Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Poem for Wednesday and Homestead Apples

Apple Sauce For Eve
By Marge Piercy

Those old daddies cursed you and us in you,
damned for your curiosity: for your sin
was wanting knowledge. To try, to taste,
to take into the body, into the brain
and turn each thing, each sign, each factoid
round and round as new facets glint and white
fractures into colors and the image breaks
into crystal fragments that pierce the nerves
while the brain casts the chips into patterns.

Each experiment sticks a finger deep in the pie,
dares existence, blows a horn in the ear
of belief, lets the nasty and difficult brats
of real questions into the still air
of the desiccated parlor of stasis.
What we all know to be true, constant,
melts like frost landscapes on a window
in a jet of steam. How many last words
in how many dead languages would translate into,
But what happens if I, and Whoops!

We see Adam wagging his tail, good dog, good
dog, while you and the snake shimmy up the tree,
lab partners in a dance of will and hunger,
that thirst not of the flesh but of the brain.
Men always think women are wanting sex,
cock, snake, when it is the world she's after.
Then birth trauma for the first conceived kid
of the ego, I think therefore I am, I
kick the tree, who am I, why am I,
going, going to die, die, die.

You are indeed the mother of invention,
the first scientist. Your name means
life: finite, dynamic, swimming against
the current of time, tasting, testing,
eating knowledge like any other nutrient.
We are all the children of your bright hunger.
We are all products of that first experiment,
for if death was the worm in that apple,
the seeds were freedom
and the flowering of choice.


Flickr just ate about 100 of my newly uploaded photos so I will be brief. I unexpectedly had blood drawn this morning for routine labs -- I called to make an appointment for later in the week and they had an opening before I ate breakfast, so I was fasting -- and the rest of my day was unexciting work, selling stuff on eBay, and trying to reassure the cats that the big afternoon thunderstorm (which briefly knocked out our power, turning off my computer) that it was not a threat to them. 

My Tuesday night group watched Voyager's "Retrospect" a.k.a. the rape denial story, and it was just as infuriating as ever, my least favorite episode of Star Trek -- at least everyone I watched with agreed on that. Then Paul and I watched some more of the third season of For All Mankind around What We Do in the Shadows -- poor Guillermo, whom I feel will be fine with Nandor, and poor Will and Ellen, who I'm a lot more worried about. Homestead Farm apples: 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Poem for Tuesday and Homestead Goats

The Goat and I
By Robert Service

Each sunny day upon my way
A goat I pass;
He has a beard of silver grey,
A bell of brass.

And all the while I am in sight
He seems to muse,
And stares at me with all his might
And chews and chews.

Upon the hill so thymy sweet
With joy of Spring,
He hails me with a tiny bleat
Of welcoming.

Though half the globe is drenched with blood
And cities flare,
Contentedly he chews the cud
And does not care.

Oh gentle friend, I know not what
Your age may be,
But of my years I'd give the lot
Yet left to me,

To chew a thistle and not choke,
But bright of eye
Gaze at the old world-weary bloke
Who hobbles by.

Alas! though bards make verse sublime,
And lines to quote,
It takes a fool like me to rhyme
About a goat.


I did not have much excitement on Monday that did not involve laundry or other chores. It was quite hot out for the first day of school, which I only realized it was when I encountered traffic while picking up a freecycle light string, but by the time we took a walk, it had cooled down. Dinner was leftovers! 

Once again we spent our evening watching the extraordinary For All Mankind. There's too much of the Stevens sons for my taste -- as we transition to the next generation, I'd rather spend time with Kelly -- but I'm happy with where Ellen is, though I hate a lot of her politics! Goats at Homestead Farm: 

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Monday, August 29, 2022

Greetings from Homestead Farm

We had beautiful weather on Sunday, so we ate brunch on the early side and went to Homestead Farm to pick apples -- the honeycrisp are mostly ripe -- and to see the animals. The fall harvest festival isn't being set up yet, but a couple of the goats have kids and the pigs were out enjoying the weather. We stopped at Giant on the way home for food that couldn't be picked up in a farmer's market. 

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Our evening TV consisted of the last episode of the second season and first episode of the third season of For All Mankind. The former is one of the best installments of a TV show I have ever seen -- this whole show is wonderful, but the combination of character development, political speculation, and alternate history is just amazing, and the storylines are really moving and beautifully filmed.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Greetings from the Dump

I had a very busy Saturday being a nerd and catching regionals and raiding Ultra Beasts for the Pokemon Go Fest 2022 finale event! Which was fun and I got lots of exercise walking around Cabin John Park, and I got to raid remotely with Daniel, Katherine and her dad, and Denise and several other out of town friends. We also went to the transfer station to throw out a lot of VHS tapes and recycle their cases. 


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We have once again spent the evening watching For All Mankind, through the penultimate episode of the second season, and I'm glad I know there's a third season or I would have to watch the next episode to make sure it didn't end with World War III! I no longer think the Soviets beating us to the moon is a great thing for the world, though if I get President Ellen Wilson next season I reserve the right to change my mind again. 


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Poem for Saturday and Building Museum Animals

By Carl Sandburg

Leaves of poplars pick Japanese prints against the west.
Moon sand on the canal doubles the changing pictures.
      The moon's good-by ends pictures.
The west is empty. All else is empty. No moon-talk at all now.
      Only dark listening to dark.


My Friday was just as social as my Thursday. I met an old acquaintance at lunchtime to hand off some Space: 1999 stuff I thought she might want, stopped at the post office to mail eBay stuff, took a walk with Paul, and had dinner with my parents, who had brought in food from California Pizza Kitchen. 

Now we're watching the middle of the second season of For All Mankind, which I think is as good as the first -- I appreciate the politics as much as the space science, I love Ellen, Dani, and Molly, and I'm liking Karen better this season. From the National Building Museum's Animals, Collected exhibit:

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Friday, August 26, 2022

Poem for Friday and Building Museum Homes

The Cabbage
By Ruth Stone

You have rented an apartment.
You come to this enclosure with physical relief,
your heavy body climbing the stairs in the dark,
the hall bulb burned out, the landlord
of Greek extraction and possibly a fatalist.
In the apartment leaning against one wall,
your daughter's painting of a large frilled cabbage
against a dark sky with pinpoints of stars.
The eager vegetable, opening itself
as if to eat the air, or speak in cabbage
language of the meanings within meanings;
while the points of stars hide their massive
violence in the dark upper half of the painting.
You can live with this.


My Thursday was just as social as my Wednesday, which is unusual for me (and I have lunch plans Friday and Pokemon plans Saturday, so pre-pandemic levels of socializing). I met a friend whom I've known since elementary school at the Silver Diner for lunch, so I got both the pleasure of her company and veggie eggs benedict. We both have strong opinions about a lot of TV and mass media but we haven't lived in the same place for a long time! 

The rest of my day was chores, though I got a lot done and we had five crows out back providing a soundtrack. Around my regular Thursday night Zoom call, we watched the delightful She-Hulk, plus the Wellington Paranormal we missed and the start of the second season of For All Mankind. From the National Building Museum's House & Home exhibit on American domestic life, including Fallingwater and the House of the Seven Gables: 

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Poem for Thursday and Craft Competition

The Lighthouse
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
And on its outer point, some miles away,
The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
In the white lip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

Not one alone; from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean's verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
The night-o'ertaken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return,
Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells,
And ever joyful, as they see it burn,
They wave their silent welcomes and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils,
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child,
On his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink;
And when, returning from adventures wild,
He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp
The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace;
It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form
Press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
Of wings and winds and solitary cries,
Blinded and maddened by the light within,
Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
Still grasping in his hand the fire of Jove,
It does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
But hails the mariner with words of love.

"Sail on!" it says, "sail on, ye stately ships!
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse,
Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!"


I had a social Wednesday, which was nice! Around house chores, I talked to my high school friends at lunch -- one gave us views of the Portland Head Light area, another gave us a tour of her vegetable garden -- then we took a walk, I took a shower, and we had dinner with my parents, whom my sister is visiting so I got to hang out with her for a while, too. 

We got home in time for our regular weeknight chat with my in-laws, though we were too late to see this week's Wellington Paranormal. So instead we watched two more episodes of For All Mankind -- the end of the first season, which has just gotten more intense and engrossing. Here are some of the craft competition and art shows at the county fair:

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Poem for Wednesday and Augmented Notre Dame

A Sonnet for Paris
By Mary O'Malley

This is beauty, arms open, reaching upwards.
At first the mind refuses it, but the fire
Is ravenous. It will have its sacrifice and does.
While it rages, the gold icon shimmers in kitchens,
On street corners, in bars from there to China.
The windows, the wash of light. Day in
Day out. Memory refuses it.

Let reason sleep with reason's monsters.
This is Her day, Our Lady of Paris.
In the dead of night, the ruin shivers.
Its gargoyles climb down.
Statues in elegant robes roll up their sleeves
The flying buttresses put their shoulders
To the wheel. It burns. It rises.


My back hurts because I didn't lift right from the knees, but my house is currently free of VHS tapes, boxes, and DVD cases (the latter are in the van in anticipation of being taken to the county recycling facility, so if anyone wants any, just say so). Right now the upstairs bookcases are filled with games because we're still sorting the books, so it looks more like when the kids were little and the lower shelves had toys as well as movies. 

Half my Voyager group couldn't get online at 7 p.m. and a couple of people couldn't come at all, so we just talked for an hour and a half instead of watching an episode. Then and I watched some more For All Mankind, nearing the end of the third season, when politics comes second to (sad) personal stuff. Here are some pictures from the National Building Museum's augmented exhibit on the building and rebuilding of Notre Dame: 

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