Stumbling Through Fall

Can you believe it’s already November?!!

Continue reading “Stumbling Through Fall”

A Figment of Your Imagination

What does “dark” mean to you? Does it conjure up images of a villainous character, horror stories, or a dark mood? Continue reading “A Figment of Your Imagination”

Introducing: NerdeekTV

Nerdeek PanoramaSome weeks ago I told you about a project I’ve been working on with my cousins: a webshow we’re calling NerdeekTV.

Today, we are pleased to announce our worldwide premier!

Yes, it’s roughly six hours late, but better late than never, right?

check out the official NerdeekTV website

visit the NerdeekTV Facebook page

A Post for October 31

October 31 means different things to different people.

To some, October 31 is part of the Christian liturgical calender: All Hallows Eve. All Hallows Eve is the day before All Saint Day, the day dedicated to all saints (both known and unknown), as well as the martyrs and other faithful departed believers. As the nightly vigil before All Saint’s Day, All Hallows Eve constitutes the first day of Hallowmas. Perhaps early celebrations introduced such traditions as Soul Cake (and therefore Terry Pratchett’s Soul Cake Duck) and the celebration of the French danse macabre, reminding churchgoers of the end of all worldly things. These traditions changed with the Protestant Reformation, with some denominations condemning all associations with All Hallows Eve due to its “popish” customs and other denominations incorporating aspects of the day into a time of solemn reflection. Today, many American denominations consider October 31 to be a day of evil, associated with pagan harvest festivals and celebrations.

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Others consider October 31 a day of joviality. It is a day to dress up (or down), act out of character, and collect candy. They decorate their homes and costume their families and carry on traditions like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, or watching scary movies. Growing up, I always watched Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Today, that selection has been expanded to include episodes from Doctor Who, especially the “scary” or “thriller” episodes like “Don’t Blink,” “Time of Angels,” and “The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit” story line. Perhaps this year we will include “Hide” in the lineup.

Satan_Pit

These are the words of the Beast. And he has woken. He is the heart that beats in the darkness. He is the blood that will never cease. And now he will rise. We are the Legion of the Beast. The Legion shall be many, and the Legion shall be few. He has woven himself in the fabric of your life since the dawn of time. Some may call him Abaddon. Some may call him Kroptor. Some may call him Satan, or Lucifer, or the Bringer of Despair, the Deathless Prince, the Bringer of Night. These are the words that shall set him free: I shall become manifest. I shall walk in might. My Legions shall swarm across the worlds. I am the sin and the temptation and the desire. I am the pain and the loss and I have been imprisoned for eternity. But, no more. The Pit is open. And I am free.

These are some of the most terrifying words in the entire Doctor Who series . . .

But to me, October 31 will always be first and foremost Reformation Day: the day that Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses in Wittenberg Germany protesting the Catholic practice of selling indulgences and – unintentionally – providing the impetus for the Protestant Reformation. Although the Reformation resulted in the German Wars of Religion, the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and an expansion of the Inquisition, the Reformation also brought with it a spiritual freedom not seen on a large scale since the time of Constantine. In addition, the Reformation compelled the Northern Renaissance to focus on spiritual matters rather than the humanism of the late Italian Renaissance, giving us artists like Albrecht Dürer and Jan van Eyck. The Reformation is so pivotal to human history that we use it to divide the world between the Medieval and the Modern ages.

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Click to embiggen!

Whatever your penchant, I pray this October 31 finds you safe, happy, and healthy. After all, this day has something for everyone.

There is Something in October . . .

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;

We must rise and follow her,

When from every hill of flame

She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

~ Bliss Carman

I love October.

Fall began a few weeks ago, but October is the first true Fall month. The invigorating autumn air makes running downright enjoyable after the long, hot summer. The swarming insects begin to die off; I can finally bask on my front porch and finally use the patio furniture we bought three months ago. Leaves have begun to turn color, calling into remembrance fall afternoons of my childhood spent raking leaves with my grandmother – “Mind the rhubarb!” – and the campfire smell of burning leaves. Bath and Body Works fails to compete.

burning leaves
Because my municipality prohibits burning . . .
Photo Credit: pbase.com

Already the requests for apple pie come in. Nearly every student – even those who “don’t like pie” – wants a piece. I’m flattered, really. Rarely are there leftovers, but the ultimate compliment came from my mother when she said I make a better apple pie than she did. Along with the apples come the pumpkins. Soon the Episcopal church will set up their Pumpkin Patch and the orange gourds of fall will mix and mingle with the 18th century gravestones. The innards will be carefully scooped and separated by me; my wife will turn them into muffins, cupcakes, and roasted seeds. We’ll spend some weekends with the cousins carving faces; I have an epic Dalek design for this year.

dalekpumpkinThis month has a special reading list. Although it has nothing to do with the month, I always read The Hunt for Red October a some point in the month. This year’s reading will be bittersweet: Tom Clancy passed away last week; now I’ll never get my autographed copy. At least he finished one last book. Ray Bradbury makes two appearances this month with Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree. I remember seeing Halloween Tree as an animated special when I was a kid; I wonder if any stations will show it? Speaking of animated specials, be sure to watch Tim Burton’s classic stop-motion masterpiece: Nightmare Before Christmas. I found the 20th Anniversary Edition at B&N the other week. Hopefully it will go on sale after the season.

OctoberReadingOvershadowed by Halloween, October 31 is also Reformation Day. Without intending to, Martin Luther sparked a revolt against the Catholic Church that – in turn – influenced the creation of hundreds of Protestant denominations and introduced the concept of religious freedom – an idea not seen since Justinian made Christianity Byzantium’s only legal religion. In college I used to slip random portions of the 95 Theses into student boxes or under doors. I tired passing them out to Trick-or-Treaters a few years ago, but now no-one even bothers to come to my door. Oh well; it’s just another tragic result of America’s declining educational system.

Enjoy your pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, and apple pie. Drink coffee on the front porch. Enjoy fall. Love October.

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