Saturday, October 30, 2010

corn maze, candy apple americana. where were you?

Last night, the loveliest couple I know and I drove out to Rogers Farm. The drive in and of itself was incredible-- the smells of bonfires in the distance, starts brighter and fresher with each cleared kilometer.  On the way we listened to the sounds of the most ridiculous corners of our musical tastes.

The promise of a terrifying corn maze drew us, but when we entered we saw that there was much more than that going on. There was a huge field of hay stacked 8 feet tall that you can climb around on/in- have king of the mountain type fights on and a HUGE bouncy castle surface (perhaps half a a football field?) to jump around on, fall, laughing into one another.

The corn maze was full of living tropes of Americana horror culture- Jason, Freddy, chain saws, jumping out, creepy music. It was not nearly as scary, however, as the spooky trail. In the spooky trail, there is only one direction/path one can take.  People jump out at you, dressed like clowns and/or monsters...but they follow you, breathing on you and coming quick with the directions. "Keep walking." It would be fairly easy for someone who is actually interested in killing someone to do so in that setting-- no one would think to run or not follow instructions. It was this realization that made me nervous.

There was so much about Rogers Farm a la halloween to love-- grabbing on, running, laughing, screaming,  the cotton candy, candy apple atmosphere, the jumping, the crisp fall smell. It was cold enough for me to wear a hoodie. Maybe that's a sign?

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

everything is moving.

Also: there is a lecture on vikings coming up. You should go.
"Vikings and the Archaeology of Memory"

9 November, 7:30pm, Leigh 207 (chemistry building)
Howard Williams (University of Chester)
Vikings and the Archaeology of Memory

How did the Vikings remember? What did they remember and why? As part of a growing field of study known as 'archaeologies of remembrance', the talk will present archaeological evidence for how Viking period  societies used  material culture to construct their myths, legends and social histories. The talk charts comemmorative practices in the Vikings' Scandinavian homelands through the hybrid cultures and shifting commemorative practices developed during the Norse colonisation of the North Atlantic and parts of the British Isles during the ninth and tenth centuries AD. Investigating how these early medieval socieites imagined, invented and portrayed their own history, the talk presents fresh perspectives on the fascinating worlds of Viking art, death ritual, monument-buildling and landscape perception and utilisation.

HOWARD WILLIAMS is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester. His research investigates the archaeology of early medieval death, burial and commemoration (c. AD 400-1100). Howard has directed fieldwork in the UK and Sweden and he is co-director of Project Eliseg (<> His other research explores the history of early medieval archaeology and contemporary archaeologies of death. Howard is author of Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain (2006, Cambridge University Press), editor of Archaeologies of Rememebrance (2003, Springer) and co-editor of Early Medieval Mortuary Practices: Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (2007, Oxford University School of Archaeology) and Mortuary Practices and Social Identities in the Middle Ages (2009, University of Exeter Press).