rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Changes

As the night was both fairly clear and moonless, I was able to see the thin scattering of winter stars. The night sky is too near empty this time of year. I enjoy seeing Orion in the evenings, but past midnight there is little sparkle in that vast expanse when compared to the brilliant displays of summer. Tonight, I am also saddened by the knowledge that, because of the shifting of resources to the recently announced project of sending manned missions to the moon and Mars, the Hubble telescope -- an instrument with several years of life left in it, were it to be properly maintained -- is now to be abandoned. The big eye which has revealed the distant past in far reaches of the universe will go blind from lack of care, and its orbit decay until the marvelous instrument falls into the sea, leaving the sky even emptier. Eventually, it will be replaced, of course, but Hubble's abandonment will leave a three year gap. On the bright side, a few years after that, we will get to send someone to the moon. I suggest that we send a then former president.

I had another irritating experience last night. I had a Vanilla Wafer. No, wait. It was a Nilla Wafer. They changed the name many years ago. Now I know why. The ingredient list claims "natural and artificial flavors," but there is no specific mention of what natural flavor they contain. I suspect wheat. It certainly isn't vanilla. The ingredient list also mentions high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Maybe they are the natural flavors. All I know is that the cookies don't taste anything like the Vanilla Wafers that were one of my favorite cookies when I was a kid. They had rich, densely flavored real vanilla in them then, and they were sweetened with sugar, not cloying corn syrup. They probably had a superior shortening in them, as well, rather than treated soybean oil. They might even have contained butter then. Now they contain whey. If I'm going to clog my arteries, I'd at least like to do it with something that offers some compensation in the form of enjoyable flavors and textures. I don't think I'll be sampling any more of the products I recall fondly from childhood. I'd rather remember them, however dimly, as they once were, than know what they have become.

In a few days, I'm going to feel quite differently about quite a few things. This has happened before. I know when it is coming.

Some verse:

VACANCY IN THE PARK

by Wallace Stevens


March . . . Someone has walked across the snow,
Someone looking for he knows not what.

It is like a boat that has pulled away
From a shore at night and disappeared.

It is like a guitar left on a table
By a woman, who has forgotten it.

It is like the feeling of a man
Come back to see a certain house.

The four winds blow through the rustic arbor,
Under its mattresses of vines.
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