August 29th, 2005

little review

Poem for Monday

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We had gorgeous weather today, but apaulled decided that he didn't feel like fighting Orioles traffic to go to the Baltimore Zoo and used the fact that we still had to track down a couple of reference books for older son as an excuse, so instead of going to the zoo, we went to Barnes & Noble and a couple of other stores and then walked around the lake at Rio. This ended up being a nice family activity, as we got what's likely to be our last seasonal glimpse of this year's goslings...who actually will probably be there through the winter, as it seems that the geese in this area do not bother to migrate, food being plentiful and predators being few. But I would love the opinion of naturalists reading this on the parentage of these geese, now that we can finally see their adult feathers:


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At night after getting the kids' supplies sorted, organized and into their backpacks along with their summer packets, we watched Rome, which had its ups and downs -- I had read very little about it, so I knew to anticipate James Purefoy, but I had not realized that both Polly Walker and Max Pirkis were in it which was a nice surprise. Before that we had dinner with my father at Hamburger Hamlet, since my mother is out of town. Because we were listening to coverage of the hurricane all afternoon I was having a huge craving for Creole food and had jambalaya. I hope everyone in the path of Katrina is all right -- beckyo, does Florida have electricity back yet? And anyone in New Orleans who's reading this, please listen to your mayor and get out of town!
little review

A Tribute To My Friend Karen



This is a tribute to my friend from graduate school in the English department at the University of Chicago, Karen Elizabeth Di Nal, on the fifth anniversary of her death. She suffered from cystic fibrosis for her entire life, but people who knew her, worked with her and had fun with her were often unaware of her physical condition, for Karen did not wish to live or be treated as an invalid. Karen was energetic, lively and involved in a wide range of activities, from graduate study at the University of Chicago where I met her to Star Trek fandom through which we bonded. She taught in the university writing program, volunteered at the local hospital, worked in the library and spent her summers camping and hiking, sometimes to assist children with illnesses like her own. Her condition began to deteriorate after a white-water rafting trip, and she chose to die on her own terms, requesting that she be disconnected from life support rather than spending the remainder of her life dependent on a respirator. She died just after her 33rd birthday, spending her last conscious hours eating cake, celebrating and chatting with family and friends. Collapse )