Categories
Poetry

A Dirge

by Percy Shelly

Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main,--
Wail, for the world’s wrong!
Categories
Poetry

The Cure at Troy

by Seamus Heaney

Human beings suffer

They torture one another,

They get hurt and get hard.

No poem or play or song

Can fully right a wrong

Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols

Beat on their bars together.

A hunger-striker’s father

Stands in the graveyard dumb.

The police widow in veils

Faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that a further shoreabout:blankREPORT THIS AD

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:

The utter, self-revealing

Double-take of feeling.

If there’s fire on the mountain

Or lightning and storm

And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing

The outcry and the birth-cry

Of new life at its term.

Categories
Books

The Greater Journey

by David McCullough

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

I’ve always found McCullough’s books entertaining. I found this one pretty boring. Repetitive and way overlong. Should have half the length. Fire the editor.

The premise of the book was unique. A history of the many Americans that went to Paris to study – or in some cases just party – during it’s heyday as the world’s capital of knowledge and art.

Categories
Quotes

[a schoolmaster is] a man hired to tell lies to little boys. – Henry Adams

Categories
Quotes

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds – Henry Adams

Categories
Films

How to Be John Wilson

This was my favorite series perhaps ever. Quirky, funny, occasionally profound. Great combo.

He’s basically an essayist with a camera. A very, very lowbrow very poor man’s Thoreau.

Categories
Films

I Hate Suzie

A more than decent British series about a couple breaking up due, mostly, to infidelity. Billie Piper stars, apparently a big name in England.

Categories
Books

24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid

by Wille May and John Shea

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

The book is a (very) extended interview between May and the author, which a lot of historical information included. May’s story is makes for good reading, although I thought the book was too long and repeative.

Some of the more interesting things I learned.

  • He played in the Negro Leagues
  • He lost almost two seasons serving in the Korean War
  • He might have broken Ruth’s record with the war and playing in Candlestick/Polo Grounds
  • He was raised by his father and two of his mother’s sisters (mother left, died young)
  • May said the level of play in the Negro League was better than the minors
  • Durocher has Mays room with his son to make sure he didn’t get in trouble
  • NY Giants had the first all-black outfield: Irwin, Mays, Thompson
  • Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal had more complete games than wins in their career. They both pitched all sixteen innings of a game when their team played. Marichal threw 227 pitches. Spahn was 43 years old.
  • Monte Irvin was given the chance to be the first black in the big leagues but turned it down. Felt he was no physically ready to play at the time.

Each chapter started with a quote from Mays. Many a memorable, common-sense advice.

Be open to learning from your parents and understanding where they’re coming from. They can help you if you let them.

Have fun with everything you do. Be comfortable. No need to act like you’re somebody else. Be yourself. That’s good enough.

Life takes you many places. Make the best of any situation. Complaining doesn’t help. You’ve gotta adjust and make it work for you.

Push to get the most out of your ability in whatever you do and feel good about yourself for getting the job done every day.

If you give your best effort, don’t get down on yourself if things don’t work out. Be happy with yourself and move on.

I had my own advanced stats. I learned hitter’s tendencies and memorized their strengths and weaknesses, which put me in the right position to succeed…

.302 lifetime average. 3,283 hits. 660 home runs. 1,903 RBIs. 338 stolen bases. 156.4 WAR.

Categories
Books

Joe Biden: the life, the run, and what matters now

by Evan Osnos

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

Good book, based on a series of articles Osnos wrote for the New Yorker. This portrait, like the several others I’ve read, give me a little hope for America. Biden is a decent, hard working person. We need many, many more like that.

Categories
Books

Joe Biden: A Life of Trail and Redemption

by Jules Witcover

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

I already liked Biden. Small town kid, middle-class, family man, friend to those in need. What’s not to like? After reading this book, I like him even more. A man also of major accomplishments, intellectual power, and a tremendous work ethic. What’s not to like? Even less now that I’ve learned more about him. (Ok, he could be a little cooler. I’ll bet his taste in music is pretty bland.)

Categories
Books

Promise me, Dad : a year of hope, hardship, and purpose

by Joe Biden

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

Interesting book about Biden’s years as VP, and the trials he faced during his son’s illness.

Categories
Books

Let the Swords Encircle Me

by Scott Petterson

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].
Long-ass book about modern Iran.

Categories
Films

The End of the F%$%$$king World

The British make the best TV shows, no contest. This one is really excellent, off-the-wall. The teenage couple that star in the series are absolutely terrific. Based on a comic book series by Charles Folsom.

Categories
Poetry

I taste a liquor never brewed

by Emily Dickenson

I taste a liquor never brewed -
From tankards scooped in Pearl -
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air - am I -
And Debauchee of Dew -
Reeling - thro' endless summer days -
From inns of molten Blue -

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door -
When butterflies renounce their "drams" -
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats -
And Saints to windows run -
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the - Sun!

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/liquor.html

Categories
Books

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

by Hooman Majd

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].
Categories
Dahlias

Dividing Tips

from the Oct 2020 Dahliagram

Back to tubers. Dividing clumps is
scary for many new growers. Those
uncertain whether they will recognize
where to find the eyes on the crown can cut
off the tops of the plants a few days before
digging. The eyes will emerge after one
cuts the tops of the plants, so it is easier to
divide the clumps at this time. I strongly
recommend cutting off tops and digging
only as many plants as you expect to be
able to wash, divide, and mark in one day.
As the tubers dry, the eyes start
disappearing, and the tubers become very
hard – difficult to divide.

Categories
Books

In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs

by Christopher de Bellaigue

[photoshop:Headline]. [photopress:stringOfKeywords].

A personal account of living in Iran post-revolution. With a bit of history thrown in.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s not for a person unfamiliar with Iranian history. I do like the approach, a mixture of personal experience and history. However, I found a good bit of the descriptions of his experience overly long and just not that interesting.

Categories
Poetry

The Wish

by Louise Gluck

Remember that time you made the wish?

I make a lot of wishes.

The time I lied to you
about the butterfly. I always wondered
what you wished for.

What do you think I wished for?

I don't know. That I'd come back,
that we'd somehow be together in the end.

I wished for what I always wish for.
I wished for another poem.
Categories
Books

Khomeini’s Ghost

by Con Coughlin

The author, instead of getting to deep into the details of Khomeini’s life, included a lot of information on what was going on in Iran during his life, which made the book much more interesting. Kudos.

Categories
Books

The Last Lecture

by Randy Pausch

Pausch was a computer science professor who contracted pancreatic cancer. He decided to do one final lecture, primarily aimed to teach his children some life lessons.

Pausch was a brave man with some interesting insights. It was a bit to uplifting for my tastes.

Categories
Quotes

If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill

Categories
Quotes

It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball. – Pete Sampras

Categories
Poetry

The Saddest Poem

by Robert Frost

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That’s all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

Categories
Quotes

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Categories
Quotes

Never had so few lost so much so stupidly and so fast. – Dean Acheson