Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Poem for Wednesday and Japanese Animals in Art

Cat Tanka
By Fujiwara Teika
Translated by Jeff Robbins

How I envy
his voice unsparing,
the stray cat
with all of his heart,
makes love to his wife


My Tuesday was not more eventful than my Monday: more chores, an article on a Star Trek topic I'd not written about in a long time, bills paid, a bit of blah shopping. Plus I literally lost my marbles -- I'd had a bag of marbles saved for a project and the bag is gone, I've looked everywhere. I had no stomach for two nights of zillion-candidate Democratic debates.

Instead we watched the penultimate episode of The 100 this season, which made me sad, and Blood & Treasure, which is fun fluff. From the National Gallery of Art's Life of Animals in Japanese Art exhibit, zodiac animals, Inari foxes, raccoon dogs, an elephant by an artist who had never seen a live one, and traditional and contemporary penguin kimono:

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Poem for Tuesday and Poplar Spring Animals

By Elizabeth Jennings

I visited the place where we last met.
Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,
The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;
There was no sign that anything had ended
And nothing to instruct me to forget.

The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,
Singing an ecstasy I could not share,
Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these
Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear
Or any discord shake the level breeze.

It was because the place was just the same
That made your absence seem a savage force,
For under all the gentleness there came
An earthquake tremor: Fountain, birds and grass
Were shaken by my thinking of your name.


I did not have an exciting Monday, though I managed to fix the broken drawer in Adam's bedroom dresser (it will probably even hold together as long as nothing heavier than a couple of handkerchiefs get put in it instead of the 15 heavy textbooks son had in there) and I got laundry and vacuuming done. It is upsetting to have to worry about having a kid in San Francisco at risk not even from drug crime in the city but from neo-Nazis at food festivals.

Around baseball (Nationals went up early, Orioles are losing late on the west coast), we watched the last two episodes of the season of Burden of Truth, which I am glad is coming back -- the twists in the courtroom stretched credulity even taking into account that I don't know the finer points of the Canadian court system, but I like all the women and hope they keep up the First Nations storylines. Some animals and folk singers from Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary:

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Greetings from the National Mall

After breakfast and the Daniel Radcliffe episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, I went downtown with Paul and Cheryl to the National Gallery of Art's The Life of Animals in Japanese Art, which has spectacular scrolls, kimonos, sculptures, and some of the legends that inspired them, including a couple that made me understand where certain Pokemon and their evolution come from. We also went to see Hahn/Cock, the enormous blue rooster on the upper deck, and By the Light of the Silvery Moon, a history of lunar photography leading up to Apollo 11.

Then we walked to the National Museum of American History, stopping for ice cream along the way, to see the Batmobile and Marvel and DC displays downstairs and the Wizard of Oz and collection highlights upstairs. Now Cheryl is on her way home and Paul and I are watching Russell Crowe be terrifying in The Loudest Voice after an episode of Burden of Truth. Tomorrow I'll catch up on email, uploading photos, cleaning the house, etc.!

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Greetings from Poplar Spring

Another quickie. Cheryl is here and we just finished watching Tolkien (a little formulaic and traditional WWI biopic but still interesting and well acted) after bingeing the four episodes of Good Omens that she hadn't seen. Before that, we had lunch and went to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary for the Montgomery County farm tour, where we saw geese, ducks, goats, sheep, alpacas, pigs, chickens, turkeys, guineafowl, horses, folk singers, a "yard sale" with very pretty and extremely inexpensive jewelry, and the biggest cow I have ever seen:

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Greetings from the Car

I have been on the phone for the past three hours with my college roommate Tracey, which was awesome, so I will just say that 1) we got the car back, 2) I bought three little nautical-themed glass tables at A.C. Moore on a huge end-of-season sale that are in my bedroom making me happy, and 3) we had dinner with my parents, came home for Agents of SHIELD, and then I was talking all night so have a photo of our souvenir giveaways from the Giants game on a shelf at Adam's new apartment!

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Poem for Friday and Oracle Park

Baseball Canto
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor's voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits and little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
Standing straight and still like at some funeral of a blarney bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.

But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun and takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go mad with Chicanos and blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
"Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!"
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don't come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he's escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he's beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don't stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.


I still don't have a vehicle. I don't even want to talk about it. I got out of the house to the park for a little while, and I got all the twin sheets and comforters out of the linen closet to give away (with a great deal of kitchen stuff and clothing that Adam brought home from college but doesn't need in California) now that we have no twin beds in the house, but otherwise I have frustration.

We caught up on The Loudest Voice, in which Russell Crowe behaves so repulsively that it's hard to remember I ever found him attractive, and we watched this week's Elementary, from which I was distracted by a couple of phone calls and chat messages but I know Odin is bad news. I am no Giants fan but everyone who told me their stadium was the most beautiful in the U.S. was right:









Thursday, July 25, 2019

Poem for Thursday and San Francisco Penguins

By Alfred Austin

Let me, calm face, remain
For ever in these sweet sequestered nooks,
Remote from pain,
Where leafy laurustinus overlooks
The blue abounding main.

Ne'er will I crave, I vow,
Your loveliness despite, that we may stand
More nigh than now;
You, with the fresh-plucked roses in your hand,
And I with inclined brow.

With air, and sea, and sky,
And penetrative music on the beach,
All that is high,
And far, and holy, and beyond our reach,
I you identify.

Then, lady, let me stay,
Here where no storm nor surge of discontent
Can find its way;
Hearkening your holy admonitions, blent
With murmurs from the bay. 


I STILL have no vehicle, though Paul worked from home so we could go pick up the car in the afternoon. So once again I was boring, though I will report that all post-trip laundries are now folded and Adam's room is clean as long as you don't open the closets or look in the bins under the bed. I could only take so much of Mueller's testimony, so while I was folding the laundry I watched The Brothers Bloom, which was sadder than I expected but very well acted.

We went out to Giant for cat food (and I did two Mewtwo raids during the weekly raid hour), then we came home and had veggie sloppy joe's for dinner. Afterward we caught up on the Elementary and Agents of SHIELD episodes that we missed while we were in San Francisco, which I miss a lot now that the heat and humidity are climbing again. Here are some of the penguins from the San Francisco Zoo, where we got to watch them being fed and singing to each other:








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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Poem for Wednesday and Giants Wildlife

The Radio Animals
By Matthea Harvey

The radio animals travel in
lavender clouds. They are
always chattering, they are
always cold. Look directly
at the buzzing blur and
you'll see twitter, hear
flicker—that's how much
they ignore the roadblocks.
They're rabid with doubt.
When a strong sunbeam
hits the cloud, the heat in
their bones lends them a
temporary gravity and they
sink to the ground. Their
little thudding footsteps
sound like "Testing,
testing, 1 2 3" from a far
-away galaxy. Like pitter
and its petite echo, patter.
On land, they scatter into
gutters and alleyways,
pressing their noses into
open Coke cans,
transmitting their secrets
to the silver circle at the
bottom of the can. Of
course we've wired their
confessionals and hired a
translator. We know that
when they call us Walkie
Talkies they mean it
scornfully, that they
disdain our in and
outboxes, our tests of true
or false.


We had our car, which was sideswiped in Baltimore earlier this month, in the shop while we were away for repairs and it was supposed to be finished, but it turned out that one of the parts was damaged, so I had no vehicle on Tuesday. This was fine, since I had several laundries and a ton of cleaning up to do, both trip-related and things Adam left in various parts of the house, but it means I was very boring.

We caught up on last week's The 100 before watching this week's (and I will never not miss Marcus, but I admit I get a kick out of Bellarke now that Eliza and Bob have announced their marriage), plus we watched Blood and Treasure while I tried to sort photos that Facebook uploaded and tagged incorrectly. I only saw my cats today and a few deck squirrels, so here are some of the animals of Oracle Park:









Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Greetings from Home

Paul and I spent most of Monday traveling from San Francisco to our house, starting with a very early breakfast in our hotel, then a drive to the airport and train ride from the rental car return to the terminal. We had free United Club passes from our frequent flyer miles, so we had soft drinks there for an hour and I did a Scyther raid with strangers I couldn't see. We had a fairly easy flight until we hit the storms just leaving DC, during which we ate hummus and cream cheese and watched Stan & Ollie, which was less depressing than I expected. Our cats were so well fed by our catsitter that they were more interested in our luggage than in us. We watched one episode of Blood and Treasure while catching up on email and uploading photos, so here are some from the Civic Center neighborhood of San Francisco:



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