arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Busy Summer Weekend

Most of my summer weekends during the last 10 years have been a harried series of events to complete outdoor work before Monday morning dawns. There is grass to be mowed, weeds to be pulled, shrubs and vegetables to be fed and more than the occasional indoor break in air-conditioned comfort between chores. These tasks fill the two day time span as many weekends I have nothing better to do.

This weekend is an interesting case. Normally, this time of year there would be a silent comedy film festival to attend in Arlington, Virginia. Event two: my niece by marriage is ending her bachelorette days this weekend when she walks down the aisle in Conshohocken. Event three: on my side, one of my cousins is celebrating his doctorate in physical therapy. And finally, event four: I also have my ongoing medical coding class to attend Saturday morning. So many choices, so many directions to go in, that I can’t make up my mind which to do.

Which is why I am staying home this weekend mowing grass, pulling weeds, etc.

The main reason is my school obligations. Oh, I could make the drive upstate after class to see my cousin and celebrate his academic achievement, but it would make for a very long day. The wedding is also a moot point: family circumstances would make our attendance a distraction and we never want to take the focus off the bride on her big day. My wife and I will be there in spirit if not in person.

The silent film festival is also a moot point: Slapsticon 2011 was canceled this year due to “contractual obligations”. I’m a bit bummed out by this, but it made it easier for me to forgo our annual trek to northern Virginia because of school and new job obligations. The Slapsticon organizers have come up with an alternative event for the weekend of July 16: the Al Joy National Fan Club meeting. It promises to be a multi-venue affair divided between screening rooms at the Library of Congress, homes of silent film enthusiasts in Washington DC, and Culpepper, Virginia. Okay, I can see the question on your lips now: who the hell is Al Joy?

Suffice to say he is one of thousands of thespians who ever dared to take a pie in the face just to make a living. His place in silent film history is several rungs down from the likes of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd. Even many silent comedy fans (and historians for that matter) know very little about Al Joy, who made a series of comedies in the late 1920’s before disappearing into obscurity.

Staying home this weekend might give me more opportunities to blog, which would be true except for one thing: my editor is leaving town for a long weekend rest away from me and our cats. Yes, Anne Marie will be Amtraking north to visit an Internet friend in Boston who shares her passion for the needle arts, namely knitting. Oh, if I were going, I’d fill the weekend with activities I could only do there and nowhere else, like whale watching, take in the awesome view of the Maparium at the Christian Science Publishing Society, and attend an American League baseball game at Fenway.

Anne Marie will have none of this. Her fear of large bodies of water precludes her from taking an excursion to chase large mammals in the ocean. She’s not religious, so I doubt she will go anywhere near the Christian Science complex. As for baseball, there is only one team for my wife: the Phillies. All the other teams don't matter, regardless of their colorful historical heritage of the game.

I believe her weekend plans revolve around knitting, swilling wine, and eating. So be it! Sounds like a plan!

I will make do at home, just me and my cats. (Cue melancholy violin music.) Oh, I suppose I could venture out and treat myself to various gastronomic delights. In this pursuit, I will abide by the old philosophy, “So many Chinese buffets, so little time”. Or I could go on a historical excursion and seek out W.C. Fields birthplace in Darby, or the stomping grounds of the Sundance Kid in Mont Clair, both within driving distance from my house.

Or I could go to school, mow the grass, pull the weeds, feed my shrubs...and, oh yeah! Crank up the ABBA!

(Thank you for reading. Best Wishes and Good Luck with all our love to Carolyn and Jeff!)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

I'll be near a large body of water this weekend, and all of next week: Mom and I are heading to the Sea Isle City for our annual trip to the Shore.

Enjoy ABBA! Congrats to your family for their achievements! :-)

July 14, 2011 at 6:47 AM  

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