Thursday, June 30, 2022

Poem for Thursday and Dinosaur Friends

The Dinosaur
By Bert Leston Taylor

Behold the mighty Dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his weight and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains--
One in his head (the usual place),
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason a priori
As well as a posteriori.
No problem bothered him a bit;
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise he was, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along;
If something slipped his forward mind
'Twas rescued by the one behind;
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgments to revoke;
For he could think, without congestion,
Upon both sides of every question.
Oh, gaze upon this model beast,
Defunct ten million years at least.


Wednesday was a pretty ordinary day -- did some chores, only got to chat with one high school friend at lunchtime because one's on vacation and the other was helping her daughter at work but that is still always lovely. Our 21-year-old cat apparently has a UTI and we're not sure we can get a vet appointment before the weekend, which sucks for us and for her. 

I absolutely loved this week's Ms. Marvel -- the family, the secret society, the chase scene through the bazaar! Afterward we watched some more of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which I am actually really enjoying, probably more than the start of the last season with the USO tour stuff. I had a request for more glimpses of Dinosaur Land, so here are some off the dinos: 


2022-06-20 16.03.42




2022-06-20 15.55.30

2022-06-20 16.01.06A

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Poem for Wednesday and Hillwood Porcelain

If porcelain, then only the kind
By Stanisław Barańczak
Translated by Frank Kujawinski

If porcelain, then only the kind
you won’t miss under the shoe of a mover or the tread of a tank;
if a chair, then not too comfortable, lest
there be regret in getting up and leaving;
if clothing, then just so much as can fit in a suitcase,
if books, then those which can be carried in the memory,
if plans, then those which can be overlooked
when the time comes for the next move
to another street, continent, historical period
or world:

who told you that you were permitted to settle in?
who told you that this or that would last forever?
did no one ever tell you that you will never
in the world
feel at home in the world?


Our car's axle was fixed by Tuesday in the early afternoon, so we did a bunch of work in the morning, had yogurt and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and went to pick it up. Then Paul went off to a dentist appointment and I stopped at the mall to look for a couple of things that I mostly failed at finding. By the time we both got home, we had leftovers for dinner.

Then I watched the second part of Star Trek: Voyager's "The Year of Hell" with my group, followed by the first two episodes of the fourth season (belatedly) of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which my parents didn't like so we put it off but we enjoyed it about as much as the last season. Some of the spectacular porcelain on display at Hillwood's The Luxury of Clay exhibit:

2022-06-26 15.22.01
Marjorie Merriweather Post's china displayed with gun teapots by Roberto Lugo depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks

2022-06-26 14.39.09
A historical Chinese covered vessel and Memory Vessel 28, in which contemporary Dutch artist Bouke de Vries collected broken Chinese porcelain shards in a covered glass bowl

2022-06-26 14.42.01
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory figures depicting fall, winter, and summer

2022-06-26 14.45.51
Imperial Porcelain depictions of some of the ethnic people of Russia

2022-06-26 14.52.18A
A contemporary Sevres-style tureen and platter designed by Cindy Sherman for Arte Magnus, manufactured by Limoges, featuring the artist as Madame de Pompadour

2022-06-26 14.50.48
Monumental porcelain vases by the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory collected by Post

2022-06-26 15.16.02
Another Roberto Lugo teapot in the mansion, this one featuring John Lewis, Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Poem for Tuesday and Hillwood Orchids

By Hazel Simmons-McDonald

I leave this house
box pieces of the five-week life I’ve gathered.

I’ll send them on
to fill spaces in my future life.

One thing is left
a spray of orchids someone gave
from a bouquet one who
makes a ritual of flower-giving sent.

The orchids have no fragrance
but purple petals draw you
to look at the purple heart.

I watered them once
when the blossoms were full blown
like polished poems.
I was sure they’d wilt
and I would toss them out with the five-week litter.

They were stubborn.
I starved them.
They would not die.

This morning the bud at the stalk’s tip unfurled.

I think I’ll pluck the full-blown blooms
press them between pages of memory.

Perhaps in their thin dried transparency

I’ll discover their peculiar poetry.


Monday was a Monday -- laundry, carpet cleaning, feeding birds between thunderstorms -- plus we found out the car needs a new axle and they had to order the right pieces, so we can't pick it up until Tuesday. I don't have a lot else to report besides a lot of screaming online about the same things I was screaming online about last week. 

We had fajitas for dinner and watched the first episode of the new season of Westworld, which is very different and so far very enjoyable, then we caught up on the new season of Wellington Paranormal, which is always laugh-out-loud awesome (and Rhys Darby!). Here are some of the stunning orchids we saw in Hillwood's conservatory: 

 2022-06-26 15.40.10A

2022-06-26 15.38.18A

2022-06-26 15.37.22

2022-06-26 15.38.39

2022-06-26 15.36.56

2022-06-26 15.37.11

2022-06-26 15.42.31

Monday, June 27, 2022

Greetings from Hillwood

It was hot on Sunday, but we were inside as much as we were out. We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast because we still have lots of berries from picking last weekend. Then we went to Hillwood, where it was the last day of The Luxury of Clay: Porcelain Past and Present exhibit, including both historic pieces in the dacha and contemporary pieces among the collection in the mansion, though I was more interested in the Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior display in the Adirondack Building -- I was always a fan of Grace Kelly and they had video clips and magazine covers as well as some jewelry. 

2022-06-26 15.36.22

2022-06-26 14.05.21

2022-06-26 15.02.49

2022-06-26 14.09.38

2022-06-26 14.33.21

2022-06-26 14.34.11

2022-06-26 14.02.51 

We dropped the car off for servicing on the way home, bought some food and cat stuff, had veggie cheesesteaks for dinner, and watched the latest episode of Endeavour on PBS. I'm kind of bummed this is a prequel and I keep realizing that various things I hope will happen undoubtedly will not; I watched all of Lewis but very little of Morse so I only know character things in broad strokes. We also caught the end of the extra-innings Dodgers game, which thankfully Atlanta lost, and we Skyped with our kids and several pets who decided to join the conversation.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Greetings from Washingtonian Lake

Saturday was the June Pokemon Go Community Day, so I spent a bunch of the late morning/early afternoon catching Deinos -- shinies were much more rare than usual -- and, since I needed to return something at Kohl's, we went to Washingtonian Center, where it was very warm but we still got to see lots of adolescent goslings and ducklings while walking around the lake. 

2022-06-25 15.18.26A

2022-06-25 15.18.56A

2022-06-25 15.57.28A

2022-06-25 15.37.28A

2022-06-25 15.22.42

2022-06-25 15.15.42


Vudu had In Time super-cheap this week and since I like that movie despite its heavy-handed sci-fi metaphors, I got it and we watched it. We also watched CODA, which I absolutely loved -- I know not all deaf people were delighted with the focus on the daughter who could hear but I thought it was a beautifully acted family story and I loved the New England fishing town setting.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Poem for Saturday and Butler's Orchard Farm

Right To Life
By Marge Piercy

A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of your
descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes gather interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, any more than you are.

You plant corn and you harvest
it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
in the pasture to fatten and haul it in to
butcher for chops. You slice the mountain
in two for a road and gouge the high plains
for coal and the waters run muddy for
miles and years. Fish die but you do not
call them yours unless you wished to eat them.

Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
fields for growing babies like iceberg
lettuce. You value children so dearly
that none ever go hungry, none weep
with no one to tend them when mothers
work, none lack fresh fruit,
none chew lead or cough to death and your
orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
restaurants serve poor children steaks.
At this moment at nine o’clock a partera
is performing a table top abortion on an
unwed mother in Texas who can’t get
Medicaid any longer. In five days she will die
of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
and be taken away. Next door a husband
and wife are sticking pins in the son
they did not want. They will explain
for hours how wicked he is,
how he wants discipline.

We are all born of woman, in the rose
of the womb we suckled our mother’s blood
and every baby born has a right to love
like a seedling to sun. Every baby born
unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
due in twenty years with interest, an anger
that must find a target, a pain that will
beget pain. A decade downstream a child
screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
a firing squad is summoned, a button
is pushed and the world burns.

I will choose what enters me, what becomes
of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold shares
in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
I want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.


Ever since I've had a blog (daily since 2002 though really I started on Blogger a couple of years earlier), I've had a "politics: abortion" tag. And in all that time, I have never stopped saying that Roe was never going to be permanent protection for reproductive rights and we had to keep voting for the right people, and writing to those people, and donating to organizations that helped people who needed it. And I have never wanted to be wrong as badly as this morning -- I know we all had the warning a few weeks ago with the leak, but some part of me hoped that three justices appointed by someone who tried to overthrow a lawfully elected government and one person whose wife did everything she could to help someone overthrow a lawfully elected government would somehow be prevented from taking rights away from half the citizens of the U.S. 

Otherwise, it was nice out; we walked and saw a hummingbird in addition to bunnies. We had dinner with my parents, who brought in Grand Fusion so I got Thai basil tofu, plus Paul made a pie for dessert with the blueberries we picked last weekend. When we got home, we watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness long-distance on Disney+ with Cheryl (I'm switching universes), and I talked to Adam who had a flood under his kitchen sink but his landlord got it fixed. Now we're watching The Boys -- an episode about a disgusting superhero orgy taking advantage of non-enhanced sex workers, with tons of violence that I'd usually hate, but they also did a parody of Gal Gadot's "Imagine" with a bunch of real-world celebrities as well as supes and I love how much this show hates America. Farm animals at Butler's Orchard: 

2022-06-18 14.17.58

2022-06-18 14.16.13

2022-06-18 14.19.46A

2022-06-18 14.18.09

2022-06-18 14.19.16

2022-06-18 14.20.43

2022-06-18 14.19.20

Friday, June 24, 2022

Poem for Friday and Brookside Animals

By Kim Addonizio

After it ended badly it got so much better
which took a while of course but still
he grew so tender & I so grateful
which maybe tells you something about how it was
I’m trying to tell you I know you
have staggered wept spiraled through a long room
banging your head against it holding crushed
bird skulls in your hands your many hearts unstrung
unable to play a note their wood still beautiful
& carved so elaborately maybe a collector would want them
stupid collectors always preserving & never breaking open
the jars so everyone starves while admiring the view
you don’t own anyone everything will be taken from you
go ahead & eat this poem please it will help


I had my annual dermatologist checkup Thursday, which was uneventful just as everyone wants from their dermatologist appointments, though of course the only rain we got was when I was driving there. It was a lovely cool afternoon, lots of animals by the house and the neighborhood when we walked. 

We had enchiladas for dinner, then Cheryl and I watched this week's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ms. Marvel around Thursday night chat because it's fun to watch them together and she was away last night. Speaking of animals, here are some of the ones we saw at Brookside Gardens on Sunday: 








Thursday, June 23, 2022

Greetings With My Internet Down

If Tuesday felt like a Monday, Wednesday felt like a Tuesday, and I almost forgot that I was chatting with my high school friends at lunchtime, but midway through a handful of walnuts I remembered and we all actually made it to chat this week though one of us was out at lunch with two of her kids and couldn't stay. It was raining so hard in the late afternoon that we watched the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale when we'd normally be walking, and I found it really satisfying -- kept canon pretty safe, gave us plenty of interesting women, explained a few things about Anakin, had some humor, and I absolutely loved the last shot. We also watched this week's villain-revealing Ms. Marvel

We did manage to take a walk between thunderstorms, then we had Gorgonzola chick'n for dinner, and then at our kids' suggestion (and because you can buy it now on Amazon Prime for less than movie tickets) we watched Everything Everywhere All At Once, which was as great as the kids told us it was. I had the impression that it was somehow a more realistic look at a multiverse than Doctor Strange, when it's actually just as absurdist (googly Third Eyes! butt plugs! Raccoon-touille!) but a lot more focused on the various things women want and offering fewer magical Asian stereotypes despite a number of magical Asian characters. Some of the scenery we saw along Skyline Drive: 



2022-06-20 14.14.28

2022-06-20 14.23.45


2022-06-20 14.21.47

2022-06-20 12.44.39