I have nothing of particular merit to express today, but I feel a need to check in anyway. Summer is growing old. September is here again and it’s a cool and overcast day.
This past Sunday we met some friends at Old Fort Niagara for a wonderful adventure into the past. Wow, what a cool place! I’d never been there before. Going inside the castle that the French built almost three hundred years ago was amazing. The building itself is an incredibly beautiful structure. The history that exudes from every stone of the place was exhilarating; feeling the cool breeze blowing off of Lake Ontario; walking around where so many people lived and died right up to the time of World War 2, when German POWs were housed there. The kids had a wonderful time as well. This place is home-school heaven! I can’t wait to go back to see some of the famous battle re-enactments. It was cool enough just seeing a few guys in eighteenth century uniforms shooting off real muskets!
Changing gears a bit: Last night I watched the original 1982 ‘Conan the Barbarian’ movie again. (I know – I promise: no more mention of Conan after this!) Damn! It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and you know – it’s even better than I remembered. Compared to the new version, I appreciate John Milius’ film with Arnold (and co-written by Oliver Stone, no less) even more now. The movie has a romantic heart and heroic soul that makes it a cult classic in my mind. Plus it had James Earl Jones, for Pete’s sake, as the classiest bad-guy-cult-leader-sorcerer ever! And Sandahl Bergman was a magnificent Valeria! And Mako!
There; I’ve had my little movie rant for today. But as the September air turns cooler and the days a bit shorter, I look forward to the return of my beloved ‘Fringe‘ to our TV screens. And ‘Doctor Who‘ has returned with a vengeance for the second half of the new series. I can’t decide whether this show is completely insane or utterly brilliant! Perhaps both. But Moffat and company have certainly ramped up the ‘Timey-Wimey’ paradoxical complexity of time travel to its fullest this season. Watch, if you dare!
One more thing I definitely need to share: This amazing video of the opening credits from the old ‘Jonny Quest‘ animated TV show, done with action figures. This is brilliant!
That is all…
Just a brief blog post today about my favorite science fiction series on television right now. Fringe just keeps getting better and better since its debut three years ago. And it’s been renewed by Fox for a fourth season. Considering the Fox network’s record for canceling thought-provoking, original and creative series in the past (Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles) I cannot be happier!
Last Friday’s episode was another emotional, intense and hilarious excursion into creative television which is rarely seen these days, especially on a commercial network. And what an interesting use of animation! For those who have not seen Fringe, I don’t want to go into a full synopsis (though I have links below that will) because you really must watch the first seasons of this show to appreciate the wonderful characters and storytelling. So please, PLEASE go check it out on Netflix or buy the DVDs of the first two seasons of Fringe! And when season three finishes in three weeks go watch that when it becomes available, too!
The acting, the writing, the character development of this show is truly remarkable. I’ve recently started watching some of the first episodes from season one. And though I didn’t feel the show moved into the realm of greatness until near the end of season one, I find that even the pilot episode was quite phenomenal in retrospect. By the second season Fringe went from being a ‘bizarre event of the week’ structure into focusing more on the overall series narrative about the alternate universe, the Observers and Walter’s role in all the ‘Fringe’ events. I love the way that little events from the early episodes are connected to the whole picture of what is happening now and in episodes to come. And I just love the way this show has gotten me so emotionally involved with the character’s lives, even some of their counter-parts in the other universe (Fauxlivia, Walternate). I sincerely care about these people! The writers of Fringe have taken characters who seem to be the ‘bad guy’ initially and actually allowed us to sympathize with them by seeing their perspective. Despite some of the wacky story-lines, they’ve made this show feel more ‘real’ to me than many main-stream TV series. I’d say that’s quite an accomplishment!
And unlike ‘Lost’, I believe the writers of Fringe actually know where their story is going and how all of the pieces will eventually come together.
Fringe has something for everyone; mystery, science, horror, romance, (with a bit of soap opera thrown in) and some of the funniest moments I’ve seen on TV! That’s all I have to say for now.
Thursday was the autumn equinox. The weather has been lovely around here, hazy blue skies and new-fallen leaves on the grass. It’s actually been really warm today, in the upper eighties! Tomorrow looks back to normal with highs in the sixties, which is just fine with me. I love this time of year! The gradually changing colors and the damp smell of the earth and cool nights with a brilliant full moon; buying fresh apples and cider at the farm market and gearing up for harvest festivals and the excitement of the coming Halloween.
There’s a special kind of magic fermenting in the air. Even though it’s a bit sad to see the fading of plants and flowers, those superficial manifestations of life that we take for granted during high summer, I also become more aware of the deeper spirit of the earth beginning to fold into itself down below the surface, into the roots and rock and the quiet, darker realms of that twilight dimension where fairy tales come from. The Other World where life still abides, unseen and slumbering and timeless. In its fading glory life seems most exalted, the dreaming majesty of the fruits of the earth in a last burst of movement and migration and mating before the chill reign of winter begins. In a way I look forward to the long rest, the slower rhythms of winter after all the activity and growth of summer. That Yin and Yang of our cycles that are shaped by the cycles of the seasons over millions of years. The time of rest and reflection and enjoyment of the bounty of what we harvest. And looking forward to the holidays (holy days) that are to come, to reconnect with family and friends. I cherish the last music of crickets and katydids in the moon-soaked night, and the scent of wood smoke. It was a glorious summer!
Fiona is back to her reading class on Tuesdays and she started a dance class on Saturday that goes for thirteen weeks which looks like it will be wonderful for her. And we’re also looking forward to her fifth birthday in a couple of weeks. And Arthur, of course, is working on his Wii gaming skills, and doing well with his math and writing every day. They both will be taking the home school gym class again in October and swim lessons in November. Life is good. And I hope I will be making more time to write! And maybe learn to play the guitar!
So in a roundabout way, this brings me back to comment briefly on another important ritual of autumn: the beginning of a new television season, and the season three premiere of one of my favorite TV shows, ‘Fringe’, on Thursday night. All I have to say is, it was marvelous! I was not disappointed, but I’m wondering how Alt-Olivia back in our universe can possibly pass for our Olivia, considering she doesn’t know these people or much about our Olivia, or our world for that matter. How can Peter not tell she’s an imposter? There were developments that I had not anticipated, but I shouldn’t go too much into that here. Check out the first link for more. I can’t wait to see what happens next to my beloved characters, and to their other-dimensional counter-parts.
Here are some links for the enjoyment of Fringe fans everywhere. And for those who have not seen this show yet, I’m sorry for your loss.