The movie would be a couple of hours long. She had suggested it, and he went along because of her. Had someone else suggested the same film he probably wouldn't have gone; it just didn't seem all that interesting to him.

They shared popcorn and whispered to each other during most of the film. He got up to go to the bathroom twice. She dutifully reported all he had missed during those times. Had anyone looked they might have remarked that they looked like a nice couple. Although perhaps she should have at least picked a boy taller than her (which is harder to do when a girl is over six feet tall).

They did look like a nice couple, they probably could have been a nice couple too. Everyone certainly liked to suggest that they could be more than just friends. But the truth was that both of them were very much in love with other people. She was still emotionally attached to her charismatic ex-boyfriend (the musician who was everyone's best friend). He still longed for that red haired girl. The one who wanted to do everything in her power to save the world, as long as it didn't mean she had to get close to anyone.

The movie was eventually over and on the way out they launched into their little game. It is a simple game really, if someone uses a noun in a sentence, you simply call them that noun. It can go further. She always liked to add something about his mother. But he didn't like to do that.

"Hey, I still have some soda left". He said, knewing what would come next.

"You're a soda" she dutifully replied.

They went back and forth like this for a while. Until they eventually went past a poster for the new latest Kirsten Dunst movie. He collected Kirsten's movies, and had almost all of them. She knew this; she also coincidentally looked a whole lot like Kirsten herself. She liked to tease him about both.

"There's your girlfriend" She said.

"You're my girlfriend" he replied.

"I am your girlfriend" she said, as a tear fell from his eye and he wished it was true.

These two friends then walked out of the theater, each going back to their own loneliness.

Last night I saw a truly great episode of a truly great television show, Medium. The episode was so well-written, so solid, so creative and imaginative, that I immediately put this episode in my top five (yes I said five) list of favorite episodes out of any and all episodes of any and all television shows I've ever seen.

Be aware that this write up does contain spoilers for the episode if you have not seen it.

One of the best new shows out there is Medium and I should really do a node on it. It is about a psychic woman, Allison Dubois, working for the District Attorney helping to solve crimes using her abilities. It showcases excellent acting, writing, and plot premises I've never seen, or at least never seen done the way they're done. But the episode last night, out of the dozen or so episodes that have already aired going back to last season, was the best so far. I truly feel it deserves a Peabody Award, even better than a 1992 winner, Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Inner Light."

The episode, entitled "The Song Remains The Same," begins with a dream. The opening sequence is excellently done, as far as dreams on TV go. It accurately depicts any number of dreams we've all had. Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" plays while the character Allison (Patricia Arquette) dances to it; it looks like a music video in that it's all contrasted out to just red, black, and white and behind her and rolling through her are musical notes. When Allison awakes the song is still playing and you get the sense that it is playing on her alarm clock radio, something that can happen quite often when it doesn't wake you up right away. But no! it is not her radio. She gets up and searches for the source of the music but cannot find it. It is so loud that she cannot hear anybody talking very well; we hear what she's hearing, the song almost totally drowning out anything anybody is saying. But we can see what the other characters are saying by reading subtitles. She figures out that the music is coming from her head. The whole concept of the dialogue of other characters drowned out by the music to the point where we need subtitles was a clever - dare I say ingenious? - plot device.

She tries to go to her doctor's office - but she finds out that the doctor is out. She also finds out, after being given a flyer by somebody, that a young woman in the area is missing. Outside the doc's office the music starts skipping (imagine being forced to listen to a song over and over again - in your head no less! - and it begins skipping!) The song skipping, and not skipping, depending on where she walks, leads her to find a bloody iPod on the ground in a wooded area. The song stops, finally. It was her psychic powers at work again - this time in truly creative fashion - leading her to a clue. This turns out to be a major break in the case and leads her to meeting an area Catholic priest whom the kidnapper had confessed to (the song comes back again and just recites the line "He's the one" over and over when she first encounters him).

As if all these creative, clever plot devices aren't enough, the episode delves into the Catholic religion, her apparent dislike of it, and the role of Priests in regard to confessions and their relationship with God. (He does not want to reveal who confessed because it is his duty not to, but Allison pressures him to, and the priest goes through a well-acted moral dilemma). I like how this subplot is delicately handled with great regard and sensitivity to the Catholic religion, despite the mystical nature of the main character and the fact that the series so far is largely secular.

The priest holds onto his belief that he should not reveal who the kidnapper is, but that doesn't matter. The police find out who it is after the man commits suicide. It looks like all hope is lost in finding the missing woman.

Another layer is added to the story where the family is planning a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend a family wedding. Allison repeatedly has dreams of the plane crashing outside a quiet, deserted farm. Husband and wife argue over flying or driving (he wants to fly, she wants to drive - obviously) to Salt Lake City. They end up driving after it is revealed that one of her daughters (who is also psychic) is having the same plane crash dream.

Midway through the trip they stay at a motel; after checking in the husband finds out that their plane landed safely anyway!

The plots intersect when Allison, driving the family's jeep down a country road near their motel, ends up at the farm from her dreams. The jeep breaks down and she wanders into a barn looking for help. This is where she finds a small-scale model of the town (reminiscent of Beetlejuice). After her cell phone rings and she begins talking to her husband, the model begins shaking. It turns out that the missing woman was buried beneath the model, beneath the floorboards!

I find it interesting that her psychic powers in this episode do not give her an accurate picture of the future like they usually do. In fact, they lie to her in a sense in that the plane didn't crash. But it pushes her to choose another path than the one she'd planned and leads her to the missing girl. This is not a traditional Hollywood view of psychics and how their powers work and I found that delightful. The entire episode, everything about it, was delightful, from beginning to end! The song, the subtitles, the priest, the religious aspects, the dreams, and how she found the girl, all excellently woven together to make for a very solid, very delicious, very entertaining hour of television.


Day One:
I started my trek by sneaking out of work at 2:45 and busting down to my house to kiss Cwellan goodbye and pick up a blanket I’d forgotten to pack. Then it was back onto the highway for a couple hours. When I got to rt. 80 I got so ridiculously lost following Yahoo directions that I stopped at a pizza place to find out how to get back to 80, and at some guy’s pumpkin selling farm, to ask directions. Then I saw the signs. Relief! Excitement! Confusion! The signs say “September 16-18”? That's...last weekend...Hmmmmm maybe it’s, they’re… playing a joke? Playing a joke, yay! I like these people ; )

When I pulled up to the main field I knew I was in the right place. I hopped out of my car an commenced looking hopefully confused and calling “h-helloo…?” Until a Hat-wearing friendly Hi-I’m-Scott came over, gave me a big hugg and said “Welcome Home.”

This was a little weird at first, but gradually I came to understand fully the truth behind these words.

So I dragged my loot over to a likely spot and Scott helped my set up my mega-humungoid too big tent. With everything inside, I deposited my foodstuffs in the kitchen and put the VW in an out of the way location. We all crowded around for dinner, and introductions started, and the food was AMAZING (Thanks Chef!).

The fire was lit and everyone paid rapt attention to Chad as he went through his fire/fuel safety talk. The fire seemed to want us to move (it was spitting at us like nobody’s business!) so we repositioned a bit. The fuel bucket was lit and subsequently put out, silly questions were asked, and then we were ready to BURN!

Drums started up. Fire rose and fell. The night sky was painted with streaks of our light. Girls became increasingly naked. I danced with Cady and I drummed and I spun a little bit of poi. I contact juggled, and met a couple people that I knew (it was inevitable). I borrowed a pair of Casey’s Fire Devil Sticks, and got beautiful little chain bites on my hands and wrists. Much talking, singing and dancing. We set roots in this place and let the fire make it home.

And we winked out like stars into our tents, and dreams brought us aspirations for new tricks, new flows, new rhythms and we slept as we discovered ancient vibrations for the very first time.

Day Two:
I woke to the sounds of voices and low crackling of a newly revived fire. I wandered up to the kitchen to nose up some tea, and Kevin and hook girl agreed to go swimming with me. We were joined a touch later by drummers John and Linda. On the way back we wandered to the rope swing, climbed the tower and I wimped out while Kevin took the plunge. Then Breakfast. Oh, breakfast. Oh the eggs, oh, the sauce. Mornay sauce? So good. As our first official meal together, we made a lot of introductions and re-introductions and tried to start taking it all in.

After breakfast, the bulk of the throng moved to the field for registration, the marking of the hands, and the start of classes for the day. We filled the field and moved. Hoops, staves, poi, darts, fans, dancers and torches. So many performers unified in the quest to find more ways to show fire. We twisted our bodies like frames around the practice equipment, to find the perfect patterns. We danced over each other and the ground. We watched and thought, I’ll never get that good, and the and then we proved each other wrong.

Lunch came and more classes, more swimming, and I finally tried the rope swing. We taught and listened and learned by teaching until dusk, when our thoughts turned to the blaze. Chad taught us safety again and this time we weren’t shy to spin. By this time the DJ booth was working, so we got to spin to new sounds interspersed with the drums. Around the fire, bells rattles whistles and drums made their songs heard, bodies flew and darted, voices lifted and fell. The energy was intense as Chef brought his spinning closer to the fire and wall between the pit and the fire field was breached. Later on sparks flew off the floating dock as the fire made it out to the river.

Day Three:

Today I woke before dawn to the sound of howling in the distance. I sat by the embers and teased the coals back to small flames, enough to dry Scott’s beautiful drum and warm my punished feet. I drummed softly so as not to wake the sleeper by the fire, and kept drumming to help the sun come up. Chad said good morning to me and stoked the fire. At sunrise, others started venturing out of their tents for chatting by the fire, spinning, doing yoga, and resting. Some of us had to leave so early, and stole away with few goodbyes. Some of us lingered, swam, and ate. Some of us couldn’t bear to go-yet, so we packed up and then came back to sit just a little while longer. I helped take down the streamers from the soccer net and turned them into FIRE (reminiscent) POMPOMS. We cleaned up, and said our lingering goodbyes. Then I left for home. Cwellan laughed and Dijit, our roommate told me that I looked really sexy. I sunk into a hot bath and soon into a warm soft bed. Now I have only the scars to remind me, and soon I will only have the memories, and the anecdotes by my new friends who will remind me of the things I will forget. So I’m writing this down to remember.

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