Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where the pink elephants roam

The last week has been such whirlwind that it's hard to believe it's been only the one week since we said our goodbyes by the ocean shore and Niobe and I headed back from whence we came scant 37 hours earlier. I sit now by a different, much warmer, shore of the same ocean, marvelling still at all that we packed into those 37 hours.

Back in college I spent some of my now-fondly-remembered time, and a good deal of brainpower too, trying to figure out just where that treasure was buried or who was really a well-disguised alien. Or, in other, more mundane, words playing live action role playing games. (And just so I am not left feeling like the dweebiest dweeb in the house all alone, let me hear a "hell, yeah" in the comments if part of your misspent youth was misspent doing the same thing.) The way this admission becomes relevant here is that frequently email announcements of these games came with a rating of the particular game's weirdshit factor. So a straight up Babylon 5 game would likely be fairly low weirdshit (though high on technology mechanics), whereas an Earth is under alien siege and there's a UN meeting to figure out what to do game is more likely to turn up high weirdshit, what with aliens masquerading as humans, and obligatory secret wizard societies coming out of the woodwork.

So last weekend? It was a little high on weirdshit.

I am not even sure that the monkey here is the strangest creature on the boardwalk. Though I have to admit to thinking that they have a rather strange sense of what it means for a shop to be open.

I also have to admit a failure of imagination in figuring out why there is a go-kart place under a ship.

Or a ship over a go kart place. Or why the latter (both?) have a one-eyed fisherman and his oddly out of proportion surroundings on the side.

Also, if you are tired and would like to rest a bit apparently you are out of luck unless you are curly. Or a fry.

Their pirates (and parrots) are larger than life.

And make interesting choices in weaponry.

Their mannequins, on the other hand, are freakishly life-like.

They also inhibit abandoned shops and make one wonder what they do when no-one is watching.

And if all of this is making you want a good strong drink, may I suggest a few Old Country-style chasers? And yes, apparently you are meant to put these on your tree.

I attribute the fact that it took me this long to write about the weekend mostly to a thoroughly uncharacteristic inability to find words to describe what it was like. I've met bloggers before. Mostly babylost bloggers. A time or two even in small groups. But there were ten of us there (Angie, the creative force behind the whole thing, Lani, Tash, Tracy, m, Sarah, Molly, and Laura, plus Niobe and me), and somehow I didn't have a good way to explain how naturally the conversation flowed from sharing recipes to the many facets of the life after, or how we laughed until we couldn't breathe (or was that just me?) at each other's black humor. Reflecting back, it seemed impossible to have packed this much into the paltry 37 hours. I didn't have words for any of it.

And then Tash wrote about the weekend, and suddenly I had it. Pink elephants. A convention of them. Yup, that's it.

Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. Where else should we hold a convention of florescent pink elephants if not among the above-pictured weirdshit? Why, they fit right in. As did we, is all I am trying to say.

Our freak flag. Yes, it's tattered. Got a problem with that?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Long time


So... ahem... it's been a while. A long while, in fact. Three months and three days.

Do I have an excuse? A boatload of them, actually. Not that anyone cares, of course, but it was mostly about working a whole lot, being sick, rinsing and repeating. The point, though? I've missed this place, a lot. I've promised myself that I would write already more times than I can remember.

I've been reading, trying to keep up with at least some blogs. I've been mostly failing. We had the flu. We are all better now, even me-- I've had my voice back for a whole three days now, yo. And yesterday I filed or unemployment. My contract technically ended last week, but I have been trying to finish up the things I didn't finish because of the flu. It's a weird, weird feeling-- I am supposedly unemployed, but I am still chugging along.

Come to think of it, it might've been good that I couldn't find time to blog for a while-- saved you from reading boring job search angst. Not that I am altogether done with it, I don't think. But for now I seem to be back to grimly determined (from, you know, flattened).

I was going to write this post (ha-ha) about five times in the last week. I was going to title it "Winding Down, Wound Up." Because, see, I am winding down my job, and I am, OMFG, wound up. Except I am not, anymore. And all it took is a seven hour drive. Which, to be fair, was only seven hours because of some serious traffic. I am away, at the retreat. Eating, drinking, walking among the kitsch that seems endearing this time of year, taking pictures, talking. Breathing.

It's nice. Really nice. So nice I'll have to write about it more. Plus, there are these crazy mannequins I just have to share... But, you know, later. Because right now there's conversation and laughter coming from the kitchen. So if you excuse me, I'm gonna go open a bottle of wine and join the fun.