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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Happy Halloween!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Happy Halloween!

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I know that some of you are scratching your heads and saying, "Yep. Dawn's officially lost it. Halloween is still twenty-nine days away."

However, in the House of Felagund, Halloween is a month-long festival rather than a single paltry day. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I just asked Bobby and he says that he likes Halloween about the same amount as Christmas. So we go a little crazy.

At the moment, our apartment is decorated with:

  • one string of jack-o-lantern lights on the balcony
  • one jack-o-lantern on the balcony
  • one jack-o-lantern kite thingy from the Kite Loft in Ocean City on the balcony
  • five Halloween bears on the CD/DVD shelf
  • one gargoyle on the TV
  • two tombstones on the TV
  • one jack-o-lantern on the TV
  • one jack-o-lantern pillow on the couch
  • one ghosty pillow on the couch
  • one ghost-shaped candle holder on the end table
  • one Halloween candle on the end table
  • one orange candy bowl with a protruding hand that grabs you when you take a piece of candy
  • one plastic ghost inherited from my grandmother on the front door
Erm...I think that's it. Obsessed? Us?? Nah.

I must say that this weekend made up for the prior craptastic weekend. Even the weekend movie was ten times better than Flyboys. Saturday night, we saw Invincible. Now, I am naturally biased toward football movies (since I'm a bit nutty about football), but I can usually critique them nonetheless. But I loved Invincible. I will review it later.

Sunday was our last classroom/confined water dive for scuba training.

Last week, I'd had a really hard time with the no-mask swim, namely because I tend to sniff water up my nose and try to drown myself. I will admit that I was dreading this weekend and having to do it again. It was the final confined water dive; my final chance. We went twice to the pool to practice with snorkels, and I spent the week in frequent meditation, trying to relax myself in conjunction with visualizing the exercise. I managed--by Saturday night--to condition relaxation to the breathing pattern I used while removing the mask. Still, there is a difference between doing an exercise with a snorkel in 3 ft/1 m of water and doing the exercise weighted on the bottom of a 13 ft/4.1 m pool with a regulator.

First, we had our last classroom lesson, and Bobby and I both passed our final exam. I missed one question of forty: labeling the parts of the regulator. The photocopy was crappy, and too late, I remembered that I could trace the length of the hose to tell the difference between the primary and alternate air source (since the alternate is significantly longer). Ah well. 39/40 ain't bad!

Then we went to the pool. We didn't have much left to do, and while I was doing the BCD replacement on the surface, Bill remarked how much calmer I was this week. Well, I told him, last week was just a bad week. He laughed and said that we're all allowed one or two every now and then.

We ended up with lots of play time on the bottom of the pool to practice whatever we wanted, so Bobby and I did a lot of buoyancy exercises. Then Bill motioned me to come and do the no-mask swim. I did my relaxation exercise, exhaled through my nose quickly, took off my mask, and went. In what felt like a few seconds, Bill was handing my mask back to me, and it was over...and it was easier than even with the snorkel.

So, Bobby and I have both passed all of our written and confined-water tests. This weekend, we will do our four open water dives at the quarry, and then, we will be open-water certified! I was so excited and relieved when we got out of the pool yesterday. And even better than knowing that I survived the no-mask swim, I could do it easily again if I had to. (Though it is not part of the open-water exercises. We have to do no-mask breathing but not swimming.)

Potter came over yesterday to hang out. I tend to be really picky about RL friends; people get on my nerves far too easily. But Potter is different, probably because he doesn't annoy me or demand my undivided attention and is an unofficial member of the House of Felagund. We put the football game on, I worked on the computer, Bobby took a nap, and Potter read The Hockey News. Life was good.

And, speaking of football, how 'bout them there Ravens, hon? Look who's 4 and 0!

The game was great. The San Diego Chargers totally owned us for the first 90% of the game. But the Ravens have always been a second-half team, and with only a few minutes left on the clock, McNair orchestrated a drive that ended in a touchdown pass thrown to Todd Heap with thirty seconds left on the clock. We went wild. San Diego had thirty seconds to work with, but the defense--not surprisingly--held. In fact, the last play was a spectacular sack, so the Ravens won 16-13 and remain undefeated, hon! And in first place for the Division!

As for Steelers *snerk*...no comment.

Bobby and Potter went ice skating that evening so that Bobby could test his new skates (which he loves), then I met them for a late, late supper at Rocky Run. It was a great weekend!

Today, I finished another good chunk of a Haunted Tuesday story, then Bobby and I took a short hike at Patapsco Valley (Cascading Falls Trail) and had supper at The Trolley Stop. We've been lounging around since, tinkering with our computers and watching Monday Night Football.

Oh, and Bobby is starting with a new hockey team. He is no longer a member of Your Team Name Here (or whatever they are called this season) but part of the Baltimore Piranhas. Shall we compare?

Your Team Name HereBaltimore Piranhas
C-League teamB-League team
Plays at Ice World, an hour drive awayPlays at Piney Orchard, a fifteen-minute drive away
Allows teams to bring in ringers to give an unfair advantageActually checks and follows the team roster
Three teams in the leagueEight teams in the league
Teams don't get practice timeTeams get a practice time
Ice time is usually after 9 p.m.Ice time is usually before 9 p.m.
Ice time is all days of the weekIce time is usually on Sundays
Costs $400Costs $425

Yeah. Was there even a question?
  •  piranha
  • I remember when I was a kid, I used to be impatient for Halloween by mid-August! Nowadays it's kind of hard to get into (even though New England, in theory, should be an awesome place to celebrate), but I at least couldn't resist using the Jack-o-Lantern type mood theme for my journal for October this year. Have to respect a holiday that uses black cats and pumpkins as decorations! :D
    • I noticed (and love) your mood theme! Just pretend to be surprised, okay? ;)

      Being as horror is one of my favorite genres and Halloween is a time when it seems excuseable to go buck-wild watching scary movies and reading spooky stories...yeah, it's my favorite time of year. ;) I used to maintain that I liked Christmas better, but I don't lie to myself anymore!

    My fave also! So Far we only have the teddy bear in th punkin outfit on the sofa, but more will come...

    Hee hee!

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    • Yay! Halloween rocks! And I don't find myself too surprised that you like it too, hehe. ;)

      And the icon! *tackles and mwahs you!*
  • Erm...I think that's it. Obsessed? Us?? Nah.

    Eh...no! Not obsessed at all. You're perfectly normal, the both of you. Just like me and my brother, when we start decorating the house for Christmas immediately after the 1st of December! I think I'd love Halloween if we celebrated it over here properly. But, since it's an imported holiday and we've already imported enough of those, some people are reluctant to fully celebrate these "fashionable" holidays. I'd still love Christmas best, anyway.

    Ah well. 39/40 ain't bad!

    Nope, not bad at all. *pats Dawn on back* Bah, you're so close to getting those certificates and it seems like you were coming back from Puerto Rico and pondering about diving just yesterday. Ah, how time flies. Congrats to both of you and I do hope that you're enjoying every minute of it.

    BTW, you having problems with water shooting up your nose reminds me of my similar problem. Only there's something funny about my nose. I have absolutely no problem with salt water shooting up my nose, which means that every time I go to the seaside, I free-dive without any kind of restraint, whereas I can't to this in a pool, lake, river. Which sucks, really! ;)

    Yaay for Bobby and his new team! BTW, will there be TV or internet coverage of their games. 'Cause that would be sooo cool!

    Lots of hugs to the both of you!
    • Just like me and my brother, when we start decorating the house for Christmas immediately after the 1st of December!

      That's nothing! Here in America: The Land of Excess, the Christmas holiday officially begins on the day after Thanksgiving, which is 24 November this year. However, most stores and malls put up their decorations the day after Halloween. And Hallmark--a popular greeting card and trinket store--generally starts selling their ornament collection in July.

      It's rather ridiculous, in all. So December 1st sounds good to me! (Bobby and I decorate on the traditional first day of the holiday here, after Thanksgiving. Not a moment before! :^P)

      Bah, you're so close to getting those certificates and it seems like you were coming back from Puerto Rico and pondering about diving just yesterday.

      Doesn't it? So much has changed in so little time; it feels strange!

      And thank you too, for the well wishes! Every bit of support that I've gotten for my wonky choice to go back to school and take up scuba has been appreciated. :)

      I have absolutely no problem with salt water shooting up my nose, which means that every time I go to the seaside, I free-dive without any kind of restraint, whereas I can't to this in a pool, lake, river.

      That is odd! I think my problem was that I had never really swam with an uncovered nose before much less breathed that way underwater. When I used to swim, I used to do a lot of tumbling, so I generally clipped or held my nose. In scuba, I practiced with a mask that covers my nose. It was all a matter of learning how to breathe without sucking water up my nose.

      I wonder if your dilemma has something to do with salt water having a higher density than freshwater? Dunno...that's really odd!

      BTW, will there be TV or internet coverage of their games.

      Unfortunately not. I have to go sit in the cold ice rink to watch them play! :)

      *hugs back to you too*
  • Hey, no need to feel weird because you're putting up Hallowe'en decorations already. They're selling Christmas stuff here since September. (And yes, people have begun buying it, what's more.) As we don't have Hallowe'en here - that is, by now we have stolen it, but it's really just something for the kiddies, a half-assed mixture of carnival and St. Martin's - and the only other festivals coming up before Christmas - above-mentioned St. Martin's, and St. Nicolaus day, which is almost Christmas anyway - aren't nearly as big as Christmas itself, people are in earnest preparing for that three months early. So. One month for Hallowe'en is harmless. ;)

    Congrats on passing your tests!
    • They're selling Christmas stuff here since September. (And yes, people have begun buying it, what's more.)

      Oh, I can believe it! When I still worked at The Piece, the store across from the restaurant was a Hallmark greeting card store, and they put out their Christmas ornaments in July. Bobby and I went to Target to get Halloween stuff the other day, and they already have Christmas stuff out.

      It's too soon, I think. Here, the holiday doesn't traditionally begin until the day after our Thanksgiving (24 November this year), and I am fine with that, but this business of it being the middle of summer and people buying Christmas decorations...no. That makes the holiday less special, to me anyway.

      Congrats on passing your tests!

      Thank you! :^D
      • That makes the holiday less special, to me anyway.

        It does. There's a reason Christmas calendars only have 24 doors, namely, that the pre-Christmas business beings with December - or late November, okay - but not three months early. As it is now, everyone is tired and fed up with Santas and tinsel before the actual Christmas season has even begun. Bah!
  • Gonna say it again as I said on the nautilus: you guys rock and as for Halloween: isn't that a state of mind which is valid every moment during the year? It's in your heart Dawn and it's a lovely thing to cherish.
    • Thank you again! Everyone's support and good wishes here has been such a huge encouragement. (And will continue to be as I next pursue *cue dramatic music* The Second Bachelor's Degree!)


      I suppose that it is my state of mind the year through. It's kind of a paradox: to look at me, I doubt anyone would suspect me of adoring dark, spooky stories. *evol grin*

      Oh, and your icon...simply divine. *wicked grin*
  • (no subject) - satismagic
    • Thank you! (For the congratulations and all the kind words and support you've given me. They made a huge difference. :) )

      I'm afraid that we will be buying multiple pumpkins this year. Last year, I discovered that I have a penchant for carving pumpkins, and this year, I am planning a nazgul design. We're actually off for holiday on Monday, so we'll be getting them then, yay! :)

      (Oh, and we always roast the seeds! *loves*)

      And those icons...beautiful! But your icon work always is, and thanks to you and nienna_weeper, I now have an obsessive number of Halloween icons too.

      Life is as it should be. ;) Thank you and *hugs*
  • Ohhh... I'm still waiting for the jack-o-lantern light chain thingy my mother bought for me to arrive here. I can't wait to decorate my wardrobe with it. Actually, celebrating Halloween is a fairly new fashion around here. But it comes with sparkly decoration, and that's pretty cool. ;)

    Also, I think I'll take a walk in the park tomorrow to collect some chestnuts (though I don't even know if they have chestnut trees there...). It would be totally wonderful to have some to decorate the apartment with. :)
    • You sound like us! We've decorated the apartment with gourds now. (And fake fall leaves from our wedding cake two years ago!)

      Just don't wear pointy boots with stiletto heels in the woods. ;)
      • Yes, this definitely deserves a nomination for 'Stoopid idea of the Month'. Right beside the 'washing my mohair sweater with my panties' episode. *facepalm*
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