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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

2 Photos/2 Days + 1 Unsolved Mystery

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.

2 Photos/2 Days + 1 Unsolved Mystery

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spirit of gonzo
I took a photo for yesterday but didn't post it, so today I have two (okay, actually three) photos, plus a very annoying unsolved mystery.

Last night, we went out for dinner at the Thai restaurant in Newport. They also have sushi--and a phenomenal sushi chef--and I have been fiending for sushi something fierce. Twice, I have gone to places with great sushi, and they haven't had it at that particular moment for whatever reason. Thankfully, as the saying goes, three is a charm, and I succeeded in getting my sushi! At last!

Dusit Thai is a beautiful restaurant in addition to having incredible food. It's my favorite restaurant in Vermont, hands down, and there is some pretty steep competition for that title.

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Their portions are huge, so Bobby and I shared a spicy eggplant stirfry that we'd never tried before and will definitely have again. I've never tried anything off of their stirfry menu because I tend to hear "stirfry" and think "boring," but this was far from boring. Then we shared three sushi rolls.

Bobby had rented a movie for us for the night, and this is where the annoying unsolved mystery comes in. When he picked me up from school, he told me that he rented a DVD, and I saw it on the floor behind my feet, sitting on a pile of bungee cords. Somewhere between that time and our return from the Thai restaurant, the DVD disappeared.

In between, we went to the Thai restaurant and, after that, shopping at the natural market, so I got out of the car just once after he picked me up from school. All the same, given where it was placed--behind my feet--and how high off the ground our car is, it is unlikely that it fell out of the car. We tore apart the house and car--looking in and under things, including many places where it could not possibly be--and even drove back to Newport and checked where we parked the car, in case it had fallen out. NOTHING. We came up with multiple theories that were shot down one by one. It's so frustrating! Our house is small, and it's pretty impossible to lose things here. I am hoping that when we return to the video store to cop to losing the movie that the owner will tell us that someone found it in Newport and turned it in. But I highly doubt that it could have fallen out of the car.

My best theory at this point? That there was some kind of anomaly in the universe and it simply disappeared!

Today, Bobby went to Jay Peak to snowboard. Since the Yaris isn't appropriate for driving in the snow--we intend to replace it as soon as we can sell our house in Maryland--then we are sharing the Subaru, so I went with him, had breakfast with him, then drove back to Newport to run errands. One of which was getting my library card at the Newport Library! An actual library that is open every day except Sunday and has a lot of books for all audiences! Maybe because I look like someone who would avail herself of this or maybe because she tells everyone, the young woman who helped me informed me without my asking that I would be able to use interlibrary loan after three months in good standing.

I of course visited the fantasy section and was delighted to find a pretty nice selection. I was amused by the arrangement of genres, however.

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It seems like this would be controversial in a lot of places in the U.S. to have these two side by side! I imagine little church ladies glowering at ... well, people like me!

Then I went back to Jay Peak to meet Bobby for lunch and wait for him to go home. Jay Peak has received four feet of snow so far this year. It has received more snow than Breckenridge in Colorado and Jackson Hole in Wyoming. According to Bobby, "The goods are in the woods," and it was a very good day. The mountain will be all open very soon; the only reason it is not already (with four feet of snow!) is that the famed tramway needed a special part for a repair, which has arrived and was being done this weekend. Parts of the mountain are only accessible via the tramway, so they have been unable to get all open because of that.

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All of this snow is much needed. Jay Peak (and Burke Mountain in the southern NEK) became embroiled last year in a financial scandal due to the crooked dealings of their owner, who is now under federal investigation. It's a long and convoluted story, but the gist was that major expansions at Jay Peak that were done using local labor and businesses went unpaid-for. And this is not, as anyone who reads here knows, a wealthy area. The Northeast Kingdom is very low-income. These were contractors and workers who did work on the resort and were never paid for it. The threat that the resort would close (or be temporarily shut down) added an element of distress because so many people depend on the resort for their employment. And again, this is not an area that can weather a lot of economic distress.

To add insult to injury, last year, the snowfall in Vermont was exceedingly low--the NEK didn't even have a white Christmas--and the resort suffered even further from that. So the snowfall this year--among the best the resort has ever had--could not come at a better, more-needed time.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • that I would be able to use interlibrary loan after three months in good standing.

    Oh you'd better behave then ;) What did you borrow there?
    • A YA novel called Fangirl (as I have several fanficcers among my students and thought they might like it, plus was curious myself how well the author nailed fan culture) and one of Robin Hobbs' novels. (She's an author I won't buy due to her stance on fanfic, but thankfully the library has quite a few of her books!)
  • I'm laughing at the library sign. It would definitely be controversial in some areas! When Dad was thinking about getting a teaching job in another county, after the interview, Mom and he stopped by the library and the librarian? clerk? flat-out told them she wished the scifi/fantasy section didn't exist.
    • Yep, I saw it as two potentially can-of-worms interpretations. 1) They go together because the particular flavors of Christianity that tend to Christian fiction have about as much a root in reality as novels about sorcerers and Elves. 2) They are placed together to irritate the fundagelicals, with the church ladies glowering those who grew up wanting to study as a witch at Hogwarts.

      There's not too much of a risk of either in Vermont as Vermont is one of the least religious states in the U.S. (Kentucky is 13th to our 48th!)
      • There's Catholic Christian fiction… the one I picked up was a fantasy novel that my school library had (and that was the only "sneaky" book the library had). It was… The worldbuilding was interesting until the ending, when it became quite clear that this was Catholic Fiction, not merely influenced like Tolkien's stuff.

        I have to admit to being shocked that Kentucky was #13 given the presence of the creationism museum and life-size Noah's ark "theme park" that's run by the same people. (I think my rabbi gets a kick out of the latter; he keeps bringing it up for some reason. Let's just say my movement of Judaism doesn't take most (or all, depending on who you ask) of Genesis literally and leave it at that.)
        • I think the survey simply asked whether or not people identify as "very religious," so different metrics might get different results.

          Vermont's going to be low on this list, though, however you slice it!
  • Hooray for snow!
    • Indeed! We could get nailed with up to a foot tonight into tomorrow (and that's in the valley where I live; who knows what monstrosity Jay Peak will receive! The plowed piles of snow in the parking lot are already towering over the cars parked there.)
  • Bravo for interlibrary loan privileges, that totally rocks! As for the DVD, I wonder if it didn't get pushed into a package or a convenient pouch opening? I tend to do that often, just sticking something into my laptop carrier or whatever without thought.

    I also admit to the ooops of finding a paid bill stuck between the back and seat cushion of my car. I had re-paid it and incurred a late fee and had checked my car carefully, but this just hit the shadows perfectly and wasn't visible without a serious 'hand down every seat opening' search.

    In any case, I hope you find it soon.

    Congratulations on the snow. We're getting snow now - should have about six inches here by this time tomorrow. NOT what I want to get holiday shoppers through my shop doors. Maybe I should close for the day and go skiing instead of selling holiday gifts and craft supplies.

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • We checked all those places, though. We both had our school backpacks, but both were closed and in the backseat (with the DVD in the front); nonetheless we searched both. We both bought lunch at school, so that was all that was in our hands going into the house. My purse is too small to hold a DVD. (I looked in it anyway, such was my franticness!)

      It will probably turn up in a few weeks/months and the mystery will be solved, like the last drive-ya-nuts unsolved mystery of how our chickens' eggs kept getting under the lawnmower was eventually solved.

      I hope the snow doesn't put a damper on your sales. I know how critical every one of these pre-holiday weekends can be!
      • Thanks for the kind thoughts about holiday sales. We're hoping that we won't be too impacted, but know that people will choose a mall over an independent store during bad weather because so much more can be accomplished at one stop.

        I hope you find the DVD soon. My older cousin (she's a lawyer - maybe she knows what she's talking about - LOL) told me a tale when I was growing up. When something goes missing that you know must be in one very specific place, it's because the black hole got hungry. But, that's also the time you'll find something else that you know you had lost, and it will be in a place you checked 1000 times before. To eat one thing, the hole must spit out another.

        Here's hoping the black hole wants to eat something silly like holiday cookies and spits the DVD out for you and Bobby soon.

        - Erulisse (one L)
  • I take it Subarus are good in winter weather? (I'll need to get around to car shopping some day, and that will probably be the main thing I look for! My sister has a Yaris I kind of like, but I wouldn't want to drive it up my street in winter.)

    I think your theory about the DVD makes complete sense. Or it's just hiding until just after you tell the video store owner and pay for it...

    I bet some religious members of my family would love to see Christian fiction and sci fi/fantasy right next to each other! I think the book some distant cousin of mine had published might have even been something like Christian and fantasy, though I might be completely misremembering. (Of course, some of them draw the line at stuff like Harry Potter or anything too "ungodly.") I can see how some might read a bit too much into seeing the sections placed right next to each other, though.
    • Before we moved here, Bobby did extensive research into the best cars for winter weather, and Subarus were tops. Some people jokingly call them the official State Car of Vermont! :)

      I would not recommend a Yaris for winter weather. We bought a cheap little used pickup truck in Maryland to get Bobby to and from the mountain when it snowed because the Yaris was useless. Otherwise, though, it has been a wonderful car, so if you don't have to drive in winter weather often, I would recommend it. We've had no problems with it, it gets great gas mileage, and it's amazing how much you can stuff into such a tiny car!

      I once accidentally picked up a Christian fantasy novel in the fantasy section of a Carroll County library (a much more fanatically religious place than Vermont). It was ... interesting.
  • Christian Fiction/Science Fiction Fantasy! That's Tolkien actually, as much as I try to convince myself that it is not.

    In my world, the big conflict is Angsty Literary Fiction by Old White Men/Science Fiction Fantasy including diversity of authors and storylines. Christian Fiction wouldn't get a section.

    I'm feeling very cut off from mainstream America these days. Please don't let Trumps' goons take me away!

    That stuff about not paying workers really gives me the chills!

    The pics are both fabulous. I love the restaurant--looks so cozy and quiet!

    The mystery of the lost movie is a trope that runs through our life here. The smallness of our living space seems not at all to preclude our ability to lose things and not find them for years! I think it has nothing to do with space or one's organizational capacity, but something to do with stress and distraction. I hope you find it. I hate to pay for lost borrowed or rented items! They always charge so much!

    Edited at 2016-12-11 04:17 am (UTC)
    • That's Tolkien actually, as much as I try to convince myself that it is not.

      Having once [accidentally] checked out a Christian fantasy novel (when I lived in Carroll County, which had a pretty thick fundagelical strain running through it; this novel was tucked in with the regular fantasy like they were trying to ensnare people like me!) I don't put them in the same league. His religion influenced his writing, sure, but my spiritual beliefs influence mine too and I wouldn't call my stories "nature religion fantasy"; I think that's almost inevitable if you're writing anything that strives to share ideas.

      I'm feeling very cut off from mainstream America these days.

      Heh. Not me. It's always interesting to me, as a pretty smart and progressive person living in the sticks, to watch all the handwringing over the "two Americas." I don't have to admit to a lot of eyerolling in the House of Felagund over some of the priorities and cluelessness of the urban intelligentsia.

      That stuff about not paying workers really gives me the chills!

      It was awful. These were huge corporations working on these resorts; they were little companies owned by a local person. I think, when the Feds took over management of the resorts' finances, that the contractors were eventually paid. I'll have to ask Bobby. All of this was happening when we were moving here.

      In a rare instance of the good guys triumphing, all accounts for Quiros (the crooked owner) were frozen and still are. I wonder if that would have happened under Trump.

      They always charge so much!

      I hope she'll be fair about it; we borrow from her multiple times per week sometimes. But what she asks ... *shrug* Well, we were the dumbasses who mysteriously lost it! :D
  • Well, to be fair, it makes sorting C.S.Lewis or Madeleine L'Engle a lot easier. XD

    True Story: When we first went to Britanny, my mom bought a travel guide that, once we had arrived, she couldn't find. We searched the whole car, the holiday home, the parking lot, everything. We eventually concluded that either we had lost it during a stop on the drive, or that the korrigans had got it. (My parents had been in Norway earlier that year, where the typical reaction to things disappearing, lights on when they shouldn't be etc. is "the trolls did it".) OK. The travel guide was gone.
    ONE YEAR LATER, we drive to Britanny again. We take our stuff out of the car. And what's lying at the very bottom of the trunk? Last year's lost travel guide. It wasn't even hidden in some hard-to-reach fold, it was just lying there. WTH.

    Sooo maybe the DVD will show up as soon as you reach the video store. Are there trolls in Vermont? ;)
    • I like that story! That's how missing items are found here--random surprise encounters when one least expects them.

      When we were little kids in Catholic schools the nuns convinced us praying tp St. Anthony worked. But I can't recall any miracle discoveries.
      • It's always like that, isn't it. I think the Norwegians have a point - if you can't explain it, blame the trolls, it's better for everyone's peace of mind than either racking your brains or being angry with your partner/kids/colleagues for whatever they may or may not have done! The trolls can handle it.

        Mind you, now that you mention it, on our second trip to Britanny we actually went to a local "pardon" (an elaborate Breton tradition of parading a saint's relics through town with everybody taking part getting a general pardon for all past sins - we're not Catholic, but quaint traditions are always fascinating) and it happened to be dedicated to St. Anthony. SO WHO KNOWS. Maybe it worked pre-emptively! ;)
    • I'm convinced something like that will happen! I don't think we'll be so lucky though that it will happen before we pay for the lost DVD! :D

      I don't think there are trolls in Vermont, but what do I know? The state is 80% forest and has some pretty haunting landscapes. I know very little about the folklore at this point.

      When Bobby and I returned from Ireland, we suddenly started having problems with mechanical and technological things breaking. So we followed the Irish tradition of leaving out a bowl of cream for whatever was plaguing us, and it stopped.

      I'm not too good to indulge in superstition if it will help me find the damned DVD!
      • Heh! I unfortunately have no clue how to appease Vermont trolls (or even Norwegian trolls, aside from stacking stones by the wayside). It's probably a wild mix anyway, with indigenous traditions as well as whatever group of immigrants brought along from their home country? But perhaps these kinds of spirits don't actually care what you do to appease them, as long as you acknowledge them in the first place.

        Same here! If it works - or even just gives me the sense of having tried everything - I don't care if it's based on science or superstition. He who heals is right!

        Alternatively, maybe it'll turn out to be an amazingly awesome movie and you'll be happy to own the DVD (once it reappears). ;)
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