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. )
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.
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.
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 )
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
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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