the years when we are in a vampire craze outnumber the years when we haven’t been in a vampire craze. There are a few brief periods which we call the garlic years where …there are not a lot of movies or TV shows being produced.

Chris Beam, political reporter

jacarandaThe thing about jacarandas – if there is but one thing – is that they always give you something to sweep. Leaves, blossoms, seed pods – there’s always something.

Because I’ve been looking at the jacaranda more, I’ve noticed more types of birds this year. Some red- and some yellow-breasted chubby things about the size of finches, another variety of hummingbird, some bigger jobbies that look like doves and that have white markings on their tails (which they proudly flick quite often) and wings. As you can tell by my descriptions, I’m an avid birder.

Another bird nest has landed on the patio – actually on one of the chairs. The nesting materials appear to be the same as the earlier nest that fell, but the shape is different, a result no doubt of its fall.

For some time I’ve wondered about the popularity of the shows that feature vampires and the rest of those creatures who seemingly live forever. There are a number of teen romance novels series with vampire themes with the Twilight series possibly creating a new generation of people who go to libraries, book stores, and book departments to read and/or buy and/or steal a book.  I totally understand why teens – most particularly teen girls – read vampire novels (totally identifying with the forbidden love thing, being an outcast, being misunderstood, so wanting a world where there’s a stability of intent and action, where right and wrong are easily demarcated). I didn’t understand adults having an interest in these immortals … until I began watching Forever, a television show – not about vampires – but about a man who cannot die and who views immortality to be a curse as he watches, through the centuries, his mortal loved ones die.  Although he works and has a social life, he can share his condition with so few people that he lives almost in psychological isolation.  The fact that he’s handsome, witty, extremely knowledgeable about many esoteric topics and gets to show his empathy all make the character portrayed by Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd my TV heart-throb of this year.

Partita No. 3 in E major, Preludio (J.S. Bach)


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