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Forty-Five )

I keep wanting to write "Poem for Wednesday" on Boston Legal night because I'm not used to it being on Mondays. I did little today besides fight with Shutterfly -- one of my photo book codes has disappeared out of my account, as has the free shipping I was supposed to have till October 15th, so I am rushing to finish my trip book before it gets any closer to that date lest my other book code should disappear as well. And I need to start thinking about making holiday cards and calendars and all the things we usually give as gifts. So except for some craft stuff with Adam and homework with older son, it was not an eventful afternoon.

Agricultural History Farm Park Animals )

Watched Terminator and Heroes with the kids, as is going to be our Monday routine till Fox cancels the former for its blah ratings...hey, Boston Legal gets higher numbers, think they'll pick it up when ABC drops it? I'm glad we got a bit more backstory on Derek in Sarah Connor but sheesh. Spoilers. ) Heroes is holding my interest better this season than last season but I also have moments where I think my kids shouldn't be watching it at all! Spoilers. ) But of course BL was my favorite hour of the evening, despite the extremism of Denny's pro-gun stance (I agree with Carl: Denny doesn't have Alzheimer's, he uses "Mad Cow" as an excuse to do whatever he wants. Spoilers. )
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Troy )

Adam started seventh grade on Tuesday morning in the middle school that I attended -- well, it was a junior high school then, but it's still a bit surreal for me that I have somehow subjected one of my kids to three years in that building. He didn't seem terribly unhappy last year, at least, which is about the best one can hope for at that age, I think. Daniel had the day off, as his entire high school building is used for freshman orientation, so I took him out for bagels (his request), then home where I folded laundry and we watched The Fellowship of the Ring, which has kind of been a tradition for him and me on sick days. It's been many months since I've seen it, long enough for me to have forgotten all the things that disappoint me in The Return of the King, and it made me unexpectedly happy. When Adam got home, I spent quite a bit of time looking around the house for school supplies that the school hadn't bothered to put on the summer school supply list sent home weeks ago, then finished sorting out the kids' clothes -- the giveaway pile being bigger than what either son is keeping.

Faire Tricks )

Adam's best friend brought over Superhero Movie, which the kids insisted on watching -- fortunately it's short, and silly, and once again I got evidence that I am twelve because even though I've seen it before, I was more in the mood for that than all-night DNC blather. While the kids were getting ready for bed, we put on Across the Universe, figuring it would probably be possible to listen without really paying attention to the plot, but there was actually lots more talk and less Beatles than I was expecting...and Bono and Eddie Izzard in awesome cameos, which I didn't know about! The woman playing the sort-of-Janis-Joplin character was terrific, too, though the psychidelic sequences got to be a little much after a while. It's no Hair, which is what it seems to want to be with Beatles tunes, but it's worth seeing once.

The movie ended just as Hillary was starting to speak at the convention, so we got to hear her. I expected that I might be completely out of the mood -- every time I checked my RSS news feeds today, it was all "disgruntled Hillary supporters say they won't vote for Barack" until I wanted to throw up -- but I really appreciated her speech, as bittersweet as it must have been for her to get such an ovation. I wonder whether the news is ever going to cover the crisis in Georgia; right now they've gotten past a bear cub in a tree and moved on to puppy mill rescues. And every time I read something like this, my affection for Harry Potter dies a little bit more.
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The Lost Sister )

Adam goes back to school in the morning -- the whole county goes back then, but Daniel's high school is entirely taken up with freshman orientation, so he doesn't have to be there till Wednesday -- meaning Monday was officially our last day of summer vacation. We went out for lunch after Adam "called" me, pretended to be his father and instructed me in faux bass voice to take the children to California Tortilla. *g* Then we stopped at the food store, because in addition to toilet paper, we were out of Cocoa Krispies. We drove by the pool on the way home and to my surprise it was open -- we'd thought it was weekends only starting today -- so the kids got to swim before working on their summer homework, book reports and long math review packets. I finished the laundry while they finished those.

Fire at the RenFaire )

After dinner we watched No Reservations, which I didn't expect to interest the kids in the least -- it's also the last night of weekday video games for a long time -- but they both watched it. I've heard it's not nearly as good as the German film it's based on, but I enjoyed it anyway, though the resemblances to Ratatouille amused me, Catherine Zeta-Jones only spoke with a US accent about 2/3 of the time, and the family dynamics were a bit too Disney-perfect. The movie made me very hungry, which usually means a food movie did something right. *g* Then the kids went to bed -- school night hours -- and Paul and I watched Into the Unknown With Josh Bernstein on Discovery, in which they investigated whether there was a historical event upon which the story of Noah's Ark might have been based (conclusion: there's not much evidence for an ark with all the beasts of the world, but some evidence for the flood from the Epic of Gilgamesh where it was only the beasts of the field rescued from the flood).

I only watched the highlights of the Democratic convention, even Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama; there's only so much political blather I can take. Cut for rant. ) Ah well, I see CERN is reenacting Angels and Demons and People is trying to queer Obama/Biden...there is entertainment in the news.
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Thermopylae )

I had a great day at the Renfaire with my family and [ profile] dementordelta! When we got there, we saw Barely Balanced's acrobatics, then had fish & chips at the place near the stage while Empty Hats was playing. Then we went to the Boarshead Brawl -- the point of which is always to throw drinks in people's faces, toss people out of second-story windows, knock people into the big tub and make bathroom jokes, so the kids love it. We saw the Renaissance Vaudeville team, which includes their dogs ("this is what you can do with a liberal arts degree") and stayed at the Endgame Stage for the abbreviated version of The Tempest. Miranda was portrayed as a giggly bimbo, which I could have lived with, but they cut both Caliban's "Be not afear'd; the isle is full of noises" and Prospero's "Our revels now are ended" speeches! Grrrr!

After the play, we walked a bit around the shops. At the mint, I had a coin made with the Chalice Well on one side and the Holy Grail on the other. We also stopped in the scriptorium/bookstore, several jewelry stores, the dragon hatchery (where they actually sell baby lizards), a couple of art galleries, the pirate ship armory and the glassworks. Late in the afternoon we went to see Barely Balanced's fire show at the Globe Theatre in which they not only perform acrobatics and juggling, but do so with knives and torches. Next on the schedule was the Ultimate Joust; with the theme this year being a visit to England by Ivan the Terrible and his knights, Russian villainy becomes the excuse for fighting and blowing things up. The Pennsylvania Faire has less serious jousting than its Maryland counterpart, but they always do a big bang at the finale and I really enjoyed seeing the number of women who ride as knights. Finally, we had dinner -- Spanish food (well, really Tex-Mex) for some of us, turkey legs and bread bowls for others. And we drove back to Maryland!

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire 2008 )
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The Evening Darkens Over )

[ profile] dementordelta came to visit and our original plan was to go see Elizabeth: The Golden Age together, but two local theaters had stopped showing it altogether and another only had it in the evening, so we gave up on that plan, called [ profile] gblvr and told her to tell us where we were all going for lunch. She said the Rio Grande Cafe, so we had Mexican food and then Delta and I went and got pumpkin cheesecake from California Pizza Kitchen and brought it back to my house, where -- I know you will all be shocked to hear this -- we decided we were in an Alan Rickman mood, and since we had been deprived of Clive Owen in Elizabeth we also wanted stark naked Clive, so we watched Close My Eyes, which has the double charm of Alan as an adorable dork and Clive as an adorable doofus. Delta also brought me more of her Barbie and Ken discards, so now I have an Elvis, plus a Ken in faux alligator pants and a little silver tea set.

Heroes didn't thrill me, which has been the case all season -- I am bored out of my mind with the ancient Asia storyline, I actively hope not to see Hiro -- and while I'm still relatively attached to Claire, Noah, Matt, Mohinder and Micah's whole family, I feel like we're seeing too much repetition with Claire and her father of the stuff they went through last season and Mohinder just doesn't seem to have grown much despite all he's seen. Small spoilers. ) Journeyman, on the other hand, was much better than it's been. More small spoilers. )

Final Farm Animals )

The contractor called; they're going to start fixing things on Wednesday, which means we have to pull things away from walls and into different rooms and all that starting tomorrow. For now am waiting for Russell Crowe to show up on Jay Leno, since Monday Night Football is in overtime!
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In Autumn Moonlight )

I had a religious Sunday. In the morning while our kids were in Hebrew school the parents were summoned to a meeting on Mitzvah projects, the charity or community service work they do (or in the case of the very wealthy kids, the organization to which the family and friends donate lots of money). This time the head rabbi let one of his very good friends give a pitch about how now that she's a Bar/Bat Mitzvah consultant, we could actually HIRE her for help with our projects. I restrained myself from storming out of the meeting by developing a plan: when she proposes helping Israeli children exposed to terrorism by sending them to a very expensive summer camp, about $2500 a kid, which is what her daughter did for her Mitzvah project, I am going to look at them earnestly and say, "My son would really like to help the children in Gaza who have no blankets or clean drinking water." (This rabbi, who likes to brag about his involvement in the civil rights movement in the US, likes to steer congregants away from worrying about how Palestinian children are being treated using rationales from before the Yom Kippur War.) This congregation drives me insane and I feel very unable to break away and find another one right now, until both kids are through the Bar Mitzvah program.

I had a much more spiritually uplifting evening: I went with [ profile] vertigo66 to [ profile] beeej's house for a Samhain ritual. Events at [ profile] beeej's house always involve lots of wonderful food and awesome decorations -- she does Halloween better than anyone I know -- cauldrons, candles, a full set of witch Barbies, and participatory cats (well, if sleeping on a shelf and batting at shoes from under the table counts). There was black bean soup and cheeses and candy, and cider and pumpkin bread and a descent to the underworld in the ritual; I don't really believe that people can speak to the dead in corporeal form, or at least that I can, but I always find it very uplifting and satisfying to remember my grandparents in the kind of detail required by the ritual. I can't do the same thing in any of the silent meditations in my synagogue because there are too many people in the congregation and it feels too impersonal to me. I need to find a Renewal movement group or Tel Shemesh group that celebrates the seasonal cycles, because while I know where I can celebrate Rosh Chodesh locally, I don't know where I can go for an Earth-based Sukkot celebration.

Approaching Halloween )

RED SOX IN FOUR!!! Also watched Brotherhood -- oh Rose, such pettiness is beneath you, if you want to take advantage of your nephew than you should bring him in on your scheme instead of using him. And Michael -- well, at least he knows he needs help, though he has no conception of the level of help that he needs. It's still not as infuriating as Tommy, though, who doesn't think he needs any help at all! "We had a happy marriage...I had a happy marriage." Exactly. I wish Eileen and Kath would run off together with the kids!
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Low Barometer )

We were going to go hiking on Catoctin on Saturday, but it was so wet in our backyard that we figured the mountain trails, sheltered from the sun, would probably be muddy and slippery, so we put it off till next weekend when maybe [ profile] apaulled's parents can join us. Instead we did chores we've been putting off, like getting Adam new sneakers (he needs them to go climbing on Sunday), getting printer labels for holiday cards, and getting $3 Hanes sweatpants for the kids on sale at Target. Then we stopped at World Market, which had just received a shipment of Cadbury holiday tins, huzzah!

Wrote three Trek articles -- Shatner feeling sorry for himself, Nichols being delighted with herself, Captain Pike possibly having a bigger role in Trek XI than Captain Kirk -- and watched Marie Antoinette on cable, which I hadn't seen. I enjoyed it in somewhat the same way as I enjoyed Elizabeth, which is to say that I didn't care how historically insane it was because the locations and the costumes were so magnificent. I don't admire even a feminist reconstituted Marie Antoinette anywhere near the way I admire Elizabeth, and the clothes did more acting than many of the actors, but even with the Knight's Tale approach to soundtrack and dancing, it manages to be affecting. And, I mean, the opera!

Autumn in the Mountains )

Sunday morning I have a meeting at the Hebrew school about Bar Mitzvah stuff. Sunday evening I have a Samhain ritual. I like it when I get both religions on the same day.
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Transit )

We spent a glorious Sunday at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where I had my annual fifteen minute date with [ profile] sparowe and bought my annual supply of Spice Creme, and ate a smoked turkey leg and a bit of macaroni on a stick, chocolate mousse, root beer float, [ profile] apaulled's bread bowl with crab soup and lots and lots to drink because it was a magnificent sunny warm afternoon. We saw Shakespeare's Skum's Richard III and Henry V, Hey Nunnie Nunnie, one of the Royal Court shows, the joust and both Fight School shows, plus a lot of music, Hilby the Skinny German Juggler, a bit of The Sword in the Stone and a few minutes of Hack & Slash.

Maryland RenFaire 2007 )

So I was thinking about some comparisons with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, since people often ask me which I like better...cut for the uninterested. ) Got home in time for the Brotherhood season premiere -- still so not my kind of show and I still can't stop watching because the acting is so good, not just Jason Isaacs and Annabeth Gish who are always good but everyone down to the kids and the minor mob creeps. I wish I knew that there would be a third season because I am constantly in fear that they will kill off Michael. And now I must ask: was I right to skip Shark because I couldn't resist Brotherhood's first airing? Was it good this week?
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Archaic )

After Daniel got back from working at Hebrew school, we spent the afternoon at Homestead Farm in Poolesville. We picked some more apples -- Homestead has more varieties, including Gala and Granny Smith -- and got some stuff in the farm store, plus we looked at the pumpkins and went to see all the animals -- Homestead has goats that climb onto elevated platforms, plus cows, pigs and a variety of fowl. On the way home we went by the Seneca Schoolhouse but it was closed, so we just looked at it from the outside.

Down on the Farm )

We stopped at the library before it closed to get some books for Adam for school and some travel guides to help plan our trip west next summer, came home, watched the Terrapins beat Rutgers, had fish sticks and I put on Snow Cake, which I expected most other members of the family to ignore, but they all watched. That is really a terrific movie and I am not just speaking as an Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver's unsentimental, funny, hopeful and sad without being a big overblown tragedy. And all the acting is terrific. It's on DVD now, so everyone can see it!
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Roadways )

Arrr! I'm no good at talking like a pirate (well, not the sort of pirates celebrated on International Talk Like a Pirate Day) so I will simply wish everyone good pillaging and report the following:

Your Cruise Director, your pirate name is
Cap'n Slovenly Eye
What is YOUR pirate name?

Pirates at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire )

I had a fairly uneventful Tuesday, other than I ended up having lunch with my husband -- Indian food at Minerva, ooh yes! Wrote some unenthralling Star Trek news but most of my entertainment for the day was finding out that Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange will be starring in a dramatization of Grey Gardens for HBO and a Nebraska State Senator is suing God (as [ profile] apaulled said, Boston Legal really should do a reenactment of this storyline).

In the evening we put on 10 Things I Hate About You. Though the kids presumed that it would be lame based on the fact that their parents wanted to watch it, they know Heath Ledger from A Knight's Tale and Julia Stiles from the Bourne movies and it's a movie about a high school where the counselor curses and the kids misbehave, so they stuck around and enjoyed it a lot. Then we told them that since they had just watched The Taming of the Shrew, we were sure they wouldn't mind going to see an abbreviated version at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in a couple of weeks. There was eye-rolling but no real objection. Go me!
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Keatsian )

Daniel had his first day of volunteering at Hebrew school for the fall, so I spent a relatively quiet morning catching up on things at home (quiet besides being attacked by [ profile] iandiinthesky in her pirate disguise, that is!). After he came home and we had lunch, we went to Lake Accotink Park for Pagan Pride Day at the McLaren Sargent Shelter. (There's a much bigger Pagan Pride Day on the National Mall tomorrow, but Adam has his first day of Hebrew school for the fall and I doubt we'll get downtown while most of the festivities are going on.) This gathering was fairly small and very nice, a couple of hundred people over the course of a few hours, with a bunch of local vendors and organizations -- everything from the UUCA's Moonfire group to the Interfaith Fairness Coalition to Ice & Fire to Ecumenicon to Carolina Spirit Quest to Wiccan Designs to the Circle of the Crystal Grove to Water Lily Celtic Jewelry. Moonfire did a ritual that involved everyone bringing water (some from people's homes, some from Lake Accotink) and there were various classes throughout the afternoon.

Pagan Pride Day )

Because we had never been to this park before -- it's in Springfield, Virginia, about half an hour from where we live -- we walked down to the lake, where there is a recreation area with a carousel, canoe rentals and various concessions. We saw some geese, a tiny turtle and some dragonflies and other insects, plus lots of hikers, bikers and families renting boats. Our kids voted that it was too hot to go canoeing; since it was 90 degrees and we had not brought sunblock, we decided this was probably true -- so we did some grocery shopping on the way home and stopped at Borders, where -- you will be pleased to learn, [ profile] robinwest -- I used my 30% off weekend coupon and a gift certificate and finally bought the first season of Mission: Impossible on DVD. Want to come over and watch "A Spool There Was" with me? The evening has been quiet -- I am beating my mother at the moment at Scrabulous but my 14-year-old is beating me, as is [ profile] hak42. And Michigan lost again, but more importantly, the Terps won again!
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Poem originally found via [personal profile] schemingreader, removed at the poet's request. I hope no one Googled him during the 3+ years I gave him free publicity here.

Am fried from Back to School night -- both the middle school and the high school had to hold it the same night, just like last year when it was a different middle school and an elementary school. So it was a hectic afternoon and evening. Daniel had to go with [ profile] apaulled to the high school because the chorus was performing, but first my mother wanted to take him to have his Bar Mitzvah suit tailored since he's grown several inches since last fall, so she picked him up right after school while I had Adam and his best friend playing here. Then we traded and my mother took Adam for dinner while Daniel rushed to get ready to go sing.

It was very weird being in all of Adam's classrooms because his middle school used to be my junior high school, and it has really changed remarkably little. His science classroom, which was my science classroom more than 25 years ago, has the Periodic Table hanging precisely where it was when I sat there, and the first person I saw when I walked into his homeroom was Julie Greenbaum, who sat next to me in homeroom through my three years of junior high -- her name came just after mine alphabetically and now her son is in my son's English class. Didn't stop me from getting lost on the way to the music classroom, though -- when I was at the school, the four staircases were color-coded, and now they are all painted blue!

No other news really. Trek stuff was new New Voyages plans and the fact that if you buy a Toshiba HD-DVD player for your Star Trek HD-DVD discs when they come out this fall, you can get a free phaser-shaped remote control. Russell Crowe arrives in DC this week to film a thriller with Leonardo DiCaprio for Ridley Scott, and I am trying to decide if it counts as stalking if I should happen to learn from the legitimate press where he is staying and sit and read in the lobby for a few (dozen) hours. I am sad about Pavarotti -- the end of an era. I had two people I know get bad news about elderly relatives today, so I am perversely hoping for superstitious purposes that Pavarotti was the third.

A Midsummer Afternoon's Dream )
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Coda )

Had one of those "where did the day go" days. Had Corner Bakery for lunch with [ profile] gblvr and went shopping for really exciting things like laundry detergent and toilet paper; did not buy a single luxury item, unless new $6 towels to replace the utterly disgusting ones left on the floor of the kids' bathroom once too often counts. Wrote articles on Zachary Quinto -- yes, again! Though at least this time he pulled a Patrick Stewart and went on at length about the importance of stage performances instead of talking about Spock or Sylar -- and IDW's planned use for the Star Trek comics license, which, thank the Great Bird, does not include any adaptations of or joint projects with Pocket Books.

Pocket Books Trek these days reads like terrible recycled fanfic when it's readable at all, and since I know a number of those writers either used to be fanfic writers or still are under different names, it doesn't ever surprise me when stuff I know didn't originate in their brains ends up getting them a paycheck. Which incidentally does not only apply to Trek novels. Had to watch "Skin of Evil," the horrible episode in which TNG killed off Tasha Yar. Here is the interesting thing: both my kids watched it attentively and except for the utterly gratuitous nature of Tasha's demise, it wasn't a particularly horrible episode by first-season TNG standards. Troi and Crusher both came across well -- it's a real bummer it took killing off the non-nurturing female to get to that point.

RenFaire Animals and Music )
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Night Crabbing )

My Tuesday started with many people e-mailing to ask me whether I had heard that Patrick Stewart would be joining David Tennant in Hamlet next year at the RSC, thus overriding article #593 on Zachary Quinto being grateful to have been cast -- thank you very much everyone who sent links and spared me even if I must now weep with envy of everyone who gets to go. Before I got around to writing for TrekToday, however, I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with [ profile] melissaukgirl, who is in my state visiting her mother. We went to Legal Seafood where she had crab cakes and I had rasam soup and then we went and got some UK Cadbury and came back to my house and watched ancient Voyager songvids, thus dating both of us...though me far more than her, since she was apparently barely a teenager when we met on America Online during that show's run.

After dinner, the kids wanted to put on Don Juan & Miguel's DVD The Lost Princess, starring Don Juan's daughter Esmerelda as the titular character and Don Juan and Miguel gallivanting through the countryside flirting with nuns and singing with Renaissance minstrels. The DVD came with a recording of The Weird Show from the Arizona Renaissance Festival, so we watched that afterward, and even though we saw it live on Sunday we howled through the whole thing. ("You and your Taco Bell Spanish!")

Laughing at the RenFaire )
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Leda's Aubade of Sink and Sledge )

Have spent the whole day at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire! Where we saw Damian Blade, part of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Juan & Miguel -- both Don Juan in Heck and The Weird Show -- a Boar's Head acrobatics show and a dog-and-burlesque show, the Ultimate Joust and numerous musical performances, plus the apothecary, the pirate ship armory, the magic shop, the glassblower, the royal hounds, the dragon shop and many other lovely things...smoked turkey legs, soup bread bowls, the chocolate fountain, a woman trying to teach a small pumpkin to fly who hit me with it, a court doctor who told us that he used to be ship's surgeon to a pirate but never practiced any piracy himself except burning and pillaging...all in all, enormous fun that I am too tired to describe in proper detail except to say that we enjoyed ourselves and when we could not enjoy ourselves, we enjoyed somebody else (hee, sorry, Don Juan & Miguel joke).

Faire Weather )

We ate on and off all day but had not had a proper dinner after we left midway through the dragon auction, so we stopped at Isaac's Deli in York and left as they were closing the place around us at 9 p.m. They have the best tomato pepperjack soup imaginable and very good sandwiches and desserts. So a long day but a really good one! And other than on food, we spent very little money at the Faire -- all I got was a little bottle of amber scent and a $4 miniature crystal ball. Going home at some point on Labor Day...hope everyone has a good one!
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On Mother's Day )

This was the last day of summer vacation for my children, hard as that is to believe! They wanted to spend the morning playing video games, and since starting Monday they will only be allowed to do that on weekends, I figured I would let them. Meanwhile I worked on a review of "The Arsenal of Freedom", which plays better than its plot deserves thanks to the actors. Between getting people breakfast and lunch and doing laundry, I still wasn't finished when my father came to pick the kids up to take to the pool, so I finished that and wrote Site Columns and checked out the Star Trek: New Voyages episode "World Enough and Time" which on first glance looks fantastic. I must admit I was looking forward to this more than I am looking forward to Abrams' Star Trek, sadly enough.

Had dinner with my parents, who are going to the beach with my sister and her family in New Jersey next week...naturally, they decided to take their trip the week my kids went back to school, heh. Came home, watched Doctor Who's "Human Nature" which rocks like a rocking thing and I just hope the conclusion lives up to the first half of this two-parter. Half-watched Flash Gordon, which younger son has lots of female characters who all sort of look alike and rampant sexism blamed on Mongo's culture (given that that name is both racist and ridiculous, couldn't they have changed it? I hate even typing it).

Then discovered that Hair is on On Demand in widescreen and am in a state of bliss as I type this! I adore Beverly D'Angelo and John Savage and can sing along to every one of these songs, though I am really surprised that the musical with "Masturbation Can Be Fun" got only a PG rating...I don't want to have to explain to my kids why pederasty is in the same gleeful tune as fellatio. Even though this is such a '70s interpretation of the '60s musical, the scene at the end where the soldiers are marching in diagonal lines onto planes and then the shot resolves on the diagonal lines of graves at Arlington never fails to choke me up. (And since we just watched Hamlet yesterday, there's quite a lot of quoting that play in the lyrics.)

[ profile] fridayfiver: Trust )
[ profile] thefridayfive: Deathbed )
[ profile] fannish5: Friendships )
[ profile] hp_fridayfive: Who )

Last of the Fair )
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There is a willow grows aslant a brook )

Prettiest death scene ever described, by a narrator so unreliable that it astonishes me what percentage of artists, directors and writers have taken Gertrude at her word and portrayed Ophelia thus. There's a lost J.W. Waterhouse painting of Ophelia lying on a dry bank with her neck broken -- that's always rather what I assumed happened, a quick shove from one of the guards at the order of one of the royals, and then a pretty speech for Laertes whom you'd think would notice that anyone who observed his sister's calamity in such lovely detail could have rushed down to the river and pulled her out before she drowned. Was thinking about this because we all watched the Zeffirelli/Gibson Hamlet...Branagh's is too long, Hawke's didn't impress me, I don't have Kline's or Jacobi's and I really don't like Olivier's, plus Zeffirelli's is kind of perfect Hamlet Lite for boys who've never seen it before and like swordfighting and it has Glenn Close, who improves pretty much anything. Kids were entirely attentive, which was not the case during As You Like It.

In other news, [ profile] perkypaduan came over shortly before my kids came home from their secondary school orientation days and we went to the mall for lunch (mobbed food court -- most of us had Thai, and we met my mother), plus stops in Hot Topic (buy one t-shirt, get one half off), Borders (for Erin Hunter's Firestar's Quest), the candy store (which [ profile] dementordelta and I had discovered carries British Cadbury, yay!) the watch kiosk (where boys could not make up their minds) and the toy store (where they made the talking parrot say "You're a loser" and other brilliant intellectual slogans). They both appear reasonably content with their schools, other than the fact that they are, you know, school. And in addition to writing two Trek newsbits, I lured [ profile] perkypaduan onto Catbook so our cats could be friends, thus proving that I am a loser.

Fair Bunnies )

We were going to go to the Maryland RenFaire this weekend but it's supposed to be nearly 100 degrees on Saturday and to thunderstorm on Sunday, so now we are trying to figure out when we might possibly do it without wrecking the kids' Hebrew school schedules. Need new weekend plan or new weather report!
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Cri de coeur )

My children and I braved Staples for school supplies. The line was even longer than last year, though it moved somewhat more quickly than I was expecting...I got in line and sent each boy with his list to find what he needed, and I was at the cashier before Daniel finally tracked down dividers he deemed acceptable (he wanted black ones, not beige ones with rainbow tabs...I do not know what to make of this). We also stopped at Best Buy, where I discovered to my delight that both seasons of Dark Angel are on sale for $15.99, and since I had a gift certificate I now own the entire run of the show for almost nothing. Yay! The new Erin Hunter book came out today and I had planned to go get that for Adam, but he was fed up with shopping and very nearly threw a tantrum when I pointed out that we still needed to stop and get a 9 volt battery for the fire alarm so we didn't all end up dead, so we skipped the bookstore for another day.

Wrote a rather funny article about a health care company that thinks it's a good thing if they promise you the redshirt treatment, and tried to find news about Colm Meaney being cast in the US version of Life on Mars -- I love Meaney, but with two Irish actors in the lead roles, why don't they just show the BBC version on ABC? Spent the evening watching Branagh's As You Like It on HBO, which was well acted and visually interesting but full of the anachronisms you'd expect setting the play in 19th century Japan, which makes the setting pretty gimmicky -- it looks like an English fantasy of an Asian forest rather than an actual Asian forest. I like Bryce Dallas Howard but she's not remotely convincing as a boy -- even less than Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare In Love -- and Kevin Kline is rather wasted as Jaques, who despite getting to deliver the "All the world's a stage" soliloquy doesn't really let Kline show his range. Still, worth seeing, if only because it's hard to ruin that play with a halfway decent cast and David Oyelowo is extremely hot as well as a decent Orlando.

County Fair Entertainments )
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The Architects of Time )

It was a lovely, cool, rainy Monday, and I spent most of it indoors with a lingering headache that was threatening to become a full-blown migraine as the weather front moved through, but apparently I got the combination of drugs and the timing right because it moved off by late afternoon, just as the thunderstorms moved in. The kids had summer homework to do and friends to play video games with this last week before school...Adam's best friend came over here and stayed for dinner, while Daniel's best friend, who has spent most of the summer visiting family in Bangladesh, and this morning he appeared on Runescape, so the boys were IMing for a while.

I managed to wring out enough news from that Kate Mulgrew interview to post an article, and then USA Today had a new interview with Zachary Quinto about Heroes and Star Trek. In the evening we all watched Pan's Labyrinth, which we never managed to see in the theater and is finally on Cinemax On Demand. Not sure I'd have watched when the kids were up if I'd seen it first -- the fascist violence is really awful, I'm glad I didn't see that on the big screen -- but they're familiar with other atrocities that happened to children during the same era in Europe and although they were definitely bothered by certain scenes and a bit confused about the ending, they liked the movie and I'd so much rather them see violence in a movie that's about something than most of the crap action stuff that's out there. The cinematography is as good as everyone said and the acting is exceptional. I'm so glad I convinced [ profile] apaulled that we didn't need to watch pre-season Monday Night Football.

Chicks at the Fair )

I see that the Queen of Mean has died and Michael Vick has agreed to a plea agreement. And Dean is now a Category 5 hurricane -- hope everyone in Mexico and Texas is somewhere safe!
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Proximity )

Once again we did not end up getting to Baltimore for the science festival. It was cool (magnificently so!) and rainy, and we had a late start on the morning, so since my parents had asked to go see The Bourne Ultimatum with us and then out to dinner, we did that in the afternoon. This was definitely my favorite of the three movies, in large part because Joan Allen had a better role, though I thought Matt Damon was very good particularly in the latter half of the movie when he was piecing Bourne's life together with flashbacks overlaying the present. I realize I am vastly in the minority here in terms of this movie's commercial audience, but I really wished they'd stop having motorcycle, car and foot chases right when something emotionally interesting is starting to happen. (Someone who's read the books: What's the backstory on Bourne and Parsons, anyway? I thought we were going to find out she was his sister or the mother of his child or something, but they dropped the whole thing!) Plus we got the American Gangster preview, yay!

Since we had taken my parents to the movie, my father took us to Hamburger Hamlet for dinner. My mother got older son Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture, which we took turns reading aloud -- it is screamingly funny for nerds like us, I don't know how we never saw it before! I had to work on some articles when we got home, and I finished the one on Chase Masterson that probably no one will read, but after fighting with the one on Kate Mulgrew for half an hour because it's based on a month-ago appearance where she says the same stuff she said everywhere else that month, and trying to load web pages with an interview with George Takei with headers indicating he's saying the same stuff he's been saying for two years, I gave up with a headache. Reading about the situation in Israel with refugees from Darfur and the mess in the wake of Hurricane Dean have done nothing to improve it, so I am going to go collapse.

Barns at the Fair )

I know I owe a whole bunch of people here phone calls and e-mails ([ profile] gblvr, [ profile] vertigo66, [ profile] perkypaduan, I have not forgotten you!l) kids have a half-day of orientation this Thursday and a full day next Monday and then they're back on a regular schedule, can you forgive me for a few more days? We haven't found binders or protractor sets yet!


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