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On Mother's Day
By Grace Paley


I went out walking
in the old neighborhood

Look! more trees on the block
forget-me-nots all around them
ivy   lantana shining
and geraniums in the window

Twenty years ago
it was believed that the roots of trees
would insert themselves into gas lines
then fall   poisoned   on houses and children

or tap the city’s water pipes   starved
for nitrogen   obstruct the sewers

In those days in the afternoon I floated
by ferry to Hoboken or Staten Island
then pushed the babies in their carriages
along the river wall   observing Manhattan
See Manhattan I cried   New York!
even at sunset it doesn’t shine
but stands in fire   charcoal to the waist

But this Sunday afternoon on Mother’s Day
I walked west   and came to Hudson Street   tricolored flags
were flying over old oak furniture for sale
brass bedsteads   copper pots and vases
by the pound from India

Suddenly before my eyes   twenty-two transvestites
in joyous parade stuffed pillows under
their lovely gowns
and entered a restaurant
under a sign which said   All Pregnant Mothers Free

I watched them place napkins over their bellies
and accept coffee and zabaglione

I am especially open to sadness and hilarity
since my father died as a child
one week ago in this his ninetieth year

--------

Paley, who is probably better known for her short stories and peace activism than her poetry, died on Wednesday but the obituaries only started appearing this morning, like this one from The Los Angeles Times. The New York Times has one too.

This was the last day of summer vacation for my children, hard as that is to believe! They wanted to spend the morning playing video games, and since starting Monday they will only be allowed to do that on weekends, I figured I would let them. Meanwhile I worked on a review of "The Arsenal of Freedom", which plays better than its plot deserves thanks to the actors. Between getting people breakfast and lunch and doing laundry, I still wasn't finished when my father came to pick the kids up to take to the pool, so I finished that and wrote Site Columns and checked out the Star Trek: New Voyages episode "World Enough and Time" which on first glance looks fantastic. I must admit I was looking forward to this more than I am looking forward to Abrams' Star Trek, sadly enough.

Had dinner with my parents, who are going to the beach with my sister and her family in New Jersey next week...naturally, they decided to take their trip the week my kids went back to school, heh. Came home, watched Doctor Who's "Human Nature" which rocks like a rocking thing and I just hope the conclusion lives up to the first half of this two-parter. Half-watched Flash Gordon, which younger son likes...it has lots of female characters who all sort of look alike and rampant sexism blamed on Mongo's culture (given that that name is both racist and ridiculous, couldn't they have changed it? I hate even typing it).

Then discovered that Hair is on On Demand in widescreen and am in a state of bliss as I type this! I adore Beverly D'Angelo and John Savage and can sing along to every one of these songs, though I am really surprised that the musical with "Masturbation Can Be Fun" got only a PG rating...I don't want to have to explain to my kids why pederasty is in the same gleeful tune as fellatio. Even though this is such a '70s interpretation of the '60s musical, the scene at the end where the soldiers are marching in diagonal lines onto planes and then the shot resolves on the diagonal lines of graves at Arlington never fails to choke me up. (And since we just watched Hamlet yesterday, there's quite a lot of quoting that play in the lyrics.)

[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: Trust is what I'm offering
1. At the end of today, do you think you'll feel spent or refreshed?
Probably a bit of both, since I'm tired but it was a pretty good day.
2. Do you like back rubs? HELL YES. Especially special back rubs, right, [livejournal.com profile] dementordelta?
3. When did you last mislead someone? I told the survey people I'd do their next survey when I had absolutely no intention of following through. Was easier to get off the phone quickly.
4. What color are your eyes? Very dark brown.
5. Friday fill-in: Lastly, let me know ___. the ingredients in a Butterscotch Nipple.

[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: Imagine you are on your deathbed. Recommend to those who remain in your life...
1. One book to read.
Einstein's Dreams
2. One movie to watch. Joe vs. the Volcano
3. One food to eat. Nubian Chocolate Roll. You may thank my mother and [livejournal.com profile] celandineb for this:

From New York's Forum of the 12 Caesars Restaurant

Chocolate Roll:
3 eggs - separated
5 tb. sugar
3 tb. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground aniseed (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8" square pan, line with wax paper and grease. Beat egg yolks until light. Beat in sugar 1 tb at a time. Mixture should be very creamy. Stir in cocoa, vanilla, almond, cinnamon (& aniseed). Beat egg whites until they are stiff. Fold them into cocoa mixture. Spoon in pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until cake shrinks away from sides of pan. Cool 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and peel off waxed paper. Bring two sides together and roll in a tea towel to form a roll. Set aside to cool.

Cocoa Whipped Cream Filling:
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
2 tb. cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients (don't whip) and chill an hour. Then whip. Spread half the filling in the middle of the cooled cake. Bring two sides together to form a roll. At serving time, cover the roll with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle top with 2 tb. chopped toasted pistachio nuts or chocolate chips or shaved chocolate.

4. One place to go. For Americans: Devil's Tower, Wyoming. For Europeans: Glastonbury Tor.
5. One life lesson to leave behind. Eat all the chocolate and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.

[livejournal.com profile] fannish5: What are your five favorite canonical friendships?
1. Kirk and Spock
, Star Trek.
2. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, Master and Commander.
3. Denny Crane and Alan Shore, Boston Legal.
4. Benjamin Sisko and Kira Nerys, Deep Space Nine.
5. Xena and Gabrielle, Xena: Warrior Princess.

[livejournal.com profile] hp_fridayfive:
1. Who would you become for a day using Polyjuice Potion? Tonks. Then presumably I'd be a Metamorphmagus and could become other people if I felt like it.
2. Who would you like to have around if attacked by Death Eaters? Harry, who is the only person who has consistently saved people from Death Eaters.
3. Who would you spend a day at Hogsmeade with? McGonagall. We'd do cool stuff instead of shopping or sitting around having tea.
4. Who would be the person you'd like to give you a tour of Hogwarts? Dumbledore, who seems to know the castle better than anyone but Voldemort and I don't want the latter to give me a tour of anything.
5. At whose house would you like to spend the night? Lucius Malfoy's, of course. On a night when neither Voldemort nor his wife are in residence. Er, that is, I am sure he has many interesting wizarding world artifacts and besides, the mansion in Wiltshire is close enough to Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury to reach any of them by broom before dark.


These ducklings were born at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. There was a sign on the last day asking people interested in adopting them to inquire.


A prize-winning pig takes a drink from a hose in his stall.


I'm not clear on exactly how the cows are judged...is it just appearance and health, or do the judges actually drink their milk?


The thoroughbreds were mostly stabled with the police horses, but there was a miniature horse and her foal in the barn with the exotic farm animals.


And this is a dorky photo from the parking lot...my kids' dentist's son is the executive producer of this program so I was pleased to see the CW pushing it, and am doing my part to spread the word!

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