Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Poem for Tuesday and Frying Pan Farm Park

The B-Sides of the Golden Records, Track Five: "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
By Sumita Chakraborty

Before you begin, please be aware that this track does not end.

* * *

Find a large, unframed mirror. Or, if you don’t have mirrors, find something like one: smooth, flat, and reflective, with superstitions silvered in.

Beat it with the most vulnerable part of your body. If you are having trouble deciding what to use, ask yourself: what would you least want me to touch?

Continue until the mirror breaks. Then, continue until it breaks many times.

Continue until you can tell that your body part is badly hurt. Keep going.
When you regain consciousness, resume.

On the sixth day, stop. Search for the brightest, clearest light you can imagine. The light should at first feel welcome, and joyous. Then, as you realize that it is slightly more garish than you would like and moreover that it never fades, it riddles your body with a ringing.

Carry each fragment, shard, and piece into this light. Do not clean the parts. Arrange them into a shape resembling the original shape of the mirror.

If you are not already naked, become naked now.

Lie on the fragments. Try not to add more injuries to your body.

Feel the light reflect into heat. As you blister, consider the way that on Earth, every night, in the absence of sunlight, tree branches move up and down so that the water inside of the trees keeps moving, creating a kind of heartbeat that is surer than any you will ever know.


My Monday involved laundry, a bit of cyber shopping, and addressing all my holiday cards. They now have return address labels but still need stamps. Adam worked on his guitar when he wasn't working on Work, and Daniel messaged that he got back to Seattle on time and is getting a new work laptop because the batteries in the old one were at risk of exploding. It was a gorgeous day here, so we all took a walk in the afternoon. 

We had fajitas for dinner, then Adam went out to watch a movie with his high school friends after we lit the second night's Chanukah candles. Paul and I watched Vita and Virginia, which took some historical liberties and had some over-the-top performances but I enjoyed it anyway, particularly the scenery. Then we watched the end of the Washington-Seattle game, which unfortunately the Seahawks lost. Animals at Frying Pan Farm Park: 

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Greetings from Frying Pan Farm Park

Sunday in brief (since I claimed yesterday was Sunday, being confused): Paul, Adam, and I had a quiet morning fiddling with insurance forms, guitar parts, and photos respectively while Daniel did laundry and packed. We had lunch together, then we stopped at my parents' so they could see Daniel, and then we went to Frying Pan Farm Park en route to Dulles. We hadn't realized that in addition to piglets and lambs so late in the season, they have a small walk-through winter light show, so we got to see reindeer and penguins too. 

We dropped Daniel off at the airport, where he got through security quickly and had dinner at the Washington Burgundy and Gold Club while we came home so Adam could go to Founding Farmers with his high school friends. Paul and I had soup and cheese for dinner, watched Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, then saw this week's Succession before the end of the Ravens-Browns game, which had some big mistakes but ended well. Here are pics of the glorious sunset at the farm, some of the lights, and the candles of the first night of Chanukah: 

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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Greetings from Hanover

We got up on Sunday and drove to Hanover to visit Paul's parents, passing farms en route to La Cucina, an Italian restaurant they like from which we picked up lunch. We ate pasta, had cake for Cinda's birthday, took a walk around the neighborhood during which we met a neighbor's miniature schnauzer, assisted with holiday decorations, and discussed plans to see them about home help over the next couple of weeks. On the way home, we stopped at Catoctin Mountain Orchard, where we bought cider, cheese, crumb cake, and soap -- they were giving away the last of their pumpkins. 

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We saw the unhappy end of the Auburn-Alabama game while Paul made crepes for dinner -- Maryland actually had a great day versus Rutgers that made the Terps bowl eligible, probably because we didn't see a single minute of the game -- and after eating, we played some more Azul. Then we watched Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings again because Adam hadn't seen it, and the rest of us all liked it, though all the ways in which it sticks to Marvel formula are even more obvious on a second viewing. The women and the animals based on the same myths as Pokemon are my favorite aspects! 


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Greetings from Glenstone

Friday was a clear, chilly day, which we spent chilling out in the morning with the cats, then ate lunch and went to Glenstone, which neither of my kids had visited before. We'd never stayed there so close to closing, so in addition to the excellent Jeff Wall photography exhibit, Split-Rocker losing the last of its fall leaves, and many of the regular displays, we got to see a gorgeous sunset and a herd of deer in the grass. 

We ate Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner with my parents, then we came back home to play The Paris Connection. We had plans to watch Don't Look Up but the game went on so long that we decided we needed a shorter movie, and watched Labyrinth because somehow that was what we all agreed upon (I got outvoted when I suggested a Sondheim production but at least it's a musical). Here's another set of day-in-photos: 

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Greetings from Cabin John Park

We had a quiet morning on Thanksgiving watching the Macy's parade -- I wanted to see the performance from Six and the floats are always entertaining, especially the Pokemon and Baby Yoda. Then we took turns taking showers and went to Cabin John Park to walk around at Locust Grove, where the Northern Bobwhite quail has returned to the nature center and the leaves are mostly off the trees. 

We were responsible for the tofurkey and Paul made his usual decorated cookie cake (previous years here), which we brought to my parents' where Nicole and her family had already arrived. We ate a huge amount of food, caught up on everyone's lives, then we came home and watched Knives Out because we'd learned that Daniel had never seen it. Here's a bit of our day in photos: 

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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Greetings from Patuxent

Things we did on Wednesday: Watched the verdict of the trial of the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery, with great relief. Walked around the Cash Lake trail at the Patuxent Wildlife Preserve, where we saw lots of waterfowl and two beaver lodges. Stopped at a Walgreens in Laurel to get son skin cream and at the Crystal Fox so we could look at D&D books and Tarot decks. Had pizza with Kay and Chris and our kids and their kids, saw deer while we were departing. Watched the first two episodes of Hawkeye, including priceless MCU highlight Rogers: The Musical. Saw Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which indeed had a great deal of carnage but was also quite funny. A few pics: 

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Greetings from Seneca Creek State Park

Tuesday was another gorgeous day. One son took a walk in the neighborhood in the morning while the other worked with his new computer. Then we went to my parents' who brought in Attman's Deli for lunch, and after that we went to Seneca Creek State Park, where we walked along the water, then through the parts of the park where the winter lights were set up and in some cases being tested to be turned on in the evening. 

We came home and had ravioli for dinner, I logged in to my Voyager viewing group though we chatted instead of watching an episode because the non-Canadians were busy with Thanksgiving stuff, then my family played Azul, which was very fun and I actually won a game for a change! After that, Daniel had online D&D to play long distance and Adam went to play guitar, so I caught up on Succession and posted these: 

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