Things to Do in CT: From Hare Krishna to Mapleleaf Farm

The day after I went to see Jaws! in the park, I headed to two very different but equally entertaining event. The Farmer saw a listing for Hartford’s Festival of India in the newspaper, and it promised free snacks and a chariot parade, so obviously we went. And then, when we were done, we took a tour of Mapleleaf Farm in Hebron.

The Festival of India was not quite what we’d expected. There was a smattering of tents, most of which were trying to sell the Bhagavad Gita in one way or another. There was also a vegetarian tent that tells you all about how your meat is poisoned with “pain toxins.” They were kind of preaching to the choir with us on that one, but even I found some of their claims a bit dubious. There was a “Questions & Answers” tent with nothing but an empty chair in it. We assumed this was an existential statement — or an unmanned Information Tent.

To our chagrin the free food tent was not open yet, so we were reduce to paying $8 for out delicious food at another tent. The chariot parade turned out to be a crapload of people pulling one chariot.

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The chariot itself was pretty cool, though, complete with a cow balloon. The thing that we found most confusing about the festival was the emphasis on Hare Krishna, including the constant playing of a chant that is kind of calming/infuriating–but I also suspect it of brainwashing me, just like it did to Chion Wolf’s brother. (more…)

Chill Over Hillary and UConn Already

Call it poor timing. This week’s hullabaloo around Hillary Clinton’s speaking fee for an April appearance at UConn is unfortunate in light of tuition increases. It also has me wanting to sit you all down and give you a lesson in Fundraising 101. So sit down…

Yes, $250,000 is a ton of money, but it’s the going rate for a Clinton. Actually, I’m sort of hoping Hillary gets more than Bill because of that whole glass ceiling thing. It’s called a speaking fee. Just about every famous person has one, unless they are donating their appearance.

This brings us to donations. Donations can be categorized as “unrestricted” and “restricted.” As you might guess, unrestricted funds can be used for whatever the organization deems necessary from paying for programs to salaries to fixing the toilet. These dollars are the most helpful and what most people give. (more…)

Get to Hartford’s Free Movies After Dark Before the Summer Ends

Quint telling us all about his shark-related PTSD.

Quint telling us all about his shark-related PTSD.

One of the main reasons I started this blog so many years ago was to prove that anyone who claims Connecticut is boring is wrong. Or, if I’m feeling less generous, that those people are themselves boring. Lately, I’ve felt vindicated because I’ve been doing so many fun and diverse things that I hardly have time to write about them. For instance, a couple weeks ago, I convinced the Asian Persuasion and the Pilot to drag their newborn out into the hot summer night to attend one of Hartford’s Free Movies After Dark.

I always like free stuff, but I especially like free stuff when my cat is sick and I am bleeding money to deal with feline gallstones. GALLSTONES!!!!!! So when I realized I could see a movie in a park after dark for free, I was all about it.

We happened to see Jaws! Like any red blooded American, I saw this movie a bunch of times as a kid–though some of those times were probably actually the sequels. But I haven’t seen this piece of cinematic genius (at least according to one Dawson Leary) in a very long time, so I was totally pumped. Plus, I can’t think of a better summer movie. (more…)

My First Trip to “The Mouth”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Mark Twain House puts on some of the best events in Hartford. For a long time I’ve been trying to get to “The Mouth” — a Moth-like storytelling event — but it seemed that I was doomed to an eternity of being out of town during each event. Then “Fame and the Fame(ish)” came up and my heart did a little flip-flop when I realized I could  go. And I  feel like I probably lucked out by being able to go to this one.

Fellow Nose-panelist Rand Cooper kicked off the night with his story about an encounter with Grace Kelly in a frat house. It involved a water bed, but not in a dirty way…or at least not in a hot/dirty way, but maybe in an actually unhygienic way. Rand is quite the storyteller, even on an impromptu basis, so it was a good one.

But the real highlight of the night was a story from Paul Marcarelli, a director and screenwriter who will forever be known to you and Julie Andrews as the “Can You Hear Me Now?” guy.  (more…)

This is What Happens Under the Strawberry Moon

For a while now I’ve been hearing about Under the Strawberry Moon, a festival in Glastonbury that is basically a “Taste of Glastonbury” with a fancier name. But as per usual, I’d forgotten about it until I drove through downtown Glastonbury and saw the tents going up. My boyfriend, The Farmer, was planning on  heading out to his farm later that day so I started looking for people to accompany me. No-takers. My mom seemed incapable of understanding what it was. She thought it was a Strawberry Festival, but it wasn’t.

Food tents galore.

Food tents galore.

Luckily, The Farmer is one of those guys who actually likes to do things, so he decided to hang around a little while longer so we could head to the festival. Oh, and in case you were wondering, according to The Farmer’s Almanac, “The month of June’s full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit.” (more…)

The Nose After Dark

If you regularly listen to the Colin McEnroe Show on Friday afternoons you are probably familiar with The Nose — a rotating panel of guests who talk about whatever happened in the news that week. If you listen to the Colin McEnroe Show on Friday afternoons and are not familiar with The Nose, you should probably see a specialist because you are having trouble retaining information. Most of the time The Nose panelists gather in groups of three (plus Colin) to chat in studio. But Noser-extraordinaire, rock star, and all-around party-animal Jim Chapdelaine had the fantastic idea to have a Nose party.

Chappy, courtesy of Chion Wolf

It also happens that Jim has a fantastic party yard — you know, the kind other people get a team of HGTVers to come and build for them over the course of a weekend. Pool, multiple “outdoor living spaces”, and a sweet ass studio where we got to watch Bee Gee impersonators and rock out. I’m jealous, my yard sucks for parties. But I digress… (more…)

Kappa Kappa Gamma: Not Exactly Out of the Ordinary

I can’t believe this, but I think I’m about to defend Kappa Kappa Gamma. First, some background…

When I was a student at UConn, a girl in my hallway told my roommate and I that she was  going to rush a Sorority. Our basic response was, “Whatever you do, don’t join Kappa Kappa Gamma.” But she paid no attention to us and ended up a card-carrying member of the sorority sometimes referred to as Visa Visa Master Card. The girl from our hallway, who I referred to as Mouskewitz (a la Fievel) because her last name was very similar — and it annoyed her, and as you can probably tell, I like to annoy people — was a walking embodiment of every stereotype you ever had about a wealthy girl from Long Island. She would be right at home on a reality show now.

Anyway… I got a slight twinge of excitement when I first heard that KKG was being kicked off campus. Apparently there was a “hazing incident” and girls were forced to drink alcohol and told to sizzle like bacon on the ground. First, I’d like to talk about completely unoriginal this is. Please see minute 1:45 of this clip from Dazed and Confused.  (more…)

Hey Hartford, Boycott the Circus!

By Nathan King, Flickr Creative Commons

By Nathan King, Flickr Creative Commons

You may have recently heard some terrible news from the world of circuses. Several trapeze artists for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum, & Bailey Circus tumbled to the ground in front of a Providence, Rhode Island audience on Sunday. When a clamp snapped, eight women—who had been hanging by their hair during a “human chandelier” act—fell 25-40 feet to the ground and on to a man who was dancing below. People were hurt…badly. We wish them a speedy recovery.

And the next stop on the tour is Hartford. So, while there is a little extra attention on the circus—and the questionable working conditions—I thought I’d take the chance to tell you why I will never go to this or any other circus that uses wild animals in its act. (more…)