Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mobiles on Her Own

Over the Thanksgiving holiday my daughter did four more "mobiles", mostly on her own: an ice rink theme, a fenced area, a sun/cloud scene and a Christmas heap.

Friday, November 23, 2007

August Rush in November

Three of us went to see August Rush the movie this evening. It was unexpectedly good. Kind of a realist fairytale about the magic of music, Cider House Rules meets Stardust. The actors for the three main characters were pretty new to me and so they were fresh: the kid (Freddie Highmore) and the star-crossed parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Myers). But there's a supporting cast of more familiar faces like Robin Williams as a character reminscent of The Fisher King and Terrence Howard as a very likable social worker.

The film moves a bit fast in parts -- I would've liked to savor some of the kid's musical awakening a bit more as well as his teachers'/discovers' amazement. Maybe a book version could have dwelled on these more, but what couldn't happen in a book is the magical musical integration, like where the film shows cutbacks between his mother's solo cello and his father's Irish rock band singing and guitar while the two songs play simultaneously and are interwoven. It's a nice effect. So is turning the everyday motions of wind on wheat, and people and traffic in New York City first into a symphony of joy and then into a cacophony of confusion. It's cool.

Pleasantly Robin Williams doesn't steal the show; the music does. We're already talking about picking up the soundtrack.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November Tree

Mid-November and a tree
stands alone,
in the rough between what will be a YMCA
and what almost is a savings bank.
But today the tree stands alone,
a hundred feet from anything
made by man and it doesn't care.
Nor do I at the moment.
There is no weather here, now;
the air is calm but not dead,
the sky has a high haze;
though it is mid-morning
there is no visible sun,
no light and shade.
It's not overcast
in any noticeable way,
no oppressant cloudbase.
The temperature is just right.
In my full sleeves and pants I
am not cool (much less cold) and I
am not warm (much less hot).
No leaves fall.
No people pass.
A tree stands alone.


Yesterday, a Saturday, I ignored the pile of mail that had built up over the past couple weeks. I ignored my club duties. I paid no heed to the abundance of items on my "to do" list and the other adult pursuits or lazinesses that I might have indulged in on any given Saturday. Instead I spent much of the day with my daughter creating "mobiles". She had made one during the week in her art class and wanted to do more. First we ventured to Hobby Lobby for supplies and then we warmed up the glue gun. Using that gun may be her favorite part, but that's fine, this is the first time she's been allowed to use one. It was great to spend a few hours with someone who is old enough to use a heated tool but also young enough to treat a pound of plastic beads like a chest full of treasure . There are a couple photos. The one with the green base and the doves she did in class. The white based one we did at home -- the concept was all hers, you cross under the arch to get to the glory and riches from the "poor" side. We spent hours on transient art and I don't feel guilty one whit about the time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Discovered! Poem Published Three Years Ago!

I was googling myself for the usual narcissistic reasons, this time in the guise of "C. R. Patton Jr.", when I found something unexpected. The top hit was to one of my poems, "Kramer's Clone Dance", but not on my ChipsterZone web site, but rather on the website of our local arts, nightlife and entertainment magazine, Valley Planet (here's the current issue). Apparently they'd published it a few issues after I sent it in but they never let me know. (Submissions to "The Deep End", the section where it ran, are unpaid.)

I wrote Kramer's Clone Dance back in 2002 with a little help from my uncle, Rev. C. Reynolds. I submitted it to Valley Planet in early 2004 and it ran in the July 15, 2004 issue. (We were also credited on the end-of-year Thank You page in the same issue. Other poems from the same issue: Anonymous is My Favorite Author by Jeremy Bradford; Slumbering by Nancy Compton Williams; untitled by Michelle P.; and untitled by Mary Susan Cannon.)

A published poet. Who knew?

Monday, November 05, 2007

First Figs

I was out in our yard yesterday, innocently killing fire ant mounds, when I noticed that some of the figs on our fig tree were turning purple. Hurray! These are the first figs to actually ripen. We've have quite a few that just got tough while still green and eventually fell off -- some last year and some during this long hot summer. It hasn't been any wetter lately but I guess the cooler temperatures agree with the fig tree.

Any way I picked 3 and ate one and it was quite good. Moist and reasonably sweet. I planted the tree almost a year and a half ago. The late hard frost this spring killed it right to the ground but it grew back quickly and is now about 5 feet tall.

Here are some pictures. This may be the first real fruit that I've planted and eaten. (Yes, I realize that tomatoes and many other things that grow in vegetable gardens are technically fruit, but here I mean traditional fruits. Like, er, figs, I guess.)