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Fair Warning

Ok folks, due to recent developments this morning, I'll be making this journal friends only.  Last chance, if you're lurking, to hop on the train. 

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199: LA

So Richard Ramirez is dead.  Good.  Terrorized my teenage years.  I hope he suffered.

200: the past couple weekends

Let's start with War of the Roses.  I've been to cold Wars, windy Wars, and rainy Wars.  Never have I been to one that had all three at once.  It was miserable.  Which made me very sad.  I wanted to spend time with friends.  So I stuck it out Friday night.  It was very cold but I was dry and managed to get some sleep, a lot of thanks for that was due to Roseamund lending me silk pants to sleep in.  I saw the forecast that said a little rainy and chilly Friday but sunny and nice the rest of the weekend.  I'd like to find that meteorologist.  Saturday was about finding a way to stay dry and somewhat warm.  Around 7:00, as we were all making dinner, I realized I couldn't stand how cold my feet were and went to my tent for another layer of socks.  I opened the tent and found large puddles.  All the bedding was wet, all the clothes were wet.  I could have bugged out to friends.  I could have gone to a hotel.  I was so miserable, that all I wanted to do was go home.  So I packed up in record time and drove the many hours back to the 'rents, arriving around 2 am.  I spent the rest of the weekend there, and had a family BBQ on Monday.  We invited Aunt Ditz's sisters and their husbands.  It was a good time.

The next weekend was a polar opposite.  From freezing cold to trying hard to stay cool.  The beach was lovely though the water was too cold to help with the cooling off portion of the quest.  Sunday was some shopping and we convinced the dad to go to the nursery with us.  More plants for the garden makes me smile.

This past weekend was trekking out to see Kat.  Winna had invited us to a party and we wanted to go, even if we could only manage a few hours.  We're in between shows so much stocking has to happen ASAP and there are 4 large shows in a row coming up with no break.  We drove.  We played games of words with the ex (Again I say, how dare you suggest I ever said I don't like chocolate. I accept your acquiescence that all women are right and you are therefore wrong). We checked in on the new building at NYRF.  We partied.  We drove home.  We worked.  We ate.  We goofed off.  We slept and got up. We shopped for fabric supplies. We made patterns.  I went home.  The weekend was too short.

Now back at work, about to go below 200 days left.  I may add 10 to it, just to make it a bit easier for me, but I'll make that decision in about 180 days.

217: The Wedding Trip

The throngs of readers (all one of you) have been clamoring for a recap of the 2 weeks in San Francisco.

Before we left, I asked my Aunt Ditzy, Uncle What and Cousin T to give me a list of all the things they wanted to see in the San Francisco are.  They  did and I created The Itinerary TM.

The Trip:
We saw the Marin French Cheese factory, Sonoma wineries, Japanese Tea Gardens, Cable Cars, 7 storey Malls, Bocce in vineyards, Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park and most of the city.  If they sent me someplace they wanted to go, we went.

Sadly, they drove Dad and I crazy.  All 2 weeks I kept hearing, Where next, why that, I don't care what we do, why are we going there, I don't want to do that, why aren't we doing that.  Then there was the back-seat driving of the dad.  No one got punched, I'm impressed by the self control he's gained in his old age.

Yosemite was amazing.  After several days of "I don't know why we're going all the way out there to see a park,"  I finally got, "this is amazing, I'm so glad we drove all the way (4 hours) out here."

The Wedding:
So many things went wrong and it was still perfect.  Dad was supposed to take the guys to the subway station and ended up driving them into the city instead, missing dinner in the process.  The bachelorette party was fun, drunken revelry but not stupid. And was better than the bachelor party.  Which joined us about half way through our night.  And then left.

The rehearsal dinner had no rehearsal due to the officiant (T's Uncle) had to work.  So we called it a Cinqo de Mayo party, except it was May 4th.  The place they ordered the dinner from forgot to give @ 1/2 the food, so Dad, Pat and I made an emergency trip to the grocery store and farmer's market for dinner stuffs.  Cousin T attacked the pinata with more rage than we thought she had in her.  We're keeping a distance now.

The day of the wedding, everyone who was supposed to help ferry flowers and booze and other things to the venue wasn't there, so dad made 7 trips into the city while the rest of us got ready.  T came to get me for hair and was nearly in tears because the road that her sister's hotel was on was closed for a road race.  Which all worked out, but who needs the extra stress the morning of their wedding.  The shuttle/limo didn't hold as many people as the service claimed and we had to scramble to get the whole wedding party to the venue.  T forgot all her undergarments at the apartment, which we only realized about 20 minutes before the ceremony.

The ceremony was beautiful.  And hysterical.  They each wrote a little of each other's vows.  @ promises to always pick up his drum keys from around the house.  T promises not to criticize @'s exceptional driving skills.

The food was amazing.  As in juicy, flavorful chicken for 74 people amazing.  Plus all the other stuff, but given how many bad chicken dinners I've had at big events over the years, that's what impressed.  We all had so much fun eating and talking that we forgot to queue the band until the last hour.  Then there was dancing and more revelry.

We got back from Yosemite just in time to have dinner with @ & T before they left for their honeymoon in Costa Rica.  By all accounts, it was an amazing trip for them.

258: California Trip

Ah, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Usually my trips run better than this.  Usually I'm not cured with warriorsavant s travel woes.  I guess we should each have some bad travel luck from time to time.  Better to have it this past trip rather than the next one.

The trip started out with some foreboding   I had found a place to park that was about $20 cheaper for the week than anywhere else.  It's a little further away from the airport so that explained the price break.  I was leaving so early I didn't even bother to ask anyone to drive me in.  It seemed cruel to even make someone thing about that.  So I got up at 3am Thursday, got dressed and headed out the door.  Anywoo, got to the 24 hour always an attendant on staff parking area and there wasn't a soul to be found.  The advertising light was on, but it was completely abandoned.  So I had to go park in the metro lot.
Then the commuter bus from the metro lot dropped me at the wrong terminal and I had to drag all my luggage clear across Boston airport.  And before you say anything, I do pack light, but I had to bring costumes because i was working the faire and they're big, bulky and heavy.

Found the right terminal, dropped off my bag, found something for breakfast and a place to sit.  10 Minutes later, I  heard my name over the PA system.  That never bodes well.  Apparently, the gate agent accidentally gave away my seat.  Fortunately she found me another.
Then I landed and the car company made me wait 45 minutes to check in and another 45 minutes because they didn't have any cars.  Apparently all of LA turned in their cars late.  Sure.  Then they found me a car.  At the far and opposite end of the parking lot.  A nice little Toyota.  I dragged all my luggage to the spot where the car was supposed to be parked, about a mile away from the service desk and found an ugly little Ford.  Double checked the paper work.  I was in the right place, the car was not.  Dragged everything back.  The brought me a new car, with options I didn't want, no extra charge and i was off.  About 90 minutes later than I wanted to be.  I'm very glad Fox and I weren't planning anything.

Got to the park, unloaded the luggage, hopped in the truck and brought all the last minute stuff to the faire site.  Set up the booth, met a few folks and headed back home.
Friday we did a little errand running and finishing set up then I took them to the Santa Monica pier for some sight-seeing.  Actually, Thursday night I introduced Chris to In 'n' Out Burger which he fell in love with.  If you don't know about this fast food joint, they've been around since 1948, still family owned, no franchises.  When you order a burger, someone measures out the meat, forms the patty and puts in on the grill.  the vegetables - lettuce, tomato, onion - are all fresh. Order french fries and someone grabs a potato, peels it and puts it in the fryer.  It's what other fast food wishes it would be.
Anyway, so Fox and I had planned to take Chris to the In 'n' Out corporate store.  We couldn't find it and he suggested a beach so hence the pier, which is a mini amusement park with parts of it restored/salvaged from the great age of boardwalks.  Had a great time.  Chris got fleeced by what can only be described as a Persian Carpet Merchant, "I've got a great deal, just for you, today only, don't let anybody hear this"  No really, he said all this.  Fox wanted to get a picture of us in front of one of the main attractions and the guy in front of a sales cart offered to take the picture for her so we could all three be in it.  Unbeknownst to them, he's a professional photographer/hawker/Persian carpet merchant.  It was quite the long con.  But now we all have souvenir photos of the three of us on the Santa Monica Pier.
Got back late, cooked dinner, passed out after walking all over Santa Monica for about 4 hours.
Saturday - Faire opens.  This is my home faire, the one I started going to when I was 13 and was right around the corner of my house growing up.  It put up a good showing for us.  Broke a 51 year attendance record.  Did I mention busy and tired?  Yeah, we pulled in at 8:30 to make sure everything was ready to go and never got to sit down again until 8:30, a full 90 minutes after the faire closed.  Hell, I never even got to take a bathroom break.  Good thing I didn't have time to drink water either.  Another funny bit, between the 3 of us, we have something like 45 years experience working faires.  And we all forgot plates, mugs and knives for serving ourselves lunch.  I got so frustrated at one point because I couldn't even bite my way through the cheese wrapper that I stormed out with 40 people in the booth and bought us all lunch.
So, got home at 9:00  Ate dinner which was guacamole and chips and passed out in bed.
Sunday.  Repeat Saturday but with a bit more sitting, remembering to drink water and we remembered the sharp objects so we could feed ourselves.   Burgers on the way home, passed out in bed.  We might have had a celebratory drink.  Yeah, that's right.  I had hard lemonade.
Monday.  Being exhausted and worn out and aching all over, especially our legs and feet, we decided to take it easy.  And headed to Disneyland where we walked and stood in line for 12 hours.  Yeah, exhausted and fell into bed.
Tuesday.  So, here's the rundown:  our friend, Kelsey was coming into town Tuesday morning and I left Tuesday night.  I don't mind driving in rush hour LA traffic, i'm used to it so I volunteered to go get her if Fox would join me.  We planned to take her to Venice beach for an hour or two, then run errands on our way back to the trailer park.   Well, Chris got the flight information wrong.  Fox and I got up extra early, realized the dog had stolen my new, $400 glasses and had chewed them to bits.  We left, figuring traffic to arrive at the airport on time at 9:30, only to see that her flight came in at 11:30.  So we went to breakfast, but this meant no excursion to Venice.  There wouldn't be enough time to do that, and the errands and get back for me to rest before packing up to leave and go back to the airport.  Picked up Kels and started working our way back.  First stop, throwing knives.
So, Chris makes these arm bracers that have throwing knives in them.  Great design.  He sold out of them on the weekend.  The supply company that he buys them from is in LA and only a 15 minute detour.  Picking them up versus having them shipped was a $200 price savings.  This is where the Persian Mafia comes in.  It was a big warehouse in a warehouse district.  Parked in front were 2 new BMWs, a Mercedes, a new Audi and a Cadillac and a Porche.  We walked inside, it's one small room, 6 desks, 6 middle-eastern men who each have just a computer and a phone on their desks.  No decorations at all, no personalization.  Except a picture of an older middle-eastern man scowling down from the wall.  No one would speak or look at us.  None would acknowledge that we had walked in except that we could hear several doors close in the distance.  Fox and I realized what we walked into, lowered our eyes and voices and finally got someone to get our package.  By the time we got back to the street, even the side doors to the warehouse were closed.
Then the car said it was low on gas so I took it to the gas station.  In California the nozzles have that long rubberized siphon like thing around it to capture the fumes.  You have to really work to get that to retract and stay in the filling hole for the gas tank.  They're also spring loaded.  And the one I put in the car sprung out, spraying me head to toe in gas.  I paid and left.
On to Walmart.  I needed to use the rest room so we split up.  Coming back out of the ladies room, a woman banged into my right shoulder, where my purse hung.  The only time it was unzippered during the entire trip.  Stole my phone, which I realized about 150 feet later when I reached for it to message Fox for her location.  She and my phone was long gone in 20 seconds.
Got back to the trailer, bagged my clothes for Fox to wash since they couldn't travel on a plane.  Took my second shower of the day to get the gas out of my hair.  Called the 'rents to tell them I wouldn't be calling them later because I had no phone.  Hugged everyone goodbye except for the dog, who I secretly kicked, and headed back out.
I treated myself to a nice dinner at the airport (I know, I didn't think they had that either).  Got the exit row all to myself for the flight home so I could stretch across all 3 seats and sleep.  Rescued the car, avoided all Boston rush hour traffic and arrived back at the 'rents for a pit-stop without further adventure.  Where I then passed out for 6 hours before driving home.
I left CA at 88 degrees and landed in Boston to 29 degrees and sleet.  So yes, it did just give me that "gosh I'm so glad to be back from sunny Calif... how soon can I move" feeling.

1 week later, I finally made it to the gym for my first ever official workout, but that's another post.

274: A lamb named Duck

About a  month ago we had my Aunt and Uncle What over to the 'rents for dinner.  I said something about wanting to roast a duck and somehow Uncle What heard that I would be roasting a duck for Easter. Well, we can't just let that rest. Mom and dad and I went with it.  Every time UW and Aunt asked what we would be having for Easter, we would reply that I would roast duck.  "Is she still planning on Duck?"  "Yup".  It had gone so far that UW was planning to get his own lamb to roast later in the week because he wouldn't be getting any at Easter dinner.

Uncle forgets that I like to name some of our bigger roasts and dinner animals.  Of course, this year the giant leg of lamb roast was named, Duck.

I stuffed Duck with sauteed leeks, spinach, apples, chevre, pancetta, royal trumpets and oyster mushrooms.  Herb crust on the outside covering the fat cap.  Then roasted golden beets, carrots, parsnips, onion and garlic in the pan with the lamb.  Grilled asparagus.  Tossed fresh salad.  Homemade gingerbread with lemon curd and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Duck was the best I ever had.  :-)

313: FML

 Oh joy, massive infection, abscessed tooth, large quantities of penicillin and later, a root canal.  On the tooth that doesn't go numb.  

330: Books and Movies

When I got my Kindle, Fox shared her library of about 500 books with me.  We don't have the same taste in books, but I figured it was a good reason to explore some of the genres I don't normally read.  So far I've failed at that.  But I'm still trying.  In the meantime, found and read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  I liked the books so I decided to watch the movie.  Being snobbish, I decided to start with the Swedish version with subtitles.  They were very good, especially the casting, but they didn't really stay true to the books.  More to the point, you have to have read the books in order to follow the movies.  With a sigh I decided to watch the American Version.  I swear I'm not biased, but the American version was soooooo much better.  I liked the Swedish actor as Bloomqvist better (and I'm a Daniel Craig fan), but I liked the American actress as Salander better.  And what really amazed me was that the American movie more closely followed the book, made it so you didn't have to read it first and still had time to fit in character development.  

So now I've ready book 2 and I'm 1/2 through book 3.  I've started watching the 2nd movie in Swedish and I'm really looking forward to the American versions.  I just hope they live up to the first.

As an aside, I read an article about a linguist who recently floated up a theory that English is not a Germanic language, but is actually an ancient Scandinavian dialect that evolved.  Article is here