I realized that I have been keeping up with posting words of the day and little tidbits here and there, but I really have not done much for actually reporting on what I have been up to since I got back from Iceland.
I got back to the States on Friday the 13th, cleared customs at Minneapolis, and was scooped up by Their Excellencies Nordskogen to go to Coronation, all the way across Wisconsin and into Michigan. We drove half-way and then stopped for the night in Wausau, but had to get up at 5AM or something ridiculous to continue the drive to the site. This was an insane plan, but I'm so glad I did it. The site was beautiful, the day was glorious, and it was wonderfully joyous to get to see some of my friends take the thrones. I got to tell endless Iceland stories and hang out with some great friends and otherwise had an amazing time. I had even brought back some hakarl and Brennevin and inflicted that on the new King and a number of knights, squires, and others foolhardy enough to volunteer. The stuff I brought back was somewhat more mild that that I'd had in Iceland, but it still was... pungent. ;) The trip home was a little wonky - I ended up changing travel plans last minute due to having more luggage than I had anticipated and so rode home with Miss Eliane who had an empty car.
While we were waiting for dinner on Saturday night (I had not gotten feast and so was getting pizza with some friends), my roommate Scott called. Now, Scott is not a chatty fellow, so despite having been gone for almost two weeks, I knew that his call meant that there was either something seriously wrong with one of my birdies or something had happened to my car that I had lent him while I was gone. It turned out to be the latter. Initially, he thought it would just be a repair - the driver's front tire had popped and the mirror had been ripped off, but the car in general seemed to be OK. I wasn't devastated by this since that tire had been chronically losing air and that mirror had stopped responding to the control pad, so I figured this was a great way to get the insurance to take care of that for me. Well, it eventually turned out that the car was totaled (it was only seven years old, but the body was in "rough" shape and the mileage was 160% of "expected"), and I was suddenly car shopping. I had started to think about getting a new car in a year or so, so I had already done some pre-shopping, thank goodness. I knew I wanted another Honda Fit, but I didn't want to give away the game that I was in immediate need, so there was some creative talk about my plans. I used some online "pre-negotiated" price tools and was able to then talk the sales guy down under those numbers, so I feel pretty good about the purchase. I'm not thrilled to have a car payment again and I am disappointed I didn't have the chance to sell my good little beastie to a friend who would love and care for it for years yet, but c'est la vie. I now have a 2013 Black Honda Fit - almost exactly the same, just newer, a little bigger, and a little less efficient than my little Sammy-beast.
Over the next few weeks I had a number of social engagements, including:
My nephew's birthday party - where my gift to him (and his mother) was sponsoring the party at Chuck E Cheese's with a passel of screaming five-year-olds and my dad. Yoiks.
Bardstock - a local folk music weekend where we celebrated a friend's birthday with a pirate party, I did a bunch of sewing, and I served as transportation for one of the singers.
Crown - Which I was supposed to attend, but bailed on because I was exhausted. To punish me, Fate saw to it that the finalists were my apprentices husbands. *facepalm* So, now I am looking forward to helping out on a reign. :P
Griffin Needle - a 20-hour-straight sewing competition that I host and that this year I was able to participate in. It is hard core insanity and wonderful. :) This year was a lot of fun - my mom did not compete on a team, but instead served as a judge. By early morning, though, she was itching to be back on a crew, demonstrating why I can't keep a decent stable of judges for this event. Another delight was that sister_bluebird flew over from Milwaukee to play with my team of geeks. It was wonderful and crazy and despite not actually completing anything (we attempted a complicated late period outfit), we won our division. Hopefully, I will get around to posting information and photos later this weekend.
Halloween, observed - the local goth club had a Halloween themed night the weekend before Halloween proper. Since I was going to a steampunk Halloween the following week, I doubled-up on the costume and wore a steampunk Dalek costume to both. :)
TeslaCon - a local steampunk convention. It was a lot of fun, but I spent a significant portion of the event working on a food plan I was running out of my room for a dozen people. I served a hot brunch, a cold buffet lunch, and a hot dinner every day, using nice made-to-look-like-real-china plates and proper glasswear to make it a little classier. It came off pretty well and I was pleased to do it (I love hosting parties, so this was right up my alley), but I think next year I will only offer dinners - I'm not enough of a morning person to relish making food that early in the morning and the mid-day lunch was hard to plan around everyone's variable schedules.
Family drama - summarized elsewhere, but necessitating trips to Milwaukee to check on relations and otherwise interact with the famdamly. This seems that it will be on ongoing project that will begin to take more of my time, but my grandma is having extreme caregiver fatigue, so it needs to be done.
Nerd Wedding! - two friends of mine got married last weekend. The ceremony was simple, short, and lovely and the floral arrangements were just stunning! I was, for once, not on the "event staff" but ended up helping out here and there as I saw need and I even got to MacGuyver the wedding dress. Lipstick got on the dress, right down the front, minutes before the ceremony and one of the bridesmaids fetched me with all haste. With no time to let the dress dry, I resorted to removing the stain with scotch tape and a lint roller. By the time I was done, there was no sign of the incident! :) The ceremony and reception were full of nerd jokes (the tables had names like "Rogue" and "Druid" and the place cards were "player sheets" that listed your name, table, and menu option. The couple are vegetarian, so I was a little concerned about dinner, but despite my hatred of eggplant, the eggplant-walnut "meatballs" were amazing. The dancing was likewise enjoyable as the musical selections were a blend of wedding standards, 80's, and industrial/goth. Not your typical blend, but it suited the couple well. In all, a lovely romantic weekend.
Love and Squishiness
The weekend was romantic for me too, happily enough. While I was in Iceland, I was asked out on a date and while, for logistical reasons, that had to wait until early October, things have been going very, very well. To the amusement, but apparently not surprise, of our friends, whymc and I have decided to try getting together again. It is strange and wonderful. Mostly wonderful. We've had an interesting blend of schmoopy cuteness and super-serious talks about Things That Need To Be Discussed, but on balance, everything is going really well thus far. We had a lovely "real first date" where he brought me flowers and we went to dinner, a wander, and a show. The second date was to a downtown upscale burger joint and the ballet. We wore nerdy costumes out the Inferno and were entirely too cute for a goth establishment. We hung out all weekend at TeslaCon and he was both helpful with the meal plan and kind to me during a really epically bad migraine. And then for the wedding, we got to stay in a whirlpool suite and he managed to be clever and romantic while juggling his duties as the DJ. He's still in Chicago, so I am doing the long distance thing AGAIN, but he is hoping to move to Madison soon, since (independent of this development) he misses the town and his friends here, so hopefully it won't be long-distance for long... I might have been a little glow-y and grin-y lately. <3 :) <3
Dresden vs Dalek at the Halloween theme night
And now, now I get a little break. I hope it will be a productive break, but a break nonetheless. My to-do list is four miles long, I'm traveling to one Thanksgiving and hosting another next weekend, and I am continuing the cleaning/purging by scheduling time with various forms of external motivation, but I am hoping that I emerge out the other side with less stuff, more sanity, and more cleanliness in my life.
Well, I never said I was GOOD at summing up, but there's the outline of the last eventful two months!