amkave: (Default)
So I took a hiatus from journaling for, wow, two years, and in that time LiveJournal kinda imploded.

So here we are in a shiny new Dreamwidth account I am leaning how to navigate. Yes, I had a Dreamwidth account under the old username, but it was years ago and I'd have to ressurrect it, and I don't think it ever imported correctly. So.

I've been over on Tumblr, and I like it for some stuff, but not for others.

New name, new account. I will set up an import of my fic journal, and likely my super secret livejournal too. Insane Journal - well, there isn't much there, maybe four entries.

So 2017. Wow. Maybe I'll try to get back into actually writing fiction one of these days!
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So the jury is back in the Boston Marathon Bombing case.  I empathize with the jury.  I mean, these are people who have put their lives on hold for the last five months to serve and come to a unanimous decision on life or death.  They sat day after day listening to the arguments of the defense and prosecution. They saw all the eveidence, and heard the aggravating facors and mitigating factors of the case and all of them decided the ultimate punishment is warranted.

The jury had a thankless job.  They lived and breathed this case unrelentingly for the weeks and months of the trial.  Both the regular trial, and then recalled for this sentencing bit.  Those folks, I am sure, want to get back to their lives and heal from having to make that very tough decision.

That said.  I can't say whether I think the decision they made was right or wrong. Would I rather he'd been killed during that long chase two years ago while we were all "sheltering in place" and he was actively terrorizing the area? Maybe.  It was so much more clear cut then - he was an aggressor, he had weapons, he was an immediate threat.

But after two years and I have no idea how much money put into the trial and federal case and now we have to warehouse him until the appeals process is finished and his sentence is eventually carried out (the Oklahoma federal building bomber was incarcerated several years - It was almost exactly four years between sentencing and death).  And until that time EVERYBODY has an opinion.  And we're going to keep hearing everyone's opinion because like they say - opinions are like assholes - everyone's got one (we just wish people kept their opinions as much to themselves as they do their assholes).

I've talked to folks who think he should be referred to as a number instead of a name.  Names have power, and depriving him of one takes away some of that power.  I'm not sure I agree (insert inappropriate musical theatre moment here).

Everyone I know around here knows someone who was there, someone who was affected, someone who was injured, someone who was family.  I occasionally work with a woman who was right there across the street when the bombs went off (and she talks about immediatly, not knowing what had happened, turning and trying to get away - getting seperated from the people she was with and finding everyone again.  And then the difficulties they had trying to get home from there (actual pay phones were used because cell towers were overloaded), and they had to walk a while to find a place someone could pick them up.  It shakes me up to think if she and her friends had chosen to stand on the other side of the street, they could have been severely injured or worse.  I know someone who's business office is on that corner and whose building was damaged in the blast. I am not unique. The six degrees when it comes to something like this are more like two or three.  I actually had to check with my parents to find out if my brother had decided to run as a rogue that year as he had done before to see if he might have been on the course (thankfully, he had not).

I get why the defense wanted a change of venue.

Down to it, do I think he deserves the death penalty?  Yes. I do.  But then, I firmly believe in my bleeding liberal heart that some actions are unforgivable.  And acts of terrorism, like Oklahoma city, like this one, like many many other examples from around the world demand the ultimate punishment. Which, I am told, is totally my southern Italian ancestors speaking through me (my paternal grandfather was the most UNFORGIVING human being - and his dad was the same way - Good men, both of them, but you DID NOT CROSS them). 
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
When reading a story and the author throws in a detail that is SUPER WRONG - especially in regards to geography or travel or travel TIMES.

I realize not everyone can or does travel as much as I do.  But there are things you can do to make it PLAUSIBLE.  Google travel times.  Use some sense.  Get an idea of how long it takes to get from point a to point b by air.  And then look a few schedules to see if what you are writing is even POSSIBLE.

For instance, I live in the Boston area.  My bestie lives in Pittsburgh.  It is about a what, nine hour drive, but under two hour flight.  And going from BOS to PIT by air?  No layover required.  You can get a fairly cheap ticket at any time of day.  And here is something important... THERE IS NO "REDEYE" FLIGHT!  So having a character unavailable because they are sleeping off the redeye flight from BOS to PIT is completely ridiculous.  There are SUPER EARLY MORNING FLIGHTS.  And flights that MIGHT get you in quite late (midnight-ish).  But redeye?  No. Even if the flight was BOS to, say, LAX or SJC, or SFO it could hardly be called a redeye. Going east to west it is difficult to take a redeye, because the time changes work with you.  The flight may be six hours, but the time change is three, so you are landing three hours after you took off.  Even if your flight time is seven or eight or nine at night?  Still not landing in the early morning.

Going west to east from coast to coast is different!  Those CAN be the quintiscential "REDEYE" flights!  You can easily board a plane in San Francisco at 9pm and not land until 6am on the east coast.  Its STILL only a six-ish hour flight.  But it "flew through the night" and you likely didn't get any/much sleep.

But the story I red had a character go from BOS to PIT on a redeye.  Which I was like, no!  Even if the flight is late at night, is still wouldn't be LONG enough to be termed a redeye, and unless the flight was SUPER DELAYED for some reason or another it WOULDN'T be getting in late enough to be early to term it a redeye.  The flight is not even two hours long!

So have your character delayed because of nasty weather! Maybe they spent six or eight hours at Logan (BOS airport) because of weather or mechanical delays, and was so super overdue they went straight to bed when they arrived.  Thats plausible!  But please do your basic homework on how these modern conveniences like airplanes WORK for goddness sake!

Grumblings

Apr. 15th, 2015 02:06 pm
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So a certain computer tool - browser based - at work, that I use all day every day has a brand new user interface.

I hate it with the burning passion of a thousand firey suns.

Things that took me no time at all I have to search for because the damned UI has it in a different place.

I am feeling a lot of "damned kids today, GET OFF MY LAWN" about it.

I will adjust.  Eventually.  I KNOW this.

I am just gonna be in a BAD MOOD about it for a while.

SPRING!

Apr. 14th, 2015 11:07 am
amkave: (Abby Style)
It is fast approaching.  Today was the first day since last fall it has been warm enough to open windows in the house.  Lovely spring air flowing through for a few hours helped!

Also, using the laptop as a heating pad on my belly makes it difficult to type but eases the ache and cramps from That Thing That Happens.

Carry on!
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
My community group is putting on "My Fair Lady" an oldie but a goodie (with terrible premise and the tacked on ending of True Love Conquers All - Even the Most Mysoganistic and Assholish (But Not Really, Because Why Should He Change When He Gets Everything He Wants Being An Asshole?)).

It is a THREE HOUR show.  The first act is an hour and forty-five minutes, and the second act is an hour, and there is a fifteen minute intermission.  There is no band or orchestra, instead they are using the dual piano score accompaniment, which is kind of lovely - hearing only piano and the human voice.  More shows should do this!

Anyway, after opening night there was a review in a local paper/web site where the review had never ever SEEN My Fair Lady, knew nothing of the story line (to which I ask, what ARE they teaching these kids today?), and was hoping to have a good time.

She did.  She thought it was marvelous.  She had a bit of issue with the set (particularly the projection screen which I have never understood the use of in this context, but whatever, designer's prerogative).

The best bit of the review?  I'll quote:

"The person that stole the show for me though, was absolutely [Actor's Name] as Henry Higgins. I seriously don’t even know where to begin, I can’t say enough about his performance! [Actor's Name]’s comedic timing was perfect, he played a hilarious asshole. I believed every single word that came out of his mouth, and never for a second did he break character. His performances of “I’m An Ordinary Man” and “A Hymn To Him” were intriguing and fantastic. Not to mention, that his interactions with other cast members were equally as believable. From the first time they were on stage together, I truly believed the relationship between Higgins and Pickering (played by [Different Actor's Name]). The two made a great duo and really carried the show. As the story continued [Actor's Name]’s acting only became more genius. Though I really enjoyed his comedic acting, his dramatic acting was also outstanding. His ballad “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face,” in which he confesses his love for Eliza, was a great display of emotion and talent on [Actor's Name]’s part."

Seeing Henry Higgins described as an "hilarious asshole" sort of perfectly nails down for me his characterization.

I haven't actually SEEN the show - and likely will only be able to see Act Two as I am backstage dressing/undressing/redressing people (omg the costume changes in this thing are EPIC).  Twenty three people make up the entire cast (only three of whom don't change character - Eliza, Henry, and Pickering - everyone else and I mean EVERYONE else doubles and triples and in a couple of cases quadruples characters) - and the ensemble are kept running the whole show - being servants, Cockneys, the upper crust, at Ascot, at the Ball.  They are either onstage, backstage ready to go onstage, or changing their clothes.  They don't get a chance to sit - ever.  And next Saturday they have two shows in one day - a matinee and an evening prformance. 

Huh.

Mar. 10th, 2015 12:14 pm
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
I (mostly lovingly) call my brother "the functional mute" because while the man is capable of speech, he doesn't use the capability often.  He is terse in all his communications.  He is a miser with his words and thoughts.  A great communicator, he is not.

Even his wife has remarked how much he doesn't actually share.  Oh, he's a great dad, a good family provider, gentle and caring with his kids, adoring of his wife.  But man, he just doesn't SAY ANYTHING.  He is the master of the implied conversation.  He may think one or two words is like novel-level of sharing, but the rest of us are just confused and unknowing.

So when my dad called him on Sunday (I was there having lunch with my mum, and we spent the afternoon just chatting), and spent TWENTY MINUTES on the phone talking to him, my mum and I were all "O.o - I wasn't aware he KNEW that many words!" at each other.  We decided maybe it a was a dude thing.  Since they didn't exactly discuss the wonders of the universe (they were talking about all the sports my nieces and nephew were engaged in, and the week's upcoming schedule of team events, and whether or not my nephew (or younger niece) were going to segway from figure skating to hockey, and what the difference was between the figure skate and hockey blades), maybe she was right it was a dude thing.

I still think he may have used up his monthly (or quarterly) quota of words in that twenty-minute conversation.

For once

Mar. 8th, 2015 08:27 am
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
I'd like a story where the hero's journey doesn't begin with the horrible early death of their parents.  I'd like a hero with a support system that isn't whittled away to leave them standing alone in the face of terrible odds.  Maybe the support system doesn't always agree or like the choices the hero makes, but supports their right to actually have choices.  I'd like a hero who is filled in so they can make good, informed choices about the actions they will take.

I'd like a hero who had the strength to see the possible outcome of destiny/adventure/adversity and still chooses to be a hero.

I'd like a hero whose mentor doesn't get fridged.  Can we have the mentor live, please?

"Alone in the world" is not my jam every day. Sure, I love a good angst-fest of people hauling themselves up by their bootstraps and continuing on when most would have said "fuck this shit" and moved to the coast.  But every hero's journey lately begins with the death of their parents (if they ever had them to begin with) and ends with the hero standing alone, and the "happily ever after" is more reclaiming and rebuilding and more work than possible to contemplate, not roses and sunshine and love.

Maybe I just need to read a good romance and put the adventure/magic/dystopian future books down for a while.
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
I don't really know what to do with this.

So junior year of college I had a boyfriend.  We were pretty intense for several months, I even spent the summer in his neck of the woods, but my senior year he did not return and the relationship sorta died naturally (mostly due to his avoidy nature).  He was actually kind of an immature asshat at the end, but a lot of that has to do with being 19.  I did not really take it well, but I was 20, so I give myself a lot of slack for just being super YOUNG.  We were both stupidly young.  And neither one of us were really in love, we just wanted to be.

Keep in mind my junior year of college?  Was the *very* early 90's.  So we're talking over two decades ago.

Today?  I get a facebook message from him.  All "I'm pretty sure I'm the last person you ever want to hear from but I found this picture and scanned it and here!"

I'm like, wha?  Man, you are in your forties, and you think I hold a grudge about a relationship that ended over two decades ago?  I sort of look on the relationship as a milestone (intense, sexual, romantic).  But I am not hung up on the guy.  I've had relationships since.  Not quite as intense, but the first adult relationship is always a little ... special, isn't it?

I admit I have wondered how he was occassionally.  Not really enough to find out or look him up (total lie - I looked him up on fb a few years ago but decided not to go any further because I felt slightly stalkerish about it after I found out he lived in Chicago - he always wanted to live in Chicago).

I haven't written back.  I'm still all, wow, weird.  Hello person I haven't even conversed with in twenty-some years!  Hope you are doing well!

Super weird.
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So I went to my first Arisia (Boston's local Sci-Fi/Fantasy con) last weekend.  We had a room at the hotel so I could escape whenever I felt the need (which was helpful especially in the late afternoon and I got tired of ALL THE PEOPLE).

One of the things they do is take over one of the television stations in the hotel and broadcast "Arisia TV" with appropriately geeky movies and TV shows (and the Masquerade, LIVE) all weekend long.  And I saw parts of Princess Bride, and Young Frankenstein, and other bits and pieces (the very first 12 minute Alice in Wonderland filmed in 1909 or something, with an appropriate geeky voiceover narrating bits about the film).  One of the things they showed was the pilot episode of Firefly.

Now, I've never seen the movie and I am about three episodes from seeing the whole series and while I like some of it, I do not LOVE IT.  And it took a long time to figure out why, when so many of my friends we all about Firefly and how GOOD it was and "its a western set in outer space" and how amazing... blah blah blah blah blah.

I figured it out when I was watching the RKO Army do a combination of the Rocky Horror treatment and MST 3000 the hell out of the episode about the man called Jayne being all folkhero-ish.

This is my unpopular fandom opinion of the week.  The reason I am not as fond of Firefly is because they are all so damned stupid. Not just run-of-the-mill stupid, they are all willfully, actively stupid. They get by on their luck.  Which makes for a shit show that is only about an eighth of an inch deep and not very interesting.  Can be entertaining at times, but not very interesting.

I mean, have you never lived in the same universe the rest of us have?  Folk heros are heros to the little guy, because they are ENEMIES of the people in POWER.  You expect it to be easy?  You expect there to be no reparcussions?  You are stupid, and don't deserve to captain a tugboat let alone a space ship.  My 6 year old nephew could do better.

So there it is.  Unpopular fandom opinion.

The rest of the event was lovely, and I went to two science track panels, and two costuming panels and several on diversity and gender.  I was impressed by some of the art, loved lots of things in the vendor room, and enjoyed the Masquerade from the comfort of my hotel room (I was underwhelmed by the group of Master Costumers who came as the planets of the solar system.  I could do better with sheets and my neice's fifth grade class in an afternoon.).  The guy that got Best in Show as a NOVICE totally pwned the masters and journeymen costumers there.  His Samarai Iron Man was *awesome.*
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)

(new registration window for the game coming up on December 15 (http://www1.flightrising.com/))

Get on the forums EARLY.  I mean, you’ve chosen your flight, you have your “progen” dragons (the one YOU create, and the one of the opposite sex that comes and joins your lair), you want to grow your clan.  Get thee to the forums and check your flight-specific sales thread.  People want to GIVE you dragons.  For cheap or for (practically) nothing (dragon trades require one treasure - but since playing one game in the fairground nets to way more than that, one treasure is NOTHING).

Don’t haunt the auction house - dragons are cheaper and with more/better genes on the sales threads.  You may find what you want in the forums and then buy the dragon in the auction house - but sifting through the MASSES and MASSES of dragons there is mind-numbing and crazy-making.

Learn the FR colorwheel so you understand what colors are even POSSIBLE with a breeding pair (the scrying workshop helps here, too).

Don’t worry about dominance for your first month.  Don’t even really worry about it for your second month (if you can you can, no big deal if you can’t).

Use your vault!  Really!  Sock away treasure and items you want to keep and gems!  It is SUPER useful to have the capital to expand already on hand in your vault when you have a nest about to hatch and no room in your lair.

You can write little histories for your dragons in the “EDIT” box under each one.  You can write whole stories if you want to amuse yourself that way.  But be warned that if you do, you may become so attached to the dragon when time comes to let it go - either to someone else’s lair, or to your flight’s deity in service (called exalting) you find yourself hoarding it instead.  So unless the dragon is a permenant resident of your lair - don't give it a background!

Feed your dragons.  No really.  FEED THEM.

Learn to love the coliseum battles.  Because sometimes they may be tedious, but they also give you stuff just for battling monsters.

Figure out which breed of dragons you love (hi, imperials!).  And which you hate (hi, coatl).  Don’t fill your lair with dragon types you hate - no matter how pretty their colors!  There are TWELVE breeds - and they can all interbreed (although if you look at the size differential of a Guardian vs say a Fae… Uh, yeah, don’t think too hard about the mechanics of it.  They may as well mix their genes in a petrie dish for all the sense it makes).

Figure out a naming convention for your dragons early.  If you want them all to be book characters, or anime-inspired, or media-inspired, or have the names of ancient gods, or be named after gemstones - whatever it is - if you want to theme name them, start from the very beginning - while renaming scrolls are not expensive, if you have more than one to re-name to names better suited to what you want in your lair - it can get expensive.

Friend people!  And let people friend you!  Talk to people!  The folks I’ve interacted with have been super nice and really supportive (full disclosure - I’m in Nature flight and we seem to be the Hufflepuffs of the dragon world.  And I’ve heard really good things about Plague Flight and Arcane Flight as well!).

People may be willing to stud out their dragons or provide a cross-flight nest (if you are a nature clan, but the dragon you want should have shadow-colored eyes, ask someone in the shadow flight to breed the nest for you!) - so ASK.  If someone has a dragon with the perfect colors and genes to match a dragon you want bred - go ahead and ask if you can borrow the dragon for stud service.  You'll have them for the length of time it takes a nest to hatch and then you can send the dragon home.  The worst someone will say is "no" (be gracious - not everyone is open to breeding their dragons with outsiders).  But if you want to try a private breeding experiment - go for it!  Likewise if there is a SPECIFIC dragon you just HAVE TO HAVE with the PERFECT colors and the PERFECT genes - do a dragon search to see if it already exists somewhere in someone's nest.  I've seen more threads on the "Dragons Wanted" forum where someone is looking for something so rare there might be dragons close to what they want, but there are none exact that haven't been exalted.  Be ready to wait a LONG time or work on a huge breeding project to get the dragon you want.  And even then, you may have to re-gene, re-scroll, or breed-change it - so be prepared to sink a LOT of treasure and/or gems into it!

Read the guides - even if they don’t make a lot of sense at the very beginning - they will eventually begin to make sense!

I am User ID: 92240 (amkave) over there.  If you’re playing - friend me!  If you want to play… well, December 15th there will be a 24-hour registration window open when you can sign up!

amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
I have an iCal that I have put massive amounts of things into - both personal and professional.  Starting at 8 this morning, my iCal has an alarm reminder that pops up on my laptop screen with "BIRTHDAY!" written in purple.

I set it to remind me again in two hours.  Because the most exciting thing I am doing today?  Its a toss up.  Either grocery shopping tonight (if I get to it) or moderating a 2.5 hour teleconference this morning.  Woo.

My birthday, ladies and gentlemen.  Let me show you it.

All that said, its been an okay day.

And as it isn't a BIG BIRTHDAY (neither a -0 or a -5) I'm all "meh" about being counted one year older.
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So I've spent the last week and a half on Oahu for work.  I'd never been to Hawaii before - and as lovely as the island was (what I got to see of it) I was pretty glad to get home this morning.

Because, mainly, the personal drama I had to deal with regarding a health issue.  See, the day I traveled out, I woke up with a slight swollen bumpiness near my hairline on my forehead.  I didn't think much of it, it wasn't readily apparent, I went off to Hawaii (15 hour trip - two six-plus hour flights with a two/three-ish hour layover in the middle).  I arrive in Honolulu early in the morning - like 6am early, and get to the resort and checked in before eight (bless them for finding me a room so early in the day).  I shower and change into something appropriately summery (going from forties, wet rainy to mid eighties, sunny and humid) and wander off to find the NOC (Network Operation Center - the guys we take with us to create and maintain out network wherever we go - we feed them well and they always have extra) thinking I might be able to get some food there.  I am actually lucky in that they have breakfast just being served and I say hellos to people and tuck into breakfast and open my laptop to get online.  Now the venue is hosting another huge event right before my work event so I am not sure where to find our office (and only one other of my collegues is yet onsite - others due throughout the day).  I email my co-worker to let her know where I am and work between breakfast and saying hi to everyone that shows up.

The day is long (and ends with a wander to the mall a mile away that I am glad I went on even if I was exhausted, because I'd be back the next day for a whole other reason), and I am grateful to fall into bed by 9pm.  The next day I wake up (pre-con meeting scheduled for 10:30) and that little bit of swollen bumpiness has morphed into angry red burny/itchy and is slightly bigger patch.  Still high on my forehead near my hairline, and my hair covers it completely.

I am thinking, maybe I should contact my doctor.  It is five am in Hawaii, which means it is about lunchtime back home, so I email him about what I've noticed, and btw, I'm in Hawaii, and did he have any thoughts.

An hour later I am showered any my doctor has emailed me back telling me to go to a clinic or an ER and be assessed by a doctor.  He thinks it might be shingles.  So at breakfast, I ask my coworker - the resort has a doctor in case of issues, right?  and she thinks they do, so after the pre-con we'd talk to our (awesome) hotel guy and ask.  We go off to the pre-con, and after (about 11:15amish at this point) we ask, and he says, yes, there is a walk in clinic and he could take me there.

11:40am I am sitting in the walk-in clinic waiting to see the doctor.  By 12:30pm I am on my way back to the mall and the CVS there to get a prescription for anti-virals.  It is indeed shingles.  The doctor was super nice and friendly and all apologetic that the medication will make drinking any sort of alcoholic beverage "ill-advised" and I had to reassure her - no, it's okay!  I don't drink!  You aren't ruining my beach vacation in the slightest!  Honest!

I spend a week taking antivirals and the first couple of days the rash gets worse before it starts to slowly flake away.  The medication also makes me kind of queasy in the evening, and it caused my face to swell slightly for a couple of days.  But other than sleeping more than usual, and excusing myself from a lot of evening activities to rest, I was mostly okay.  It wasn't fun, but it didn't linger, either.  Mostly, I think because I got it checked out RIGHT AWAY.

All I jeard the whole week were HORROR stories of people who lingered in a daze of pain and exhaustedness for multiple weeks.  But they also waited before getting it checked out by a doctor.  Getting on the anti-viral super early seems to be key.  I mean, the body will eventually fight it off - but it might take a month to get rid of the virus and even more time to regain your energy.  Don't fuck around with it.  Get it checked and get on the medication ASAP.

Anyway, I finished the meds on Friday and on Saturday we had a day-long ADVENTUR! planned.  There were nine of us and seven of us worked together, one was cousin to one of us and one was husband to one of us - so essentially all co-workers/attached and our guide.

Our guide was super awesome.  He picked us up at the resort at 10am and we didn't get back to the resort until about 7:30pm.  We arrived back stinky, sweaty, muddy, sandy, bruised, (only one of us was bloody - not me!), and slightly sunburned.  We began the day by coastal snorkling in a reef area - I saw sea turtles from the beach, and a moray eel as well as huge amounts of tropical fish once in the water.  Having seen them in their native environment I don't think I could keep fish in a tank anymore...

We then had lunch in a botanical garden (I can't remember which one) and went off to hike to a waterfall - which was muddy and waterlogged and hot - but SOOO WORTH IT once we got to the waterfall and stripped down to our bathing suits again to play under the water.  We hiked out (and met two huge groups on our way out - so we felt super lucky that when we got to the waterfall it was JUST US playing there for twenty/thirty minutes or so).  We ended the day on the north shore of Oahu stand-up paddleboarding (omg - terrifying) up a channel that no-lie SEA TURTLES go to sleep.  So we saw MANY turtles in the channel swimming upstream looking for a good place to rest for the night.  They were largeish -certainly seemed more-so to me when they surfaced next to my paddleboard to breathe!

I am still super sore, but really glad the ADVENTUR!ing went so well!  And I am feeling pretty good aside from the usual jetlag and such.  I escaped with a very small strip of faint sunburn along where my bathing suit lay on my back - probably from when we were snorkling in the morning - maybe my sunblock didn't cover as well, or perhaps my suit rode down in the water and exposed a bit of unprotected skin.  Whatever, in the grand mass of bruises (I fell on the hike and popped up bruised but unbloody!) and soreness and bug bites it doesn't even register.

All in all, I liked Hawaii!  ...POG juice - delicious stuff!
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So I've been out of High School for twenty-five years.  Which means it was time for a reunion of the folks I went to HS with.  So we did that.  And my class was on the small side (well, not for the school system at the time, we were BIG for our system at the time) - we had 147 graduates my year.  And a HUGE percentage of us had gone to Kindegarten together.  So thirteen years of my life with the SAME KIDS.  Sure, we had folks go off to private school, and folks moved away, and moved into town.  We had kids go off to private school and come back.  But, on the whole the faces did not change much.

The town I grew up in was pretty homogeneous. But there was a super active bussing system for a couple of more diverse populations near by.  So some of the bussed kids started in the school system in pre-school (one of my best friends was in the program, she sent both her sons through the program, too.  Both boys have graduated, but she was SUPER involved, and EVERYONE in the school system knew her - even though they lived a half hour away, she was at every home game either of her boys played).

The reunion was held at a games bar.  It had bowling, skee ball, pool, super loud music, and was very dark.

I left with a group just before one am - it was me, H, K, R (and R's boyfriend), and as we were paying for our parking the lot attendant came to see if we needed help because there were so many of us congregated in the payment vestibule.  We told him we were fine and he asked if we were part of a group.  Yes, we assured him, we just had out high school reunion.  How many years? 25.  And then H pipes up that technically, we could all be grandparents.  And I fired back that whilst she was correct in that we were marginally old enough (I mean some of us have children who are in their twenties, while others have infants at home), none of us had children, so no, we could NOT technically be grandparents.  E, another classmate wandered in with her payment ticket.  E has two kids - both under ten.  R asked if that meant that four out of five women our age had no children.  I answered that well four our of the five women in the ROOM had no children, but I wasn't sure that could translate to the greater public.

We all laughed and squeezed onto the tiny elevator to get to our cars.

But it was nice to see the folks I grew up with - scattered to the wind as we are - some doing some really amazing interesting things.  Some grew older but never grew up.  I got hugs from people I probably never even spoke to in high school, and a drive by kiss from the most beautiful man in the room (which wow, I knew he'd be gorgeous, but WOW - just beautiful, inside and out).  Glad I went.  Ears are still ringing from the noise.  Still feeling like I could sleep for days.
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)

  • I have a high school reunion coming up.

  • I would love to do archery more often than once every twenty years or so.

  • I am chopping off most of my hair tomorrow.  At once excited and slightly aprehensive.

  • Still thinking about a televison program I watched on a cross country flight two weeks ago.  A reality program (gimme a break it was like three AM there was noting else showing), where if the people involved had better COMMUNICATION skills they wouldn't have had so much trouble.  True for many things.

  • It is the nature of things to end.  But there are beginnings, too.

  • My tie-dye shirt from the wedding turned out fairly well.

amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
I wasn't a fan.  I mean, how can you plan and execute a destination wedding where *everyone* wants to go and help you celebrate for a day or four?  I mean, my favorite going-to-wedding-as-guest experience was a pot-luck affair held in a back yard with a boom box supplying the tunes (this WAS 12 years ago, so yeah, mp3 players weren't QUITE the thing yet!).  It was August, and the bride wore a white dress with blue underlay she got from David's Bridal at deep discount for about $40.  Her two sons, preteen and young teen, gave her away.  Far more time and effort and love than money went into the whole afternoon.

They are still deeply in love.

I've been to a number of shake-n-bake weddings where the only thing that changed were the faces of the people involved and the physical locations.  At the end of the day the couple was married.  My brother and s-i-l had a pretty fancy 'do gosh - fifteen years ago now - church wedding followed by pictures in the Boston Gardens and reception at the Ritz.  I was a bridesmaid, and wore a taupe gown (which made me look like I was all one color) and got my hair done that morning in a complicated updo the hair dresser had to strighten my hair to get it to do what he wanted.  He also trimmed it a bit around my face.

So I didn't really "get" the whole desination wedding thing.

I kinda do now.  A friend from work and her now-husband planned an executed a fabulous desination wedding.  We all went back to summer camp for a three-day weekend.  Dogs welcome.  So about eighty people decended with three small children and six dogs on a summer camp (food provided mostly by the groom - he's an executive chef!).  We did tie-dye and archery (woo!  Several yellow bullseys, y'all!) and giant swing.  We cooked s'mores by the bonfire. We partied and danced the night away after the exchange of vows.  One guest brought his guitar and provided minimal live music for the ceremony - held in a wood grotto ampitheatre at the camp.  We camped in cabins that had only half-walls and no electricity.  The camp lost water capabilty for half of Friday and nobody freaked out.

The camp lodge became the bar-with-snacks-open-anytime.

People came from Boston, DC, Germany, Italy, Chicago, and the SF Bay area to name a few of the places people traveled to go to summer camp at the beginning of fall when the temps dipped at night to the high forties and rose in the day to the ninties (remember those cabins had no full walls...it got *cold* at night).  We ate all our meals outside at picnic tables under strung bulb lights.  Triangle-flag bunting in all colors (but red - the bride is not fond of red) hung EVERYWHERE - in the lodge, decorating the backdrop of the ampitheatre, hung in the meal area.  There was a "hammock village" where you could gently swing in the shade of giant trees.

We tossed pigment at eachother during the color festival outr last afternoon.  And we went off-property to go swim in the river about three miles from camp.  The camp had goats and chickens and bees.  We hiked trails and hung out and talked and relaxed and had a terrific time.

So while most destination wedding stuff seems a little like "why..." this one - where you could do as many or as few activities as you wanted (and everyone got a schedule of events), you could  play games and chill (and eat the "special" frosting one guest brought).  You could get involved in cooking the next meal, or cleaning up after the last meal.  There was always something going on, but no pressure if you wanted to go your own way.

Bonus- I only got bit three times by mosquitoes.

I had a wonderful time, I am still achey, and I have to go wash out my tie-dye now...

Musings

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:41 pm
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
When you hear a couple has been together a long time, now when the couple in question happens to be gay and mentions their partner I wonder if it is appropriate to ask if they are married...  Would I do it for a heterosexual couple? Well.  Maybe.  I suppose it depends on my relationship with the people involved.

Because living in Massachusetts, homosexual couples have been legally marrying here for over ten years, and my FIRST reaction when others bring up a couple of long standing is "do I refer to him as his husband? Did they get married? Is she her wife?"

Because just like some heterosexual longtime couples, some homosexual longtime couples do not feel the need to legally marry.  So.  Partner or spouse.  I suppose picking one and then appreciating the correction if you pick the wrong one in a low-key way is the way to go.  The same as with a heterosexual couple whose marriage status you do not know or is not obvious via jewelry.

All came about because my mum was talking about one of her artist friends and she mentioned his partner, and I automatically corrected with "husband" and then we looked at each other and said, wait, did they get married?  they've been together for decades...
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
So the work event I am in Toronto for is less than two blocks from the Hockey Hall of Fame, and our host sponsor decided to place our social event there as a private party.  The entire event was 500+ internet engineers eating, drinking, and making merry in the Hall.

I think I was one of the more knowledgeable there about hockey in general.   And what I know about hockey is basically listening to the BFF talk (and asking questions because something doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me - for instance -Q. why are they all so scruffy? A. because its the playoffs!  -which while AN answer to the question is not really THE answer to the question.).

I know who won this year's Stanley Cup.  And I knew the one on display is the replica.  And that the original (retired) cup is in the vault (LOL - they are using the former bank's vault to house things so precious as the original cup, and other such treasures of hockey culture).

But I do wonder how they started collecting all the hockey STUFF in the first place.  Everything has little placards indicating who wore it/hit it/used it, in what game and what periods of that game, and who the Enemy Combatants - er - Opposing Team - was.  Date and place and all.  So someone presumably went and collected that item.

"Hey, [insert name of hockey player here], you just won the Stanley Cup (scored your [foo] goal/got an Olympic Gold/ whatever exciting thing they did)!  Can I have your game jersey (/shorts/puck/skates/socks/ring) for the Hockey Hall of Fame?"

Oddest item?  A pair of shears - like dressmaker's shears some goalie used to cut the goal net from the goal metal.  They didn't actually tell us WHY the goalie felt he had to deface the goal, but those were the shears he used to do it.

Some of the names were familiar to me (Bobby Orr - lived in my town and my brother went to school with his son for a while growing up.  Wayne Gretsky - I know the name more than anything else about him specifically other than he was great at the game.  Plus a number of current Penguins players because see above note about my BFF.).  Most were not.  I liked the historical jerseys and very few scattered female players that are starting to make their way into the Hall of Fame (there are two ladies represented upstairs in the trophy room inducted in the last few of years (Angela James and Geraldine Heaney).  You go Ladies of Hockey!).  I enjoyed watching the internet engineers and their guests try their hands at blocking shots or trying to score in the VR game area thing.

It was fun.  If a little surreal.  And it was a very quick walk there and back which was a bonus plus.
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
My bestie has put in an application to move to Pittsburgh.  A HS friend just moved her family a couple of towns from where they were living.  Two of my mum's friends (and ladies I love) are moving across the state (separately - one has moved in with her daughter's family and one is moving to a more rural place).  A fandom/RL friend is leaving NYC after several years at the end of the summer.

New, wonderful adventures all (a little scary, too).  But it is sad for me. 
amkave: (Technobabble SG1)
My mother and I went to the Quilts and Color exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston last weekend.

It was... spectacular.  Now, I didn't LOVE all the quilts on display - but I certainly appreciated each and every one.

I loved that they hung prints and paintings and modern art from the twentieth century (mostly male artists) that illustrated the color theory the quilters (exclusively women) were innately using sometimes more than a hundred years before.

We agreed we weren't fond of the contrast quilts (the Baltimore Album quilt was in this section).  And one was ... well when I saw it I leaned over to my mother and said "here he comes to save the day!" because it was a large middle field of blue surrounded by a while border (and bound by a thin red binding) with a red, yellow, and white applique something in the middle.  It LOOKED like if someone from the 1800s made a superhero logo.  Mom giggled.  We're so bad.

Some of the log cabin quilts I adored - and some of them that I adored my mom found scary - too much contrast between the darks and lights, and the dark was so regimented.  We agreed that the tied "quilts" were charming and we liked them very much (even if they are not in the strictest sense of the word actually quilts).  And some of the precision the ladies achieved were incredible.  She, predictably, loved the Amish and Mennonite quilts the best.  The saturation of color, I think, made them attractive.

There was one Amish quilt that was very unusual in that the quilter used patterned fabric.  It wasn't a "fancy" fabric - just cottons and wools, but they were patterned.  She had to receive special dispensation from the Bishop to use the fabrics.  She worked in a dry-goods store, and there were scraps of remnants of bolts of cloth the shop couldn't sell, so she took them and made a quilt.  It was probably too fancy a quilt to be used in her home, so it was set aside and tucked away and in pristine condition all these years later.  And now it is hanging in the MFA.

I splurged and bought the book.

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