Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Poem for Wednesday

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!


I promised to dig that out after the last episode of Brotherhood, so here it is, in honor of Jason Isaacs, even though it was Jason Clarke who recited it. As it turns out, I don't think I have posted it here before -- I guess I figured lots of other people had to read it by middle school, like me and like Tommy Caffee!

I got my wish from yesterday so I am crampy and tired and the murderous heat index doesn't help matters. My kids once again were inside from 11 a.m. on, so got somewhat less runaround time than is ideal in a sports camp (though younger son once again played basketball indoors for most of the day). And for the second day in a row my lunch date wasn't feeling well, so I was lonely but at least I did not overeat! Instead I watched part of my reviewing project for tomorrow, Star Trek Fan Collective - Klingon, which Paramount graciously sent me for critical analysis, and wrote articles on such exciting topics as Rod Roddenberry's latest money-making venture off fans and Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn's skepticism about the idea of J.J. Abrams reinventing the Star Trek franchise with a prequel instead of looking forward.

And since I was in full Trek mode, I watched "Spock's Brain" early. We had intended to watch the McKellen-Dench Macbeth with the kids in preparation for seeing Macbeth on stage this weekend because they are always far more attentive to Shakespeare when they know the story without struggling with the language, but younger son wanted to Purrfect Predators about wild cats on Animal Planet at 9, so we did that instead. I must admit that considering how agonizingly awful "Spock's Brain" is, it's really quite entertaining in a hideous sort of way; Kirk only has eyes for zombie!Spock, not any of the bimbos in tinfoil, and with such lines as, "Brain and brain! What is brain?" and McCoy's trembly lip when Spock has to talk him through surgery while McCoy tests his connections (there were rude comments coming from all quarters of my household about which body parts McCoy should test next), it's hard not to have a good time.

made younger son happy by pointing us to CNN's Brazil's military to airlift penguins back home, which we then discovered at BBC News with a picture, and then we also discovered penguins waddle back to sea after oil slick clean-up on a Google search for more pictures. So it was a great penguin news day! And some days that's about the best one can hope for.

There are no penguins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

There are puffins, however, their North Atlantic cousins.

Unfortunately they are behind heavy, foggy glass, so the photos are not the greatest!

And in the wake of all the post-Lumos confessionals, I might as well confess: I am really not terribly interesting or different in person than I am here, besides being louder and cruder yet conversely not really a group person. I have not constructed a persona, though there are things I don't feel it necessary to talk about here (these days including all Middle Eastern politics and Jewish identity issues, immediate family Bar Mitzvah-related stress and anything having to do with money, among others). If we are friendly here, it is almost certain that we would get along in real life, and if you have treated me like snot here, it is likely I will avoid you even if other people claim you are much nicer in person. So, yeah, I am really this unglamorous, sorry!

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