Well, that was the nicest Thanksgiving I've had in a very long time. We went over to Ron's brother's house and while it was the usual crowd of insanely loud Italians, we were mostly loud because we were playing Beatles Rock Band and having a good time. I think it helps that the kids that were 7 and 12 when I first moved here are now 15 and 20 and everyone behaves like adults, more or less. I ate just enough to feel happy but not enough to feel like I was gonna 'splode. It was really quite pleasant!

Happy Thanksgiving (or "Happy Non-Specific Thursday" for the dang furriners on my list!) I'm thankful for YOU.

Yes, even you.
I am (finally) an uncle!

Ethan was born around 2pm today. No size info yet but he's sure cute:

We'll be going back to visit them at the start of December.
gullinbursti: (tuxedo)
A question especially for the non-heteronormative peeps on my f-list:

A friend of mine has a very inquisitive (not to mention smart as a whip) kiddo who, in the course of asking about marriage and weddings and wedding rings, asked whether men wear engagement rings too:

Recognizing that there is as much variety or more among Gay Couples as there is among Straight Couples in these matters, I ask: do Gay Men who are considering marriage ever use an Engagement Ring? Do some use something with a different form but similar purpose?... What about Wedding Rings?

I know we have wedding rings; Ron wears his constantly and I wear mine "often", though we've been through a few sets. (My body chemistry eats metal. My current ring is stainless for that reason!) What about all y'all? If you're married or consider yourself married, what do you wear? If you want to be, what do you think you'll do? Does whether it's legally recognized make a difference to what you do?

(Did it work? No? Crap.)
Oh my poor head.

Tonight was the first night of square dance class for us; we're taking Advanced for those of you familiar with squaring up. For those not, let's just say it's the third circle of hell in which you can expect your brain to start squishing out your ears to the strains of either "Turkey in the Straw" or Cher's "Believe". (Our Advanced teacher is more traditional so the former is more likely. On the other hand, he has an evil streak so you never know.

My main problem tonight was that I haven't had a chance to dance Plus (the level I last learned) all summer so I was having issues calling immediately to mind exactly what you do when you're in the middle for "Load the Boat" or, my particular bugbear from last spring, "Chase Right" -- let alone Quartering Thru or Turn and Dealing.

I expect it will get easier as I get back into the flow of things. At least we quit early tonight so as not to have too much to review before learning new stuff next week. I don't think I could have managed much more.
Well our peeps got the kids moved in last week, and classes start tomorrow. New Student Orientation is done, which is run by my department and is a huge deal every year.

As my contribution, I spent the whole week tethered to my computer making this:

(Part of the NSO week is the Penn Reading Project where the freshmen all read the same book (or the same painting, in this year's case) and discuss it during NSO as an "intro to college" sort of thing. Last year and this year we commissioned music from my boss's brother's band, The Indoorfins, and I made videos. This year's video was much more involved than last year's, taking 6 days to make rather than one.)
Oh, also: I've been twittering. I know, I know. I'm not LoudTwittering so you won't all be subjected to it on my LJ, but if you want to see what you'd be scrolling past if I was, my twitter ID is "chimakwa".
Made it home from Chicago at around 4 this afternoon and I headed off to school around 5. I got home at 9ish and now I'm ready to collapse.

Chicago was great fun as always. I'm very sad I missed seeing a few people I wanted to see altogether, and a bit frowny-faced that I only got short doses of others, but overall I had a pretty decent time. We decided about halfway through this year's visit that next year we're doing the Bear Pride event fo' reals, which we haven't since 2003 or so. We just miss too many of our friends otherwise!
It's day 2.5 for us here in Chicago; yesterday we took in the Cultural Center (the old Public Library) and then walked over to Navy Pier. We walked our butts off but had a nice time. I got too much sun because I stupidly didn't sunscreen up before we left but fortunately I didn't get too roasted.

Last night was my first shift at IML; I rode the buses around and made sure we didn't let anyone on board who wasn't supposed to be. My next shift is in 45 minutes when I'll be doing my Market Security shift. If you're in town and visit the Leather Market, keep an eye out for me! ;)
We've been told by the happy-go-lucky folks in Risk Management that we need to put stickers on the broilers in our communal kitchens; the stickers need to tell Speshul Snowflakes not to store things in the broiler as they might catch on fire and set the place ablaze. Anyone have any ideas about where I could get laser-printable label stock with an adhesive that could stand up to the kind of temps generated on the outside of a standard oven broiler? (I don't even know how hot that would be, honestly.)

Oh, job. You make me think too much.
gullinbursti: (ooga!)
I was looking at my phone yesterday and discovered this picture I took at the hotel where we had our square dance convention in April. It amused me greatly at the time, and of course I could not resist making faces at the camera despite the threat of fines or quarantine at Guantanamo.

Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law! )
I had finally made my appointment to go in for the first half of the "getting a crown put on the tooth I had a root canal performed on back in January" procedure I've been putting off. That part took about ten minutes, but I'd also mentioned the severe toothache I'd had last week and had them x-ray it for me since I suspected I might be developing an abscess. "Yep, you need a root canal," said the dentist. "Yeah, I kind of figured I might," I told her. "Hold on, I'll be back in a second," she said, and a minute later she came back. "The endodontist had a cancellation this morning, I'm taking you over to him," she said. And yep, fifteen minutes later I was busy having another root canal. Unexpected, but better than waiting a month and a half for an appointment to open up, by a long shot.

It was pretty easy this time again, though I'm feeling a tiny bit sore as the feeling returns to my mouth. Probably not as sore as my wallet's going to feel once I get both these teeth crowned though; my insurance only covers 60% so I'm probably going to be in for a couple grand. It's still better than hurting like that, though. *shudder* Turns out I did the right thing by taking the course of penicillin I had handy, though; he didn't prescribe me the antibiotic he'd normally write an Rx for since I'd taken care of that part already. Illicit self-medication for the win!
Good intentions: "I'm going to start posting more regularly!" That's my road to LJ hell. I may not post more than once a month or so but rest assured that I read my friends list voraciously and comment way more than I post. I did the math: I've commented more than five and a half times for every post I've made to my LJ in the past seven years. (Hey look, my LJ anniversary was Friday!)

The last month has been pretty typical. Lots of going to work in the morning, going home in the evening, chill for a while, go to bed; rinse, wash, repeat. We did make a trip to Washington, D.C. the second weekend of April for the annual convention of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs. The farthest we got from the hotel was the Chipotle on the corner. (Mmmmm, guacamole overload!) The convention was a lot of fun although I didn't get to dance as much as I'd have liked. The Monday before the convention, my back started getting stiff and sore throughout the evening, and I woke up the next day in a lot of pain. It felt like muscle pain, so I have a feeling I pulled a muscle in my back and I hoped it'd feel better by Thursday which heralded our trip to D.C. Unfortunately, not only did it not get better, it got a lot worse. The muscle pain triggered a full-on attack of back pain like I haven't had in years. (I have a bulging disc that began with a car accident in 1997, and while it usually doesn't bother me much, it can flare up at times. My weight doesn't help it any!) I spent most of the convention on some Vicodin I had from a previous prescription, and danced as I could. I still had a good time; it's fun being around dancers and seeing people even if I couldn't get out on the floor as much as I'd have liked.

Of course, as luck would have it, I woke up the Tuesday after we got home and my back was like "Problems? What problems?" Oh well, I'll take not-hurting on whatever schedule it comes in! I've been having tooth issues the last week or so too, but they seem to be improving with the help of our antibiotic friend penicillin.

We had our square dance prom on Saturday and it was a lot of fun. The Mainstream class did a great job with the decorations and the food was really good. Our contribution was a salad I made with roasted eggplant, peppers, garlic, tomato and fresh basil in a vinaigrette dressing. I got raves for it, and I'll admit it tasted pretty good! Tonight is our graduation; I'm graduating from the Plus program. I can has square dance!

Ron won't be there, though; tonight starts the semi-annual conference he helps run. (Well, I say "helps" because that's officially true; the truth is that he pretty much runs the thing twice a year.) Hopefully they'll return him to me tomorrow with all his hair unpulled-out.

I guess that's enough to qualify as a post. Catch y'all in the comments sections! ;)


Mar. 31st, 2009 03:18 pm

I'd missed a call on my cell last night from Arizona, but there wasn't a voicemail message and I didn't recognize the number; I figured if it was important they'd call back.

I got another call just now and it turns out it was my brother's phone. It was good news!

I'm gonna be an uncle!!!


My sister-in-law is due sometime around November. Guess we're gonna have to plan a trip out there this winter after all. :D
Feeling much better today; thanks to all who gave me virtual "hang in there"s!

I'm very glad it's Friday though. Sleeping in: I wants it.

I have a meeting in half an hour with the boss I haven't actually seen in the office in like 9 months. Hopefully it's quick. (It's nothing worrisome, fear not.)

I like chocolate milk.
Today is harshing my mellow something fierce. I woke up around 4:30 this morning feeling sad, like something very important had been taken away from me and I missed it a lot. I have no idea what it would be; perhaps I was dreaming about something nice. I don't know. It took me a long time to get back to sleep, though.

Then this morning we discovered that we're going to end up about $200 in the red on our checking account. Woo!

Can I get a do-over up in here? Gracias.
OK, back to the questions:

A deliciously fruit-flavored [livejournal.com profile] nightfallcub asks:

What do you think is the geekiest thing about you? What is a geeky thing that you are just ever so slightly ashamed of and hide from the "normals" as much as possible?

Hmm.. good question. I don't hide much from the normals; I've never been able to pass as one convincingly. But what would be the weirdest thing? My ability to speak an artificial language? My fascination with bizarre religious practices and beliefs? My inability to tolerate "American Idol" and "Survivor"? I'm not sure.

Cute and fuzzy [livejournal.com profile] mattai asks:

What things do you do (aside from the SCA) to occupy your spare time?

I waste immense amounts of time on the internet, primarily. Even if I'm doing something else, chances are I'm also looking at webpages or chatting or whatever. Ron got me into square dancing a while back and I've enjoyed that a lot, especially since it gets me off the internet and off my butt. Also, I recently took up knitting which has been fun, and of course I read a lot.
I've been half-dreading, half-anticipating my requisite "Cabin Fever Weekend" post; I can't not mention it, because come on, but recapping it:

  1. requires me to actually remember what all went on, which might be biologically difficult; and

  2. requires me to admit that it's over.

My recap will also suffer from a lack of photographic evidence; even when I'm in possession of a functioning camera, I am terrible at actually clicking the shutter. I will still try to have one next year.

Road trip! )
I am so zonked, people, I'm not even kidding. I just got back from a fantastic weekend and I'm freaking exhausted. I'll post more about it later, though.
Un-american commie (by virtue of his being 'Strine and all) [livejournal.com profile] hedgeworth asks:

If you were offered ten million dollars to leave the US, and you had to pick somewhere else to live out the rest of your life (anywhere at all) where would it be and why?

I'd probably go the easy route and pick Amsterdam. I liked it a lot when we visited, and the culture (political and otherwise) of the Netherlands appeals to me. Plus I already have a leg up on de Nederlandse taal.

It'd be in close running with Vancouver, British Columbia, though. I haven't visited there yet (2010, hopefully!) but it certainly looks like it's beautiful and I like Canada too. Plus I'm a bit more comfortable and conversant with western North American culture than Eastern, which is why it'd probably be Vancouver rather than, say, Toronto.
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