Friday, November 30, 2007

Poem for Friday

By W.S. Di Piero

We loiter in the cobblestone alley,
Beans, Clams, Yom-Yom and me,
smoking punk. Snip the wiry stem,
trim the nubby end, scratch fire
from a zipper then pass the stink around.
William Penn designed these blocks
squared off, brick, crosshatched by alleys
to prevent the spread of fire. So fire
runs down my throat, reed
turning to iron inside my lungs.

Yom-Yom has an uncle in Bucks County.
Country boys sneak behind barns and puff
on cedar bark. Smoke's the only thing
we have in common. Smoke when our breath
meets cold moist air, though no smoke rings
in winter, while sullen cars drag gray on gray
down city streets or country roads.
Someday I'll smoke Camels, my father's brand,
then Gauloises to prove I'm stronger than him
in burning whatever's inside that won't sleep.


It was an all morning project but all my holiday cards are in the mail as of Friday! In other news, I worked on css for -- I think I am getting somewhere slowly, though I am still relying on templates to tell me what I'm doing, rather than trying to write it from scratch as I tend to do with html. Many thanks everyone who gave me links! And I folded four loads of laundry while watching The Sixth Sense which was available On Demand through tonight, and I haven't seen it in years and had forgotten how good that movie many ways better, I think, when you know the twist and can watch to see how the illusion is constructed. But I am a total failure at getting rid of crap in my house. I was taking stock of my Barbies to see which I could put up for auction, and I discovered that I don't have the full set of American Stories Barbies -- I don't have the Civil War nurse or either of the Native American Barbies, and I didn't have the second Pioneer Barbie until eBay today (c'mon, $4.99 plus shipping, who could resist). So my cleanup efforts have netted more Barbies in the house rather than less thus far. Sigh.

A colorful Japanese Maple outside the Bird House at the National Zoo.

The zoo was in the process of setting up for ZooLights...

...a first-time event for the zoo, using environmentally friendly lights that use 90 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs.

Some of the permanent statues had been dressed up, too.

But as of last weekned, the natural color and light were still pretty spectacular on their own.

We had dinner Thursday night with my parents because they won't be around for Shabbat dinner on Friday. Then we came home and discovered that the documentary on JMW Turner narrated by Jeremy Irons that we saw a couple of weekends ago at the National Gallery of Art was on our local PBS station, so we all watched that, then the Animal Planet Big Cats show. Now there's some Eric Clapton special on. And -- this will come as news to no one -- LiveJournal has yet more idiotic, ill-thought out policies now in place! (We can still say "idiotic" without being flagged for inappropriate content, can't we?) I am tempted to draw a comparison with religious leaders who would rather accuse and punish people for alleged conspiracies to blaspheme than engage in actual dialogue toward understanding, but someone might report that as hate speech.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poem for Thursday

By Alicia Suskin Ostriker

I am not lyric any more
I will not play the harp
for your pleasure

I will not make a joyful
noise to you, neither
will I lament

for I know you drink
lamentation, too,
like wine

so I dully repeat
you hurt me
I hate you

I pull my eyes away from the hills
I will not kill for you
I will never love you again

unless you ask me


I wish I had something exciting to report but I feel like this is a very boring time of year. Don't get me wrong, a fun time of year anticipating stuff, though for me it's a bit melancholy since I keep getting reminders that I am getting old and I don't just mean because my children tell me so regularly. *g* Daniel decided I could have the really soft warm microfiber animal print throw my mother got him months ago that he had never even taken out of the package, so I am sitting very comfortably under it in my new chenille sweater on sale at Sears for under $20 -- I love chenille and microfiber, and velvet and velour and all the soft snuggly things this time of year. And I love the bourbon chicken in the mall food court, and I had that for lunch since I was out shopping for presents and returning stuff. Am working on framesets for's photo pages...right now they're in html, next up is learning css for that!

The rest of my squee for the day is stuff like the baby bottlenose dolphin at the National Aquarium and the fact that I can keep watching the Alan Rickman clip from Sweeney Todd over and over, even though I am wildly ambivalent about that movie...absolutely adore the casting but then I am terrified about the music, having grown up with the Lansbury-Cariou Broadway album in the days when albums were vinyl, and does Alan remind me a bit too much of Snape swooping around and will that affect Snape for me in the movies and I am overthinking this! Evening television was the Shrek Christmas special, which was cute enough but why must ogres celebrate Christmas as opposed to some ogre-specific solstice holiday that would have made me much happier while conveying the same message about togetherness and blah blah blah? Anyway, in Donkey's honor:

Little donkeys in the kids' farm area of the National Zoo. Shrek made me think of this...the donkey rolling around in the dirt!

Here are the four donkeys, George, Pat, Giuseppe and Flash. They are gelded male miniature Mediterranean donkeys.

The cows, a Holstein and a Hereford.

And goats Ethel and Lucy.

After Shrek we watched the Grinch because it was on, and then Pushing Daisies. I'm sure it was the fault of the Christmas specials, but I was thinking about the dead fruit and the pies and the loaves and the fishes, and "Morning Has Broken" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and Ned's pacifism and Chuck as Christ figure, and lots of other potentially cracked theological analysis which I threw aside when I couldn't fit the sex doll into the equation. When did sex dolls become so mainstream? Between Boston Legal and Lars and the Real Girl and this, I'm starting to feel uncool because I've actually never seen a sex doll live.

Spoilers: As usual I can't pick a single favorite moment visually -- Olive spinning her sadness into anger as the room spins around, and then the dream sequence of being spun around by the man she dismissed? The interior of the Willy Wonka On Acid candy store? I loved the development of the theme of relative truth, which starts out nutty -- Charlotte insisting that if the sex doll is alive for Burly Bruce, that's his truth, even though he's a psychopathic murderer ("The truth could knock all it wanted, but Burly Bruce would not open the door, and maybe that was for the best") -- and ends up really sad, with Ned unable to keep from telling Charlotte that he killed her father because it's something he can give her, since he can't touch her, even though he's already rationalized the lie of omission ("Being locked in prison was worse than a metaphor about truth.") Confession as crime of passion, according to the narrator...when we're all expecting "I love you"!

And they completely had me going with Molly Shannon's mittens -- I was so sure she killed her brother for some reason we would find out later, like not being competitive enough. The ending was a bit silly with such an outsider be responsible, and not really in keeping with the bitterness theme since everything else was so personal ("Bitter much?") but who cares when it's so witty and stylish, "A girl could get a cavity standing next to you," "It's the Lord of the Pies," "Don't go over to the dark side," and the fake Fish Called Wanda stutter and The Birds and The Pie Ho and Olive's analysis that if people you liked had to like you back, we'd be living in a different universe "and then something else would probably suck." I am going to be so sad when the long hiatus starts and this show had better come back!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Poem for Wednesday

By Hiroaki Sato

Seagulls, the rare birds
that have bucked the tides
of man's advance
and increased spectacularly
in the past two hundred years

fly from right to left
like leaflets
dropped into a gentle wind.
There are many of them,
apparently disturbed.

As I turned into 22nd
more of them appear and keep appearing
above the uptown-side rooftops
near Ninth
and cover the whole block,

moving southeast. Evening
clouds, generous melons of summer
rise to the west.
An airplane enters the scene.
It is the size of a seagull.


It's been a frustrating media day since the power went out unexpectedly just around midnight. In the morning I went looking for news on the Annapolis peace summit and got swept up in city-wide grief over a football player. Representatives of 40 countries sit down to discuss difficult issues, with the US president in attendance, and even though it's probably mostly ceremonial and Dubya doesn't deserve any credit for progressive initiative, you'd think the news in the US capital could give the talks and the demonstrations and the editorials a bit more coverage than "tune in later, Redskins coach to hold press conference" or referring people several pages into the newspaper in order to put photos of a candlelight vigil around an empty parking spot at Fed Ex Field on the front page. Sean Taylor's death is a senseless tragedy -- something that occurs almost nightly in this city, I'm sorry to say, though Taylor was murdered in Florida -- and the level of hysteria over a sports star is somewhat bizarre.

When the kids got home, I dropped Adam off at Hebrew school and took Daniel shopping for new black trousers, since he told me just yesterday that he had to come to school on Wednesday dressed in his chorus performance outfit and the black trousers he used for that purpose last spring are now two sizes too small. (The tuxedo shirt only barely fits but I'm not paying to replace that until I absolutely have to, and he is wearing Paul's dress shoes because they fit well enough if he wears thick socks!) When we got home I went through his closets and drawers to see what should be handed down to Adam, and discovered that both of them have a small collection of brand new shirts given as gifts by my mother (who had a tooth pulled earlier, ouch) that they have never worn because they don't like the collars on them.

We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas because it was on, though it's kind of silly because we own it on DVD. There's something about communal national watching, even though I dislike most Christmas specials and the commercial American fantasia of christmas (lower case because it's in no way a religious holiday) that inspires a two-story fake mountain with a laser light show to encase the Santa Claus in my local mall. Later, after giving up on finding television news with more than superficial coverage of the peace conference, we turned on PBS and watched Ghost Ship, The Mary Celeste, which was a bit depressing but rather interesting.

No one ever likes Occam's razor when there's a conspiracy to be had, do they? And speaking of Razor...I recorded it but haven't watched it. I haven't been in the mood, heard very mixed reviews particularly over evil lesbian stereotypes and am wondering whether the last season is ever going to get filmed, since it sounds like the actors at NBC in particular are very pissed off over how the network is treating them during the writers' strike and may not return to work after not being paid for weeks if the strike drags on. Time to rewatch the Sharpe series I think!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poem for Tuesday

Worked Late on a Tuesday Night
By Deborah Garrison

Midtown is blasted out and silent,
drained of the crowd and its doggy day
I trample the scraps of deli lunches
some ate outdoors as they stared dumbly
or hooted at us career girls-the haggard
beauties, the vivid can-dos, open raincoats aflap
in the March wind as we crossed to and fro
in front of the Public Library.

Never thought you'd be one of them,
did you, little lady?
Little Miss Phi Beta Kappa,
with your closetful of pleated
skirts, twenty-nine till death do us
part! Don't you see?
The good schoolgirl turns thirty,
forty, singing the song of time management
all day long, lugging the briefcase
home. So at 10:00 PM
you're standing here
with your hand in the air,

cold but too stubborn to reach
into your pocket for a glove, cursing
the freezing rain as though it were
your difficulty. It's pathetic,
and nobody's fault but
your own. Now

the tears,
down into the collar.
Cabs, cabs, but none for hire.
I haven't had dinner; I'm not half
of what I meant to be.
Among other things, the mother
of three. Too tired, tonight,
to seduce the father.


I spent the morning playing with my web pages at trying to teach myself more CSS than I already know...does anyone have recommendations for really good web sites or a CSS For Dummies type book? I still have lots and lots of work to particular, I need to come up with an index page for my photos where I have some kind of menu in a sidebar and can make photos come up in the main content area. And then I need to figure out how to do the same for my 1000+ reviews and stuff...I deliberately kept the html on those pages very simple in case one day I figured out how to design tables or framesets for something similar, but I've never found a way to use tables or framesets that worked consistently on most browsers the way CSS seems to. I might even get out our ancient Mac to see how things look on that monitor.

Right after school I had to pick up both kids, drop some stuff off at the library that was due today and then take them to the opthalmologist. As usual the doctor was running more than a half hour late, and as usual it took twenty minutes for the drops to dilate their eyes, so we were there well into the evening, with them bored and running their mouths endlessly. Opthalmologist had Happy Feet on in the office and when we came home I had put on a clip of an old friend's sister, a professional singer, performing "Think of Me" which led to Phantom of the Opera on the TV before Heroes. There was no point in trying to watch the news; there could have been a nuclear war in Asia and a Redskin getting shot would still have had ten minutes of air time first. I wanted to know what was going on with the Mideast peace talks, but it was all Sean Taylor. And I can't read news and do dishes at the same time.

Watched both Heroes and Journeyman half-attentively while conversing with kids and distracting cats. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that immortality on Heroes works the same as on Highlander and you can kill by taking someone's head even if, like Sylar, you don't intend to eat them (could anyone gain the powers of others the way Sylar does or is that his unique way of absorbing powers, as opposed to Peter's?). I must agree with Tim Kring, the business about the virus should have been introduced in the second episode of the season rather than waiting till now to make sense of things, when I'm almost beyond caring. (And much as I love Hiro, it should be someone else's turn to kill the bad guy and save the, oh, they could give a girl something awesome to do.) Of course Journeyman could do that too, instead of putting wifey in the apron and letting her play damsel in distress while Livia goes begging Jack to save Dan. The episode was, at least, totally gripping. And had a happy ending!

When the NBC lineup finished, we watched the end of the silliest Monday Night Football game ever, 3-0 with the only score in the final minute of the game. The punts just landed and stuck on the soaking wet field. Of course, the last there was a 3-0 loss, the loser was...the Redskins!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poem for Monday

To Drink
By Jane Hirshfield

I want to gather your darkness
in my hands, to cup it like water
and drink.
I want this in the same way
as I want to touch your cheek --
it is the same --
the way a moth will come
to the bedroom window in late September,
beating and beating its wings against cold glass;
the way a horse will lower
its long head to water, and drink,
and pause to lift its head and look,
and drink again,
taking everything in with the water,


We got up early and went to see Enchanted -- the 10:30 show, which we thought was likely to be the least mobbed of the day. We were the first people in the theater half and hour before it started, but by the time the previews began, the theater was nearly full. I don't think it's as good a movie as the Shrek series, certainly not as subversive, but I enjoyed it anyway, especially Susan Sarandon as the wicked witch and Idina Menzel (Wicked's wicked witch) as a woman who deserves more respect than she gets in this film where innocence is the the most valued quality a woman can have).

I love the music, which Disney still does better than any of its imitators, and Amy Adams is absolutely brilliant -- I was all ready not to like Giselle, the whole frothy male fantasy of an adult virgin utterly lacking in adult sexuality still squicks me when I think about it, but she really made it work on the screen, in a lot of ways better than the voice actresses who played Ariel and especially Belle ever did (I loathe the Disney Beauty and the Beast). And I'm a total sucker for fantasy New York movies, which this one certainly is -- that glorious Central Park sequence with its musical melting pot! I think it's a shame there weren't actual queens at the Queens Ball and typically Disney keeps everything pretty heterosexist. At least the women get to do a bit of heroics. If I think about it too much I'll probably find more things to dislike as a matter of principle, so I'm just going to leave it at fun, pretty and my kids liked it too.

In the afternoon, since the weather was just as gorgeous as yesterday's, we decided to go to Great Falls. Like the zoo, it wasn't terribly crowded -- probably lots of people were at home watching the Redskins, but we knew better than to expect anything in that regard and sure enough, Washington lost. The canal barge has stopped giving rides for the season, the inn is closed for renovations and lots of trees have been cleared out -- but the autumn leaves are clinging in patches and there was a heron standing right in the low water between the two locks of the C&O Canal where the double-decker boat has been docked for the winter.

A tree reflected in the C&O Canal at Great Falls National Park.

The Mercer is up on concrete blocks for the winter to protect the wood.

There was a great blue heron standing in the low water eating.

I'm not sure what was there for catching, but it seemed content.

The Potomac River is still very low for the season from the drought.

There weren't many people at the overlooks on the Virginia side...

...but the color across the river was very pretty.

While I'm thinking about Enchanted, I wanted to note for locals that fritterfae has posted about the DC Radical Faerie Yule: Legend of the Snow Prince, a gay seasonal fairy tale performance and dance. I watched Brotherhood's belated Thanksgiving episode, which was very dark -- not really an enjoyable note to end the weekend on, though an odd compensation of sorts for fairy tales as Rose turns stereotypes on their head. The plot revolves around the fact that Mama Rose elects to blow off her family for Thanksgiving to meet an old lover, and shows up at the hotel with a suitcase full of vibrators and lined handcuffs and stuff! He announces that these days his plumbing isn't working, and she almost leaves in a huff, but he ends up getting it going for her anyway. I hope Rose never gets old.

The kids (meaning Tommy, Michael and Mary Kate's generation) naturally fall apart without Rose there to supervise Thanksgiving dinner, or maybe they just want to fall apart and have an excuse to blame one another, since previously both Eileen and Mary Kate were established as decent cooks. Mary Kate had her best line of the entire series: "Jimmy, get your ass over to the kitchen and help me cook or I want a divorce!" And that was a positive marital exchange by the standards of this show!

Michael sent Colin out to do his dirty work (killing the two criminals whose wives truly adore them), then went over to Kath's and threw a tantrum that she was paying more attention to her brats than to him, which ended with her smashing him in the head and both of them bleeding and crying. Eileen demanded to know whether Tommy was going to fight for their family after Mary Rose came home from the store stoned. Right now Freddy's on the loose and it looks like a happy ending this season is out of the question, but what I really want to know is: Does anyone know who did the acoustic cover of "Satisfaction" played at the end and over the credits?

Poem for Sunday

Tonight I Can Write
By Pablo Neruda
Translated by W.S. Merwin

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, "The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance."

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.


From Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World, in which Robert Pinsky calls Neruda one of the world's most popular writers and recommends Ilan Stavans' new bilingual collection of Neruda poems, I Explain A Few Things. This "graceful, penetrating translation" is a poem Neruda wrote in his 20s, "a love song and an artistic credo, resembling ordinary speech yet extraordinary in its leaps and turns...characteristic of Neruda's lifelong audacity and directness."

Nicole and Harris spent the day off doing their own thing, so my parents asked whether they could bring her girls along with us when we told them we were going to the zoo. It was a perfect day to be outdoors, in the opinion of everyone but my mother who considers mid-50s too cold; we didn't arrive till after 2 p.m. so didn't have time to see all the animals, but we went through the farm area, spent a lot of time in Amazonia, walked up the loop past the bears, wolves and North American mammals, and headed to the Bird House (Adam's favorite) and Asia Trail, though most of the animals in the latter were already off display for the evening by the time we arrived. We put off the invertebrates until we can visit Denise working there!

A macaw in the rainforest of the Amazonia exhibit at the National Zoo.

Possibly my favorite plant in the entire world: the cocoa tree and its fruit.

Giant man-eating tarantula on the loose! Okay, actually just a standard tarantula behind glass, but the way Molly reacted, you would have thought it was the former.

A mask on display in the Amazonia science gallery, which has several of the smaller species for up close examination, plus fossils, videos, books and environmental exhibits.

Sabrina made her own mask out of one of the bones on display.

My parents and the girls around one of the microscopes in the Amazonia science area.

The kids watching an interactive display on earthquakes.

Adam and Isabel with a turtle by the Amazon River recreation.

My parents with all the grandchildren.

Maryland beat North Carolina State 37-0, which hopefully means that the Terps will be going to a bowl! We're sort of watching the Missouri/Kansas game, since the kids were up and yakking at us and we didn't think we should put on The Upside of Anger with them watching. And I'm fried from the cats insisting that we should get up regular schoolday time to feed them (Daisy has figured out how to throw my alarm clock onto the floor by the cord) so shall make it an early night!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Poem for Saturday

A Garden by the Sea
By William Morris

I know a little garden-close,
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy morn to dewy night,
And have one with me wandering.

And though within it no birds sing,
And though no pillared house is there,
And though the apple-boughs are bare
Of fruit and blossom, would to God
Her feet upon the green grass trod,
And I beheld them as before.

There comes a murmur from the shore,
And in the close two fair streams are,
Drawn from the purple hills afar,
Drawn down unto the restless sea:
Dark hills whose heath-bloom feeds no bee,
Dark shore no ship has ever seen,
Tormented by the billows green
Whose murmur comes unceasingly
Unto the place for which I cry.
For which I cry both day and night,
For which I let slip all delight,
Whereby I grow both deaf and blind,
Careless to win, unskilled to find,
And quick to lose what all men seek.

Yet tottering as I am and weak,
Still have I left a little breath
To seek within the jaws of death
An entrance to that happy place,
To seek the unforgotten face,
Once seen, once kissed, once reft from me
Anigh the murmuring of the sea.


There's no point in talking about my day before 5 p.m because I spent it waiting for the plumber. Who was supposed to arrive at noon. And then at three. And then at four. I said, no point in talking about it. The kids had no school and alternated between playing games here, playing games at a friend's house and playing outside on this first really cool day of the fall. Younger son was up from about 7 a.m. like I was, older son slept till 10, I worked on holiday card notes and rearranged my summer and winter clothes in my closet and wrote a review of "A Matter of Honor", the enormously entertaining Next Gen episode in which Riker takes an assignment on a Klingon ship.

No surprise whatsoever here, but we will not be seeing my sister and her husband again this trip: after going downtown with their oldest daughter, they took off to stay in a hotel in Georgetown, leaving the girls with my parents, and will meet up at the airport tomorrow. We had dinner with my parents and all the kids and had a very nice that the two older girls are movie- and game-literate, it doesn't matter to my boys so much that they also like Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer and the Spiderwick books (apparently little has changed since I was young and it is still cool for girls to like "boy" books but totally uncool for boys to like "girl" stuff in middle school, sigh).

Only thefridayfive this week: Your Insights About You
As we head into the holiday season full tilt & people start thinking about their lives over the past year, including the changes/resolutions they may choose to make, I thought this would be a great set of questions to consider...
1. What is your favorite experience in your life so far?
Being in England with my family.
2. What motivates you to keep going every day? I love being around my kids. I also love reading and traveling and art and music and science and when people do really surprising, awesome things.
3. Where do you want to go in life? What do you want to accomplish? I'm kind of at a crossroads so far as work is concerned. I can't decide whether I should look for something that pays next to nothing but feels really useful to me, like working with kids or something activist/political, or whether I should knuckle down and get a job that pays decently and worry about contributing more financially.
4. Is there anything that you regret? Do you try to change it? I'm not big on regrets, though I have lots of little ones, mostly about relationships I didn't work hard enough on. Some of those I try to change. Some of those I've had to learn painfully that there's really nothing I can do.
5. What is your most cherished gift you have received? Why do you cherish it so much? An academic secretary once showed me a recommendation I had received from someone whose opinion meant the world to me. She wasn't really supposed to let me see it. There's nothing that could have made me happier at the time.

Georgetown University and the boathouse on the Potomac River, seen from the footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Trees reflected in one of the island's fountains.

Each day the trees look a bit less like these and a bit more bare.

That does make it easier to see wildlife, at least.

When we visited, this fountain had already been drained for the winter.

And leaves are already beginning to clog the basins that have water in them.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Poem for Friday

By Mark Strand

"This is my Main Street," he said as he started off
That morning, leaving the town to the others,
Entering the high-woods tipped in pink

By the rising sun but still dark where he walked.
"This is the way," he continued as he watched
For the great space that he felt sure

Would open before him, a stark sea over which
The turbulent sky would drop the shadowy shapes
Of its song, and he would move his arms

And begin to mark, almost as a painter would,
The passages of greater and lesser worth, the silken
Tropes and calls to this or that, coarsely conceived,

Echoing and blasting all around. He would whip them
Into shape. Everything would have an edge. The burning
Will of weather, blowing overhead, would be his muse.

"This is the life," he said, as he reached the first
Of many outer edges to the sea he sought, and he buttoned
His coat, and turned up his collar, and began to breathe.


We had a rather eventful Thanksgiving Day unexpectedly when my parents lost power in the early afternoon. My mother called, panicked, to ask whether she could bring the turkey over to roast in our kitchen, and arrived with all three of Nicole's kids in tow. So we had six kids (ours, hers, plus Adam's best friend) for more than an hour, plus Paul's parents who had come early to hang out with the kids, though they got more kids than they bargained for. I think the cats were the most traumatized, however, as everyone wanted to pet them and pick them up long after they had had enough of playing!

My parents got their power back later in the afternoon, and we went over with the turkey and kids to hang out with them, Nicole and Harris. I didn't really pay attention to the Green Bay-Detroit game except to notice that every time I looked, Green Bay appeared to be winning, and I saw enough of the Dallas-Jets game to be grateful that we were going to eat and I didn't have to see more (also saw the beginning of the Kelly Clarkson halftime show and was really grateful to be distracted from that!). I'm bad at thankfulness lists...I always want to add all the things I should be doing more to protect or to share (health, family, the environment, freedom of speech, travel, organic food, books, the ocean, etc. etc.)

Paul put the Mayflower on the cookie cake this year (here are the ones from 2005 and 2006 versions).

Around the table with Nicole's family...

...the kids...

...and my father, me and Paul and my in-laws.

Earlier in the day our neighbors let our kids and their cousins pet their new bunny, obtained at the county fair. (This is their older bunny.)

These are my nieces with the bunny...

...and here they are with our cats.

The cats were not absolutely thrilled at this turn of events. *g*

The Wii brings all generations together (and the neighbors, too)!

I hope everyone has had a happy, healthy, safe Thanksgiving -- or, if you're not in the US, a happy, healthy, safe Thursday. And good luck if you're trying to shop on Friday, hahaha!