Thursday, April 30, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Starfest 1996

By Marguerite B. Thompson

My father gave no word of love to me.
My mother practiced laudable restraint.
My Vulcan childhood lessons logically
Prepared me to despise the human taint.

I could not blame T'Pring; I saw that she
Let flawless logic over pledge prevail
For she would stop at nothing to be free
Wisely to mate with a pure Vulcan male.

Human tormentors do not understand
Acknowledgment of feeling causes pain,
Cruelly subvert defenses I have planned,
Plot to anesthetize my watchful brain.

What will they find when I am ripped apart?
"I love you, Captain," written on my heart.


The only thing that happened of note on Wednesday was that my oldest phone died. I have a Galaxy S4, S6, and S8, and I use the first two only for playing Pokemon, but it's harder to raid without that baby account, so I asked Adam whether I could have the old phone in his room and he said it was fine. So I spent an hour taking off his programs and installing mine, and now I can fail to catch Darkrais again.

Otherwise, my day involved a bunch of scanning, two walks in the woods because it was warm and beautiful out, an hour of The Masked Singer (I was on the phone with my college roommate during After the Mask), and this week's What We Do in the Shadows (funny but no Superb Owl). Since I said I would yesterday, here are some photos from Starfest Denver 1996 with several people who are still my very dear friends!









Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Poem for Wednesday, Star Trek Scans, Cats

Sonnet from the Vulcan: Omicron Ceti Three
By Shirley Meech

I thought the memory of you was gone----
I thought it buried underneath the years.
But now, it rises, bright as Vulcan dawn,
And I remember you, and Earth, and tears.

Your tears were falling like the rains of Earth;
You were the storms and roses of Earth's spring.
You could not know that, almost from my birth
The rites of Vulcan bound me to T'Pring.

I could not break those ties; I had no choice---
Returned to space, left you and Earth behind.
But still I heard the echo of your voice,
Found the rain and wind and roses in my mind.

You told me that you loved me, and you cried.
I said I had no feelings. And I lied.


On Tuesday I hit a weird gap in my photo scanning, and then I realized why: the photos from Starfest 1996 were not with my family photos but down the basement with my Star Trek photos. So I got out the 12 Trek albums and spent the entire day pulling out the photos I wanted to scan, then replacing the ones I wanted to keep. It will surprise no one whom I've known for a long time that I have several hundred photos of Kate Mulgrew, of which precisely two were taken by me (both of her with Paul and Daniel at the aforementioned Starfest 1996). I scanned maybe 15 photos with Kate and 100 of friends, fellow fans, KMAS members crowded together in hotel beds, and a few other Star Trek actors (Louise Fletcher)!

Because I was feeling nostalgic, I checked in with a couple of friends from Voyager days and got to talk on the phone with a couple of them, which was lovely. Even though we tried to catch up on our WB shows before this evening, we ended up watching Inside the Vatican -- I blame The New Pope in large part -- after the Secrets of the Dead episode about Notre Dame on PBS, which was fascinating, lots of information about how wood was originally used in the construction and lots of information about how Viollet-le-Duc planned the cathedral's restoration, including the spire destroyed in the fire last year. I don't have the Star Trek photos uploaded to Flickr yet, so instead here are some more of my cats!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Poem for Tuesday and Butler's Orchard 1996

By Arthur Rimbaud

Graceful son of Pan! Around your forehead crowned with small
flowers and berries, your eyes, precious spheres, are moving.
Spotted with brownish wine lees, your cheeks grow hollow. Your
fangs are gleaming. Your chest is like a lyre, jingling sounds
circulate between your blond arms. Your heart beats in that belly
where the double sex sleeps. Walk at night, gently moving that thigh,
that second thigh and that left leg.


Monday was pretty quiet around here -- laundry and basement organizing, lots of photo scanning that required taking apart and restoring the album with Adam's first photos, leftovers for lunch, veggie sausage for dinner -- though we did take a walk to enjoy the gorgeous no-longer-rainy cool weather, since our neighborhood is still at peak azalea bloom. Several people have apparently decided they no longer need to keep dogs on leashes or cats indoors, which is irritating me even though I love dogs and cats.

We watched this week's Antiques Roadshow -- ever since the Winterthur episodes, I'm suddenly really interested in where they film and why and whose items they pick to discuss -- and last week's Legends of Tomorrow, so we can watch the new one tomorrow (we're behind on The Flash but we're watching the Secrets of the Dead Notre Dame episode on PBS in that hour, so we'll catch up later). I know it's the wrong season but here from the scanning project are photos from Butler's Orchard's pumpkin festival in 1996:









Monday, April 27, 2020

Poem for Monday and Pastel Azaleas

Summer's Moon
By Kim Sowol

This night of the cool bright moon,
summer night hazy with clouds,
the fresh, drenching, red dew falls
from unbounded, solemn skies.
Among the highest branches
young insects, happy spirits,
creep through the leaves’ cool shadows—
Ah, such waves of gladness!
Branching, spreading, ascending,
even thorn vines are bathed
in the moon’s oil-like vapor.
Ah, such beauty exiles sleep!
As curving grass stems dance
and the rushes sing their soft song,
O shape into words the ages
held in the light sifting down!
The houses are quiet with sleep
as the wind from the fields of rice
leaves a fragrance.


We had rain almost all day Sunday, so I had the laziest Sunday of the past 10 years. I spent the morning arguing with Dell representatives, the upshot of which is that I'm getting a new computer (for more than I was hoping but less than I was fearing), though that won't be arriving until mid-May. The highlight of my day was a group Zoom with fannish friends! I was going to follow that with a family Zoom that we've been trying to set up for weeks, but my uncle had connectivity issues.

We had leftover noodles for dinner and watched Batwoman (needed more Kate and her sisters but it was all worth watching for "The Joker isn't in Arkham"), then World on Fire (oh, Sean Bean, you poor broken idiot, pay attention to your children instead of seeing them as extensions of yourself), and then the late showing of Westworld (come on, Maeve and Dolores, you must see that you should be working together). Wet azaleas and a few dry ones from earlier in the week:

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Greetings from Azalea Month

Quickie after unexpected Skype with kids, both of whom were making cookies with their girlfriends (so we have "met" the woman Daniel is seeing, and she is hopefully enough of a Star Wars fan not to think we are insane Trekkie nerds)! Plus SNL is on, and Kate McKinnon and her cat are making me laugh too hard to think. We took a walk with my parents around their neighborhood at proper social distance, and it was Pokemon Community Day for twice the usual amount of time so I caught lots of shiny Abras and evolved several Alakazams.

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In the evening we watched Bad Education, which I'd thought from interviews was a black comedy, but is actually a drama though that did not stop me from shrieking several times, as I didn't know the details of the case it was based on so Hugh Jackman did several things I did not expect. He was wonderful, as was Allison Janney (as always, though not as evil as she is in I, Tonya), and Geraldine Viswanathan as the real hero of the film, though it's surprisingly subtle and strongly disapproving of the entire community in which the antagonists operated!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Poem for Saturday, Love Never Dies, Supervisory Cats

Cats Sleep Anywhere
By Eleanor Farjeon

Cats sleep, anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody's lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don't care!
Cats sleep anywhere.


Friday was rainy and uneventful with only moderate computer woes. I finished scanning my photos from 1997 and moved on to the many boxes from 1996, a year in which we took a lot of photos because we had a baby but didn't have time to organize them because we had a baby so quite a bit of the project at this point is figuring out what goes in which folder. We did, eventually, take a walk to enjoy the damp azaleas in the neighborhood, and when we got home our cats acted like we'd been gone for eight hours and no one had fed them in all that time.

We had Lebanese Taverna delivered for dinner and watched Love Never Dies on Andrew Lloyd Webber's streaming channel, whose plot has not improved since I last saw it but which still has some lovely songs. (Are we to assume that the Phantom and Raoul moved in together to raise Gustave, who obviously must have grown up to be a serial killer?) Then we watched the finale of The Plot Against America, which was not low-stress or relaxing but I was glad Bess told Evelyn what she did. Since I posted Adam's dog yesterday, here are our cats in quarantine:

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Poem for Friday and Pepper the Dog

The Dancing
By Gerald Stern

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots
I have never seen a post-war Philco
with the automatic eye
nor heard Ravel's "Bolero" the way I did
in 1945 in that tiny living room
on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did
then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,
my mother red with laughter, my father cupping
his left hand under his armpit, doing the dance
of old Ukraine, the sound of his skin half drum,
half fart, the world at last a meadow,
the three of us whirling and singing, the three of us
screaming and falling, as if we were dying,
as if we could never stop—in 1945—
in Pittsburgh, beautiful filthy Pittsburgh, home
of the evil Mellons, 5,000 miles away
from the other dancing—in Poland and Germany—
oh God of mercy, oh wild God.


It rained most of the day Thursday and my computer drove me bonkers. So apart from getting a new Thor face mask with around-the-head instead of over-the-ears straps, having Paul make bangers & mash for St. George's Day, and finding out that the National Theatre will be streaming both versions of the production of Frankenstein in which Cumberbatch and Miller switch off playing the doctor and the monster, it was not my favorite quarantine day.

We were going to watch the streaming Twelfth Night in honor of Shakespeare's birthday but I was fighting with an upload, so instead we watched the start of the NFL draft (I could not pass a quiz on a single choice though), followed by the Belgravia we had missed -- this time I won't know whether all my predictions are right until next week. I have had requests to see more of my grand-dog, so here are photos Adam and Katherine sent the past week:

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Fallingwater

From Falling Water
By John Koethe

Look at our surroundings -- where a previous age
Could visualize a landscape we see borders,
Yet I think the underlying vision is the same:
A person positing a world that he can see
And can’t contain, and vexed by other people.
Everything is possible; some of it seemed real
Or nearly real, yet in the end it spoke to me alone,
In phrases echoing the isolation of a meager
Ledge above a waterfall, or rolling across a vast,
Expanding plain on which there’s always room,
But only room for one. It starts and ends
Inside an ordinary room, while in the interim
Brimming with illusions, filled with commonplace
Delights that make the days go by, with simple
Arguments and fears, and with the nervous
Inkling of some vague, utopian conceit
Transforming both the landscape and our lives,
Until we look around and find ourselves at home,
But in a wholly different world. And even those
Catastrophes that seemed to alter everything
Seem fleeting, grounded in a natural order
All of us are subject to, and ought to celebrate.


A great thing happened on Wednesday! I HAVE BEYOND BURGERS! Yes, it's the little things, but we have failed for weeks to find them anywhere but restaurants, and I managed to get an early morning Whole Foods delivery slot before they were sold out! We have Beyond Sausage too, though that isn't as crucial to my mental health. Plus we got more bagels delivered, so although I will not be losing any weight, I will be happy.

It was such a nice afternoon that we decided to take a walk on one of Cabin John Park's little-used woods trails near our house, where there are still bluebells. Otherwise, it was not a very eventful day, though I finished the very disorganized 1999-2000 photo box and moved on to scanning the slightly better organized 1997-1998 box. The 1996 box is sure to be a mess because we had a baby in the middle of that year.

We watched The Masked Singer, plus the quarantine-themed special afterward, which had several fun moments -- the contestant dog, licking his chops after the reward for behaving in costume, was a highlight -- then we watched What We Do in the Shadows' Superb Owl party, which was hilarious. Found and scanned today after being missing for many years, some pictures from a brief stop at Fallingwater with kids in 1997: