Monthly Archives: September 2022

Pic of the Day

Movie Night

Tonight, I’m going with a friend and coworker of mine to see the new movie Bros. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a gay romantic comedy that was released yesterday. I don’t go to the movies a lot, so this is a rare treat. We’re also going to do something that neither of us has done in at least a decade (and keep your eye rolls to yourself); we’re planning to have dinner at Olive Garden. Some people make fun of Olive Garden, but I like their salad and their Zuppa Toscano. I haven’t decided on an entree yet.

Anyway, I’m not just looking forward to Olive Garden, I’m also really looking forward to see Bros, mainly because Luke Macfarlane (the one in sunglasses above) is in it. I have such a crush on him and always have, even before he came out. The rest of this post is just a Luke Macfarlane appreciation post.

Is anybody else planning to see Bros?

Pic of the Day

Pic of the Day


I don’t think you’re fully human if you don’t have some regrets in life. Sometimes, it’s just things you wished you knew or understood when you were younger. I try not to dwell on my regrets in life, but sometimes I look back and think, “I wish I’d done this instead.” One of those things is that I wished I knew how happy I’d be working in a museum, though it’s my experiences of trial and error in life that led me to my present job. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still wish I had chosen the museum field earlier instead of working all those years on a PhD or that I wish I’d gotten a dual masters in history and library science when I had the chance. The other thing I wish I could change is that I wish I’d gone further away to college and had been able to come to terms with my sexuality sooner. Teaching so many classes these last few weeks and interacting with so many college students, I can’t help but think of how much fun I could have had if I’d just accepted I was gay back in college. I probably would have been an absolute slut in college if I had, but it could have been fun. However, hindsight is 20/20. There’s nothing that can be done to change what happened in the past, and I think that’s one of the main lessons to be learned in life. No matter what we’ve done or didn’t do in our past, we can’t change it. We just have to accept it. We can only learn from it and strive for better in the future.

Pic of the Day

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay
By Robert Frost – 1874-1963

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

About the Poem

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is one of Robert Frost’s very simple seeming poems, but holds much greater depth than you might think at first glance. However, it’s a beautiful poem for fall, especially as the leaves are beginning to turn to those beautiful autumn colors that the state is known for.

When it comes to understanding this poem, there can be a lot of pretentiousness in the analysis. Take for example these excerpts of reviews that are included on Wikipedia:

Alfred R. Ferguson wrote of the poem, “Perhaps no single poem more fully embodies the ambiguous balance between paradisiac good and the paradoxically more fruitful human good than ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay,’ a poem in which the metaphors of Eden and the Fall cohere with the idea of felix culpa.”

John A. Rea wrote about the poem’s “alliterative symmetry”, citing as examples the second line’s “hardest – hue – hold” and the seventh’s “dawn – down – day”; he also points out how the “stressed vowel nuclei also contribute strongly to the structure of the poem” since the back round diphthongs bind the lines of the poem’s first quatrain together while the front rising diphthongs do the same for the last four lines.

In 1984, William H. Pritchard called the poem’s “perfectly limpid, toneless assertion” an example of Frost demonstrating how “his excellence extended also to the shortest of figures”, and fitting Frost’s “later definition of poetry as a momentary stay against confusion.“

In 1993, George F. Bagby wrote the poem “projects a fairly comprehensive vision of experience” in a typical but “extraordinarily compressed” example of synecdoche that “moves from a detail of vegetable growth to the history of human failure and suffering.”

I have almost always found literary analysis to be mostly pretentious with the experts using “big words” to say something (such as paradisiac) that could have been said in simpler language. It’s a fault with most academics. If they can use $100 words and sound smart, they can fool people into believing that they really are smart. While a lot of them are, it’s still a whole lot of pretension. I had a literature professor once tell our class that William Faulkner stopped a sentence in one paragraph of the book we were reading and picked up the sentence a hundred pages into the book. How he knew this, he could never explain, nor could he actually make the two sentence “fragments” actually make sense together.

I’ve always believed it was much better to say things in plain language so that more people could understand. Education and academic pursuits are not meant to see how smart you can sound while trying to show your audience just how dumb you think they are. If you’re ever in an art museum in which a group of art historians are in front of you (this actually happened to me at the MFA in Boston) each trying to show the others that they know more than the next. It was a constant game of one-upmanship in which they all just came off as pompous asses.

With that rant being given about pretentious academics, I will say that “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is one of my favorite Frost poems. As the leaves turn a myriad of autumn shades in the next couple of weeks, they’ll soon fall to the ground and turn brown before being covered in snow a few weeks later. Autumn is beautiful in New England, especially Vermont, but it doesn’t last very long. One good rainstorm at the peak of the season can end the season in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. Back in Alabama, the leaves won’t begin to turn for many more weeks, but even then, there is not the rich variety of collars found in Vermont.

Pic of the Day

Pic of the Day


But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

—Hebrews 10:32-35

George Orwell (1903-1950) said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Orwell also reportedly said, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” With American politics the way it is right now, everything conservatives don’t like is “fake news” and political ads for Republicans are filled to the brim with lies. Orwell could have just as easily said, “The further Republicans drift from the truth, the more they will hate those that speak it.” I’m afraid if the Republicans regain a majority, there will be persecutions and retribution against all those who tell the truth and try to do what’s right.

Paul the Apostle describes persecution with an eternal perspective in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Paul explains in 2 Timothy 3:13-17, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

At times in each of our lives, we have had to endure hardships. Whether it’s money issues, relationship woes, loss of a loved one, or hating our job, no matter the reason for would pain, God will get us through the toughest times. How matter how good we are, or how godly a life we live, we will still face hardships. As many of the people who call themselves Christians increasingly embrace hatred, greed, and sinfulness, we have to fight even harder to preserve the loving relationship that God has for us. We can’t let hate drive us away from God. An increasing number of people consider themselves non-religious. Even those raised in a Christian household are turning away from God because of the bad example that many people set in the name of Christianity.

Jesus warned in John 15:18-21, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” Although it is often suppressed by the news media, the persecution of true Christians is proliferating throughout the world. In times like these we need endurance. People who claim to be Christians are the ones causing the most harm. They are driving people away from religion by their own intolerance and hateful views. They turn their backs on Christians who actually follow the teachings of Christ.

We are tempted to become weary in well-doing. Galatians 6:9 reads, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Life may look hopeless, but there is always hope. God offers us hope, love, and eternal life. We may have times that are so bad, we don’t think we will ever get out from under that dark cloud, but we will. God will shine his light on us and show us our path, our destiny. Things will work out in the end, we just need the endurance to get us there.