May 15th, 2006

little review

Poem for Monday

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I had a very nice Mother's Day visiting with assorted relatives, though it began with near-disaster when one of the light fixtures in our kitchen fell onto the table and shattered the bowl of fruit and a plate of tomatoes, sending shards of glass everywhere. We ended up having bagels with assorted cheese and lox in the living room rather than the kitchen, where we were still finding slivers tonight -- no bare feet in there for awhile. My in-laws came down from Pennsylvania, having recently returned from visiting apaulled's brother on the west coast and bringing chocolate; my parents gave me silver earrings, my husband and kids a book on English castles and Great Big CD & DVD.

After brunch we went to Hillwood Museum, Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate in Washington, DC where on a clear day one can see the Washington Monument from the backyard...today we had to settle for its vague outline among the clouds. She collected decorative art objects while she was married to E.F. Hutton (it's very helpful to be the Post cereal heiress) and then went to the Soviet Union with her third husband, the American ambassador, as Stalin was consolidating power and bought up Russian religious icons, Faberge eggs and a phenomenal collection of Russian porcelain including the tea service Catherine the Great gave to Count Orlov. It was quite crowded, particularly since it was raining most of the afternoon so nearly everyone was indoors instead of in the garden (though my father was more restless than my children, who were fine going through until my father started rushing everyone because he wanted to get ice cream in the very overpriced cafe). My parents ended up deciding not to take umbrellas through the extensive back gardens and thankfully took my children home with them while I went with my in-laws through the Japanese garden and the Friendship Garden, where the azaleas were fading but the rhododendrons were just coming into their own.


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apaulled made dinner in my mother's kitchen so there would be more room for everyone, and we hung out and ate over there. Then my in-laws departed and we came home for the finale of The West Wing, which was enjoyable if anticlimactic and somewhat unsatisfying...I'm not sure they could have done a single episode that would have come close to wrapping it all up, though. Collapse ) Damn, I wish we could have a two-hour TV movie about the Santos' administration's first hundred days or something...even though I do feel like it was time for this show to go and it has been showing its age, I am going to miss it a lot. Afterward we watched Shadows and Fog, one of Woody Allen's strangest movies and perhaps Mia Farrow's least bearable role among a whole string of unbearable roles...I first saw this in the theater in the early 1990s, right before I dropped out of grad school, and its scathing indictments of theory for theory's sake, the excessive celebration of the carnivalesque and how deconstruction can allow fascism to operate are still really fascinating, but I no longer have the academic vocabulary to discuss it properly!