26 July 2006

Catch Up, Fünf ...

Tuesday and Wednesday are, as always, a blur of activity ... meeting and crisis intervention training behind the dragon at 1:00 (with a quick pit-stop to nod at Adele at her noon meeting with the E, F, and G crews in the kids' loop), getting everyone their T-shirts and laminates (Marcus did that (and so much running around)for me, this year ... good gawds, I want an assistant every year!), making changes with Registration, staying put to vouch for anyone who showed up to register without photo ID, filling last-minute crew spots, switching SOPs around, telling Linda "Yes, you may go to the playground and play with the dead piano (old upright with the whole front missing, so the strings and soundboard are exposed) but check in in half an hour" every half-hour, greeting friends I haven't seen in a year, meeting new ones, charging back to camp to set up my tent and get changed for our first shift, shift change, shift from 7pm Tues.-2am Wed. (for which we turn up at least an hour early), figuring out how to cover more spots than we have bodies, shift change, accounting for missing folks, sleep, catching up with folks, more registration changes, more dead-piano trips, another shift from 2pm-8pm Wed. (with the hour+ early thing and the more spots than bodies things again) with shift changes on either end and then we were free! ... for a while. There's a gathering in Dubland on Thursday, and showers to be had and friends to see and so many things for Linda to discover!

Ever since Cory went to the Fair, folks have been asking Linda what she was going to deal with the communal showers ... bit of a prude, our Linda. Her response has always been that it'll be fine because when she goes to the Fair with Auntie Lynn, she's going to become a hippy. True to her word, the first time we went to the Ritz, she stuffed her things into a cubby, peeled off her clothes, turned around with a grin on her face and beat a ba-dum-bah on her belly. Just like that.

We had a standing shower date with Marcus, each night. I've just had an e-mail from him, saying how much he misses that (so do I), and how tough it is to adjust back to showering (and sleeping and everything else) under a roof.

Linda and I did a round in the Fair each of the three days, and saw parades and jugglers and freaks and magic and plays and, and, and! On her own, Linda would spend a ton of time in the playground, whacking on the dead pianos (two, now, as one of the crew brought a second soundboard and set of strings, mounted flat on a trailer) with drilled-out bouncy-balls on sticks, or playing in the Meadow with her ribbons on sticks, or sitting at the stage right outside our camp, watching all manner of Vaudeville, from jugglers to bawdy fairy tale plays.

Here she is, watching a fellow who balances on all that nonsense and juggles a plunger, a bunch of roses, and a machete:

The significance of the name of the stage was completely lost on me 'til I walked past one day and heard someone say, "Morning Wood!?" I must've had quite the look on my face 'cuz Simon (of the Fremont Players, who set up and perform on that stage) laughed and laughed, "Aw, no, Luv! You just got it now!? Hawhawhaw"

I saw some of the coolest things at the Fair, this year, and left me feeling that I must learn to weld.

Imagine a tennis ball with 3cm dia. hollow cylinders sticking out all over it, making a spikey ball ... now take away the tennis ball and open up the cylinders to the middle ... now make it out of 45 gal. drums instead, paint them all different colours, and open up a couple of the out-ends, too, so the sound can get out and hang hang mallets from them, so people wandering by can bang on it. There was one of those out front of the Dragon ... kinda cool ... it was very cool once it was taped up with warning tape and moved away from in front of the Dragon, out to the edge of the parking lot.

And the fellow who makes the steel dragons and kinda-double-little-cowbell-things made a bunch of hollow steel shapes ... like gaming dice and crystals. And a half-dozen other booths had cool stuff that gave me ideas of what to weld.

Adele pointed out that I'd been walking around with Pat's dragon's eye ring around my neck. Pat was a welder. He was making awfully cool stuff before he got sick again and stopped welding.

So I walked around the Fair agian on Sunday to see if I felt the same way about it without the ring on ... I couldn't find any of that stuff and didn't think to go look at the one out in the parking lot. Hmph. But I ran into James while I was doing that. We don't seem to run into each other much, except for shift changes, so we try to sneak off for a few minutes whenever we do. There were open theatre seats in front of the Ritz (due to Honey Bucket cleaning), so we curled up and reconnected. We seem to've traded years ... last year, he lost Jenn and my heart was broken ... this year, I lost Pat and his heart is broken.

James in the theatre seats at the Ritz, oblivious to the dancing bear:

Linda tried to stay up for the Sunday-night-at-midnight shift and ended up asleep in her woobie in the grass next to one of the benches. Marcus took her back to camp (how did I ever do this without an assistant before? ... he's going to want to be on the crew next year ... maybe I can draught his sister for next year). Since we were done early on Monday, many folks packed up and left early, so we didn't have our usual gathering up at the Ritz Monday night. I definitely missed it. We went up for a shower, but it was a quick one with just Linda and me and Adele and Doug. We had a fire behind the dragon afterwards, but Linda was in bed already and camp was pretty empty, so I didn't stay long. Since we've planned this for several years and not ended up doing it, not many folks showed up. Maybe we'll be more organized next year.

Linda and I packed the car and left on Tuesday. We left the site by noon and drove to a place called Spokane Valley or Falls or something, just past Spokane. We went from motel to motel, being told they were full and check with this or that one, until we spotted one none of them had mentioned and tried it. They had one room left with a jacuzzi and including a hot breakfast in the morning, at $295/night ... that they'd be willing to let us have for $109. We checked in, went next door for dinner just before they closed, and went for a splash.

I think Linda stopped listening after 'jacuzzi':

There were conveniently placed handles around the tub and in the shower, mirrors on the ceiling over the tub and bed, and black lights on either side of the bed ... but the tub worked (after I fixed the plug) and the windows opened, and Linda didn't notice the extras.

Noone was home when we got to Patty's, so we let ourselves in and cleaned up some. We were to spend Jaime's birthday with him in Nelson, but he wasn't there. He'd bought himself a fixer-upper Harley on eB*y and gone to pick it up in CA. He stopped in at the Fair site on Tuesday night, but we'd already left. So we spent the evening with Patty and the girls and Patty's brother and his girlfriend and the next day with Patty and the girls. We left the following morning, Sarah and Linda having become fast friends, and me promising to visit one more time before the snow flies ... maybe for Sarah's birthday.

Sarah, Ally and Raye waving goodbye:

I took Sarah home Saturday night and asked to trade her for someone who wasn't going to laugh at my hair every time we stopped the car. I got Cory. Actually, Dad brought him in Sunday afternoon. I picked the cats up in the morning. We got groceries and went for dinner and to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He had guitar lessons here every day for five days, with homework each day. After his lesson on Friday, we went to Mona's and hung out for a little while, then he caught a lift home with Mona and Pete and the girls. I met them all and Mom and Dad at Mary's on Saturday for her Open Farm Day. It was stinkin' hot! It took me 'til yesterday to get the house below 30°C.

Tomorrow, I drop the cats off at the kennel again and pick up Ernie and we'll head to the Sasquatch Gathering on Friday. We'll work at the gate from Noon 'til six on Saturday ... dash back to camp and throw together something for the potluck (I must remember to take something for Tippy's Stone Soup). I have no idea what's going on after I get him back home.

Catch Up, Quatre ...

Linda and I set off on the 30th and drove to Nelson, B.C., where we spent Canada Day with at the beach Patty, Sarah, Ally and Raye, singing Oh Canada, having birthday cake, building sand castles and getting face painted.

Here's Linda in her borrowed bathing suit (hand-me-down from Nina that doesn't quite fit Sarah, yet), maple leaf tattoo, Alberta rose painting, and holding one of the baby budgies being bird-sat by Patty's family for the summer:

Later, we went to the fireworks and Jaime came, too. We don't know if the dogs (brother and sister samoyeds) were set off by the fireworks or by the thunder later, but when we got home, Chloe was two storeys up on the roof, having gone out through the girls' window (and taken out the bars and the screen on the way). Jaime talked her back in. It took a while for all the girls to calm down enough for bed.

The rest of the drive was hot enough that holding a hand out the window while going highway speed felt like holding it under a hot blowdryer. Icky! Fortunately, the temperatures were more reasonable for the Fair, in the 30's, rather than the 40's. Once we got in, we noticed that we had squatters in our camping spot. We reported them to the Quartermonster and spent the night in Chewie's tent, since he was going into town and didn't need it. In the night, Linda ended up sideways across the bottom of my sleeping bag and rolled up to the top, a little at a time, squeezing me out of it like toothpaste out of a tube!

After dark, Bee Craig came and blasted the squatting bald-faced hornets with some kind of nasty toxic spray. One got in his sleeve and stung him a few times, so he headed to the hospital, then came back later and checked on the hive. He checked one more time in the morning and advised us to slosh a couple of pails of water on the ground under it before putting the tent back. Vick did the sloshing and we finally set up our home-for-the-week.

This is the Western Tanager feeding on the larvae from his (her?) new larder in the canopy a couple of feet above my tent:

(I washed the tent a couple of times after the Fair, to get the toxic bird poop off it)

And this is Linda telling her Mom all about it:

(Yes, that is marabou on Linda's tent! We found boas at the store in town and decided they were required camping gear)

As promised, I took Linda to Patti's Pies for breakfast one day.

We ate our breakfast by DeSpain Bridge, where this little girl was hooping and playing the flute (at the same time, and doing both very well!):

Patti's pies are made from gently stirred banana and cinnamon, topped with fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, cherries, and berries, all in an unbaked crust of dates and crushed nuts ... utterly delicious whole food!

Catch Up, Trey ...

When I went to look at the APs computer a while ago, Dad paid me with this:

And Mom keeps this sign (BAT LIGHT) at the lake on what I would have sworn was a coffee maker:

Maybe it refers to the blend she's brewing in it.

Catch Up, The Second ...

So far, it's been an unusually hot summer. Here's a blurry photo of Sir (gender non-specific) Bunrab lying in the hole he dug for himself by the fence ... the diggings made a convenient pillow for the poor hot bunny:

You'd someone said, "Quick, everyone pile on the couch and make a face so I can take a picture" ... but no! This happened naturally:

Okay, someone did say to make faces, but everyone was already on the couch.

Catch Up ...

My on-the-road knitting is usually a bag full of acrylic (with at least a little wool content if I have my way, but sometimes it's donated, so I don't) yarn to make eight-inch squared for Blankets for Canada. Rose and Cassandra always ask me what I'm knitting. I always say I'm making squares, then they ask why and I tell them that the squares will be made into blankets for people who don't have any blankets to sleep in. They play with the squares and ask if they can keep one each for their lovies (special stuffed animals), who don't have any blankets and I tell them that one day, I'll make blankets for their lovies, but that these squares are for blankets for people who have none.

For a while, though, it was Cory's blanket. I crocheted each of Mary's kids a baby blanket and have added to them as the kids grew. Cory's is a hexagon and is now over six feet across the short way. I never did make baby blankets for Mona's kids, so I figured it was about time. They each started out with four squares using three colours, bordered with the three colours ... then a row (on two sides) of seven squares, each using two of the three colours and another random colour, with the whole mess bordered with a couple of the random colours ... then a row (on the same two sides) of eleven squares in (sort of) random colours, with the whole mess bordered in a couple of those (sort of) random colours ... then a final row of fifteen squares in random colours (on the same two sides), with the whole mess bordered in a couple of those random colours, mostly purple for Rose and pink for Cassandra. And two little blankies with similar borders to the big ones, for their lovies.

Here are the (tum-ta-dum!) Entropy Blankets with their sidekicks:

And then I got brave and tried two-colour knitting ... nothing scary like intarsia, though. I had a look at this book about slip-stitch knitting and gave it a try. I later read about doing the edging with different size needles ... I'll do that next time.

It's nothing spectacular, so I used a model to spice up the picture:

21 July 2006

Re-entry and PAG...

Re-entry from the Fair into the so-called real world has been bumpy and busy, this year. Cory's here for the week, taking guitar lessons daily.

I've just spent a good hour composing an answer to Fundin, who was asking me what was up with Dande and whether or not she was ever coming back to PAG. It was harder to write than I thought it would be. Pat (Tyndall) is all tied up in how I feel about it. PAG was the only time I spent in-game with him, for one thing ... and for another, he would be the first to say screw 'em, go play the way you want.

Hi Fundin,

I stopped playing as much when Tyn died, and summers are crazy-busy with festivals, so I'm rarely around. If I play, it's for FB Tues., Fri. and Sun. evenings (MDT), lately.

It's been longer than that since I've been to PAG, though. I thought I was taking a break to get un-crabby about the double-clicking and other stuff that was getting up my sleeve. I'm still not even sure whether I'm taking more of a break than I thought or I'm just done. I know it's tough (next to impossible ... you continue to do an incredible job) to lead a group like that if you can't get a commitment from the members, so I completely understand if you'd rather I just quit waffling and quit altogether.

Someone made a comment to me about how OOC Dande had gotten during PAG trips. That bothered me a lot and I was already crabby about the double-clicking and the STFU-type comments about RP, so I took a break. The reason I was PAGing in the first place was to spend time with people I didn't see anymore, except on PAG hunts. Now many of them have melted away and others are too busy beating the area to play CL the way I like to play. That's not to say that I believe PAG should play the way *I* want to play, but that if I can't play the way I want to play *and* hunt with PAG, then I have to make a choice. Sure, there are people I don't get a chance to see otherwise, but what's the point in seeing their icon if there's almost no interaction anyway? Sure, I feel bad about saying Dande'd come be a Good Horus Chick™ and then not showing up for this long, but there's way more Horus in the pocket healers than Dande will ever have. Sure, I would rather PAG would do what it can with what it has available (while staying at least a little IC, and without double-clicking or people who don't tolerate RP), but that's my problem, not anyone else's. Sure, I'd love Dande to get to the 2nd book, but it's plenty fun (possibly even more fun than if she ever did make it) to complain about how the group gets there only when she can't make the hunts.

Anyway, I love that you've created this group and maintained it this long. I want there to be a place for Dande-the-way-I-want-to-play-her in it, but I'm not sure there is.

15 July 2006

Important stuff ...

The Walk is tomorrow. Tomorrow!!

Dani's going walking again. You can sponsor her here.
I have.
You can sponsor her in your own name, in someone else's name, anonymously, in someone's memory. For donations under $25, you can PayPal Dani (solascl@hotmail.com) and she will add it to the total. Whatever you can do helps.