- stumbled across fic and only afterwards watched the show. I don't think anyone has ever pimped me into anything that I wasn't already aware of and somewhat enthusiastic about, though I was definitely helped along with HP for instance by the number of good writers I knew who were R/S fans.

Speaking of fandom-by-osmosis, even though I have been saying for two years now that Orlando Bloom is too young and is not my type, I think that between Ned Kelly and this picture of him as Paris, I have been utterly converted. Save me!

And a rec: 's "Destiny's Call". Because there is just not enough good Arwen fic.

Today we are taking the kids to a harvest and Halloween festival at my husband's parents' campground. Then we are barbecuing. I'm hoping the rain holds off. Actually I'm hoping it holds off all weekend so that we can go to the Renaissance Festival again tomorrow, but if we have to put that off till next week it's fine because there will be a jousting tournament and no Redskins traffic.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Poem for Friday

Minor Miracle
By Marilyn Nelson

Which reminds me of another knock-on-wood
memory. I was cycling with a male friend,
through a small midwestern town. We came to a 4-way
stop and stopped, chatting. As we started again,
a rusty old pick-up truck, ignoring the stop sign,
hurricaned past scant inches from our front wheels.
My partner called, "Hey, that was a 4-way stop!"
The truck driver, stringy blond hair a long fringe
under his brand-name beer cap, looked back and yelled,
            "You fucking niggers!"
And sped off.
My friend and I looked at each other and shook our heads.
We remounted our bikes and headed out of town.
We were pedaling through a clear blue afternoon
between two fields of almost-ripened wheat
bordered by cornflowers and Queen Anne's lace
when we heard an unmuffled motor, a honk-honking.
We stopped, closed ranks, made fists.
It was the same truck. It pulled over.
A tall, very much in shape young white guy slid out:
greasy jeans, homemade finger tattoos, probably
a Marine Corps boot-camp footlockerful
of martial arts techniques.

"What did you say back there!" he shouted.
My friend said, "I said it was a 4-way stop.
You went through it."
"And what did I say?" the white guy asked.
"You said: 'You fucking niggers.'"
The afternoon froze.

"Well," said the white guy,
shoving his hands into his pockets
and pushing dirt around with the pointed toe of his boot,
"I just want to say I'm sorry."
He climbed back into his truck
and drove away.


Friday Five:

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?

Baseball, some football, some ice skating, some college basketball during the playoffs. Minor league baseball is my favorite to watch live. Football is my favorite on television.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?
I grew up a fan of the Washington Redskins. Yes, they should change their name -- I still can't believe that public sentiment forced the Bullets to become the Wizards but the Redskins are still running around. Art Monk was my all-time favorite Redskins player. Since DC has no baseball team, I grew up rooting for the Orioles but had no real passion for a baseball team until we moved to Chicago and could see Comiskey Field from our 31st floor window. There were a lot of players I loved on that early 1990s team -- Robin Ventura, Frank Thomas -- but my very favorite was Bo Jackson, who arrived in Chicago after his career-ending football injury, hit a home run in his first at bat, and went and finished college after he left sports. Also, it was impossible to live in Chicago in that era without being in love with both Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, but to pretend that I seriously followed basketball before the championship series would be a lie. Martina Navratilova was one of my heoines growing up. Like all skating fans of my era, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will never have any peers in my mind.

3. Are there any sports you hate?

4. Have you ever been to a sports event?
Pro football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey and tennis; college football, basketball, baseball and track (the Penn Relays); high school football and basketball; numerous skating exhibitions and pro competitions; gymnastics exhibitions; I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?
Nope. Am armchair quarterback.

Josh Lyman
Who is your West Wing boyfriend?
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I gacked this quiz from Victoria, who wants my answer and she can have him. I wanted Charlie. Would be content with Sam for a few weeks. Would happily take Leo if he weren't such a bad long-term bet. Find myself attracted to Bartlet, which does not please me for a host of reasons. But Josh? Is the kind of guy I avoided in college. And screwing a stereotypical obnoxious power-crazed utterly intolerable feminist doesn't make you one, buddy.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Poem for Thursday

The Pomegranate
By Eavan Boland

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
                  It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.


That poem makes me think of last night's West Wing for some reason. Martin Sheen made me cry again, dammit, even though I was somewhat bored with the episode -- bored enough to think Enterprise was actually pretty good -- and the Josh/Amyness made me run screaming into the kitchen for some candy corn. If I cannot have Josh/Sam or Josh/Donna or Josh/Leo or Josh/CJ or Josh/anybodybutamyplease, can I have Josh/celibate?

I should note that because I review Enterprise and watch TWW right afterwards, I cannot see Smallville on the night it airs, and will always be a day behind on comments and will undoubtedly never get back to remarks on my Friends' pages about the episodes. Apologies, and if you're only here for the minimal SV and want to un-Friend I won't take it at all personally.

Speaking of Enterprise: "Impulse" Review

My husband had an early meeting and I feel like I have already been awake for far too many hours, though I have accomplished far too little, as well. Much of the news yesterday slipped by me. Cubs: waah. Red Sox: yaay! Arnold: it's done, my ranting isn't going to change anything so those of us not in the state of California might as well wait and see what he does, since I doubt reading suggestions and diatribes from out-of-state citizens will be first on his agenda.

I had other Serious Things to say but I've forgotten them, as I am trying to juggle work and vacuuming. Instead, this news, and let it be a warning to all of you, heh heh heh:

Zap! You're a THUNDERSTORM. Your temper
comes fast and does maximum damage when
it does. Often you begin to grumble before you let your
anger out. Those who know you know to get the hell out of your
way when you start to get upset.
What DIRE WEATHER FORECAST do you turn into when you're angry
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Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

By Amy Clampitt

A vagueness comes over everything,
as though proving color and contour
alike dispensable: the lighthouse
extinct, the islands' spruce-tips
drunk up like milk in the
universal emulsion; houses
reverting into the lost
and forgotten; granite
subsumed, a rumor
in a mumble of ocean.
definition, however, has not been
totally banished: hanging
tassel by tassel, panicled
foxtail and needlegrass,
dropseed, furred hawkweed,
and last season's rose-hips
are vested in silenced
chimes of the finest,
clearest sea-crystal.
opens up rooms, a showcase
for the hueless moonflower
corolla, as Georgia
O'Keefe might have seen it,
of foghorns; the nodding
campanula of bell buoys;
the ticking, linear
filigree of bird voices.


This morning when I walked my kids to school we couldn't see twenty feet in front of us. It's fading slowly now, though not really burning off; it's chilly and gray, and for the first time I'm noticing all the yellow and red leaves in the woods behind the house. I love this weather.

The truth meme answers:

1) In eighth grade home ec class, I burned instant pudding.
True. I can't cook to save my life, though I do have an excuse for this one. Our entire class was making some kind of pastry with pudding for the filling. Every other group was given the kind of Jell-O pudding that has to be cooked. So I was watching the group next to ours, and rather than looking at the box in my hand to see the directions, I just started doing what they were doing. My teacher was very apologetic for having given us instant pudding when it started to smoke.

2) I have never finished reading Atlas Shrugged.
True. I have read Atlas Shrugged four times but I have never gotten through John Galt's speech. And I'm an unabashed Ayn Rand fan; sexual politics and social insanity aside, I think she's a really compelling writer. I'd love to know other people's strategies for staying awake during the 60+ page lecture, becuase I've always had to skip straight to the rest of the story.

3) My first 9-5 job, during the summer in high school, was as a file clerk in a law firm.
False. Though not, as guessed, because such jobs are hard to come by; there were several high school students working in that collection firm all three summers when I worked there, trudging from the sorting room to the enormous file room where we put away several hundred cases an hour. My very first job was in a travel agency, and after three straight days of doing nothing but ripping up old tickets, my hands blue and bleeding from the paper cuts and the carbon copies, I said the hell with this and ended up at the law firm.

4) In a stage production of How To Eat Like A Child, I played the bratty younger sister.
True. I'm not even 5' tall; in nearly every play I've done, I've been cast as the bratty kid or the old lady. Hence the brevity of my acting career; typecast at a young age.

5) I once won $1000 in a college essay writing contest.
True. The Rose Foundation Award for Undergraduate Research at the University of Pennsylvania. The foundation stipulated that the thesis advisor got 1/5 of the award, so I nabbed my prof $200 and she was very grateful. I bought a car stereo and my first sleep sofa with that money.

I got several reminders yesterday that people suck. (No, I don't mean Arnold, though yeah, that does suck; after this nation elected Bush, however, nothing surprises me, and by the standards for impeachment established by Republicans during the Clinton Administration it should be easy enough to get rid of him if he misbehaves.) I just mean people you thought you knew, could count on in a crisis or call friends.

And fandom (especially RPF) is insane. Though this is not news. I'm going to do my work and go back to fantasyland, where at least the characters mostly play nicely.