Sunday, August 07, 2022

Greetings from Lake Washingtonian

We had a whole bunch of chores to do Saturday -- UPS for a return, Kohl's for a pickup, Target for some household stuff, Guitar Center so Paul could see if he could sell his old guitar now that he has a new one, plus some other stores -- so in the middle of all the schlepping, we took a walk at Washingtonian Lake, which was less crowded than I thought it might be and had lots of blooming flowers and busy geese and ducks. Plus there was a shaved ice truck, so I got blue coconut shaved ice while we walked! 

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After all that running around, we had leftover stew for dinner, then we watched Thirteen Lives. I thought I knew most of that story and wasn't sure I'd love the movie, especially with big-name non-Thai actors in a story that's mostly about Thai people. But it's excellent: gorgeous cinematography, terrific pacing for a two and a half hour movie, superb acting from the famous and less famous alike, and a really wonderful it-takes-a-village (and a world) storyline that demonstrates how hundreds of people can be heroes.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Poem for Saturday and Wingsurfing

Patroling Barnegat
By Walt Whitman


Wild, wild the storm, and the sea high running,
Steady the roar of the gale, with incessant undertone muttering,
Shouts of demoniac laughter fitfully piercing and pealing,
Waves, air, midnight, their savagest trinity lashing,
Out in the shadows there milk-white combs careering,
On beachy slush and sand spirts of snow fierce slanting,
Where through the murk the easterly death-wind breasting,
Through cutting swirl and spray watchful and firm advancing,
(That in the distance! is that a wreck? is the red signal flaring?)

Slush and sand of the beach tireless till daylight wending,
Steadily, slowly, through hoarse roar never remitting,
Along the midnight edge by those milk-white combs careering,
A group of dim, weird forms, struggling, the night confronting,
That savage trinity warily watching.

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My Friday was pretty low-key -- some packing of books and games, some freecycling, some writing and photo sorting, some sorting stuff in son's closet (wow, we have a lot of plastic hangers). It was too hot for a long walk, but I did see two bunnies on a short one when I went to do a Palkia raid. We had dinner with my parents for the first time since before covid, though my stomach is still off so I asked for grilled cheese and soup. 

HBO Max finally has Belfast, which we watched when we got home and it was as good as everyone said -- wonderful cast (I knew about Dench and Hinds but not Colin Morgan), pretty balanced view of the Troubles, young character based on Branagh reading a Thor comic book. Van Morrison soundtrack and lots of pop culture (Star Trek, Barbarella, Grace Kelly) too! I saw wingsurfing for the first time at Delaware Seashore State Park: 

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Friday, August 05, 2022

Poem for Friday and Brookside in Heat

Numbers Game
By Richard Armour

One runner's safe, one runner's out,
Or so the ump has beckoned.
The one who's safe touched second first,
The one who's out, first second.

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I slept late and had a slow morning on Thursday, then did a whole bunch of sorting and freecycling (I don't really need a D50 camera when I have a D700, nor a P80 when I have a P610). By the end of the day we'd given away camping equipment, games, books, and a bunch of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues from the 1990s. My stomach is still rather off, so everything I ate was very bland. 

Only Cheryl and I made it to chat tonight -- I barely texted her the past two days given my medical schedule. Before that, we watched Syndergaard (fine, the Phillies) vs the Nationals until it was rained out, and afterward we watched The Orville, which I just found out is coming to Disney+, to make up for the murder of HBO Max! Some of the flora and fauna at Brookside Gardens:

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Thursday, August 04, 2022

Poem for Thursday and Shipwreck Artifacts

Winter Leafage
By Edith Matilda Thomas

Each year I mark one lone outstanding tree,
Clad in its robings of the summer past,
Dry, wan, and shivering in the wintry blast.
It will not pay the season’s rightful fee,—
It will not set its frost-burnt leafage free;
But like some palsied miser all aghast,
Who hoards his sordid treasure to the last,
It sighs, it moans, it sings in eldritch glee.
A foolish tree, to dote on summers gone;
A faithless tree, that never feels how spring
Creeps up the world to make a leafy dawn,
And recompense for all despoilment bring!
Oh, let me not, heyday and youth withdrawn,
With failing hands to their vain semblance cling!

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I have good news: I don't have any polyps in my large intestine! And even better, with any luck I don't have to drink or even think about Clenpiq for ten years! They even got me in early because someone canceled, though when I saw the facility's number on my phone, I absolutely panicked because I thought they were going to tell me the doctor was sick so they had to postpone the procedure. And I probably lost weight the past two days, because even when I got home, I felt too queasy to eat anything but crackers, chick'n soup, and a little bit of egg salad. 

 I only talked to my high school friends for a few minutes, partly because I couldn't do anything for more than a few minutes and partly because my appointment got moved up. But I felt well enough to watch Lightyear on Disney+ this evening, and I didn't think it was terrible, though I see why it didn't do well at the box office: it's too talky without enough humor for a kids' movie but it definitely IS a kids' movie plot-wise, though awfully dark visually and dramatically. Some of the artifacts (including a possible Blackbeard sword) at the DiscoverSea Museum in Fenwick Island: 

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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Greetings from Clenpiq

Playback
By Lauren Camp

Let there be footfall and car door. Let me
be finished with fire. Let
the man get on a plane for his morning
departure, erasing each reverie. Soon
there will be only daylight,
maybe a blue envelope, torn. Maybe bracelets
of color from the petunias. I will need
to know how to recover
the familiar, how to open the door
in the evening. How to again lock it.
Almost everything about me goes unspoken,
but commas and colons. I live with this
heart rate, multiple times, its direction,
its tempo: my 4/4 with acceleration, sometimes
tuned to an alternate signature. Think of Brubeck’s
“Take Five.” Those blocky chords were the result
of an accident—dead on arrival, they said,
after he smashed to the surf. Think how
he switched it around, made his hands
do what he wanted to hear, and forgive me
for the analogy. May I never
rush a surge for a better experience.
Every Sunday all over the country,
apologies gather. When I’m not in this
small cottage, unreacting, I cascade sound
and a few sentences from a cramped
room to whoever will listen. I know some
people think it is sinful to love such temptations,
but I stay with my face soft against
microphone, announcing my moral
directions. Sometimes, I’m convinced my blood
needs all those crossings. I’m not after
absolution. The man I love taught me to want
without lyrics. Remember I haven’t
gone anywhere. I’m in a thirsty way
sort of possessive. I shouldn’t show you this
side of myself. Try to remember I’m also praised
for my kindness. We each need to learn
to turn off some dreams so we can play
hours without creases.

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I was allowed to have two boiled eggs and plain toast before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, which I did, then I took a walk, then I got some filing done and had veggie broth for lunch. The rest of my day involved drinking a lot of disgusting things, plus watching Star Trek: Voyager's excellent "Message in a Bottle" with my friends, and this week's What We Do in the Shadows, which as usual made me howl (not necessarily a good thing given the current state of my innards). If anything else happened that did not involve birds and chipmunks, I can't remember it now. Some of my favorite things at the Seaside Country Store in Fenwick Island: 

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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Poem for Tuesday and Delaware Sandpipers

The Sandpiper
By Celia Thaxter

Across the lonely beach we flit,
⁠One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
⁠The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
⁠The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
⁠One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds
⁠Scud, black and swift, across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
⁠Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
⁠I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,
⁠One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along,
⁠Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
⁠Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
⁠He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
⁠The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
⁠When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
⁠To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
⁠The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God's children both,
⁠Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

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I'm having a colonoscopy on Wednesday, which means I expect to be useless for concentrating on anything most of Tuesday, so I had to get most of this week's work and chores done on Monday. So it was not an exciting day, though it was cooler than last week and we had lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and a bunny visiting and saw more when we walked. 

We had soup and crackers for dinner so I don't have food regret tomorrow. Now we're watching Jurassic World: Dominion on demand, and I am enjoying it greatly, again -- I'm not sure why the internet didn't like this as much as I do (it's made nearly a billion dollars at the box office, at least). Here are some sandpipers we met on the beach at Fenwick Island: 

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Monday, August 01, 2022

Greetings from the C&O Canal

Sunday was a little less beastly hot than last week, though we had rain forecast in the afternoon. So we ate sandwiches for lunch on the early side and went to walk along the canal, which we haven't visited since before covid. There were many frogs -- we saw about a dozen but we heard far more in the cattails -- and a bunch of turtles, plus at least three skinks, two great blue herons, a couple of toads, and many dragonflies and butterflies. 

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We stopped at the Bethesda Co-op on the way home, did a lot of cleanup in the basement, ate Impossible Burgers for dinner, and watched this week's Westworld, which has been great this season -- as good as the first season and not as horrifically violent (I appreciate that they know when that point has been made and only show blood when it's relevant). Then we watched someone's recording of Brandi Carlile at Austin City Limits, which was awesome!