Saturday, March 31, 2018

Greetings from the Seder

Happy Passover! We are back from a lovely seder at which I ate much too much at the home of the Goldmans, my parents' friends since they were teenagers, watching Avengers: Age of Ultron which is where we are with Cheryl in our MCU marathon (the Thor-Vision stuff just gets better every time, the Nat-Bruce stuff is even more ridiculous after Civil War and Ragnarok). Here are the people, the plagues, Pharaoh, Elijah, and some of the food -- more tomorrow!








Friday, March 30, 2018

Poem for Friday, GOTG, Brookside Outdoors

By Melissa Ginsburg

Our subjects were nice. We kept

our distance. We brewed detachment
in bottles. “We kept our distance”

is an anecdote. Her name

is Anecdote. She was born in the study.
Cages, bottles. Books all around.

She was our favorite / forbid us

to see her. She was the muse
for the bottles marked “Distance”

from which we drank. Could not

get by without. We buried the results;
they were dead. It was painless

for us. Thanks

to detachment. Our hypothesis held up
a snapshot. Braces, barrettes.


It was over 70 degrees in my area on Thursday, so I spent as much of the day as possible outdoors! I had a bunch of shopping to do, which made it easy to find excuses to walk from, say, AC Moore to Target (which is already sold out of their special edition of Star Wars: The Last Jedi). I also walked in Cabin John Park, partly just to enjoy it and partly to do a raid at the last gym there at which I don't have a gold badge. Paul and I had a California Pizza Kitchen coupon that needed to be used by the end of the month, so we went there for dinner; I had kung pao spaghetti, which is such a big dish that I always get two meals out of it, so I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow before the seder in the evening.

I watched Guardians of the Galaxy with Paul and Cheryl, since that's where we are in the MCU marathon. I love pieces of the movie better than I love the movie overall, though I think that may be retconning because I was irritated by a lot of the sequel, which pushes the women to the side for yet another guy-and-his-daddy-issues drama; I really wanted Ronan to go away so Nebula and Gamora could talk about something other than what he wanted, and in general I wanted Gamora to spend more time rescuing herself. Of course the soundtrack is still awesome and there are lots of funny moments but this part of the franchise doesn't ring my bells like The Avengers do. From Brookside this month:









Thursday, March 29, 2018

Poem for Thursday, Winterthur, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

By H.D.

The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.


So after spending a ridiculous amount of Tuesday working on a Shutterfly photo book, I spent a ridiculous amount of Wednesday rearranging my bookshelves to make my previous Shutterfly books easier to get to so other people can read them (and I can too without having to move action figures out of the way -- the Princess Margaret biographies I put behind the action figures are less likely to be missed). That, getting laundry folded, catching another shiny Lugia, and getting in a walk in the park while it was only raining enough to get me moderately damp. Thursday is supposed to be 70 degrees so no rain will bother me!

Paul, Cheryl, and I were up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier in our MCU marathon. I often tell myself I prefer the first Captain America movie because it has so much more Peggy Carter and I love period pieces, but I love pretty much everything about The Winter Soldier. Chris Evans gives a really wonderful performance and I love Steve and Sam, Steve and Bucky, Nick Fury, and everything Natasha and Maria do, plus the brief Peggy bits we do get. (Natasha has more chemistry with Steve and Sam both than she ever gets with Bruce.) From Winterthur, the early March Bank bloom:









Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Poem for Wednesday, Longwood Orchids, Thor: The Dark World

By Barbara Guest

In the past we listened to photographs. They heard our voice speak.
Alive, active. What had been distance was memory.    Dusk came,
Pushed us forward,   emptying the laboratory   each night undisturbed by

      In the city of X, they lived together. Always morose, her lips
soothed him. The piano was arranged in the old manner, light entered the
window, street lamps at the single tree.

      Emotion evoked by a single light on a subject is not transferable to
photographs of the improved city. The camera, once
commented freely amid rivering and lost gutters of treeless parks or avenue.
The old camera refused to penetrate the unknown. Its heart was soft,

      Now distributed is photography of new government building. We are
forbidden to observe despair silent in old photographs.


I spent a ridiculous amount of Tuesday working on a Shutterfly photo book to be bought with a coupon that was about to expire, due to two glitches in the site (note: if you use Shutterfly, for the love of all that is holy, upload your photos to an album before putting a book together rather than trusting the upload button within the pop-up where you choose your photos, because if you try to upload more than a couple, it freezes and crashes and even the chat help person admitted it). In good news, I conveyed my irritation so effectively that she gave me free shipping, so although it took half the afternoon, I am getting my book for no money whatsoever.

Maddy was out looking at apartments almost all day. In MCU marathon news, Paul, Cheryl, and I watched Thor: The Dark World, which I tend to think of as having a pretty dumb plot and not being very good, but the Thunderfrost scenes are so good that they make up for pretty much everything, and I watched all the extras I never saw before, including the Mandarin actor one-shot, the two-part feature on Thor and Loki across three films, the gag reel, and (though I had seen it before) the clip of Tom Hiddleston playing Loki playing Captain America. Here are some photos from Longwood Gardens' orchid extravaganza earlier this year:









Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Poem for Tuesday, Iron Man 3, Great Falls

By Victoria Redel

There were strollers, outgrown, circulated till a wheel fell off.

Anna’s infant RockaRoo went to Francesca then to Sophia

who gave it back to Anna when she had the twins.

Travel cribs traveled between homes and the green vest

Sophia knitted for Ming’s first was worn by all the next babies.

Onesies, drawstring gowns, snap-legged overalls,

snowsuits, sweatpants, jeans, t-shirts, jumpers,

all sorted, washed, boxed then sent on

till they were sorted, washed, boxed and sent again.

Pj’s worn to that silkiest perfection, then worn

wholly through, reluctantly tossed. A blue dress

with applique lilacs was the favorite of each girl

and who knew where the velvet blazer came from,

but it did the job for more than one holiday concert.

Even this year, a photograph of Francesca’s youngest in Prague,

handsome in that hand-me-down wool pea coat. Sophia hit reply all:

Our last? No! Well, fits yours better than it ever did mine.


Paul worked from home on Monday so we could drive Daniel to National Airport for his 11:30 a.m. flight, then we had lunch together and both worked on our computers while catching up on some of the shows we missed while the kids were here (good terrorist-chasing Blindspot, great old Hollywood Timeless). Then we went out to get some fresh air in the park and I caught a Blastoise down by the creek.

In the evening, Paul, Cheryl, and watched Iron Man 3, which is my favorite of the Iron Mans though the framing narrative is probably why (plus I never watched the extras before, and the gag reel and Peggy Carter improve anything). Madeline worked all weekend and was home only briefly -- she's going apartment-hunting with future roommates tomorrow -- so I only saw her for a bit. From Great Falls yesterday:









Monday, March 26, 2018

Greetings from Home

Extreme quickie as Adam is about to drive back to College Park and Daniel is flying back to Seattle in the morning. We had a nice low-key day; Daniel had thought he might be meeting a friend for lunch in Baltimore, so we thought we might be driving him there, but she was unavailable, so instead we had brunch here and went to Great Falls to enjoy the great weather before going to my parents' for pizza and very early birthday cake for my father, since neither of my kids can be here on his actual birthday. When we got home, we played some Cards Against Humanity, then watched The Avengers, which we all saw together back when it was new. Here are a couple of pics from dinner:




Sunday, March 25, 2018

Poem for Sunday, Family Birthday, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The Vampire
By Madison Julius Cawein

A lily in a twilight place?
A moonflow’r in the lonely night?—
Strange beauty of a woman’s face
   Of wildflow’r-white!

The rain that hangs a star’s green ray
Slim on a leaf-point’s restlessness,
Is not so glimmering green and gray
   As was her dress.

I drew her dark hair from her eyes,
And in their deeps beheld a while
Such shadowy moonlight as the skies
   Of Hell may smile.

She held her mouth up redly wan,
And burning cold,—I bent and kissed
Such rosy snow as some wild dawn
   Makes of a mist.

God shall not take from me that hour,
When round my neck her white arms clung!
When ‘neath my lips, like some fierce flower,
   Her white throat swung!

Or words she murmured while she leaned!
Witch-words, she holds me softly by,—
The spell that binds me to a fiend
   Until I die.


Saturday was Paul's birthday, so we went to meet his parents in Thurmont at Simply Asia for lunch, then visited the Emmitsburg Antique Mall to browse since there was still snow all over Catoctin. When we got home, the kids played some Kirby Star Allies and I tried to catch up on email. Eventually we went to California Tortilla for dinner, gave Paul his birthday presents, and watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople which Adam led me to believe was less sad than it is but is still pretty great. Now we're watching What We Do in the Shadows because Daniel has never seen it. Lunch, the antique store, and Emmitsburg horses:






Saturday, March 24, 2018

Poem for Saturday, Family, Captain America

Aristocrats: "I Think I Am Becoming A God"
By Keith Douglas

The noble horse with courage in his eye,
clean in the bone, looks up at a shellburst:
away fly the images of the shires
but he puts the pipe back in his mouth.
Peter was unfortunately killed by an 88;
it took his leg away, he died in the ambulance.
I saw him crawling on the sand, he said
It's most unfair, they've shot my foot off.

How can I live among this gentle
obsolescent breed of heroes, and not weep?
Unicorns, almost,
for they are fading into two legends
in which their stupidity and chivalry
are celebrated. Each, fool and hero, will be an immortal.
These plains were their cricket pitch
and in the mountains the tremendous drop fences
brought down some of the runners. Here then
under the stones and earth they dispose themselves,
I think with their famous unconcern.
It is not gunfire I hear, but a hunting horn.


Daniel and Adam are here and we are watching Captain America: The First Avenger so I will be quick! Daniel and I went to Bagel City for lunch, got in line to order, and spotted my mother in line ahead of us, so she ended up getting us lunch and extra bagels, then Daniel and I came home and caught him up on some Last Week Tonight while I did chores and he played video games.

Paul came home early to hang out with him, then Adam arrived and they compared Kirby versions before we went to my parents' for dinner and birthday cake for Paul (whose actual birthday is Saturday, so then we're going to see his parents). Here are a few photos from our day, including the early spring post-snow view off the deck: