Sunday, May 31, 2020

Greetings from the C&O

It felt like summer on Saturday, so after lunch and a bunch of scanning (I'm nearly finished with the last skating album), we put on our masks and went to take a walk along the C&O Canal. There were lots of cars at Carderock, but we parked at the tiny lot by Lockhouse 8 and saw few people -- more bikers than walkers (the latter mostly with dogs and wearings masks, the former riding in packs, not socially distanced, no masks and plenty of asshattery). I forgot my camera, having gotten out of the habit of taking it, so of course we saw many frogs, some turtles, even a wood duck with ducklings!

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After dinner, we Skyped with our kids. During the conversation we could hear police sirens near Daniel's apartment, then a city-wide siren, and he got a text saying they were under curfew immediately. Now Adam and Katherine are as well, since he lives right near SF City Hall. The police car fires that have been on the news are very close to him. I completely support the protestors and also want justice, but really want no more innocent people to be hurt. We just watched The Goldfinch, which did not go as I predicted and in some ways was disappointing but had a reasonably satisfying ending!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Poem for Saturday and Banff Springs Hotel

Fire Flowers
By E. Pauline Johnson

And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool North lands,
A Sweet Wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrowy-fed,
It hides the scars with almost human hands.

And only to the heart that knows of grief,
Of desolating fire, of human pain,
There comes some purifying sweet belief,
Some fellow-feeling beautiful, if brief.
And life revives, and blossoms once again


Friday was warm and humid and pretty quiet for most of the day, though we did have to run out to the UPS Store to drop off a contactless return, so that's the first shopping area I've been in for I don't even know how many weeks though I didn't even get out of the car. I did a long lunchtime chat with three high school friends, which was awesome, and I passed a neighbor whom I'd seen playing Pokemon while we were out walking and we ended up doing a socially distanced Reshiram raid together. In between I got a bunch of scanning done.

We spent the evening after dinner (leftover pizza) bingeing a bunch of episodes of Space Force, which is funny and has lots of great actors and many socially relevant moments, but my affection is at a pretty superficial level -- I wasn't writing down lines to quote -- and I have to admit that my favorite moment so far has been Jane Lynch threatening to sodomize Steve Carell for referring to her gender inappropriately. From 1986, some photos of the famous Banff Springs Hotel, which I didn't care back then that George VI had visited:







Friday, May 29, 2020

Poem for Friday and Many Deer

By Mary Barnard

Out of a high meadow where flowers
bloom above cloud, come down;
pursue me with reasons for smiling without malice.

Bring mimic pride like that of the seedling fir,
surprise in the perfect leg-stems
and queries unstirred by recognition or fear
pooled in the deep eyes.

Come down by regions where rocks
lift through the hot haze of pain;
down landscapes darkened, crossed
by the rift of death-shock; place print
of a neat hoof on trampled ground
where not one leaf or root
remains unbitten; but come down
always, accompany me to the morass
of the decaying mind. There
we’ll share one rotted stump between us.


Thursday was my father's birthday, so I had a family oriented day. After a day of scanning Paul's final two albums -- one from Sweden from when his parents visited in 1987, including an extensive family tree leading up to the modern relatives they visited, and one that his grandmother put together for all her grandchildren, with photos and anecdotes from her entire life -- we briefly saw my parents (socially distanced) to give my dad a birthday present, and got to try the chocolate covered apples my sister and her family had sent him.

Apparently it was National Burger Day, so we had (veggie) burgers for dinner with the leftover macaroni salad from Memorial Day. We watched Burden of Truth (lots of interesting women having complicated lives) and Blindspot (so much crazy in the storylines this season, I am just here for the characters), then three episodes of the fifth season of Arrested Development (still a delight). Here are some of the deer we saw in front of my parents' house today, in the woods near my house, and a newborn fawn in the last photo taken in New York by my sister!

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Iceland

Dagliljan (Daylilies)
By Magnús Sigurðsson
Translated by Meg Matich

Nú glitrar

í krónu

Hún sem er
í senn

sem fyllist

og bikar
sem tæmist

hvern nýjan dag.


The morning sun

on the crown
of a daylily.

A wellspring
that fills

and a cruet
that empties

each day.


I have nothing exciting to report from my Wednesday -- scanned some skating photos, found an entire album of Paul's childhood photos and scanned those, took a walk, talked to some neighbors, watched The 100 (so many awesome women), the season premiere of Agents of SHIELD (really good!), the new What We Do in the Shadows (Guillermo!), plus the beginning of the fifth season of Arrested Development which we had forgotten was even a thing, but I am sulking because these were my photos from last year today and I wish I was there now:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Poem for Wednesday and Torvill & Dean

By Gail Mazur

In the warming house, children lace their skates,  
bending, choked, over their thick jackets.

A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,

clumping across the frozen beach to the river.  
December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove,

the first sheer ice, black, then white
and deep until the city sends trucks of men

with wooden barriers to put up the boys’  
hockey rink. An hour of skating after school,

of trying wobbly figure-8’s, an hour
of distances moved backwards without falling,

then—twilight, the warming house steamy  
with girls pulling on boots, their chafed legs

aching. Outside, the hockey players keep  
playing, slamming the round black puck

until it’s dark, until supper. At night,
a shy girl comes to the cove with her father.

Although there isn’t music, they glide
arm in arm onto the blurred surface together,

braced like dancers. She thinks she’ll never
be so happy, for who else will find her graceful,

find her perfect, skate with her
in circles outside the emptied rink forever?


Tuesday was not a good day. We found out that another relative, Paul's brother's wife, had lost her father to the coronavirus -- I can't even remember now if I mentioned here that his cousin's wife also lost her father to it after a long, horrible hospital stay. My day was mostly quiet: I was scanning old skating pictures, I chatted online with my good friend in England, and I talked to my college roommate so that was lovely.

We watched Stargirl, which I liked better than the first though I hope she interacts more with other girls, and Legends of Tomorrow, which was awesome -- I don't care if they borrowed the concept from Supernatural, Kirk and Spock as lesbian lovers was a thing of beauty and I loved the Mr. Rogers and Downton Abbey parodies too! These pics are from the 1984 World Professional Figure Skating Championships and my father took the actual skating photos:









Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Poem for Tuesday and Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies
By William Marr

Those unafraid of the cold
please step up

the whole valley fills with pines
standing tall and erect


We had a fairly quiet family-oriented Memorial Day, albeit a distanced one. In the morning, while Paul made hamburger buns out of sourdough starter, I finished scanning the photos from my earliest album, so I have digitized nearly all the personal photos in this house except a few in frames, our wedding album, and the kids' Bar Mitzvah albums. So at least I got that done in quarantine! It was another gorgeous not-too-hot day, so in the afternoon we took a walk on the main Cabin John Park trail. Before dinner, Paul's parents wanted to Skype again, so we talked to them for a while.

We ate (Beyond) burgers, macaroni salad, and potato salad before Skyping with our kids, Daniel's girlfriend and my parents. Adam's girlfriend got laid off along with most of her division last week, so their plans are very up in the air after their lease runs out -- they would like to move out of the city and probably the San Francisco area. I'm hoping it's possible to visit them again before they do. We watched this week's Billions and the first episode of I Know This Much Is True, which were depressing in different ways. Here are some photos of the gorgeous Canadian Rockies from a 1986 trip:









Monday, May 25, 2020

Poem for Monday and Old Disney World

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight
By Jack Prelutsky

Tonight is the night all the dragons
Awake in their lairs underground,
To sing in cacophonous chorus
And fill the whole world with their sound.
They sing of the days of their glory,
They sing of their exploits of old,
Of maidens and Knights, and of fiery fights,
And guarding vast caches gold.
Some of their voices are treble,
And some of their voices are deep,
But all of their voices are thunderous,
And no one can get any sleep.
I lie in my bed and I listen,
Enchanted and filled with delight,
To songs I can hear only one night a year–
The dragons are singing tonight.


Sunday was beautiful and cool. We baked bread, I did a bunch of scanning, then we met my mother in the parking lot at Locust Grove for a socially distanced walk in the woods. I chatted with fannish friends when we got home, then we had stuffed ravioli for dinner.

We caught up in the evening on Burden of Truth and saw the new episode of Snowpiercer after the Memorial Day concert on PBS, which we watched mostly because the latter was delayed by the Tiger Woods charity golf match. From a trip to Disney World in 1975, before Epcot: