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June 2005 Archives

June 8, 2005

Lost time

Summer is here... so now instead of complaining about the cold rainy spring I can grumble about the heat and humidity. The meteorological grass is always greener...

Last weekend, Liz and I spent a really great and much needed weekend in NYC. We only really had a day and a half, but we managed to do a lot. We spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with my old friend and housemate Dan, his excellent wife Kathy, and their very handsome baby Henry. Dan and Henry took us to MoMA to take in some art. Next we escorted Amy to a cocktail party at the apartment of Liz's old friend Roman. It was mostly people in town for the Book Expo, all very nice folks made even nicer by Roman's lethal cosmopolitans. Later we met up with the Meep, who very graciously hosted us for the weekend, and our friend Jason. After some tasty and cheap Indian food, we made our ceremonial pilgrimage to Motor City on Ludlow for drinks. My old friend David met us for a few beers. That was really nice. It had been way too long since I'd seen the guy. He's one of those people who I've know since I was 14 .

Manhattan has a funny way of destroying my perception of time. Suddenly we were all having drinks at Grass Roots on St. Marks with Chloe and it was 3:30am. I didn't really become tired until I looked at my watch. Funny how that happens...
We woke up a few hours after we went to sleep and headed to the 2nd Ave Deli to meet James and Samantha for breakfast. Deli food is amazing for purging the toxins built up after a late night on the Lower East side. Not quite enough curative powers to prepare us for what turned into a nightmarish bus ride home. I don't really want to force myself to relive the details, but let's just say that our bus left Port Authority at about 2pm and we didn't walk in our front door until 11.

So now it's Wednesday, and I'm still tired from the weekend. I just never seem to get to bed early, so my sleep deficit keeps expanding. No good can come of this. I have a feeling I might be up late tonight too. I have to give a presentation in the morning on the wonders of the eBook and the magic of instructional technology. So far, I have a sketchy outline that needs filling in, so it looks like I may have homework tonight. No worries... I am a rock star.

June 15, 2005

Be Careful What You Ask For

Re: My "grass is always greener" comment from the previous entry... It's now in the low 60s and drizzly. Serves me right for complaining. On the bright side, it takes a little bit of bite out of the fact that our downstairs AC is blown. I have a bad feeling that we'll have to replace that soon, or our poor long-haired cats are going to have a really lousy summer. We just got one for the bedroom and I was hoping that would be the only one we had to replace this season. So it goes.

Betwitched, but not bothered or bewildered

Living in Salem can be a little strange sometimes. With a population of around 40,000, it's somewhere between a large town and a small city. As such, it has it's share of town politics and city economic concerns. First settled in 1626, Salem has a long rich history, full of maritime exploits, great wealth, piracy, and other coastal New England charms. Oh... and did I mention witch persecution? That's where the weirdness begins.

Salem is undoubtedly most famous for the Witch Trials of 1692, when the town was caught up in the grips of a mass hysteria that resulted in the death of 24 people. Nineteen were hanged, one was crushed by stones, and 4 more died in prison. All for the crime of... witchcraft. It's a fascinating story, but too involved for me to get into details in a blog entry. I encourage you to research it though... it's interesting stuff. For the purposes of this entry, it's really only important for you to know that none of the people executed in Salem over 300 years ago were actually witches. None of them.

Flash forward to the 20th Century... Salem, MA embraces the Witch. I'm not enough of a town historian to know exactly when it happened, but I've heard it was some time in the 70's. Salem somehow became a center for modern practitioners of witchcraft and/or Wiccans (not necessarily the same thing, I'm told). They brought with them a booming tourism industry, in the form of witchcraft supply stores, wax museums, haunted houses, historical reenactments, and spooky walking tours. Not everyone is happy about this aspect of Salem's public face, but no one can deny that it's become a huge and positive part of the town's economy. During the month of October, hundreds of thousands of people bring their tourist dollars to our town to get the spooky Salem Halloween experience. Sure, it's a pain in the ass if you need to drive or park in town during those 30 days. Hard to get into restaurants, hard to do errands, etc. Lets face it, the Witch Thing is what sets Salem apart from every other Coastal New England town. Thanks to the power plant, our waterfront doesn't have the greatest view. We have great restaurants, but so does nearly every other coastal New England town. Don't get me wrong, I love Salem. There is nowhere in New England I'd rather live, but if I was a tourist and there weren't witch attractions, I'd probably just keep driving.

Flash forward to June 15, 2005... the official unveiling of the Bewitched Statue on the corner of Essex and Washington in Salem, MA, Witch City USA. The TV Land cable network has donated this 8 foot tall bronze statue of Samatha Stevens, the television sitcom witch played by Elizabeth Montgomery. Local reaction has been... mixed. Some people feel that the nose-twitching witch is an "inaccurate representation" of modern witchcraft, and an insult to their religious beliefs. Others feel it trivializes a great tragedy in Salem's past... Many people (myself included) think it's really just a funny piece of pop art that will probably make me smile when I walk past it on the way to work every morning. It has nothing to do with history, or a current religious reality... it's a freakin' sitcom from the 60s! The show wasn't even set in Salem, thought Samantha visited the town for a couple of episodes.
The months leading up to this grand statuary unveiling have been really entertaining for a cultural observer and discussion board lurker like myself. The chatter on Salemweb has been hilarious. Both sides of the argument got really wound up at times. At one planning meeting, an objector actually had a heart attack after debating the issue. Some of the Salem Witches have talked about protest, while others have planned a "Salem Witches Welcome Samantha" event. I think the later has the right idea... it's fun, it's funny, and it's the perfect opportunity to promote Salem and it's witchy fun on a National level. I'll try to nab some pictures tomorrow and post them.

June 16, 2005

Sabrina, Patron Saint of Suburban Housewife Empowerment

The statue has been unveiled... and while I missed the ceremony, I hear that the supporters outnumbered the protestors. I got a glimpse of it last night, as Lizzie and I drove past on our way back from a Rockport BBQ, but this morning was my first chance to really take it in. It's not exactly what I expected, but I kinda like it.

About June 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Dave's Headblog in June 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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