By Dan Chiasson
I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am
frayed where it would be highly useful—
and this I feel perpetually—to make a point.
I think if I can concentrate I might turn sharp.
Only, I don’t know how to concentrate—
I know only the look of someone concentrating,
indistinguishable from nearsightedness.
It is hard for you to be near me,
my silly intensity shuffling
all the insignia of interiority.
Knowing me never made anyone a needle.
From this week's New Yorker. There's also a holiday summation of the year in verse by Roger Angell.
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of seeing cidercupcakes, with whom I had soup from California Tortilla and watched more Arrested Development, which is completely hilarious and I might actually need to get it on DVD to show the rest of the family. Tobias Funke is totally my new imaginary gay boyfriend. And Portia de Rossi is totally my new imaginary gay girlfriend! Plus she brought me Meredith Ann Pierce's Darkangel trilogy, and she brought younger son Your Personal Penguin, and she tried to bring me a Stephen Colbert tote bag but (as I predicted) it was swiped by older son as soon as he saw it, which is fine because it is making him very happy.
My in-laws were supposed to come down from Hanover in the afternoon for younger son's winter concert, but the rain we had all day had already turned to snow in Pennsylvania and they were afraid the roads would be icy. So we met my parents there, driving through a bit of slushy hail. The kids are hoping we get enough bad weather for school to be closed, though I suspect there'll only be a delay if anything.
This is the last set of photos you'll ever have to see of a winter concert in this middle school gym -- my middle school gym, as well as my son's -- because the building is being torn down in the spring to build a new one.
The previous photo is of the intermediate orchestra playing Pachelbel's Canon. Here is the advanced orchestra playing Bach's Concerto in D.
And here is the intermediate band playing a version of "Ode to Joy" for wind instruments and percussion.
Since I have already posted a cat, here is one of several who lives at Art of Fire.
This one with the clipped ear is the friendliest.
Whereas you can probably tell from the expression of this one hiding on a shelf how he feels about being petted.
If I had things like this hanging within reach at my house, they would be batted to the floor and broken, but somehow the cats at Art of Fire have been taught to behave.
After the concert, we watched Merlin's "The Moment of Truth," which started with a great big squeal of happiness for me because in all the spoilage I have allowed myself for this series, somehow it had completely escaped my notice that Alexander Siddig did a guest appearance! Plus there are so many plot points in this episode that I love -- Arthur sneaking off to help Merlin against his father's wishes, Morgana kicking ass and reminding Arthur that she used to beat him, Merlin's friend's jealousy of Arthur -- even Merlin's mom knows that Arthur loves Merlin, "He must care for you a great deal" -- Gwen and Morgana insisting that the women should fight, Arthur helping Merlin put his vambraces on, Arthur declining to punish a confessed sorcerer whom he believed had saved his life and Merlin's... I am stalling watching the last few episodes because I don't want to have to wait months and months for more after that!