March 13th, 2006

light in the darkness

Percival Lowell

So, Googling this morning I see Mars is the Google Doodle theme, but hovering tells me the Alt text is "Percival Lowell." [He was born this date, 1855.] He studied Mars? Who knew? I always associate him with Pluto.

I had almost YSI-ed Christine Lavin's "Planet X" over the weekend to send to Eric because Pluto was the answer to one of Friday's Millionaire questions so I (of course) got to talking about the Christine Lavin song, which (of course) no one else was familiar with.

In Arizona at the turn of the century,
astromathematician Percival Lowell
was searching for what he called "Planet X"
'cause he knew deep down in his soul
that an unseen gravitational presence
meant a new planet spinning in the air
joining the other eight already known
circling our sun up there.

But Percival Lowell died in 1916
his theory still only a theory
Collapse )
small girl in big world [_extraflamey_]

[Lent: day 13/40]

Creatures Who Must Know Better Have Taken Me for a Blossom
-Kevin Stein

This year Kennebec and Red Pontiac,
last year's russet and white kobblers
done in by my nematodes, flea beetles,
early and late blight. Maybe it's
the 1/4 Irish blood that's made me drunk
with promise, though wasn't it Ali,
stung by his loss to Holmes,
who explained it, "I had the world,
and let me tell you, it wasn't nothing"?
You see, I cut them as if they were diamonds,
with a studied, precise stroke. All this,
the voice of reason reminds me,
for what I could buy in a reusable
mesh bag. But I'm stubborn
in the middle of God's own metaphor
dropping potatoes into loamy dirt,
while ruby-throated hummingbirds
take my red shirt for the biggest bee balm
they've ever seen. Their wings flapping
at an angel's pace, they taste my only
holiness, my sweat. I want to tell
my father what's happened, tell him
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to drink too much
and sleep it off on the job he got me,
didn't mean to get caught by a man named Earl
who had no eyebrows and was his boss.
None of that was planned any more
than he'd planned on the family's
Salvation Army clothes, his cars that never ran,
those late-night trips upstairs to bleed
the radiators, or turn off a fan,
any reason to stand a while
and watch us sleep. After Mass
the children would go to grandmother's garden
to weed, water, and sometimes dig dinner
in our underwear, while she washed
our Sunday suits and we kids pretended
to be flowers.
from Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poetry ed. David Craig and Janet McCann (Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2000) p. 91-2

I learned today that today [well, beginning at sundown] is Purim, so I wanted to find a poem of blood and triumph and celebration, a poem of action and rejoicing even was we observe these desert days.

However, this was rather last-minute and I have a limited collection to draw from.  So the relevance of this poem to Lent or Purim is debateable.  But here it is.
hermione by oatmilk


First: not that anyone's asked for it, but "Planet X" by Christine Lavin - an mp3 on YSI.

This morning I started dozing off after Back Bay.  I kept waking up as we pulled into South Station and thinking, "maximal dozeage."  Then I heard the conductor say, "You asleep here?" (or something like).  That hasn't happened since the summer.

I was still kinda hungry despite having had breakfast, so I got an orange-banana smoothie at Harvard T Station.  FemaleSmoothiePerson is not chatty, which is fine (I usually just want services rendered and don't wanna have to deal with conversation; note to self: remember to leave a comment on musesfool's post) it's just not what I'm used to.

I wore my suit jacket today because I don't have a nice spring jacket (at Smith I always wore my grey hoodie or sometimes my blue faux-vinyl).

Right Now for
Boston, MA (02163)
Feels Like
Updated Mar 13 09:00 a.m. ET

I really do love the spring.  Though I love the winter and the autumn more.  I wish I didn't have to get so defensive about my love for the other-than-traditionally-paradisical weather, though.  And then I still get tetchy in the spring because then people are complaining about the grey or the rain or whatever.  Hot&humid makes me wanna curl up and die, but otherwise I'm pretty willing to take what comes in terms of weather.  (Like all people, sometimes I don't wanna deal with preciptation or cold temps or whatever, but usually the weather brings me joy or at least doesn't bring me distress.  Excepting summertime -- see aformentioned comment about hot&humid -- where enjoyable weather is the exception to my expectation.)

(Sidenote: I hear it's supposed to snow later this week.  I'll believe it when I see it, of course, but it is true-feeling that it's not really spring until we have a freak snowstorm.)

Millionaire today:
+ Earth's 2005 population approximately: 3.5 billion, 4.5 billion, 5.5 billion, 6.5 billion.  Collapse )
+ Strongest bone in the body: mandible, cranium, femur, scapula.  Collapse )
+ Also: I totally knew stridulation [$50thou, which the woman switched out of... rewarded with a "Who was John Kerry dating in the 1980s" question] thanks to a random post from speacechilde back in December.

From the bottom of an e-mail I received today:
Notice of Confidentiality
This transmission contains information that may be confidential and that may also be privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient of the message (or authorized to receive it for the intended recipient), you may not copy, forward, or otherwise use it, or disclose its contents to anyone else. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify us immediately and delete it from your system.
I love the "(or authorized to receive it for the intended recipient)".

Busy day, with Prof.B. leaving the country Wednesday night for 10 days [travel stuff is set, it's smooshing teaching and consulting and etc. into the remaining time and juggling reschedule]. No stories I feel compelled to tell, though.