Sunday, March 31, 2019

Greetings from Asgard

Paul and I met Cheryl at EagleBank Arena to see Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes, which is glorious fun as long as you aren't picky about things like acting and realistic special effects -- Spider-Man hangs from wires instead of webs and the dragon looks suspiciously like it might be a film projection, plus Captain America and Black Widow appear to have been hired for their motorcycle skills more than their oratory skills, but pretty much every pre-Infinity War superhero and a lot of villains are in it, with Loki leading the bad guys and dragging the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy all the way back to Asgard! Black Panther got the most applause, but there were kids dressed as every comic hero imaginable, including Wonder Woman, Superman, and some others not even from the MCU. After the show, we met a friend from DC for dinner at the Bollywood Bistro in Fairfax Old Town, then got home in time for the end of the Virginia-Purdue game!

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Poem for Saturday and Sugarloaf Mountain

From 'Love Songs'
By Mina Loy


Green things grow
For the cerebral
Forager's revival
And flowered flummery
Upon bossed bellies
Of mountains
Rolling in the sun


Shedding our petty pruderies
From slit eyes

We sidle up
To Nature
 -  -  -  that irate pornographist


I got to spend a lot of Friday with Denise, who was in town for events before noon and after 6! We met at the mall and got Indian food and bubble tea, then came back to my house and watched Cruel Intentions (for its 20th anniversary) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "One More With Feeling" (because we got in the mood for it). Plus we played with cats and traded Pokemon.

Paul had a birthday coupon for Not Your Average Joe's, so we went there for dinner (I had the goat cheese salad and we split the Peanut Butter Thing for dessert). Around basketball, we watched the last two episodes of The Widow, which developed REALLY bad White People Making Africa All About Them problems, sigh. From last weekend while Adam was still here, the view from Sugarloaf Mountain:

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Poem for Friday and Longwood Conservatory

Dream in Which I Love a Third Baseman
By Lisa Olstein

At first he seemed a child,
dirt on his lip and the sun
lighting up his hair behind him.

All around us, the hesitation
of year-rounders who know
the warmer air will bring crowds.

No one goes to their therapist
to talk about how happy they are,
but soon I’d be back in the dugout

telling my batting coach how
the view outside my igloo seemed
to be changing, as if the night

sky were all the light there is.
Now, like two babies reaching
through the watery air to touch soft

fingers to soft forehead, like blind fish
sensing a familiar fluttering in the waves,
slowly, by instinct, we became aware.

Off-field, outside the park, beyond
the gates, something was burning.  
The smell was everywhere.


We had gorgeous weather again on Thursday, maybe compensation for my movie date canceling. I did a bunch of chores in the morning, then I went to the mall to use a Bath & Body Works coupon and do a last Dialga raid with a big crowd hoping for EX raid invitations. Then I stopped at GameStop, which sadly was out of every Captain Marvel collectible that came with the cat, and took a walk in the park!

Opening day did not go well for either the Orioles or Nationals, so hopefully the rest of the season will be better. We watched some Brexit news and some of the NCAA tournament, then we watched some more of The Widow, which is engrossing though it still has major White People Making Africa All About Them problems. Some more gorgeous conservatory color at Longwood Gardens:









Thursday, March 28, 2019

Poem for Thursday and Longwood in Sun

Sailing Bones
By Alan Felsenthal

Suffering I drifted to you
Seeing my suffering you suffered
Our conference on calamity
Our joints moved against wind
Sustained our growing pain
Until protruding bones
From our rumpled skin coats
Broke through to expose
Their staid, stagnant structures
To a cat we were dual cat castles
A bird perched upon my clavicle
To a friend traveling by
We no longer existed
But our suffering did


I had to do a bunch of chores on Wednesday because I blew off most of Tuesday, so the most exciting part of my day was going to the park for a Dialga raid and then the mall for my first Defense Forme Deoxys raid. It was gorgeous out -- cool, breezy, lots of trees starting to flower -- the perfect day for a walk in the park, and I got bubble tea at the mall.

We caught up after dinner on the episode of The Enemy Within that we missed earlier in the week, then watched two more episodes of The Widow, which suffers from major White People Making Africa All About Them problems but thus far Beckinsdale and Kingston are holding my interest. Here's what Longwood Gardens looks like outdoors in early March:









Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Poem for Wednesday, Thor, Winterthur

The Wind
By Robert Louis Stevenson

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass—
      O wind, a-blowing all day long,
      O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all—
      O wind, a-blowing all day long,
      O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
      O wind, a-blowing all day long,
      O wind, that sings so loud a song!


Cheryl came over on Tuesday so we could hang out, since we haven't just hung out in ages! We picked up Indian food at the mall and watched Thor and Thor: Ragnarok because we were totally in the mood for Thor and Loki (with no Dark Elves blowing things up). Plus we had some Easter candy and took a walk to see daffodils and the bunny who lives next to my house. So, perfect afternoon!

In the evening, Paul and I had faux-ham-and-cheese pie for dinner, watched some NCAA basketball, then checked out the first episode of The Widow, which was okay -- great cast, not-so-great screenplay -- followed by the season finale of Miracle Workers, which remains totally insane. Some photos from Winterthur's Enchanted Woods, the children's garden and the awesome castle folly:




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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Poem for Tuesday and Longwood Orchids

A Louder Thing
By Tiana Clark

for Kenneka Jenkins and her mother

What is it about my mother's face, a bright burn
when I think back, her teeth, her immaculate teeth

that I seldom saw or knew, her hair like braided
black liquorice. I am thinking of my mother's face,

because she is like the mother in the news whose
daughter was found dead, frozen inside a hotel freezer.

My mother is this mourning mother who begged
the staff to search for her daughter, but was denied.

Black mothers are often seen pleading for their children,
shown stern and wailing, held back somehow by police

or caution tape —

a black mother just wants to see her baby's body.
a black mother just wants to cover her baby's body

with a sheet on the street. A black mother
leaves the coffin open for all the world to see,

and my mother is no different. She is worried
about seeing the last minutes of me: pre-ghost,

stumbling alone through empty hotel hallways
failing to find balance, searching for a friend,

a center, anyone, to help me home. Yes.
I've gotten into a van with strangers.

I've taken drugs with people that did not care
how hard or fast I smoked or blew.

But what did I know of Hayden? What did I know
of that poem besides my mother’s hands, her fist,

her prayers and premonitions? What did I know
of her disembodied voice hovering over the seams

of my life like the vatic song the whip-poor-will
makes when it can sense a soul dispersing?

Still. My mother wants to know where I am,
who I am with, and when will I land.

I get frustrated by her insistence on my safety
and survival. What a shame I am. I'm sorry, mom.

Some say Black love is different. Once,
I asked my mother why she always yelled

at me when I was little. She said I never listened
to her when she spoke to me in hushed tones

like a white mother would, meaning soft volume
is a privilege. Yeah, that’s right. I am using a stereotype

to say a louder thing. I am saying my mother
was screaming when she lost me in the mall once.

I keep hearing that voice everywhere I go.
I follow my name. The music of her rage sustains me.


"I was haunted by the disturbing details of Kenneka Jenkins' mysterious death at a Chicago hotel in 2017," Clark tells "Teresa Martin's resolve reminded me of the gritty persistence from my own mother as well as Michael Brown's and Emmett Till's mothers...a poem can't bring anyone back from the dead, but in my attempted lament I wanted to investigate the contours of black mother love."

Most of my Monday involved laundry, dyeing my hair, and cleaning up from spring break, plus a project from an online group I'm in. It was a nice day until drizzle arrived in the afternoon, though it remained reasonably warm. I had plans to meet Angela and Carrie for dinner and wound up bringing Paul with me since he was bummed he never got his Silver Diner birthday coupon and that's where the gal's group ended up deciding to meet.

We got home for most of the Maryland women's game against UCLA, but the Terps lost in the final minute and that was so sad that I made Paul watch Closer, which I've meant to see for years but heard was depressing and required the right mood. It's free on Amazon Prime and well acted but definitely depressing and cynical. Now I'm watching infotainers try to deal with the Mueller Report, which is worse. From Longwood Gardens' Orchid Extravaganza:









Monday, March 25, 2019

Greetings from Thurmont

Sunday was Paul's birthday, so we went along with Adam and my parents to meet Paul's parents at Simply Asia in Thurmont, where we had lots of excellent Chinese and Thai food. Then we skyped with Daniel, who had to work all weekend along with his team in Seattle to finish something that launches next week.

We had to get home relatively early in the afternoon because Adam's spring break was ending and he needed to get back to College Park, but since it was a gorgeous day, Paul and I then went to Cabin John Park to listen to the spring peepers and walk around Locust Grove before stopping to pick up birthday cake.

I missed most of this week's Supergirl, but we watched Billions and Madam Secretary around phone calls from Paul's brother and sandwiches for dinner (we were still full from lunch). CBS ran so late from March Madness that the latter only just ended. I'm rooting for UVA, so they'll probably lose!

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