Categories
Dahlias

Went to Dahlia Society Meeting

Bought six more dahlia tubers (six for thirty bucks). That makes twelve, plus whatever survived from last year; should be enough. Tried to buy a bunch of different styles. They are so beautiful.

Categories
Books

Alexander Hamilton: American – by Richard Brookhiser

alexander_hamilton_bioAlexander Hamilton in a few words: Amazing rags-to-riches story, from West Indies born orphan boy, to  aide George Washington, a lawyer, and perhaps the greatest Federalist of all. Weird ideas about the Constitution, a generally negative opinion of the abilities of the common man, but undoubtedly correct about the need for a strong federal government, banking system, standing army.

Like many great men, Hamilton also had great weaknesses. A crazy affair with a married  woman, an affair he continued even after  she blackmailed him. A tendency towards backstabbing to get his way. As Oliver Wolcott  said: “…on certain points, the most enlightened men are governed by the most unsound reasons.”

Categories
Poetry

Eternity

by William Blake

Categories
Poetry

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

by e.e. cummings

Categories
Quotes

The greatest disorder of the mind is to let will direct belief. –  Louis Pasteur

Categories
Quotes

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. – John F. Kennedy

Categories
Poetry

Happiness

by Carl Sandburg

Categories
Quotes

Humor does not rescue us from unhappiness, but enables us to move back from it a little. – Mason Cooley

Categories
Books

American Sphinx – The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis

Just finished this biography of Thomas Jefferson. It’s one of those biographies that focus less than I’d prefer on the facts of Jefferson’s life and more on what the author thinks about Jefferson, or what the author thinks Jefferson might have thought.

Jefferson was a real weirdo, my kind of guy. Walked around singing to himself all the time. So shy he couldn’t speak in front of large groups, so instead wrote all his ideas down, which was good for history but must have been frustrating for his contemporaries. Two terms as president and almost never spoke to Congress, and not often with his own cabinet.

Bummer to learn that the “small government” and “states rights” mumbo-jumbo GOP-speak started with Jefferson. At least Jefferson held these ideas because he was afraid of a return of a monarchy, not because he wanted shut down government assistance programs.

Categories
Quotes

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

Categories
Poetry

Out of the rolling ocean the crowd

by Walt Whitman

Categories
Poetry

A Father to His Son

by Carl Sandburg

Categories
Quotes

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau

Categories
Dahlias

Went to the National Capital Dahlia Society Meeting

Some I grew last year.
Some I grew last year.

Went to my first National Capital Dahlia Society meeting tonight. Pretty awesome. A member did a detailed demonstration of potting dahlias, very informative. Bought six tubers of various types, plus some fertilizer. Lot of people at the meeting, many were really into it. I’ll go again.

Categories
Events

Laurie Anderson Show at the Kennedy Center

Went to see Laurie Anderson’s show, Language of the Future, last Saturday night.

Anderson has always appealed to  me, even though she is about as far way as you can get from my musical sweet spot, American root music. I don’t know a lot about her type of art, but it seems to me her way of combining music, words, and multi-media is something special. I also have an affinity for her existential themes, and her relationship with the Beat generation.

I wish I could buy a dvd of the concert; type of thing it would nice to watch over and over.

An oldie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2x5pARGdE

Categories
Quotes

A man is as old as his arteries. – Thomas Sydenham

Categories
Quotes

Realists do not fear the results of their study. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Categories
Events

Steve Fobert Show

Went to see my old favorite, Steve Forbert, Friday night. His first album,  Alive on Arrival, come out on 1978. The song Going Down to Laurel got a  little bit of radio airplay. I was hooked immediately.

Forbert may not be one of the greats like Paul Simon or Bob Dylan, but I feel he’s definitely in the next tier down. He has a lyrical gift, which I believe is what drew me in long  ago.

Well, well I’m goin’ down to Laurel
It’s a dirty stinkin’ town, yeah
But me I know exactly
What I’m going to find

Little girl I’m goin’ to see
She is a fool for lovin’ me
But she’s in love
And love’s a funny state of mind

Alive on Arrival really nailed what it’s like to be a young, carefree and careless guy out to have a good time. It’s probably his best album, but he has continued to make high quality records up to this day. He’s worth checking out.

The show was highly enjoyable. He played a good mix of old and new  tunes. It was nice to see all the fellow fans. I felt like a member of a  special, secret  club.  Too bad so few people know him.

Categories
Films

Film – I Smile Back

I’m watching I Smile Back right now, starring Sarah Silverman, one of my favorite comics. I can’t say it’s an enjoyable movie to watch – so bleak,   the characters so unlikable, so much white privilege. It is a good story though, and Silverman is surprisingly good, convincing as an out-of-control druggie with serious psychological problems. Good role for her.

I  think maybe the filmmakers need to do something more than just keep focusing scene after scene on her self-destructive behavior. On the other hand, I like how it doesn’t have a nice tidy uplifting ending. Screw that bullshit.

Categories
Quotes

If you miss the first buttonhole, you can’t ever get fully buttoned up. –  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Categories
Poetry

Cool Tombs

by Carl  Sandburg

Categories
Books

Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe by Chris DeRose

Continuing my study of the founding fathers. The book is basically two mini-biographies of Madison and Monroe, and is especially focused on how Madison shaped the Constitution, and how Monroe almost derailed him by running against him for a seat in the House of  Representatives. Madison won, barely, and went on to write the Bill of Rights and eventually got most of it passed through Congress.

Categories
Quotes

Buy the ticket, take the ride. – Hunter Thompson

Categories
Quotes

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy

Categories
Poetry

Marriage

by Gregory Corso