The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday


Outsider
By Bei Dao (Zhao Zhenkai)


one generation drops like a curtain
the next is applauding

the lifetime you've known
hiding in dark places
starts gaining attention
groping, hence light
letting half a life empty out
and fill with crane song

someone's swimming in sickness
as autumn wind inspects
the small temperaments of young animals
the road joins sleep
and in radiant light that's defeated you
you stand fast at the nameless fence

--------

I have Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tickets! With my girlfriends on Friday and my family on Saturday! I am excited! My lunch date, who is also going with me Friday morning, asked whether I would be embarrassed if she dressed up and I had to snicker...perhaps I will wear my Star Trek uniform and see if she is embarrassed! Hahahaha. We had Thai food and bitched about fandom and now my head feels somewhat clearer...I had thought maybe it was just me and mine, but, yes, HP has gotten wonkier of late!

Tuesday afternoon is always schlep-time as the kids have Hebrew school and thus have to be picked up from bus stops, then driven to Hebrew school, but I managed to get up to some evil and after dinner, since my partner in crime had gone to bed, I read several chapters of The Historian which is increasingly difficult to put down. Watched Commander in Chief which continues to frustrate me greatly with its oversimplifications and badly written family drama...it is not that I object to teen angst set in the White House, it is that I object to dialogue and staging so clunky that the poor teen actors can't do anything with it, even in nifty locations like a beautifully lit swimming pool. And poor Donald Sutherland! He is trying so hard but they give him only polar extremes. I generally like Natasha Henstridge too...I wish they'd give her the smart press secretary job instead of the evil vixen job.

Had been toying with the idea of maybe watching Threshold when it airs and taping Boston Legal because I'm worried that the former will get cancelled -- not that my non-Nielsen viewing would really help it, anyway -- but, nope, no way, I am not postponing my weekly dose of Crane/Shore delight. Okay, this show's split personality can be even more frustrating than Commander in Chief's -- it can't decide whether it's Ally McBeal or The Practice or some other cracked-out lawyer show. But the LOVE! And how much fun the actors have playing it! Alan invites Denny, well, begs Denny, to sleep with him...platonically, to stop him from injuring himself during a panic attack. "You'll do anything to get me into bed!" Denny declares, to which Alan retorts, "Night terrors. They're potentially life-threatening." Denny says that he will admit to Alan something he is usually reluctant to confess, namely, "I'm homophobic." Alan says, "I'm stunned." Poor Denny, obviously suffering from self-hatred and a compulsive need to womanize to cover up this late-blooming attraction.

The meat of the episode (and not the doctor injecting his own body fat into plastic surgery patients kind) is Shirley confronting her inability to cope with the specter of Alzheimer's, and Denny having to face the possibility of his own. Turns out his father died from it -- or maybe that was said before but I missed it. Her father is going to die of it, too. [I had to write up a Kate Mulgrew article earlier in the week, and while I generally do not believe a word Kate says about anything -- she mixes her true life stories with somewhat exaggerated ones and sometimes pure fiction for dramatic effect -- she spoke at an Alzheimer's luncheon and said things that were utterly devastating about her mother, stories about watching her decline which even if they aren't Kate's personal stories have happened to many others, and concluded by saying very frankly that she wishes her mother was dead, she wishes she had overdosed on pills while it was her decision to make.] Shirley has to get a kid who's guilty of vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene off by proving to the jury that the only eyewitness, a woman with Alzheimer's, is unreliable. I find it hard to believe that a judge would allow her to go on for as long as she did trying to confuse this woman, but it was totally shattering to watch and Bergen was phenomenal (and what a bastard Paul was for making Shirley try the case instead of taking it himself!)

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that while Alan is paying his assistant Melissa to sleep with him, platonically, to stop him from hurting himself (and this actress was obviously hired for the show for the same reasons Alan picked the assistant out of a crowd, because she has a great body and a vacant face), Shirley suggests that Denny confide his fears about his own potential Alzheimer's to Alan "because he's your best friend" and when Denny does, Alan asks him to get tested to see whether his brain is actually degenerating or whether Denny's just flakier than usual. Denny is worried but says he'll get tested if Alan will, since Alan's night terrors and fear of clowns clearly indicates "there's something screwy going on." Even though Alan is sure his problem isn't neurological, he agrees, and the two go to the hospital together where Denny finds out that his condition has not worsened but he needs to exercise his brain more in unusual ways, writing with the opposite hand, that sort of thing. He needs to try new things!

So I'm back to giggling after being reduced nearly to tears by Shirley, and then they decide to break me again by playing "Someone To Watch Over Me," first while Shirley is reading to her unresponsive father, then when Denny comes to thank Alan for making him get tested, to which Alan says friends should have friends have their heads examined, then says Melissa quit. Denny finds this worrisome -- Alan could hurt himself! -- and says all right, I'll sleep with you...in your room, but not in your bed. Alan at first thinks this is a silly idea since Denny sleeps like a log (so why did he ask Denny in the first place at the start of the episode, hmm?) but Danny suggests -- I am not making this up -- that Spader could tie them together so he'd know if Spader was trying to get up! From "I'm not having sex with you" to bondage in three short weeks! Then they agree it'll be like a sleepover ("Friends have sleepovers!") with movies, popcorn, ghost stories and pretending they're kids. I think they must mean the British boarding school kind. *veg*

Wow, I don't think I've squeed that much over a show since first season Smallville or something. I still think the formula is cracked but I am not giving up my Boston Legal and its politically incorrect humor and outre stories for anything.


A goat and a listing of the goats' names at Homestead Farms.
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