Shir Hashirim )

[ profile] thefridayfive:
1. What is your opinion on karma? I believe in it on a cosmic level but not so much in terms of daily life. I have a very strong sense of balance in the universe; however, I will never be able to rationalize things like the Black Death or the Holocaust in terms of any higher power or luck or fate.
2. If anything, do you think attitude makes any difference? If you believe the world and life are good, will good things radiate toward you? If you believe otherwise, will it all be a self fulfilling prophecy? Yes and yes; or, perhaps, not necessarily but your perceptions of them will be so.
3. How has luck/chance/facts-of-life/God/karma/nature treated you so far? Quite well, and I need to remember to focus on that on days when the little things are dragging me down. Compared to the vast majority of people throughout human history I have it so, so good.
4. What is your opinion of the concept of destinies? To some extent we are shaped by our circumstances at birth and through life but I don't believe anyone's path is laid out.
5. Are both bad and good things needed in order to truly live life? Can you have the bad without the good? The good without the bad? Yes, no and no, though I think that when people have enough bad to deal with, they can become incapable of recognizing the good, and ironically when people have too much good too easily, the same thing happens.

[ profile] fannish5: What five actors would you watch in almost anything?
1. Louise Fletcher
2. Anjelica Huston
3. Glenn Close
4. Lee Remick
5. Russell Crowe (yeah, this is fairly recent, but it's been every damn film he ever made, so it counts)

Why isn't Sean Bean on this list? Because he's made a couple of movies I literally could not sit through -- I can't tolerate a certain level of violence. For the sake of truth in advertising I should probably have included Kate Mulgrew, because there was a time when I would have and did sit through everything she had ever done, including some films so unwatchable that I don't know how I could stand it. But I haven't seen her in anything since Voyager in 1990, and she's a pale imitation of Remick crossed with Hepburn (whom I adore but I have not, in fact, come anywhere near to seeing her entire oeuvre -- same with Garbo), so Kate's off the list. ([ profile] totallykate: I will deny ever having said this anyway!)

My younger son's stitches are out so he is a much happier person, even though it is still uncomfortable for him to eat anything rough and dry (toast, non-soggy cereal, Cheetos, etc.) He has his first graded spelling test today and though we went over "responsible" ten times, he and I are both worried that he is going to spell it "responsable" anyway. This reminds me that when I was in fourth grade, I could not spell the word "friend" correctly to save my life; every single time I spelled it "freind" no matter how often I was corrected. I wonder whether there was something psychological going on, heh.

This morning as I was walking aforementioned younger son to school and testing him on spelling, there was an incredible sky. It had shifted and faded significantly by the time I got home and got my camera but I took a couple of pictures anyway.

Early Autumn Sky )

Have an insanely busy weekend coming up. This evening we are dining with my parents before Kol Nidre. Tomorrow we are going to the noon Yom Kippur family service. Then we are violating Jewish law because Brian Jacques, who wrote the Redwall books, is having a reading and signing at the book and toy store that's walking distance from our house, so since Sunday is our older son's birthday we are taking him to meet the author. Then we are breaking the fast with my parents and three generations of two families of friends with whom we have been breaking the fast for many years.

Then Sunday, for my son's birthday, we are taking two van-loads of kids to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The only things I know for sure are that we must see Fight Club, we are going to watch some jousting (don't worry [ profile] sanon, I will look out for your men) and instead of party favors we have been instructed to buy everyone wooden swords or axes. I am not sure how much this qualifies as an improvement over the initial stated plan by my son which was to go play laser tag and get everyone Yi-Gi-Oh cards, but at least it's idealizing historical violence instead of video games, right?
Why the Classics )

Fall has arrived on the tails of Hurricane Ivan, which provided thunderstorms and winds that brought down many leaves and branches already weakened by cicadas early in the summer. The temperatures never rose above the low 70s -- for most of the day it was in the 60s, and damp -- and the streets in our neighborhood are now littered by small branches and clusters of leaves. It's gorgeous.

[ profile] the_reverand has sent me a most wonderful and awesome gift. I am not certain whether I am allowed to share the details for copyright reasons but I wish to express my affection and gratitude in public. *snogs [ profile] the_reverand*

The kids had a birthday party, the eighth birthday of the oldest son of my oldest friend. I met her when we were both six, which is rather inconceivable to me when I think about it now. At this point we have three regular dates a year: my son's birthday, her son's birthday and the annual Superbowl party she and her husband throw; we have been terribly inconsistent about getting together otherwise, which is more my fault than hers I suppose as she is better about telephoning than I ever am. Sunday's the birthday party for the oldest son of my second-oldest friend, whom I didn't meet until junior high school but whom I talk to far more often, not least because she has a LiveJournal. Hey [ profile] vertigo66, want an unopened DVD copy of The Grifters?

I ask because the party was at a bowling alley, so [ profile] apaulled and I left the kids there for awhile and wandered down to the Best Buy nearby, where I made a marvelous discovery: Miramax has released a collector's edition of The Grifters (a movie I very nearly put on my list of must-sees two days ago, but I figure it's famous enough and anyway I had the lesser-known modern noir House of Games and Anjelica in Crimes and Misdemeanors)! The new DVD has commentary by Anjelica, John Cusack and Stephen Frears! This is a movie I wrote a paper on for an academic magazine, a film I admire unconditionally, and one of the reasons for my affection despite its brutality is that Anjelica said such brilliant things about it and its use of noir convention (and how Frears made subtle reference to her father) in interviews when it came out. I am so delighted about this. And it cost less than I paid for the no-frills DVD when it first came out.

Testing LiveJournal's new pics feature. Look, a cock!

(Addendum: Photo from Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, a recreation of the Mayflower settlement. I am sure the Puritans would not approve of the rooster's use in this manner. *snerk*)
Checkmate )

A poem for the date. I remember, growing up, how every November 22nd I thought it was strange and morbid how everyone born before 1958 would get going on exactly where they were, what they were doing, when they heard. Now I understand far better than I want to.

Rather than trying to talk about it, I'm just going to link to my post from last year.

Hebrew school starts for the year today. As does soccer. Must get into minivan and be Jewish soccer mom...

A skyline defined by absence, from New Jersey.
Rhode Island )

Actual Rhode Island beach, to go with the poem. )

Related (I lied), [ profile] thefridayfive:
1. What is your favorite summer activity?
Swimming in the ocean.
2. What was one great thing you did this summer?
Went sailing on a clipper ship.
3. When you were a child, what was your favorite summer activity?
Walking on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach.
4. What has been your favorite summer vacation?
I don't know if I can choose among two trips to Maine and two trips to Yellowstone.
5. Summer goes well into September, but when do you feel like it is over?
When school has started; that's still my dividing point. It used to be Labor Day, but school never started before Labor Day in my childhood.

[ profile] the_reverand has made my day! She sent me Remus Lupin! Is he not lovely? Plan for the afternoon: get him matted and framed. Sending much love to Florida, and also vibes for everyone else in the path of the hurricane.

Given the amount of press the outright lies by Republicans about John Kerry's Vietnam record have gotten, why is this story not being reported everywhere? Why is Bush allowed to lie and lie and get almost no mainstream news coverage for it?

In other news, we went to the back to school pot luck, where there were four hundred different kinds of noodle dishes and other carbohydrates, and my laptop's case is fixed but the single USB port is not, and since the single USB port is on the motherboard and the whole thing will need to be replaced to get one that works, we are definitely talking more money than it's worth. Sigh.

What kind of luck have people had with compact flash vs. secure digital media for storage? Those SD cards look so flimsy but they're so inexpensive! Is it worth getting one of those little flash drives for storing pictures while traveling in case of another CD-RW crisis?

Quizzes. Jack Aubrey is mine and so are Lupin/Snape. Big surprise, I know. )
Courage )

Yesterday there was a veritable explosion of Trek news. Patrick Stewart had an angioplasty, there were spoilers for episodes #1, 2, 4 and 6 of next season, official details, Shatner talking about his was hideous and I am never going to catch up. My wonderful co-worker Kristine bailed me out with one set of spoilers because she'd already read the stuff about the rest of the arc and could follow what was going on. But I want it to slow down!

Orientation went well. I thought the teacher was overdoing the emphasis to the third graders on the fact that even though they were in a 2-3 combination class, they WERE in third grade, then we walked out and my son ran into two friends, told them whose class he was in, and they said, "Hahaha, you're in second grade again!" Kids. My son appeared quite unaffected however as he really likes the teacher. Then my older son's afternoon play date cancelled out on him, so we had lunch at -- wait for it -- Burger King. Yay Yu-Gi-Oh toys. Fortunately I had a bagel before we left.

Then my parents took the kids to the pool for a couple of hours, and we discovered that my sons, who would generally rather splash around than actually swim, not only have no fear of diving boards but are willing to try to do FLIPS now that they have seen them at the Olympics. My younger one in particular -- he was doing somersaults in midair! (The younger one has a tendency to believe that because he has seen how something is done, he can do it; I don't know whether this is very brave or very foolish and arrogant but it has made him learn some things quickly just because he had no fear of them. This is why he is taking violin lessons -- figured that if Russell Crowe could learn it in six months, so could he -- and wants to take fencing, though he will not take any more tae kwon do because he keeps claiming he already knows how to do it.) And they were swimming fine in the diving well though they have not swum much all summer because of the lack of swimming at camp these past two years.

Have been doing this meme for other people and giggling, so...
1. Comment to this entry with a post you think would be totally out of character for me--something I'd never talk about, never discuss, never say, anything. It has to be completely out of character.
2. Post this in your own journal, if you want.

I'm curious to know what people think I would never say and how I would never say it. I also like this one: Recommend to me: 1) a movie, 2) a book, 3) a musical artist, song, or album, 4) a LiveJournal user not on my friends list, 5) what I should have for dinner, 6) a website, 7) a quote. Now must go eat and, hopefully, go to Baltimore to the Constellation birthday party.

A Last Batch of Boston Pictures )
The Living Temple )

More Oliver Wendell Holmes for more Old Ironsides photos (first set here for anyone who missed them). I suppose I really should know more about what Holmes did as a Supreme Court justice as well as a poet.

Still rethinking this journal some. No more Friday Five, I don't think, the questions just haven't inspired me all that much, though I might do it on a week when it excites me. No more personal politics either for the time being. I suppose I'd been operating on the assumption that my friends, the people who comment regularly, are the people who primarily care about what's in this journal and no one else would waste time or energy worrying about it, but have been realizing that is an illusion of safety. Yesterday I got a phone call from a woman in my neighborhood whom I've never met, who had found an address from the Star Trek fan club I used to run and discovered that I live practically around the corner from her. I don't know why this struck me as any stranger than getting e-mail from someone who discovered me the same way, which has happened many times. But I think I need to redraw my online boundaries.

Off to school orientation #2 for the week. School orientation #1 seems to have gone well, knock wood; my son has a class with each of his friends from his elementary school at his new middle school, and he was the only one of the three of them who got off at the right bus stop (my mother ended up having to bring the other two to their destination, since I had made her drive, being unsure of my ankle). Today's is the meeting with the teacher my older son had in second grade, an absolutely wonderful teacher, so it should be a happy reunion. Later they are having friends over and then we are having dinner with my parents so hopefully I can get done the work I could not get done yesterday!

Happy Birthday, [ profile] maquismom!

The USS Constitution, From Different Angles )


Aug. 26th, 2004 06:15 pm
Q: Where have you been all day?
A: (for my editor, my RL friends, people to whom I owe notes, work, etc.) I very cleverly tripped walking out my front door this morning and sprained the hell out of my ankle. So I've been kind of sitting on the sofa with my leg elevated and ice on it, accomplishing precisely nothing. It doesn't hurt much anymore but I can't put any weight on it at all. Sorry about having gotten nothing done.

Sea Walnuts, New England Aquarium. Are these not the coolest things ever? I wish I could have gotten an entirely clear picture, or an animated GIF so you can see how the rainbow phosphorescence moves around!
A Confession )

One son is at orientation, the other's orientation has apparently been moved until tomorrow -- again, nice of them to tell us, as I was relying on a schedule from months ago -- good thing I called the school! Today is a day to track down glue sticks, which have apparently been snapped up by wild glue-stick sniffers or first grade teachers, and to make the kids clean their rooms in anticipation of school. This is a make or break day with the older one, who has been on a kick for the past several weeks announcing that he does NOT want to go to the magnet program but wants to attend the local middle school with his best friend; am hoping the orientation program is fantastic.

In between rushing around, I watched the Hornblower Retribution movie. Oh my god why did no one warn me. *sobs* I still think Horatio mostly has eyes for Pellew, but I completely and totally understand Archie now. Recs for angsty fic, anyone? Please?

Flowers. One of these things is not like the others. )

LJers And Other People I Know )

In-laws still here. Younger son's orientation is tomorrow morning, not tomorrow afternoon, nice of the school to give us so much advance notification. Older son's doctor appointment delayed by nearly an hour, which I guess is to be expected in the current medical climate. But, you know, I did get to eat California Tortilla two days in a row, and was able to bring in Burger King for kids without having to eat any myself!

GIP, stolen from here. Want. But want the Geoff Hunt book even more.
The Meal )

Another rushed entry because my son has a doctor's appointment this morning. I still haven't read anything anywhere in more than two weeks. The Yu-Gi-Oh movie was more entertaining than I expected, even though I had to keep asking my son stupid questions like "Is Pegasus immortal...well, then, how did he invent the game?" and "Is Kaiba's younger sibling a boy or a girl?" But now I have been informed that I must take my children to Burger King for lunch so they can get the tie-in toys! Woe!

This afternoon my in-laws are coming to return the gerbils and have dinner, tomorrow both kids have school orientations (of course, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon), Friday has been reserved for tracking down the school supplies we haven't managed to get yet -- teach us to go out of town for most of August. Am hoping to get to Baltimore for the Constellation anniversary this weekend but we'll see how much insanity is left!

Wildlife Photos )
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