sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 24, 2019

‘a soft ass poem’
posted by soe 1:36 am

Only one more week in National Poetry Month, so today I offer you Shay Alexi, Ryan Jones, Nate Mask, and Christina Schmitt performing “A Soft Ass Poem.”

Their performance was a runner-up in the 2018 Button Poetry video contest. Button Poetry publishes own-voices poets. I highly recommend checking them out, particularly if you’re thinking about buying some poetry books as part of Independent Bookstore Day this weekend.

Category: arts. There is/are 2 Comments.

April 23, 2019

ten on tuesday: first 10 reviews
posted by soe 1:50 am

Today’s Ten on Tuesday topic at That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to highlight our first ten book reviews. My reviewing habits tend to shy away from single reviews, rather than groups of them, so I had to customize the topic slightly to fit my M.O.

Here then are the first ten posts I published reviewing books on the blog:

  1. Summerland by Michael Chabon: March 24, 2005 (This was just my sixth blog post, a week into its existence. Clearly writing about books was important to me — and remains so, since I had to trawl through 103 pages in the book category to get back to it.)
  2. The Best Reads of 2005: Jan. 2, 2006 (Per my habit, I am terrible at continuing to write reviews through the year, but I do try to get the best-of list up at some point. In my first year blogging, I managed it only two days into the new year. The list includes the aforementioned Summerland, as well as books by J.K. Rowling, Diana Abu-Jaber, Garrison Keillor, Jhumpa Lahiri, Bill Bryson, and Susanna Clark)
  3. February 2006 Reads: March 1, 2006 (It includes rereads of several classics, as well as a glowing review of a Julian Barnes book that I remembered reading, but not loving.)
  4. March 2006 Reads: April 1, 2006 (I was so prompt back in the day… It includes a Jasper Fforde title, which I sped through much faster than his most recent.)
  5. April 2006 Reads: May 3, 2006 (April was clearly a lackluster reading month that year. M.C. Beaton stands the test of time.)
  6. May 2006 Reads: June 2, 2006 (Peter Mayle and witchy frenemies)
  7. June 2006 Reads (Part 1): June 18, 2006 (Carl Hiassen, more C.S. Lewis, and some guy named Will Shakespeare)
  8. June 2006 Reads (Part 2): July 1, 2006 (This post included my huge success of airport bookstore buying, A History of Love. Also, Kate DiCamillo and Frances Hardinge.)
  9. July 2006 Reads: July 31, 2006 (A reread of James Thurber is the highlight this month.)
  10. August 2006 Reads: Sept. 5, 2006 (Bill Bryson and Dave Barry)
Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

April 22, 2019

posted by soe 1:31 am

This was a mixed bag of a weekend.

When it starts out with a violent death in your family’s inner circle of friends, describing it as good becomes impossible. I’m away from Rudi, who is struggling — with his own loss, with being there for his friend’s wife, and with converting his anguish to meaningful change for our city’s transit infrastructure. I am grateful to our good friends who have stepped into the void in my absence and who have helped him process this huge loss. In the past three days, Rudi has helped with memorials, delivered remarks, spoken to the media, and planned legislation and activism, working to honor his friend and further his agenda of creating safe streets in D.C., and done it while hurting at his very core. I really couldn’t be more proud of the grace under which he has operated since learning of Dave’s death on Friday, but I am glad I’ll be home in a couple more days to help provide support on the ground.

Here in Connecticut things have been quiet, but pleasant (in between tears). My folks took me out for a pizza dinner on Friday. And then I came home and baked, which seems to be the way I channel grief.

On Saturday, Karen and I got together. We ate, strolled in the rain, read a picture book about a grumpy fish (The Pout-Pout Fish), and drank tasty hot beverages (most of which I managed not to slosh onto the floor). My parents and I ate a delicious dinner of roasted vegetables and watched Aquaman, which was better than I thought it would be.

Easter Dinner

Today, Dad and I made scones for breakfast. Mum and I identified the new bird visitor at their feeder (an Eastern Towhee). We listened to the Mets lose. I sorted out the order for the leftovers for the final stripe of my lightning shawl, with Mum’s assistance. And we had a delicious meal of chicken divan and strawberry cake for our Easter dinner.

Easter Cake

Tears and laughter. Reflection and smiles. Music, knitting, and reading. The weekend contained it all. Oh, and chocolate, too.

How was your weekend?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 4 Comments.

April 21, 2019

happy easter!
posted by soe 1:49 am


Wishing the best of the spring season to you and your family, whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or a generic Sunday!

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

April 20, 2019

’tis a fearful thing
posted by soe 1:57 am

Stop All the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone
   ~W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Rudi’s best D.C. friend, Dave, was killed today while riding his bike to meet a friend for coffee.

Dave was in his mid-50s, had a wife and a daughter whom he loved tremendously, and if my Twitter feed is any indication, was known to and respected by pretty much everyone in our area. He baked delicious bread, did IT for a living, was generous with his time and his energy, and was an outspoken and tireless advocate for safer roads and cycling infrastructure.

That he died along a stretch of road that neighbors and cyclists had for years asked the city to improve in order to make it less dangerous and less prone to drivers speeding is a particularly cruel twist of fate.

My heart is breaking for Rudi, dealing with this devastating loss at home by himself. And my heart is breaking for Dave’s wife and daughter, because I can so easily imagine myself in their place, to be robbed in an instant of what they love best by the decisions of a selfish driver. And my heart is breaking for all of us, to have lost in such a stupid fucking way a kind man who should still be alive.

‘Tis a Fearful Thing
   ~Yehuda HaLevi

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be —
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

April 19, 2019

what a hoot, improvements, and date
posted by soe 1:32 am

Three beautiful things from my previous week:


1. I happened to glance up as I was carrying my lunch to the other room to see that my parents had a visitor. (Apologies for the photo quality; I was shooting through a window and a screen.)

Checking Out the Woods

2. At the garden work day, a few of us worked on a construction project that added some pvc piping to our infrastructure that should necessitate the garden’s master spigot, which is located in a corner of my plot, to be accessed far less often, which is more convenient for everyone.

I See You

3. Rudi and I were both home on Monday, so after mailing our taxes, we treated ourselves to a late lunch out at a local Cuban restaurant. We then followed it with a trip to Trader Joe’s, where the samples were plentiful and delicious (and included chocolate).

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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