I know I’ve used this song’s lyrics already. Twice. But damn, it’s so true.

So R:tAG’s brother and fambly were here, and we had a great time. Though trying to hit the highlights of the Bay Area in only five and a half days, while still eating and sleeping sufficiently to sustain life, was a challenge.

Most notable bits:

  • The look on our 13-year-old nephew’s face after spinning a dentist’s “Wheel of Fortune” display at a local community fair, and instead of winning a toothpaste squeezer like everyone else (and which he’d actually been hoping for), winning the Grand Prize of a $500 tooth-whitening procedure.*
  • Getting seriously sunburned on the right half of my body watching a lacrosse game in San Francisco when the tricksy tricksy fog decided to part. In about 15 minutes I looked like a Cheron variant.**
  • My sinister in-laws dragging – yes, dragging! – us to an outlet mall and forcing us to spend lots of money on kitchen gadgets and discount clothes! We were helpless!
  • Finding out that it’s not just me that gets really weirded out by the steepness of San Francisco’s hills. Seriously, you almost get dizzy after a while because of the discrepancy between the ground plane and the direction of gravity.
And then the fambly had to leave, and we had to get ready for GenCon. I’d done most of the costuming work previously except for the clockwork hand that I’d been planning. Of course, that turned out to be the fiddliest thing, but luckily it was just a lot of hand sewing (haw!) and I finished it in the hotel room on Wednesday night. What with the 3 hour time difference, I was staying up late anyway.

The steampunk costumes turned out well, I thought, and later that night, when Cenobyte and I were trying to go see a movie,*** a gentleman with gold teeth offered her $1,000 for her goggles. He produced an impressive bankroll lest we think he wasn’t serious, but Cenobyte declined (much to his confusion, I think).

We entered the costume contest, but didn’t win.**** I can’t argue; the winner (of our category and overall) did a replica of Queen Amidala’s outfit that was movie-quality. The closer you were, the more impressive it got. And the second place winner was pretty impressive also. *****

There were lots of goodies to be had on the dealers’ floor, and of course thousands of great games that I didn’t manage to play, and a few I did, and the usual stench of Indianapolis in the summer****** and a magnificent thunderstorm on Sunday night that made us very very happy. We miss thunderstorms.

And Stardust is really, really good. Go see it.

Oh, and it was R:tAG's and my eighth anniversary yesterday, so yay for us (does it seem like eight years to you?) So, a good couple of weeks. How ‘bout you?

* He gave it to me, bless his heart, since they weren’t staying long enough to use it. Tooth whitening? I am on my way to becoming completely assimilated by California. I suppose breast implants and hair extensions are next. Though a woman in our office just had extensions put in, with real hair, and now all I can think of when I look at her is “EEEEEE YOU’RE WEARING SOMEONE ELSE’S HAIR!”

** Hoo boy, the geek doesn’t even scrub off, does it?

*** We ended up going to the White Wolf party instead, at a rather cool industrial club that made me sort of nostalgic for PPM and where I told a punk with a 12” mohawk that he wasn’t a real libertarian. He was a great guy, and apparently quite involved in the punk scene (he’s the vocalist).

**** Thing I liked the most about the costume contest… there was Dr. Girlfriend, one of the Monarch’s henchmen, and Rusty Venture himself, and they all had come separately! Here’s a better picture of the last two.

***** And looking for pictures of us, I realized how much I didn’t see. This is a collection of links to collections of pictures that gives you some idea of the size of GenCon.

****** A bouquet of decomposing corpses, feces, and mildew, with a top note of urine. Downtown Indy is steam heated, which apparently means all the runoff of all the gutters gets blended, simmered, vaporized, and sent back to the surface via steaming manhole covers and gratings. There is a theory that GenCon moved to Indy because after walking downtown, entering a hall full of close-packed gamers is actually a nasal relief.


  1. Steve said...

    A belated happy anniversary to you both then.

    Also, love the costumes.


  2. cenobyte said...

    I should engrave the date of your wedding on to some kind of metal recollectory device.

    Congrabulations. I always know how *long* you've been married, but I'm also always convinced you were married in September for some reason. Probably because I'm a goof.  

  3. carla said...

    Just finished watching the Venure Bro's series . . . so awesome. Thanks for posting the costumes!!  

  4. Anonymous said...

    So perhaps it is time for a belated confession, ACS. Long have I been lurking here, occasionally peering in to see that all is well and good. Given levity when you are well and the strange proximity that the medium provides when you are not.
    And you have quietly been an influence in small but subtle ways, fish-eying my mental space.
    You have led me to Captain Jack Sparrow and stardust. To steam work desk tops and nostalgia.
    So I thought I ought to say thanks for keeping in touch. It means much to know that you both are out there, in the space beyond the prairies.
    -Yours in imagined insanity

  5. Amy said...

    Eeeee! Hi, Graham! It is so wonderful to hear from you... do e-mail and give an update on how things have been going for the past, what, decade?

    (My God, Lucas must be practically be driving by now...)  

  6. Anonymous said...

    I would love to, but I cannot find the email

    I am gulliverswift at hotmail dot com

    Drop me a line!


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