July 4th, 2005

little review

Poem for Monday

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I have still not worked my way to coherence but the suitcases are away, there have been six loads of laundries finished and folded, there is enough food for next week in the fridge and I have finished with the correspondence and bills that had to be attended to today. Also, I got to see juleskicks who came over to bring me Doctor Who! I have only seen the second episode, which was on the last night we were in England, but there were far too many other distractions while we were in Portsmouth for me to pay proper attention and ever since a friend wrote to me about the season finale I have been dying to watch it. So I am very excited, and all I had to offer her in return was William Shatner. *g*

I am sad that I finished Something Rotten on the plane and have no more Jasper Fforde to read. He pushed all my affectionate Stanley Fish-Robert Scholes buttons with this explanation, spoken by the protagonist, Thursday Next, to Hamlet (who in this book is out of the Shakespeare canon and living in the "real" world): "In all honesty the reader does most of the work...each interpretation of an event, setting or character is unique to each of those who read it because they clothe the author's description with the memory of their own experiences. Every character they read is actually a complex amalgam of people that they've met, read or seen before -- far more real than it can ever be just from the text on the page. Because every reader's experiences are different, each book is unique for each reader...I'd argue that every time a book is read by the same person it is different again -- because the reader's experiences have changed, or he is in a different frame of mind." Then there's the moment in The Well of Lost Plots where Fforde reveals that sea horses and platypuses are fictional -- "You don't think anything that weird could have evolved by chance, do you?" -- and the nursery rhyme characters on strike, using "You're talking complete Lear" as an insult -- "'King?' 'No, Edward.'" I so very much enjoyed that series!

Today none of us were up before 10:30 (most of us not before 11:30) and we mostly did chores, apart from a short hike at Huntley Meadows because we needed to get out of the house. There we saw three snakes, three deer, one heron, one barred owl, countless turtles, frogs and dragonflies and a variety of birds including Canadian geese and redwinged blackbirds. I took pictures with which I was very pleased, particularly the one of the owl in the dark woods, so I am going to do what I did when we got home from England and post photos from the Olympic Peninsula in installments with occasional interruptions. Now I am fried again and going to crash -- the headache I managed to stave off during two days of travel decided it had had enough with the sunlight glinting off the wetlands and is now demanding that I sleep. Still not sure what we're doing to celebrate the Fourth of July but it will not involve going downtown and fighting crowds at the National Mall. It is going to be a slow process catching up!

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Have a wonderful Fourth of July, everyone who is celebrating! If there seem to be few current reasons to feel patriotic, one can always reflect upon John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. I can think of a few contemporary politicians who would do well to spend the day reading their writings.