Monday, May 31, 2004

Put Me In Coach

In spite of the rain that fell on and off all day, they had the baseball practice. This is the third time this season my son has been hit, hard, by a pitch -- this time in the hip. He sat for much of the practice and was quite unhappy throughout the barbecue, refusing even to eat at first, though he finally had a brownie and a hot dog (in that order). Stupidly I did not stop to think that of course it would be all beef burgers and dogs, so I could only eat potato salad, a deviled egg and dessert...there's a Lebanese boy on the team whose mother made wonderful rice pudding.

Otherwise the highlight of my day was stopping in Michaels to get my younger son paints and finding some silver bead clasps and sets of decorative buttons. I got cats and nautical-themed shapes like anchors and wheels. Now I just need something to sew them on.

Darnestown has a park with a Civil War trail sign -- the Confederate Army came through -- and a big open field surrounded by trees. Because of the trees, there are cicadas, despite all the new construction up past Gaithersburg and the surrounding farmland.

Me with a cicada. Now, admittedly I have short stubby fingers, but even so you can get some sense of their size.

And here's one on my wrist, next to my watch.

Cicadas that can still fly tend to seek trees. The ones on the ground seem unable to fly any distance and I suspect they are already dying, even if they are mobile.

One of the boys on the baseball team had been collecting cicadas and putting them in a big metal bucket with twigs and leaves. Here's a close-up view...

...and here's the distance view with all those buggy red eyes glaring out.

Once again late: Happy birthday , , and !

Poem for Monday

Memorial Day for the War Dead
By Yehuda Amichai

Memorial day for the war dead. Add now
the grief of all your losses to their grief,
even of a woman that has left you. Mix
sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history,
which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning
on one day for easy, convenient memory.

Oh, sweet world soaked, like bread,
in sweet milk for the terrible toothless God.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding."
No use to weep inside and to scream outside.
Behind all this perhaps some great happiness is hiding.

Memorial day. Bitter salt is dressed up
as a little girl with flowers.
The streets are cordoned off with ropes,
for the marching together of the living and the dead.
Children with a grief not their own march slowly,
like stepping over broken glass.

The flautist's mouth will stay like that for many days.
A dead soldier swims above little heads
with the swimming movements of the dead,
with the ancient error the dead have
about the place of the living water.

A flag loses contact with reality and flies off.
A shopwindow is decorated with
dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white.
And everything in three languages:
Hebrew, Arabic, and Death.

A great and royal animal is dying
all through the night under the jasmine
tree with a constant stare at the world.

A man whose son died in the war walks in the street
like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding."


A last pair of nature photos from Pennsylvania this weekend:

Drizzle. This means the baseball practice and picnic for this afternoon could be on or could be off. Do we assume the latter and take the kids to Shrek 2? Or do we wait and see if it clears before the forecast thunderstorms move in?

: Call me!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Sunday By the Cool Blue Triangular Water

Am home, with four loads of laundry. Had a lovely big pancake, eggs and sausage brunch, then went to play miniature golf, then hiking in Codorus State Park. I am not sure why a mini-golf course named Hickory Falls has a nautical theme, but it was a nice one with a little lighthouse and waterfalls and giant rusty anchors and a sunken boat and multi-tiered holes. My husband's mother had the high score in the family. The park has a lake and a shaded path between the campground and picnic area and I took some photos of flowers and insects.

Desert roses from the golf course.

Gacked from and just about everyone else, the 'TV Guide's Top 25 Cult Shows Ever' meme.

Shows watched obsessively in bold.
Shows watched regularly but not obsessively in italics.
Shows watched at least once but not regularly in plain print.
Shows never watched struck out.

25. Freaks and Geeks
24. Absolutely Fabulous
23. Forever Knight
22. H. R. Pufnstuf
21. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
20. Twin Peaks
19. Dark Shadows
18. Doctor Who
17. The Avengers
16. My So-Called Life
15. Quantum Leap
14. Beauty and the Beast
13. Babylon 5
12. Family Guy
11. Mystery Science Theatre 3000
10. Pee-Wee's Playhouse
9. Xena: Warrior Princess
8. The Twilight Zone
7. The Prisoner
6. The Simpsons
5. Monty Python's Flying Circus
4. Farscape
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. The X-Files
1. Star Trek

I tend either to obsess or not to care about TV. Therefore, while I was obsessive about both Buffy and B5 for brief periods, there are also seasons where I didn't watch more episodes than I did. I read more B&TB fanfic than I watched episodes. The Avengers should be much higher on this list. And Farscape at number four, give me a break, that is the most overrated genre show of all time, Claudia Black or no; episode for episode, I liked Andromeda better until it started to suck to the point of unwatchability.

How dare they leave Space: 1999 off this list? And La Femme Nikita? And if The Tick had lasted just a little longer, it would be way up there too!

Poem for Sunday

By Peter Everwine

The light pulling away from trees,
the trees speaking in shadows
to whatever listens . . .

Something as common as water
turns away from our faces
and leaves.

The stars rise out of the hills
-- old kings and animals
marching in their thin tunnels of light.

Once more I find myself
standing on a dark pier, holding
an enormous rope of silence.


From today's Poet's Choice column in The Washington Post Book World by Edward Hirsch. I reproduce the poems from this column every Sunday for two reasons: one is that you have to sign up at the Post site to read the paper, which I know a lot of people don't like to do, but the more important reason is that because of the cheap html, the line breaks, spacing and centering is entirely lost in the online version of the column. My in-laws don't always pick up the Sunday Post so I don't always have access to it when I'm away, but they got it today.

"I have taken refuge from the news these past few weeks in Peter Everwine's selected and new poems, From the Meadow," writes Hirsch. "There is something shining and pure at the heart of Everwine's cleansing work...his lyrics have a mysterious quietness, a grave simplicity. He is a pastoral's as if he needs to hike into the fields in order to look back with equanimity at his own experience."

There's also a stunning review of a Holocaust memoir, Let Me Go, by a woman whose mother was an enthusiastic, rabidly anti-Semitic SS guard at two Nazi death camps.

My in-laws are at church and I'm not sure what we're doing yet today; it's another gorgeous cloudless morning so hopefully it will be something outside. Oh, and I had a brief glimpse through a window before he fled, so there's glare from the glass, but here is Maximus again:

"Are you not entertained?"

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Hot Ancient Warriors

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Maximus, the groundhog who lives behind my in-laws' house.

Not only does it appear that Maximus may have a significant other sharing his hidey holes, but he has at least one particular friend down there too. Or maybe he has multiple wives and concubines, I can't tell!

Unfortunately they have all been spending time on the far side of the hill, which backs up to a Wal-Mart. Here is Maximus fleeing across a curb when I tried to take his picture.

The groundhogs share their hill with several bunnies as well. Since they're in HANover, I am calling them Han, Luke and Leia. *groan*

I thought Troy was a far better movie than I had expected it to be, though I did have several jarring moments of thinking I was watching LOTR instead ("Look, it's Helm's Deep! Look, here come the orc armies! Ooh, what's Boromir telling his king now?") Brad Pitt was better than I'd allowed myself to hope and Orlando Bloom was better than I expected, playing a well and truly thankless character. It's hard for me really to like any of the characters besides Hector (I wanted to like Briseis but she fell in love much too easily after devoting herself to chastity). The best I can say about Odysseus is that he was honorable; I wasn't particularly rooting for him, and for awhile he sounded so much like George Bush rationalizing war that I actively wanted someone to attack him.

I wept over Priam's plea to Achilles, and I had to take my glasses off because I was crying so hard at the end of the two-man duel before the gates of Troy that I will not risk spoiling for anyone, because this film also contained the single funniest moment I have ever in my life experienced at the movies. After the wooden horse with the famous name ended up where it ended up, and the thing started happening which inspired pithy sayings like "Beware Greeks bearing gifts," a woman several rows in front of us shrieked, "OH MY GOD!" The entire audience exploded with laughter, which lasted during what should have been a deeply somber scene of carnage, and I suppose I will never know how it might have hit me had there not been so much giggling, including my own. Hopefully I will be able to talk more seriously about the movie when I am not having an "OH MY GOD!" moment.

Strawberry Wine

I know you were all hoping to see groundhog photos, but Maximus is in hiding -- apparently he does not like the heat and will not be out until evening, along with the bunnies. However, we did go to the farmer's market and then to pick strawberries on this gorgeous mid-seventies day without a cloud in the sky.

Buttercup Farm strawberries.

In weather like this, with almost no bees, who can resist? We are not having shortcake till tomorrow however because...

...they also have a market with preserves and homemade pies, one of which we will be having for dessert.

Oh, and flowers and herbs.

But we bought most of our food at the Hanover Farm Market, where dozens of local merchants set up stalls with fruit, vegetables, candies, jams, baked goods and country crafts.

Here is one of the chickadees that build nests between the bricks in the permanent barn buildings.

Tonight my in-laws have offered to entertain the boys so we may be going to see Troy. It all depends on how quickly dinner gets organized and various other factors. But we must go out alone at some point this evening, as our younger son has lost a tooth and we need to make a Tooth Fairy run!

Poem for Saturday

By Amy Clampitt

Lost aboard the roll of Kodac-
olor that was to have super-
seded all need to remember
Somerset were: a large flock

of winter-bedcover-thick-
pelted sheep up on the moor;
a stile, a church spire,
and an excess, at Porlock,

of tenderly barbarous antique
thatch in tandem with flower-
beds, relentlessly pictur-
esque, along every sidewalk;

a millwheel; and a millbrook
running down brown as beer.
Exempt from the disaster.
however, as either too quick

or too subtle to put on rec-
ord, were these: the flutter
of, beside the brown water,
with a butterfly-like flick

of fan-wings, a bright black-
and-yellow wagtail; at Dulver-
ton on the moor, the flavor
of the hot toasted teacake

drowning in melted butter
we had along with a bus-tour-
load of old people; the driver

's way of smothering every r
in the wool of a West Countr-
y diphthong, and as a Somer-

set man, the warmth he had for
the high, wild, heather-
dank wold he drove us over.


We're in Pennsylvania and I'm posting tonight in case I can't get on in the morning when we're going to the farmer's market early. I read The Fortune of War the whole way up in the van after discovering that the Toyota's lights are designed so that the passenger can read without the glare distracting the driver; this makes me ecstatic as my book light cannot compete. The scene where Jack sews Stephen's coat, and the one where Stephen thinks about how much he loves to let Jack's voice flow over him while he is trying to think, just make me so happy.

Gacked from :

Cosplay Costume!
You would be great dressed as Captain Kirk, Harry
Potter, Legolas or Kenshin. You are quite odd
indeed. But, I suppose this is just another
level of your geekdom.
Be sure to wait until you get back to the hotel
room to get some at a convention. ;p

What Fetish Costume Are You Best Suited For?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, May 28, 2004

Poem for Friday

By Susan Howe

Iseult stands at Tintagel
on the mid stairs between
light and dark symbolism
Does she stand for phonic
human overtone for outlaw
love the dread pull lothly
for weariness actual brute
predestined fact for phobic
falling no one talking too
Tintagel ruin of philosophy
here is known change here
is come crude change wave
wave determinist caparison
Your soul your separation

But the counterfeit Iseult
Iseult aux Blanches Mains
stands by the wall to listen
Phobic thought of openness
a soul also has two faces
Iseult's mother and double
Iseult the Queen later in T
Even Tros echoes Tristan's
infirmity through spurious
etymology the Tintagel of Fo
not the dead city of night
Wall in the element of Logic
here is a door and beyond
here is the sail she spies

Tristran Tristan Tristrant
Tristram Trystan Trystram
Tristrem Tristanz Drust
Drystan these names concoct
a little wreathe of victory
dreaming over the landscape
Tintagel font icon twilight
Grove bough dark wind cove
brine testimony Iseult salt
Iseut Isolde Ysolt Essyllt
bride of March Marc Mark in
the old French commentaries
your secret correspondence
Soft Iseut two Iseults one

The third of Tristan's overt
identities is a double one
his disguise as nightingale
in Tros then wild man in Fo
Level and beautiful La Blanche
Lande of disguise episodes
the nocturnal garden of Tros
Fo recalls the scene in Ovid
Orpheus grief stricken over
the loss of Eurydice sits by
the bank of a river seven days
I see Mark's shadow in water
Mark's moral right to Iseult
David's relationship to Saul

Lean on handrail river below
Sense of depth focus motion
of chaos in Schlegel only as
visual progress into depth its
harsh curb estrangement logic
Realism still exists is part
of the realist dual hypothesis
Dual on verso as one who has
obeyed acceleration velocity
killing frost regenerative thaw
you other rowing forward face
backward Hesperides messenger
into the pastness of landscape
inarticulate scrawl awash air

Insufferably pale the icy
limit pulls and pulls no
kindness free against you
Deep quietness never to be
gathered no blind threat
Assuredly I see division
can never be weighed once
pale anguish breathes free
to be unhallowed empty what
in thought or other sign
roof and lintel remember
Searching shall I know is
some sense deepest moment
What is and what appears

The way light is broken
To splinter color blue
the color of day yellow
near night the color of
passion red by morning
His name of grief being
red sound to sense sense
in place of the slaying
Tristram must be caught
Saw the mind otherwise
in thought or other sign
because we are not free
Saw the mind otherwise
Two thoughts in strife

Separation requires an
other quest for union
I use a white thread
half of the same paper
and in the sun's light
I place a lens so that
the sea reflects back
violet and blue making
rays easily more freely
your nativity and you
of light from that of
memory when eyelids close
so in dream sensation
Mind's trajected light

It is precision we have
to deal with we can pre-
scind space from color if
Thomas was only using a
metaphor and metaphysics
professes to be metaphor
There is a way back to the
misinterpretation of her
message TheseusTristan is
on the ship AegeusIseut
is a land watcher she is
a mastermind her frailty
turned to the light her
single vision twin soul half

Dilemma of dead loyalty
Mark's speeches are sham
Gottfried shows Tristan
only hunting for pleasure
Emerald jacinth sapphire
chalcedony lovely Isolt
Topaz sardonyx chrysolite
ruby sir Tristan the Court
sees only the beauty of
their persons that they
appear to be represented
Isolt sings for your eyes
Surveillance is a constant
theme in lyric poetry

Le Page disgracié his attempt
to buy a linnet for his master
from a birdcatcher he hoped
to comfort him with bird song
but gambled the money away
and in desperation bought a
wild linnet that didn't sing
His first words occur in the
linnet episode the young master's
perplexity about the bird's
silence so just the linnet's
silence provokes Tristan's je
hero his shared identity the
remarkable bird list in L'Orphée

L'Orphée--the lanner falcon
takes pigeons the sparrow-
hawk sparrows the goshawk
partridge when Tristan was
young he would have watched
hawks being flown his own
little hunting falcon his
observation of the way in
which other birds refrain
from their characteristic
habit of "mobbing the owl"
Vignette of the birdcatcher
in the street that day the
linnet's mimic reputation

Parasite and liar of genius
even emptiness is something
not nothingness of negation
having been born Not born
wrapped in protective long
cloak power of the woodland
No burrowing deep for warmth
The eagle of Prometheus is a
vulture the vulture passions
go to a predator tricked up
forever unexpressed in half-
effaced ambiguous butterfly
disguises authentic regional
avifauna an arsenal of stories

Ysolt that for naught might
carry them as they coasting
past strange land past haven
ruin garland effigy figment
sensible nature blue silver
orange yellow different lake
effect of the death-rebirth
eternal rush-return fragment
I cannot separate in thought
You cannot be separate from
perception everything draws
toward autumn distant tumult
See that long row of folios
Surely Ysolt remembers Itylus

Antigone bears her secret in
her heart like an arrow she is
sent twice over into our dark
social as if real life as if real
person proceeding into self-
knowledge as if there were no
proof just blind right reason
to assuage our violent earth
Ysolt's single vision of union
Precursor shadow self by self
in open place or on an acting
platform two personae meeting
Strophe antistrophe which is
which dual unspeakable cohesion

Day binds the wide Sound
Bitter sound as truth is
silent as silent tomorrow
Motif of retreating figure
arrayed beyond expression
huddled unintelligible air
Theomimesis divinity message
I have loved come veiling
Lyrist come veil come lure
echo remnant sentence spar
never never form wherefor
Wait some recognition you
Lyric over us love unclothe
Never forever whoso move


It's my father's 66th birthday and he is quite cranky about this -- apparently the far side of 65 is just not pleasant to think about. He is one of those people who is never going to retire, at least not unless he has to, which I used to think was symptomatic of workaholism but he's not like my in-laws with a million self-occupying interests that have nothing to do with defining themselves by I think it's a lot healthier for him to keep working. We are going to my parents' for dinner tonight and then driving straight from there to Pennsylvania to my in-laws' (remind me to pack my book light). Apparently they live in a cicada-free zone, so the sound of a spaceship landing in the next town over will be absent for the weekend; I am peculiarly sorry about this. Of course, they do have bunnies and Maximus the groundhog, so I can't really complain.

The defunct Ford is getting picked up today for donation to charity, and I have an OB-GYN appointment since I'm overdue for my annual poking and prodding. At least I have the sushi we never ate last night because my older son, being despondent that he did not get to invite his best friend over to play after school due to the younger one's violin lesson, had the friend over for dinner, necessitating a change to spaghetti and pre-made Trader Joe's meatballs. Oh, two product pimps: Barbara's Bakery GrainShop cereal, and FX's Curls Up hair gel. The former is the best high-fiber cereal I've ever tasted, the latter not only untangles curls but I am not allergic to any of its ingredients. And it smells good.


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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Parental Squee

My younger son has been identified as gifted and talented by the county school system (they test all the second graders). This is great in terms of his educational opportunities and also good for is ego, since his older brother is going to a magnet middle school for gifted math students and the younger one struggles with math while failing to appreciate his eidetic memory and great creativity. The older one is very anal, looks up every word he doesn't know how to spell, whereas the younger one is interested mostly in communication. Here's a drawing he did for an assignment to create an animal from an existing animal and a food:

And now I must go take him to violin. But before I go...she has said this before about fan fiction, but I just want to reiterate that I love J.K. Rowling.

Poem for Thursday

Two Dreams
From Living in the Past
By Philip Schultz


I dreamed my sons disappeared. We were watching
Peter Pan and I looked around like a blind man.
I awoke and peered into the darkness of my hands,
which have always belonged to someone more dour.
My sons were in the next room, asleep, but I had to
contend with the prospect of life with these hands,
and an entirely new order of things.


In the dream my milk curdles and I float
within the half parenthesis of the horizon.
I forget to set my watch back and my bills
are past due and I'm elected to the Chamber
of Commerce, my photo on the front page
of its newsletter, surrounded by the corrupt face
of truth. Nothing has been decided yet a terrible
mistake has become law. I stand for nothing;
I'm an anthology of small ideas. In the dream
the future is outlawed. Even God votes against it.


More from Living in the Past and some commentary in this previous entry.

I have no idea how it got to be 11 a.m. I have accomplished exactly nothing thus far today. Well, other than chasing one cat out of the other's food dish, which hardly counts as she is certain to be back as soon as I am unavailable. Ah well, some flowers.

Must get some exercise. If I do that, I can come home and have sun dried tomato and basil hummus for lunch, right? Happy birthday , and happy belated birthday !

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Poem for Wednesday

London Feast
By Ernest Rhys

O WHERE do you go, and what’s your will,
My sunburnt herdsmen of the hill,
  That leave your herds no pastoral priest,
And take the road where, sad and dun,
The smoke-cloud drapes the April sun?—
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”

O country-lads, this April tide,
Why do you leave the country-side?
  The new-come Spring stirs bird and beast;
The winter storm is over now,
And melted the December snow:—
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast!”

O village maidens, April girls,
With dancing eyes and country curls,
  Is April naught, the maypole ceased,
That you must leave the daisied places
That painted all your pretty faces?—
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”

And ancient dalesmen of the north,
That leave your dales, and the sweet brown earth,
  Are country acres so decreased,
And Cumbrian fells no longer ringing
With bleating lambs, and blackbirds singing?—
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”

O sailor lads, that love the sea,
Are you, too, of this company?—
  The shifting wind ’s no longer east;
Yet you have put the helm about,
To come ashore, and join the rout?—
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”

Too late, my golden mariners!
I have seen there these many years,
  How Most grew more, and less grew Least;
And now you go too late; the board
Cannot one crumb to you afford:
        You cannot taste
        Of London feast.

Too late, dear children of the sun;
For London Feast is past and gone!
  I sat it out, and now released
Make westward from its weary gate.
Fools and unwise, you are too late:
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”

They did not heed, they would not stay;
I saw the dust on London way
  By denser thousands still increased:
My cry was vain. As they went by
Their murmur ran, for all reply:
        “We go to taste
        Of London feast.”


: "Messiah", for the historical challenge. Am waiting to see if someone tells me it's blasphemous.

Tonight is the Enterprise third season finale, so the last review I must write until Fridays this fall. I hope it's good. I hope they don't stick on a stupid cliffhanger-type ending now that they know they can. But there is a teeny, tiny part of me that wonders whether the smartest thing they could do for the show is kill off Archer and bring in a new captain, played by someone well-known and charismatic and very unlike him. When a show's ratings have dropped off as much as this one's have, no matter how fair it is to blame the network and the writers, sometimes the only way to draw attention back to it is to do something drastic. For Voyager that meant bringing on Seven of Nine and getting rid of Kes, but Enterprise already has a woman in a catsuit, and I don't think the lack of sleaze factor has been a problem. If there's to be any hope for a fifth season, the show needs a bigger change than a war story arc...and the best way to accomplish that might be a major change of casting. There, I've said it...Opinions and flames welcome.

It's only May and I can't take the heat. What will I be like by August? Today at least there is a breeze. We are going to my in-laws' in Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday, after dinner Friday night with my parents for my father's birthday. I am on the one hand pleased about this, as it is generally cooler in Pennsylvania and we will get to see rabbits and groundhogs and the Amish market, and on the other hand feeling landlocked and wishing we could go to the beach, or at least to a lake somewhere.

Moon Bounce and Swings, North Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

The Reading Club
By Patricia Goedicke

Is dead serious about this one, having rehearsed it for two weeks
They bring it right into the Old Fellows Meeting Hall.
Riding the backs of the Trojan Women,
In Euripides' great wake they are swept up,

But the women of the chorus, in black stockings and kerchiefs,
Stand up bravely to it, shawled arms thrash
In a foam of hysterical voices shrieking,
Seaweed on the wet flanks of a whale,

For each town has its Cassandra who is a little crazy,
Wed to some mystery or other and therefore painfully sensitive,
Wiser than anyone but no one listens to her, these days the terror
Reaches its red claws into back ward and living room alike,

For each town has its Andromache who is too young,
With snub nose and children just out of school
Even she cannot escape it, from the bombed city she is led out
Weeping among the ambulances,

And each community has its tart, its magical false Helen
Or at least someone who looks like her, in all the makeup she can muster,
The gorgeous mask of whatever quick-witted lie will keep her alive
At least a little longer, on the crest of the bloody wave,

That dolorous mountain of wooden ships and water
In whose memory the women bring us this huge gift horse,
This raging animal of a play no one dares to look in the eye
For fear of what's hidden there:

Small ragdoll figures toppling over and over
From every skyscraper and battlement hurtling
Men and women both, mere gristle in the teeth of fate.
Out over the sea of the audience our numb faces

Are stunned as Andromache's, locked up there on the platform
Inside Euripides' machine the women sway and struggle
One foot at a time, up the surging ladder
Of grief piled on grief, strophe on antistrophe,

In every century the same, the master tightens the screws,
Heightens the gloss of each bitter scene
And strikes every key, each word rings out
Over our terrified heads like a brass trumpet,

For this gift is an accordion, the biggest and mightiest of all,
As the glittering lacquered box heaves in and out,
Sigh upon sigh, at the topmost pitch a child
Falls through midnight in his frantically pink skin.

As the anguished queen protests, the citizens in the chorus wail
Louder and louder, the warriors depart
Without a glance backwards, these captains of the world's death
Enslaved as they are enslavers, in a rain of willess atoms

Anonymity takes over utterly: as the flaming city falls
On this bare beach, in the drab pinewood hall
The Reading Club packs up to go; scripts, coffee cups, black stockings
Husbands and wives pile into the waiting cars

Just as we expect, life picks up and goes on
But not art: crouched back there like a stalled stallion
Stuffed in its gorgeous music box is the one gift
That will not disappear but waits, but bides its time and waits

For the next time we open it, that magical false structure
Inside whose artifice is the lesson, buried alive,
Of the grim machinations of the beautiful that always lead us
To these eternally real lamentations, real sufferings, real cries.


It is May 25th. This means that and I have our biannual date to pick up a Lord of the Rings movie on DVD at Best Buy when the store opens at 10. What will we do after November?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Gratuitous Porn! Sex Photos! Not For the Faint-Hearted!

Before you tell me to get my mind out of the gutter, I must first tell you what is going on in the gutter, and in the street and on the sidewalk right in front of my house: There is a great big orgy taking place. All over the place, couples are pairing off and doing the above wherever they feel like it. One has to be careful not to step on them mid-coitus.

I'd been told that the males had red eyes while the females did not, but thought this must be a legend, as it seemed to me that all the cicadas I saw had red eyes. However, it is pretty evident in this photo that the female's eyes are more orange than the male's. Also, it would appear that she is in the dominant position, as her wings are on top.

Now, I keep finding cicada corpses with their eyes bitten out. Am I to assume that birds did that, or that their heads fell off after death? Or do female cicadas kill their mates during the act? (I must go find the O'Brian scene where Stephen is showing Jack how a praying mantis will keep copulating with his partner after his head has been bitten off...)

Also, George Bush approval ratings tanking, according to The Washington Post. I continue to maintain that the teeny sampling of people in these surveys don't represent the views of a majority of Americans, even when I heartily applaud the poll results, but maybe if these are widely enough reported, on-the-fence people will pay attention.

Poem for Monday

By T. Galloway

I am the purple
of a martin’s wing
arced against
the evening sky.
I am an oval,
milky as the moon,
rolling across thunder.
I am the howl
of grief
and loss
and fury
that rises from a wolf’s throat
at midnight.
I am the last note
in the last hymn sung
at the funeral
of the last saint
who dies before the world ends.
I am zero,
airy, round.
I am the wild green field
where dragons sleep under thorny roses
that ramble across
their sharp fire-edged faces;
I am the aspen that shivers
at the touch of the blood-moon.
I am afraid
of death
and its finality,
and the word that hides
behind my eyes
is shame.


Poem snitched from . *bows in her general direction*

Have spent the morning thus far folding laundry and watching a bad season two episode of Dawson's Creek, the one where Abby finds the letter Pacey started writing to Andie after the first time they had sex and was trying to figure out, for her English project on mystery writing, whether Jack wrote it to Joey or Dawson to Jen. Had many giggles but the changed music on the DVD at the end of the episode made me huffy, even though I must admit that -- given a choice between the DVDs as they are being released, inexpensively, without the original music, or having to pay the kinds of prices Paramount wants for the Star Trek sets (which I, a lifelong Trekkie, absolutely refuse to dish out) -- I am very glad they released DC this way, affordable and with a new soundtrack.

Am reading the part in The Fortune of War where La Fleche has burned and sunk, and Jack and Stephen and a bunch of other guys are on a little boat with almost no fresh water and almost no provisions, and they're drinking each other's urine to survive, and all I can think about is, gee, did they have a container aboard for everyone to piss in so they could divide it up equally, or did everyone have a piss buddy, or what? Someone please explain this to me before I end up with a really kinky plot bunny. But wow, the American Navy rocks in this book so far. Plus O'Brian seems very sympathetic to the Americans so I don't think Weir violated the spirit of his books by making it a French rather than American ship that Jack was trying to sink in the movie. This (and the scenes from Dawson's Creek shot in the Outer Banks) puts me in the mood for a shipwreck picture.

A piece of the wreck of the Laura Barnes, Coquina Beach, South Nags Head, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

And inspired me to post this link to some very, very cute cat pictures. Even though normally I would not subject people to any cat photos that are not my own.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

What Family Doesn't Have Its Ups And Downs?

All right, I take back what I said about high school productions of Fiddler on the Roof; the kids are still way, way too young to be believable in any roles above Hodel, but in this production they had great enthusiasm and decent singing skills and a good pit orchestra and superb lighting design and energetic choreography and it was more than enough to make it highly enjoyable. My cousin had one of the finer singing voices in the cast, and probably the most thankless role (Motel is so dull compared to Perchik and Fyedka, let alone Tevye, and in this production Lazar Wolf was not an old man but tall and good-looking). He appeared to be having a great time, though, and I got to see my great-aunt and uncle and various other relatives.

Afterwards we went out for Thai food. My mother loathes ginger, cilantro, garlic, curry, peppers...pretty much everything that gives food interesting flavor, so eating anything ethnic with my parents is always bizarre. This time she settled for pineapple chicken while the rest of us had satay, panang curry, spicy beef and a spicy noodle dish that she wouldn't eat. My older son pretended to have a meltdown because he wanted pork fried rice, when it turned out the real cause of unhappiness was that he hadn't gotten to play GameCube with his friend Omar all weekend. He has spent the last half hour playing while on the phone. This seems quite amusing to me.

There's nothing really wrong with Showtime's The Lion In Winter, and I quite enjoy seeing Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart play these roles, but I don't think they've contributed anything that wasn't in the Hepburn-O'Toole film. Even the more explicit gayness of Philip/Richard didn't do a thing for me. Jon Rhys-Meyers is no Timothy Dalton, in this case, and nobody could replace Nigel Terry, either.

It was over 90 degrees today with very high humidity. I really hope it's cooler tomorrow, though this is precisely how I recall cicada weather from 1987.

Poem for Sunday

Still Life
By Thom Gunn

I shall not soon forget
The greyish-yellow skin
To which the face had set:
Lids tight: nothing of his,
No tremor from within,
Played on the surfaces.

He still found breath, and yet
It was an obscure knack.
I shall not soon forget
The angle of his head,
Arrested and reared back
On the crisp field of bed,

Back from what he could neither
Accept, as one opposed,
Nor, as a life-long breather,
Consentingly let go,
The tube his mouth enclosed
In an astonished O.


From this morning's Poet's Choice column by By Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post Book World: "Thom Gunn, who died in April at the age of 74, was a lively Anglo-American poet with a warm heart and a cool head, a rare combination. His rigorous intelligence and sympathetic imagination are everywhere in evidence in his 12 books of poems...this excellent verse technician was, in the end, a provocative gay love poet. Gunn insisted on the continuity between England and America, between meter and free verse, between epiphanic vision and everyday consciousness."

posted a Thom Gunn poem around the time he died that I copied out of her journal and saved. I shall repost that here, too:

Confessions of the Life Artist
(An extract)
By Thom Gunn

I elevate not what I have, but what I wish to have,
and see myself in others.

There is a girl in the train
who emulates the beehive
of the magazine stars of
four years ago.
I blush at
The jibes that grow inside me,
lest someone should utter them.

Why was something evolved so
tender, so open to pain?

Here is a famous picture.

It is of a little Jew
in Warsaw, some years ago,
being hustled somewhere. His
mother dressed him that morning
warmly in cap and cloth coat.
he stares at the camera
as he passes. Whatever
those big shining dark eyes have
just looked at, they can see now
no appeal in the wide world.

People will forget Shakespeare
He will lie with George Formby
and me, here where the swine root.
later, the solar system
will flare up and fall into space, irretrievably lost.

For the loss, as for the life,
there will be no excuse, there
is no justification.


just linked me to the upsetting news that Richard Biggs of Babylon 5 has died. I had interviewed him, back in the day, and he had kept in touch on and off with news of new projects; lovely man, hardworking, funny. He was only 43.

I have decided that I am not going to fill this journal with US political memes. Everyone here probably knows my politics -- if not, and you have questions, just ask, I'm not shy. I have links on my web page to many government places you might want to write and many organizations you might want to join. But if I did a meme every time someone in the Bush administration pissed me off, there would be little else in this journal. I highly recommend getting on the ACLU mailing list, the PFAW mailing list, Common Cause, The Daily Mislead and various other lists that can help you keep up with the daily goings-on of the US government and make it easy for you to contact your representatives and the White House.

Have posted Russell in Parade today at for anyone who is here for the Russell, which I suspect to be more people than are here for the politics. Not that that will stop me from ranting on a regular basis anyway. Plus, sweet, Maurice screen caps in . And linked me via the BBC to The Diary of Samuel Pepys, a blog. OMG does this rock.

Am off to see my 17-year-old cousin in Fiddler on the Roof. Why do high schools believe that they can convincingly cast Tevye and Golde from among adolescents? My cousin at least is playing Motel the Tailor, who is probably not much older than 17. And wow, the cicadas are loud. I love it.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Poem for Saturday

The Earth Opens and Welcomes You
Abdellatif Laâbi

To the memory of Tahar Djaout
an Algerian journalist and author murdered in Algiers in 1993
on the day of his funeral

The earth opens
and welcomes you
Why these cries, these tears
these prayers
What have they lost
What are they looking for
those who trouble
your refound peace?

The earth opens
and welcomes you
you will converse without witnesses
O you have things to tell each other
and you'll have eternity to do so
Yesterday's words tarnished by the tumult
will one by one engrave themselves on silence

The earth opens
and welcomes you
She alone has desired you
without you making any advances
She has waited for you with Penelopian ruses.
Her patience was but goodness
and it is goodness brings you back to her

The earth opens
and welcomes you
she won't ask you to account
for your ephemeral loves
daughters of errancy
meat stars conceived in the eyes
accorded fruits from the vast orchard of life
sovereign passions that make sun
in the palm's hollow
at the tip of the tipsy tongue

The earth opens
and welcomes you
You are naked
She is even more naked than you
And you are both beautiful
in that silent embrace
where the hands know how to hold back
to avoid violence
where the soul's butterfly
turns away from this semblance of light
to go in search of its source

The earth opens
and welcomes you
Your loved one will find again some day
your legendary smile
and the mourning will be over
Your children will grow up
and will read your poems without shame
your country will heal as if by miracle
when the men exhausted by illusion
will go drink from the fountain of your goodness

O my friend
sleep well
you need it
for you have worked hard
as an honest man
Before leaving
you left your desk clean
well ordered
You turned off the lights
said a nice word to the guardian
And then as you stepped out
you looked at the sky
its near-painful blue
You elegantly smoothed your mustache
telling yourself:
only cowards
consider death to be an end

Sleep well my friend
Sleep the sleep of the just
let us for awhile carry the burden

Créteil, June 4, 1993


"the soul's butterfly/turns away from this semblance of light/to go in search of its source" just struck me as so lovely that this had to be posted. In fact I think I shall find a butterfly pic to go with it.

Swallowtail at the Brookside Gardens Butterfly Show

My in-laws are here to watch one son at soccer, the other at baseball. They have brought fresh strawberries and are looking at cicadas which for some reason they do not have in Hanover. They have also brought their dog, so my cats are getting exercise following her around. *g* I need to write one article and then if it does not go up to 90 as rumored, perhaps I shall go enjoy the air outside.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The Harry Potter Marketing People Get One Right!

Just a quickie. Am back from lovely lunch with where we ate Thai food, scandalized the women at the table next to us, procured tickets to Harry Potter for the morning of June 4th, went to Barnes and Noble to look at movie magazines and then I dragged her into Target to get shorts for my son and ended up getting...

The Harry and Draco Bondage Action Figure Set!

The Remus and Sirius Action Figures Of Love!

Poem for Friday

A Quick One Before I Go
By David Lehman

There comes a time in every man's life
when he thinks: I have never had a single
original thought in my life
including this one & therefore I shall
eliminate all ideas from my poems
which shall consist of cats, rice, rain
baseball cards, fire escapes, hanging plants
red brick houses where I shall give up booze
and organized religion even if it means
despair is a logical possibility that can't
be disproved I shall concentrate on the five
senses and what they half perceive and half
create, the green street signs with white
letters on them the body next to mine
asleep while I think these thoughts
that I want to eliminate like nostalgia
0 was there ever a man who felt as I do
like a pronoun out of step with all the other
floating signifiers no things but in words
an orange T-shirt a lime green awning


Remember my pretty azaleas?

The bushes in front of my house are now covered not in flowers but in cicadas.

I haven't seen a single photo that really shows how iridescent their wings are.

They have long legs and feel very substantial when you pick them up -- more like holding an amphibian than holding an insect. But they are very clumsy; they are always falling off leaves and landing on their backs, and they can't roll themselves over! We spend a lot of time just flipping cicadas upright so they can move again.

It looks like rain today, and they are very loud; it sounds like someone is shooting phasers at the next town over.

told me about this book, The Book of Old Ships, by Henry B. Culver and Gordon Grant, that I looked up on and and discovered had been reprinted cheaply, but there were a bunch of people selling the original hardcover in decent shape minus the dust jacket for less than the paperback reprint, and the hardcover has some color illustrations on heavy paper...anyway I ordered it, and it came yesterday, along with Patrick O'Brian's Men-Of-War (that one was ordered before it became obvious that we would have to replace the station wagon and I would be broke for the foreseeable future, so this is my last fun splurge other than ROTK next week). Am now in ship geek heaven.

Today I am going to see ! And to buy my older son shorts, since he has outgrown all of his and my younger son has inherited them. My older son has baseball practice tonight so I think only my younger son and I are dining with my parents. And tomorrow my in-laws are coming for the various sports. My mother wants to go see my cousin in a school play on Sunday and I am trying to decide whether I can handle seeing relatives that many days in a row...

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Poem for Thursday

By John Blair

A youngest brother turns seventeen with a click as good as a roar,
finds the door and is gone.
You listen for that small sound, hear a memory.
The air-raid sirens howled of summer tornadoes, the sound

thrown back against the scattered thumbs
of grain silos and the open Oklahoma plains
like the warning wail of insects.
Repudiation is fast like a whirlwind.

Only children don't know that all you live is leaving.
Yes, the first knowledge that counts is that everything stops.
Even in the bible-belt, second comings are promises
you never really believed;

so you turn and walk into the embrace of the world
as you would to a woman, an arrant
an orphic movement as shocking as the subtle
animal pulse of a flower opening, palm up.

We are all so helpless.
I can look at my wife's full form now
and hope for children,
picture her figured by the weight of babies.

Only, it's still so much like trying to find something
once lost. My brother felt the fullness of his years, the pull
in the gut that's almost sickness. His white
smooth face is gone into living and fierce illusion,

a journey dissolute and as immutable
as the whining heat of summer.
Soon enough, too soon, momentum just isn't enough.
Our tragedy is to live in a world

that doesn't invite us back.
We slow, find ourselves sitting in a room that shifts so slightly
we can only imagine the difference.
I want to tell him to listen.

I want to tell him what it is to crave darkness,
to want to crawl headfirst into a dirt-warm womb
to sleep, to wait seventeen years,
to emerge again.


I posted this poem six months ago but it seems so relevant that it must be repeated, I think. There's a wonderful op-ed piece on the cicadas in The New York Times, "The Orgy in Your Backyard": "They overwhelm the cornerstone of rationality: our ability to quantify nature. Could engineers equip us with several million (never mind a few trillion) alarm clocks that would reliably ring 6,209 days from now? We would do well, I believe, to begin to think of periodical cicadas as moving, living national parks. Rather than a few million of us visiting Yosemite or Yellowstone this summer, a few trillion cicadas will come to visit us. They will remind us that the world is yet to be tamed and that wonder is our birthright."

People doing 's Psalms challenge: Grace For Today has C.H. Spurgeon's Treasury of David, with lengthy commentary on all the psalms. It's conservative and Christian but can also be quite helpful if you're stumbling over given words or line readings.

Am off to see . And have tons to do this afternoon. Aigh! Hope you are feeling better, !

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Review and Blather

Here's the Trek Nation Enterprise review: "Countdown". (If the page is all messed up, sorry; there's something screwy in the database and I can't figure out how to fix it.) I liked it but didn't have a lot to say about it; it's very much a bridge action episode into the season finale.

So a few more dorky things for the day, and then I'll stop. made me happy this evening by posting Heaven's Burning screen caps featuring Russell Crowe tied up and doing just what he's doing in my icon...does it get any better than that?

posted a link to this game where you try to clean up your dorm room before your parents arrive, including hiding your pot, used condoms and panties. Very amusing.

The Washington, DC Mormon Temple, a.k.a. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (close-up daytime picture via that link), which is actually in Kensington, Maryland. Coming down I-95/495 from Baltimore toward DC, you cannot miss it, and indeed the most impressive place to see it from is a car on the Beltway. This is not a very clear image of it, having been taken through my windshield, but the twilight colors were too lovely not to try to capture. ETA: I should perhaps note that CB radio users refer to this as "Disneyland" (as in, "How's the traffic around Disneyland?").

Homicidal Rampage meme gacked from :

Your Homicidal Rampage! by crash_and_burn
Your name:
Weapon of Choice:Your dashing good looks
Your Favorite Target:Buddhist Monks
Your Kill Count:1,918,947,638
Your Battle Cry:"My kidneys tingle with pleasure!"
Years You Spend in Jail:49
How Much Money In Damages You Cause:$122,356,660,889,813
Your Homocidal Insanity Level:: 81%
Created with the ORIGINAL MemeGen!

Total Loser Geek Post, Please Ignore

passed this on to me: "Fury Over O'Brian Book Plan": "The family of Patrick O'Brian, the author whose historical novels have sold millions of copies around the world, have expressed dismay over the publication of a fragment of the book he was working on when he died."

Fury over O'Brian book plan

May 20, 2004

The family of Patrick O'Brian, the author whose historical novels have sold millions of copies around the world, have expressed dismay over the publication of a fragment of the book he was working on when he died.

O'Brian wrote 20 novels about the seafaring adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend Stephen Maturin, a series which spawned the Oscar-winning film Master and Commander.

His last three chapters of work, to which he had not given a name, are due to be published under the title of XXI in Britain and 21 in North America, next year.

But the sole beneficiaries of O'Brian's estate, the six grandchildren of his second wife Mary, claim they were not consulted about the plans and believe the unfinished manuscript, which will be reproduced in facsimile, will be an insult to his memory.

Nikolai Tolstoy, O'Brian's stepson and father of four of the beneficiaries, said the book was at a "crude" stage and to publish it would be a "travesty" which the reclusive and perfectionist author would have loathed.

"It is crude and unfinished. He would have been dismayed and horrified."

O'Brian died aged 85 in January 2000. It is thought the manuscript was found among his belongings in the Dublin hotel where he died.

Its existence came as a surprise to his friends and fans because he had said after the publication of Blue at the Mizzen, the 20th book in the series, that he would write no more.

Both O'Brian's literary agent in Britain and his American publisher said they believed they were doing the best for his estate, his memory and for his hundreds of thousands of fans.


And, okay, I need to fangrrl out for a minute. Sandi Holder's Doll Attic has a listing for a new Barbie and a new Ken doll coming in October: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Barbie as Galadriel and, even better, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Ken as Legolas! "Based on Cate Blanchett's character in the first film of the fantastic Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Barbie as the Elf Queen Galadriel will be sure to dazzle fans of the film series, as well as all Barbie collectors alike," say the notes on the former, while for the latter, it's "Orlando Bloom portrays an agile and trustworthy Elf Warrior in this representation of Legolas from The Two Towers, the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We think you'll swoon over Ken as Legolas; we know we can't wait!" Both dolls will be from Mattel's Silver Label collection and will market for $39.95.

Poem for Wednesday

From Heart's Needle
By W.D. Snodgrass

For Cynthia
When he would not return to fine
garments and good food, to his houses
and his people, Loingseachan told him,
"Your father is dead." "I'm sorry to
hear it," he said. "Your mother is
dead," said the lad. "All pity for me
has gone out of the world." "Your
sister, too, is dead." "The mild sun rests
on every ditch," he said; "a sister loves
even though not loved." "Suibhne, your
daughter is dead." "And an only
daughter is the needle of the heart."
"And Suibhne, your little boy, who
used to call you 'Daddy' he is dead."
"Aye," said Suibhne, "that's the drop
that brings a man to the ground."
He fell out of the yew tree;
Loingseachan closed his arms around
him and placed him in manacles.
After the middle-Irish romance,
The Madness of Suibhne


Child of my winter, born
When the new fallen soldiers froze
In Asia's steep ravines and fouled the snows,
When I was torn

By love I could not still,
By fear that silenced my cramped mind
To that cold war where, lost, I could not find
My peace in my will,

All those days we could keep
Your mind a landscape of new snow
Where the chilled tenant-farmer finds, below,
His fields asleep

In their smooth covering, white
As quilts to warm the resting bed
Of birth or pain, spotless as paper spread
For me to write,

And thinks: Here lies my land
Unmarked by agony, the lean foot
Of the weasel tracking, the thick trapper's boot;
And I have planned

My chances to restrain
The torments of demented summer or
Increase the deepening harvest here before
It snows again.


Late April and you are three; today
We dug your garden in the yard.
To curb the damage of your play,
Strange dogs at night and the moles tunneling,
Four slender sticks of lath stand guard
Uplifting their thin string.

So you were the first to tramp it down.
And after the earth was sifted close
You brought your watering can to drown
All earth and us.But these mixed seeds are pressed
With light loam in their steadfast rows.
Child, we've done our best.

Someone will have to weed and spread
The young sprouts.Sprinkle them in the hour
When shadow falls across their bed.
You should try to look at them every day
Because when they come to full flower
I will be away.


Easter has come around
again: the river is rising
over the thawed ground
and the banksides.When you come you bring
an egg dyed lavender.
We shout along our bank to hear
our voices returning from the hills to meet us.
We need the landscape to repeat us.

You lived on this bank first.
While nine months filled your term, we knew
how your lungs, immersed
in the womb, miraculously grew
their useless folds till
the fierce, cold air rushed in to fill
them out like bushes thick with leaves.You took your hour,
caught breath, and cried with your full lung power.

Over the stagnant bight
we see the hungry bank swallow
flaunting his free flight
still; we sink in mud to follow
the killdeer from the grass
that hides her nest.That March there was
rain; the rivers rose; you could hear killdeers flying
all night over the mudflats crying.

You bring back how the red-
winged blackbird shrieked, slapping frail wings,
diving at my head--
I saw where her tough nest, cradled, swings
in tall reeds that must sway
with the winds blowing every way.
If you recall much, you recall this place.You still
live nearby--on the opposite hill.

After the sharp windstorm
of July Fourth, all that summer
through the gentle, warm
afternoons, we heard great chain saws chirr
like iron locusts.Crews
of roughneck boys swarmed to cut loose
branches wrenched in the shattering wind, to hack free
all the torn limbs that could sap the tree.

In the debris lay
starlings, dead.Near the park's birdrun
we surprised one day
a proud, tan-spatted, buff-brown pigeon.
In my hands she flapped so
fearfully that I let her go.
Her keeper came.And we helped snarl her in a net.
You bring things I'd as soon forget.

You raise into my head
a Fall night that I came once more
to sit on your bed;
sweat beads stood out on your arms and fore-
head and you wheezed for breath,
for help, like some child caught beneath
its comfortable wooly blankets, drowning there.
Your lungs caught and would not take the air.

Of all things, only we
have power to choose that we should die;
nothing else is free
in this world to refuse it.Yet I,
who say this, could not raise
myself from bed how many days
to the thieving world. Child, I have another wife,
another child. We try to choose our life.


As everyone probably knows, it is sweeps month on television, and the week when the networks reveal their fall schedules. Thus far NBC, ABC, FOX and the WB have published theirs (visit The Futon Critic if you want details), while the two networks which I am most responsible for covering, CBS and UPN, are waiting until tomorrow. This means that officially there will be no word on Star Trek: Enterprise for another day, though Variety reported this morning that the series would be renewed and rumors at fan sites say the same. Since there will be no official word until tomorrow, however, we have to keep up with every freakin' rumor.

Which of course means that it was inevitable that our power would go out during a thunderstorm yesterday and my computer would proceed to crash catastrophically. I think it's recovered now (knocking every sort of wood available, including my head). But I didn't get back to LiveJournal after the morning and I had a rather chaotic and stressful evening. In better news, my son won two awards for being the best Hebrew reader in his grade (it was the last day of Hebrew school for the year, we had to go get donuts for his class in the pouring rain but he loves Hebrew and is apparently very good at it so it was worth it). The pouring rain also brought dozens of half-drowned cicadas onto the sidewalk, so my children and I spent the blackout period picking them up and rescuing them.

You all know that Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game last night, at the age of 40? I am actually a better fan of baseball books and movies than I am of the sport on a day to day basis -- I get fed up with the sports politics and the money and the drugs and the bad boys and the owners, and go watch Pride of the Yankees and The Natural for the bazillionth time -- but this was better than For Love of the Game with the same holy grail as goal. Coverage here and here and all over your sports section too.

In honor of , who does not have a digital camera and therefore could not post her pictures of the Big Gay Boat, a set from the USS Constellation. In the interests of avoiding duplication, I have not repeated pictures similar to those from our last visit.

Unlike the last time we visited, it was quite hot this weekend so the deck was shaded with canvas.

The bell and the bowsprit.

The gun deck. When they fire the little cannon on the deck above, there's a lecture on how all the various weapons worked -- apparently given the right bore, the effective range could have knocked a given letter out of the Domino Sugar plant sign across the harbor.

Sickbay was open this time! In addition to the cots, we got to see all manner of gruesome instruments and bottles of scary-looking medicines (no alcoholic tincture of laudanum, heh).

Ballast sitting in the quite-dry hold.

On any given Saturday or Sunday, there will be musicians, clowns, mimes and various other performers in the open stage area between the buildings of Harborplace. Here, an Andean group with the Constellation in the background.

And again I am behind on birthdays! Happy belated to , and , and happy birthday and welcome to LJ to , whom I met during a brief but intense flirtation with Space: 1999 and Mission: Impossible fandom! Completely unrelated to anything, a meme from with a result that made me smile enough to post it.

Your Husband Generator by Lady_Galadriel
Your Husband IsOrlando Bloom
You Metat a cheap café
You Have4 children
You Liveireland
Ina farm house
You And Your Partner Are Best Known Foryour commitment
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