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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain


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.


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Tonight was awesome. First, Bobby was home an hour early because it was graduation at his school today. Earlier in the week, he had found out that Scythian, one of our favoritest bands in the whole wide world, was going to be down at the Columbia Lakefest, playing a free show. (I know that I've pimped Scythian here before. But seriously. If thou likest Celtic music, though wilt liketh Scythian. Their website be here. They are a blend of traditional and world music and modern rock, which describes a lot of groups, yes, but 1) they mix things in very interesting and unexpected ways and 2) they are highly entertaining. Their concerts are the most fun ever. /pimp)

Columbia is near our old stomping grounds in Ellicott City, about an hour from home. Although they're neighboring counties, Howard and Carroll Counties are like night and day. Or day and night maybe. Depends on how you look at it. Anyway, Howard County is very posh--last I saw stats on these sorts of things, it was the seventh richest county in the country--and Columbia is kind of quintessential HoCo. (Ellicott City, on the other hand, where we used to live, is more artsy.) We went to dinner first at La Palapa in the Ellicott City historic district. I had chili rellenos. They have very good chili rellenos there.

Then it was down to Columbia or, as I like to call it, Creepy Columbia. Creepy because it was one of the first planned cities in the country, and everything looks so ... planned. Creepy. The lakefront is one of the nicer parts of Columbia because it is not so planned and, therefore, not so creepy. There are a few restaurants but, otherwise, it's a big-A lake and a walking trail around it and some decks and fountains and stuff. Very Noldorin, actually. Bobby and I browsed around the artists' exhibits and there was some gorgeous stuff but expensive. I told Bobby that were I to have any significant money someday, I would spend it on artwork like that, just to support the artists. (Our tiny house being chock full o' art already.) We had arrived early and Scythian wasn't on till nine, so we went down to the pier and sat with our feet dangling over the water. There were birds that I think were purple martins flitting and diving over the lake, catching insects. We weren't sitting for long before we noticed that they were swooping and landing under the pier. (Any ornithologists out there? Is that typical of purple martins?) A group of them, flying almost in formation, kept circling around, arriving just about to where Bobby and I were sitting, and veering away at the last moment. They did it enough times that I had an idea and told Bobby to pull up his legs and sit back a little. Sure enough, we must have been sitting over their nesting spot because, after appraising us for a few more minutes, one flittered under the dock directly under us. A second one followed within a foot of us, then must have had a change of heart, lost courage, and flittered away again. They were adorable though, flying incredibly fast and with amazing agility and making the cutest little peeping sound. We also saw one chase what looked to be an oriole across the lake.

Anyway, at that point, I thought the purple martins would be the highlight of my evening, but Scythian is not to be underestimated. They are phenomenal live; they create such amazing energy in the crowd. Bobby and I stood up and danced through the whole show. They even played a waltz just for couples, so we even got to waltz!--though waltzing in a crowd is tough, we learned. They just finished recording a new album, and I told Bobby on the way home that I usually get attached to one album by a group and can't really ever get into their later stuff in the same way, but from what I heard of their new songs tonight, they just keep getting better. There are very few music groups I can say that about.

In fact, I had such a good time that, after returning home, I looked down at my hand and discovered that in all the clapping and dancing and excitement and endogenous opiates, one of my rings struck one of my fingers hard enough to leave a bruise. The side of the fingerpad on my right middle finger (heh) is purple-red and a little swollen. I hope that demonstrates adequately to Scythian my regard for their music! My first injury at a concert and it wasn't in a mosh pit but listening to folk music while dancing the waltz. I'm such a hardass.
  • The secret to waltzing in crowds is that the lead has to be good. And, in your case, the lead has to be Bobby. This isn't a horrifically unfeminist thing; it's just practicality. Bobby being a foot taller than you, he's the one who can see over his partner to steer her through the crowd while she's dancing backwards, or to stop the progression and do some steps on the spot for a bit until a path opens up.

    Of course, much of this is necessary because relatively fewer people today know to work together with the rest of the crowd to keep the basic direction of traffic going widdershins around the room.
    • Bobby's a good lead for waltz, it was just such a tight crowd that we were stuck dancing in place and whenever we did the step-out-turn thingy (that has a name that I don't remember, being as it's going on two years since we had ballroom dance lessons), there tended to be too many people to really make it work. :D We had fun, though, and the band liked that someone actually waltzed to the waltz! Lots of couples slow-danced, but I think we were the only ones who actually waltzed.
  • Now that sounds like a completely delightful evening!
  • Sounds awesome! I actually did that to my hand once clapping. Can't remember now where it happened or the circumstances, presume I also was very excited about some artist.
    • Thank you for making me feel slightly less dorky! :D I bruise terribly easy and, coupled with my penchant for thick metal rings, it's really no surprise. At least the swelling and the bruising has gone down, though the bruised places are still tender.
      • Poor Dawn! Glad it's healing. So how does it feel to be working for yourself? Wow!

        Thinking of you today--working on my character bio.

        Edited at 2010-06-13 04:24 pm (UTC)
        • Oh dear. I have so much I need to do for SWG! But I'm also trying to save up (i.e., write extra articles) for vacation in two weeks. At least one of us is on the ball. ;)

          Working for myself is great. I've had a complete 180 in terms of mood now that I'm no longer dealing with the Guilford Avenue Assholes (read: my former bosses) on a regular basis.
  • Oh to be in summer now that (rainy) winter's here!
    How nice! Birds and lakes and dinner and artists and Celtic music! An almost perfect combination!
    BTW, the pics of the Goldens are wonderful too :)
    • Thanks, Angelica! :) It was a perfect evening. And, six months from now, I'll be wishing for your summer, and you'll be wishing for our winter. ;) If you were here for the heat today, you probably wouldn't want to trade!
  • That sounds awesome! I agree about the creepiness of Columbia. I have never really gotten used to any part of it - the cutesy names of streets that aren't street names, the community centers instead of churches, and just the over *plannedness* of the whole place. I haven't seen 'Stepford Wives' (either version), but I have to imagine it's like that. The company who planned it is owned by Edward Norton's grandfather, incidentally. I think he went to Wilde Lake high school (he grew up in Columbia).

    I will check out your Celtic band when I have a chance to breathe. The last live music I saw was the Gettysburg bluegrass festival, and my biggest disappoint about it was that *no one danced* - it was a lawnchair crowd, with only a couple of couples dancing a little way in the back. The music was good, though (Allison Krauss!) So good for you and Bobby for dancing in the crowd, and he will be enjoying some time off soon, yes?
    • I'm glad I'm not the only Marylander who thinks Columbia is creepy! (Well, Bobby thinks so too, but he and I practically share a brain after a half-lifetime together.) It's annoying, too, when you're trying to find a store or restaurant because they're all back so far from the road and there's very little signage. Columbia does have one cool street name: Wood Elf Way! When we were looking at houses, we didn't rule out Howard County (Howard County ruled us out because it was waaay too expensive) except for Columbia. I refused to live in Columbia. The exception to the exception was if we could find a house on Wood Elf Way. Because that'd be just too cool. ;)

      I've never seen any Stepford Wives, but there are some very creepy people nonetheless. And people drive very badly there too.

      The last week of classes at Bobby's school is next week. Then they have a week of inservice days, then he has a week or two off. I can't remember offhand if this is his short or long break. Because he teaches at an alternative school, they go year-round, but the summer program is more like summer camp than school. I mean, he's teaching a class on gardening! :) And they go to parks and once per week to a community pool, so he has a few months of laidback time, if nothing else.
  • I never heard of purple martins (of course I was just too curious and googled them), they are related to our swallows :) I learnt something today.

    I found these nice facts:
    Despite the term "scout" used for the first returning Purple Martins, the first arriving individuals are not checking out the area to make sure it is safe for the rest of the group. They are the older martins returning to areas where they nested before. Martins returning north to breed for their first time come back several weeks later. The earlier return of older individuals is a common occurrence in species of migratory birds.

    The Purple Martin not only gets all its food in flight, it gets all its water that way too. It skims the surface of a pond and scoops up the water with its lower bill.

    Maybe you saw scouts at first who spotted insects under the bridge and the rest of the crew went for it?

    Combined with these gorgeous birds and a fab concert... what a magical evening. :)
    • It was! The birds were actually landing under the pier, which was about a meter above the water, so they didn't have much room to maneuver. Most of the pictures of purple martins I've seen, they are all one solid dark color. These had a pale underbelly. They were adorable, though, and they are definitely related to swallows! :) They have the same forked tail. It amazes me how they catch insects in midair the way that they do. The other day, I saw a bird (not a purple martin) chase down a moth fluttering across the yard. Very cool--unless you're a bug, of course! :)
      • Don't you ever have the idea that during such moment a certain 3rd son is just hiding behind a tree? We recently made a small change in our tiny backyard and ever since we have lots of tiny birds visiting our garden, I love observing them and their sometimes silly behaviour :D
  • (no subject) - morelindo
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