The Big Freeze

It’s damn cold here in Wisconsin, to the point where our front door is literally freezing on the inside. Snow is making an advance on my abode. The kitties don’t know what to do, so they bat at the stuff and meow, providing a cute, if unnecessary, alarm. I spent the weekend attempting to avoid such doom and gloom, though, and instead partook of a beer fest.

If you’ve never been to one, beer fests are a modern ode to Dionysus, which, yes, is more about wine but the point I’m making here is that you have a frenzied group of revelers engaged for hours in pursuit of booze. While this might describe just about any night of the week in certain cities, at a beer fest it’s all contained within a tight space, and said booze is freely given out by various breweries who hope that the taste of their tinctures will pierce the increasingly dense fog of your brain and leave a brand that, like Harry Potter’s scar, will make itself known the next time you’re near the liquor store.

In shorter parlance, it’s what’s known as a good time.

Sunday, in penitence for the bacchanalia the night before, we went to see the traveling Broadway rendition of Beauty and the Beast. Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve seen the animated version, but the stage reading shows Gaston to not only be a bullying lout, but also a devout anti-feminist. It’s a theme that I didn’t pick up from the Disney picture, but it presented a more interesting villain. Here, instead of being merely a jock caricature, Gaston seemed all the more insidious. He didn’t want Belle just for a trophy, no, but rather as a furtherance of his own line, and her own dreams factored not at all in that goal. The eventual (spoiler?) fall off of the castle felt more satisfying when it wasn’t just the demise of a gloating cretin, but a sort-of victory for the progress of civilization.

Also, we idly wondered post-play whether the entire production is a mild advocate for human-animal love, but chose not to delve too deeply down that particular vein, as what would be the point?

In more pertinent news, the stories continue to trickle forth. My mind continues to play ping-pong between running through the administrative tape of forming a DBA and struggling through the rigors of self-publishing, while there’s a soft whisper in the back telling me to wait, wait until someone decides my work is good/marketable enough to sell. Both are doable, of course – one needs only to look at Hugh Howey to see how that can turn into a miracle. In the meantime, march forward.

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