Baby's Foot on My Brow
By Pak Chaesam
Translated by David R. McCann and Jiwon Shin
after toddling perilously about
the alleyway and courtyard
all day; your pretty feet
that crossed over the huge sun
beneath their soles:
Here, just once try a step
on your father's forehead,
steeper even than the gravel road.
Such soft, undirtied feet.
One more from Sunday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World by Robert Pinsky, who says Chaesam's "kind of brevity suggests lenses for observing the details of galaxies or the mysteries of a cell. Or it can resemble the fine point of an engraver's tool, etching memory."
I don't have a lot of news to report from the day. The kids started camp, they seem to have had a great time -- it's mostly a sports camp with chess, art and science plus their favorite things: video game consoles that can be played at lunch and at the end of the day. They did mostly soccer and older son won candy in a chess tournament so they came home tired and happy. They were in no hurry to leave when I came to pick them up, which never happens at school!
Tonight I noticed that Serenity was on cable and decided it was time to give it a chance, after being apathetic about Firefly, which I sort of liked with some notable exceptions -- I find Whedon's aren't-I-clever dialogue rather cloying, and I can't stand Inara, neither the concept of her (phoniest prostitute in the entire sci-fi hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold genre and that's saying something after the Bajoran "comfort women" on Deep Space Nine) nor the casting (played by an actress with no chemistry with the man who supposedly would cross a galaxy for her). But I'd heard that her role had been minimized in the movie and even non-Firefly fan friends who are as bored by new BSG as I am liked it, so I figured I owed it to myself to watch it. The whole family ended up in the room, and although for the first 3/4 of an hour or so I remained unimpressed -- same issues with the clonking dialogue and still hiding my eyes from all the women but Gina Torres -- but then the storyline really got going and the movie moved away from reintroducing all the characters' carefully constructed quirks and the film absolutely rocked! I was pretty spoiled, but even knowing the secret of Miranda, totally riveted by how everything played out, and Fillion and Glau in particular gave much stronger performances than I ever saw from them on Firefly. So that was totally enjoyable, and everyone who told me to watch it was right, thank you, and we will all definitely watch that one again.
What really set this off, though, was trying to get myself kicked off the TrekBBS -- well, not really, but it did occur to me that I might. *G* I had surfed into a thread on Lady in the Water hoping to be spoiled enough to decide whether I wanted to see the movie in the theater -- am up and down on Shyamalan, thought The Sixth Sense was brilliant even though I knew the twist by the restaurant scene, and was spoiled for the gimmick in The Village but thought it was a much better movie than most reviewers did, but I never saw Signs because I don't like the cast and I didn't think Unbreakable was all that clever. Plus my husband's brother just catered Bryce Dallas Howard's vegan wedding on Ron Howard's estate in Connecticut -- she eats at his restaurant a lot and he knows her reasonably well -- so since she seems like a good egg, I am happy to support her work, and Paul Giamatti is Bart Giamatti of Yale's son so again he's easy for me to like even if I hated Sideways. Anyway, someone had made the comment that Lady... hadn't done all that well its first weekend, and someone else said not to worry, if it sold well on DVD then there still might be a sequel, and a moderator warned the second person for harrassing Serenity fans! I wouldn't even have connected the statement to Serenity without that comment -- it's sure not the only film greenlit after a boffo DVD success. I have long thought that Whedon was a whiny brat for going on and on about how the world clearly wasn't ready for his brilliance with Firefly but are his fans really such mewling prats that people can't make factual statements about his film's receipts? Sheesh!
The other fun conversation on the BBS was this one, in which some people with far too much time on their hands try to analyze the meaning of the balance of colors in the Star Trek XI poster -- what does it mean that there's more blue than gold and no red, does it mean no Scotty, does it mean "The Cage"-era uniforms, does it mean McCoy and Spock play major roles? And I could not resist, and said that since the blue comes down beneath the insignia at sort of an angle, kind of like a slash, it must be indicative that J.J. Abrams is planning the Kirk/Spock love story we've all been waiting for. And, you know, I must say something else: I may have qualms about Abrams running the franchise, but at least it didn't go to Whedon.
William Clark was only a lieutenant when he set out and only entitled to wear a single epaulette on the expedition, but this is one of a pair he bought as a brigadier general of the Louisiana Territorial Militia in 1808.
The watch Lewis initially took on the journey had a double case and a second hand, but it filled with sand in the Dakotas and stopped working. This one is circa 1796-7. I love getting to see stuff like this firsthand.