Friday, December 12, 2008

Yes, I'm behind my time.....

... so deal with it; I've been busy.

I'll start catching up with the following I wrote way back last month --

Friday, November 28, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving

I have great friends.
I have a cool family.
I’m apparently healthy.
I don’t live in a war zone, a famine region, or under the thumb of a genocidal dictatorship.
I know the joy of stitching.
I’m at Los Con.
I have a job. …..

….for now. Sigh. I’ve been trying really hard to feel the season. As sad as it has been these last couple years to spend Thanksgiving without me and mom making Cornish hens and hanging out at the Con for the weekend, usually the Con experience perks me up. It’s fun, it’s frenetic, and it hardly ever fails to entertain. But like pretty much everyone, this continuing horror/soap opera called the nightly news impinges on my life. As of Monday I’ll be taking another 20% cut in hours/pay. I took one last year when the gave me the “benefit” of making me salaried (same number of hours, but I don’t et paid for 10-15 of them). I was just starting to enjoy having only 1 job. C’est la. The good thing is I’m not one of the people they let go, and not only did my office manager tell me how “everyone spoke for me” but he also promised I wouldn’t be cut again (as in “I promise you won’t get another cut.” Remind me of that if they try something a few months down the road would ya?).

Ok, enough whining. I mean really, see the list above! I’m currently sitting on my balcony at the Con enjoying a root beer and some stale cookies (not bad stale, just kinda crunchy stale). See, here’s what I see:
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Now, if I get my fanny out of this very comfortable chair so as to avoid the railing in the picture you get --
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Sure I’ve got a jacket on, but I mean really, here I am on the day after Thanksgiving sitting outside at 7:52pm in jeans, a t-shirt, and a light fleece jacket. This could certainly be called “the life.” Ok, now that I’ve made my point, it’s maybe 50 and this Californian is now taking her thin blood inside!

Oh, much better. Now I can warmly, in both senses, review recent days. I was lucky enough to be invited to celebrate the holiday with my friend Judy and her family. Now, Judy goes all out. She takes the whole week off to cook and clean in preparation for The Day. I arrived Wednesday evening after nearly everything was done. All I got in on was cleaning out the fridge (yeah, Ruth! I got rid of 3 excess Parmesan cheese containers, 4 expired jars of tartar sauce, 2 expired jars of raspberry jam, 2 expired jars of ranch dip, and 4 condensable jars of misc kinds of pickles), the pre-washing of the festival dishes, and the table/furniture set up.

And oh what a food fest. The dishes gracing the family table this year were:
Veggie appetizers and ranch dip
Banana bread
Wild rice dressing
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potato pudding
Green beans, carrots, and brussels sprouts
Apple sauce
Pickled peaches
Cranberry sauce
Pistachio pudding salad
3 kinds of pickles
2 kinds of olives
Chocolate pie
Pecan pie
Pumpkin pie
In short, it was one heck of a dinner enjoyed by all. Here’s “all”
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That’s Judy, Gramma (Judy’s mom), Allison (Judy’s DD), Howard (Judy’s DH), Gayle (Judy’s DIL), Margaret (Gayle’s mom), and Arthur (Judy’s DS and Gayle’s DH).

At the end of the meal, here’s the lay of the table – Gramma’s trying to put away as much food as possible, everyone else but Howard is having a spirited discussion on the recent shakeup at the Crystal Cathedral, and Howard’s pouting because no one will get him pie because we’re all still eating dinner.
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Howard gets very pouty if someone doesn't serve him dessert as soon as he's taken the last fork's worth of dinner off his plate.

At the end of the day, Tom was looking a little the worse for the ware and the leftovers were piled high—
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And the dishes were waiting—
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By the time the leftovers were stowed and the dishes were done it was time for Gayle, Margaret, and Arthur to hit the road for home. Judy and I collapsed into chairs, stitched, and eventually got around to pie while watching Persuasion. We all bonded with our pillows by midnight. We were up again early for putting up all the dishes (somehow we just couldn’t face then all Friday night) and breakfast. The Judy and Allison kindly dropped me at LosCon and headed for Joann’s for floss and other goodies.

Los Con started peacefully enough, I got my room with a balcony like I wanted (see above) where I promptly dumped my bags and headed off for registration. I was eager to get going on the fun and frivolity. And I didn’t have long to wait. The Opening Ceremonies were scheduled for the “Imperial Ballroom” only when we got in there is was 1/3ish of a ballroom. So we had a real opening ceremony and all applauded as the hotel staff activated the moving walls to give us a room big enough for everyone. It was, pardon the pun, quite moving. Ok, ok, that was bad. I know. I’m sorry.

So far I’ve enjoyed the “Parody Pastiche, and Humor,” “Which 10 Books” (with our friend Kathryn on the panel), “Our Fascination with Evil,” “Fiction 2008,” and “Exploring Space.” Among the wise words of the day:

From Opening ceremonies:
“The hamburgers are strictly for educational purposes.”

From Parody, Pastiche, and Humor:
“I have a funny story about humor.” John DeChancie
“That’s when a cursor was a cursor.” -- on the good ole days of computing
“We had this thing called You Tube…” John Scalzi – on future generations looking back to the good old days
Oh and in the midst of the midst of the panel Tadao (depending on what you watch on tv he might seem familiar-- Mr. Shake Hands Man ring a bell?) brought the first emergency In-n-Out burger delivery to John Scalzi –
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It seems that Mr. Scalzi only agreed to be our Guest of Honor when the committee agreed to supply him with double-double, animal-style In-n-Out burgers on demand/whenever he looked like he was coming over faint. Apparently he looked peaked as the panel started. Trust me, it was really funny.

From Our Fascination with Evil:
“You see now, that’s mighty wrong.” -- Tim Powers (I know, it really was funny, but I can’t explain. You had to be there.)

“Al least I got holy water.” -- Tim Powers on how atheists are screwed in the face of horror
“Go to hell nothing It’s amazing you weren’t killed as a child!” Emma Bull to Doselle Young (who is hysterical, btw)
“I would even say a shark that ambitious deserves to succeed.” Emma Bull to the audience member who said they were scared to go in their backyard pool after seeing Jaws for fear they'd be attacked by a shark

Exploring Space:
“….carbon-based, analog computers, yeah, I know them.” Robert B. Gounley
I just know I can use it at work in some sort of “what cool things have you done this year” statement – Who thinks I could even get a federal grant for exploratory research into the continuing application of such a device to workday activities?

Oh stitching, yeah, I’m supposed to talk about stitching. Here’s the current progress on the items under the needle-- may I make progress this weekend!:
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11_23_2008 007
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More tomorrow!
Actually more soon... hopefully.


Kathryn said...

It was so good to spend time with you at LosCon. Lots more fun than SMOFcon, but better stitching in Ohio. Yes, Himself was entertained. He was so bored that he took himself off to the men's clothing store next door and bought two pairs of pants (without my even nagging him! Why don't men like to shop?) Then we both picked out spices at Penzey's, ate some White Castles and got back to the con with nary a slip or slide.

Beth said...

I am really glad to see you back. I was getting worried - wow I sounded like an old mother hen - sorry. It is good to "hear" your voice again.


Stitchy Mc Floss said...
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Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Can't wait to see more pictures of your lovely stitching....I just love that picture of Howard...too funny. I'm with him, to heck with the food, let's eat the yummy sweets! Glad to have you back in blog-land....we missed you!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Ruth I'm sorry you've been hit by the hard economic times!

The holidays are really hard aren't they? I'm having a hard time getting in the spirit for Christmas this year. I blame my siblings! Easy to do isn't it?

Keep stitching! Everything looks great!

Amy said...

OH RUTH!!!! I need to chat with you about some books please? I need some recommendations for Ray please... I see some of what I was thinking about on your list. I've emailed but as usual, I don't think you received it! Please get in touch as soon as you can?? Thank you & hugs, Amy

mainely stitching said...

Hey Ruth, sorry about the pay/hours cut, but I'm glad that you've maintained your remarkable sense of humor. You're awesome! :D

Kathy A. said...

Sounds like you had the bestest Thanksgiving.
Sorry to hear about the hour/wage cut. It must be hard to deal with.
Your stitching progresses look great. Keep it up

karen said...

hey girl! glad to see you back here! like Beth, i was starting to get worried as well. sorry about work, that just plain sucks but you still have a job so that is a very good thing. hang in there!


Tama said...

50 degrees sounds wonderful to me right now...
and your Thanksgiving sounds a lot like mine - up to and including a man pouting for his dessert.
I love your Wips-'specially that fan. That's beautiful!

Jeanne said...

Wow you have been busy! Sorry to hear about your pay cut. :( We were told at work we're getting no raises next year but I am glad to have a job at this point. Here's hoping better times are ahead. Enjoy your holidays.