Vintage Verdad: “Ancient Poetry: Drink Deep the Wine Dark Sea”

(A repost with modifications for World Poetry Day.)

Studying poetry in school felt like slow, merciless death. Those few weeks spent perusing the most insipid pap imaginable every year, tearing down the lines into rhyme, meter and all of the other technical detail, destroyed its power. I came away with the understanding that people in the ancient world were stuffy, insufferable boors. Why the fuck did people make such a fuss about this stuff? What was so great about it?

We were given tap water in safe spoonfuls, when there was a whole briny ocean out there to drink. We were restricted to a European reservation, with no idea that a whole world existed beyond our placid borders. Poetry had no meaning. It whispered in those dull rooms, while outside it shouted. And I never knew.

Caught the occasional glimpse, here and there. ee cummings and his brilliant Buffalo Bill. Ben Jonson’s superb The Noble Nature. Shakespeare’s dramatic and powerful Sonnet XXXV. Emily Dickenson’s deceptively simple I Took My Power in My Hand. But there were just a smattering. A taste of salt on my lips.

Then I discovered the wine dark sea, and set sail through the ancient world. [Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Salmon-Hued Beauties

Picture a temperate February day that is more like spring than winter. The sun is shining gently, its rays occasionally obscured by passing clouds. Birds are singing lustily all about. A delicate breeze stirs the awakening life. The groundhog was dead right about the rest of the country, but here in the West, we are absolutely not suffering six more weeks of winter. Sorry, people who had to dig out of several feet of snow!

I’d walked down to the office to pick up Misha’s high-calorie supplement paste, and spotted an absolutely fabulous flowering bush as I emerged. [Read more…]

Storms Over Mountains

B and I took advantage of a weather break to get in a bit of a walk. We had lovely warm sunshine, but storm clouds were piling up over the Olympics.

Image shows a bit of the Sound, looking across the water at the Olympic Mountains, which have a line of fluffy white clouds spilling over their tops. The rest of the sky above them is cloudless.

Storm clouds crossing the Olympic Mountains.

I love watching storms approach. Everything on this side of the Olympics was springlike and mild. Other side of the Olympics was probably a much different story. [Read more…]

The Story of Flower Hating on the Book of Mormon, Plus Glorious Spring Flowers

The fruit trees of Bothell are putting on their annual show. Every year, I take about twelve kajillion photos of them, and share a few of the best with you. This year, thee shall have lots of beautiful flowers, as well as the story of that one time my mama cat Flower hated on the Book of Mormon, thus saving me from some of the worst prose ever written.

Image shows a shaded branch of plum or cherry blossoms against a blue sky.

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Adventures in ACE XIII: Flooded with Nonsense

One thing I’ll give to Science of the Physical Creation and Earth Science 4th Edition: at least they don’t treat middle and high school-age people like they’re in kindergarten and a bit thick. You, dear readers, have been getting regular installments, but I’ve just come off of a few weeks of total immersion in the other two texts, and going back to ACE makes me feel like I should’ve practiced sucking my thumb and talking in nonsense syllables before diving back into their PACEs. Just a reminder: these PACES are supposedly for 8th graders.

All right, let’s give our IQ the night off and see what ACE PACE 1087’s got for us. Here’s hoping it’s not as unutterably awful as 1086…

Meme is a man looking distressed, standing in front of a partially-open door. Caption says, "It's bad. It's so bad."

Spoiler alert.

 

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Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

XIII

Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

(Genesis 25)

Abraham’s sister/wife dies when he’s only in his mid-hundreds, so he gets himself another wife, Keturah, who’s apparently considered a concubine. He has six more sons with her. Old Abe isn’t one for keeping the sons he sires with mere sex slaves around where they can compete with his darling Isaac, so he gives them gifts and tells them to GTFO, just like he’d done with Ishmael. Like many men who hate paying child support, he apparently doesn’t really consider them his sons. After all that effort making babies he doesn’t even want, Abraham dies at a ripe old age. Ishmael, despite being cut out of Abe’s will, helps his half-brother Isaac bury their Pop, but after all he’s been through, and the loyalty he shows at the end, who do you think God blesses? Isaac. Of course. Asshole (Gen. 25:1-11). [Read more…]

Kumbaya Feminism

I cringed when I read about Patricia Arquette’s oblivious comments at the Oscars. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been an immediate, “Whoops! I’m so sorry, I definitely should’ve phrased that differently and not implied everybody else’s struggles are totally over.” It’s too easy, when you’re a white feminist, to get wrapped up in your own problems and forget that other people are dealing with far more shit than you are. It’s far too easy to assume the black feminist in the room faces the same issues you do. And then you end up blabbing something that comes across as dismissive, erasing the existence and concerns of huge swathes of people and then wondering why they’re mad at you.

At its worst, we end up with “kumbaya feminism.” [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: On This Day in Mount St. Helens History…

It’s been 35 years since Mount St. Helens woke up. Today’s the day when the earthquake swarm started that let us know the volcano may be in for a rude awakening. Would now be a good time to revisit our Mount St. Helens series? Why, yes, yes it would!

Image shows a snow-covered Mount St. Helens, showing the dome inside the huge crater left from the 1980 eruptions.

Mount St. Helens as she is now. I can’t wait for her next dome-building episode!

Happy Most Special Pi Day of the Century! Have Some Geeky Art

Ohai, it’s Pi Day! This is the delicious day where we can all have a slice of pie and say it’s for the math. Yum! This is the most special Pi Day of the 21st century, because it is 3/14/15, and so perhaps we should celebrate with an extra slice of pie since we’ve got the first 5 digits of Pi right there in the date. And, of course, is should be a la mode.

This year, in addition to pie, let’s celebrate with some wonderful geeky art, shall we?

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