Roman Year, Aprilis
By Reginald Shepherd
lights scrolls across an unmade bed,
we were setting out for Aries
in paper planes (white dwarf stars
bright in a wilderness of wish scatter
white feathers among me, fistfuls
of light): bees busied themselves
with the seen, moment's
multiple tasks, for the pollen, honey
in the blood, bees would drown
each day: from a thicket of nos
to one sepaled blossoming, all
in an afternoon
you thought of bees as summer
Shepherd died on September 10th. Poets.org has a brief article about him. You can read more of his work and his partner's remembrances of him on his blog.
I'm fairly stressed out from some stuff going on at Daniel's school -- in the middle of the afternoon we got a recorded phone call from the principal, informing us that a student had been arrested with a handgun and he wanted us to hear it from the school before we heard it on the news. Later the PTA sent out an e-mail saying that the student had not been on the high school campus at the time, but nearby in the city, and she had not attended school this morning or the day before, so they think it was unlikely that she planned to bring the gun to school...even so, this is way too close to home.
Otherwise, it was a pretty flat day. I did laundry and wrote a review of "The Most Toys", which also ended up being stressful because any time I write something freelance, even for no money or almost no money, it reminds me that I urgently need a job -- preferably part-time, preferably not too far from home, preferably something not mind-bogglingly boring. Our evening consisted of the Orioles game and Stargate Atlantis, neither of which was very inspiring.
1. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Alternately a legendary writer, actress, singer and owner of an eclectic bookstore. Well, and sometimes a brilliant special-interest lawyer, when I thought lawyers primarily existed to defend the innocent and unprotected.
2. What is your proudest accomplishment so far? Man, it sounds like a bad pre-feminist cliche to say my kids, isn't it? But really, it's that I raised two kids who are passionate about the environment and animals and who treat people well.
3. What is your dream job? I've learned in the past ten years that I work better in collaboration than by myself, so co-writing or editing the Great American Novel.
4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? On the beach in Brighton. Oh, I have absolutely no idea.
5. What does it take to make you happy? Being surrounded by nature but with the ability to communicate with my friends, and preferably with my family.
fannish5: Five characters that replaced departing characters, and whether you considered each a gain or a loss.
1. Seven of Nine for Kes, Star Trek: Voyager. I considered it a great loss for reasons I have documented exhaustively elsewhere.
2. John Doggett for Fox Mulder, The X-Files. Mulder was irreplaceable; it isn't that I didn't like Doggett, but that it was like watching a different show once he arrived.
3. Tara King for Emma Peel, The Avengers. While Emma Peel was a completely worthy successor to Cathy Gale, Tara and her crush is just icky, though to be fair, I didn't make it through very many of her episodes so I can't fully judge.
4. Will Bailey for Sam Seaborn, The West Wing. It isn't that I didn't like Will, but that Sam's relationships with the other characters drew them out in really interesting ways that just weren't the same afterward.
5. Jennifer Keller for Elizabeth Weir and Samantha Carter, Stargate: Atlantis. Why would we want the powerful commanding older woman when we could have the pretty pliable hot girl with Improved Sparring Action? Tonight's episode is a big reason this show does nothing for me.
I thought about doing a bunch of pairs where the gain and loss balances out, like Space: 1999's Maya for Victor, Boston Legal's constantly rotating supporting cast, or Doctor Who's companions, but I figured I'd stick to swaps that dramatically impacted a series.
I wish Viggo Mortensen would stop appearing in violent movies -- can you imagine if the body count in the world reflected the body count in popular action films? -- but The New York Times is making me think that maybe I should see Appaloosa, despite the reviewer saying it's "not a great Western" and "there is no shortage of killing." It's because, in addition to offering Jeremy Irons and Timothy Spall, "Virgil (Ed Harris) and his sidekick, Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), are like a long-married couple, with Everett as the patient helpmeet." And I also enjoyed reading via Discovery that Hurricane Ike had shed light on a shipwreck in Alabama, which was partly revealed when Hurricane Camille cleared away the sand in 1969. It's thought to be the Civil War schooner Monticello, but some people think instead it's the World War I era schooner Rachel.