I am coming home.
It's been a week full of stuff for me. I flew out to Westchester to visit bard_bloom and beetiger and their son project_mothra last Wednesday, June 15. On Thursday, we hung out, talking about sythyry and delight_in_wt, going shopping for dinner, and playing some "You Don't Know Jack" on their xbox. Rhys and Vicki also showed me the tiger-petting game using the Kinect, which was pretty cute. The kinect interface didn't impress me, though. Bard made faux pad thai with Japanese rice noodles because we hadn't been able to find pad thai noodles. It didn't have the right texture, but was nonetheless tasty. :9 Bard and Vicki also introduced me to WordFeud, a two-player Scrabble knockoff for iPhones and Android. Bard let me win the first game and has been trashing me ever since. :)
Friday was more hanging out. We attempted to play Scrabble but were foiled by technical difficulties (an incomplete physical Scrabble set and not enough controllers for virtual Scrabble). We hit the mall to buy a Scrabble set and/or more controllers, and got lunch, but at that point ran out of time to actually play. Vicki went to pick up lediva from the train station. When they got back, Bard, Rhys and I went shopping for goodies for the earliest of the Julia & Vicki anniversary festivities: the Friday night pre-party. This was just the five of us plus Marnen & Millie, who came from New Jersey and Albany respectively. Marnen had planned to ride the #crazylovebus with us on Saturday night, but turned out he had a prior commitment for a gig he was playing. Julia tested out livestreaming from her laptop, with the plan of livestreaming the bus trip the next day. The site had a lag of several seconds between the recording and playback, which led Marnen to get out his recorder (a musical instrument, not an electronic device) and play a duet with himself. Towards the end, it was almost a quartet, as the livestream picked up recordings of recrodings of earlier playing. It was pretty awesome. Other highlights were Millie showing me the dark art of crocheting (and assuring me it is not in fact a dark art, although knitting lace may still be) and more group games on the xbox.
Saturday, I slept in while Julia & Vicki took the train in to NYC and Bard took Rhys to his soccer game. Bard came back after the game to pick me up, and we drove in to NYC for dimsum at the Golden Unicorn. Here we met gobs of Vicki and Julia's NY friends, many of them from the local poly community. I don't remember the names of most of the people from dimsum -- I think there were twenty-six in all.
After lunch, the party bus arrived! For the benefit of those who wanted to board the party bus but didn't want to/couldn't go all the way to Boston on it, we spent an hour or so riding around NYC. Marnen provided live music on the viola and I did a little dancing, which was great fun for me (though less fun for the people around me, alas -- the bus was pretty crowded and there wasn't a lot of room for dancing). We took compromising photos of Bard (who was snuggled up between me and Barb) and I posted one to Twitter, followed by one with the three of us plus Vicki sitting in Bard's lap.
After an hour, we dropped most of the crowd off and took on a couple of additional passengers, then cruised off for Boston. At this point, there were few enough people that I think I can remember everyone: Julia, Vicki, Matt, Diana, Sheena, Jenny, Peter, and me (EDIT: I corrected three names with Vicki's help). We did more livetweeting of events on the #crazylovebus. We drank a variety of beverages: champagne, mimosas, blender drinks, homebrew mead from homegrown bees and homebrew beer. I danced around the pole quite a bit while Julia had her Pandora "Girl Power" station (which had lots of very danceable pop) playing over the bus sound system. When we stopped for pizza, Jenny mentioned that she was sorry there wasn't enough room for two people to dance because she'd've been happy to dance with me. To which I responded that OF COURSE there was enough room for two! So when the party bus started up again, I convinced her to join me, and had a blast dancing with her around the pole. The dance pole was a necessity for bus dancing, as dancers really needed something to hang onto to stay balanced while the bus was in motion.
We also sang karaoke, generally all of us singing collectively at top volume, to the point of rendering the microphone moot. They kicked of with "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights", of course. Jenny managed to do the entire baseball-announcer-play-by-play, which was impressive.Late in the evening, Julia convinced Vicki to dance with me through one song. Whee! My only regret is that we didn't actually play Bus Twister. Hee!
In Boston (Belmont, technically), we bid the party bus farewell and took the party inside Julia's house, the Bell Curve of Sin. I met some of Julia's Boston friends and housemates (names that stick in mind are Kurt, Josh, Andrea, and another Julia who had pretty lavendar hair). Vicki got a call from Marnen, who had decided to drive to Boston that night and join us for brunch Sunday. (!) By this time, I was pretty tired (ten hours of social stuff is a lot for me). I crashed around 1AM: Vicki and Julia generously let me share their bed and I slept quite comfortably.
Sunday, we went out for brunch at Ryles, a Boston restaurant with live jazz and which had, remarkably, accepted a reservation for 20 on Father's Day at 11AM. Actual attendance was 14 or 15. I spent most of the meal enjoying my cheese blintzes (ahhhhhh) and talking to Marnen and Diana about Albany and the housing crisis, topics which -- astonishingly! -- we were all somewhat versed in. (Diana: "Do you know how rare it is for me to talk about the Albany area and have people actually know what I'm refering to?")
After brunch, I had a mini-adventure getting from Julia's place in Belmont to my brother's place in North Andover. These are both suburbs of Boston, but Belmont is to the south and North Andover to the north. According to Google Maps, it's about a 45 minute drive from one to the other. Or about 6 hours by public transit (involving 5 different buses & trains) on a Sunday. In my case, Julia was kind enough to give me a lift to Boston's North Station (about a 30 minute drive from her place). From there, I caught a commuter train (with a solid 45 seconds to spare! -- if I'd missed it, the next was three hours later) which took 45 minutes to get me to Andover, where my brother picked me up and took about 15 minutes to get me back to his place. I can't help thinking that it might've been more efficient all around for me to get a ride to a halfway point and be picked up from there. c.c Maybe I am misremembering the estimated drive time, or perhaps the estimate was low. It did seem awfully complicated and inconvenient for everyone else, given that I was going such a short distance.
I got to see my brother and three of his kids for a few hours, and my parents drove in for a Father's day dinner of sushi. :9 Then my parents took me to their lakehouse in New Hampshire. I was feeling a little guilty about making them drive all the way to North Andover to get me, but it turns out my brother's place is closer to them than the nearest airport is, even if it is around an hour's drive.
The next two and a half days were very quiet and peaceful, which was perfect after all the excitement from the #crazylovebus. Wimbledon started Monday. I haven't watched tennis in many years, but I enjoyed watching Wimbeldon again with my mother, and caught some great matches. Venus Williams vs Kimiko Date-Crumm was one of those matches where you don't want either player to lose. My mother is a total fangirl for Raphael Nadal, it's cute.
I went for a couple of long walks with my father, and splashed around in an inner tube in the lake today and yesterday. We went out for Mexican on Monday night and I discovered I liked mole at this restuarant too, which hopefully means I actually like it. The last place I had it, it reminded me of barbecue sauce: sweet and spicy. It was more spicy than sweet here, and the chocolate taste was more distinct. Still yummy. :9 Today, my mother made "Spaghetti with Good Sauce", a family tradition and the only tomato sauce I really like.Generally, I did not do much of anything. I kept thinking I should write or at least blog my vacation, but nope, none of that. Futzed around with WordFeud, caught up on LJ, played some Scrabble with my father, that's about it. Had a lovely time. Got lots of rest and relaxed. I've had a good trip, saw lots of people and did plenty of things, and am ready to be home again.
Maybe not ready to go back to work. But hey, it'll be a short work week. n.n
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I am coming home.