Friday, November 30, 2018

Poem for Friday and Decked Mall Halls

Shopping Center Santa
By Roger Turner

I'm a shopping center Santa Claus
For three weeks every year
It pays my rent and buys me food
And buys a case of beer
I never really liked it
Till one day two years back
When one small child asked me
Just how I filled my sack

I thought a bit and told the waif
That magic filled it up
Her eyes grew wide as saucers
Just waiting for a cup
I told her how my elves
Made the toys for me to give
To take around the whole wide world
Where all the children live

She asked me then why did I not
Fulfill her wish last year
I noticed then, her eyes welled up
And I know I saw a tear
She said that her poor mother
Had left and run away
She packed her bags a year ago
And left on Christmas day

She didn't leave me any gifts
She said in her small voice
She only left a letter saying
She had no other choice
She asked that with my magic
I make her wish come true
I'd said I'd try to do it
I would see what I could do

I wiped my nose and dried my tears
And put the small girl down
She turned to leave and walk away
Her coat was chocolate brown
It was a few days later
That she came back to my chair
Her eyes were bright and sparkling
And she wore ribbons in her hair

Thank you Santa for what you've done
There's someone you should meet
This is my mum, she's come back home
She's my early Christmas treat
Your magic worked a miracle
You made my wish come true
Now I believe in Santa Claus
And the Easter Bunny too!

I did not try to find her mum
To lie would not be fair
But when I left the mall that night
I said a little prayer
I prayed to God that she would find
Her mother back in her life
And that this small, young child
Would be free from any strife

I know that it's a pipe dream
Like wishing on a star
But I wished on one a few years back
And someone heard me from afar
I'm a shopping center Santa Claus
For a week or maybe two
But little girl, wherever you are
I still believe in you.


Thursday was a very pretty day -- chilly but clear -- so after a pile of morning work, I went to meet a friend at Starbucks, then took a walk in the park and eventually ended up at the mall for a Pokemon raid. You'd never know that Thanksgiving was just a week ago; the mall is in full Christmas mode, though Santa looked a little lonely and Sears, which is closing after the holidays, just looked sad.

2018-11-29 17.07.21

2018-11-29 16.18.31

2018-11-29 15.50.38

2018-11-29 15.32.25

2018-11-29 16.17.23

2018-11-29 16.18.26

2018-11-29 15.37.34

I made Paul watch the Jurassic World LEGO prequel, which was very enjoyable -- sure, a giant commercial for adorable LEGO dinosaurs, but much less dark and violent than the actual Jurassic Park movies. Then we caught up on The Gifted, which is like a darker parallel to this season's Supergirl. And then we saw the horror of the Cowboys-Saints game before turning it off for infotainment!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Poem for Thursday and Winter Pigs

By Kerri Webster

All winter she’s been growing more powerful.
Radiant, says the man at the bar.
Voluptuous, says the docent.
Nervy, says God.
All winter her soul has been juddering.
It feels like drinking gold flakes!
The word sleeps inside the stone.
The wind tongues the underside of the lake.
Inside the rifle scope of time, God
teaches her Grounding Techniques
through his emissary, a Certified Therapist.
Beetles bore their dirty traffic into pine trees.
God says, You cling to deixis
like a life raft. Here, you
say. Now, you say. All winter, you say, like it means
something, days crossed off your compulsive
calendar, wind tied to your wrist like
a pet. This dumb hunger for
fixity! I made your cells
to shed, says God. See them
everywhere, everywhere.
She bites her lip till it bleeds.
Who wouldn’t immanentize the eschaton, if they could,
build heaven on earth in the backyard?
She wouldn’t, is who.
Day a slit-throated ewe.
She wears a prayer around her neck
in another language, no clue
what it says.
Who will translate the prayer?
Listen: she loved a happy libertine
and thought that was heaven.
To ground herself
she strips berries from the juniper bushes.
Well, says God,
Alexander the Great dyed his hair
saffron. We are all
made fools in this world.


I had my twice-yearly waterboarding, I mean dentist appointment, on Wednesday, and they insisted that I have a panorama x-ray, so if I die of pneumonia from aspirating my own saliva or thyroid cancer from too many x-rays, you know who to sue. I never hated the dentist this much as a child when it was just scary-looking metal instruments, but those water needles are the worst.

However, since I was five minutes from where niece now lives, I went to visit her and wound up taking her, one of her roommates, and a friend to World Market because several of us had coupons for free holiday ornaments, though I got an extra shiny unicorn and a sparkly fish because who can have too many? We also stopped in Trader Joe's so I also have spicy pepper jack cheese.

Paul had to work very late unexpectedly, so he wasn't home till nearly 9 and we didn't have dinner till nearly 10. Because he kept texting that he'd be here any minute, I didn't put on a movie and instead sat through Christmas in Rockefeller Center and John Legend's Christmas special. Here from Caprikorn Farm are some of the piggies we met there and an interloper:

2018-11-17 15.34.10

2018-11-17 15.36.26

2018-11-17 15.27.24

2018-11-17 15.36.53A

2018-11-17 15.34.56

2018-11-17 15.37.04

2018-11-17 15.35.02

2018-11-17 15.34.18

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Poem for Wednesday and Caprikorn Farm

The Goat
By Aaron Fogel

If you are a goat, do you believe
What people tell you about
Goats, and eat
Tin cans?
There’s no goat that foolish.
Or is there?
The goat of the universe believed
What people told him about universes
And came into existence.
Bang!  How naive can you get?
Even the scapegoat is not as naive
As (God help him) the universe that
Agreed to exist.
A word to the wise: Don’t eat tin cans.
Don’t listen. Don’t exist.


Look, a poem! That's even thematically connected to the photos! But my Tuesday was really pretty boring. Shutterfly extended their Cyber Monday sale, so I made a bunch more holiday presents for people, and I did a bunch of cleaning-up chores and even got some writing done. The linens have been washed, dried, and put away, which just leaves one more load of clothes.

We had a DC night -- The Flash, better than last season but the Cicada storyline is already starting to drag, then Black Lightning, characters stronger than sci-fi but I don't care, then this week's Supergirl, where the characters sometimes annoy me but the stories have been great. As promised, here are the goats of Caprikorn Farm a couple of weekends ago, trying to eat treats and me:

2018-11-17 15.38.27

2018-11-17 15.51.43

2018-11-17 15.48.23

2018-11-17 15.46.46

2018-11-17 15.47.09

2018-11-17 15.46.52

2018-11-17 15.48.45

2018-11-17 15.27.34

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Greetings from the Vent

Yeah I promised to return in style, but I also spent pretty much all of this rainy day finishing my France photo book before Shutterfly's Cyber Monday deals ended, and I succeeded, and even got half the laundry done, and made it to the food store and to the park in time for a Pokemon raid just as the one sliver of sun we got all day arrived at sunset, and watched the better-every-week Legends of Tomorrow with Modernist writers and X-Files fandom jokes, but now I feel like Effie in the photo below!

2018-11-22 13.10.25

Monday, November 26, 2018

Greetings from Cabin John Park

Last quickie before back to regular schedule. We had a quiet morning involving exciting things like laundry and packing, Paul made waffles, then we all took Daniel to the airport for a long flight to Seattle by way of Atlanta, which sounded out of the way but a lot of midwest airports were closed so it's just as well (and he's on the ground out west now).

Adam watched part of the Ravens game with us before heading back to College Park. Paul and I went to the park to take a walk and for a couple of Pokemon raids, then we came home for pizza and watched Doctor Who and Madam Secretary. Here are a few photos from the park, with the sun going down too early, as well as all of us at the airport:

2018-11-25 16.21.17

2018-11-25 15.18.48


2018-11-25 16.21.11

2018-11-25 16.06.05

2018-11-25 13.06.08

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Greetings from Thurmont

Extreme quickie since we are bingeing the end of The Man in the High Castle with my kids -- we got a late start since Adam went to a Friendsgiving celebration with friends from high school, and it rained torrentially -- after a nice afternoon with the kids, my parents, and Paul's parents who came to meet us in Thurmont, where we had lunch at Simply Asia and dessert at the Baskin Robbins/Dunkin' Donuts next door. More tomorrow when I'm less distracted!

2018-11-24 14.28.02

2018-11-24 14.24.43

2018-11-24 14.11.32

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Greetings from Alternate History

We had a low-key Black Friday in which no shopping took place other than going out to pick up California Tortilla to feed the family at home because Daniel had to work part of the day, as did Paul; meanwhile, Adam got a job offer he's delighted with, though I am not allowed to say where yet, so he spent the day looking up housing in San Francisco and places to visit out there. We watched the beginning of the third season of The Man in the High Castle because the kids had not seen it.

In the late afternoon we picked up Maddy and we all went to my parents' for leftovers, which were very good again though now I don't want to see tofurkey roast for a year (I always felt that way about actual turkey roast as well). Then we came home and watched a few more episodes of The Man in the High Castle, which we are hoping we can finish by tomorrow night while everyone is still here, though tomorrow afternoon we're hoping the weather permits to let us take everyone up to see Paul's parents. Here we are with cats:

2018-11-23 14.59.44

2018-11-24 00.33.12

2018-11-22 21.41.43

Friday, November 23, 2018

Greetings from Potomac

Happy Thanksgiving! I spent a very nice day with family, first my kids and Paul watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and some of the Chicago-Detroit game before taking a walk at the unusually-chilly-for-November C&O Canal, then at my parents' with Nicole and her family, where we watched some of the DC-Dallas game and ate lots of awesome food. Here are a few photos, several of which should be credited to my middle niece, my dad, and others, including one of Paul's cookie cake for this year; cookies from previous years are here!

2018-11-22 15.35.48

2018-11-22 15.45.46

2018-11-22 15.30.20

2018-11-22 17.42.53




Thursday, November 22, 2018

Greetings from the Hoenn Region

Quickie as both my kids are here! Adam took the red-eye home from San Francisco overnight, so he is pretty tired and did not arrive here till dinnertime after having to do work for his internship at NASA earlier. Daniel worked from here, as did Paul, and we all watched the rest of Westworld season two while busy on our computers, though I took Daniel with me to an EX raid where he was quite popular because his Switch allowed Pokemon Go players to catch multiple Meltans after sending him Gen 1 Pokemon.

We made a quick trip to Giant to get cat food because we realized what would had would probably not last the weekend, but otherwise it was a quiet day apart from the Pokemon raid. After dinner and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the Peanuts Mayflower special -- both with race issues -- we played Sentinels of the Multiverse, which Daniel had brought from Seattle and which is a copyright-friendly superhero game in which we cooperated to bring down an Ultron-like villain (I had psychic powers, and a corset).

2018-11-21 13.45.05

2018-11-21 13.47.27

2018-11-21 12.32.37

2018-11-21 20.29.50


2018-11-21 22.11.23

2018-11-21 22.01.00

2018-11-21 22.28.14