Sunday, October 16, 2005

Autumnal Images and Brotherly Birthdays

I like autumn. I like it better than "fall" because the word "autumnal" exists, but there's no corresponding adjective for "fall." "Autumnal" is such an evocative word, poetic, wistful, reminiscent. It brings to mind scenes like these from Lord of the Rings. (Those are all different links.) You know, endings...

It's the end of the baseball season, for one thing. The Cubs weren't even in it, but if the White Sox win their game today, Chicago will nevertheless host a World Series this year. I find that exciting, even if some people I'm married to (naming no names) say I shouldn't care. It's also football season, and the Bears, believe it or not, are first in their division as of today, in spite of having lost more games than they've won. I'm trying, for Ken's sake, to care about that.

It's also horror movie season. I've watched seven Friday the 13th movies (all in one day!) and two Halloween movies, plus Nightmare on Elm Street, and I'm sure there will be more to come. This is the first time I've seen any of them. I never knew, before, what they were.

The villains can always be outrun or even outfought by high school students, provided the high schoolers know they are being hunted. The main protagonists are nearly always young women, and they are usually more than a match for their supernatural stalkers, which I find positively inspiring. And the victims are always the cool kids that you wished would drop dead, back when you were in school. This poetic justice, I think, is the biggest appeal of this kind of movie. The actual violence is too cartoonish, and the characters too paper-thin, for any of the death scenes to really get to me, emotionally. On the whole, I would say slasher flicks are female-nerd empowerment stories (the ones with boyfriends always die first, of course), and how can I not approve of that?

So this Halloween, I'll be carving the masks of Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees into pumpkins, and watching a lot of sequels. Also, dressing up as Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Where was I? Ah yes, aside from Halloween, horror movies, baseball playoffs, football optimism, and Rivendell (that one goes to a page of paintings, and incidentally says that Rivendell is based in part on the real-life Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is one of the places Ken and I went on our honeymoon), autumn is also the season of apples, Oktoberfest and other parties, garage sales, and all kinds of fall festivals. Doesn't the color of the sunlight, and the smell of the air, and the trees, and the temperature, make you want to go on a hayride right now?

Finally, it's a good season for family, 'cause Thanksgiving comes at the end, and right in the middle, today, in fact, comes my brother's birthday.

Happy birthday, Patrick!

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