30 September, 2008

Answer's Yes.

...Come dance with me baby/ in the summer rain/ I remember the rain on our skin/ and his kisses hotter than the Santa Ana winds....

Yes, it was muddy. Yes, it was Pyrate Invasion Weekend. Yes, we show up and perform when it rains. Yes, the patrons came out, though not as many as we'd've liked. Yes, we walked stilts. Yes, it was tricky getting out of the parking lot. Yes, we have three weekends left. Yes, I'm getting tired, but mostly of laundry rather than performance. Yes, I'll recognize you, if you come close enough; remember I'm near-sighted.

Sidebar: A couple of guys come up to us. Mimi! they holler. I turn. Hah! I know you guys!
Where's Max? I point. He and his sister are heading another direction with Didi. Zizi and I stick around for reminiscence, not that she has any yet. I know these guys. Not their names, though probably they've said them more than once. Their faces. Most Favored Patrons, from long ago. I look around and spread my hands at them. What are you looking for? I point to them. Us! Where've we been! Yes. I can't believe you remember us! I count my fingers, four, five, six? Has it been five years, they wonder. I make a face. Yes, well, he- the redhead points to the sunglasses guy- was in Yerp for the last four years. I can't believe she remembers us! And he- the sunglasses guy points to the redhead- has two kids now. I make incredulous faces and point to myself; I have two kids, and I still show up. Mimi! I can't believe she remembers us. Off they go, these two guys, to hunt up significant others, offspring, uncles, whatever, and I hold someone's grandbaby for a photo. Here they are! Redhead has twins. He hands me one of them, despite the worried frown of his spouse. I roll my eyes, and extend my other arm. You sure? They're heavy! They ARE heavy. But not too much, and not covered in cheesedust. But they cry, even though I've kept them facing away from me. Sometimes the perspective change is overly startling. The laughing family gets a couple of shots, and I hand back the fussy twins. Mimi! She remembers us! I blow kisses and find Zizi again. She's made friends with seleventeen little kids and their two generations of elders. Sigh. Well, we can't both gravitate towards beered up single guys who keep showing up until they've become family men. Back home, I find an elderly photograph album. Here's Redhead, with me draped all over him. And here I am with both of them, and yes, Sunglasses is wearing shades in that photo as well. Probably the first photo they brought to me the day the second was taken. I assume there's a third, taken when they gave me the second, but between Yerp and the twins, who knows where it might be. I slide the photograph out of its sleeve. There's a date on the back: September, 1991.

So, Yes, we are open three more weekends; do please come visit me if you haven't yet, and usually do. Because Yes, I see thousands of people, but I'm always particularly thrilled to see YOU.

(Summer Rain; Belinda Carlisle)

26 September, 2008

Uphill's Easier

...take it down/ climb a mountain and turn around....

Overheard last weekend:

"Wow, that's GOTTA be hard! Downhill on stilts over all that mulch!"

Um, not so much, really....


(Landslide; Fleetwood Mac)

23 September, 2008

On Point:

...down dooby doo down down, comma comma/ down dooby doo down down....

Wednesday is National Punctuation Day! Read all about it.

In honor of NPD, I found some fun sites for your exploration and enjoyment. If you're confused about the marks themselves, the punctuation tree will help you.

If you're ready for a bit of a quiz, Lynne Truss has one on comma and apostrophe use.

Commas are relevant to our civil rights; don't miss this article about the Second Amendment.

Those pesky commas can also cost us money.

Comma Quirk Irks Rogers
Sunday, August 06, 2006
From Monday's Globe and Mail

It could be the most costly piece of punctuation in Canada.

A grammatical blunder may force Rogers Communications Inc. to pay an extra $2.13-million to use utility poles in the Maritimes after the placement of a comma in a contract permitted the deal's cancellation.

The controversial comma sent lawyers and telecommunications regulators scrambling for their English textbooks in a bitter 18-month dispute that serves as an expensive reminder of the importance of punctuation.

Rogers thought it had a five-year deal with Aliant Inc. to string Rogers' cable lines across thousands of utility poles in the Maritimes for an annual fee of $9.60 per pole. But early last year, Rogers was informed that the contract was being cancelled and the rates were going up. Impossible, Rogers thought, since its contract was iron-clad until the spring of 2007 and could potentially be renewed for another five years.

Armed with the rules of grammar and punctuation, Aliant disagreed. The construction of a single sentence in the 14-page contract allowed the entire deal to be scrapped with only one-year's notice, the company argued.

Language buffs take note — Page 7 of the contract states: The agreement “shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.”

Rogers' intent in 2002 was to lock into a long-term deal of at least five years. But when regulators with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) parsed the wording, they reached another conclusion.

The validity of the contract and the millions of dollars at stake all came down to one point — the second comma in the sentence.

Had it not been there, the right to cancel wouldn't have applied to the first five years of the contract and Rogers would be protected from the higher rates it now faces.

“Based on the rules of punctuation,” the comma in question “allows for the termination of the [contract] at any time, without cause, upon one-year's written notice,” the regulator said.

Rogers was dumbfounded. The company said it never would have signed a contract to use roughly 91,000 utility poles that could be cancelled on such short notice. Its lawyers tried in vain to argue the intent of the deal trumped the significance of a comma. “This is clearly not what the parties intended,” Rogers said in a letter to the CRTC.

But the CRTC disagreed. And the consequences are significant.

The contract would have shielded Rogers from rate increases that will see its costs jump as high as $28.05 per pole. Instead, the company will likely end up paying about $2.13-million more than expected, based on rough calculations.

Despite the victory, Aliant won't reap the bulk of the proceeds. The poles are mostly owned by Fredericton-based utility NB Power, which contracted out the administration of the business to Aliant at the time the contract was signed.

Neither Rogers nor Aliant could be reached for comment on the ruling. In one of several letters to the CRTC, Aliant called the matter “a basic rule of punctuation,” taking a swipe at Rogers' assertion that the comma could be ignored.

“This is a classic case of where the placement of a comma has great importance,” Aliant said.

Now, just for fun, a photoblog of
unnecessary quotation marks
, and one that's not much to do with punctuation, but that made me laugh most heartily at the funny un-grammar.

Speaking of which, LOLCats.

I Has A 'Postrofee.

(Breaking Up Is Hard To Do; Neil Sedaka)

11 September, 2008

Half Wet

...Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for/ It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)/ Sun-Shiny day....

Sunday, gorgeous and bright, was a day that the troupe termed "ideal", as our sets went smoothly and we felt as though we had good interactions all around. Though the grounds were squashy, we stilted up and we contributed to the textural quality thereof with squareish 1x1 holes.

On Saturday, while Hanna spent her wetness upon us, we only LOOKED dry entertaining the six hundred intrepid souls who waded in play.

"These two women came in," my jeweler pal tells me, "who had driven three hours to come to the festival today." I express astonishment. She laughs. "I know! But here's the thing that amazed me: they seemed perfectly normal!"

Because, understandably, we expect the crazies.

Mr. Squeeze keeps his feet comfy in the black wellies he's wearing beneath his sillypants all day long. "Vulcanized rubber, not exactly period, I know, but I don't care, I don't care," and he does two or three seconds worth of dancing. Pretty good Garland, considering he's a straight historical combat artist.

And black.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(I Can See Clearly Now; Bob Marley)

01 September, 2008

Inevitable, Eventually

...baby baby, please let me hold him/ I wanna make him stay up all night....

There is no reason that it should work, but it does. A kilt, sunglasses, a Rogues tee shirt, a pin-studded black leather biker vest and a real for sure Santa Claus beard ought to look terrible. He looks fantastic.

It's Festival time again. Outfits of all descriptions are on display for the next seven weekends.

Our bubbles are appreciated, and brightly dressed panto clowns sneaking through the village gets more attention than it deserves. We form a bright barrier between squishable patrons and working elephants, and provide a distraction while EMTs revive an overly marinated young lady lying prone on the path. But my naughty habit of baby-nabbing catches up with me at last.

A woman has seen me take a small girl up high in the air and return her unharmed. She brings her own child for a photo, then without warning snatches her up and shoves her into my unprepared arms. I smile grimly for the shot, managing not to stumble, then walk away. "Give my child back!" she shrieks. What? You gave her to me, this grubby, cheese-dust smeared urchin. GAVE her. The child begins to cry. I hand her over, irritated expression deliberately in place, brushing orange grime from my costume.

Hand ME a filthy child, will you? Not again, I bet.

(Stay Up Late; Talking Heads)