By Paul Willis
November dawns the cool side sunny,
and I walk to class thinking what I might suggest
to the eight young writers around the long, dark table.
I could point out once again that the walls in our room
are made of windows, that mountains are trying to get in.
Or I might say, "The soccer coach greeted me
in the parking lot in high spirits. His team is going
to the playoffs; his father, however, is dying of cancer."
Or I might say, "The Filipino maintenance man
asked me this morning what I am teaching.
"Shakespeare," I told him. 'Is Shakespeare in the arts?'
he asked. "Does he write opera? Is he an American?"
Or perhaps I could share my sorrow about the Korean
pitcher who lost a World Series game in Yankee Stadium
last night. It was midnight, Halloween, there in
Yankee Stadium, but for all of his countrymen
in Korea, it was two o'clock in the afternoon.
In Korea, it had been November for a long time
when the ball sailed into the stands and the pitcher
placed his black glove like a dark flower upon his face.
My kids had no school Thursday -- ostensibly so teachers could prepare report cards, but I think wanting to avoid post-Halloween sugar crashing might have had something to do with the county's timing -- so after a morning overseeing home repairs, we spent the afternoon with my in-laws at three Frederick County parks with spectacular fall color (we go every year, you can see previous photos and find more links if you scroll back through previous fall entries). Our first stop was Gambrill, atop High Knob, where we picnicked and hiked the trail around the overlooks; then we went to Washington Monument on South Mountain, which crosses the Appalachian Trail and has spectacular views from the top; and finally we went to Gathland, at a Civil War crossroads with a museum and the ruins of a grand estate. It was completely overcast when we were at Gambrill and partly cloudy at Washington Monument, but by late afternoon when we reached Gathland, the sky was gorgeous deep autumn blue.
Atop South Mountain stands the oldest Washington Monument in the area -- the ones in Baltimore and Washington, DC were built later in the 1800s.
And the Civil War Correspondent Memorial Arch in Gathland State Park.
More photos later in the week after I get them organized. Got home in time to eat a quick dinner (chicken korma and alu chole, mmmm) and watch Smallville, which was reasonably entertaining but boy, they really aren't bothering to hire any actors of the caliber of John Glover or Michael Rosenbaum any more, are they? I've already said that the girl who plays Kara is painfully limited as an actress, though maybe that was a conscious decision to make us all appreciate Lana more -- I was actually pleased to see her and get away from Supergirl, though I want Chloe and Lois back and will scream if that does not happen soon! And the woman playing Lara...I guess when it comes to superhero mothers, we are expected to appreciate beauty and traditionally feminine/maternal sighing over substance, but urgh.
Was at least very pleased to see that Duchovny, Anderson, Carter and Spotnitz are all apparently on board for the X-Files sequel! This makes me very happy! And as for Rowling and the encyclopedia and the lexicon and Steve Vander Ark...oh wait, I promised only fannish delight wherever possible, and though I have taken happy advantage of the online lexicon many times and have scoffed at Pocket Books' attempts to keep unofficial Star Trek reference guides off the market and have met an incredible number of fans more interested in profit than fandom and can think of much to say on all sides of the issue, I will simply stay out of the wank.