Monday, May 17, 2021

Greetings from Cabin John

Sunday had three different weather zones -- cool in the morning when I went out to do some neighborhood stuff and swapped photos with older son, warm around lunchtime when we ate and skyped with younger son, then the rain rolled in and by the time we got to Cabin John Park, we needed our hoods up. We stopped at Giant on the way home -- it is nice to feel safe again needing a spontaneous grocery stop! So it was on the one hand a very social day and on the other I did very little -- all these photos are from the park, around the neighborhood, and pics my kids sent me. 

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Tai Chi Circle

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Cabin John Amphitheater 

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By the creek 

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Shopping at Giant 


Chipmunk on the deck 

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Pic from younger son of himself and granddog

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Older son's pic from his hike on Cougar Mountain 

We had faux fish and chips for dinner before Legends of Tomorrow, which had many delightful moments but it's time for Sara and Ava to be in the same storyline already. Then we watched the finale to the first part of The Nevers, which explains some things by making things much more convoluted than I could have imagined and doing a thing Joss Whedon has done to female characters before, much to my fury to such an extent that I'm not sure I'll bother coming back when the show does. And John Oliver pulled "I can't be arsed to talk about history when I talk about Israel/Palestine" so fuck that show too.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Greetings from Wootton's Mill Park

Quickie while watching SNL after a Saturday that included something I haven't done in a year and a half: a visit to a Target store. This was precipitated by the catastrophic discovery that our local food store was out of kitty litter and that PetSmart, from which we had placed a same-day order specifically to get the litter along with some food that was not a pressing emergency, could not deliver the litter after all. Since we were in Rockville, we went to take a walk at Wootton's Mill Park, where we hoped to see goslings and instead found several turtles, frogs, and birds. 


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We had dinner on my parents' deck and saw my neighbor Rose, who brought our cats treats and gave us two beautiful bird feeders she is no longer using, so hopefully our wrens will come back. We also picked up Looper from the public library because we'd never seen it and there were things in Tenet, Synchronic, and an episode of Debris that made us think we should, though what it made us think the most of was Edge of Tomorrow and Deadpool 2 (at least, that last allowed me to predict the ending). I have watched too many time travel movies, I think! 


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Greetings from Spring Turtles

I had an ultrasound on Friday morning to make sure my liver and gall bladder are doing well on my various medications -- doctor said they're fine -- so that would have been fine, despite having to fast without even being allowed to drink water until nearly noon, if not for a crowded and disastrously managed waiting room in which non-patient spouses were given preference for seating over actual patients. Then I came home, ate ravenously, and had a bath refitter come give us an estimate which was higher than the previous estimate so not really the direction we wanted to go. And then we took a walk, since it was gorgeous out. 

We had couscous for dinner, then watched two movies on HBO Max: Greenland, which is like a mashup of Armageddon, Deep Impact, 2012, and San Andreas except Gerard Butler isn't as charming as the leads of any of those and the pacing is bizarre, and Those Who Wish Me Dead, which has some serious plot holes (a fire ranger who can't smell that there's a fire before it's on top of her?) but also has Angelina Jolie and Medina Senghore kicking ass and the quite good child actor from Tidelands, plus Nicholas Hoult as a villain. Here are some of the turtles of Lake Whetstone, plus some of the inevitable geese: 








Friday, May 14, 2021

Lyrics for Friday and Lake Whetstone Goslings

Days Like These
By Janis Ian

On days like these when the rain won't fall
And the sky is so dry that even birds can't call
I can feel your tears disappearing in the air
Carried on the breeze on days like these

It's years like these that makes a young man old
Bend his back against the promises that life should hold
They can make him wise they can drive him to his knees
Nothing comes for free on days like these

But you can't reap what you don't sow
And you can't plant in fallow ground
So let us fill this empty earth with hope
Until the rains come down

In lives like these where every moment counts
I add up all the things rhat I can live without
When the one thing left is the blessing of my dreams
I can make my peace with days like these


My day involved squirrels and chipmunks and gorgeous weather and restringing a necklace with little glass animals, which I want to be able to wear so I changed the tarnished beads for glittery ones. Tonight I chatted with fannish friends and ran late trying to organize photos and we caught up on Kung Fu. Here are some photos of the geese and goslings in Montgomery Village at Lake Whetstone last weekend: 








Now I'm watching the Dawson's Creek season three finale in which I am enormously grateful to discover that although Netflix did not pay to keep Jessica Andrews' "I Will Be There For You" during the scene in which Jack's dad tries to comfort him about being gay, they did keep Pancho's Lament's "Promise Me This" during the scene where Pacey paints Joey's wall and Janis Ian's "Days Like These" during the wedding and the last scene. Also I'm super glad that Mary Beth Maziarz was a college friend of Greg Berlanti! 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Poem for Thursday and Teen Goslings

By Vi Khi Nao

the sun drops his knee on fog
a diurnal genuflection that
explains the lack of clarity in the prayer’s thought
when god prays to himself
using the fog’s opaque cushion
we know god is a child
who pretends to pray
because in the midst of his holy make-believe childhood
he is a beautiful version of daffodil twirling in dew


I overslept Wednesday after my busy-for-the-pandemic Tuesday and spent the morning rushing around before my noon chat with my high school friends, which always goes longer than any of us intend but is always awesome -- today's excuse was playing with Google Meet's new backgrounds, which started with a faux cafe and ended with us sharing trip photos behind us -- so after a very late lunch including the tea younger son sent me for Mother's Day, I did a bunch of chores and took a walk on which we saw the first Brood X cicadas of this 17-year cycle. 

We had leftover Sisters Thai from Mother's Day for dinner, which was great, before The Masked Singer, which I disagreed with but at this point everyone left is pretty good so I don't really care who wins. Then we caught up on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (oh please let Max move to New York and stay there, though doubtful since Simon wasn't in this episode) and The Flash (oh and let Nora/Speedforce move to New York too and leave the show!). Here are some of the adolescent goslings we saw at Washingtonian Lake last weekend: 








Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Poem for Wednesday and Relaxing Cats

Field in Spring
By Susan Stewart

Your eye moving
left to right across
the plowed lines
looking to touch down
on the first
shoots coming up
like a frieze
from the dark where
pale roots
and wood-lice gorge
on mold.
Red haze atop
the far trees.
A two dot, then
a ten dot
ladybug. Within
the wind, a per-
pendicular breeze.

Hold a mirror,
to the rain. Now
the blurred repetition
of ruled lines, the faint
green, quickening,
the doubled tears.
Wake up.
The wind is not for seeing,
neither is the first
song, soon half-
way gone,
and the figures,
the figures are not waiting.
To see what is
in motion you must move.


Quickie after a brief '70s flashback -- we got two alerts in a row about gas shortages and given the state of our gas meter and the prevalence of Virginia drivers coming to Maryland, we decided we had better try to fill up tonight. On a positive note, the fuel truck had just arrived at Shell when we did, so we knew that there would be gas, but we had to wait while the pump tanks were refilled and the pumps were reset, then while lines of cars competed from both directions to get to the pumps first. 

It was otherwise an active day almost by pre-pandemic standards: I had an early online checkup (labs all good), we went out to get bagels from Goldberg's for the first time in over 14 months and stopped in Dunkin' to grab breakfast sandwiches for the first time in just as long, we took a walk to enjoy the flowers, I watched Voyager's "Meld" with my Trek fan friends, then after Supergirl which finally had lots of Lena, we went to get gas! This is what the other residents of the house did: 

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Poem for Tuesday and 2004 Cicadas

Cicadas at the End of Summer
By Martin Walls
Whine as though a pine tree is bowing a broken violin,
As though a bandsaw cleaves a thousand thin sheets of
They chime like freight wheels on a Norfolk Southern
slowing into town.

But all you ever see is the silence.
Husks, glued to the underside of maple leaves.
With their nineteen fifties Bakelite lines they'd do
just as well hanging from the ceiling of a space
museum —

What cicadas leave behind is a kind of crystallized memory;
The stubborn detail of, the shape around a life turned

The color of forgotten things: a cold broth of tea & milk
in the bottom of a mug.
Or skin on an old tin of varnish you have to lift with
lineman's pliers.
A fly paper that hung thirty years in Bird Cooper's pantry
in Brighton.


Monday was very much a Monday -- writing, weekend photo sorting, laundry, cleaning up after cats -- plus enjoying gorgeous weather and walking through the neighborhood, irises starting to fade, roses coming in. I caught up with a bunch of people who messaged me over the weekend while I was busy with other people. 

And we caught up on Legends of Tomorrow, which was hilarious, before Debris, which was dramatic and sad (and too many dead women but that isn't Bryan's fault). I was talking about the impending cicada arrival on Facebook which made me think about these photos of kids and cats from the previous cicada arrival in 2004: 







Monday, May 10, 2021

Greetings from Gaithersburg

Paul made me eggs and "bacon" for Mother's Day brunch, then we went to Lake Whetstone to see the goslings before they turn into geese. It was a lovely cool afternoon and we saw turtles, ducks, herons, cormorants, and other birds in and around the water. Then we stopped at Washingtonian Lake to see the goslings there -- most already looking like dinosaur adolescents -- before we came home to get organized for dinner with my parents (we brought Thai and Paul made pistachio dream cake for dessert). 

When we came home, we Skyped with my kids, parents, and Paul's parents, plus our granddog with occasional traipse-through visits from the cats. Then we watched The Pythons (Somewhere in Tunisia Circa AD 1979) whose existence I discovered via a throwaway comment, which was very enjoyable though it's hard to remember John Cleese when he was genuinely funny and not ranting about how cancel culture is ruining comedy. And (speaking of people not successfully canceled) we watched the new episode of The Nevers, which was great. 

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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Greetings from Hanover

Paul's mother was not feeling well last week, so we went to Hanover on Saturday afternoon to celebrate Mother's Day early. We haven't been up that way since Christmas, so it was nice to drive by the farms and Gettysburg monuments, though we had a brief period of pouring rain and hail before an afternoon of sunshine. Though we're all vaccinated, my in-laws wanted masks on, though we took them off to eat cake and then kept our distance inside. They have lots of flowers in bloom in their yard and went over some paperwork before dessert. It was good to see them! 

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We came home for a quick dinner and watched My Octopus Teacher, which got some valid criticism after it won the Oscar for anthropomorphizing animals and doing some weird gender stuff, but has spectacular underwater photography and a more interesting central character (I mean the octopus) than a lot of films I've seen. Then we watched Sound of Metal, which has fantastic performances and exceptional directing, visually and especially in terms of the sound, since the film is about both music and a man who is losing his hearing. I loved pretty much everything about it.