By Pak Chaesam
Translated by David R. McCann and Jiwon Shin
The wind is still playing
Its tricks of a thousand years ago.
See how it ceaselessly comes back
to the pine boughs and tickles them.
See, just see, what it still
goes on repeating after a thousand years.
So do not grow weary.
You, the one who
turns even to strange things
in your yearning; you.
It was an insane day trying to cover Star Trek news, as people were posting reports that William Shatner had said at a convention last weekend that he was in talks with J.J. Abrams about Star Trek XI while on his own web site bulletin board, Shatner was saying all burblings were coming from Abrams and if any gas blew his way, he'd let his fans know. Does it mean that Shatner is in talks with Abrams but Paramount told him to shut up about it? Does it mean that Abrams has never called Shatner, but Shatner believes that if he can get the fans to demand it, Abrams will call Shatner, so he's trying to suggest it as a done deal so fans will rejoice all over the internet...it seems like he tried that with Enterprise and it didn't work (they didn't want to pay the salary he demanded), but since I don't actually know who did or did not talk to whom, ultimately all I could report was that until Paramount announces that Shatner is signed, there is no news! Which is a pretty stupid topic for a news article but fannish news is not like normal news. *g*
In other disappointing fannish news, they renamed Xena "Eris"! And they renamed Gabrielle "Dysnomia." ("They" being the International Astronomical Union, and Xena and Gabrielle being the largest dwarf planet in the solar system and its moon.) Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology said the name was an obvious choice since Eris is the goddess of discord and caused the Trojan War. That didn't even result in any gods getting kicked out of the planetary club the way poor Pluto has! Ah well, at least they named the dwarf planet after a woman.
Obviously I did not have a very exciting day personally. Did some chores, had dinner with my parents since they won't be around tomorrow night for our usual Shabbat dinner, discovered that I may have to cancel my lunch date tomorrow because Sears won't commit to a more precise time to come tell me what's wrong with the microwave. I watched "Spectre of the Gun" so I can review it tomorrow...how I am going to come up with more than two paragraphs on this episode is beyond me. ("The planet has a red sky, and Kirk has two fits of Bad Acting before Spock comes to his rescue.") After that, we all watched Decoding The Past: Secrets of the Playing Card on the History Channel, which was a lot of fun if not a lot of new information -- they covered Tarot as well as playing cards, the various conspiracies that the cards came out of Egypt originally or through Egypt from Persia or through Egypt and Persia from the Far East. There were lots of images of ancient decks and a very entertaining history of the banning and later taxing of cards -- one thing I did learn was that the Ace of Spades is considered unlucky in part because that was where manufacturers had to forge patents if they were trying not to pay the King's taxes, and they were sometimes hanged if they got caught!
And I just loved the carvings on this powder horn from the American Revolution.
These are Grant and Lee's chairs respectively from Appomattox.
From the World War II portion of the exhibit, a rayon slip, war-work bra and leg makeup to mimic stockings since nylon wasn't available.
And this actually isn't from Americans At War at all, but from America on the Move -- two model whaling ships, a New England whaler and the steam whaler Orca, both from the late 1800s.
Someone told me that I seem rather let-down after the Bar Mitzvah, which struck me as odd because I feel like I am actually happy and relieved (which is possibly not the most appropriate emotion but there you have it). It's a LOT of social expectations above and beyond the spiritual significance. It's a LOT of stress and pressure and family insanity (which is ongoing, though now much of it is directed at other relatives and their conduct and gifts rather than at us). It's a LOT of money committed. It was never going to be any sort of pure religious experience, and as a rite of passage, it leaves me feeling rather strange and old and disconnected...I remember my own Bat Mitzvah but I don't feel like I've really found a perfect spiritual home since, and I'm not sure where to point my kids. My mother thinks we should push older son against his wishes into the synagogue's three-year very long, very socially oriented confirmation program -- when I did it, it was one year, and we didn't have lectures on Jewish reasons for not doing drugs, nor overnight retreats with the extremely wealthy, snotty kids who belong to this congregation. I feel like there has to be a better way but I can't figure out what it is.