Wow! Was it dark when I woke up this morning! I thought it was still pre-dawn, but it was 10! Heavy clouds. We had lots of threatening weather last night and yesterday, but not much rain, it seemed to pass either to the north or south of us. It’s been hot for most of the past week, except for Sunday when it was chill rain all day, and John and I closed the doors and windows in case the heat came on. But the next day it was hot and sunny again, and we had to re-open them and turn the fans on again!
I had been planning on going to Harpers Retreat, a local SCA camping event, only an hour away, but Friday night I was feeling rather ill. I still don’t know what was going on with that- it’s been coming through off and on for the last few days, but like the threatening clouds, the “storm” hasn’t hit. At any rate, I decided not to go to the event.The older I get, the less I want to pass germs around. I think I may be especially sensitive as I have had accusations pointed in my direction after I did feasts that people went home and were sick. I’m fairly certain that if they were sick it was passed-around-germs, not food poisoning, but one doesn’t want to put anyone else through that stress, much less make anyone sick.
Not only that, I had to finish the painting for the clockmaker, (and get started on the next paintings). So that’s pretty much what I did all weekend- painted details, and watched/listened to old TV shows (more on that below). I wish my style was more smooth, yes, I catch what’s in front of me, but it isn’t smooth as I would like it to be. I suppose no artist is totally satisfied with their final product, we all want to be better. I can get away with it because I’m in the style of the Naif painters who were also talented but un-trained. That’s my excuse for the near total lack of perspective, and very crude backgrounds. It occurs to me now that I’m done that the tools don’t have shadows consistent with the light on the man- but then, their reference photos were taken separately. Oh well.
I did go over to the Harpers site on Labor Day morning and picked up the Gold Key clothing. There had been a demo while we were at the war, and the lady who’d taken the Gold Key bins there brought them to Harpers, so all I had to do is pick them up at the end. I got a chance to say hi to a few folks, but did miss the whole event. Apparently this year they had a special kids section in the Bardic competition and Gideon competed- I’d have loved to have been there for that! Kiaya is this year’s Baronial Bard! Goodness, she’s ging amazing recently! Also there was apparently a fantastic food plan. There was a whole roast pig at the feast. I was encouraged to take home some of the produce they had left untouched on Monday, which left me a little conflicted, not having gone to the event. But I do know it’s better to have the food go home with people who’d eat it. John was thrilled to see the cucumbers. He pointed out that in animes he’s watched, the Japanese eat cucumbers out of hand, like other fruits. Well, his father used to do that. Since there was a lot of rain on Sunday, I washed and dried the clothes that had been worn and put the not worn ones in the sun. We’ll have to check them again to make sure they are totally dry.
Mark came over on Sunday, and brought fresh corn. I used Mark as a stand-in to get the shadow of the subject’s head on the painting. I hadn’t done that when he was here because of the power, and thus the light going out. But Mark was in the same seat, same size, and position, so I was able to put it in, which was the final thing I needed to do. While I painted, he read me some more of the Watley universe stories, and when I’d put on my signature, we took a break and played scrabble for about an hour until the pot roast was done.
Steve had came over on Friday for breakfast. He brought bacon and we ate a rather lot of it. He missed the girls, who got off to go to Clearwater at about ten, and we hung out (I painted some while he was here too), and I rolled up the new stockings- getting ready for the Pagan Pride Days this year. We are trying to get the last of the Pennsic Mess out of the dining room. It would be really nice to have the house looking all pretty.
Willow and Kat, and Raye and Joanie went up to the cabin on Friday, and were going to come down yesterday, but it’s after Labor Day, and none of them had jobs to get to, so they put it off for a day. I was thinking I could tell you what they’d done, but if things went the way they’d planned, they did nothing but rest. At some point the did what they announced on fb as “Science”- tested whether Cadbury or Hershey made better S’mores. Side by side taste test! Given that they had to cluster around the fire on Sunday while it was raining, it seems a good activity. I expect that they also did art. I think Willow took one bag of clothes, and 4 bags of various art supplies. I’ve missed them, and look forward to their return.
That’s about it for this week. I really don’t want to talk about what’s going on in the world right now, between the flooding and the fires, and the political mess…. Compassion fatigue has gotten to me big time. I feel overwhelmed. Perhaps “Think Globally, Act Locally” works because you are doing something where you can actually make a difference. Pouring a teakettle of boiling water in a bathtub may warm it up, but won’t do much to the ocean. I get frustrated by people suggesting prayer will help with hurricanes. Yes, I know that magick can protect A house during a hurricane- within limits, but I don’t expect even hundreds of people praying for a hurricane to turn is going to do much. (Probably everyone is saying “not at my house” and canceling each other out.)
I’m a bit sad- I figured I had some coffee ice cream in the `fridge (I’m fond of it), but turns out that I don’t- and I’m not going to go out just to get some. But here are some modern holidays to celebrate this week:
Friday. 8 Datenut bread Day, Ampersand Day, Intl. Literacy Day, Star Trek Day
Tuesday 12 Chocolate Milkshake Day, Video Games Day, Police Woman Day, Day of Encouragement
Wednes 13 Peanut Day, Quiet Day, Programmers Day, Defy Superstition Day, Roald Dahl Day
I haven’t read any non-fiction this week (blush), I just don’t have the concentration. I’ve been enjoying re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse series- I’m on book 8, and may well go all the way through. I really need to go back and review the Werewolf and Aethelflaed books and finish those booklets.
This week while I painted I watched a bit more Grimm, some True Blood, and also some Xena. I thought I’d requested the first season, but I got a collection of fan favorite episodes, which is exactly what I didn’t want. I heard about Xena when it was on, and assumed that the characters and story developed, and I wanted to see what the big deal had been. I had seen a few episodes in the past, but since it was a handful of episodes from a half dozen years, I’d seen a couple, and the ones I hadn’t seen raised more plot points that needed explaining than explained ones about which I was wondering. I think there was some development, but still have no clue about the progression of stories and relationships. I doubt I’ll actually ever watch the series. I could buy the series, but since I only want to see it once, I’d rather take it out of the library- and ours doesn’t have it. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get it from Netflix. One of the episodes was a musical (taking advantage of the talent of their actors), and it started with a variation of the “Going Steady” song at the beginning of Bye bye Birdie , and it’s been going through my head all week. The clear answer to this is to listen to the album, but to my surprise, I cannot find it, and had to send for one.
I did sent for the Angel show for Mark; having watched the 7 seasons of Buffy, he was in the mood for watching the spin-off, but didn’t want to spend huge amounds of money, but by getting them used I was able to get all five seasons for about what one would expect to spend on one new season, so that was worth it to him. (and I’ll get to watch them when he’s done.) Meanwhile our local library has all the True Blood episodes. Since I’m re-reading the books as well, I’m getting to that mental disconnect where the two very different story lines where the TV show took the concept and characters did very different things with them. I think that may have been why I didn’t keep up with the TV show. I have also gotten the The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, which has a timeline of the story arc, and a map of Bon Temps. It’s very frustrating though- the map is split across two pages, and I wish it were put on one page, although I do like that I can make it bigger. But I’d prefer to be able to have both the map and the book open at the same time, which you can’t do on an e-reader. I haven’t yet looked at the recipes. When it comes down to it, I really prefer books you can leaf through and find what you want. I will be able to drop those off at Marks tomorrow. John and I have started helping him clean his apartment- as we did with the storage pods. (Last week we did the kitchen, as he cleared many of the cooking tools Bruce collected but he never uses. “There’s a waffle iron?”) It gets us out of the house, and inspires me to work on our house.
I watched Kong Skull Island, which I enjoyed a lot more than I’d expected to do. I liked that Kong was the protector of the island and its inhabitants against the “Skullcrawlers”. I loved Marlow’s honesty (John Riley’s character) saying that he “just made the name up. I’m trying to scare you… it sounds neat.”, that all the characters were fairly honest about their feelings. They really looked “wrong” to me- I expect animals to be quadripeds- even birds have 2 wings plus the 2 legs. But, the characters were varied, and well realized, they made the movie. Conrad (Hiddleson’s character) was great, and I liked Goodman’s “men go to war for different reasons, you wouldn’t still be here if you had found what you were looking for”, and loved the point, slipped in oh, so subtly, that “people can wait longer than you think.” I also liked Kong at 2-4 times the size of in previous movies, and wonder if we need that to be impressed. I looked at some clips of the original on youtube, and Faye Raye is sticking out both sides of Kong’s hand, in the more recent version, he’s more like 50 than 25 feet, this one was much bigger- which begs the question how bones and muscles would work at that scale, but heck, it’s a movie.
I think we all spend a good deal of time wondering how things would have turned out if we’d made different choices, and fiction is often the externalization of those thoughts. There seem to be two major types of protagonists, the ones who instinctively “do the right thing”, and the ones who come up with many valid reasons why they should take care of themselves, and then at the last minute change their mind and do whatever saves the day even though it’s not immediately in their best interests (i.e.. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo). It is possible that there is more drama, because of the internal conflict, of the second type. And where is the heroic moment if the hero never considers not “rescuing the damsel, killing the bad guy, and saving the world”? Most of us need that conflict in order to identify with the protagonist. We certainly don’t want to feel that the reason the hero wins is because he just happens to be more powerful (Superman), or that the writers/God is on his side. If he doesn’t know that the dragon might eat him this time, where is the courage/virtue?
We should have to think about how we define “the right thing”. It’s not easy. So many people push us to take care of ourselves first, and certainly there’s a logic to that. If you don’t keep yourself functional, you’re not going to be good for anyone. But if we define self protection as the highest priority, we lose the connections that make communities and families work. I am convinced that the reason we do good is not just to do good for others, but that when we hurt others we damage ourselves in ways we may not realize. When we have policies that are not fair, we damage the psyche of the community, over and above the harm it does to the victims. We need to be more aware of that.
Well, that’s it for tonight. I’m about to take a second try at the New Normal show with Kathy Smith on the Kabbalah that didn’t work in August. We’ve also plunged into the final two months before CTCW. I wish I knew more about promotion. I’m sure the product is good, but how do we let the people who’d love it know about it?
“When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”