StoryBook Club goes down the rabbit hole.....

"We're all Mad Here"

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
Alice: How do you know I'm mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.
Alice: And how do you know that you're mad?
The Cat: To begin with, a dog's not mad. You grant that?
Alice: I suppose so,
The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad."
Indeed, it IS so very confusing here.

People do and say the most odd things.

But if you do what you don't like, and like what you don't do...then you should be fine.
Or something like that.


and Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

Our StoryBook Club dealt with great and grand questions such as these last night at our Monthly Meeting of Mad Minds as we all went down the rabbit hole following Alice on the suggestion of Lewis Carol (Charles Dodgson) who was, while brilliant....a bit mad himself, methinks.

And unproprietaly and disappropriately attracted to young Alice. In a day and age of Victorian modesty and manners and buttoned up sexuality, he managed to find his way to having alone time with his companions of choice ~ young girls betwixt the ages of 8-16. As a matter of fact, he proposed marriage to an 11 year old and there were many mothers who disavowed his company with their children.
More than likely it was his penchant for photographing them nude.

A strange bird he was, indeed.
A dodo. (who was represented as himself, by himself in his own writings...)

Curiouser and Curiouser....

And WHY did we do this?
Because "The time has come, my little friends, to talk of other things / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings / And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings...."

and because there are no actual children allowed at these our StoryBook Club's Children's Literature group, we can discuss at will any themes we like.
From narcotic enhanced ponderings...

To sexual innuendo laced throughout the story.....

 While it may have been a wild and fun, non-moralist story written for children, there was enough bizarre correlations to deeper and darker themes lying within this story to keep us all guessing....

But while we guessed and speculated on child pornography, pedophilia, Victorian mores, and the roles of women and children in that age of the priviledged gentry....we ate.

And documented this table and event for posterity's sake :)

We ate very well, as we always do, of so many delightful themed offerings!
Our group met this night at fellow clubmember Stephanie's house for a sumptious teatime!

With Cakes and Treacle Toffee...

 Lady finger sandwiches, of cucumber and cream cheeses...
Teas ....of course!!

and Oysters and Bread and Butter....

 Carrot Cake and delicacies to delight the tastebuds!

All washed down with laughter, friendship and  some refreshing Vodka and Grapefruit served in lovely silver teacups!

Then we finished out our evening with a documentary on the life of Lewis Carol. It was a bit stuffy.
But we weren't, with the comments and additives given from the cuff.

It's such a deep story though...and we didn't get to enjoy the actual stories as much as the digging through the symbolism, so we are continuing next month with "Through the Looking Glass- And what Alice found there"
So, it looks like we have more fun to find next month in Alice's backward, upside down, mad, mad world!

Don't be Late!!

Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire Adventure 2013

Off on another adventure with Harry, we set off on Friday June 28, 2013- which was after a couple days of steady rain in Central New York and New England. The thruway had even been closed yesterday in parts. Harry took some pics along the way!
 Lots of Flooding as we drove through on our way east, to the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire in Guilford, CT.

As we stood in a S'barros food line to get coffee, we started talking with a gregarious young lady in line behind us. Come to find out, she was an opera Singer who was also driving between gigs on the NYS Thruway, on the way to Albany from Chicago. She happened to be stopping for a break right then, as we were and we wound up meeting here. After we chatted about her very interesting stage occupation for a bit, we told her we, too, were performers and singers on stage who also wore good costuming! She was fascinated with our occupation as well and wanted to hear lots about it. Hey, Garbaholics and the love of brocade, Unite!
Found our way to the faire, for our very first time in, sight unseen for us. We stopped in to walk the grounds the day before. It’s a newish small cute faire, and we got a tour from Chad, a nice fellow, who’s alter ego is Captain Tactless, a bawdy performer who indeed lived up to his faire name when we saw his act the following day.

Now that we knew where we were going, we went to find our Hotel…and then the Hot tub…and then bed.

Faire dawned bright and partly sunny the following day,

"Black-Hearted Jenny" was actually very nice and kind and had a nice visit or two between her sets...

The opening morning meeting was fun with our Faire Director, Daniel Greenwolf giving folks a warm feeling of team spirit, kindred silliness and direction.

Saw friends, Granny Gruesome (Glee Violet),
We love Granny and her "whatsit" Rosco! Don't we, Harry?

Jay & Abby Michaels- our best buds- we play together often and we are all going to try to work on a joint CD together soon!

We also saw some familiar and fun vendors, and also some Mischievites from other faires who came to find us at this faire too!

Harry and I stopped at a card reader’s booth to give them a song, and found out that she’s published four of her own books already! She looked SOOO familiar.....

Catherine Kane's books~ 

We chatted informatively and connected with her on the subject of writing and publishing, as I'm floundering trying to get the time to finish mine and slog through the mire of publishing world.. I liked her so much I got myself a gift of a Palm Reading from her. While I read cards, pendulums and people, she reads palms and I Ching. I’ve dabbled in Palm Reading but it can be very complicated. So I sat down and stretched out my hand.  Heard some very interesting things.

“Are you Empathic?” she asked me. “

“Yes. I’m finally just coming to terms with it lately.” I said
“I can see that with this Girdle of Venus circle. Shows you’ve shut down the gift as it’s not a complete circle."

"Yes. There was someone in my life who told me that my hunches and vibes were all crap. They weren't. He was just protecting himself and hiding his lies. I've also made some mistakes in my life by calling people on the carpet for what their inner thoughts were and it hasn't always been pretty. So I've told myself to stop listening. I'm done with that now. I'm listening fully to my intuition. I'm trying to work on my shields."

She said, "I can see that, You definately have the Gift.  I also see that you have a rare sign of "The Changeling." Not many people have this sign. Do you ever feel lonely or not a part of the family that you are in? Like "You are "IN" a family, but not “OF” the family?  Do you ever feel like you don’t really belong?”

“Often. I love them dearly, but I’m really not like them. I seem to be from a different planet."
She said, “You are a square peg. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just that you need a square hole, not a round one, is all. ”

Interesting. She also asked me this and prefaced it first:
“Do you want to know how long you will live? I ask this because some people don’t want to know. It’s up to you if I tell you or not.”

I said, “I know already. I’ve already seen it by the extreme length of my life line. I’m gonna be ancient. It stretches round the back of my hand.”

“Yes.” She smiled.... “Probably about 101, 104, 110 or so…..” and she went on… 

I was amused and enjoyed it a lot, while Harry sat in on it with me for fun and to help me remember all of it.
Then we went across the way, and had an interesting experience with a Dryad in an Elderberry Tree.. 

 A most lovely place to play, magickal indeed!
This sign says: "Resident Groundhog is sleeping. Do not disturb."
(Which is the spot where gophers live and they didn't move them.)

This flower selling fairy lady danced to our songs....she was sweet and her wings were beautiful!
It's always awesome to see folks dress in fantasy garb, and even the wee ones got involved, thanks to some great Rennie parents!

Our friend Abby stopped by and played flute with us. We played for a handicapped baby and her grandmother for quite awhile. All the while these magick happenings occurred all around us, the Elderberry tree kept pinging us with berries! It kept beaning us on the heads repeatedly with berries, and also staining Harry’s hat and my drum that were left on the ground. Unbeknownst to me, till I later researched this tree, the medicine made from the berries is good, but the raw berries  can make you sick and the symbolism of an Elderberry can sometimes mean bad luck. Which we found out for it was right after this, we realized that we were late to an unscheduled pub set!  We were mesmerized singing to the baby, under the Elderberry tree and lost track of time.   

 Had a fun short set and watched the next act.
I enjoyed meeting the Pub Mistress, Carli!

 Here is their bar at their *21 & Over* Pub called "The Flippin' Bird"
I love the name!

Later on, I went to climb the hill, and I went too fast and over did it.... and I ended up "popping something" in the back of my knee. Yikes! Dammit. I'm not invincible! (Who knew? :)
Merlyn enters Gimp City again for awhile..... Slow and steady does win the race. But the turtle was in occasional pain. I mucked in with ice.

Damn Elderberries.. I won't stand under the canopy of one again. Next to it, yes, it IS a magickal tree. Under it...NO. Magic is amazing. (I probably should've asked it if I could play under it, and thanked it when I was done, in retrospect....)

But then the weather changed for the better. We did a couple of awesome sets after that, and then sat and played for some folks, one of which was another performer at the faire named “Katie Kat”.

She is an opera singer, but doing sets at the faire! She’d just finished her Masters degree in Opera Singing. And she was working here and doing some storytelling with song! What a voice!
We talked with her for quite awhile and mused that we’d also just met another opera singer the day before! Ah Serendipity! How interesting. Two opera singers in the same two days. We played “Katie Sings” for her and she welled up and almost cried. She chatted about her final recital for her Masters and had included a beautiful and sad song written from letters. I was reminded about the same subject in a song, so we also played "Killkelly, Ireland" for her. She loved it. She said that she had another friend opera singer of hers come to play with her at faire who said, “Faire is awesome but so difficult! An opera is only 3 hours and you do a show about 3 times a week. At Faire, you sing constantly and do 10-11 hour days back to back! It is wonderful but so rugged!” She loved it but stated, “it’s a totally different hearty pace that’s for sure!”

It’s good to know that even with a gimpy leg and back, we are still rugged warriors here as performers.
And, hey! "Rugged" by Opera Singer standards is impressive!! Katie did the classic piece of Italian opera that is known as “The Meow Song.” She rocked it.
Harry and I played “Pastime for Good Company” for Pubsing and then I gimped carefully out the gate and to Harry and Home Sweet home to the hotel on Saturday night.

When we got there, we found out that party animals had nested next door to us in room 300. First there was laughter and a dog barking.  (A dog? Oh man…) Then after their guests left, the couple in that room next door to us started to fight. A pretty much steady hostile stream of “fuck you” and “fuck this” and “fuck your mother” and terms of endearment came forth between them.
Harry and I were so tired, we laid down and crashed and burned after the long faire day.

Next thing I knew, I was waking up in agony! 

What? How can this be? Well, I never realized fully how the sound of someone having a humongous leg cramp must’ve sounded like an incredible orgasm to the people next door here in the Howard Johnson’s!
You see, I, was awakened by a very rare and INTENSE leg cramp. Evidently, my leg and back stress had conspired, to rear its ugly head as I slept. My right calf had knotted itself into a Granny Double Clover Hitch!  I writhed on the bed and cried out in pain, instantly waking both me and Harry out of a dead sleep.

It went something like this:

1 am. All’s quiet in Room 302. Occupants, Merlyn & Harry are snuggled and snoring peacefully.

Merlyn wakens with spasm of pain.
Merlyn: “Aahahhaaaaaaaaaa! Oh my God! Oh My God!! HARRY! (pant pant pant) AaaaEEEEEE!! Oh. My. GOOOOOOOOOD!!!!”

(Harry intervenes with his helpful advice)
Harry: “Pull your toes up! Straighten your leg out! Honey, DO IT NOW! Move your leg!”

Merlyn: “OOOOOOh Harry! Oh shit! Oh fuck!!!

(Merlyn’s pants reduced to a pitiful heartfelt sobbing)

Harry: “That’s it. Pull it! Pull it! Pull It!! Honey, PUUULLLL IT!!!

Yah. It sounded like a major orgasm. I would’ve happily traded for one at that point.  After the spasm finally subsided, Harry and I lay there panting in a post stressful repose and then started laughing how it must ’ve sounded to the neighbors. All of a sudden it was then I remembered Cheech and Chong's skit.You know the one in “Up in Smoke” where Chong is having a leg cramp in the van, but everyone thinks he’s having tremendous sex with that hippy chick? 
Chong must’ve had this happen for real and that’s why he wrote that skit. 
Click this link for a laugh at our expense :) It was pretty similar to Chong......

Yah. It was almost exactly like the way Chong reacted. He must've really lived through one of those fuckers. Harry and I laughed like hell AFTER it was over. :)

It was then as we lay there recovering from the post-leg cramp event, that we realized that the neighbors were still fighting and now had gotten worse. Maybe my leg cramp "orgasm" made them feel even shittier as they were not banging, but fighting still?

Harry was forced (by Merlyn) to finally call the front desk and asked for Security to go intervene. They did.
Neighbors finally quieted down at 2am.
How’ere, they must’ve been inspired to kiss and make up and a romp ensued over there. We know, because we heard them through the thin walls. At 3am Harry and I were treated to an encore of the next door lady cooing to some wondrous fantasy and good rudgering.  
 I burst out laughing when I heard her final creshendo, and then they were suddenly aware that we heard them lost in their bliss!
Harry and I wanted to clap for their makeup sex... and so that we could all finally get some goddam sleep.
How’ere, 15 minutes after the mystery lady in Room 300 moaned, she and he started fighting again.
“Fer fuck’s sake lady, get a  new boyfriend” I wanted to pound on the wall. "Just because he can bang great at 3am doesn't mean he's a keeper."
Harry said “Don’t bother. We'll get even.”
We set the alarm and then when we woke up at 8am, we blasted the sound on the TV news.
Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it, Room 300?
Back to faire for Sunday and we hoped that the weather would hold. We had a lot of fun when a family sat down in our audience, who had a little Down’s girl. We changed the next song to a kid’s song and got the little girl to participate making animal sounds. We also got our whole audience to support her. Yes, that means we got grown up adults to make animal noises. It was awesome
Had pints with Inger & Harald Inning. How nice to be able to visit for a few minutes and make them laugh. So awesome to see them happy and smiling!

Next, joining us for pints in the pub, was the cute and fun act, "The Graces"  after their bawdy set. We've known them from Silver Kingdom faire.
Harry took this pic. It' adorable.
But then I said, "Harry! GIVE ME the camera! I have a great shot!"

 I HAD to take this candid shot, with the guy behind them holding his sword hilt.
Isn’t this an awesome Fun PIC???
I think it should be their next album cover!
I have an even better one I'm sending them!

Finished off Pubsing with playing Celtic Circle Dance with Jay & Abby –our new friend, the Pubmistress was able to catch it on video! You can find it on Facebook now. (I'm trying to get the link and will put it here if I get it.)

All in all, we had a great time, good feedback from the faire and they said they want us back next year.
Harry and I treated ourselves to a good dinner at The Athenian Diner. Pasta and salad and some good conversations about out day. A lovely time.

And bonus.....Mmmmmmm.....leftovers make great hotel breakfasts, don’t they Harry?

I couldn't resist taking this cutie pic of Harry. I said, "Don't worry, you are "covered strategically" even if you are naked."

My cute chubby hubby said:

"I'm not naked. I have my socks on."