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ChiCon 7 Was a Blast September 6, 2012

Posted by Hydy in life.
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Spent the weekend in Chicago, from Thursday night through Monday lunch time. It was a ton of fun, though I really didn’t do as much of the actual convention as maybe I should have, responsibilities (fun) and sleep intervened. As did several really nice meals. We gathered for our own brand of quiet party that first night, meeting all the people we didn’t know yet, and some we had not seen for a long time, but would be working with the rest of the weekend. There had been some load in earlier, but Rich and I didn’t get there until mid-party.

Friday morning and afternoon we spent cleaning up and preparing the suite and three adjoining rooms for two nights of public parties. The rest of the gear arrived and we made a couple trips through the freight elevator to finish stocking the room. Carpet was covered, Christmas lights were hung, and a very cool holodeck door frame was installed. The DJs set up, the punches were mixed and we were ready to go.

Both nights were excellent parties. Nearly 500 guests the first night(causing the temperature differential alarm to go off), and many more than that the second night(thankfully we had better air circulation). We were voted best party of the con, and most people were glad to be a part of it. Some of the more middle-aged of our guests were even tickled to be ID-ed at the door, saying it had been quite some time since that had happened. We had so many fleet there, that even working was easier, most shifts not lasting more than an hour, unless you wanted it to. The four rooms gave us a nice flow, and the lack of horizontal surfaces and the great job of commemorative cup sales, meant I didn’t even have to spend all my time picking up abandoned cups.

As for the food. It was quite the adventure. Friday lunch we walked through the Pedway(an interesting, indoor way to get through downtown), to a place called Wow Bao, which serves “hot Asian buns.” These are spongy round pastries with your favorite flavors stuffed inside. We had chicken teriyaki, as well as some traditional fried dumplings. Friday dinner was deep dish Chicago pizza, it was amazing an huge. I couldn’t even manage two full pieces. Saturday I went back to the Pedway for lunch, but the subshop didn’t have beef, so I ended up with a nice tuna(better for me anyway). For dinner, I headed out via a very terrifying cab ride with friends to Weber Grill. I had a delicious prime rib, wonderful garlic mashed potatoes and nicely grilled asparagus. Excellent meal.

Sunday was busy with putting the rooms back together and getting all the gear back into trucks, vans and trailers. I’m pretty sure I missed lunch this day. So, for dinner, a bunch of us went out to Houlihan’s. Where we shared some homemade potato chips (I avoided the drizzled cheese), Ahi tuna wrapped in wonton, and some shrimp that I also avoided. For dinner, I had a plate full of broccoli, mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Nothing spectacular, but a very tasty, and filling meal. We dropped in on a couple parties that night, but one was too quiet, and the other too loud and bright, packed with people we didn’t know, so we ended up hanging out in one of our hotel rooms, though, I admit, I was nearly asleep during this, listening to stories and jokes.

Monday was final pack out for most of us, and a long drive home, now in the daylight, for Rich and me. The fields of windmills are far more fun in the dark, with their single red, blinking eyes. I imagine Don Quixote would be more convinced of their dragonish nature had he seen them in modern times. We found out that we won best party on the drive home, and tired spirits were buoyed, even into the next day. All in all, it was quite the successful weekend away.

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Anniversary Weekend August 30, 2012

Posted by Hydy in life.
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Had a nice time celebrating our 8th Anniversary this past weekend. We went to Avenue Q, produced by CATCO. If you’ve never heard of it, think Rent with Muppets. The main character has just graduated with a B.A. in English and is trying to find his way out in the real world of jobs, bills, relationships and layoffs.  We had a nice dinner at P.F. Changs, and then spent the evening at the dollar theater. We watched Men in Black 3, and Hunger Games. I really enjoyed MIB3, it had a good story, and kept you hooked til the very end. Hunger Games was a good, action packed overview of the book, but they skipped over so many important details, including getting you to care more about the main character than her little sister, but it was still fun.

This week has been a flurry of get ready for ChiCon 7.  WorldCon is being held in Chicago this year, and we’re going with a huge group of friends. It is going to be a blast. I don’t know a lot of the authors, but there are quite a few panels that look interesting. And it’s Chicago, so I’m sure we’ll have some pretty amazing food adventures as well.

I have my car back, good as new, though reeking of the cleaner they used on the dashboard. The Altima was interesting to drive, but I missed my Prius, and definitely want it for the Chicago drive. I’m doing pretty well myself, getting some Chiropractic care, and I’ll be good as usual in a couple weeks.

 

Hunger Games, etc. May 17, 2012

Posted by Hydy in life.
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I just finished reading Hunger Games. I got it free when I bought my nook Simple Touch. I found it to be excellent. I’ve always been one for survivalist kids books, and we meet Katniss heading out to the woods to hunt. So, I was at home immediately. Told in first person narrative, it draws you in, makes you identify with this young woman fighting to keep her family alive, even when she’s fighting for her own life, she is still worried about her family at home. Set in a dystopian future, where children are forced to fight to the death to prove the districts are powerless over the Capitol, the book is the start of a story of overreaching governmental power and the resulting inevitable rebellion.  I hope Suzanne Collins keeps up the good work and Catching Fire and Mockingjay are just as good. I am also curious how Hollywood played the story, might have to catch it at the dollar theater.

I also recently finished Promise of the Witch King by R.A. Salvatore. A Jarlaxle and Entreri story which takes the two to the northern wilds of Vaasa. Their interactions are incredibly entertaining as always. And Entreri starts to learn more about himself, letting the reader in on more of the private world of this enigmatic assassin. Next up, the finale of their trilogy – Road of the Patriarch.

Since last week, Rich and I have made our summer plans. We have a place to sleep at WorldCon, tickets to Boise for the week of July 4th and the weekend following it, and a plan for our Maine trip in August. Still working on the smaller stuff.

 

One For Another May 3, 2012

Posted by Hydy in life.
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Cold seems to have finished up, to be followed simply by allergy trouble. Yay, dust! And now my tummy is cranky, with food. Not that I’m not eating, just that it doesn’t seem to like anything I eat. Trying rice today, that’s completely neutral, right? We’ll see.

Getting on towards summer now. Temps in the 80s this week. Maybe warm weather will get me eating healthier. Without so much a desire for hot food. Just have to get past the stress eating habit as well. Mom’s retiring this summer, so I’m also having fantasies of homemade tomato paste this fall. 😉  There are so many farmers markets down here, plenty of tomatoes… will have to convince my brother to let them use his kitchen though, mine’s no good for that. Would also have to convince them to come down to visit in October, according to Google, that is the local picking month.

So much to plan for this summer, and we haven’t even begun. Need WorldCon roommates. Need Boise flight tickets. Need a Maine trip plan. And that’s just the big stuff. Really want to get to Cedar Point this year. Birthday plans. Anniversary plans. I don’t even know what I’m doing for Memorial Day weekend. <pipedream>  Anyone want to send me to England in June? ::laughs:: </pipedream>

We are in a new financial year at work, so hours are picking back up a little. Microsoft invested in our nook business, so that should be interesting. I’m still waiting for Love Sucks by Sage Collins to be available through the nook store. Cuz I’m stubborn like that.  Had a great time at the Chocolate Cafe with her, Shayera and their writing friends. Exquisite Corpse made for some very entertaining stories. A few even made sense.