Saturday, March 31, 2007

Greetings from Bath

Saturday we got up, left Catford after a brief visit to the aviary in the courtyard of the place where we were staying, and drove through lovely, occasionally sheep-filled countryside to Bath. We went first to have lunch Seafoods Fish & Chips, reputed to have excellent cod, which reputation it happily deserves. Then we went to the Jane Austen Centre, which was very interesting even though Jane Austen has never been one of my favorites (don't fret, , I got you a souvenir). We had a very dynamic guide -- even the kids were attentive during the talk on her life -- and there was an exhibit of clothing and costume of the era with exhibitions on her life and the costumes of the new ITV Persuasion. There was also an entire room on Austen, Bath and the Royal Navy with particular emphasis on Nelson that I'm sure would have warmed Patrick O'Brian's heart.

We walked around Bath quite a bit, going to the Circus (a Georgian architectural circle, not a performing show), the Royal Crescent, a Georgian garden and Bath Abbey. We went last to the Roman Baths themselves, since we had visited them in 2003 and figured that if we ran out of time, that was the thing we could most easily miss, but it was still early enough to take the audio tour (which has been expanded since we were last there) and taste the water (much too warm and metallic for my taste but hopefully it has cured all my ills). There was a duck swimming in the central pool, which pleased younger son greatly until he started to worry that maybe it was ill because it seemed to have an injured wing, but one of the people who worked at the baths assured him that ducks come there often to enjoy the warm water. Some of the sections that were being repaired last time we visited were more visible, like the hypocaust, and we had a clear, sunny sky which provided much prettier views of the Abbey and surrounding architecture than the dreary drizzle we had four years ago.

After a stop at a Tesco for dinner necessities, we drove to the cottage where we planned to stay the week, where we nearly had a small disaster by getting a flat tire as we were parking, then discovering that the wrench that came with the spare didn't fit some of the bolts on the wheel. (We met most of our neighbors and spent many dollars calling rental car agencies, repair shops, etc. before tracking down another wrench and getting that solved.) While fixed the wheel, the rest of us watched the first episode of Doctor Who series three, which was ever so much better than I had dared to hope...I had not much liked Martha in the previews, mostly because she wasn't Rose, but in some ways she's a better match for the Doctor -- older and more sure of who she is from the start, and quite certain that she knows things he does not, with some of the same kind of sass Rose had. We discovered that the chocolate Daleks are in fact not very Dalek-shaped, which makes them easier to break and eat (the boxes do the actual talking and are collapsible so we can bring those home). Then we discovered Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World on some cable channel and this made my night!

The Abbey from the street leading to the baths on the right.

And from within Aquae Sulis, rising above the upper walls.

The duck in the water earned much attention from tourists.

Daniel, Adam and a Roman statue.

The hot spring flowing through the underground chambers.

The boys by the water.

Sadly, we did not see this live in Bath, as we did not visit the new Thermae spa and the Roman version has no half-naked men except in recreations.

The boys in front of the Royal Crescent.

The Circus, so called because four identical buildings form a circle around the central road and park.

Daniel and Adam outside the Jane Austen Centre.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Greetings from London

On Friday we took the train from Catford to the Docklands Museum, which is terrific...a history of London via the Thames, including a full reproduction of "Sailortown" in the 1800s with a model pub, animal emporium and nautical equipment. The museum traces the history of London from the Romans to the present, and as an extra surprise there was a replica of the Discovery -- one of the ships that founded the colony at Jamestown -- docked just outside, along with a couple of other historic ships. We met one of 's friends for lunch at Leadenhall Market (walking by way of the Tower and the old Roman wall), where we had sandwiches under cover since it was drizzling. We had planned to go from there to tour the Golden Hind, but it started raining in earnest, so we went instead to St. Paul's, which was in the midst of major renovations when we visited four years ago. This time we could see the tribute to US military personnel who died during World War II and the magnificent tiled ceiling.

From St. Paul's we went to Westminster, where we saw Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament on the way to the Horse Guards, Whitehall, Nelson's Column and the Admiralty Arch. We had plans to meet Vera at the National Gallery, which we visited only very briefly so I can say nothing intelligent about the artwork (and younger son would say that the best part were the pigeons that would land on people's arms if they held out food). We walked to Chinatown, where we had dinner at a buffet with very good lemon chicken, and Vera brought us organic chocolate Daleks from Marks & Spencer's that say "EXTERMINATE!" if you press on the boxes (this proved to be hilarious, as every time one of us bumped into a bag, we would hear, "EXTERMINATE!" and all crack up). We were going to go to Forbidden Planet to get Doctor Who action figures, but the store was just closing as we arrived, having shut the doors early because Neil Gaiman was there and a mob had gathered outside trying to get a look at him. Woe!

Vera had brought us tickets for Spamalot, which we saw in the evening after looking in vain for a non-mobbed coffeehouse to sit for half an hour. We were all very familiar with the score and with all the Monty Python movies it is based on, but we didn't know for instance that "The Song That Goes Like This" was performed as a Phantom of the Opera parody, nor that the audience always sings along on "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." We had an immensely good time, and also had entertaining people in neighboring seats at the theatre who turned out to be Doctor Who fans and were fortunately amused when they stepped past us to sit down and our bag said "EXTERMINATE!" to them. I'm sure I'm forgetting a dozen small things, like stopping in Boots to get Cadbury Creme Eggs. Here's just a handful of photos, I'm too tired to deal with the rest now!

Paul, Daniel and Adam at the replica Discovery at the Docklands Museum. We have seen a replica of her fellow traveler the Godspeed in Alexandria and Baltimore.

Looking into Leadenhall Market from the back entrance.

Daniel and Adam with a ceremonial guard at the Horse Guards.

The back of the Horse Guards from St. James's Park.

The Old Admiralty Offices from the Horse Guards.

Nelson's column. As you can see, it was very overcast.

The front of the National Gallery.

Adam in his element, feeding the pigeons.

Spamalot at the Palace Theatre.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Greetings from England

I expect to be too tired for poems on this trip, sorry! (I expect to be too tired lots of days to answer comments too, sorry again!) Our flight from Dulles to Heathrow felt very fast. Younger son and I watched Happy Feet -- I specifically wanted to watch something I had seen before in case I fell asleep, and even though they were showing Bobby, I would rather rent that and see it uncut -- while older son and were watching Casino Royale once United got the tape straightened out. They fed us near midnight, though none of us ate very much. I fell asleep immediately after this and slept till they started bringing breakfast around three hours later, just what we didn't need. By then the sun was up and for the first time, flying in, I had a clear view of the Irish coast. It remained clear all the way over Wales and finally clouded over as we approached London.

Customs moved quickly and the luggage was out by the time we got through, so we picked up our rental car and drove to Hampton Court Palace -- Thomas Wolsey's residence that Henry VIII decided he liked so much, he snatched it from him, moving his second and third queens in (Edward VI was born there and Jane Seymour died there). The conference that produced the King James Bible took place there, too. It's been open to the public since Queen Victoria's reign and Henry VIII's tapestries are back on display after a fire in the 1980s inspired major restoration. There are days' worth of gardens to explore and art to see, but we only spent a few hours before we were all too tired from the flight to keep walking much longer. It had been drizzly when we arrived, but the sun came out by afternoon.

So we drove to the rental apartments in Catford where we stayed in 2003, dropped off our luggage and walked to Tesco to buy essentials (tea, Aero bars, salt and vinegar crisps...oh, and chicken korma and tandoori and things like that). Then took the kids swimming in the Roman bath-decorated indoor swimming pool while I recharged our various electronics, took the photos off the SD card and called my friend with whom we are going to dinner and the theatre Friday night. We ate the aforementioned Indian food and are now watching a bit of the Elton John birthday concert on TV and before collapsing so we can get up and do lots of things in London tomorrow.

One of the Hampton Court Palace fountains in the gardens.

Spring has clearly come to palace.

Through the arch beneath Anne Boleyn's Gateway.

Zodiac clock.

The front of the palace from the entranceway.

Beneath the lions' gate.

A view of the Thames.

The Catford Commons cat.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Poem for Thursday

Now Voyager
By Bruce Williams

Now voyager, lay here your dazzled head.
Come back to earth from air, be nourish-ed,
Not with that light on light, but with this bread.

Here close to earth be cherished, mortal heart,
Hold your way deep as roots push rocks apart
To bring that spurt of green up from the dark.

Where music thundered, let the mind be still,
Where the will triumphed, let there be no will,
What light revealed now let the dark fulfill.

Here close to earth the deeper pulse is stirred,
Here where no wings rush and no sudden bird,
But only heartbeat upon beat is heard.

Here let the fiery burden all be spilled,
The passionate voice be calmed and stilled,
And the long yearning of the blood fulfilled.

Now voyager, come home, come home to rest,
Here on that long-lost country of earth's breast
Lay down the fiery vision and be blest, be blest.


I've posted this poem twice before: when I left for England in 2003 and 2005. So it's a tradition now. *g* (, you may stop laughing at me any time!)

My day so far has consisted of laundries so doesn't arrive to dirty towels, plus packing and making sure various electronic equipment is well-protected. My mother has driven us to Dulles, and in a little while we are off!

Glastonbury Tor, which I was trying to draw for the drawing analysis meme. I hope to be there in a few days and this time we're getting to the Chalice Well before it closes!

Poem for Wednesday

For Cavafy
By Bruce Williams

The poems are sad and short: love half-remembered,
history--beautiful, closed and Greek.
But what I like best
is the blank three-quarters page,
white as a statue's marble eyes--

a space to write or cry.


The kids had no school Tuesday so the teachers could do report cards, which made things only slightly more hectic than they would have been anyway. I took them to Circuit City to get Happy Feet because of course we had to get that the day it was released (in fairness, partly so younger son would watch it and not need to stay up all night on the plane to Heathrow watching older son must be convinced not to stay up all night watching Casino Royale and we'll be doing well). We also had to stop at Build-a-Bear to get stuffed Mumble a new hat and shirt. And I bought underwear, having concluded that I should probably throw out the really icky underwear before traveling with it.

The plane we will be flying across the Atlantic won't bear much resemblance to this one, which I think is the prettiest in the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center. There is a virtual tour of the model here.

This is Pan Am's Boeing S-307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud, the last of its kind, fully restored to flying condition. A civilian plane when she launched in 1940, she was mobilized as a transport during World War II.

Here is a rear view of the Flying Cloud, with the Pou du Ciel Crosley Flea beside her. Designed to be an aircraft that anyone could build and fly himself, this was the first built and flown in the US, here restored with a wooden model of her original engine.

And because I think it's pretty, here is a gratuitous photo of the walkway from the parking lot to the museum, which vaguely resembles a runway. I have posted photos of some of my other favorite items from the museum here, here and here.

What percentage of British electrical outlets are the round two-prong as opposed to the rectangular three-prong? How do I know which kind of plug I need for what? We're taking the red-eye Wednesday night so I ought to be around till tomorrow afternoon, if anyone desperately needs to talk to me. (I know I was discussing with someone in Birmingham possibly hooking up when I was over there, and now I can't find the exchange of comments even though I was sure I had put it in memories...if that was you and you still want to see about maybe meeting up, perhaps at the Dudley Zoo, let me know!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poem for Tuesday

Ballad of the Gasfitter 1
By Gerrit Achterberg
Translated by J.M. Coetzee

You must have made your entry from the rear.
To each house in the row I turn my glance
and in each curtained window catch a glimpse
of You, as out of nothing You appear.

As I move past You seem to slip away.
Yet I am not mistaken, vide the next frame.
One Jansen lives there with his family--
as if You could escape under that name.

The ruse won't work. A door remains a door,
each with its steps, its mailbox, and its bell.
The apple hawker lures you with his call.
A master key is easy to procure.
Indeed I can quite freely step inside
as (at your service) gasfitter by trade.


A final sequel to Sunday's post, the first sonnet in Achterberg's "The Gasfitter" sequence, which Robert Pinsky did not quote in Poet's Choice but I managed to track down.

Am starting to be crazed with trip preparations, so will keep this short. Had lunch with , did a bit of shopping, picked up another power converter. Wrote brief articles on Mulgrew's rave reviews in Our Leading Lady and Shatner's fretting about appraching 80, though he is hopeful that if ABC gave Boston Legal a fourth season, they'll give it a fifth as well for the sake of syndication rights, and I am hopeful too. Installed ActiveSync 4.5, then had to fight to make my phone realize it was the same computer as before, and copied files onto my portable drive to bring along.

The bushes in front of our house have flowers...and bees.

Rosie sat all morning on the back of the couch watching them.

They did a lot of buzzing and flying right by the window, as if to taunt her.

Cinnamon, meanwhile, had other problems.

Stephen put in an appearance in a nearby tree, and I wouldn't let the cat out to chase him.

Folded laundry while watching The Mists of Avalon, which despite being 1) a terrible adaptation of the book, 2) heterosexist in comparison to the book, 3) filmed in the Czech Republic rather than Britain, 4) too long at the start, too condensed at the end, and 5) miscast in several key roles, it also has 1) Anjelica Huston, 2) Joan Allen, 3) Julianna Margulies, 4) Freddie Highmore, which I had forgotten all about, and 5) Loreena McKennitt. And, I mean, it's got the Lady of the Lake, Excalibur and all that, even if it's not any version of mine (or much of Marion Zimmer Bradley's) and the real Glastonbury is more beautiful than the fake one in the film. Speaking of Glastonbury, gacked from a whole bunch of people, the drawing analysis meme. Obviously I can't draw to save my life. This was supposed to be the Tor and the ruins of the abbey...

drawing personality

What does your drawing say about YOU?

Kids have no school tomorrow so must go get rest. Happy Feet comes out on DVD, after all!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Poem for Monday

Ballad of the Gasfitter 9
By Gerrit Achterberg
Translated by J.M. Coetzee

The higher I ascend, the wider space
yawns between You and me. Life seems to be
enclosed in steel and nickel. Every
last rivet of this structure is in place.

There is no gas here. God is the hole, and pours
out his depths upon me to reveal
to a presumptuous fitter how much more
exalted he becomes with every floor.

Beneath me storey after storey falls.
I don't know where I should begin, or what.
Perhaps a final word will spring to mind
if I ask him what was the first cause.
A shock runs through my frame. I must get out.
I give it over. Be it as he finds.


Sequel to yesterday's post, the ninth sonnet in Achterberg's "The Gasfitter" sequence, from Robert Pinsky's Poet's Choice column in Sunday's The Washington Post Book World. "In art, as in life, we desire something between the familiar and the unfamiliar. If the person or party, poem or movie is completely predictable, it is repellent, boring," observes Pinsky. "At the other extreme, if there's absolutely nothing recognizable, that too is repellent, boring in another way. We want that tension or uncertainty or balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar." In this sonnet cycle, "the secret life of the gasfitter suggests the poem's maker, laboriously fitting words and sentences into a pattern befitting turbulent feelings and metaphysical dilemmas...these poems suggest the power of the half-known."

I spent most of Sunday being spiritual, first at younger son's Hebrew school where they were having a Life Cycles exploration including a mock Bar Mitzvah and a mock wedding, then celebrating Ostara at 's house with and a few others...a very small group, which I found really delightful as they were all people close to my own age whom I really like. Sometimes there is a big gang of young people I mostly don't know, for which I was much less in the mood after the overdressed crowd at the Hebrew school, where there were a number of parents I have known since our kids were very young and it was nice to see some of them, but there was also a big mob scene and near-total repetition of material from when older son did this program, and I have constant issues with the size and glossy packaging of the synagogue.

So I was really happy to be among friends for a relatively small spiritual gathering. made us wonderful veggie soup and deviled eggs, and her house always has candles and candy and lots of good things so it is a delight to go there. And she gave me my gorgeous birthday present -- a handmade wood-and-glass oil lamp -- and brought me Valentine's Day chocolates, and I forgot to give her her card, and I forgot to bring either her card or her birthday present though I did remember the David Tennant Casanova which hopefully will tide her over since we're all running late for everything anyway!

Younger son played the father of the bride in the mock wedding.

After walking his "daughter" down the aisle following the chuppah, he instructed her -- in a loud, stern voice -- to be a good wife. Everyone cracked up.

The rabbi had to help the "groom" get the ring on the finger of the "bride."

However, the blessing, sung by the cantor, went well.

As did the breaking of the glass.

And then everyone danced around the room.

I spent the evening watching Rome, and then, proving that I have no willpower (and also that I wanted to see an "I alone pushed the captain!" moment from Jamie Bamber, and was not disappointed in that single regard, having been spoiled for pretty much everything else which was the reason I thought I could tolerate watching. Rome was impossible to spoil in some regards (if I say "asp" am I going to have a Trojan Horse "You ruined Troy!" moment?), but even the expected scenes managed to be moving, and I liked the ending though I can't say I loved it.

This whole season has been so painfully rushed and compressed that it's hard for me to feel much for any of the characters. Even the ones we knew well last season change without our seeing the changes: we don't actually see Antony and Cleopatra fall in love, for instance, just all of a sudden she's not only his lover but has him wearing kohl and calling Egypt home, until he decides he wants to die as a Roman. I don't mind not getting resolution to many of the minor stories -- Vorena's, Timon's, Agrippa's, even Octavia's -- there was no time to cover everything, but even in compacting it down to Rome a la Vorenus and Pullo, they have so many emotional shifts that we never see. One week Pullo adores his wife, then she's dead and he's with her killer, then he finds out his current lover killed his wife and murders her, then he's back to his old self looking for the son he never worried about or even appeared to think about till he realized Octavian meant to kill him, then bringing Vorenus back to Rome to watch him's so much whiplash while Pullo pops back to being his usual smiling self.

I like the metaphoric humor at the start, Antony lost at sea, even though he knows exactly where he is. (He looks a hell of a lot better without the eyeliner.) And Pullo saying to tell Vorenus that Vorenus' children are well and Pullo hopes his own child as well, calling it a private fact that's a private joke for the audience, since we are the only ones privy to the scene who know who Caesarion's real father is. There's an orgy going on at Cleopatra's palace, apparently the Egyptian way to eat, drink and be merry, and the great love between Antony and Cleopatra ends with her betraying him to save herself and their children...frustrating because surely she knows that if she asked him to fall on his sword for herself and their children, he would have done so without her needing to resort to the deception of suicide. The dragged-out scenes where Antony practices for a battle with Octavian that never happens are also frustrating, because although any excuse to see James Purefoy shirtless works for me under most circumstances, it's a waste of time here where we could see actual character development, particularly of the women who are all mostly swept under the rug.

Instead we get male bonding: first Vorenus talking to Antony about the afterlife and then helping him kill himself in the most painfully intimate scene of the whole episode, then Pullo and Vorenus rekindling the friendship they once had and protecting one another's children, while through it all Octavian surrounds himself with his coterie of yes-men who keep their personal agendas quiet when he's around. Cleopatra finally has a strong moment facing him in public, and she's quietly admirable in her choice of death, but she's been a decadent fluff character for so long that it's not only too little, too late but almost intrusive on the storylines I really want to see resolved.

And we're led to believe her arrogance is why Caesarion has such a big mouth and triggers the fight that gets Vorenus mortally wounded...just another version of Atia and Servilia, the mothers whose principal power is to warp their sons. There's ultimately some nice bonding moments between Pullo and Vorenus and Pullo and Caesarion/Aeneas, who learns to appreciate his real father's cleverness before he knows he's his father. Livia keeps bragging about her clever husband, and Octavian seems very sure that he's quite a clever boy, better than Mummy ever expected, but he misses so many major things right under his nose from Cleopatra's plan to kill herself to Pullo's sneaking Caesarion away that one wonders how he was the dictator of Rome for over 40 years. contrived, predictable and hyper-written that if it did not have a cast of exceptional actors, I would be boggled that it's still on the air. The post-Caprican judicial structure is supposed to resemble ours -- that's necessary to make us relate to their system of justice, so we accept the verdict and how it's decided, until they decide to revisit it (when Roslin fires all the judges and appoints her cronies, wait, that would be too direct a critical comment on US conservatives). Yet we have whacked-out stuff like a demand that a son testify against his own father, by a lawyer on his own side. Of COURSE she was coming back and of course they do not plan to tell us who is actually or is actually not a Cylon till next season, though I am far beyond caring.

And I won't even start on the Miracle Interspatial Time-Traveling Bob Dylan. I know I saw a movie long ago where androids could be identified by how they responded to a certain strain of music, I think it was Beethoven. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the movie was. But it wouldn't have bothered me to see a similar storyline in typical MooreRon ripoff if it wasn't for the Miracle Interspatial Time-Traveling Bob Dylan! Who is surely going to turn out to be a Cylon himself! Sheesh.

Afterward we put on The Dresden Files because Claudia Black was playing a guest character, and I love the fact that we could miss three weeks and still follow the show fine, and I love the sense of humor. I don't watch that show very deeply, just enjoy the performances and plot quirks for what they are. Oh, and I got home from Ostara in time to watch Georgetown beat UNC in overtime! So all in all a good day.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Poem for Sunday

Ballad of the Gasfitter 2
By Gerrit Achterberg
Translated by J.M. Coetzee

At your address, by daylight, on the job
disguised in workman's clothing, I wheel round
and behold You standing there. Walls turn to ground,
ceiling slowly becomes a marble slab.

We fade to each other in murky light.
The room is saturated, won't hold more.
This can't go on. I turn the screws down tight.
As long as I devote myself to this chore

we can proceed as we are, incognito --
as long as I stay busy, bend or kneel
or lie flat on my belly trying to feel
what's wrong; thinking to myself, It's better so .
Dead silence by a hammer blow dispelled.
Death hush by which the hammer blows are healed.


From Robert Pinsky's Poet's Choice column in The Washington Post Book World, the second poem in Achterberg's sonnet sequence "The Gasfitter" which "involves an eerie borderland between the ordinary and the obsessive," writes Pinsky. "Part naturalistic story, part allegory, the sequence tells of the fitter's hopeless, consuming love for a mysteriously unattainable 'You.' As in horror narratives, the disguise of a familiar surface makes underlying obsession more terrible and disorienting." The original lines in Dutch appear facing Coetzee's English translations in Landscape with Rowers: Poetry from the Netherlands, so that the reader "can see that the word 'fitter' looks identical in the two languages. 'Fitter' suggests 'maker,' the Greek root of our word 'poet.'"

It was my husband's birthday, so we spent the day with his parents. Our original plan was to go downtown to various museums, but we had forgotten that the DC marathon was Saturday morning and traffic was expected to be disastrous, so instead we went out to lunch at the Corner Bakery and then went to the National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, which they had never visited. It wasn't quite as colorful as the last time we were there (Halloween), as the guards weren't dressed as stormtroopers, but the crowds were much smaller and we spent more time looking at the early aircraft and World War I exhibits than we had previously. My father-in-law wasn't feeling terrific -- his pacemaker has been giving him trouble -- and my mother-in-law was somewhat subdued because they are leaving Sunday morning to go to her brother's funeral, but we had a nice afternoon with them chatting about how much money is wasted on war technology instead of technology for the betterment of humankind and things like that.

Boeing-Stearman N2S-5 Kaydet, built in Wichita, Kansas, used in World War II Army and Navy training for US military.

The French SPAD XVI, introduced in January 1918, so named because it was built by the Societe Anonyme Pour l'Aviation et ses Derives.

Germany's Halberstadt CL.IV, which the museum called one of the best ground attack aircraft of World War I. This one was captured and transferred from the US Air Force Museum.

My son's favorite aircraft name: Focke-Achgelis Fa 330A, a rotary-wing kite used in the 1940s by German submarines to locate enemy targets in the Indian Ocean.

The SR-71 Blackbird Stealth, built by Lockheed, a Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft retired in 1998. It was never invisible on radar but it was able to outfly anything fired at it. You can see the shuttle Enterprise in the hangar behind it.

And a non-warplane, the Fowler-Gage Biplane, flown ocean to ocean across Panama by Robert G. Fowler in 1913.

When we got back to Maryland from Virginia, we stopped at Borders because I wanted to pick up Out of Egypt (had it on reserve and had a coupon only good through Sunday), as I intend to read everything Andre Aciman ever wrote and although I can get False Papers for fourteen cents plus postage from a used dealer, it won't arrive before we leave on Wednesday. Then we went to Tara Thai, where we tore through five main dishes plus soup, and then came home for birthday cake. So I am quite contentedly stuffed, though I feel weird talking about how much pleasure I get from food right now because I just got a snide comment from a non-LJ friend about how I should work out more and maybe I won't get headaches. Another is lecturing me on how narrow-minded I am not to want to pay $10 to see 300, yet another is giving me tsuris about fannish other people ever have days when they think they must be really fucked up if even their friends have so many issues with them? I would have had a pretty nice day without this in spite of the fact that my in-laws are grieving.

My father is doing really well in his office NCAA pool and Kansas losing helps, since he picked Ohio State. I am now reluctantly rooting for Georgetown to beat NC. Was thinking of The Prestige when I read "Why Not Just Hold a Seance?", an article about how a bunch of not-terribly-successful Houdini authors got one of his relatives to go along with a plan to exhume his body to see whether he was murdered rather than dying after unsuccessful treatment for a burst appendix after being punched in a stunt gone wrong. It was his rival, Angier! Have just watched Daniel Radcliffe on Jonathan Ross courtesy The Leaky Cauldron and am howling both at Dan explaining how many people have criticized his sexual technique while Ross protests that he's too young and at Ross' "Go see Equus if you want to see great theatre or you just want to see Harry Potter's cock!"