Poem for June: Do not go gentle into that good night.

by Dylan Thomas

Read, and also listen, to the poem here.

So the thing about memorizing a poem is that you become very familiar with its nuances. In a good poem, this is fun, as wonderful turns of phrase are still wonderful near the end of the month after you’ve said them fifty-plus times. However, sometimes what seems to be a good poem, reveals its flaws in the memorizing process in a way they do not upon first reading. That word that isn’t quite the right word suddenly becomes that much more of clinker and weighs down the poem a bit in an unsatisfying way.

So it was with this poem. My problem is with the fifth stanza where I find the repetition of the word “blind” as in “…see with blinded sight/blind eyes should…” a bit lazy. In my view, successful poets are supposed to express things using a vast thesaurus of words. Repetition of words can happen and is sometimes successful in a poem, but in this case, I think that he could have found another word.

Three sentence movie revews: Find Me Guilty

A less-than stellar entry into the Vin Diesel movie marathon, despite the fact it was directed by Sidney Lumet. It was too long and I’m not sure why they would cast someone who is fit and under 40 to play a 60-ish, balding, overweight Mafia guy. Plus, the ending was entirely unsatisfying, so I recommend you stay far away.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2006/find_me_guilty.html

Three sentence movie reviews: X-Men: First Class

I enjoyed this blast into the groovy past of the X-Men franchise and particularly appreciated that the “establishment of time period” was done by using songs different than the same tired old “early 60s movie standbys” as evidenced by the inclusion of Freddy Cannon’s Palisades Park. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were excellent as Professor X/Magnito and Kevin Bacon went for it in his role as the bad guy. About halfway through the movie I leaned over to Matt and said, “I’m pretty sure that’s Mrs. Don Draper* playing Emma Frost.”

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2011/xmen_first_class_ver6.html

*January Jones, from Mad Men. And indeed, it was.

Requiem: Popcorn Bowl

Very early in the morning I head a crash from the kitchen. In my half-awake state, I thought “I’m not going to investigate that right now because it will probably just make me mad.”

This turned out to be one of the smartest half-awake thoughts I’ve had as what was smashed into pieces too many to repair was my popcorn bowl.

My Great-Aunt Bea (known as Auntie Bea) was very crafty and one Christmas our family received a set of hand painted personalized popcorn bowls. Mine was a cheery yellow, and proudly stated that this was Patty’s Popcorn Bowl. This was back when I was still called Patty.

There were even cute happy popcorns painted around the bowl. I’ve used the popcorn bowl a lot in the last few years, as it is the perfect size for a salad for dinner. Now, thanks to the cats the popcorn bowl has been swept off into the trash can. Auntie Bea died shortly after I moved to Portland, so there will be no replacement.

Three sentence movie reviews: Gone, Baby, Gone

This was the movie that launched the Kenzie/Gennaro reading obsession–an obsession I have managed to spread to several people, Matt included. Matt has finished this book and so we got to watch the movie together and I must say that I was quite disappointed. One of the more interesting female characters I’ve read in years was chopped down to a wide-eyed smiling specter whose only reason for being in this film was to stare adoringly at her man; she didn’t even carry a gun, for chrissakes and in the book, she is the much better shot and saves Patrick Kenzie’s bacon on many an occasion.*

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2007/gone_baby_gone.html

*I can’t rightfully be surprised. As I’ve observed more than once: the main thrust of the movie making industry seems to be assuring men that they are very manly, cool, interesting and women need them. This is at the same time that stories about women’s lives are incredibly interesting (I think) and women deserve to watch movies where the women (or mostly woman, singular) do something besides stand by her man. I watch movie after movie focusing on men and I enjoy many of them, but when will my self throw up her hands in despair and stop attending such–which means the vast majority of–movies? The movie machine could save me from this fate by rapidly increasing the percentage of movies that pass the Bechdel test. What will it take to make that happen?

New plan for old comforter

Readers with long memories and ample room in the brains for the smallest detail of my exciting life will recall that I bought the blue duvet cover to put on the much loved, though wearing out Holly Hobbie comforter from my childhood. Well, as time went on, it became more apparent that the full-sized duvet cover was too much duvet cover for my not-really-full-sized Holly Hobbie comforter. But I had paid all this money–actually spent a gift card, so not really– and I didn’t want the blue duvet cover to go to waste, so what to do?

Eventually, the solution came to me. For years I’ve had a full-sized duvet that I never got around to buying a cover for. In fact, said naked duvet has been on my bed all along. Eventually, I had the “Eurika!” moment wherein I realized I could put the blue, full-sized duvet cover on the naked full-sized duvet! Then, I would be free to buy a (much cheaper) twin sized duvet cover for Holly Hobbie and continue on with my placid life.

All of this came to pass, as you can see: naked duvet, covered, Holly Hobbie ensconced in a new solid square print twin-sized duvet cover, which fits much better.


It’s even later in June and I’m still cold.

I’m tabling for Proud Ground at the farmers market and it is pouring. When I bought my new spring coat in April I thought to myself, “It’s a pretty heavy coat, I probably won’t get much use out of it this year because it will warm up soon.”

Oh how wrong I was. I was buttoned up to the collar and I wore the wool hat for most of the volunteer shift, too. Did I mention that school’s out for the year and it’s summer vacation?

Three sentence movie reviews: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Now David Yates is directing and things are happening. This was a first-view for this film and though it skipped some important parts of the novel I found it thankfully well paced and enjoyable. I think we’re through the worst of them–Chris Columbus, I’m looking at you!

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2007/harry_potter_and_the_order_of_the_phoenix_ver3.html