Saturday, September 30, 2023

Poem for Friday and Mariners Game

The Abominable Baseball Bat
By X.J. Kennedy

I swung and swung at empty air
And when I heard the umpire
Behind me shout, "Strike three - you're out!"
My bat turned to a vampire.

The whole team had to pry it loose.
Poor Ump looked sorta flat.
Now ever since, my bat and I
Walk every time we bat.


We had gorgeous weather on Friday after our week of rain, so after a morning of boring stuff, we took a long walk -- to the park, around the beach, and then up to the Ling Shen Ching Tze Buddhist Temple, which is a large, beautiful complex on a local cul-de-sac that I'd wanted to see since I discovered its existence. 

We watched most of the Orioles loss and all of the Mariners victory with breaks for this week's Wheel of Time (Team Anvaere!) and, afterward, Billions (Team Nancy Dunlop -- I mean, I don't really know her well enough to like her but she has to be better than these men). Last night's Mariners game from the anthem to the victory: 

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Greetings from T-Mobile Park

Extreme quickie (proper pics tomorrow) after glorious evening at the Mariners game, which ended with a walk-off double after they had been losing all night! We were already on our way out, since Paul was shivering because we got drenched on the way there in pouring rain -- the stadium itself was dry, and we now we've gotten to see it with the roof closed, but it was quite a chilly evening despite all the jumping up and down! 

We arrived early, tried on hats, ate peanuts and cheese pretzels, followed the Orioles clinching the AL East, chatted briefly with my Thursday night chat group from the stadium's rooftop boardwalk, picked up our giveaway flannel shirts, and went to watch the game, which started with Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. throwing out the first pitch and featured a home run by Julio Rodríguez as well as the winning hit by Crawford: 

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Poem for Wednesday and Swans Trail Animals

In Heaven It Is Always Autumn
By Elizabeth Spires

"In Heaven It Is Always Autumn"
—John Donne

In heaven it is always autumn. The leaves are always near
to falling there but never fall, and pairs of souls out walking
heaven's path no longer feel the weight of hears upon them.
Safe in heaven's calm, they take each other's arm,
the light shining through them, all joy and terror gone.
But we are far from heaven here, in a garden ragged and unkept
as Eden would be with the walls knocked down, the paths littered
with the unswept leaves of many years, bright keepsakes
for children of the Fall. The light is gold, the sun pulling
the long shadow soul out of each thing, disclosing an outcome.
The last roses of the year nod their frail heads,
like listeners listening to all that's said, to ask,
What brought us here? What seed? What rain? What light?
What forced us upward through dark earth? What made us bloom?
What wind shall take us soon, sweeping the garden bare?
Their voiceless voices hang there, as ours might,
if we were roses, too. Their beds are blanketed with leaves,
tended by an absent gardener whose life is elsewhere.
It is the last of many last days. Is it enough?
To rest in this moment? To turn our faces to the sun?
To watch the lineaments of a world passing?
To feel the metal of a black iron chair, cool and eternal,
press against our skin? To apprehend a chill as clouds
pass overhead, turning us to shivering shade and shadow?
And then to be restored, small miracle, the sun shining brightly
as before? We go on, you leading the way, a figure
leaning on a cane that leaves its mark on the earth.
My friend, you have led me farther than I have ever been.
To a garden in autumn. To a heaven of impermanence
where the final falling off is slow, a slow and radiant happening.
The light is gold. And while we're here, I think it must be heaven.


Autumn has arrived in the Seattle area -- we have had several days in a row of significant rain and the leaves are starting to turn in earnest. I had a fun Wednesday anyway, since I got to talk to my high school friends in the morning and watch the first third of Avengers: Endgame with in the afternoon around various chores. It was only drizzling by late afternoon when we walked to the beach and out on the dock, where the ducks seemed unfazed by the rain. 

We caught up on Ahsoka (which was great, nostalgic and sharp) with after the Orioles victory, and the Mariners game started to go in unpleasant directions (just as it ended -- well, we have tickets for tomorrow night and now that will be exciting and highly relevant). So we watched the first competitive episode this season of The Masked Singer, then last night's Only Murders in the Building. Here are some of the animals we met in Snohomish last weekend at Swans Trail Farms: 

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Greetings from India Bistro

Another quickie on my older son's 30th birthday! We had pouring rain much of the day, so I had a morning of folding laundry and cleaning things in the kitchen, then an afternoon watching the Orioles pre-game because legendary third baseman Brooks Robinson died and we knew they'd be interviewing everyone from Jim Palmer to Gunnar Henderson. 

The Os won the game, though I heard about it via a friend because we'd picked up Adam and gone to meet Daniel (who had intended to take the afternoon off, but wound up being called to work) and Cahaya. We talked to my parents on the way to India Bistro, where we all shared lots of delicious food, then went back to son's house for cake by Paul. See if you can tell which members of the family were not allowed to have any dessert: 

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Greetings from Ballard

Quickie after an afternoon and evening in Ballard -- my onetime college roommate Hélène has a daughter who lives in Seattle whom her husband Jean-Philippe was visiting, and the two of them came for a lovely dinner with me and Paul at El Moose (I can't speak about the menu overall, but it had a lot of vegetarian entrees for a Mexican restaurant, and what I had was delicious). 

Since we were heading to Ballard, we visited the locks to see the salmon swimming in the fish ladder and the seals trying to catch them before they got there, and we stopped at the National Nordic Museum to see Frankie Feetsplinter, the second Thomas Dambo troll in the area. Earlier I had a dermatologist appointment and that was all the excitement of my morning. A few photos: 

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Monday, September 25, 2023

Greetings from Issaquah

We thought about going to the last day of the Washington state fair on Sunday, but there was rain forecast and it's a two-hour round trip drive, so we decided instead to go see the salmon that are swimming into the rivers and streams to spawn. We started at the Issaquah Fish Hatchery because we knew there would be lots of chinook and coho in the fish ladder and the creek that leads to it, plus trout in the holding tanks. Then we went to Confluence Park, where there were mostly ducks in the creek. And since we were right nearby, we visited the Jakob Two Trees troll by Thomas Dambo in the woods along the Rainier Trail. 

We had brought lunch with us, and since the weather remained dry, we drove to Lake Sammamish State Park, which has a picnic area near the bathhouse overlooking the beach. After we ate, we walked on one of the woods trails along Tibbetts Creek, which had lots of salmon and many water birds -- mergansers and grebes as well as mallards and geese -- and met a ranger who showed us where the beavers were taking down trees. It started to rain as we drove home for the end of the terrible Mariners game -- the Orioles had already won -- though at least the Seahawks won. Now we're back to Grantchester

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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Greetings from Swans Trail Farms

The weather forecast was spotty for Saturday but it was breezy and overcast when we left in the morning to drive to Snohomish by way of Molbak's in Woodinville, which had a glass pumpkin patch collaboration with Tacoma Glassblowing Studio and lots of other fun Halloween and autumn displays. Then we met my friend Chris for lunch at the Cabbage Patch Restaurant, a bit of shopping at the antique stores, then a drive to Swans Trail Farms for apple picking and visiting the animals in weather that went from drizzly to chilly rain and back! 

We hung out at Chris's for a while after the farm -- I was catching Grubbins for Pokemon Community Day and we need to make a game night plan -- then we drove home following a stop at Safeway with apples, apple cider, and apple donuts from the farm, which we asked Adam and Katherine if they wanted to share. So after we had soup for dinner, they came over for dessert and a game of Azul. Here are some farm photos, will post glass pumpkins and lots more farm animals after we finish the end of Sex Education which we're watching now. 

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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Poem for Friday and PNW Market

A Reminiscence
By Richard O. Moore

For Kenneth Rexroth, 1950

Held in a late season
At a shifting of worlds,
In the golden balance of autumn,
Out of love and reason

We made our peace;
Stood still in October
In the failing light and sought,
Each in the other, ease

And release from silence,
From the slow damnation
Of speech that is weak
And falls from silence.

In the October sun
By the green river we spoke,
Late in October, the leaves
Of the water maples had fallen.

But whatever we said
In the bright leaves was lost,
Quick as the leaf-fall,
Brittle and blood red.


Friday was even warmer than Thursday, sunny and breezy. Our neighborhood decided to have a back-to-school breakfast, so we got fig bars and pastries, plus the early morning walk to get them, then I had a bunch of chores to do while fighting with my computer which was apparently downloading some horrible update that made it very slow. It was a gorgeous day for walking at the beach, though! 

My baseball night was terrible -- the Orioles lost in the 9th, the Mariners were losing all game -- but Billions was fun this week (Chuck's dad should bring down Prince, he destroys everything he touches) and The Wheel of Time had some great Moiraine stuff in among some awful Egwene stuff that reminded me of V For Vendetta and I never mean that in a good way. Shopping at the witches' market: 

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