Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm so pleased about the rich Moby-Dick conversation that took place while I was incommunicado at the Harmony Fair (see the comments beneath my September 3 post). Myself, I'm feeling more and more enthusiastic about undertaking this novel, which, as all of your comments reinforce, already feels strangely pertinent to so much in this world.

And now I'd like to get started on Great Expectations; but for me, today must be dedicated to post-fair recovery--i.e., driving to Skowhegan to buy dog food, allergy medicine, and a tire. The Harmony Elementary kids get an extra day of sleep (otherwise known as "teacher workshop day"), but the Harmony high schoolers are whining and complaining and dragging themselves to school. Both my boys lived life to the fullest all weekend: Paul won Best of Show for his pickled dill beans, and he also won the pie-eating contest (ages 9-14 category). James and his best friend Sam covered themselves in glory by winning the ever-popular doubles competition known as the Gross Games (sample event: rubbing your face in a plate of corn syrup and then picking up Froot Loops with your head; no hands allowed). I am sorry to say that I've been left to deal with the shirts.

Meanwhile, I ran the Exhibit Hall, which, after the flurry of setup and judge management, devolved into sitting in a lawn chair and reading/socializing/telling kids not to bounce balls inside the building. I did have a slightly sheepish, sigh-filled moment, when one woman made the mistake of asking me what I was reading.

"Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire," I replied.

"Oh," she said. "Is that part of a series?"

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