Friday, June 30, 2023

Poem for Thursday and Local Ducklings

The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
By E. Ethelbert Miller

        (for Me-K)

It was the language that left us first.
The Great Migration of words. When people
spoke they punched each other in the mouth.
There was no vocabulary for love. Women
became masculine and could no longer give
birth to warmth or a simple caress with their
lips. Tongues were overweight from profanity
and the taste of nastiness. It settled over cities
like fog smothering everything in sight. My
ears begged for camouflage and the chance
to go to war. Everywhere was the decay of
how we sound. Someone said it reminded
them of the time Sonny Rollins disappeared.
People spread stories of how the air would
never be the same or forgive. It was the end
of civilization and nowhere could one hear
the first notes of A Love Supreme. It was as
if John Coltrane had never been born.


I woke up Thursday morning with an earache that wound up being bad enough that I went to see a doctor. I was pretty sure my anti-earwax drops weren't working, and sure enough, I had an impacted eardrum, which was easy enough to fix though a waste of time on a gorgeous warm day. My ear feels much better inside now but a little sore on the outside from the irrigation jet, so we just walked on the dock instead of going to the beach and I sent a friend a Taylor Swift friendship bracelet so I could be in the right spirit to see her in concert next month. 

We had Trader Joe's veggie pizza for dinner before I chatted with those of my Thursday night chat group not on summer vacation. Then we watched the season finale of Silo, which was satisfying if not all that surprising (I just wanted certain characters possibly back next season), and the new episode of Strange New Worlds (I was sure that character was gay, but I also totally bought that romance, and I liked that overall storyline -- on this show things feel not rehashed or canon-violated but reimagined). My many neighborhood ducklings are growing up: 

2023-06-19 17.19.57

2023-06-24 20.35.03

2023-05-23 18.50.13

2023-06-27 15.38.38

2023-06-10 21.12.38

2023-05-23 18.50.54

2023-06-19 17.22.06

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Poem for Wednesday and Evergreen Arboretum

Ice Cream Stop
By Shel Silverstein

The circus train made an ice cream stop
At the fifty-two-flavor ice cream stand.
The animals all got off the train
And walked right up to the ice cream man.
“I’ll take Vanilla,” yelled the gorilla.
“I’ll take Chocolate,” shouted the ocelot.
“I’ll take the Strawberry,” chirped the canary.
“Rocky Road,” croaked the toad.
“Lemon and Lime,” growled the lion.
Said the ice cream man, “‘Til I see a dime.
You’ll get no ice cream of mine.”
Then the animals snarled and screeched and growled
And whinnied and whimpered and hooted and howled
And gobbled up the whole ice cream stand,
All fifty-two flavors
(Fifty-three with Ice Cream Man).


Wednesday was a gorgeous warm summer day, and our building had coupons for free ice cream from the ice cream truck, so after a run to Safeway and a walk to the beach -- where we discovered that there's a store in the corner of the bathhouse that sells Nathan's hot dogs in the summer -- we got our ice cream and went to see the ducks and geese behind our apartment. 

We watched the second episodes of both Secret Invasion (still making me mad about the big thing last week, and clunkily written; I'm here for Jackson and Colman but I think Rhodey is a Skrull, the original better not be dead) and Strange New Worlds (great, they gave the big Kirk speech to the awesome Neera). Some photos from Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens in Everett last weekend: 

2023-06-25 14.08.53

2023-06-25 14.23.52

2023-06-25 14.09.12

2023-06-25 14.51.33

2023-06-25 14.19.08

2023-06-25 14.17.41

2023-06-25 14.09.55

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Poem for Tuesday and Boom City

By Edith Sitwell

Pink faces—(worlds or flowers or seas or stars),
You all alike are patterned with hot bars

Of coloured light; and falling where I stand,
The sharp and rainbow splinters from the band

Seem fireworks, splinters of the Infinite—
(Glitter of leaves the echoes). And the night

Will weld this dust of bright Infinity
To forms that we may touch and call and see:—

Pink pyramids of faces: tulip-trees
Spilling night perfumes on the terraces.

The music, blond airs waving like a sea
Draws in its vortex of immensity

The new-awakened flower-strange hair and eyes
Of crowds beneath the floating summer skies.

And, ’gainst the silk pavilions of the sea
I watch the people move incessantly

Vibrating, petals blown from flower-hued stars
Beneath the music-fireworks’ waving bars;

So all seems indivisible, at one:
The flow of hair, the flowers, the seas that run,—

A coloured floating music of the night
Through the pavilions of the Infinite.


Tuesday was less traumatic than Monday around here, though Effie still won't go in the bedroom -- apparently she thinks something she did set off the fire alarm and she doesn't want to risk it happening again. It was an overcast morning during which I moved furniture around the second bedroom in anticipation of ordering a couch, then it turned into a gorgeous afternoon during which we walked to the beach and saw ducklings and nutria. 

My Voyager group watched Picard's third episode of the third season (I don't recognize this Crusher or Picard and I barely recognize this Worf), and now that the Mariners have managed to blow an extra-innings game to the Nationals, we're watching the first episode of the second season of Strange New Worlds. Here are some photos from Boom City, where Tulalip tribal members are exempt from state restrictions on selling fireworks: 

2023-06-25 15.56.12

2023-06-25 15.57.16

2023-06-25 15.54.10

2023-06-25 15.52.09A

2023-06-25 15.55.29

2023-06-25 15.54.24

2023-06-25 15.55.17

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Poem for Monday and Fire Alarm

The Scare-fire
By Robert Herrick

Water, water I desire,
Here's a house of flesh on fire;
Ope the fountains and the springs,
And come all to bucketings:
What ye cannot quench pull down;
Spoil a house to save a town:
Better 'tis that one should fall,
Than by one to hazard all.


My Monday morning was uneventful -- laundry got done, a bit of food shopping was accomplished, some earrings were repaired -- and tonight I am cranky because our apartment complex has decided to enforce a "no bird feeders because they may attract rats" policy (which is true, we've seen rats two levels down in the swamp) but they aren't doing a good job enforcing the no-smoking policy because the last two nights after dark, someone has been smoking like a chimney, ruining beautiful nights with windows open. 

Meanwhile we did have afternoon excitement because after our walk to the beach, one of the neighbor kids decided to pull the fire alarm to see what would happen, and what happened was that four buildings' alarms went off and the fire department had to come check things and turn them off. I believe the kids were read the riot act but they don't speak much English so hopefully it got through. Now we're watching the second-to-last Endeavour and you can see photos of our proof that at least our fire alarms work: 

2023-06-26 17.12.44

2023-06-26 17.12.58

2023-06-26 17.15.55

2023-06-26 17.11.10

2023-06-26 17.09.24

2023-06-26 17.09.45

Monday, June 26, 2023

Greetings from Tulalip

Just back after 10:30 p.m. from a lovely dinner with Cahaya and her parents at their house (salad, lasagna, homemade hummus by her stepfather; we brought Boston cream pie, and their three dogs plus one of Cahaya's kept us company all evening). Earlier, since we were driving through Everett to get there, we visited the Evergreen Arboretum, a small but pretty garden having a Scottish wedding with lots of men in kilts, and the Everett waterfront, which has an osprey colony as well as trains and boats. We drove through the Tulalip reservation lands on the way north and discovered Boom City, a big fireworks marketplace operated next to a casino entirely by Tulalip tribal members. Here are a few pics, more tomorrow! 

2023-06-25 14.09.00

2023-06-25 14.22.43

2023-06-25 14.11.05

2023-06-25 14.58.23

2023-06-25 15.53.37

2023-06-25 17.38.23

2023-06-25 18.53.24

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Greetings from Ballard

Another quickie after a lovely day in Ballard, where we headed after brunch and dropping off two boxes of photos and artwork we don't have room to hang on our walls at our storage unit. We went to the Hiram Chittenden Locks, which had a community band playing in the botanical garden, ships in the canal, trains on the drawbridge, salmon in the fish ladder, seals in the locks, herons in the trees, roses in the flowerbeds, and not too many people despite all those delights! 

Then we went to Ballard's shopping district, where we walked from the shipyard to Hot Cakes for lava cake and coffee, to various clothing and jewelry stores to browse, to Sweet Mickey's for fudge to bring home, and eventually to La Carta De Oaxaca, where we met our friends Kris and Josh for dinner and some more walking around Ballard. A few pics -- more when I'm more awake (and not watching Raise the Titanic, which is pretty bad yet somehow not as bad as its reviews):

2023-06-24 15.20.31

2023-06-24 14.38.51

2023-06-24 15.15.19

2023-06-24 17.38.27

2023-06-24 15.59.02

2023-06-24 19.51.51

2023-06-24 19.52.03

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Greetings from Marymoor Park

Quickie, we're watching Titanic for reasons that should be obvious to anyone not under a rock this week (I have been told that this is morbid, but there has been lots of footage of the ship during coverage of the sub reminiscent of the beginning of the movie, and I don't think it's too soon to discuss parallels about rich people whose hubris extended to safety shortcuts). 

It was another spectacularly beautiful day, so after an uneventful morning and early afternoon, we went to Marymoor to walk around the heron nests in the dog park (still lots of baby birds!) and along the river to the top of the lake, where we saw families of ducks among the boats and the beaver dam. Then Paul made Swedish meatballs and potatoes for Midsummer for dinner. 

2023-06-23 16.13.11

2023-06-23 16.04.24

2023-06-23 16.31.20

2023-06-23 16.29.12

2023-06-23 16.44.19

2023-06-23 16.39.03

2023-06-23 16.06.15

Friday, June 23, 2023

Poem for Thursday and Festival Colors

My Einsteinicity
By Lynne Thompson

Let y equal any number of fathers.
Let x equal the numberless planets.
Let y minus x equal long nights of fog
and let x plus y equal hydra & incubus.

If y is > x, why do all my convictions gape?
If x is > y, does “father” just mean nightcap?
When x ÷ y, we set sail on a windjammer.
When y ÷ x, watch for the banshee, the jinn.

Or let x be replaced by a midsummer night
and y by—well, you can never replace y but
by morning y will lollygag near half-moons:
Odysseus sailing to Ithaca, mildew as it rots.

And a b is no mere theory of relativity: it is
helter-skelter materfamilias, Ma Barker, and
Rebekkah, the mother who deceived. Not
Sarah who couldn’t conceive nor the Mother

of all of Nature: the black tern, the kittiwake;
plants ornamental, baroque; the cumulous,
the nebulosus; and yet, mother-of-pearl and
ice-cold, tiger’s-eye and monkey in the middle.

Let’s say a b is a % of all the love in the world
or synonymous with do you love me now that
I can dance? Let’s agree that a is the salsa or
paso doble and b is always always the beguine.


Thursday was a gorgeous summer day: sunny, breezy, and mid-70s. I did a bunch of work in the morning so we could take an early walk after lunch and enjoy the beach -- surprisingly crowded for a weekday -- and the dock -- surprisingly surrounded by geese, who usually stay further out in the lake while we have the ducklings in close. I also e-signed the documents that formally put our house in Maryland under contract. 

We ate dinner early so I could chat with those of my Thursday fannish friends who could make it, then we watched this week's Silo, which is riveting and perfectly paced; I'd watch Rebecca Ferguson in almost anything but it's a real pleasure to see her in something with a twisty substantive plot. Then we finished Cunk on Britain and started Cunk on Shakespeare, both genius. Some more fabulous crafts from Edmonds Arts Fest: 

2023-06-17 14.20.46

2023-06-17 14.54.49

2023-06-17 14.26.10

2023-06-17 14.48.07A

2023-06-17 14.19.06

2023-06-17 15.51.44

2023-06-17 14.39.54