Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thoughts from the Dark

It's that time, screen fans! The 10th Annual Real to Reel International Film Festival is in full swing in the neighboring town (they have the big screen space; the multiplex in town doesn't want to give up a screen for four days of indy film) and it's been a hoot!

For me, the festival is a way of gauging my time in The City of Pleasant Living, as it began the same year I moved here. I must say, the quality has greatly improved over the years - we started with VHS tapes and moved to digital and now hi-def. For me, last night's winner was Our Neck of the Woods, a short featuring spontaneously combusting lawn deer. Certainly not something you're going to see in the local multiplex!

Speaking of all things filmed, I ran across this (it's embedded below) the other day and it made me smile. In the midst of early wedding prep, I think it's good to keep in mind (1) different can be nice and (2) it's good to remember that the ceremony is intended to be joyous. I don't think I'll be doing this, but . . .

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now 100% Fairy Free!

I am pleased to report that, after about a week and a half of otherworldly-based drama, my trusty car seems to be completely free of fairy infestation! (If this seems like a confusing statement, please read the previous entry on this blog. Recapping would be tedious.)

Fairies or no, loyal Hunter now sports a new thermostat, fuel pump, timing belt and a host of other, more minor, repairs. My checking account is considerably lighter but, in my experience, if one owns a car, one must make repairs at some point.

Sigh. If only the state would pass a budget. With a big, honkin' raise for me in it.

But it makes for a good story and that's very nearly worth it.

So life in a small Southern town continues. It's high summer now, which means dripping humidity and breathtaking heat. This is offset by the fact that the farmers' market is in full swing, so heirloom tomatoes and Silver Queen corn are there for the picking. (Only not literally, as the picking is done for you!) Berries (both black and blue) are widely available and yummy-delicious homemade fried pies beckon. That doesn't help my campaign to work off my version of the "English pounds" I gained during vacation (no regrets there - fresh scones with clotted cream are worth a few extra laps once you get home!), but what's a Mockingbird to do? Summer passes so quickly.

And let's not discuss the proliferation of "back to school" sales in July. It's just not American. I say enjoy the final few weeks of summer. Because, be it work or vacation, it's still summer. And summer, like fresh corn, is a fleeting thing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bad Fairies!

I don't much like fairies these days.

That's probably surprising to you. After all, aren't I the sort of Mockingbird who believes in all manner of gentle, kind, otherworldly things that watch over humans, chuckle at our foibles and occasionally help us out?

Well, maybe. But I'm talking about fairies here!

Oh, sure. They've got good PR, I'll grant you that. Everyone thinks that they're all sweet and cute, sort of like this. Or this. Or maybe even this.

Uh-uh. Not true and don't fall for the hype.

It's actually funny. I had spent six hours teaching my summer classes about life in Elizabethan times as part of the introduction to their work with Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, which prominently features fairies messing about with human lives. Elizabethans believed in all sorts of supernatural thingies that went bump in the night, including ghosts and fairies. But their sorts of fairies weren't the nice kind. Instead, they were the things you blamed when things went wrong, such as the milk going sour, or you not being able to find a shoe. Or worse!

But I'm a modern Mockingbird. When the air conditioning in my house stopped working consistently (it still cooled, just not very well), I knew to call the home warranty folks. I was a bit more flummoxed when I came out of my night class and the car mysteriously died - totally stopped - still in the parking lot.

I blame the fairies.

I may not be right, but the tow truck driver was amused.