Thursday, November 30, 2017

Poem for Thursday and November Brookside

A Day (I'll Tell You How The Sun Rose)
By Emily Dickinson

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.


My morning was boring work and chores, then I took a break to walk in the park and do a raid at the mall, where I stopped in Sears to look at their long sleeve t-shirts and ended up getting two shirts and two pairs of leggings for $5.33 after coupons so that was a nice surprise.

In the evening, Rose came over to visit the cats and she and I caught up on local news, then we watched Designated Survivor, which was okay but seems so tame compared to the insanity actually on the news. From Brookside Gardens, chrysanthemums, geese, and a wedding:








Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Poem for Wednesday and Brookside Trains

Girl with Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
By W.S. Di Piero

He put the spirit essence
the light pip not only
in each eye’s albumen
concentrate of starlight
but must have been taught
how to do that by first
finding it in the pearl
he posed then corrected
in dusty studio light
that pounced on the window
behind which sits the cheeky girl
pear- and apple-blossom cheeks
a fake description naturally
of their plain fleshiness
drably golden and her lips
from Haight Street’s darlings
nose studs jacket studs
girls with that kind of eye
one by the atm machine
casual juicy and so fair
a Netherlandish type
panhandling strangers
pomegranate seed ball
bearings agleam in her nose
pearls not sea-harvested
but imagined seen put there
by a certain need and fancy
because love says it’s so
picture that picture this.


I would have accomplished more on Tuesday had Ho-Oh not started appearing in Pokemon Go, necessitating that I meet up with my raiding group everywhere from Potomac Village to Cabin John Park to Rockville Pike (and though it isn't as hard to defeat as Lugia, my catch rate was 1/5, which is by far my worst for any Legendary and I won't be using any more premium raid passes for this one!). I did get laundry and kitchen stuff done while I was in the house, plus some holiday-related cards and online shopping, and I took a pair of mini Superman ornaments to go with my mini Wonder Woman ornaments made into earrings.

We watched the second part of the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover, which I felt underused The Flash cast in particular (Barry kept standing around at moments where I didn't understand why he wasn't speeding around kicking ass, though at least Iris and Felicity got a lot to do as a result), and since I haven't watched Arrow for half a season and have never kept up with Legends of Tomorrow, some of the character stuff was lost on me. The Drunk History holiday special was great though! Here's a preview of Brookside Gardens' mini train display of DC area landmarks, on display with the holiday lights:









Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Poem for Tuesday and Brookside Fall Display

Horse Latitudes
By Jo Sarzotti

The past lies in the brine
                           Of equatorial water,
Black ink veining where the quill paused.

Rich doldrums
                            Full of gold
Where Spanish sailors
                            Threw the Queen’s horses,
Palomino, the color of her hair.

On the Outer Banks
                          Each wave a breaking
Promise of the New World,
                           Lost colonies,
Lost ships, wild ponies
                                        Swimming even now.


I was going to have a quiet chore-filled Monday, but it didn't work out that way. Alice was up in my area for an appointment, so we went out for bagels and compared notes on our Thanksgivings. Then I had a bunch of stops to make, after which I met Angela and Carrie for an early dinner at Lebanese Taverna, where (after I did a bit more shopping because they were stuck in traffic) we spent over two hours catching up since we didn't manage to get together during my insane October and early November.

I liked the first two parts of the Supergirl-Arrow "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover, which felt very comic-book-crossover (not as good as the Marvel movies but much better than anything Agents of SHIELD has managed interacting with the MCU) and appropriately funny ("It was Oliver in the High Castle"). Then we watched the Ravens on Monday Night Football before the late night comedians covering Harry and Meghan's engagement. Some arrangements from the fall flower show at Brookside Gardens:









Monday, November 27, 2017

Poem for Monday, Travel, Brookside Gardens

Twelve-Hour Shifts
By Jill McDonough

A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home
to real life.  Showers, eats supper, plays video games.
Twelve hours later he comes back, high-fives, takes over the drone

from other pilots, who watch Homeland, do dishes, hope they don’t
dream in all screens, bad kills, all slo-mo freeze-frame.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

A small room, a pilot’s chair, the mic and headphones
crowd his mind, take him somewhere else. Another day
another dollar: hover and shift, twelve hours over strangers’ homes.

Stop by the store, its Muzak, pick up the Cheerios,
get to the gym if you’re lucky. Get back to your babies, play
Barbies, play blocks. Twelve hours later, come back. Take over the drone.

Smell of burned coffee in the lounge, the shifting kill zone.
Last-minute abort mission, and the major who forgets your name.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

It’s done in our names, but we don’t have to know.  Our own
lives, shifts, hours, bounced off screens all day.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home;
fresh from twelve hours off, another comes in, takes over our drone.


Another quickie since we've sent Daniel and Adam back to work and school and are finally collapsed in front of the TV watching Madam Secretary. Daniel's flight was just after noon, so we dropped Maddy off at work at 10:30 and took him to the airport, then had lunch and headed toward College Park with Adam via Brookside Gardens, where we saw the last of the chrysanthemums and the trains set up for the holiday display as well as the afternoon sun on what's left of the leaves. When the sun started to get low, we dropped him off at his apartment, then stopped at the food store on the way home and did a bunch of cleaning up once we got there. Tomorrow I will deal with piles of laundry!







Sunday, November 26, 2017

Greetings from Emmitsburg

Quickie as I'm writing this while playing Cards Against Humanity with my family, with the Gal Gadot SNL rerun on in the background, while eating discount turkey-shaped cake and Moose Tracks ice cream that Adam and Maddy went out to get. This morning we picked up my parents and drove to Thurmont to meet Paul's parents at Simply Asia, where we shared a lot of excellent Chinese food and half-watched the Michigan game.

We celebrated Cinda's birthday a week early and went to Emmitsburg Antique Mall to browse (we got a couple of glass paperweights and Erie-Lackawanna stock certificates) before dropping my parents off at their house and coming to our house to feed our starving cats. In even better news, I found a workaround for Windows repeatedly deleting my graphics driver! And I caught a Farfetch'd since the global Pokemon event got them released!





Saturday, November 25, 2017

Greetings from the C&O Canal

Maddy had to work all day for Black Friday at both Lush and California Pizza Kitchen, but the rest of us did no shopping -- Paul and Adam had to work in the morning, Daniel worked out, I fought with my computer (unsuccessfully) to stop it from installing the update that keeps deleting my AMD drivers. After everyone was done working, we went to the C&O Canal to take a walk, came home to rest and watch some Chopped, then went to Sheba for Ethiopian food.







We have just spent the evening watching first The Hitman's Bodyguard (quite violent but hilarious, Jackson and Reynolds are great together, their comedy styles really complement each other, and Salma Hayek pretty much runs away with the movie though I wish she was in it more) followed by Keanu (really much too violent for me, but much more subversive both cinematically and in terms of its social observations, Key and Peele are great as always, and the kitten is adorable)!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Poem for Friday and Great Falls Thanksgiving

i thank You God for most this amazing
By e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


We had what would have been a nice low-key Thanksgiving had my desktop computer not had its graphics settings utterly screwed up by the latest Windows critical update (I know it was that because a system restore fixed the problem, but Windows promptly informed me it had to install the update again because it has some critical security issue). So once again I will probably be forced to spend my birthday/holiday money just to have a working desktop -- I am seriously thinking about getting just a docking station for my new laptop but I'm not sure how I can fit a new big monitor, laptop, and separate keyboard on my desk. Arrrrrgggghhh.

It was otherwise a very nice day; we watched the Thanksgiving parade and part of the Vikings-Lions game while eating and working on our computers, then we went to Great Falls to take a walk before picking up Maddy and going to my parents' for the Cowboys-Chargers game, then Thanksgiving dinner (for me that was tofurkey, veg stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, and carrot souffle, plus chocolate roll for dessert, all of which were awesome). When we got home so Adam could do some crucial work, we were in the mood for The Nightmare Before Christmas, so we watched that while DC pulled off a win against the Giants.









Thursday, November 23, 2017

Poem for Thanksgiving and New York Aquarium

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We walk on starry fields of white
   And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
   We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
   To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
   Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
   Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
   Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
   We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
   And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
   But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
   To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
   Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
   While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
   Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
   Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
   To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
   To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
   Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
   Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
   As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
   A grand Thanksgiving chorus.


I have both kids home! In the morning, I dropped Daniel off at the Metro so he could meet a friend downtown for lunch while Paul was working. When he finished, we went to College Park to pick up Adam, who was in an academic building and needed to return to his apartment to pick up his clothes. Daniel took the Metro to College Park and we picked him up there too, after which we all came home and watched some Chopped around Daniel's borrowing my parents' treadmill and Adam doing a phone conference with people from one of his work projects.

Paul made shish kebabs for dinner, after which I subjected my kids to a couple of episodes of Yuri on Ice before we watched War for the Planet of the Apes, which is excellent, very well acted, much less violent than I was expecting given the level of violence in its immediate prequel, and laden with enough symbolism that Adam made comments about how if he were an English teacher, he would be commenting on what the film says about American mythology and the Bible. Family pics tomorrow so today, here are a few from the New York Aquarium's outdoor exhibits: