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chrysanthemum
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[The subject line is the opening line of Wislawa Szymborska's "Clochard."]

The first day I spent in Paris: 8 May 2009. There were daffodils painted on poles within CDG airport, and I paid I think two euro for a bouquet of muguets from a Latin Quarter street vendor:

my first day in Paris my first day in Paris

I had to bring work along (plus ça change...), and I also had a requiem I'd promised to learn by the time I reached Prague, which would be the following morning. But first there were pork rillettes for breakfast, with gherkins...

my first day in Paris

and there were sights to be seen, including flowers tucked into statues (this one is of Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu)...

my first day in Paris

and pianos being played:

my first day in Paris


Everything's mine but just on loan,
nothing for the memory to hold,
though mine as long as I look.

- Szymborksa, "Travel Elegy"


my first day in Paris

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131601.html.
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[The subject line is from Barbara Jordan's "Bruegel's Crows," in Channel.]

Some days, things mushroom like mad:

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They might even get decidedly warped:

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It's okay. There will be other days full of light...

NC Arboretum

and sweetness:

NC Arboretum

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131452.html.
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[Subject line from Barbara Jordan's "We All Have Many Chances," in Channel (Beacon Press, 1990)]

River Arts District
Asheville, April 2016


Also seen/heard this weekend:

* a girl on a stool on a porch, with a clarinet

* a father with his arms full of Maypole ribbons

* a colleague about a friend who used to play horn for Prince, on retainer

* the church pianist's riffs on various hymns

* "Don't Leave Me This Way" (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes?) at Pinewood Social

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131073.html.
30th-Apr-2016 05:01 pm - seen/heard during today's walks
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At the bakery, a man who had just stepped inside stopped in his tracks, two and two visibly clicking together, and then told another man behind a stroller, "Your daughter's other shoe? I just saw it down the street and put it on top of a fence." The father and the rest of us looked at the girl's feet and sure enough, one purple clog was missing.

A woman ahead of me and I were both dancing in place to "Little Red Corvette."

Another woman posed with her "One to Go" at her mouth while her partner took a photograph, presumably to taunt friends elsewhere.

Between the tea shop and the wine store, a woman in patterned leggings placed a beaded bracelet into a crook of a young tree.

In a optician's store -- closed as of six days ago, online presence soon -- a statue of a large black dog stood among things not yet moved out.

A Dutch party, in honor of the king's birthday. Lots of orange.

A waist-high mural, of dancers.

Another Free Library stand.

A house for sale by owner. Asking $450,000.

A "SOLD" sign in front of 1505 Woodland.

(On a tangential note: I am pleased to see locals listed with NAGLREP, from several agencies.)

Roses, and phlox, and lilies, and other flowers.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131060.html.
28th-Apr-2016 09:15 pm - we're all like frail boats on the sea
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[Subject line from Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Jubilee"]

I took the cookies to work, labeling the bin "oatmeal-flax cookies" so as to warn for allergies. The container was empty by the end of the day, and two colleagues told me that the biscuits tasted good for something that looked so healthy. ;)

The lemon tart is really, really good.

The dawg is delighted with the steak drippings and potato salad dregs from tonight's supper.

The rogue rosebush produced three blooms this round. A relief to know my ill-fated attempts to propagate it (by taking cuttings that then didn't take) didn't kill it.

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This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/130635.html.
24th-Apr-2016 09:09 pm - cooking/noshing notes
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Today's efforts, brought to you in part by the Department of These Leftovers/Lemons/Yogurt Need To Be Used Up NOW:

* pan-fried ground turkey, to go with defrosted jar sauce on leftover penne, with red onion and cheese
* mashed parsnips
* leftover green beans seasoned with leftover bison drippings, with the four last radishes from the first spring crop, with their greens, plus a fistful of mint from the garden
* lemonade
* (in progress) oatmeal cookies with yogurt (using this recipe as a springboard, but with regular sugar instead of Splenda, a hit of Crisco to make up for the not-quite-a-cup-ness of the yogurt, and nutmeg and coriander added to the mix. Turns out I have only two cups of oats instead of three (and quick oats, at that), so adding another cup of flour, plus some flaxseed I picked up a few days ago from the Herbiary's sale bin.
* chicken thighs seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin. I'd read a recipe for Lowcountry Cinnamon Chicken in Charleston Receipts Repeats that looked interesting but too sweet and too fussy for my taste, so I then consulted a nutmeg chicken recipe and simplified it to four chicken thighs with white wine, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cumin, baked at 375 F until cooked through. (Didn't track the time, what with other things on both literal and figurative burners claiming my attention; just peeked in when things started smelling/looking good, flipping the meat once and turning the oven off when I got going on the veg and starch.) Wine was Molino a Vento pinot grigio, which I think was from a Woodland Wine Merchant 6 for $60 bag.
* leftover brown rice, stir-fried with onions in olive oil and seasoned with tomato sauce and a bit of ancho pepper powder.
* asparagus. Chucked into boiling water for a couple of minutes; then turned the heat off and put the lid on. Perfect by the time the rice was done.
* (in progress) Shaker lemon tart

Onward!

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/130391.html.
22nd-Apr-2016 06:25 am - Comment la traverser
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La problème de la nuit reste entier. Comment la traverser, chaque fois la traverser tout entière?

Que mes secondes sont lourdes! Jamais je ne les aurais crues si lourdes. Instants éléphatiasiques.

The problem of the night remains total. How to cross it, cross it completely each time?

How heavy my seconds are! I never would have thought them so heavy. Elephantasiac moments.


-- Henri Michaux, "Après l'accident / After the Accident," translated by Dori Katz

NC Arboretum

This variety of tulip is called "Blue Wow," but it looked decidedly purple to me.

I am salivating, so to speak, over the Julia Child rose in my White Flower catalog. I am also tempted to attend tonight's Plants + Pints event, in search of begonias. At the moment, though, the urge to go back to bed is warring with the urge to sneak in an hour of weeding. And maybe to sow a new crop of radishes.

Speaking of radishes...

best crop yet

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/129845.html.
6th-Apr-2016 07:59 pm - tameless, and swift, and proud
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[Today's subject line comes from Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind."]

Earlier this evening, my department head and I stood at my office window, watching a strong wind bend the trees and menace the panels of the Gala tent. It appeared to peel a sheet of metal from its moorings, knocked over stanchions in the parking lot and, at home, flipped open all the lids of the giant roller-bins. But the rain also eventually lightened up enough for me to don a wide-brimmed hat and scrape at some of the weeds attempting to strangle my mint patch.

Last Saturday I danced for seven hours -- two two-hour workshops, plus the Playford Ball, of which there are videos, including this one. I am thinking of splurging on a blue + green +/- dark gray tartan sash for next year, which is the sort of thing that happens when I try to figure out what should happen during a Dunant House Waltz and somehow end up studying Viking's Sheepskin moves. (The Duthies are part of Clan Ross, but I'll likely go with one of the universal patterns, like Highland Granit, or maybe wear Montgomerie in honor of Alexander, seeing how "What Mightie Motion" haunted me on first hearing for the better part of several years (to the point that I wrote to the Scottish Poetry Library to obtain the full set of verses).

Speaking of poetry, it is April, and thus there are goings-on. At Vary the Line, Mary, Joanne, and I have written and/or collected responses to the question "What is a poem?", with my friend Lisa Dordal starting the series. Over at Pretty Terrible, Natalie Luhrs analyzes and links to some of my poems as part of her own monthlong poetry project.

It is still too soon to put out plants that cannot withstand frost. I am edgy and eager to get them resettled, even though there is plenty of prep that still needs to be done. I can hear and see my impatience reflected among my colleagues and acquaintances: Whennnnnnnnnn? one whimpered. Whennnnnnnnnn indeed.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/129727.html.
28th-Mar-2016 01:08 am - running out of bras before knives
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Some months, the spreadsheets and social commitments and sundry other obligations outstrip one's ability to answer the call of laundry and le laver la vaisselle. One resorts to the strapless stick-ons and thanks Providence for the quick-sale Anaheim peppers staying fresh for several weeks, plodding on and picking one's way through mud and cement slicks...

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I am not thrilled about PDF-wrangling and number-crunching cutting into time for sleeping. It'll likely hoover up swimming and dancing and socializing time as well, and I might be kicking myself right now for choosing to spend most of Saturday away from my laptop. But part of that day was spent riding around Lewis State Forest on a quarter horse named Question Mark, with a shepherd mix named Zeba happily galloping along, with the sky bright blue above pines and saplings and sprinklers, and then there were turnip cakes and bubble tea back in Nashville, and then I scraped and snipped and lugged and tugged thises and thatses around the yard, and that was a pleasure too.

IMG_9554

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/129429.html.
14th-Mar-2016 01:24 am - space
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An ongoing challenge here -- both with plants and with people -- is gauging how much space is in order. The pepper plants are particularly perplexing this year: in the past, they have flourished only when I got around to transplanting them into larger pots, but this year some of them seem happier and healthier in tight quarters. There are, of course, numerous other variables I haven't tracked -- soil, light, tea and coffee dregs, floor vs. table -- but that hasn't stopped me from marveling and dithering over the if-whens and what-nexts.

This batch seems happy crowded together:
Christmas pepper plants

This batch, not so much:
Christmas pepper plants

An upstairs daughter plant is doing really well right now:
Christmas pepper plant Christmas pepper plant

Over at Vary the Line, I dwell on light and astronomers. As I was closing windows after posting that entry, I clicked on a link to John Brashear's obituary. This sentence stood out:

Often, in the evening after his mill labors were over, Mrs. Brashear held a lantern, giving light to her husband while he sawed and hammered on their house.


So many possible directions one could pursue with that. Some other night.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/129134.html.
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