By Richard Garcia
Both lying on our sides, making love in
spoon position when she’s startled, What’s that?
She means the enormous ship passing before you—
maybe not that large, is it a freighter
or a passenger ship? But it seems huge in the dark
and it’s so close. That’s a poem you say, D. H.
Lawrence—Have you built your ship of death,
have you? O build your ship of death,
For you will need it. Right here it would be good
if there were a small orchestra on board, you’d hear
them and say to her, That piece is called Autumn
that’s what the brave musicians played as the Titanic
went under—and then you could name this poem "Autumn."
But no, the ship is silent, its white lights glow in the darkness.
I had a fairly silly Tuesday. I woke up to discover that my sheet had a huge hole in it -- I don't know whether a cat claw was involved or if it had just gotten old enough to rip on its own -- so my late morning/early afternoon agenda involved trips to the local discount bed and bath stores, plus I wanted to stop in craft stores. I went first to the shopping strip that has an AC Moore, where I found gold headpins easily enough, but when I walked down to what I thought was a Linens & Things knockoff that had moved in next to Toys R Us, I discovered that the place had turned into a discount furniture store and didn't carry sheets. So I went off to the shopping strip that has a Michael's, except I never made it in there, because I spent over an hour in Bed, Bath & Beyond looking at sofa slipcovers and bedroom sets. They had more sofa covers than the handful of other local places I'd found that stocked them (as opposed to places like JC Penney, which only has them online), but the lighter colored heavier material looked like it would be quickly stained, the darker colored heavier material looked like it would make the living room too dark, and all the other fabrics looked like they'd either shred or become cat hair magnets. As for the comforters, I looked at dozens and finally found a bed-in-a-bag I liked that was on a big sale, but it didn't come with a dust ruffle and none of the ones for sale separately came even close to matching, ditto extra sheets. So all I ended up buying was a new set of sheets to match the comforter we've had for our entire married life...and when I got home, the bottom sheet had a hole in it. Arrgh!
Like I said, it was a pretty silly day. Some nice things happened, like I got a notification from FictionAlley that I was a winner in their Deathly Hallows Contest, though I won't know what I won till I get my prize (I hope it's not a tattoo)! I took Adam to tennis and went to Sears and Macy's in the mall to see whether I'd have better luck replacing bedroom stuff there, but all I ended up buying were two $6 mock turtlenecks. Paul decided that we should celebrate St. Andrew's Day, even though neither of us has any Scottish ancestry, so he made mince and tatties for dinner and got shortbread for dessert, which we ate over the opening of Glee, which I absolutely loved this week because of 1) Santana singing, 2) Brittany's definition of "adultery," and most especially 3) "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" -- these things more than made up for a tragic dearth of Sue Sylvester and the show's over the top Rachel-bashing. How about instead of tearing Rachel to shreds while giving her 99 percent of the solos, they continue the trend of letting other people sing and stop writing her as the obnoxious immature full-of-herself vengeful greedy token Jewish girl? On which note...Happy Chanukah! I still can't believe how early it is this year.
The miniature White House at the U.S. Botanic Garden, one of several Washington landmarks built out of sustainable plant materials.
Someone here once told me that when her son saw the U.S. Botanic Garden miniature at the U.S. Botanic Garden, he wanted to know whether there was a U.S. Botanic Garden miniature inside the miniature and how many layers it could go.
The Lincoln Memorial has wonderful detail, but since Lincoln's head is an acorn, he has no face.
Similarly, it's hard to tell what Jefferson looked like from the version in his miniature memorial, but I love the detail of the "carving" above the entrance.
I also love the miniature rose windows on the miniature Smithsonian Castle.
This is one of my favorite DC institutions, the Library of Congress.
This is one that I would like better if Justice Scalia would retire.
And this is the Smithsonian museum with the most interesting design -- the National Museum of the American Indian.