Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Shameless Political Agenda

We interrupt your day in an effort to stop the Bush administration's assault on women.

On July 6, U.S. senators will vote on the federal district court nomination of J. Leon Holmes, a passionate opponent of women's equality and women's rights. Holmes co-wrote an article stating that "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "to the extent we adopt the feminist principle that the distinction between the sexes is of no consequence...we are contributing to the culture of death." Whether or not one accepts this particular excerpt from one translation of the Bible as the ultimate authority on gender relations, this blending of religious and secular politics in someone nominated to a position requiring that he uphold the separation of church and state is quite disturbing.

Holmes has also insisted that there should be no exemptions for rape in the absolute ban that he favors on the termination of pregnancy, because "conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami." (MSNBC cites a figure of 25,000 women becoming pregnant in the U.S. after rape each year; lest anyone should believe this to be a politically biased number, click here for a BBC study which disproves the notion that women do not become pregnant after rape, or here for an Australian site on the topic.) No matter how you feel about a woman's right to choose, it should be disturbing that a judge would use an outright falsehood to argue a legal point.

Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have refused to endorse Holmes' confirmation. Please consider e-mailing your senators asking them to vote against the confirmation of Holmes. People For the American Way has a one-click page to help you do so quickly and easily. Here is PFAW's statement on Holmes:

Holmes' stated beliefs on a woman's right to choose and on women's roles in society call into grave question his understanding of and commitment to principles of constitutional law. Indeed, Holmes' record on these subjects would make it impossible for many to believe that they will receive a fair hearing in his court.

Holmes' record of anti-choice, anti-equality activism includes:

Served as president of Arkansas Right to Life and in leadership positions of other anti-choice groups that openly call for a complete reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Acted as legal counsel for anti-choice groups in several cases and defended an anti-choice activist accused of trespassing at a physician's clinic, arguing that his client was justified because he was trying to inform clinic visitors of the alleged harmful effects of abortion.

Co-authored an article claiming that "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "to the extent we adopt the feminist principle that the distinction between the sexes is of no consequence...we are contributing to the culture of death."

Compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis.

Poem for Wednesday

A Little History
By David Lehman

Some people find out they are Jews.
They can't believe it.
They had always hated Jews.
As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old
    neighborhood, looking for Jews.
They were not Jewish, they were Irish.
They brandished broken bottles, tough guys with blood on their
    lips, looking for Jews.
They intercepted Jewish boys walking alone and beat them up.
Sometimes they were content to chase a Jew and he could elude
    them by running away. They were happy just to see him run
    away. The coward! All Jews were yellow.
They spelled Jew with a small j jew.
And now they find out they are Jews themselves.
It happened at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
To escape persecution, they pretended to convert to Christianity.
They came to this country and settled in the Southwest.
At some point oral tradition failed the family, and their
    secret faith died.
No one would ever have known if not for the bones that turned up
    on the dig.
A disaster. How could it have happened to them?
They are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last!
They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry
    with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else,
    yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by
    the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another:
The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik
    who thinks he is the agent of world history.
But most of them are neither ostentatiously pious nor
    excessively avaricious.
How I envy them! They believe.
How I envy them their annual family reunion on Passover,
    anniversary of the Exodus, when all the uncles and aunts and
    cousins get together.
They wonder about the heritage of Judaism they are passing along
    to their children.
Have they done as much as they could to keep the old embers
Others lead more dramatic lives.
A few go to Israel.
One of them calls Israel "the ultimate concentration camp."
He tells Jewish jokes.
On the plane he gets tipsy, tries to seduce the stewardess.
People in the Midwest keep telling him reminds them of Woody
He wonders what that means. I'm funny? A sort of nervous
    intellectual type from New York? A Jew?
Around this time somebody accuses him of not being Jewish enough.
It is said by resentful colleagues that his parents changed their
    name from something that sounded more Jewish.
Everything he publishes is scrutinized with reference to "the
    Jewish question."
It is no longer clear what is meant by that phrase.
He has already forgotten all the Yiddish he used to know, and
    the people of that era are dying out one after another.
The number of witnesses keeps diminishing.
Soon there will be no one left to remind the others and their
That is why he came to this dry place where the bones have come
    to life.
To live in a state of perpetual war puts a tremendous burden on the
    population. As a visitor he felt he had to share that burden.
With his gift for codes and ciphers, he joined the counter-
    terrorism unit of army intelligence.
Contrary to what the spook novels say, he found it possible to
    avoid betraying either his country or his lover.
This was the life: strange bedrooms, the perfume of other men's
As a spy he has a unique mission: to get his name on the front
    page of the nation's newspaper of record. Only by doing that
    would he get the message through to his immediate superior.
If he goes to jail, he will do so proudly; if they're going to
    hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but
    this was incredible:
To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most
    flamboyant murder case in years!
And he was innocent!
He could prove it!
And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison:
A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight
    of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was born.


Snicked with the greatest of glee from : Dog Toy Or Marital Aid? I did very well on the first round, but very poorly on the difficult round, and am not allowed to play with the quizzer's dog. In my own defense, I have not had a dog in years, so I don't immediately recognize the packaging on those newfangled dog toys. Also, I am very creative with household objects and I've been writing Remus/Sirius fic so just about anything looks like it could be used for Er, go see, it's very amusing.

My point in bitching about LJ yesterday was not to bitch at the people who run LJ, who do a pretty good job most of the time and appear to take that job quite seriously, nor at the majority of people who use point was to say that I'm very sorry if you've left me a comment and I never responded, which I try to do eventually with everything longer than "Cool!" or whatever, and if you said anything important that I might never have seen in an older post while comments weren't being delivered, I do hope you will post it again! (Consider this post a free-for-all; comment on anything I've said within the past several months here!)

I really do feel compelled to reiterate, however, that I am tired of people lecturing me on why it is annoying of me not to use a cut tag for anything longer than a single sentence, whereas I find it annoying when people use a cut tag for anything shorter than a 500-word fic. I can load my friends page and scroll through it far more quickly than I can get individual pages to load, even on good LJ days. I would be happy to agree to disagree -- to keep doing things my way and not say anything when other people do things their way -- but apparently those who believe that I should be cutting even this paragraph behind a cryptic "Whining" label feel that it's fine to leave me angry comments about it; at the same time, it is apparently NOT fine if I need to explain to someone, "I really wanted to reply to what you had to say, but I couldn't get your page to load forever and then didn't have time to wait around for my own comment to post, so I must say I wish you hadn't cut something that was only two non-spoiler sentences in the first place."

Today and I have a meeting with our son's orthodontist to talk about the lengthy and expensive teeth-straightening in store for all of us. His front teeth cross like they're being braided, and on the x-rays you can see that the incisors are coming in sideways. I feel so sorry for the little guy.

Thanks so much for the England recs -- please keep them coming if you have more!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

The Passage
By Jalaludin Rumi
Translated by E. H. Whinfield

I sought to share
the life of snow
and fire.
But neither
snow nor fire
took me in.
I kept my peace,
waiting like flowers,
staying like stones.
In love I lost
I broke away
and watched until
I swayed like a wave
between the life
I dreamed and the changing
dream I lived.


We are trying to make plans for next spring given how quickly Kelmscott Manor tours apparently fill up. Has anyone else here ever gone to England with kids? Any suggestions on places to stay inexpensively that are accessible to London-Oxford-Portsmouth, friendly to families and internet-accessible (not rustic cottages)? Can I take kids to Charleston or is the tour too long and boring? How about the V&A: is it as kid-friendly as the Tate and British Museum are? Also, any sites we should be sure not to miss that aren't obvious ones? Particularly anything Arthurian, Tolkien-related, megalithic or concerning seafaring...

Who reads your LJ the most?
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Monday, June 28, 2004

Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines in Pieces on the Ground

Have had one of those days where I got lots of little things done, but added together it really doesn't seem like I did anything at all. I was stuck at home till late afternoon because the old van was in having its oil and brake pads changed; I wrote a couple of articles, answered some mail, caught up on several weeks of topics which promptly generated more e-mail, and took a walk in the woods (it being too gorgeous outside not to) only to discover that, while the cicadas are gone -- no more red buggy eyes, no more stragglers stuck on their backs, no more phaser fire -- their shell casings and some scattered wings remain scattered among the leaves they've knocked off the trees prematurely. The shells are mostly intact, with little curly leg containers and everything. It's bizarre to see the larval remains when the adults are gone for seventeen years.

In the evening picked the kids up from camp on his way home from work and then we all went to retrieve the van. Then, since we were out already and it was getting late, we went to IHOP for dinner, so I am pleasantly full on harvest grain pancakes, fried eggs, turkey sausage and chocolate milk. I was very tempted to get eggs benedict without the ham, but I wanted the pancakes. The kids were utterly fried after a day of nothing but sports (they didn't want chess, arts and crafts, etc.) and the older one is rather sunburned; apparently he never put the sunblock on.

My other excitement for the day was watching Dark Harbor, which was quite entertaining and nicely filmed, but rather depressing and disturbing. I'd been spoiled for the ending, because among the people I hang out with the last scene is the most interesting part of the movie, but even being able to guess where things were going, I was somewhat creeped out. There are a number of twists in the ostensible plot about a couple who pick up a drifter who seems to be hitting on the wife and...something...with the husband, there are hints they know one another better than it appears and have some kind of bet going concerning the wife, but in the end it's about a guy who conspires in the murder of his pathetic WASP socialite wife so he can inherit her private island and live with his male lover. He appears to have absorbed his mother-in-law's assessment of himself as a "gold-digging kike," as he puts it, and between his Jewish self-hatred, his gay self-hatred, his disgust with himself for having a wife who's more successful than he is and his resentment of her money and background even though apparently all the material trappings haven't made anyone in her family happy, it's difficult to find anything to like about him (other than, you know, him being Alan Rickman, and naked, and kissing a boy).

An egret in shallow water. (This is the same one that was flying in the picture from a couple of days ago.)

Those white spots in the trees? Are more egrets.

And here's another one.

One little speckled frog sat on a speckled log...

Teeny tiny tree frog.

Teenier tinier tree frog.

Croaking in the mud.

Poem for Monday

Morning News
By Marilyn Hacker

Spring wafts up the smell of bus exhaust, of bread
and fried potatoes, tips green on the branches,
repeats old news: arrogance, ignorance, war.
A cinder-block wall shared by two houses
is new rubble. On one side was a kitchen
sink and a cupboard, on the other was
a bed, a bookshelf, three framed photographs.

Glass is shattered across the photographs;
two half-circles of hardened pocket bread
sit on the cupboard. There provisionally was
shelter, a plastic truck under the branches
of a fig tree. A knife flashed in the kitchen,
merely dicing garlic. Engines of war
move inexorably toward certain houses

while citizens sit safe in other houses
reading the newspaper, whose photographs
make sanitized excuses for the war.
There are innumerable kinds of bread
brought up from bakeries, baked in the kitchen:
the date, the latitude, tell which one was
dropped by a child beneath the bloodied branches.

The uncontrolled and multifurcate branches
of possibility infiltrate houses'
walls, windowframes, ceilings. Where there was
a tower, a town: ash and burnt wires, a graph
on a distant computer screen. Elsewhere, a kitchen
table's setting gapes, where children bred
to branch into new lives were culled for war.

Who wore this starched smocked cotton dress? Who wore
this jersey blazoned for the local branch
of the district soccer team? Who left this black bread
and this flat gold bread in their abandoned houses?
Whose father begged for mercy in the kitchen?
Whose memory will frame the photograph
and use the memory for what it was

never meant for by this girl, that old man, who was
caught on a ball field, near a window: war,
exhorted through the grief a photograph
revives. (Or was the team a covert branch
of a banned group; were maps drawn in the kitchen,
a bomb thrust in a hollowed loaf of bread?)
What did the old men pray for in their houses

of prayer, the teachers teach in schoolhouses
between blackouts and blasts, when each word was
flensed by new censure, books exchanged for bread,
both hostage to the happenstance of war?
Sometimes the only schoolroom is a kitchen.
Outside the window, black strokes on a graph
of broken glass, birds line up on bare branches.

"This letter curves, this one spreads its branches
like friends holding hands outside their houses."
Was the lesson stopped by gunfire? Was
there panic, silence? Does a torn photograph
still gather children in the teacher's kitchen?
Are they there meticulously learning war-
time lessons with the signs for house, book, bread?


Gacked from and : 98% of the teenage population does or has tried smoking pot. If you're one of the 2% who hasn't, copy & paste this into your journal. I'm not putting this in here as any sort of judgment on people who have or do regularly; I'm completely in favor of legalized marijuana, which was made illegal more because of tobacco and alcohol producers lobbying than because of actual health concerns. I've never smoked a cigarette either, and I've only been drunk once in my life -- a single evening bent over the toilet was enough.

A close-up of panels on a truck decorated for the Silk Road exhibition two years ago.

And here's the truck in its entirety.

A little model pirate ship atop one of the Smithsonian golf carts for people who have trouble walking around the festival.

Hibiscus near the fountain in the Sculpture Garden.

Wet weather means beautiful fungus.

Red-winged blackbird among the cattails.

Some kind of caterpillar. This is not color-corrected, though I did use a flash; those are actually the colors of the bug and the bark in extreme close-up.

Snake in the grass.

I have no vehicle today, as the van is getting its oil changed, so am trying to get done things around the house that did not get done while we were out and about this weekend. It's gorgeous out, too. But the kids are in camp this week! Whee!

Sunday, June 27, 2004


What a perfectly gorgeous day for being at the Folklife Festival -- last year we had to miss it, as we were out of town, and the year before when it was a hundred degrees with smoke from Quebec forest fires blowing over the region, I wound up in the hospital with a migraine (I'd never had a full-blown one before, didn't realize that dizziness, throwing up and the belief that violent death could not be more painful than such a headache were all normal symptoms). Today it was in the low 80s and breezy, not too mobbed to get drinks whenever we felt like it, and my father decided to come with us after dropping my mother off at the airport to visit my sister so we took a leisurely pace through.

In addition to exhibits on Haiti and on Latino music (which could be heard all across the National Mall), one of the themes of this year's festival is Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities. There was a Chesapeake Bay skipjack -- an oyster boat -- on display along with boat-building tents where people were actually building little rowboats and sailboats, exhibits on commercial fishing and crab traps (Phillips Seafood was there, selling crab cakes and making the entire Mall smell like a fried seafood restaurant which is all to the good as far as I'm concerned), artists carving decoys, water safety and rescue information, and many models of ships. We wandered through those tents, then briefly through the Haitian cooking exhibits.

Then we walked through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden into the museum to see a collection of landscape paintings by Sanford Gifford, one of the Hudson River School artists; we used to go to the Wadsworth Atheneum and the New Britain Museum of American Art when my in-laws lived in Hartford, where the influence of Church, Cole and Bierstadt is much in evidence, and where I discovered Gifford. Autumn was apparently his favorite season, and sunset his favorite time of day, and he loved mountains and shores, so the paintings are suffused with red and violet light and there's a great deal of greenery and waterside scenery -- as with most of the Hudson River School artists, with the people and animals greatly diminished by the landscapes. He lost a brother in the Civil War, which is a big theme in his work, and you can see where Thomas Kinkade swiped some of his mountain lake imagery and use of light.

I'll take a break from nature photography for some pictures from downtown...

The festival looking toward the Washington Monument...

...and toward the Capitol Building.

A Chesapeake Bay skipjack, once seen gathering oysters all over the Bay, now quite rare.

A ship-building demonstration, with the dome of the National Museum of Natural History in the background.

A lesson on rigging for kids.

The National Gallery Sculpture Garden fountain...

...and the fountains and glass pyramids overlooking the concourse level of the East Building.

We came home for dinner as the boys start camp tomorrow and wanted time to chill out. I had to fold laundry and put on Jesus Christ Superstar while they were playing down the basement; to my surprise they both came up to watch, having heard the music, and we ended up talking them through the Gospels while watching. I should perhaps add that, being Jewish, some of my earliest exposures to the Gospels were via JCS and Godspell, long before I actually read the New Testament, so my Jesus has always been a hippie Jesus who fights corrupt authority, preaches love and doesn't put up with infighting among his followers regarding things they don't approve of concerning one another's lifestyles. How come the Fundamentalists have never heard of that Jesus? I can see him in the Gospels just fine.

Poem For Sunday

Blessed Are They Who Sow and Do Not Reap...
By Avraham Ben Yitzhak
Translated by Peter Cole

Blessed are they who sow and do not reap --
they shall wander in extremity.

Blessed are the generous
whose glory in youth has enhanced the extravagant
            brightness of days --
who shed their accoutrements at the crossroads.

Blessed are the proud whose pride overflows
            the banks of their souls
to become the modesty of whiteness
in the wake of a rainbow's ascent through a cloud.

Blessed are they who know
their hearts will cry out from the wilderness and that quiet will blossom from their lips.

Blessed are these
for they will be gathered to the heart of the world,
            wrapped in the mantle of oblivion
-- their destiny's offering unuttered to the end.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in today's Washington Post Book World: "Avraham Ben Yitzhak (1883-1950) was one of the most enigmatic, reticent and solitary figures in modern Hebrew poetry. He was an aristocrat of the spirit who cultivated silence and published a total of 11 poems during his lifetime. All of them are astonishing. His output may have been meager -- he never published a book and stopped writing poems by the age of 45 -- but his accomplishment is unquestionable." He memorized the entire Bible and quoted it in Hebrew, which revealed to his intimates that he was a poet, but his friends considered him a man of "lethal silences"; Dan Pagis, a Hebrew poet and translator, said that the poem above "affirms the poet's conviction and confidence in silence as the only true mode of self-expression."

And gacked from , whom it turns out I know from the Ghost of Fandom Past...this is really not true but of the choices it's as good as any. Voyeurism is SO my kink!

Take the quiz: "What Is Your Kink?"

The world is your stage, and everyone in it is your audience, whether they like it or not. Your favorite place to have sex is the pitcher's mound of a ball stadium, under the arena lights. You are extremely loud when having sex. You don't mind people watching, taking pictures or videotaping you no matter what you're doing. Your motto is It's all about ME!

Today we are going to the Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian, and hopefully into the National Gallery of Art to see the Hudson River School exhibit. It is absolutely gorgeous out and both my horoscope and my tarot card reading for the day say things like, "You can't go wrong by expressing your needs and how they fit in with the collective agenda. Feel free to focus on yourself today and be selfish about your passions."

Hope everyone else has a lovely Sunday! And, Marylanders, we must all be home at 9 p.m. tonight, because Snakehead Terror is on the Sci-Fi Channel. "Mutant, amphibious snakehead fish feast on humans as they close in on a Maryland village where the only obstacle is the local sheriff (Bruce Boxleitner)." I figured he was hard up for work after Babylon 5 went off the air but I had no idea things had gotten this bad. Carol Alt's his co-star. Whee!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Bright June

Huntley Meadows was absolutely gorgeous this afternoon -- temperatures in the low 80s, slightly overcast, the most incredible greenery I've ever seen there -- it's been a very wet summer, and the beavers have moved out of their lodge there for a new one up the river, so some of the dams are not being maintained and there's greenery growing where there once was deeper water -- there were hundreds of dragonflies in a wide variety of colors, butterflies, flowers and berries, box and snapping turtles, tree- and bullfrogs, snakes, egrets, herons, red-wing blackbirds, Canadian geese, hawks, a host of smaller birds I can't identify, a significant number of bugs and beetles, spiders, a praying mantis, mushrooms, a wide variety of trees...

A blue heron in the marsh.

A goose and an egret on the far side of the dam.

Pink trumpet flowers hiding hummingbirds, white Queen Anne's Lace, brown cattails and bright orange dodder (which looks like silly string but is unfortunately parasitic).

An egret about to land in shallow water.

A young snapping turtle...

..and a big box turtle in the sun.

A spider spinning between two stalks.

The air was filled with the sound of bullfrog singing.

Shall post the dragonfly pictures tomorrow as there are too many of them to spam one entry with. Hope everyone has had a lovely Saturday!

Poem for Saturday

By Donald Hall

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.


Was discussing Alzheimers with my mother in law (whose own mother died of it). Really too horrifically depressing to think about for too long.

keeps trying to kill me. Today it's Death By Alfonso CuarĂ³n in this audio interview in which the director says, "Even if they're wizards, ultimately their emotions are very human. And from the get-go, we established that relationship with the actors. For instance, Professor Lupin, played by David Thewlis...we said that he's your favorite gay uncle that does smack."

From The Washington Post, "The Sex Scandal From Outer Space". "Two things make this sex scandal breathtakingly unconventional, and it is not the whips and cages: The people in question were married. And: No sex occurred. This may be the first sexless sex scandal to bring down a politician. Ryan is being punished for kinky thoughts he denies thinking." Jack Ryan's behavior sounds obnoxious (though people have been known to exaggerate such bad behavior during custody disputes, and the Ryans' was allegedly very ugly), but this situation irks me as much as Monicagate. So he likes kinky sex, and he and his wife argued about it because she doesn't. The scandal isn't about allegations of abuse; he may be insensitive and ill-mannered but it hardly sounds as if there was a pattern of coercion. The scandal is about the fact that he wanted to go to those clubs in the first place. I have a feeling that if his ex-wife had said that she was an enthusiastic participant, things would be just as bad for Ryan if not worse.

We are going to Huntley Meadows to see the wildlife, even though the beavers have abandoned their dam and moved up the river. Tonight there is a free outdoor production of Comedy of Errors in Gaithersburg at the pavilion outside the town center, but it doesn't start till eight, and our kids have got to get back on a normal sleeping schedule before camp next week, so I think we will probably not go. Ah well.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Poem for Friday

By Billy Collins

I pour a coating of salt on the table
and make a circle in it with my finger.
This is the cycle of life
I say to no one.
This is the wheel of fortune,
the Arctic Circle.
This is the ring of Kerry
and the white rose of Tralee
I say to the ghosts of my family,
the dead fathers,
the aunt who drowned,
my unborn brothers and sisters,
my unborn children.
This is the sun with its glittering spokes
and the bitter moon.
This is the absolute circle of geometry
I say to the crack in the wall,
to the birds who cross the window.
This is the wheel I just invented
to roll through the rest of my life
I say
touching my finger to my tongue.


Wonderful poem nicked a few weeks back from . I felt that I should risk duplication today because no one will be able to click behind the cut and read it, anyway. Is it just me, or does LiveJournal still suck, 24 hours after it was supposed to stop sucking? Reading my friends list, even an extremely whittled-down version, is an impossibility, as I do not have five free hours, so I beg: if you wrote (or read) LOTR, HP, M&C or Trek fic that you know I would want to read in the past 36 hours, please, please leave me a comment and tell me where. I do realize that this is asking a lot, as it may take you five minutes just to leave the comment here, but I would dearly love not to miss it. Also, the next time LJ sucks, please remind me not to post fic, as either no one can read it or no one can comment on it -- maybe the fic just sucks, but even so, I'd expect more people to make pointed comments saying so.

: Happy belated birthday and *hugs*. I wanted to say this in your journal but I couldn't get the comment to post. : After several tries I did manage to load That Interview. Ohhmyguhhh. : I loved Hermione and would have told you so in the entry if I could have! One journal I did manage to read was that of , who provided this wonderful link to Jesus' General who knows the real reason candidate Jack Ryan wanted to have public sex with his wife (Jeri Ryan, aka Seven of Nine, and if one more person e-mails me a link to this scandal in any major paper, I shall quit reporting Trek news in a fit of nausea): it's to demonstrate that he doesn't support the Homosexual Agenda, of course, and more Republicans should stand up for heterosexuality by having public sex, preferably on television! (And definitely don't read the fic till after OOTP. It's spoilers, spoilers and more spoilers.) And in case other people have missed it (and can get it to load), I think it was who led me to this photographic film-based LOTR and HP comparison. Bwahahaha.

Nothing really exciting happened yesterday, anyway. I put together goody bags for my younger son's birthday party today. I took the kids to Target to get the older one pyjamas before a sleepover party at a friend's last night. I watched parts of Gladiator with my children, fast-forwarding through inappropriate violence and language, though I don't think I managed to disguise the fact that 1) Commodus had the hots for his own sister or 2) Maximus killed lots of people in the arena.

Ah well, we have already determined that I am a bad mother because the younger one's birthday party today will involve a bunch of kids of varied backgrounds, ethnicities and nations of origins running around trying to shoot each other with lasers. It has been his fantasy all year to have a birthday party there. Clearly I have done something wrong. My only hope is that my husband and his brothers -- all of whom were allowed to have toy guns as children only after their pacifist parents discovered that they were beating up the neighbor kids to get to play with their toy guns because they had none of their own -- all grew up to be conscientious objectors. My father in law still has the papers.

So I shall be gone all afternoon, preparing for and then celebrating my son's birthday (a month early, since all his friends are always out of town for his actual birthday in July). And I may as well post this on a day when no one will be able to click through anyway...

The Top 100 Movies Of All Time:
Bold those you've seen in the theaters.
Put an asterisk (*) next to those you saw more than once in the theaters.
Italicize the ones you saw on TV/cable/video.

I don't swear that I'm remembering correctly on all of, I might have seen Mrs. Doubtfire and blocked it out. I sort of feel like I did but I'm just not sure. Also, oops: wrong Godzilla.

1. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
*2. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) $1,129,219,252
*3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $968,600,000
*4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $922,379,000
*5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) $921,600,000
6. Jurassic Park (1993) $919,700,000
*7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $866,300,000
*8. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) $860,700,000
9. Finding Nemo (2003) $853,200,000

10. Independence Day (1996) $811,200,000
11. Spider-Man (2002) $806,700,000

*12. Star Wars (1977) $797,900,000
13. Lion King, The (1994) $783,400,000
*14. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $756,700,000
15. Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) $735,600,000

16. Forrest Gump (1994) $679,400,000
17. Sixth Sense, The (1999) $661,500,000

*18. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) $653,200,000
19. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) $648,200,000
20. Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) $614,300,000

21. Passion of the Christ, The (2004) $604,125,697
22. Men in Black (1997) $587,200,000
*23. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) $572,700,000
24. Armageddon (1998) $554,600,000
25. Mission: Impossible II (2000) $545,300,000
26. Home Alone (1990) $533,800,000
*27. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $533,800,000
28. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $528,900,000

29. Ghost (1990) $517,600,000
30. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $516,800,000
31. Aladdin (1992) $501,900,000
*32. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $494,800,000

33. Twister (1996) $494,700,000
*34. Toy Story 2 (1999) $485,700,000
35. Saving Private Ryan (1998) $479,300,000
36. Jaws (1975) $470,600,000
37. Pretty Woman (1990) $463,400,000

38. Bruce Almighty (2003) $458,900,000
39. Matrix, The (1999) $456,300,000
40. Gladiator (2000) $456,200,000

*41. Shrek (2001) $455,100,000
42. Mission: Impossible (1996) $452,500,000
43. Pearl Harbor (2001) $450,400,000
44. Ocean's Eleven (2001) $444,200,000
45. Last Samurai, The (2003) $435,400,000
*46. Tarzan (1999) $435,200,000
47. Men in Black II (2002) $425,600,000
48. Die Another Day (2002) $424,700,000
49. Dances with Wolves (1990) $424,200,000
50. Cast Away (2000) $424,000,000
51. Matrix Revolutions, The (2003) $424,000,000
52. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) $423,200,000
53. Troy (2004) $420,150,000
54. Mummy Returns, The (2001) $418,700,000
55. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) $418,200,000
56. Mummy, The (1999) $413,300,000
57. Batman (1989) $413,200,000
58. Rain Man (1988) $412,800,000

59. Bodyguard, The (1992) $410,900,000
60. Signs (2002) $407,900,000
61. X2 (2003) $406,400,000
62. Day After Tomorrow, The (2004) $396,662,000
63. Gone with the Wind (1939) $390,500,000
64. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) $390,500,000
*65. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $383,900,000
66. Grease (1978) $379,800,000
67. Beauty and the Beast (1991) $378,300,000
68. Ice Age (2002) $378,300,000

69. Godzilla (1998) $375,800,000
*70. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $374,129,000
71. What Women Want (2000) $370,800,000
72. Fugitive, The (1993) $368,700,000
73. Shrek 2 (2004) $367,340,000

74. True Lies (1994) $365,200,000
75. Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) $365,000,000
76. Notting Hill (1999) $363,000,000
77. Jurassic Park III (2001) $362,900,000
78. There's Something About Mary (1998) $360,000,000

79. Planet of the Apes (2001) $358,900,000
80. Flintstones, The (1994) $358,500,000
*81. Toy Story (1995) $358,100,000
*82. Minority Report (2002) $358,000,000
*83. Bug's Life, A (1998) $357,900,000

84. Exorcist, The (1973) $357,500,000
85. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) $356,500,000
86. Basic Instinct (1992) $352,700,000
87. World Is Not Enough, The (1999) $352,000,000
88. GoldenEye (1995) $351,500,000
89. Back to the Future (1985) $350,600,000
90. Se7en (1995) $350,100,000
91. Hannibal (2001) $349,200,000
92. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) $349,200,000
93. Deep Impact (1998) $348,600,000
94. Dinosaur (2000) $347,800,000
*95. Pocahontas (1995) $347,100,000
96. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) $346,600,000
97. Top Gun (1986) $344,800,000
98. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) $340,400,000
99. Catch Me If You Can (2002) $337,400,000

100. American Beauty (1999) $336,000,000

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Poem for Thursday

By David Thewlis

Where, and when, and if,
I die
I desire to revisit this filth
As a fly
and on some squalid afternoon
Fly smack into your bathroom,
Small and black,
And crawl all over
Your naked young back.
I know you imagine I'm a sensitive man,
But I'm afraid that's just
The kind of fly
I am.


Had found a page with Thewlis' poetry on it before POA was out, giggled and forgot about it. Was reminded yesterday. , this is for you and your bunnies.

LJ last night and this morning is a perfect example of why I hate cut tags and would rather skim past the most boring 1000-word account of someone's crush on the milkman or four-paragraph rant about polyester than risk clicking on a tag, unless I truly believe that the meaning of life is behind it. I can load my Friends page fine, images and all. But every time I navigate away to look behind a cut tag, it takes about two full minutes for the page to load and another two full minutes to get back to my Friends page. Hence, after the first few entries, I stopped trying. If the most important thing in your life in the past 24 hours was written up behind a tag, I didn't see it. Sorry.

(who said, "I get that a real, honest-to-god, "cult of niceness" is oppressive, but...some days there's not enough niceness around here to even have a teeny congregation, much less a cult" which is great even if I don't think a cult of niceness is oppressive in the first place, let alone that one exists) linked me to ' "Let The Badfic Live". Exactly. is about anger this week and while I want to write something for it, I don't want to think about anger, so nothing's coming. I wonder if the HP songfic challenge is still going.

My goal for today is to have a better day than yesterday. This should not be all that difficult, so long as I don't read the news, take the children someplace where they can't possibly destroy anything, evade infuriating relatives and get the laundry folded. Tomorrow is my younger son's birthday party (at the laser tag place where I swore they were never attending parties, let alone hosting them, a couple of years ago) and I have to work on stuff for that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Poem for Wednesday

Not Heat Flames up and Consumes
By Walt Whitman

Not heat flames up and consumes,
Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
Not the air, delicious and dry, the air of the ripe summer, bears lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds,
Wafted, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
Not these—O none of these, more than the flames of me, consuming, burning for his love whom I love!
O none, more than I, hurrying in and out:
—Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same;
O nor down-balls, nor perfumes, nor the high, rain-emitting clouds, are borne through the open air,
Any more than my Soul is borne through the open air,
Wafted in all directions, O love, for friendship, for you.


I'm not really sure where yesterday went. The orientation at the middle school seemed to go well; we met up with the family of another child from my son's elementary school who will also be in the magnet program, who's not one of his good friends but who is friendly and an excellent math student, and they hung out together during the orientation tour while I was upstairs in the media center with my very bored (and refusing to be placated by any distraction) younger son and other parents. The principal seems intelligent and competent, the PTA president seems mellow and not at all obsessed with either fundraising or how her hair looks which will be a nice change from the elementary school PTA president. The building seems easier to navigate than the local middle school, which I attended, even though the magnet school is slightly larger.

I hadn't brought my younger son a snack, which was a big mistake as the snack machines are actually programmed not to function until after 2:40 even during the summer, so had to take the kids out for fast food (they were too busy for breakfast at a reasonable breakfast hour, ate some lunch right before we left and then wanted another lunch right afterward). Due to a Happy Meal incident, I am now the proud owner of one of those Step With It thingies. Anyone else here use one (and do the McDonalds versions work as well as the expensive ones)? Do they actually motivate you? I did not take a real walk yesterday, as I had kids at home and articles to write, and I feel like a lox.

My husband got in the mood to watch Time Bandits last evening and got the kids to watch with him. I have started to watch this movie perhaps three times before and have never made it all the way through. Am not sure why this is; I hit a point of utter boredom where The Never-Ending Story starts to look good by comparison. Which is sad, really, given the talent involved in Time Bandits. And as pointed out to me the ending is damn creepy.

This morning I am suffering Death By Alan Rickman, courtesy , via The Alan Rickman Download Haven, which I'd never seen before. There are no words for the squee. Also, , has some lovely pictures of Alan Rickman's hands (in puffy sleeves no less). Guh.

So about that comm with hate and fanfic in the name. There are perhaps 40 links to it on the first two pages of my Friends list right now (that's to -100, default list). I have never clicked on one. I will never click on one. I will not bother to rant about its existence because as far as I am concerned it does not exist, even if I or my friends are getting insulted (I will take people's word for it that this is happening because I am not looking). If people stopped reading it and responding to it, it would go away.

I have ranted several times at length about fandom competition, fandom awards, rec communities, exclusive fannish sites, etc. I loathe them. They disturb me greatly and seem to me to do far more harm than good when it comes to bringing people together in common love for something, spurring resentment which leads to the creation of things like the community not mentioned by name above. That said, I have been a hypocrite for a long time, because after someone nominated one of my stories last year to the Mithril Awards and recommended it to Henneth Annun, I put it on HASA and submitted some more stuff because I was meeting really interesting people there. I still haven't taken any of it down. And this year when the Mithril people wrote to see if it was okay to have another of my stories in the Mithril competition, I said what the hell, since I'd already done it once.

Somehow, despite the vast quantity of absolutely wonderful Tolkien fan fiction available online, this story has made it to the finals. I am both very humbled and very, very embarrassed, as it has been an entirely shitty week for me in fandom on a personal level, and competition seems to spring up even between people who are in theory working together on projects. I had a quarrel with a friend over one of those exclusive communities, which has led to bad blood that has not gone away, and apparently is not going to go away as the issue keeps coming up again and again.

What's the right thing to do -- take the Mithril story out of competition at this late date and pull everything of mine off HASA as I've been saying I should do for a year now? Or stop taking any of this so fucking seriously, and acknowledge that if there can be this much acrimony over fannish bullshit, it probably has more to do with the personalities involved than whatever stupid fannish resentments set off the acrimony in the first place? Maybe some people really are too competitive to enjoy fanfic for its own sake, and maybe I'm one of those people. Am tired of ending up every couple of months thinking I should just leave, cut ties and start over. It sucks.

Am having lunch with -- looks like rain, maybe we can get my kids to watch The Silver Stallion and then we can have our Russell Crowe and eat him too!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Lyrics for Tuesday

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair
By Richard Thompson

Jet plane in a rocking chair
Roller coaster roll nowhere
Deaf and dumb old dancing bear
I'll change this heart of mine
This time, this time

Sea cruise in a diving bell
Run a mile in a wishing well
Soft soap and nothing to sell
I'll change this heart of mine
This time, this time

Here comes the real thing
I've been waiting for so long, for so long
I've been looking for a love like you

Crossed line on a telephone
Crossed eyes and a canny moan
Crossed fingers and head for home
I'll change this heart of mine
This time, this time

Play sick in a feather bed
Act cool when you're stoned and dead
I'm a fool with a size one head
I'll change this heart of mine
This time, this time

Here comes the real thing
I've been waiting for so long, for so long
I've been looking for a love like you

Jet plane in a rocking chair
Roller coaster roll nowhere
Deaf and dumb old dancing bear
I'll change this heart of mine
This time, this time
This time, this time
This time, this time


I was going to post some Whitman but this song has been in my head since Lisa sang it on Sunday. If I made songvids it would have at least five different fandoms attached to it (though I don't have appropriate footage in two cases to go with the lines from books that make me think of the characters). So the Whitman must wait until tomorrow.

Forgot to mention that last night before I put on Gangster No. 1, which fit my mood perfectly at the time, I tried to watch Pride, which did not, but I wanted to make the attempt because the opportunity to hear Sean Bean, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Robbie Coltrane voicing lions in an A&E movie really seemed like something that should not be passed up. We were taping it so that the kids could watch it at a more reasonable hour than 10 p.m., so I knew I would probably be seeing it again at some point and ended up switching away very quickly. Now I am reading from a couple of people that it was pretty rough going. Opinions? Should I watch this with my kids or pretend it never happened?

has posted a round-up of her cicada pictures. I miss the little buggers already and I'm afraid to look forward to their return because it is so much of my life away. Now, gacked from :

Wow, you're a black bird. Blackbirds hold the
gateway between the natural and spiritual
worlds, ever urging us to become more
self-aware. Your melodious song calls to the
twilight and will keep you safe during
difficult changes.

What druid animal are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are boisterous and affectionate. You are the
kind of tree that takes nothing sitting down,
and is always ready for an adventure. You like
to see everything that goes on around you. You
like the warm weather, but you flourish when
the nights tend to grow slightly colder. You
are someone who likes to extend your days into
the night hours because you never want to leave
anything unfinished. You love an audience when
you do things and you like to show off
sometimes, but others admire your attitude. You
fear past mistakes coming back to haunt you,
but try to live day by day. You admire the
strength of others and try to find the same in
yourself. When you leave this word, you want to
make an impression so that you'll never be

What's Your Inner Tree?
brought to you by Quizilla

Shall be out much of the day taking my son to his middle school orientation. Hope everyone's today is better than yesterday!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Poem for June 21

The Philosopher in Florida
By C. Dale Young

Midsummer lies on this town
like a plague: locusts now replaced
by humidity, the bloodied Nile

now an algae-covered rivulet
struggling to find its terminus.
Our choice is a simple one:

to leave or to remain, to render
the Spanish moss a memory
or to pull it from trees, repeatedly.

And this must be what the young
philosopher felt, the pull of a dialectic so basic
the mind refuses, normally,

to take much notice of it.
Outside, beyond a palm-tree fence,
a flock of ibis mounts the air,

our concerns ignored
by their quick white wings.
Feathered flashes reflected in water,

the bending necks of the cattails:
the landscape feels nothing---
it repeats itself with or without us.


The date and the end of cicada season made this poem seem quite relevant today. Happy Litha/Solstice/Midsummer or Midwinter depending on where in the world you live, and enjoy the longest day of the year, those in my hemisphere.

made my morning linking me to 's Save A Puppet - Vote Democrat! "Ernie would marry Bert if he only *wish* you had found love the way they have found love, people." Then, I owe sex or something for this gallery and this additional gallery of great big HP photo shoot pictures, including Oldman's Sirius and Rickman's Snape in utterly drool-worthy form. M&C fans, there's a great one of Lee Ingleby as Stan Shunpike as well.

In news from last night, I watched the King Arthur special on the History Channel, but didn't really learn much from it, which just tells me I have read far, far too many books, both fiction and non-fiction, on the subject. I can always listen to Patrick Stewart, though. I can't run that best Friend meme, however; apparently I have too many Friends. This is probably just as well, as the idea of "best friend" growing up generally led to cliquishness, threats of abandonment and unhappiness. Today I MUST work, as I pretty much did not have a moment to do so all weekend. Also must attempt to stimulate young minds and keep them off GameCube until fencing this evening. I need to thank for being the Very Most Evil Influence a girl could have, and for encouraging all manner of vice and wickedness as well. They are personally responsible for my ridiculous good mood.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Poem for Sunday

The Portrait
By Stanley Kunitz

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shreds
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
still burning.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in this morning's Washington Post Book World, admittedly an odd choice for Father's Day as Kunitz's father committed suicide six weeks before he was born. "The quest for the lost father is one of the driving motifs of Kunitz's work. It gives his poetry an elemental shock, a grounding truth, and takes on archetypal status," writes Hirsch. For instance, this bit from "Father and Son": "'Father,' I cried, 'Return! You know/The way. I'll wipe the mudstains from your clothes;/No trace, I promise, will remain.'" I guess if Hirsch says it's archetypal, it isn't wrong of me to think of both Aragorn and Harry Potter.

"The Portrait" rings all sorts of bells for me, not, thank god, because I relate to the scenario of the poem, but because when I was 15, I went to a summer drama program at Catholic University and the first show we did was a collection of poems and short prose pieces called Memories. By virtue of being the shortest and one of the youngest performers, I got pieces from How To Eat Like A Child and a few poems that were actually from a child or teenager's point of view. But "The Portrait" was read by one of the older students...his name was Ben, he was dating my friend Kate, I suspected he had a crush on me and she told me that when he got drunk at the cast party which was the one time in all of high school when I was well and truly drunk myself, he called her my name. So this kicks me with a great force of nostalgia. (Incidentally, , doing this play was how I met Michele K -- she was the stage manager, and one evening between rehearsals when I was walking back with Kate, we heard her singing and playing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" on the piano, and by the end of the summer we were best friends.)

This fascinated me: one rabbi's brief overview of the issue of fetal reduction in Jewish law. I particularly appreciated the footnotes. I disagree strongly with the politics of most of AISH's Orthodox contributors, but the acceptance of broad debate even on the most controversial topics, rather than attempts to come up with a single statement of Jewish law, pleases me greatly. This one on abortion in Jewish law is interesting too, though the author has a tendency to use the term "Jewish" rather than "traditionally observant Jewish" but at least he acknowledges that there's a lot of room for debate nonetheless.

I've not done this particular quiz before (gacked from ) but I have been told that this is my significator card before, based on my sun sign I think:

I am The Hermit

The Hermit often suggests a need for time alone - a period of reflection when distractions are limited. In times of action and high energy, he stands for the still center that must be created for balance. He can also indicate that withdrawal or retreat is advised for the moment. In addition, the Hermit can represent seeking of all kinds, especially for deeper understanding or the truth of a situation. "Seek, and ye shall find," we have been told, and so the Hermit stands for guidance as well. We can receive help from wise teachers, and, in turn, help others as we progress.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.
Month: Day: Year:

This morning I pass along Death By Sean Bean from . Must stay away from Harry Potter men because is trying to kill me with Gaz. Happy Father's Day: I am having my in-laws here for lunch, then am off with my parents, in-laws and children to an outdoor concert and dinner. We'll see who is speaking to whom today...

Saturday, June 19, 2004


Have gotten too much sun today so forgive any incoherency. Spent the morning at my son's Little League picnic, about which the less said the better; they didn't have his trophy, though they had the trophies of the other eleven kids, he was miserable, his misery made his brother miserable, both kids wanted to do nothing more than sit in the shade and sulk and then the dog stole my younger son's sandwich, which should have been hilarious except he decided to have a meltdown about it...let's just forget that part of the day. Oh, there was one highlight: among the books piled on the kitchen mantle was a copy of Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, and I got into a brief discussion of Patrick O'Brian with my son's baseball coach, which may literally be the only thing we have in common besides disdain for the New York Yankees. I can't help wondering whether my son would have been happier not being one of the weakest players on a division champion team, but being an average player on a mediocre team.

Anyway, after receiving promises that they would find and send us the trophy, we drove down to Alexandria to the annual Red Cross Waterfront Festival, where I managed to hook up with Hufflepants who was volunteering, and we met on the pier by the tall ships -- the Kalmar Nyckel (a reproduction of a ship that brought Swedish immigrants to America in the 1600s), the schooner Sultana and the Gazela (Ghazalah, I thought of you) which was built to transport fishermen to Newfoundland and later starred in Interview with the Vampire -- they have pictures of Brad Pitt aboard. There was also a truck from the Virginia Marine Science Museum with a touch-tank and some little exhibits, including an aquarium with stingrays, plus a marine rescue group and a parrot foundation with animals, and because it was to benefit the Red Cross there were a number of health and safety exhibits for humans and animals.

And to our great delight, a group that's been at the Renaissance fair, the Noble Blades, were performing on the pier right in front of the Kalmar Nyckel. They'd been giving out balloons to kids all afternoon and doing little skits, and right when we came off the tour of the ship, they had started a mock-tournament with a group culled from the audience and given pink balloon swords to fight with. Then they split into factions -- some sort of pirate versus legit sea captain battle, though I'd be hard-pressed to say who were the pirates and who were the authorities -- and at some point one of the guys started singing "Double, double, toil and trouble" and one of the other guys yelled, "No! You said Macbeth!" and the singer objected, "I did not! I said Harry Potter!" ...okay, maybe you had to be there. Anyway it was very funny and they ended by leading the crowd in a rousing sing-along of the theme from The Love Boat which naturally warmed my heart.

From the waterfront we walked to Bilbo Baggins restaurant, where I have not been since I met Jules and her mother there many moons ago. We ate an enormous meal (they don't have a kids' menu so our kids both ordered full dishes and did a creditable job devouring them), and one doesn't go to Bilbo Baggins without getting dessert -- Lord of the Rings, for instance, which consists of alternating layers of white and dark chocolate ganache and mousse. So I am very full and quite content, despite the trophy disaster of this morning which my son fortunately seems to have forgotten about in the wake of dessert. I do have one brief follow-up on my post of this morning: Jason Isaacs in the miniseries A Dangerous Lady! No clips, but kissing pics, which is a good start.

The Kalmar Nyckel, Sultana and Gazela docked at Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria.

One of the parrots with the ships in the background.

The Kalmar Nyckel from the Sultana.

Again, Kalmar Nyckel from Sultana......and Sultana from Gazela.

A Kalmar Nyckel watchdog.

Men with swords, some bigger than others.

A spotted stingray from the Virginia Marine Science Museum.

One of the murals in the upstairs dining room at Bilbo Baggins.