From 'Dark Harbor'
By Mark Strand
I am writing from a place you have never been,
Where the trains don't run, and planes
Don't land, a place to the west,
Where heavy hedges of snow surround each house,
Where the wind screams at the moon's blank face,
Where the people are plain, and fashions,
If they come, come late and are seen
As forms of oppression, sources of sorrow.
This is a place that sparkles a bit at 7 p.m.,
Then goes out, and slides into the funeral home
Of the stars, and everyone dreams of floating
Like angels in sweet-smelling habits,
Of being released from sundry services
Into the round of pleasures there for the asking --
Days like pages torn from a family album,
Endless reunions, the heavenly choir at the barbecue
Adjusting its tone to serve the occasion,
And everyone staring, stunned into magnitude.
We are, in theory, going to my in-laws to the weekend by way of the Baltimore Zoo, then going Sunday to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival. I say "in theory" because if it appears that there is going to be a gas crisis (which there was in parts of Maryland today, after a rumor went around that all gas stations would close at 4 p.m.), we may not drive so far. We should only need to refill the tank once for this trip, but even once makes me nervous right now. I got an e-mail today from the woman who owns Sea Shell City, who had found my photos of the Discover Sea Museum and asked why I didn't have pictures of the hermit crabs or shell souvenirs. So I tried to take photos of the painted Discover Sea Museum cowrie shell and the tall ship treasure box I bought there, but had Cinnamon barge into pretty much every photo. Here is a typical example of what I got, in which she is trying to bite the American flag off the mast of the ship:
In this state of uncertainty I did not drive at all today (the place where I bought gas for $3.01 now having it for $3.29) but stayed home, wrote my review of "Shore Leave" (an episode of staggeringly slashy proportions though I kept that low-key in the review, as I want to save my real K/S ammunition for "Amok Time," "The Empath" and others that absolutely demand it), briefly discussed New Orleans as Sisko's birthplace and a city whose cultural mix exemplifies IDIC in the Site Columns, picked up younger son and a friend from school while older son went to the pool with my father, tracked down a cheap copy of a book on color-correction using Photoshop that I desperately want but sells for $40 new and watched the first episode of the fourth season of Dawson's Creek while folding laundry. Watching this show through for the second time, things that seem thematically jarring make more sense...like kicking off a season with an episode that begins and ends without the title character. God knows I never want to read another article about Katie Holmes' fiance but I can't manage to hold that against Joey Potter, which I guess is all to the good.
We had dinner with my parents and discussed Bar Mitzvah plans for older son, who has very little input himself right now as he has only been to one Bar Mitzvah (Conservative, and he was very unhappy as he knew none of the kids). We had moved the date in 2006 from a Saturday night at the end of September between the High Holy Days to a Saturday morning at the beginning of September right after school starts, so now we are trying to figure out how many of our friends, our parents' friends, etc. we want to invite vs. who we really need to invite regardless of sentiment. Son does not want a band, nor a dance, nor any girls, but of course that could change radically in the next twelve months. Doing it in Israel is cost-prohibitive even though I think that would be everyone's first choice, so we are on to Plan B...
fannish5 is favorite superhero movies and I don't think I have five. fridayfiver has organizations supporting New Orleans instead of questions this week, so I recommend visiting the community if you haven't already made contact with the Red Cross, Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, etc. (note: I do not condone donations to the Salvation Army, ever -- an organization that evangelizes to the people it helps and that refuses to hire gay employees in the name of the personal brand of Christianity they proselytize -- we give to AmVets and Value Village as well as our synagogue). But I can do thefridayfive:
1. What sport do you most enjoy watching on television (or tolerate most)? Football. Much as I love watching baseball live, I tend to zone out when it's on TV.
2. If you could be really, really good at one sport (we're talking world elite here), what would it be? I would never be a world elite athlete. I would never put in the kind of hours of practice necessary; it would be an insult to world elite athletes to pretend I could ever compete with them. In fantasy I would have liked to have had natural talent as an ice skater -- at least a little grace and coordination -- but even if I'd been born with the perfect body and instinctive talent, I would never have been a champion.
3. Have you ever been active in some form of sports? Not really. I've played softball on school and work-related teams as a social activity.
4. Would you rather be a computer geek or a sports geek? I think it should be obvious from the answers I am sitting here typing at my computer. *g*
5. What teams do you cheer for? Primarily the Washington Redskins (yeah, the name has to go but it's my childhood team), Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Terrapins. Once a year we go to a DC United game but I forget to follow them most of the time. Also, I root for the Wizards but don't pay enough attention to pro basketball for it to count for much, and I have a nostalgic attachment to the Bulls because we lived in Chicago during Michael Jordan's heyday (ditto the White Sox and Bo Jackson). I despise Georgetown on principle because they're my father's team and alma mater. If my alma mater the Penn Quakers win the Ivy title I root for them in the NCAA tournament until they lose in the first round but I have never had to choose between them and any other team I liked. Oh, and I root for the Nationals, but I am not yet quite taking their presence in DC seriously.