Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Longest Day

Happy Solstice All!

I doubt we'll be doing much for Midsummer today, mostly because I taught a class on Paganism Sunday that included a Solstice ritual.

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the shortest night.  It is a fire celebration, but one that also incorporates water.  We have typically celebrated with a BBQ near a lake or the ocean.  The Summer Solstice is a perfect holiday for growing up and letting things go.  Leading up to the Solstice, we place things on our alter that we are ready to part with or overcome:  a bad report card, a pacifier, a physical representation of a bad habit like a project that was procrastinated on or a pack of cigarettes (gag!  We DON'T smoke, ack, but it is a good example of something that could be overcome at Midsummer).

All of my goals this year are internal, but I unexpectedly found that I have outgrown something else just a couple days ago.

* * * Tangent Alert * * *

      I had some business in the Battalion office the other day, and as I was walking past the guard at the desk, I noticed the book he was reading, Dragons of Autumn Twilight.  It's the second in a trilogy that I loved when I was younger. 

      "That's a great book," I told the guard.
      "I'm not that far into it yet, but I like it so far Ma'am.  What was your favorite part?"
      "You know, I honestly couldn't say; it's been a number of years since I read it."

     And I continued on my way.  Then it hit me.  The "number of years" since I read it:  17 

      It has been 17 years since I read that Trilogy.  I find it hard to believe that I could read that long ago.  Ugh!  Even sadder is the fact that the kid who was reading the book probably couldn't read when I read it.  He was probably about 2 years old when I read that book. 

      Coincidentally, I found out that they made these books into movies a couple years ago, and figured they would be fun to watch.

      I was wrong.  The movie - what I watched of it - was horrible.  It was drivel.  I had to turn it off, which I rarely do with movies even when they're bad.  And it wasn't because the movie was a poor adaptation of the book.  It was because, not at all astonishingly, my tastes have changed that drastically since I was in 6th grade.

      I don't know why I found this so surprising.  In my early teen years, I loved fantasy novels, particularly those featuring dragons.  And I still do, to a degree.  I still love the Lord of the Rings, at least.  But picking this book back up made me feel like I had stepped back into some sort of awkward, formulaic adolescent daydream.  It just seemed vapid and shallow to me. 

      I was actually disturbed by it.  I one of those very strong "how the hell could I have liked this?" moments.  Obviously, I liked it because I was 12.  I liked the genre because I was an adolescent.  It's just wierd how superficial and irrelevant I find it now.

      Then again, personality wise, I am hell and gone from where I was as an adolescant.  It just feels odd to recognize that I was at one time this wholly different person.

      What's most disturbing about it, though, is how quickly Punky is closing in on that age.  Heaven help me if she ever when she becomes obsessed with all that overly formulaic, self indulgent, shallow crap.  The Twighlight books spring immediately to mind.  I KNOW a number of you love them, and I haven't read them, but I have one "friend" who is obsessed with them, and knowing her and having to hear her talk about the books puts them soundly and permanantly in the ego-materbatory adolescent drivel catogory in my head.

      I'm sure the reason this adolescent crap annoys me so much is because I have changed so very much since I was that age.  I cringe at my adolescent behaviour.  Hence, adolescents annoy me. 

      I am so in for it.

* * * End Tangent * * *

Midsummer is also about Fathers (shocking, right?).  It is no coincidence that Father's Day falls where it does in the year.  Just another example of Paganism hiding in plain sight.

Father's Day weekend was GREAT.  Among other things, we went to a Drive In Movie, went to a Water Park, and went to a Buffet.  Maybe one day, I'll get around to uploading some pictures ;-)  They would likely look something like this:

 This isn't posed.  I handed him the book ,and he read it.  He is SO my child ;-D

Those are from our weekend outing a couple weeks ago since it may be a heck of a long time before I get around to uploading the Father's Day pics - which are almost entirely pictures of Flintstone anyway because Punky was off on the water slides the whole time.

* * * Tangent Revisited * * *
      While I can't stand that teenage fantasy drivel, I love Campy Fantasy (Xena, etc.).  Hypocritical?  Maybe a little.  But I love Camp because it refuses to take itself too seriously (much like me ;-)).  I think that's a big difference.  Anyone out there have any skill in literary analysis want to hazard a guess as to why I can't stand adolescent D&D type crud but I love friggin Xena?  Though I don't know if I could ever stand to read Xena in book form . . .

      We got rid of our TV months ago, but we still have a wonderful big projector screen in the living room.  99% of the time, we only allow it to be used on weekends.  Most weekend nights, if we're home, we will eat dinner in the livingroom and watch something on the big projector screen (on weekdays, we always sit down together and eat as a family - NO TV, we've done that for years).  For quite a while now, MacGyver and Punky have favored Merlin and The Legend of the SeekerMerlin has enough camp to it that I typically enjoy watching it.  The Seeker I just find freaking hilarious because it is SO formulaic and trite.  I mean, seriously.  It could have been written by any 13 year old fantasy nerd. 

      You have the bared chest hero who weilds the Magical Sword (hello phalic), accompanied by the caring, fatherly wizard and two beautiful women - a brunette dressed in flowing, virginal white (who he can't sleep with because her powers would destroy him) and the other a blonde dressed in burgundy leather from head to toe ie, dressed as a dominatrix - oh, and she has a magic weapon for torturing people.  (Can we say the madonna and the whore?).  Oh, and his enemy is secretly his brother.

      Is it just me, or is that so damn much trite symbolism that you can't help but laugh?  Punky thought I was nuts because I would crack up constantly at the ridiculous, melodramatic lines and scenes.  Shockingly, the show was cancelled.  We've replaced it's spot in the rotation with The Jeff Corwin Experience.  I LOVE Jeff Corwin.  LOVE.

* * * End Tangent Again * * *

Well, this post is nothing at all like I thought it was going to be.  This is shaping up to be a really odd week anyway, why should my blogging be any different?

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