Sunday, February 26, 2017

TotalCon Recap - Updated

This year started out being merely good, but at least for some of us...Ended up being great!

This year, when we pre-registered, we did not get as many games as we wanted.  Chewy even voiced concern that maybe it was not worth going this year (gasp!).

Because Michael needed transportation to his community college class during his (high school's) vacation week, and a small bout of sickness on his part, Chewy and I both ended up having to work on Friday.  So, we did not even get to the convention until Friday evening (whereas normally we would have arrived by noon).

However, things improved from there!

The convention moved to a new hotel this year and mostly this has been for the good...Including a pool both that both Willow and I can agree on!  There was plenty of parking, and plenty of places to eat.  Our room was decent sized with a pull out bed/couch -- Michael kinda liked having his own space (although he at first complained that the room was smaller than normal (it was not)).

Michael has been awesome and on his own most of the time.  He has had great games, including one that he liked so much, he bought the game -- it was some movie based game. On Saturday night, he played a role playing game that was Game Mastered (GM) by one of the people who helped to design and write many of the first D&D games. They played the game with 1974 rules the GM gave Michael a lot of praise and the player of the game award. Meanwhile, Chewy actually was able to get into a game he originally wanted to play when we pre-registered, but had been sold out.  He ended up being able to play Cyberpunk with the creator of the game, who praised him for being the sickest mad scientist he has ever known and gave him the award for best player.  More importantly, Chewy enjoyed talking with this man who was a great influence from his college years.

Meanwhile, while I haven't had such luck in my gaming this year, I have spent some nice quality time with Willow without distractions. So nice to get away!

My only complaint...We have a king sized bed...Which should fit me, Chewy and Willow comfortably.   One can only express surprise that an eight year old can hog a king size bed!!!   (Hence I am up at 5 a.m. writing this post!!)

UPDATE:

Well, my experience got even better today!  My original game was cancelled, but I was able to get to play a Gygax Memorial Ticket to Ride Europe.  This is with the same Game Master that Michael had on Saturday night.  He introduced me to some people as the mother of that kid who was shy, but then did really well last night at his game (apparently getting applause from all players)!  Which made me a proud mom!

The guy is a legend in gaming (both board and role playing) and since it was the last day, people kept coming up to him for autographs and to thank him for his influence in their lives.  We played the game, which I had never played the European version, and he told stories.  It was awesome! And then,  I came in 2nd place...Before him!!!  A personal best...an interesting story...A great way to end TotalCon 2017!




Arrival--time for junk food!

Into the pool!


Michael playing the Producers game.

Willow loved painting miniatures this year!


Someone craved pasta from the restaurant in the hotel...eating in bed at 9 p.m!

Conveniently, someone pointing at my rails--I am red!

My 2nd place marker, ahead of a legend.  :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cake, Lego Batman and Legal Seafood..

Cake from BJs

Thought it was a good theme!

Eighteen candles!

Being silly!

Its Bone-itis!


Frankenstein attacking the werewolf!

I do not get how she can be this messy...

Lobster at Legal after Lego Batman!

And, of course, she needed lobster too--she is my lobster girl!
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Michael

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.**













Tomorrow we are going to have a Birthday Cake, go out to dinner and go see Lego Batman.  A small, low-key affair to celebrate a significant birthday. Tuesday, Michael turns 18 years old.  He did not want a party or anything, I don't even think he cares about going out to dinner..but I want to celebrate this young man.  

Because he is my first and I cannot think of my life without him. 

He is a contradiction, he is a challenge sometimes.  He is funny and happy and serious and anxiety-ridden and smart.  

He is someone to get to know, because he is loyal to those he feels comfortable with, he is kind in ways you would not suspect and quietly (and often not so quietly) smarter than you think.  He loves animals and monster movies.  He loves watching classic movies and silent films.  His room looks like a collectibles store.  

He wants to have a career in film history.  Or maybe a surgeon.  Or maybe creating surgical instruments.  Or maybe something with animals. I don't actually know what he wants to be or what he wants right now...he is often so opaque.

So many things he has done, so many things to do.  I am proud of this child of mine, and I hope to help him to become the best, happiest person he can be.

Happy Birthday, son.  

**This song is what Chewy used to sing to Michael at bedtime when he was a baby.  It always makes me think of him.









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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

One Foot in Front of the Other...

Put one foot in front of the other
and soon you'll be walking 'cross the floor
You put one foot in front of the other
and soon you'll be walking out the door.

You never will get where you're going
if ya never get up on your feet
Come on, there's a good tail wind blowin'
A fast walking man is hard to beat.

If you want to change your direction
if your time of life is at hand,
Well, don't be the rule, be the exception
A good way to start is to stand.

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I thought of these lyrics last night.  For some reason, it sums up a lot about my life right now.  An obvious parallel is with the political situation right now, where I know that action is needed and we all have to make our stands.

But, in another way, we are in the territory of new beginnings and experiences...and so as not to be overwhelmed, we are trying to just take those few steps...

Less than a week from now, Michael will be eighteen.  Yesterday, I saw this wonderful post that expressed some of the feelings I have.

He doesn't really want a party or anything...we are going to have cake (I got a picture that will be put on the cake, it should look cool...) and we are going to go out to dinner and go see Lego Batman on Saturday.

Some one the other day asked if we were going to have a party for his graduation...and I realized two things--oh, yeah, that is coming up...and yeah, why not a little party?

Then there is next year and the decisions that need to be made--will he be driving by then, will he need a car, will he be taking community college classes, will he go through the transitioning program at Milestones (probably), will he do some volunteer/internship/part-time work?

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Willow has glasses!  School vision testing showed something was up...so we took her to the eye doctor, and surprise (#notsurprise) she is near sighted!  So, now she has joined the glasses clan...and she has been reluctant, but frankly, she looks cute!

Oh, and did I mention we had some snow days?!!?






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February is busy, we have a lot to get ready for, we have to pay taxes this year, we have a car that needs new brakes, and probably need a new(er) car to replace the older one--Total Confusion is here in less than 2 weeks...and then it will be March!  So...one foot in front of the other....





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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Where do we go from here...

Why is the path unclear,
When we know home is near.
Understand we'll go hand in hand,
But we'll walk alone in fear. (Tell me)
Tell me where do we go from here.

So. It has been a while for me to post about daily life, because trying to focus on my life is a good thing, believe me, I have plenty to focus on...but, when the every day becomes this bombardment of fear and dread...one cannot deny or hide from the threats to our every day.  We have Marched, and we will March again.  We have called and faxed and sent postcards and lit up Facebook...and we will continue this, continue to be heard, continue to do what we can.

But.  I fear that we (as a Nation) and we (as a family) will suffer exhaustion from this and an apathy will set in.  We will have to remain vigilant and strong together...it is going to a long, drawn out fight...I hope we are all up for it.

And to be up for a long fight--we need to sometimes pause.  And remember to indeed focus on your own life and family.
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Willow and I are bonding over a television show.  It is pretty interesting because it is a revived Norman Lear show, on Netflix...Chewy is not as impressed with the show, but I purposely showed him a clip where they were talking about Buffy...and now he is grudgingly on board...

Willow loves the show and it occurs to me that part of the reason is, of course, hanging out with me to do.  But another reason is that she has not grown up with sitcoms like this.  It has a laugh track and it is a pretty predictable formula, very Norman Lear...and she is seeing it for the first time.  

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Michael is going to be 18 in 20 days.  I am not sure how I sit with that.  I am astounded and overwhelmed by this.  I am worried and frustrated and elated and happy.  I have no idea where we go from here.  Driving and Graduation, College course already under his belt...he still is precariously on the edge of adulthood and we are all unsure how he will fit in this world and how the world will treat him.  (I am actually going to an all day conference regarding this.)

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Phoebe the hamster died.  She was buried.  Her cage is clean and ready for another hamster...but I have not gotten one yet.  Partially because of lack of time to do so. Partially because of timing...we have Michael's birthday, we have our anniversary of dating, we have Total Confusion (at a new hotel this year--YA!)...so, a new pet might be a good thing in the Spring...



Saturday, January 21, 2017

The March

So, we waited through five subway trains that were so crammed of people, no more could be fit in, decided to walk more than the March route to get there....But we did it!  The amount of people was astounding.  The amount of goodwill towards all was overwhelming.  I felt included and a part of something...People talked along the way, thanking others for coming out...People helping each other.  Lots of different faces, faiths, shapes, sizes.  Families and women, tons of women...And men. And children...Lots of children.  (And dogs..We know, cuz Willow stopped to pet each one!!). It was wonderful to see such spirit and unity!

From Chewy's point of view:

Despite my distaste for crowds, noise, people and walking I went to the march today.  I was glad I did.
We parked in Cambridge at Draper  but the T was full to capacity with people who were obviously headed to  the march.
After waiting for a few trains we decided to walk the bridge to the Park (about 1.5 miles).
The bridge was packed with people heading to the march.  Young people, old people,White,Black, Gay, Male, Female.. everyone.
The crowd skewed a bit young and people all had handmade signs (some very clever).  The people were courteous and the police were treated with a great deal of friendly respect which they returned iin the same way.
It was a good day.  The people were not carrying racist signs or holding confederate flags.  They were American's who looked young, well dressed, smart, and articulate.
I saw people being helpful to each other (when I dropped my T ticket some one handed me their's) and friendly.
It made me proud to be an American.
I'm home now, my feet look like balloons. But I feel good.
Pictures to follow.
















Saturday, January 14, 2017

Perfect Moments--Holiday and Beyond Edition...

Everything whirls around in a big mess of holiday fun, excitement and exhaustion...and it is over. Lots of food, excitement, relaxation.  Good movies and snuggling, new experiences and old traditions. Hanukkah and Christmas and Birthday and New Years.  Twilight Zone and Star Wars and Avengers and new pets and old pets and ornaments and decorations.  Latkes and Strega Prime Steakhouse, no cake this year, but desserts for all...no "play Santa" for the first year, no real First Night of Hanukkah celebration, but latkes on third night...Botana and pancakes and candy canes...

Now, it is 2017.


The Animal Whisperer. 

 He is not really good with people and objects.  Gets frustrated quickly, gets annoyed...doesn't suffer fools (even if they are justified fools).  Yet.  He has a way with animals. He is the one who can catch them.  Two times already the hamster has gotten out...this Sunday morning was the second time.  He calmly assessed the situation, while the rest of us were distraught or ragged with trying to find/catch her.  (It was 3 a.m., after all).  When we had finally given up, when we were already making justifications and secondary plans, etc...he nonchalantly pointed out that the hamster was back in her cage.  He had finally, through patience and persistence (something he doesn't show always with others or himself), gotten Phoebe the hamster, and had carefully placed her in her cage.


Hanging Out

She has an old soul.  She speaks of life and death as we snuggle underneath a blanket.  Her squirmy, lanky self, always asking questions. She states this is the most perfect thing we could be doing right now...and I agree.


Dance Party

Alexa has now helped me do something I have missed doing in the last few years....Dance party in the kitchen!!!  She knows all the current pop stars (only one in the house that does), we mix up songs, old and new...And we dance around.