Archive for September, 2010


The Conflict of Life and Death

Tuesday night I had the pleasurable opportunity to see a Weston Playhouse production at Paramount of Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, starring Christopher Lloyd.  It was amazing to see this American classic played by an actor who has himself become an American classic icon of entertainment.   The production was very well done and I enjoyed an evening out with good friends.  Unfortunately, I could just about burn this play – I hate most classics.  I mean, really, who decides these depressing and borderline nut-house works are classics?!?!  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good ones, but seriously, some are a stretch of the imagination in appreciation.  It was worth going to see just for Christopher Lloyd though and he got a standing ovation!

Season 2 of Glee has started now.  Yes, I’m a Gleek, as well as a die-hard Bones fan (although I have to say, I had no idea the new season has already started – gah, don’t spoil it for me!).  Unfortunately, I’m already kind of disappointed with Glee this season.  The fact that they had to bring in Brittany Spears kind of ruined it for me, plus Rachel is bugging me and Will’s a wimp……but moving on 🙂

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The Fall Foliage Concert on Saturday night was quite a success!  Everyone sounded amazing and we had a big crowd.  I

Hell, yes GMC can sing!

think everyone was up for an evening out with good music, not to mention it being friends and family weekend.  I was so happy that two of their final songs included The

Welsh Heritage....

 Lord is My Shepherd from BBC‘s The Vicar of Dibley show and When I’m Sixty-four by the Beatles.  Then the choir director pulled out one of his gifts from Wales, which turned out to be a cowboy hat with the Welsh flag and dragon on it – it definitely made my evening 🙂

Sunday morning was spent hulking over a few mounds of homework, which is nothing new, except it was a little more desperate by now.   You see, I usually hit this wall – it’s usually the four-month wall.  It’s when I suddenly find that I can’t even pick up a text-book because I’ve realized I have no idea why I am working so hard to achieve a piece of paper.  This semester, I hit that wall in the fourth week – not such a good sign.  Alas, life goes on and so too shall I. 

Sunday was also another first.  For the first time in my life, I went kayaking.  I know, how strange is that?  But it’s the truth.  I’ve been in a canoe, and ridden in a kayak once, but I’ve never really gone kayaking before.  It was a beautiful day to be out on Lake St. Catherine with all the fall colors and a good friend.  I can now cross something else of my “still to do” list. 

Monday:  Had an exam in my Introduction to Sociology class and my case study presentation in Human Ecology.  Check out my Powerpoint for the class!

*sigh* Well, I survived Monday and in my book, if you can do that, there’s a good chance that the rest of the week will be slightly less painful!  Here’s hopin’….

Standardize This!

Standardized testing – it really makes you not want to think.  The more you think about it and its implications, the more you want to draw back from it, reject it and shout “I’m an individual who wants to learn, not cram and forget!” at the top of your lungs.  But you don’t – you sit there and stare at that piece of paper as all the definitions and identification terms swirl in your head from hours of memorization and glance up at the clock wondering how you are supposed to do what is asked in the time allotted.  That’s another portion of my education – learning about the social cues that we tend not to deviate from. 

More on that later I think……

This weekend is going to be a little stressful, but nothing I can’t handle.  Saturday night is the Fall foliage concert on campus and I’ve been asked to usher.  It will be nice to work in the theatre again for a little bit, plus I haven’t seen the choir since most of its members graduated last spring.  New blood, new rhythms 🙂 

On a home front note, the remaining guinea hens are all grown up and funny as hell.  Ah, I guess I should expand on

Porch Pets

 that (unless I already have – in that case, forgive me for repeating myself).  We lost six of them a while back….we don’t know to what, but it was probably coyotes or foxes.  So much for all the effort we put into raising 15 of them.  Now we are down to a stable (hopefully) eight.  They are quite friendly which is

Eight little guinea's, all in a line....

nice, except that it also acts as a downside – they are completely comfortable around our cats, cars, and dogs in general, which means having them guard duty pets went down the drain.  Oh well.  It’s kind of nice for the most part – they have now taken to roosting on our porch sometimes, which is fun to see when you come home.  Eight funny looking birds (they look like miniature turkeys now) sitting on your railing squawking to themselves…..you can’t help but laugh. 

I’ve been trying to take more pictures of my college campus these days.  In the four years that I have been year, I didn’t take a single photo.  Now, I’m trying to make up for it in two semesters!  Most of my pictures are just scenery though, trying to catch the fall foliage before it disappears. 

Don't you wish you were here?

It’s friends and family weekend at GMC, which is always fun.  I don’t attend any of the

Aren't they cute? Of course, they are our farm's home grown meat source....

 events, nor is it really special to me in particular, as my family works at the college five days a week.  But it’s fun to see students you have known for years showing their parents around the campus.  In a way, they revert back to a younger self, and it’s always fun to see who belongs to whom (have you ever been friends with someone for a long time and then seen there parents and realized they look nothing alike?  Or just the opposite sometimes…).

Unfortunately, I have hit the proverbial wall of denial in my school work.  It happens to everyone, it’s just that usually I don’t manage to run head first into it until the second or third month, not the fourth week!  Not much I can do about it except keep my head up and wait it out ’til I reach the other side! 

In the mean time, I’ve got exams to study for and papers/presentations to finish.  More hopefully this weekend….

The greenest school in the nation!

Campus life

As Time Goes By……

Ah, another week survived!  I can’t believe it’s only the third week of classes….it feels like the third month!  By this point we’ve all figured out our likes, dislikes, and our daily routines.  I have one class I enjoy quite a bit, three I would rather not attend for the rest of the semester, and still haven’t heard or figured out what I am supposed to be doing with my internship or independent study.  Guitar unfortunately, has taken a back burner, as 18 credits and a work study position doesn’t leave much time for anything besides homework.  Exams begin this week and continue next week as well.  It’s at this point I really start reconsidering my decision to go to college.  Yeah, sure, I get to go for free, so really, what choice was there?  But I still have no idea what I want to do with my time, what would actually make me happy.  I mean, some people at least have an idea – where does that leave me?  Well, still struggling to survive one last year before I really have to start asking myself those questions in a much more serious tone.  Otherwise, it might be McDonald’s for me.  I’ve come so far, but at the same time, I feel as though I am no closer to being happy.  However, as my dad needs to remind me, I have the rest of my life to figure that out. What’s those lyrics?  “some of the most interesting people I know didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives at 25, some of the most interesting forty-year-old’s I know still don’t”?  Guess that’s me 🙂

Remember a while ago I wrote about our emu and his unfortunate fate?  Well, I told a good friend of mine at college about that story and that we had a few stakes in our freezer.  He was so excited that I brought him a couple on Friday and he made a delicious stew with some spices from Serbia and we had a regular feast!  Homemade corn bread, dinner with a story, and Rhubarb cheesecake that my sister made.  It was a great meal with even better friends and stories.  We toasted Linus and I think all things considered it was a pretty good tribute.  Alas, it’s back to studying for exams – I can at least say that although things aren’t very enjoyable right now, I make the best out of it and I’m not bored.  So, that’s not too bad, now is it?

Best Saturday Ever

After a fantastic Friday, what could possibly follow that would top it?  Well, how about an epicly sweet Saturday?  Yes, it happened!  After struggling to accomplish some dire homework, it was time for the better part of my day to start.  We headed to Rut-Vegas to see Resident Evil: Afterlife! Check out this awesome trailer for the movie:

I never saw the other ones in theatres, so even though I was scared out of my wits to see it in 3D, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  I am not one for scary movies – I hid behind my coat for the entire duration of Signs (except for the one time I peaked and saw the alien….).  Yeah, so my horror tolerance is low, but for some reason, Resident Evil is one of my favorite movie series!  I don’t mind the zombies and I love the action scenes.  This is one set of films that only gets better instead of worse with sequels. 

Though I have to say, Afterlife was pretty awesome but was lacking in some areas that the other films weren’t.  The zombie scenes were all a little too predictable (although I was pretty happy at the time….as soon as I knew a zombie was going to jump out at me, quite literally with the 3D glasses, I closed my eyes).  In addition, the bigger a movie gets, the more cliché’s begin to emerge.  Even so, I was not disappointed and I CANNOT wait for the next one (and yes they are definitely going to have to make another one!). 

Milla Jovovich has not lost her touch, Ali Larter as Claire was amazing and had some really great fight scenes, and the story line is still just as captivating.   After the film, all we wanted to do was have a Resident Evil marathon (which I believe may be in the works for next weekend…we’ll see what the homework hell has for us first). 

After that we spent way too much money clothes shopping again and ate chinese food until the mall closed.  Yup, pretty much an awesome Saturday.

 This blog post needs a little background history before I can tell you about my awesome day.  It all begins with Brimfield, Mass – a small little town three hours from where I live.  It also begins with my parents, fresh out of college, 

Ah, the oddities of Brimfield...

 

having grown up in a very different world.  My parents represented something we all strive to achieve – doing what you love for a living.  My mom was an artist.  She painted on old barn 

A happy Brimfield group!

 

 boards, tin, pretty much whatever old and beautiful things she could get her hands on.  On the side, they collected and sold antiques, setting up at various shows across the country.  Dad bought a 1964 bread truck from a bakery that was going out of business and they called it their home away from home.  

This is life my sister and I were born into.  We grew up on the road, traveling to antique shows where we didn’t have a friend under forty, but that didn’t matter.  We helped other people set up and watch their booths in our spare time.  It was all we knew for a while and when we finally had to branch out and started college, everything was so strange.  The life we had known was ours, made up of the best class of people.  See, antique dealing is a special kind of business that takes a special kind of person.  The people I knew growing up were 

The Colossal Beast!

 

Egg Chair!!

 

“against the grain” entrepeneurs.  They were the ones that would never fit in with the “normal” world.  There was no place for these people in a 9 to 5 job, working under someone else and struggling to enjoy what they were doing.  In the antique business, everyone is their own boss with their own schedule and you only get into it if it’s something you love doing.  It was so simple – you didn’t live too well because you never really made enough money to climb the ladder much, but then again you never had a ladder you needed to climb.  Life really was what you made it and every moment was special. 

Unfortunately, things change.  Such is life and it can take a while to get used to.  For the most part, we adjusted to our new way living without too much trouble, but there were a few monuments in our life that were hard to let go of.  

The "we're excited to be here but...

 

...we're really cold!!" picture

  

One of them was Brimfield.  It was one of the first and last shows my parents did, attending twice a year for 30 years.  We always had the same spot and some of the greatest people we know were Brimfielders.  Some of our greatest memories were formed at the May’s antique show where we set up.  When I say we grew up at Brimfield, I mean that my sister and I lived for this place.  We learned to read, write, and tie our shoes in our booth with the help of our extended antique dealing family.  

It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to leave behind.  Now, we live for a day or two out of the year when we can leave our current shackles behind and remember the good old days with a reminiscent visit.  

Yeah, it deserved a picture....

 

This past Friday was one of those days.  We took some of our best friends with us to 

My sentiments exactly...

 

 experience the joys of Brimfield together and made a day out of it.  Rising at 3 in the morning for a three-hour drive and not getting home ’til well after 9, we soaked in every minute of our past.  I saw faces that had once been my life coaches as a child and hadn’t seen in over five years.  It felt like returning home and at the same time realizing that home and yourself have changed since you met last.  Brimfield brings happy feelings, but it also reminds my family of a simpler and easier time, not just for us, but for everyone involved in this lifestyle.  

I cannot make a clearer statement than this: antique dealers are a dying breed.  There is so much truth held up in those words that no one has to say them because everyone knows that a good thing can’t last.  That’s the problem with this business – it’s being forgotten in our fast-paced age of computers and online shopping.  If you leave the antique business at an early enough age, there’s hope for you to join that dreaded work force and make a living in some other manner.  However, that isn’t an option for many of the antique class.  As I said before, the people I am describing didn’t choose antique dealing – it chose them.  It picked them up out of their struggles to exist like everyone else and it gave them a new hope and place to belong.  So when the antique business crumbles to its knees, so will those who cling to it.  There is no other way of life for them and as each show brings in less and less money, they begin to feel the pain of an old friend on his last leg of a very long journey.  Brimfield is a prime example of this dying lifestyle and seeing its decline this past weekend was a painful awareness.  

Just when we thought we had enough beads...

 

Even so, I was so happy to have gone this year and experienced a little of the world and friends I so desperately miss.  It was also nice to enjoy it with friends who weren’t a part of that life, allowing myself to see Brimfield through other eyes.  I can’t help but ignore the signs of its passing and hope against hope that I won’t see its end in my lifetime.  

So do me a favor – visit an antique show, get to know the people who live that life, see their world with a new perspective.  Maybe with a little more awareness and help, that hope won’t be so shortsighted by my own biased childhood memories.  

Brimfield is a place for family....

It appears as though there is no rest for the wicked or overworked – then again, maybe it’s just me.  Either way, this blog is certainly falling behind a little.  Ah well, I do my best.  Unfortunately, at this point, things become a little fuzzy.  So, I’ll try my hardest and see what happens. 

Monday: 

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more crazy, my second week hits.  Second week was like the first, only busier.  Not only am I still trying to get into the swing of my initial four classes, but I started my awesome work-study position, guitar lessons, and not to mention all the homework and group projects I have due already.  Yeah, I’m saying it – I’m only two weeks in and already I need a holiday.  I’m gonna suck when I have to get a regular job…..but that’s a worry for another time.  Right now, I have enough on my plate 🙂  So, a quick run through of the slightly more exciting things of my Monday:

My first guitar lesson.  See, I’ve had this electric guitar starter kit that I bought six years ago just molding away in my closet and I figured I really should take advantage of the music lessons on campus and try to learn.  I have completed all three of the piano levels in the past, but I wanted to branch out a bit.  I tried to add it to my class list, but due to recent changes, I would have had to pay A LOT more money to add one credit.  SO, I am now taking a back seat in hopes of at least just learning the basics from one of my favorite musically talented professors. 

So far, I’m just glad I have been able to remember what I can concerning reading music from my piano lessons – otherwise, I would be completely lost.  Even so, I feel pretty out-paced, but it doesn’t matter because I’m there to learn, right?  I bought new strings and a better guitar case, which I am hoping will improve my chances.  We’ll see, I guess. 

And then there was my first hour of my work-study position.  It may sound weird, but I honestly missed it and it was one of the few things I was looking forward to starting again when I returned to campus.  Mostly it’s because I have an awesome boss, but it’s also a great learning experience that gets me out and about, as well as offering me the chance to feel like I have actually accomplished things that have an impact on the people around me.  It’s a very rewarding feeling.  I got to fire up the ol’ paper chomper in the  mail room, which is always a bit scary and challenging.  There have been some nice changes since last semester, like some office redecoration and a few projects finally made it through that I was working on last term.  Overall, it’s by far the one thing I am actually glad to be doing again here at GMC.  Yeah, that’s pretty sad, but it’s the truth.

Rest of the week:

Went by in a flash.  No really, it did.  I’ve honestly already settled into one of my routines attributed with college – put your head down and plow on through ’til they tell you to stop.  It all kind of blurs together at that point and only a few of the more memorable (or horrifying) moments stick out. 

The one thing I had going for me this week though was a single thought – BRIMFIELD.  Annnndddd that little ditty is for my next blog post 🙂

One week successfully completed, but boy was it tough.  Can’t say it was the worst week, but neither was it the  best.  I feel old and at the same time, totally new.  I can’t help but feel that I will never have fallen into a nice pattern here at GMC – there is always just that one thing to throw me off and send me spiraling out of control. 

However, the point is that I have made over one tough mole hill and am on my way to the second one.  I’m already feeling overwhelmed, but maybe that’s just me.  I guess we’ll find out 🙂

Stuff and Stuffed

Saturday: 

Ah, Saturday – it gives all of us college knockouts hope.  We slept in and headed to the mall for some much needed girl shopping.  I was always a tom-boy, wearing boys clothes and refusing to bathe.  Somewhere along my twisted youth the media and my sister got a hold of me – can’t say I appreciate either one’s influence, but on the other hand, I do look much nicer now 🙂  We hit Maurice’s for some back to school clothes shopping.  Yeah, it’s a little late in the month for that, but I procrastinate.  Plus, I’m still not so good at stylin’.  I tend to throw random outfits together and hope they come out semi-decent.  For the most part, it works.  Anyways, we actually spent most of our afternoon just having a blast trying on as many outfits as we could think of.  I think we made the people working there very happy, especially if they make commission. 

Sunday:

The much needed, yet dreaded, trip to the grocery store.  It’s one of the fastest places we spend our money and loose our desire to live, all in one go!  This time around, something got me thinking (and I blame it entirely on my Introduction to Sociology course that I am taking this fall).  Let me paint a picture:  I’m standing in this gigantic, refrigerated store aisle, mind blank as I stare at over one hundred deodorant choices with really crappy elevator music playing in the background.  Normally, this wouldn’t have made me hesitate because at the same time, I still need to find that stupid brand of deodorant I have written on my list.  But somehow, it all seemed a little too much.  It was a sad few minutes of contemplation before I had to move on to the bread aisle.  I’m sure I could come up with some philosophical reasoning behind all that, but I’m too tired to care.

Later that afternoon we went over to a friend’s house to celebrate….well, I guess it would be Labor day, but we’ll use

Gary's Party

any excuse to party.  It was a ton of fun, AMAZING food, and great people.  I ate the best

Shuckin' with the Miller's!

 seafood chowder I have ever had (and that’s saying something coming from me), stuffed myself on fried clam cakes, and topped it all off with giant marshmallow S’More’s.  I think we were there for about eight hours or so and it was great every minute.  

The best part of the evening was sitting down by the lake around a campfire, listening to the chatter, as I looked up for just a second and saw the largest shooting star.  It went right over us and no one else saw it in time.  I couldn’t help but relish the moment of a singular special glimpse at the simpler things of happiness.  I guess I’m ready to start the week now. 

My sister with Bonzai, our friend's dog

Ah yes, so the stinky stuff hit the fan on my second day – who’d a thunk?  Well, I guess it wasn’t really that bad, it just could have gone better.  First of all, we’re having a heat wave here in Poultney (90 degrees daily), which makes things a bit more difficult.  My class for the day was…..well, less than positive.  See, I’m one of those people (I mentioned I was a pessimist, right?) who always expects the worst, that way when I’m wrong, which is often enough, things work out better than I was expecting.  Unfortunately, when things work out worse then I expected, it’s usually pretty bad because I was already dreaming up all the nightmare situations that could possibly occur.  Got it?

Anyways, Tuesday was more of those “all the little things add up to form one nasty monster of a day” kind of days.  I couldn’t find my classroom, even though I’ve seen more of this campus then most students ever wish to imagine in the last four years.  Then, I found out that most of the people in this particular class are pretty low on my list of “tolerable’s,” followed by an hour of me contemplating ways in which I could kill someone and make it look like an accident and how Deja Vu doesn’t even come into the fact that this class is exactly like four other ones I have already taken and never wished to take.  Yeah, so that was fun.

Next, I headed to my car, only to find that I had a parking ticket on my window for not having a parking permit.  My parking permit has not moved from my bumper in four years.  It’s not a big deal and once the situation is explained, I think the ticket won’t be a problem, but it just didn’t help my mood (which was already on its way to the bottom). 

In the hour and a half it took me to go from “yay school, we can do this!” mood to the “get me out of here” denial stage, I was pretty much spent.  However, I’ve still got three more days of up and down, so I guess not much will matter until I get to my final verdict – bring it on Friday!