It was enormous fun, exactly why I keep trying to have these sorts of parties. I hope to have more luck with them in the year to come.
1) Mom is home again, and happier, and slowly getting stronger.
2) Opening a comic book/game store is really hard work.
3) I may be evolving into a romantic relationship with an old friend, Miss Hannah-Belle Goulet, a woman I have known for many years. I'm not plunging into it, I'm not smitten, but I am definitely interested and it feels... homey. Too early to make too much of it. She has kids, an ex about whom the less I say the better, a home 100 miles away, and I'm not sure if she sees it the same way. But she and her kids just stayed overnight yesterday, and it was fun.
4) The process of making my home what I want continues, not as quickly as I would like. The root of the problem is that I'm truly bad at budgeting my funds, something I should learn to do before I do myself a real mischief.
5) Man, I really like playing games with my friends. I'm still playing Deadlands, I've added a 13th Age organized play campaign on Tuesdays, a Star Wars Edge Of The Empire game on Wednesdays, and I'm looking for more. Pity I can't find a game that involves regular cardio workouts. :P
Driving back from the show on Sunday evening, I was feeling really sleepy, so I called a few friends for conversation to keep me awake. The first couple of folks I tried weren't home, but Grounded was, so I talked to her for 20 minutes. A nice chat, and while I think I'm still doing some grieving, I definitely feel better about myself and happy to have her as a friend.
In what might qualify as a modern miracle, two different insurance plans of my father's just paid our claims for his care in full. His care is still shockingly expensive, but now it won't eat up all the family money in only 3-5 years.
I have started walking a couple of days a week in the morning with my friend [alias TBD], which is a good start towards my 'fit into my tux before a friend's wedidng' goal. Also, it's nice to have nerdy chats about all sorts of stuff. I don't know who else would tell me about the history of boxing and how it intertwines with racism in America. Or that the NHL's fan base is growing in the south, possibly because hockey is the last remaining major sport with almost no black players.
Hmmmm, wow, have I really not posted about my college reunion in May? OK, well, I flew out to Ohio for my 20th reunion from Kenyon College. I stayed with friends in Granville and drove back and forth to Gambier on Thursday to Saturday. I got to catch up with a number of my friends from my year in Exeter, which was great. I went on the 'ghost tour' with Professor Shutt, who is older but still a goofy and charming raconteur. (Still no word on whether Gunnar is home, but his halberd is. :) I also spent some time with the Church of Otis crowd, and it was great to see them, particularly [ FVC alias also TBD] and her new boyfriend. I have known FVC since I was a freshman, and I long had a crush on her (which she knows all about), and she's been an out lesbian all that time, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this guy she's been living with the past year. Happily, I quite like him. He's a friendly, grounded, witty person, and a great fit for her. She's the happiest I have seen her in years. I would love to see them again soon.
I am slowly migrating my life back into the master bedroom. The key steps of getting a new bed and sheets etc. has been achieved. There's more to do, but Feisty approves of bigger bed to share with me.
It's time for me to go, but I'm just going to mention that the fireflies were spectacular this year, and that on the weekend of July first I watched the Easthampton fireworks from my living room window, while the fireflies dancing in the foreground in my backyard. It was lovely.
Today, we lazed about, watching some Monty Python episodes. This evening, we went over to UMass and watched the Amherst fireworks, which were lovely. After a bite at the diner, we went to Friday Night Rewind (thanks to sundart for getting us tickets) to 1996's tour de farce Independence Day. I didn't remember the details very well, but it certainly punished me for knowing things as much as I recalled, and the story was full of ridiculous and unlikely coincidences. And bad acting, too. However, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch were lots of fun, and watching this cheese-puff patriotism was greatly improved by the rewind crowd, who had seen it before and helped coat the stupidest bits with irony to ease them down my throat. Best part of the screening: a tie between kjpepper stripping the H, the N and A from a HANCOCK visor; and trading snarky comments with reigning Pioneer Valley Queen of Snark, sydneycat. Hurray! Tomorrow, I'll take Arnaud to game night at the store, and next week, we'll go camping and hiking for a couple of days. And next weekend, we'll throw a little birthday party for my mom. Ah, it's nice to have a few days off in a row.
ETA: Today, for the first time since she joined our pride, Tilda caught a mouse and brought it inside. Then, an hour later, she caught another one. I don't know what's up with that, but I hope she doesn't keep bringing them inside.
First, looking back: I completed some of my resolutions for last year, and started others. (click here if you'd care to see for yourself http://grinninfoole.livejournal.com/
I have also accomplished the contingent goals of marriage and home-ownership. The other goals are more open-ended: I didn't exercise every day last year, but I did exercise some days. I didn't play much with Feisty, but we did get her a playmate. I didn't write a book, but I did start writing one. So, while I sat down to write this feeling like a failure, on reflection I see that I was actually quite successful last year. Hurray! And damn this self-criticism!
So, for 2007:
1) Finish my book (first draft, at least). I have started writing a novel, probably a fantasy novel, though in heart it feels more like SF. The world needs it like a hole in the head, but I'm doing it anyway.
2) Keep exercising.
3) Stop falling back on damaging behavior when I feel upset, like eating lots of sugar and dairy.
4) Read 50 books this year.
I'd like to learn Spanish, but I don't know when I'd make the time for it, now that I'm working full-time and writing. I list this here not as a goal, but an aspiration. I shan't give up on this.
This goals list seems thin as I look it over. I must give it more thought.
2) Our garden is yielding fruit. We have quite a few peaches (not big, not as nice looking as the ones from the industrial farms, but good) that are either ripe or almost ripe on the tree. We also have grapes coming in. If you want some, please let us know that you want to come by and get them. We spent 45 minutes tonight blanching and peeling a couple of dozen for pies....and we still have at least 20 more. So come and get them!
We got back to the house after folks had started to arrive, but I guess it worked out OK. I actually had to go and lie down for a bit, because I felt queasy. Then, there was an amusing hour or so wherein people would exhort M and me to go and get dressed, that it was our day and we should stop doing things, and then two minutes later would come and ask us where something was or what we wanted folks to do about something or other.
Eventually, I put on my expensive new tux (a Canali, which I bought at Yale Genton and had tailored by the folks at Cassandra Holden's shop--thanks sydneycat for the recommendation) and Millari put on her gorgeous (and super cheap--she spent as much on two dresses as I did on shoes for this shindig) green dress, and did her makeup, and finally everyone was here (except for one of M's dear friends, who came down sick at the last minute, alas) and then...
Well, then everyone gathered in the garden, and Millari, my brother the Best Man, and I went out of the bedroom onto our deck where Karen Cadieux (from the Easthampton mayor's office and who served admirably as a our JP) awaited us. Our friends and family started cheering and clapping as soon as we opened the curtain.
Karen read a lovely preamble that she had brought with her, and then M read me the vows she'd written at 3 AM that morning. They were beautiful, and made me cry, and she'll posting them in her LJ (link TBA). Then, I read her mine, which were as follows:
Michelle, there are many reasons why I love you. I love how you laugh and smile. I love how you hold me. I love how you look when you are intent upon something and you don’t notice me looking. I love your sense of adventure. I love the joy we share in stories. I love the stories we create together. I love the way that you encourage and inspire me to choose the life that I want. I love the way that you light candles instead of cursing the darkness.
For all these reasons, I am going to promise you now in front of our friends and family what I have already promised you. I promise to put our relationship before everything else in my life. I promise to be your friend, partner and lover for all the days remaining to me. I promise to be a husband to you, a son to German and Martha, and brother to Gabe and Alana.
Then, I ad libbed something like the following: I give you this ring, as a constant reminder of our love, and that we are a team.
Then, everyone cheered.
Then, we sat, and ate the delicious food that we and friends and family had made, and drank lots of tasty drinks, and had the scrumptious cake made for us at the Henion Bakery (which we served with ice cream from Herrell's--thanks to omnia_mutanturand wandelrust for picking those up for us, and cooking, and helping arrange the jewelry, too) and danced. A dog from somewhere nearby got loose and crashed the wedding, in a totally charming 'hi, I'm friendly and I'd really like some food' kind of way.
To be honest, it was lovely, but I don't remember it very well, because it was a little overwhelming. Like Feisty, I spent some time hiding in my room because I was having too much fun. Many people wrote lovely comments in our memory book, and we got many thoughtful gifts, too.
The party went late into the night, with some folks going to hotel to change and then coming back to help us eat some of the hoard of leftovers. And then, GFZ and Joke had to leave so they could catch their very early flights. We stumbled into bed.
Monday, we slept late, tidied up a bit, though Mami, Papi and others apparently spent hours doing most of it on Sunday. I'm so grateful to them for doing all that work so we didn't have to. Then, Rob, M and I drove to Boston, put him on Virgin Atlantic flight 12 and sent him home. I slept for a good part of the drive, I think, and I'm really glad that they kept right on having a great time without me. I'm glad that they have a bond apart from knowing me. (For that matter, one of the nicest things about the wedding experience was hearing from everyone how much they liked meeting everyone else, and what lovely friends and family we had. Which is true, but I always fret about folks not getting along, so it was such a relief that they did, and that everyone had fun.)
M and I took advantage of being in the city to stroll on the Common for a bit, and then had dinner at the Bhindi Bazaar, which is right at the end of Newbury street on Mass Ave, which I guess was our little honeymoon. Then home to collapse into bed again. Today, we rose late, and have spent the past four hours posting all of this.
And now, we're married. Thank you to everyone for help, good wishes, gifts, and love.
millari and I worked very hard getting ready for our wedding last week. She did the hardest stuff, I think, arranging the food and music, and doing the lion's share of creating the table decorations. I took the lead on travel arrangements, finding a JP and legal paperwork, managing the guest list and invitations, and the rehearsal dinner. I did also do a lot of puttering around the house, cleaning, hauling, yard work type stuff. We made most of the big decisions together. Overall, it was a team effort, and I'm very satisfired with how it all turned out.
In fact, we did such a good job of arranging things in advance that we actually had time for some fun last week. The previous weekend, Lefty graciously covered my Saturday evening shift while MAMEd, Crafty, Millari, wolfy and my brother shanghaied me to a murder mystery dinner theater in Boston. The theater was mediocre but the food was quite tasty, and I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of it all, so hooray for my friends. (As an aside, I hope MAMEd knows how much I value his friendship and all that he, Crafty and their kids have done to help us with the wedding. It seems astonishing that, at first, I had thought that Crafty didn't like or approve of me.)
So, Sunday was mow the lawn, run the errands, make the table decorations, pick gifts for the registries, make sure we invited everyone we could fit for the rehearsal dinner (even taking advantage of some late arrivals by friends and family to include some folks we just couldn't invite to the wedding for lack of space, there were still folks we couldn't invite. Oh, so frustrating.)
Monday, I worked as usual. Tuesday, I took delivery of the new futon and took apart my old platform bed (which is now for sale, and I should advertise it somewhere). Wednesday, after an enormous shipment of new comics at the store, M and I moved her drums to the basement and then did other stuff I can't recall, and then drove out to M's father's restaurant in Newton where we met my friend Rob, who had flown in from London. Papi and Mami were there eating when we arrived, and offered a wonderful welcome to our friend when he joined us. (He'd never had good Mexican food before, so I think he enjoyed it. I indulged in the Pollo a la Pimienta--so creamy, so good...)
Thursday was a visit to the Science Museum, seeing old favorites like the atom smasher/lightning show, and enjoying the nifty exhibit on pattern recognition and perception and a 3D movie with images from Mars taken by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. The blurb does not, in any way, convey how moving it is to listen to the scientists from NASA talk about their work and then see some of it in 3D. It brought tears to my eyes and helped me recall why I ever wanted to study science and its history. If you get the chance, see this show. (gfish I'm thinking of you in particular.) Then, we went to see Jade Moran and picked up our wedding rings. Mine is a broad rose gold band with a leaf and vine design and an inset cabochon cut jade (perhaps not the swankiest stone, but I wanted a rich green color, and something durable.) The tiara wasn't quite done, but she dropped that off on Saturday, so Millari wore it (and looked wonderful) on the day. Pictures of it will be on the site someday.)
Thursday evening we rushed back home so we could see our hometown fireworks. Only, I somehow read the date as 2006 when it was actually 2002. But, we had a lovely late night snack at the Sierra Grill (too new for a website), and ran into N & J, and had a lovely chat with them. (I should add that the week before, they had taken us to the Iron Horse to see a great show by the band Devotchka. I recommend them.) Friday, we did more getting the place ready for a big party stuff, like hauling lots of trash, and finally setting up my old futon (which M has stained a lovely chestnut color) on the front porch. Friday night fuschia came over to help with the party favors, and then there was dinner at India Palace and ice cream at Herrell's, followed by food coma back at the house and finally getting to see Dalek and then showing off some Venture Brothers. (Second season is growing on me.)
Saturday, things started to come together in that snowball-rolling-down-hill sort of way. Taylor rental dropped off the tent, tables, plates, cutlery and such. Papi and Mami showed up with a serving dishes, wine glasses, sangria, beer, wine, food (chiles in nogada!), and then spent hours setting it up for us, effectively catering our wedding for us (and the yankee in me really appreciates how much money this saved us). I spent much of the day answering the phone and the door (everyone asked me if I was nervous yet), stole a few moments to write my vows, and then Rob and I went out and bought champagne, got horchata from La Veracruzana, borrowed tables from the store (thanks, Lefty), and did more stuff I can't even recall. Then, we went to the rehearsal dinner at the Tavern On The Hill, which was a marvelous feast. (It's all good food, but I particularly recommend the Equinox Farm salad for the delicious novelty of vanilla salad dressing.)
Many friends and family were there, but I was especially pleased to see my uncle from Hawaii. In years past, there have been some awkward moments, but this past weekend was just wonderful, as he was funny and charming, but also helpful, loving and thoughtful. (Actually, he may not have changed at all. It might just have been me all along.) Anyway, I'm so glad he flew out to join us. (He brought leis for my mom, for Mami, and for Millari, which added an unlooked for element of grace and charm to the event.)
The dinner started at 7pm, and at 10:30 I dashed out of there to drive down to Bradley airport to pick up G,F&Z from Tucson. I took them out for a late dinner at the diner and a little time together, then a quick tour of the house, a browse of the shelves at Modern Myths so I could buy some manga for Z, then finally to the hotel. It was lovely to see them, and I'm sorry that their big move only allowed them to be here for 36 hours.
And then came Sunday.
And Feisty is getting older. A few minutes of scrambling after the red dot, and she was happy to sit back and watch.
The house itself has some issues and we have to explore how serious they are and how much they will cost to fix, but I remain optimistic. And we have 9 days to negotiate the Purchase and Sale agreement.