Equinox

Sep. 22nd, 2014 10:11 pm
barnabas_truman: (oldstyle)
I smell an autumnal equinox in the air. That means we have reached the point when day and night are the same length, and henceforth--at least for the next six months--night will be longer than day. I for one am looking forward to cooler weather, and hope that the coming winter will bring California's mountains plenty of desperately-needed snowfall.
barnabas_truman: (young whistler)
There's a new bar in Ashland called Oberon's Three-Penny Tavern. It's themed around Shakespeare's faeries, of course, with a very Gaiman flavor. It has carved wood decor and bartenders that could have just stepped out of a Fantasy Faire (and probably did). The whole effect is very much like the "inn between the worlds" that shows up from time to time in modern fantasy (see Sandman vol. VIII) and perhaps a bit like Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. It apparently began as a Kickstarter project, it's been open a few weeks now, and it is probably the best bar on this planet at the moment. Yes, even better than the Three Cripples Pub (but only just). You simply must visit next time you're anywhere near Oregon.

Anyway, I got to play music there last Sunday. The Newcastle English Country Dancers were the Green Show that day; I said hi to the musicians after the show (I know them from Dickens), and they invited me to join them in a tune session at this cool new bar. We ended up playing there for two and a half hours, though at the time it felt no longer than a standard half-hour Brunos show at Dickens. Fantastic music with great people in a wonderful venue.

While I was playing and watching the drinkers and the dancers, I started thinking about the "inn between the worlds" idea again, and imagining roles and origins onto the people I saw: this bartender is an elf paying her way through Faerie University, that muscular fellow in the tank top works in a steel mill in the 1890s and comes here at the end of his shift, those folks in Hawaiian shirts are lost tourists who stumbled in from the 1950s, and so on.

Then I started wondering: what sort of a fantastic visitor am I? and immediately I knew: I'm a math/physics teacher who steps in to play music and have a great time. What could be more fantastic than that?

It's nice to realize that I'm finally at a point in my life when I don't need to pretend I'm something better.
barnabas_truman: (Default)
An e-mail from my sweetie across the sea!

Good Morning!

Flights were uneventful. I got tasty goulash soup during our layover in Frankfurt, and we got here 2PM yesterday. Mr Toad's Wild Ride taxi to hotel (watch tourists dodge out of the way) annd gelato for snack. I got nougat gelato and chocolate chip gelato. : ) There is a Ben and Jerry's in the Duomo Piazza. ::sadface:: Many gelaterias, actually. We waited in a decent size line behind jr high and high school people. Cafeteria dinner = grilled zucchini, red bell peppers, pork roast slices, and roasted potatoes, with a squeeze packet of olive oil and a packet of salt instead of ketchup, salt and pepper. The hotel, Hotel Bienvieni, has internet access for 5 Euro daily, so I have got a communal access laptop with a qwerty board but the punctuation is different. My room looks out over the street and directly at a five story building. I saw a University of Florence hoodie being worn; their school's colors are pretty.

ANYWAY so today we are going to museums across the river, particularly the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery

BREAKFAST omg pitcher of espresso, plus steamed milk, orange juice, choc chip mini croissant, plus pastry cream croissant, and two plain croissants each.

Love and hugs to everybody.

Okay, must go now.

Cheers,
Hazel

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