Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fair Weather

Playing under the covers on my bed
This was a busy, but fun weekend. Friday night we had the usual potluck and then I babysat for our friends while they went out salsa dancing. On Saturday, we went to the Fairfax Fall Festival. The day was absolutely beautiful, and the festival was hopping. Wiggle petted some guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, sheep, and even a llama at the petting zoo.
He's suddenly not so sure about the llama
 Then we decided to get some lunch, which I hardly ever do at fairs or festivals because I am not generally a fan of fair food. This sign helped to change my mind -
Seriously? Crab cakes? At the fair? I've never lived close enough to a body of salt water that this could even seem like a remotely good idea. I decided to tempt fate and get the crab cake sandwich.

Wiggle and C waiting in line for our crab cake
The crabby deliciousness
It was good! Quite good actually. It still seemed very strange, especially because we live far enough inland that I do feel any water nearness. Although, shortly after we got here, there was a hurricane that they were afraid would hit Virginia Beach, and I thought "Yipee! Hurricanes!" Not ironically mind you, for a moment, I was genuinely excited to be near another type of weather phenomenon. Then I remembered that I hurricane can actually, you know, kill people and stuff, and I developed the appropriately sober response. But if hurricanes, means the possibility of crab cakes, or vice versa, then I will take hurricanes (I'm just trading in tornadoes anyway).
My little imp plotting mischief
 We walked around some more and scored a balloon from the local Democrats.

Isn't he positively jaunty?
Wiggle pranced around with his balloon, darting in and out of groups of people and booths, until he became an, admittedly very cute, nuisance. We carried him around for the rest of the booth browsing.

The most unexpected booth we happened upon? The Sons of Norway. Several very nice men and women from the local Sons of Norway chapter were promoting all things Norwegian. They even have a kids' club! Vikings for Kids, which includes a quarterly newsletter extolling the virtues of woodcarving and the like. The best part was that they were selling lefse. Lefse! It was good too. C and Wiggle got to try their first Norwegian tortilla, and both enjoyed it very much. The group hosts potluck dinners regularly, and I might even be able to stand being around lutefisk in order to get some more fresh lefse.Northern Virginia keeps surprising me.
Me and my lefse
Last night, C and I got to go out for dinner, a mojito, and a movie. We saw The Social Network which I liked. C didn't think it quite lived up to the hype, and while I wasn't blown away, it wasn't really supposed to be a blow-you-away movie, so I think it stood up well. Good directing, good acting, and good writing, with a great story, make it hard to go wrong. I think the thing that is worse about the movie is that we still don't know how it ends. I mean the movie itself has a perfectly good ending, but we still don't know the effect Facebook is going to have on society. Living a recorded life is actually not so new, as scads of nineteenth century diaries can show. Living a partially public life is also not new, as the same century's towering mountains of correspondence show. But a public life that is only partially recorded by ourselves and is also recorded by those around us, is new, and the implications for trust, privacy, and even our self-identities have only begun to evolve. While I am somewhat careful about what I put on the web, I am not a person who constantly bemoans the privacy settings on Facebook or worries about whether my bank is selling my personal info. I probably should be more worried about those things, but I am more interested to see what happens when those things go awry. Like the bill currently in Congress regarding sites that are "dedicated to infringement activity." YouTube is a big target for this bill, and I know there is a lot of stuff on youtube that violates copyright, but that's not what the creation of the site was about, nor is it what most of youtube has on it. I can say that about 95% of what I look at on youtube is created by the person who posted it. The other 5% consists of listening to a song, watching a music video, or looking at a forwarded clip from a TV show. While I know all of those things in the last 5% violate copyright technically, perhaps we should change how we view copyright. Why? Because of the songs and videos I have watched, I have gone and bought the song or sometime the entire album of the artist completely legally from iTunes. I just used youtube to do the initial listen because it's easier than searching through Google for a site that actually has the song, or worse yet going to the record label's website and being bombarded by pop-up videos and loud music that I don't want to hear. As for the TV clips, almost all of them are of the type where there are one hundred different ways to see the clip. You know, the Dr. Laura saying the N-word, winning touchdown, Tom Cruise jumping on the couch, type thing that is playing on every news station every five minutes, and I don't happen to be in front of a tv. Sometimes the networks need to just get over themselves and realize that youtube may be doing them a favor. I am more likely to tune into that exclusive interview with the idiot who did something crazy, if I got to see that crazy thing they did, so just let me see it. Anyway, we shouldn't start censoring the internet just because things aren't as easy as we thought to regulate or manage or penalize or whatever it is we are trying to do. Privacy is the same way. Things just aren't going to be as private, or I should say, the kinds of info we thought of as private before, may not be the info we regard as private, in the future.
I guess that's what you might call - a tangent. Anyway, I liked the movie, and I liked our weekend. I might even feel ready for the week for once.


  1. Crabcakes at a fair! And lefse too! I may have to move east immediately! Mike & I saw The Social Network tonight, and we both liked it a lot. But what do you think Zuckerberg would have done, had he lived in another time? How would his particular genius have manifested itself? This inquiring mind would like to know. Wiggle looks very cute in that shirt & jeans! ;p

  2. That is one fair I would love to be at. Shellfish. YUM! How nice for Silas to be able to go to the Sons of Norway to be able to learn about their culture.