By Thomas Hardy
Here is the ancient floor,
Footworn and hollow and thin,
Here was the former door
Where the dead feet walked in.
She sat here in her chair,
Smiling into the fire;
He who played stood there,
Bowing it higher and higher.
Childlike, I danced in a dream;
Blessings emblazoned that day;
Everything glowed with a gleam;
Yet we were looking away!
From Sunday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. Robert Pinsky compares "A Simple Cuban Meal" by Rafael Campo to this poem by Thomas Hardy, "another poem of family history...Hardy's concentrates on the long-ago moment, its absence of self-consciousness. Both poems recognize the vivid, intimate presence of the past."
As predicted, we had a very rainy Sunday. No cherry blossoms for us! Instead we went to see Blades of Glory, which was hilarious...I'd been warned by various people that it was homophobic, insulting to women skaters and just plain dumb, but I did not find any of the above to be true -- it's stereotypical, sure, but I actually found it less insulting to women than all of those girl skater movies where the ugly duckling becomes a swan on the ice, and although it certainly plays on real and imagined stereotypes about male figure skaters, sexuality and gender performance, and it's perhaps a bit heterosexist in that there are remarkably few gay men in the film's version of the sport (not counting stalkers), the entire film is about how pairs skating would be more interesting if it was opened to less conventional pairs and how two men together shouldn't feel any wronger than brother-sister teams playing lovers, which happens all the time. It spends far more time poking fun at the macho skater than it does at the flamboyant one in feathers. And the ostensibly straight guys skate to Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack and Aerosmith's song from Armageddon...very illegal music and moves for real competitions but total camp fun!
I have been totally up and down on Will Ferrell...really loved him in A Night at the Roxbury, The Producers and Zoolander, did not much like him in Elf and had no urge whatsoever to see Talladega Nights, Bewitched or Anchorman. But even at its worst, Blades of Glory did not come close to being as offensive as the preview for that Adam Sandler movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which may ultimately be about how two straight men discover the prejudice gay men face every day but which has the most repugnant preview I have ever seen, ten times worse than the banned Snickers ad with the guys tearing out their chest hair; these guys punch each other out instead of kissing at their "wedding" and get married in the first place because gay marriage represents special legal privileges to which straight people have no access, which apparently is why marriage must be reserved for heterosexuals. Ugh! Well, I can't stand Sandler anyway in pretty much anything. And apaulled just told me that Busy Philipps (of Freaks and Geeks and Dawson's Creek) pitched the story for Blades of Glory, which pleases me.
Came home, watched Doctor Who on my computer because there is no way I'm waiting a year after seeing the first two in the UK, am utterly infatuated but have no desire to attempt to enter this fandom except in a "SQUEEEE!" way; fortunately my best friend in the UK is a longtime fan yet utterly unaware of online flame wars, so I can talk to her about it when I feel the need. Also watched some of the Jackie Robinson Day Dodgers game, mostly for the commentary. And that's the extent of my news, other than not being able to find the Eragon Nintendo DS game for older son at three different stores, not being able to help younger son with his math homework because I don't remember enough algebra and not being able to load the web page with the SGA spoilers on Connor Trinneer I'm supposed to write up as Trek news. Hey, does anyone else around here use Twitter? I discovered it via thedivinegoat and love how easy it is to drop in single-sentence updates for anyone looking for me.
The main shopping street was quite active and busy the days we were there -- a thriving city.
This is the hypocaust in the old Roman baths.
The pool at the back bubbles more dramatically from the hot spring.
The Cross Bath, restored in the 16th century and now part of the Thermae Bath Spa complex.