September Sunset

(132:  September sunset.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’m probably going to regret this…

I signed up for October’s NaBloPoMo.  The theme for the month of October, in case you hadn’t heard, is HAUNTED.  It appealed to me for some reason.  It will give me a chance to do something with all those photos I took in a New Orleans cemetery back in April.

It’s still raining here in the Bogs.  Mostly it’s a light, misty type of rain but it sometimes goes full-out into deluge mode.  I took a short walk in the rain this morning.  It’s a good place to cry.

For those inquiring minds that wonder how I’m doing, I’m sad.  The weather isn’t helping but I suppose it isn’t hurting either, as it is giving me a chance to allow myself to sit with the sadness and just… be sad.

It’s ok.

A Taste of Winter

(January Snow. Photo by Robin. 2007)

Winter stopped by last night. It’s not staying long. We have cold temperatures today on the tail end of winter’s visit, but it’s expected to warm up again tomorrow.

M and I went out to dinner with friends last night. Near the end of dinner our waitress came by to tell us it was snowing outside. When we stepped out, after the meal, it was indeed snowing. By the time M and I walked across the street to our apartment, the snow was coming down pretty heavily. Once upstairs, we looked out the window to find a blizzard going on in Sabbaticalville. It didn’t last long, only about five or ten minutes. But it did white out everything, all those millions and billions and trillions of snowflakes doing a dance over, under, and through the streets, trees, and sky.

It was a beautiful sight, especially after it calmed down enough for us to see beyond the blur of white. Sabbaticalville looks pretty dressed in white. My photos don’t do it justice, but it’s difficult to take photos at night standing on a chair at a 5th floor apartment window with no tripod to steady the camera.

I like snow. I wouldn’t mind if it had snowed for hours. Or days, as long as the power doesn’t go out.

In other news…

There really isn’t much other news. M and I have settled in finally, not going out just about every night. This is probably a good thing as money tends to flow quite quickly in the wrong direction when we go out to eat, drink and be merry on a regular basis.

We recently watched a couple of movies that we borrowed from our local library. One was Strut!, a documentary about the Mummers. Thus ends the Mummers obsession for now. I hope. It’s a good little movie and well worth seeing if you’re at all interested in the people who are the Mummers. It’s kind of funny watching all those rough, tough working class guys put on make-up, don dresses, and if they’re in the string bands, learn to dance. I spent the next few days practicing my own version of the strut, allowing my inner Mummer to play and dance.

The other was Good Night, and Good Luck. George Clooney had an axe or two to grind, but it’s still a good movie (and since my politics are somewhat similar to his, I didn’t mind the axe grinding). It reminded me of the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” It prompted me to start learning a little more about both Edward R. Murrow and the McCarthy hearings.

I’m currently reading Cell by Stephen King. It’s been a while since I last read a Stephen King book. I’d forgotten how engaging (and frightening) his writing can be. I gave up on King for a while, probably right after reading Needful Things or somewhere around there. I wasn’t enjoying his books anymore and they sometimes felt forced. I picked him up again when he finally started churning out the Dark Tower books once again. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dark Tower series and was sorry to see it come to an end.

We’re off to visit my parents and siblings tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to it. It’s nice to be close enough to visit once a month or so. I’m going to miss that when we move back to the Bogs.

Today’s Mummers

(Photo by Robin)

Of course there were clowns!

A Mummer a day

(Mummers Parade. Philadelphia, PA. January 2007. Photo by Robin)

This is one of the examples of a joke in the Comics section that I just didn’t notice during the parade. See the truck off to the right.

The Mummers are a Philadelphia working class family institution and tradition. We saw people of all ages and whole families strutting together in the parade. Lots of kids, even those in strollers, were costumed and enjoying the parade. This guy above doesn’t look too happy, though, does he? Not a very cheerful 2007. Or maybe I just caught him at a bad moment (in between smiles).

The Mummers are not without controversy, that’s for sure. The Comic clubs have a history of being politically incorrect. I’m guessing they’ve been rather slow to change when it comes to certain issues, but have nothing to back that up.

Note to Kel: I think last year’s Mummers parade was the first year of corporate sponsorship, but I’m not entirely sure about it. I saw something about the 2006 Southwest Airlines Mummers Parade so I’m assuming that was last year’s parade.


(Mummers Parade. Philadelphia, PA. January 6, 2007.)*

M and I went to the Mummers Parade in Philly yesterday. It traditionally takes place on New Year’s day, but was postponed due to rain this year. In their hundred year history, this is the 24th postponement of the parade.

Both M and I grew up watching the Mummers on television every New Year’s day. Some things have changed — the string bands, for instance, put on a much more elaborate show — but most things seem about the same. Blue-collar, mostly white men dressed up in dresses, sequins, feathers, and all kinds of other costumes strutting their stuff on Broad Street. There’s quite a bit of beer involved in that parade, too, and I’m talking about the Mummers as well as the spectators. Sometimes it seems more party than parade, but that’s the whole fun of it. And boy, do those Philly folks know how to party!

As much fun as it is for those of us watching, the Mummers take their parade very seriously. You can read more about it at their website.

It was a gorgeous day, certainly not your typical January weather. It was sunny and in the 70’s. I got a slight sunburn (even with sunscreen), something I wasn’t expecting to get in January in Philadelphia. I felt a little sorry for some of the Mummers. They were sweating in some of those costumes.

I took a lot of photos and there are quite a few good ones. Maybe not good in terms of photographic quality, but in terms of the fun. Where else can one get this many silly pictures but at a Mummers parade?

The Comics start the parade and I found them to be lots of fun. One thing I noticed upon looking at the photos when we got home last night was that there are plenty of political and other jokes hidden (or not so hidden, in some cases) throughout the Comics. There were signs and masks I simply didn’t see while watching the parade. Perhaps I was distracted by the costumes. Or maybe it was the dancing. Or some of those hairy legs sticking out of the dresses.

(Mummers Parade. Philadelphia, PA. January 6, 2007)*

Most of my photos are of the Comics. I’m afraid we missed the Fancies. The parade was supposed to start at 8:00 am, but didn’t get going until around 10:00 am. Having had breakfast at 7:00, and having forgotten to pack something to eat, we decided to have lunch around 1:00pm. And wouldn’t you know it? The Fancies went by during the hour we were gone having lunch. The crowd grew considerably during that time, too. Finding a good spot to stand and watch the shows once the String Bands came out was almost impossible for someone of my stature. Is it me or is the world getting taller?

(Mummers Parade. Philadelphia, PA. January 6, 2007.)*

I think I’m going to have to post a Mummer A Day or something if I want to show off some of the colorful photos I got. There are far too many for one post. At least that will give me my own meme. 🙂

We met up with a friend in Philly who stayed with us throughout the day, trying to help us find a good spot to stand in where we could see and hear the action. I’m afraid there wasn’t much success at that, but it was good to spend time with her. Because she lives in Philly, she knows the best places to eat and she took us to a great Mexican restaurant for lunch.

It was a long day, what with getting up early, catching the train into Philly, switching to the subway system, standing for most of the day, and walking, walking, walking. I’m pretty sure we put in about 5 miles of walking, all total. That’s pretty darn good for a woman (me) who couldn’t walk more than 2-3 blocks a few weeks ago. In fact, if the parade hadn’t been postponed, I might not have been able to stay as long as I did yesterday. Just a week ago I was still having some trouble with walking and standing for long periods.

We left Philly on the 4:45 train, worn out and glad we went. It really was great fun and one of those things I’ve always wanted to do. M and I are already planning out another trip to Philly during some future New Year’s day when we’ll arrive early enough, with chairs, to get a good seat at one of the performance areas so we can truly appreciate the String Bands. We’ve also been invited to do Two Street after the parade with my friend from Philly. Two Street is the after-parade-parade, with lots of Mummers and neighborhood people partying it up on Two Street.

We did get to watch more of the String Bands upon arriving at home. The parade, having started so late, also ended late (around 8:30pm). They were broadcasting the parade on a local Philly channel which we can pick up here at the apartment. I think there were about six bands left performing when we tuned in. We saw two of them at the parade so we missed a little over half, I think.

Mummers. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing them again someday. I just wish I could get “Oh Dem Golden Slippers” out of my head, at least until next time. (“Oh Dem Golden Slippers” is the Mummers’ theme song.)

[N]o party is any fun unless seasoned with folly. ~Desiderius Erasmus

*Photos by Robin.