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Next Day, by Randall Jarrell

Next Day

Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,
I take a box
And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.
The slacked or shorted, basketed, identical
Food-gathering flocks
Are selves I overlook. Wisdom, said William James,

Is learning what to overlook. And I am wise
If that is wisdom.
Yet somehow, as I buy All from these shelves
And the boy takes it to my station wagon,
What I've become
Troubles me even if I shut my eyes.

When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I'd wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I'm old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. It bewilders me he doesn't see me.
For so many years
I was good enough to eat: the world looked at me
And its mouth watered. How often they have undressed me,
The eyes of strangers!
And, holding their flesh within my flesh, their vile

Imaginings within my imagining,
I too have taken
The chance of life. Now the boy pats my dog
And we start home. Now I am good.
The last mistaken,
Ecstatic, accidental bliss, the blind

Happiness that, bursting, leaves upon the palm
Some soap and water--
It was so long ago, back in some Gay
Twenties, Nineties, I don't know . . . Today I miss
My lovely daughter
Away at school, my sons away at school,

My husband away at work--I wish for them.
The dog, the maid,
And I go through the sure unvarying days
At home in them. As I look at my life,
I am afraid
Only that it will change, as I am changing:

I am afraid, this morning, of my face.
It looks at me
From the rear-view mirror, with the eyes I hate,
The smile I hate. Its plain, lined look
Of gray discovery
Repeats to me: "You're old." That's all, I'm old.

And yet I'm afraid, as I was at the funeral
I went to yesterday.
My friend's cold made-up face, granite among its flowers,
Her undressed, operated-on, dressed body
Were my face and body.
As I think of her and I hear her telling me

How young I seem; I am exceptional;
I think of all I have.
But really no one is exceptional,
No one has anything, I'm anybody,
I stand beside my grave
Confused with my life, that is commonplace and solitary.

Randall Jarrell

Thank you, NY Times, for making reference to a poem in a story unrelated to poetry, and prompting me to find this


Artists have constructed armor for sea-dwelling creatures, because "they can't protect themselves."  I just love the look of these, and I really respect and support the cause.  This is a great way of dramatizing their fundraisising efforts.


Check it out -- go to the gallery.
In the NY Times, Frank Bruni published a piece about Anthony Bourdain's rant against Paula Deen and others, that she's, to paraphrase minimally, the most dangerous person in American because she's urging an already-overweight population to eat even more unhealthfully.  Frank Bruni accuses him, and the media, of "culinary elitism," stating that "cheap" excesses from Deen et al provoke outrage while $200-a-plate excesses from four-star chefs elicit swoons.  Read the article here:

Read the article hereCollapse )
There were lots of responses to this; you can google as I did.  But here were two that I thought were interesting.  Here, a response that points out the inherent sexism of how we categorize chefs in the media:

A feminist take (can you even use that word anymore?)Collapse )
And here's another re-post with comments.  I thought the comments were interesting.

Read this one...Collapse )
Here was my favorite comment:

You want cheap? Here's cheap -- brown rice; lentils; cabbage; broccoli; carrots; onions; garlic; apples; bananas. Lentils are a complete protein, and if you wanted a grain that was also a protein, you could add in quinoa.

When you need to eat inexpensively, you can still make a crucial distinction between cheap food that is energy-dense (or calorific) and cheap food that is nutrient-dense (or nutritious). You could eat nothing but the items above for months, and you'd have a good enough diet, especially if you went to the Indian store for cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, black mustard seeds and ginger -- all these spices are very alkalizing and will support bone health. You could eat from the low end of Paula Deen's creations, for about the same money, and over the same few months become fat and ill.

You can make your food dollar go very far indeed, if you have to, and for a very long time, by practicing good nutrition. You don't have to be sold a bill of goods by a purveyor of low end killer cuisine. I would urge you not to let those people get rich off your bad choices.

Anyway, always good to have these discussions, I think.

My daughter's 8th grade graduation speech

My daughter's 8th grade graduation speech:

I have been at Mead for twelve years. In that time, I have seen many new students become a part of Mead. It’s always somewhat similar — an apprehensive child becomes a valuable part of the Mead community. Through this transition, they also become something more – they become Meadies. There is no official definition of what a Meadie is. It’s not in the school handbook. What it means to be a Meadie is something that every Mead student must define for themselves. There is no “normal” process of becoming a Meadie. It is unique every time. In a way, it’s a self-fulfilling quest: once you decide what the term means to you, you’re already more than halfway to becoming one. I know all of my classmates and I are Meadies; all different, yet the same. We are all Meadies and always will be. 

Once one becomes a Meadie, there is no going back. When students graduate, they do not cease to be Meadies. They carry the values and skills of Mead with them as they move into the world outside of Mead. These people are no less Meadies because of their absence from the building. The connection to this place, this concept, does not dwindle with time. If anything, it grows stronger. I have watched others stand on this stage as they graduate and, as they give their speeches, I hear the unuttered words – I will remember Mead, and take it with me, wherever I may go. I have heard these words today, as I watch my friends step up and speak. I have heard these words, and I remember Mead. 

I remember when my friends and I created the Plum Tree Restaurant out of a large purple sand bucket. I remember Primary Play – Junky Funk with its seeds and Coyote Smelly Sock Rocks. I remember the Hurricane Katrina bake sale, and those that followed. I remember Multiplication Wormies, and the poetry writing. I remember when some friends left, and when others came. I remember Mead, and I ask all who are leaving to do the same. Our memories of mead are how we will bring it with us — after all, a person is, in a way, the sum of their past experiences. Mead exists, not only in this building, but in all of those that have experienced it. 

It exists in the alumni who befriend their new teachers; in the joy of learning of a student who once was here; in the warm manner of a teacher who was a part of this place; in the way a parent teaches their child’s younger siblings to live a personally meaningful life, even though they never attended Mead.   We are all a part of Mead, and mead is a part of us all. We are Mead. 


Love this article!  It goes to show how much you can do with just a good idea, and no fancy equipment or materials.  Plus, ya gotta love the levitating squirrel.  Man, he's gonna be in therapy for years.


Boeing Plans to Fly Tourists to Space

"Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the space tourism business, an announcement that could bolster the Obama administration’s efforts to transform the National Aeronautics and Space Administration into an agency that focuses less on building rockets and more on nurturing a commercial space industry.

"The flights, which could begin as early as 2015, would most likely launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station. The Obama administration has proposed turning over to private companies the business of taking NASA astronauts to orbit, and Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas won an $18 million contract this year for preliminary development and testing of a capsule that could carry seven passengers."


Sounds promising.  Just don't read the rest of the article if you don't want to be brought down to earth hard.  Something about NASA and budgets and funding cuts and competing bills, and the impossibiity of doing any kind of meaningful mission involving humans with allocated funding.  You know... real life.  *sigh* 

When I was growing up and reading science fiction and predictions of the future, I always just assumed that if we could figure out how to explore space, we would.  I assumed that the only thing that would hold us back was developing the technololgy.  I never once envisioned being held back by people who didn't think it was worth spending money on. 

Maybe scientists need to discover that the asteroids are loaded with fossil fuels.  Wait, I know -- let's leak word that Osama Bin Laden is hiding out there.  Then I bet NASA would get funding...

The site around ground zero

I think in the area around ground zero should be community centers of all the world's major religions, with a central courtyard in the middle and shared dining facilities.  The "community of world religions" architectural plan would be designed to promote conversation, cooperation and interaction.  Perhaps the kitchen would be staffed by one person from each center on a rotating basis, or some such device.  Perhaps members would be "lent" out to neighboring centers as exchange students.  Something. 

Like Japan's Peace Park at the site of that nation's greatest devistation.  Take the horror of 9-11 and make the site a place where we can strive for communication, understanding and solidarity.

The "golden rule" and common morality are shared by all major faiths.  We should encourage and promote those who espouse those values, and join together to denounce those who work against the common good of all. 


I am proud of my town right now.



Well, probably the few who read this already read it on my other LJ, but anyway...

News under here...Collapse )


Why kids should take math in high school

Just thought this was iinteresting, and valuable, although the swipe against teachers is unfair, and I would have put the "interesting" and "creative" parts further up:



New photography blog launch!

I've neglected this blog terribly recently.  Real life stuff has kept me busy, and I just haven't had tiime to post much.  And now, just to make it worse, I've started a new photoblog, not here at LJ but through wordpress.  It's meant as an extension of my professional online presence.  It links to and from my photography website (www.BethMadisonPhotography.com).  To get to the blog directly, go to blog.bethmadisonphotography.com/wordpress

I don't know if this will be of any interest to any of you, though.  It'll be strictly photography-based.  It will showcase some of my latest images and talk a bit about how I work.  Still, just wanted to let you know.  :D

I'll try to keep up here with non-photography, non-Star Trek/DS9 related stuff.  I've actually read some interesting science/technology news stories that I should have mentioned here.  Did you read the one that talked about how there's now scientific proof that we may be living in a hologram?  No, really.  How about the one that shows that Einstein's Theory of Relativity is wrong?  No?  Then I guess you've been watching the vajazzling video and the cat-massaging-cat video.  OK, now I've got your style...  ;)