We've been enjoying our time with Henrik, and I've not been on the computer. Sweet.
Among the highlights of the past two days was our trip to Ruggle's Mine outside of Grafton, New Hampshire, which it turns out is only about 25 miles from White River Junction. We'd never been there, though I'd had my eye on this as a possible summer jaunt for some time. Framing yesterday by showing Henrik the geologically 'lowest' point in VT in the morning -- Quechee Gorge (though we didn't have time to hike down into the gorge itself; maybe his next visit we can do that) -- and enjoying the 'highest' geological oddity I could find that we could drive, rather than hike, to (Marge simply isn't up to a hike!) seemed like a fine use of a day for someone from as flat a country as Denmark.
Ruggle's Mine was indeed a treat. It's in fact one of the hands-down coolest New England tourist destinations I've ever been to! You drive to the mountaintop location -- itself over 2100 feet, the parking lot alone affording a spectacular view of the valley below and neighboring northern 3100+ ft. mountain peak -- and after paying your ticket fee, hoof it into the cavern carved into the rock by farmer Sam Ruggles and family, beginning in 1806. Making your way down into the cave, you emerge into a wide expanse of the central open mine, peppered with multiple tunnels above your head and a variety of cavernous openings one can wander in and out of.
Originally a mica mine, the excavation is jaw-droppingly vast and beautiful; it's like a location from the Southwest once you're in the main arena. After two centuries of mining by various hands, the mine offers a full afternoon of exploration (including one passage you can walk/crawl through carved into the ledge a few hundred yards) and opens up at its lowest point to another cave-like opening to the other side of the mountain, and another impressive view facing south.
We had a glorious time, stayed until almost closing, and then drove back to Lebanon for one of the most delicious Mexican meals I've ever had outside of New Mexico.
Last night, Henrik popped open a huge boxed DVD set (going to another lucky American on another leg of his US visit) of Denmark's all-time most popular TV series, Matador/Monopoly, 1929-1947 (1978-82), a long-time bestseller only recently issued in a new set, restored and sporting English subtitles for the first time. We screened the first two episodes last night, and it's a good thing we waited until Henrik's final night, or we wouldn't have done anything else. It's terrific television, we were captivated -- damn, going to have to track down an affordable set for ourselves at some point.
One of the points of interest for me was seeing cast members of Lars Von Trier's Riget/The Kingdom in key roles in Matador/Monopoly, prominent among them Holger Juul Hansen (who played the eternally befuddled head of the hospital in Kingdom) as the manager of the Korsbæk bank -- a very similar role, really.
It was tough to turn off the player at the close of episode two, but with 27 hours of the series ahead, and less than 12 hours before we had to hit the road, we had little choice.
* Against all good sense, I decide to attend San Diego Comicon, even though the guest badge that Jackie and Batton mailed me indicates it is only good between 10 AM and 12 noon, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. After agonizing through the end of the airline movie, a live-action remake of Moby Dick co-starring Sky and Winter McCloud as Ishmael's psychic telekinetic sisters, I exit the plane in San Diego airport; damn, the lines to the con are already spilling into the baggage claim area. Realizing the convention hall is still almost 15 miles away, I immediately board the next plane back to Vermont. This is too crazy to deal with!
* Amid unpacking, I find I somehow have two multi-volume boxed sets of Nick Zedd's complete movies, one a vhs set, the other DVD. Oddly, the DVD set seems to also include major studio releases of Zedd films, too; how did Ted Turner get the rights to transgressive cinema? Before I simply sell the former at the Quechee booth, I decide I better compare the two to make sure the DVD set is truly complete; the vhs set seems to include films Zedd intended to make, but never did. As I unpack other items, I screen the Zedd films, which are indeed replicated complete in the DVD set; however, a couple friends drop in during this process, and it quickly becomes apparent Zedd's films seem to precipitate hideously bad luck for anyone else exposed to them. Can I really justify anyone seeing Thrust in Me if it's going to cause injury or disaster? Geek Maggot Bingo is barely worth sitting through once! Still, the transfers are beautiful --
We're off to drive Henrik to the airport for the next leg of his journey, heading to San Diego (discussion of which no doubt prompted one of this morning's dreams). Wish him luck! We'll be popping in to visit Joe Citro and Diane E. Foulds afterwards, and then I've got some duties to the Center for Cartoon Studies Create Comics Workshop II group tonight. Hope all is going well for Robyn, Alec Longstreth and Aaron Renier with the new group; turns out I'm not needed, which is OK, I'm ready for a week off.
Damn, I stupidly confused Aaron for one of the returning students yesterday AM when I dropped by before class started yesterday morning. I've only seen Alec and Aaron when they're side-by-side! Man, what a faux pas. Stupid, stupid Bissette creature!
If you have broadband internet access,