Monthly Archives: February 2013

Vermonters Don’t Wear Bikinis**

Silver Lake SP in snow

*Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “S”.

As a modern Vermonter, you know that for the real snow, you’ll have to move to New York, Baltimore, or DC…Hell, even Fairfield. Welcome to the New Climate. So after a good dumping here, you’d better git out and play ~ whether that’s shoveling, snowman building, skiing, snowboarding, or shoeing.*

This is the entrance to the Silver Lake State Park. Hard to imagine that in a few months we’ll be there in our bikinis. Oh, wait…**

Oscar Oscar Oscar!

kristen-stewart-crutchesLast night’s Oscars amazed, delighted, and appalled–from riveting flop sweat moments to charming winners and iffy dresses to the incredibly odd closing number. The vampire actress seemed a limping pill-popper and sullen presenter but I for one liked that, having wearied of clean living by high achievers. I was hoping she’d been in a cat fight or lover’s brawl but she reportedly stepped on glass. Let’s hope it was at least in a fraternity basement.

Gone forever are the awful thematic dance numbers by pro dancers–replaced with the weak dancing of the stars redeemed by the nutty hosting of Seth McFarlane & kicka** belting by divas. With the usual display of comical reaction shots, shifting bodices, and weepy spouses, we laughed, we cried, we aged. Thank you, Oscar.

UVG recommends: Argo, Pi, and The Impossible. All 3 big screeners for different reasons.

Jack Frost Nipping at Your…

frost largerRegardless of what part he’s nipping, nibbling, or gnawing at, we’ve had just about enough of it. Enter cabin fever.

Disclaimer: The above link will not take you to a Wikipedia discourse on the history of cabin fever, a term first recorded in 1918, but to the IMDb coverage of a 2002 movie by this name about five 20-somethings in a cabin in the woods who “fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals.”

Given a choice, I’d go virus. But I just don’t think I’m going to see this fine work, much as I like the poster.

And Now for the First Ladies

first lady red…best known for, yes, they clothes. Guess which dress belonged to which Lady. Hint: Mamie Eisenhower had it goin’ on.

These from the National Museum of American History on Constitution Avenue. first I

Price of admission: $0.first mamie

Ice Fishing in Vermont in 30 mph Winds

ice fishermanI asked this congenial nutter why he was ice fishing in 30 MPH winds. The answer? Power out at home. Due to 30 MPH winds. Gone fishin’.

Below is your typical Vermont ice hut. They come on wheels or skis, for hauling. Tempura batter recipe for fish here.

The point is you’re fishing, and drinking, inside. ice hutMan is resourceful.

Don’t Candycoat It, Sweetheart

heart - OksanaIn a Vermont café, a satellite disco station (?) pounds the refrain Leave me alone!—a fitting anthem by which to ponder Valentine’s Day. While some people like V-day, seems like more do not. Personally, I love holidays, especially in elderhousing where they overdecorate, and I used to dig any excuse to give my grandma her chocolates. But I get why people hate it.

Established for murky reasons, V-day now serves unintended purposes: to make singles feel lonely; to foment card-based popularity contests at school; to weaken or destroy fledgling relationships with dashed, if silly, expectations; to sell shit. V-day is based upon Roman traditions, which gives you a heads up right there because the Catholic Church recognizes a few saints named Valentinus, all of whom were martyred (that, or self-immolated on love’s pyre after one cruel text too many). One Valentinus, a priest, performed weddings on the QT after marriage was outlawed by Claudius, who, naturally, had him killed. Another Valentinus allegedly signed a love letter from prison with, “From your Valentine,” before his death. A dark origin indeed, whichever St. Valentine you select.

Other lore has the Christian church calendaring St. Valentine’s feast in an effort to co-opt the pagan celebration of Lupercali, a fertility festival occurring on the 15th. Priests would sacrifice a dog for purification and goat for fertility. Strips of goat hide slathered in the sacrificial blood were slapped upon (waiting!) women and crop fields to ensure fertility. Young women placed their names in an urn; each bachelor picked one and was paired for a year with her, leading often to marriage. Sounds horrid, but no more of a crapshoot than the way we do it. Plus, they were young Italians so they were probably all hot-looking.

bowling ballIf I had a date, I’d choose not to be flogged messily with unclean pelts but to spend this holiday at the Randolph Valley Bowl. That is where romance can really flower, with all the sights, sounds, and smells of the lanes. My Vermonty date would pick me up (sleigh? Monster truck with bumper sticker Gone Muddin’?) and after a couple of near-accidents with lousy teen drivers we’d achieve the alley, soak in its ambience, order pizza and beer, and thread up our snappy shoes. Because we seldom bowl, we’d run hot and cold: strikes followed by gutterballs. That’s a good name for a band, The Gutterballs. I just checked—it is a band! The Butterballs, however, is still available, probably because it means The Turkeys or The Chubby People. Anyway, it would be a perfect date, and I envy those bowling on this night of romantic fantasy.

V-day is the second largest card-sending holiday. Sadly, I don’t meet the criteria for success in any of the countries in which it is celebrated (accumulation of degrees, capital, or marriage certificates). When my niece says during a movie, “You look like Anne Hathaway,” which I most certainly do not, it’s enough for me on this special day of pagan provenance, that a 9 year-old holds such to be true. On Valentine’s Day 2013, unlike so many prior, I have arrived.

My valentine to humanity, were I a scientist, would be to create a kit people could buy to test their lovers’ levels of oxytocin and vasopressin, two brain chemicals which strongly encourage social monogamy. I’d name my kit, cheerily, Don’t Candycoat It, Sweetheart! (exclamation point a pretty candy cane graphic). It would come with a booby prize, like a dopamine-boosting Belgian chocolate, for when results were disappointing. “Bummer. Wait, here is this confection. Okay.”

At the Sooperbowl, America’s soopersweetheart Beyonce’s army of wicked witchy wildwomen worked it without west or wewaxation. Some disliked the flash of Beyonce’s halftime show, but I say when hundreds of talented women, mostly of color, are paid to do as they wish at one of earth’s most male, most televised sporting events, they have arrived. (P.S. You try that in heels!) That a young girl was spotlit for her football prowess and the second ad into the game was for Maybelline (!) says somebody in Marketville has noticed how women earn and spend a lot of bread. Don’t forget the valentine, SooperCorp.

However you roll, be that sacrificing a goat, warbling Leave Me Alone to Hallmark’s CEO, whatever, may yours be a fanciful holiday filled with cards, flowers, bloodied pelts, gutterballs, chocolates, and the brain chemicals of your choice, not necessarily in that order. Good day.

While You Were Making 7-Layer Dip for Sooperbowl

mouse truckin' thru snow

Click to see sparkles.

…I was out snowshoeing in a world of sparkles. Photo doesn’t do the sparkles justice, but it does show how Mousy-mouse made his way thru the snow.

Here you can see where he thought, mouse about face in snow“Going this way, going this way…nahhhhh, that’s no good; gonna go this way.”

It only sparkles when it’s bloody cold out. I want your dip.

Kick Off Black History Month with This

mcnairThis FABULOUS StoryCorps tale by the brother of Challenger astronaut Ronald E. McNair, the second African American to enter space, is uplifting on too many levels to name.  It’s great, and short (like BHM iteself).

Black History Month’s 85th theme is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

Here’s what’s scheduled at the Smithsonian and here’s (ironically) the best list of DC events I found. A brief slideshow includes a shot of Harriet Tubman at [a lot] years old.

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