Out With The Old, In With The …

This may be the last year I get to use that tagline.

Last year (2014 – yes I’m late with my End of the Year post) was intense. Heck, every single year for the last four has been intense. Ending an 8 year job, international move, career reboot, starting and finishing law school, ending relationships and starting new ones, running an award-winning podcast, and those are just the big things off the top of my head. I realized yesterday that these two weeks off have been my first official no plans, no requirements, true Down Time since I’ve met Alasdair.

That’s scary. And completely unacceptable.

Look, I am the first person to admit I’m a full-blown Type A workaholic. Give a task to a busy a person and they get it done could be my motto. I like it. I thrive on it. I’m good at it. Which is part of the problem: it’s not going to slow down (let’s be honest, it’ll never stop) unless I make it.

The September Deadline was a fantastic (and successful) experiment which I’ll be repeating. And this year we’re only going to three conventions (two for me, unless Charles Soule makes it to Thought Bubble). We’ve scheduled several long weekend / short vacations, money willing. Time for this country and part of the world to be a place I get to explore and experience and enjoy instead of being just the place I work.

And tentative feelers are in the water about wedding venues and dates and such, but that’s a whooooole other thing I’m still unpacking.

Looking back 2014 was amazing and hard and busy and emotional. Amazing highs (engaged, training contract started immediately) and tough lows (visa trauma, yet another Annual Move). All I want from 2015 is a more stately pace: more breathing room, more downtime, less cost to the accomplishment. I want to concentrate on spending more time doing and learning and experimenting with the things I enjoy. I know what that involves in an ideal world, we’ll see how reality stacks up.

Four years worth of montage. Time to see how it pays off.

Soapasaurus

Ahhhh, Christmas break. So far I’ve done tons of things around the house and very, very little schoolwork. It’s been glorious.

One of the things I’ve FINALLY had time to do is use the lovely Soapasaurus products Alasdair is reviewing. He’s writing his own review of these products as part of a bigger “bath and beauty geek products” piece, but this one is mine, ’cause you know… they were open… *grin*

Friendship CubesFriendship Cube

These lovely little gamer’s friends pack a heck of a scent punch for their meager two inches. The pink one especially reminds me exactly of pink Starburst – somewhere between intense strawberry and a unnameable tropical fruit. They lather extremely well, but I recommend a sisal bag or something similar because once wet they’re inclined to slip out of your hand. There was zero residue after rinsing, and my skin felt comfortably not-dry, and not-moisturized.

What I particularly enjoyed about the scent was both its strength and the complete lack of residue. It’s great having a product where you can take an intensely scented bath or shower, but not have to worry about your soap scent clashing with deodorant, lotion or cosmetics when you’re finished.

Sugar WhipFestive Fall Handmade Sugar Scrub

Oh my god. Imagine the best coconut cream pie you’ve ever smelled, thick with graham cracker crust. Add pumpkin pie spice and a healthy dollop of maple syrup. Now whip it until it’s frothy and creamy with just a few hints of brown sugar chunks and rub it all over your face and don’t eat it because it’s soap but you’ll want to it smells so good!

Lovely creamy texture without a hint of residue. I was expecting something a bit more exfoliating I think, because of the name “sugar scrub”, so this won’t replace my normal face wash, but it’s a fantastic supplement. It has a bit of a lingering scent as I write this about an hour post-shower, so I think I’ll put this in the weekly treat category as opposed to daily wear. Plus I had to ask Alasdair to smell my face and that made him laugh and then lick my forehead.

The little green tub it comes in has a fantastic texture that lets you get a good grip on it with wet hands, and the screw-top lid is water proof – I stuck it under the running water with no leaking. Once I’ve used up all the product I’ll keep it and store other soaps.

Blue Sky CrystalBlue Sky Crystal

This was the first of the products we tried, and I could smell the intense blueberry scent hours after it was used. You’ve GOT to have some way of containing these little shards, though, or you’ll drop half of them and they’ll slip down the drain and you’ll be sad. For these little pieces we use a shower glove, which lets the thick lather through but isn’t as hard on skin as sisal. Scent-wise this is the most intense of the lot and the one I’d recommend the most for children because it’s an immediately identifiable smell. If Soapysaurus wants to branch out into bubblebath, they could do worse than start here.

Flying Update

Two more weeks of classed until Christmas break and the pressure has ramped up significantly. Apologies for the bullet points, but I need to get back to Wills revision.

  • The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary “Day of the Doctor” was fantastic. Going to see it with hundreds of other fans in costume in the theaters was amazing. Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows owned the Internet last night.
  • Thanks again to The Cheesecakes for hosting me while Alasdair was in Leeds for Thought Bubble.
  • One flavor of Jelly Babies is icky. Now that I’ve got the rest of the bag home in lighted conditions, I will investigate further to discover the guilty party.
  • The house is mostly unpacked and I’ve just set up a couple of reusable ceramic dehumidifiers in the two less-well insulated windows. There’s several small projects left, but first I need to learn how to properly install hanging things in these types of walls. This may involve the purchase of power tools. Heaven forfend.
  • Our housewarming / late Thanksgiving / early Christmas / Great Swap party is scheduled and the menu being planned. Alasdair wants to make tamales. YUM.
  • The mediation competition has advanced to the semi-finals this week. It’s fascinating being on the other side of the table this time, and I’m developing whole new sets of skills.
  • I’m hoping I might get to do my first community mediation over the Christmas break, but I haven’t heard back yet.
  • Speaking of the Christmas break, we are officially going to take 10 days off towards the end of the month. I’ll post about it so people can help keep me honest.
  • My latest narration is up at Cast of Wonders – “The View From Stickney Crater” by Rick Kennett, our latest Cy de Gurch story.
  • I think I’ve located an international foods market that carries fresh Ancho peppers. I need to get some and roast them to confirm. Because that would mean green chili and cheese tamales. YUM.

Right. Back to work!

Revision

It took me nearly three months to adjust to UK academic vocabulary. Small group session, not section. Timetable, not calendar. And revision, not studying.

I still don’t like that last one. Revise to me means “to polish a previously completed but imperfect piece of work”. What am I revising, my brain? Oh well, chalk this one up there with “Tea” the meal and the whole “you alright?” question-as-greeting linguistic regional ticks.

Lectures have concluded, and next week is the last of the small group sessions reviewing some sample questions. After that we’ll officially enter the revision period, a three week gap between classes and the start of the exams, though most of us are treating last week and this week as part of the same time period.

My own revision for the next three days will concentrate on finishing typing up all my lecture notes, so they can travel with me without weighing down my luggage. We’re off to California for a family wedding, and 10 days of land law on the beach! And it’s exactly the right time for a break. Even with a lighter load this last week after turning in the year-long research project, I can tell my energy reserves are slowly working their way back up from depleted. Lots of extra sleep, lots of small intense bursts of activity followed by long periods of restorative videogame playing (hey, it works for me!) and watching West Wing.

Five weeks to study, and then four weeks of exams AND studying. Then two weeks to stare at the wall / recover / pick up what I’ve had to leave by the wayside. Two more weeks to finish the rest of my training contract applications before the two week vacation scheme. And that’ll bring me up to August – whew!

Still, it feels fantastic to have the majority of this incredibly tough year behind me. Just a few more months of focused work!

Feeling the Fool

Yes, I know it’s April 1st and I’m supposed to come up with some sort of brilliant joke, but my heart’s not in it. My heart’s not in most things right now, actually. Oh the irony of vacation: plenty of time, but no drive. Still I’m getting some things done.

Most of them for the last few days have been emergency household repairs. Broken washer, dead refrigerator, and then having to remove cabinets for the new refrigerator to fit. Because apparently measuring the old one first was too much work…? I don’t know. That list I keep of “things I do and don’t want in a future house” had SEVERAL new entries this week.

I keep waiting for the energy to kick in, that sense of “well you’re out of time now, knuckle down and get it done!” Nothing. Snow in April now, not just March. Pushed back response deadlines for summer projects. “Broken” sunshine (ie light but no heat).

Three weeks and two days until California sunshine. Hope the joke’s not on me.

Procrastination

I’ve reached that part of the school year I always hate. Ninety percent of the work is done, and I can’t seem to muster any energy or enthusiasm for the remaining ten percent. There are still exams to take and coursework to finish and my research project to finalize, but the drive just ain’t there.

Maybe it’s my “the perfect is the enemy of the good” philosophy. Maybe it’s the fact it’s snowing on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s that I’ve booked airfare back to San Francisco for the end of next month and I’m counting the days.

There are a lot of things on my blogging list, but it’s clear devoting time to each one separately isn’t going to work with any degree of speed. So let’s return to my old friend, the bullet point.

Games

  • Finishing the Mass Effect trilogy was emotionally rough but I’m very, very pleased with the ending. Green, for those of you in the know. It was the only logical choice.
  • The Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC is the best one yet, and not just because Wrex uses The People’s Elbow on a flying car. It’s even better than Lair of the Shadow Broker. You know all that fantastic inter-character dialog you love so much? It’s four hours of that. Plus a mission that blows your socks off. Plus arcade games and a battle arena that will ALSO blow your socks off. It’s bittersweet and energetic and the perfect send-off.
  • Shepard is one tough lady. She’s literally gone through death and everything you can think of to save the galaxy. She never sheds a tear. Unless your romance option was Thane. And that was perhaps the most perfect moment of all.
  • After finishing Mass Effect I devoured Musaic Box, a fun music puzzle app Alasdair found me. I’m poking at the hard mode now as a palate cleanser between school work. I really, REALLY love the game and I hope they expand it in the future. I’d love to see fugues and rounds, for example, as well as more of the familiar classics they started with.
  • Now I’m playing the new Tomb Raider. Holy COW this is not your 90’s Lara. It’s very different stylistically, and is focused less on the story and more on how you play with interactive quick-time cinematics and weapon and skill customization.
  • Which is good; after having finished Mass Effect, another story-driven game would undoubtedly fail in comparison.
  • Now that I have the ability to use my climbing axe in combat, I’m much happier: having only ranged attacks isn’t my thing, especially when being rushed by a pack of wolves or a madman with a riot shield.

School

  • This next week is the last week before Spring (or Easter, as they call it here in a country without a phobia of associating seasons with religious holidays) Break. I have a single land lecture to go, and four more weeks of sessions, half of which are consolidation and mock exam question reviews.
  • I’m frustrated with coursework. My grades are trending down, and I can’t figure out why. I’ve got a meeting request in to my tutor to see if she can help me understand.
  • Part of it, I think, is the differences in US versus UK grading systems. Last coursework I made a bone-headed and probably time-pressure based mistake: I swapped two terms. In the States, that would be a one-time point deduction. Here in the UK, however, it functions as a mark CAP: there’s only so high a grade I can receive for having made this mistake. Frustrating, to say the least.
  • However, all my mock exam grades so far have been squarely in the Commendation and nearly Distinction category. Since exams are 70% of my grade — and none of my course work has been anywhere near failing — I’m trying to let it go and keep focused on the big picture. Finish strong, and keep moving.

Voice Work and Cast of Wonders

  • I’m incredibly happy with the quality of Cast of Wonders since taking over as editor at the beginning of the year. Graeme and Barry are a pleasure to work with, and we’ve run an amazing range of stories, with some of my favorites yet to come. The schedule is starting to solidify far enough in advance that we’re discussing Halloween and Christmas projects, and the turn-around time on submissions is staying under 30 days. Plus we’ve arranged narration swaps with some of the best names in fiction podcasting: The DrabbleCast (Norm Sherman), PodCastle (Dave Thompson), and Clarkesworld Magazine (Kate Baker) with I hope many more to come.
  • For my part, I’ve been behind the microphone again recently with “Mercurial Skin” and “Now Cydonia“. Plus I have my swap with Norm appearing shortly on The DrabbleCast.
  • And I’m planning to resume longer piece auditions with ACX this summer after exams.

Life In General

  • Snow. In March. *sigh*
  • The cooking apathy has passed at last. I spent all of Friday cleaning the kitchen and inventorying the pantry in a cathartic burst of energy, followed by baking two loaves of bread (rosemary ciabatta and banana) and making pizza for dinner.
  • Alasdair’s becoming quite the cook in his own right, and is picking up on my knack for re-purposing leftovers. We had some fantastic grilled turkey goujons (that’s tenders to us Americans) marinated in sage and olive oil served with leftover mushroom risotto. It made me think of Trader Joe’s amazing butternut squash ravioli. Sooooooon!!
  • I miss clothes dryers, and the feeling of warm, wrinkle-free sheets. I’m convinced England’s grumpy national character could be cured if people drank more water and had fresh-from-the-dryer clothes on a regular basis.
  • This weekend we’re going to a spring pops concert at the Royal Hall. Hurray for cheap student symphony tickets!
  • During Easter Break we’re having two visitors. Alasdair’s parents are coming down to visit for Ian’s birthday, and our friends Whit and Melissa are staying over a night with us on their trip through the UK and Portugal.
  • It’s hard being on a fixed budget, mentally more than physically. We don’t lack for any basics, but when I’m gloomy it’s impossible not to remember what having a six figure income was like. Gym memberships, weekend trips, disposable income. Anyone who makes big decisions struggles with them, and I’m no exception.
    But I wouldn’t change anything. Not even when it snows in March.

IMG_1553

Three Weeks ‘Till Easter

I blame Paris.

Yes, the trip and the experience and the competition was wonderful. But it devoured my reading week. And the three days of rest I actually did get were spent being sick, plus a few more. Normally I get the six week burn-out in week four or five. Here it is Sunday of week 3 and I can see it on the horizon.

I’m resting, and a guilty part of my brain says I’m resting too much, but I’m finding it easier not to listen. Two more weeks of the full school-and-job-and-pro-bono schedule, and then we’ll enter the review period and it’ll be half as much class time. More importantly, it’ll be NO NEW SUBJECTS so I can feel like I’m caught up and able to more fully digest the material.

Just a few more weeks. More things are dropping off the to do list than being added, and that counts for a lot.

Wow this is a disjointed blog post, just like the state of my brain. Quick! A distraction! How about some bullet points. Bullet points are easy. I do bullet points now, bullet points are cool.

  • I have my first summer vacation scheme in-person interview this week.
  • I’m back at the Coroner’s Office as of next Friday and gearing up to finish my research paper. Just need to finish the last coursework first.
  • 59 on my criminal mock exam, on top of the prior 68 in land, and a good feeling about EU last week. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m not as far away as I feared.
  • I completed my first play-through of Musaic, a wonderfully addicting musical puzzle game. I’ll talk about it in greater detail in another post, I think. I’m still mulling over a couple of suggestions.
  • Editing at Cast of Wonders is going very well and I’m having a fantastic time. I narrated a recent offering as well, the excellent “Mercurial Skin“.
  • The airfare search for my cousin’s wedding the end of April is in full swing. If you see any good London to San Francisco round trips, please send them my way!
  • Alasdair and I are watching West Wing as my surrogate evening entertainment until Tomb Raider and the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 comes out. It’s not as restful as I find video games before bed (weird, huh? I know!) but it takes the edge off the occasional homesickness. I adore CJ and Mrs. Landingham. 🙂
  • My phone died today, which in retrospect is probably a good half the disjointed mood. It feels weird to be without it, even when I’m inside and working on a desktop. A repair / replacement (God Bless Apple Care) has been arranged, but it’ll be a few days.
  • At dinner with some new friends (Hi Troo!) over the weekend, we reminisced over LotRO. I reinstalled the game overnight, but wasn’t able to remember my password from oh, five or six years ago. Searching for hints in my old e-mail turned up some unhappy memories and past messages. Combined with the two hours on tech support with a dead phone, and I was gearing up for a full-blown Sunday afternoon meltdown.
  • Only, I didn’t. We ate take-out chicken and watched a couple episodes and I took the shortcut off my desktop until support gets back to me with a reset. All in under 20 minutes. Go me!

Three more weeks. I can do this.

It’s A Trap!

Another Mass Effect post. Spoilers away!

The pacing of Mass Effect 3 is completely unlike the first two games. It’s relentless. I constantly feel like I’m being pushed – so much to do, so much hangs in the balance, and there’s never enough time – even though the mechanics of the game haven’t altered significantly. I’m still avoiding the plot, and doing missions that I know will advance the timeline as late as possible in order to increase my Reputation above the story arc curve. Commander Goodie Two-Shoes demands Paragon conversation options!

My latest save is around the 11 hour mark. I’m on the Citadel, having just evacuated the new Turian Primark (and Garrus, natch! ;-)) from the battle on Palaven’s moon.

Already some suspicions have been confirmed or denied  (no Rupert, yay more third-tier Cerberus crew returning!). Not to mention a couple of complete curve-balls (EDI!).

A quick note about the DLC for Mass Effect 3, specifically the “Omega” and “Leviathan” expansions. (Apparently I’ve already done “From Ashes”, oops.) If I talk about them I’ll make them separate entries. Lots of the friends who are following my game play-through haven’t done those pieces yet, and I don’t want to spoil anything for them.

Here’s some more snapshot thoughts:

  • My god the NOISE those Reaper walkers on Palaven make!!  It’s designed to be visceral, I’m positive – it’s equal parts terrified mammal reaction and subsonic AHHHH!!!RUNAWAY!!!  It reminds me a bit of the walkers in War of the Worlds. And seeing them MOVE in the background is just… *shudder* An all never level of immersive.
  • I downloaded the Mass Effect datapad app! It lets you track your Galactic Readiness, a concept I’m still a bit fuzzy on, but the mini-game gives you more so that’s good, right? Plus it’ll send you short e-mails from your crew as you complete events in your single-player game! I wish it let you read your actual inbox from the Normandy…
  • Because I got a message from THANE!!!!!! *insert dreamy sigh and expression here* He wants me to come visit him at the hospital.
  • The same hospital Kaidan also sent me a message from, asking for a visit.  Awkward…
  • What the HECK is with the ASARI of all people pulling out of the summit I’m trying to hold? Are they THAT worried about their own borders? Or are they that upset by the possibility of sitting across the table from the Krogan? They shouldn’t be; Urdnot Wrex is my HomeFrog – we’re tight.
  • By the way, when the heck did I become the Enterprise? War summits? Perky ensigns? I swear, if a Galactic being shows up to offer hijinks and advice I … Oh, hi Javik.
  • I’m in the middle of a lot of telephone tag quests right now. Get A for B, but B wants C so you have to talk to D and so on. Which I don’t mind; I LOVE that the game gives you non-confrontational ways to solve the quests.
  • The interaction with James and the ground-pounders in the bar was interesting. I went with a full-on Renegade interrupt and earned no red points for it! I wonder where the line is for those types of interactions, i.e. which ones earn Renegade and which don’t. All I know is meeting up with the Krogan is going to be a LOT more fun now! #headbutt
  • Speaking of Renegade, how on EARTH does an evil Shep get this far in the game?!?! If you’ve been pissing off everyone, how are you ever going to muster enough resources to fight this war?!
  • Working with other Spectres is really fun – I’m glad we get to see more of them this game. I can now even recognize that Shepard’s uniform is a hybrid – Alliance military basic, with Spectre epaulets / shoulder guards. The Spectre office is a nice touch – I loved the emails asking for your input (my comedy engineering team may be back!), but man the place needs a woman’s touch…  It’s a dump!
  • Blasto the Hanar Spectre may be the most awesome thing in the history of awesome. Even more so than Elcor Hamlet. Badassly.
  • Finally, my plot and strategy sensors are tingling. Human refugees are flooding the Citadel, with the Turians from Palavan on their heels and the Batarrian ones before them. Given the upcoming summit, Asari and Salarian and Krogan may not be far off.  This stinks of intention and that beautiful kind of poetic symmetry only tragedy can master. What started at the Citadel may end at the Citadel, as the Reapers drive the survivors into a single defended position with a known back door.

The Mass Effect

Disclaimer: This post won’t be about law school, voice acting, or missing a country with sunshine. If you’re not interested in cutting-edge interactive science fiction entertainment, feel free to come back next time.

If you DO enjoy cutting-edge interactive science fiction entertainment, be warned! This post contains ALL THE SPOILERS for Mass Effect 1 and 2.

I appear to have started something.

The original Mass Effect was one of the games that broke my resolve to buy an X-Box, back when it was an exclusive title. A sparkling vision of humanity joining the galactic community accompanied by stirring themes and moral choices, I devoured the title with an obsessive completionist fervor, sleeping at night to the haunting theme song “Vigil“. My female protagonist Antigone Shepard, a “FemShep”, righted wrongs and saved entire species with determination and patience. I completed the first game and started the second, but only reached about the halfway mark.

Several years and a switch to PS3 gaming later, my darling Alasdair treated me to the trilogy boxed set for Christmas as a way to relax between terms. Because the decisions in earlier games have cascading stacked effects in their sequels, I decided to start a new complete play-through so I could import the saves as I went along.

And I thought what the heck, I might as well tweet along as I played. Then a dozen of us were chatting about decisions we’d made and memories, predictions and impressions. The #FemShepsUnited hashtag was born, and more people since have “blamed” me for taking up the controller or mouse once again to save the galaxy. Next stop: multiplayer team-ups for Galactic Readiness points!

It’s been interesting to compare the choices I made with this play-through and the first. I had a freer hand choosing a romantic interest, for one, letting Antigone be charmed by Kaidan Alenko’s quiet humor and difficult past. I found the youth and fragility of my previous flame, the Asari Liara, unappealing. The rest of my decisions were unaffected, however, and I maxed my Paragon score as quickly as I could. In fact of all my playing so far there’s only ONE decision I regret, the death of Jeong in the ExoGeni bunker on Feros because my score wasn’t high enough to talk him down.

A few days ago I finished Mass Effect 2, and had a serious debate with myself whether or not I should continue on to the third game. Christmas break is over, and the emotional payload is starting to ramp up seriously. The galaxy is facing genocide. I’m positive that despite my Paragon riddled actions, galactic war means casualties I won’t be able to prevent no matter how many times I reload. (I know you did your best Thane, but I should have gone with Jack from the start. Grunt dying to a seeker swarm wasn’t acceptable, and that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back. Now go back to calling me your angel before Kaidan gets over himself for being such a brat on Horizon.)

I’ve decided to continue, for a couple of reasons. First off, I LOVE THESE GAMES. I would miss them. I can’t see another game taking the carefully hoarded 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. timeslot. The music is sweeping and evocative. The graphics and engine received a major upgrade which renders the already sweeping vistas breathtaking. I’m driven – nay, obsessed! – with finding out how all the small decisions I’ve made over the last two games will come to fruition. I love the company and commentary I’ve garnered on Twitter as I share my reactions to key plot reveals.

Most importantly, I need to develop a better relationship with relaxation. I don’t give myself enough enjoyable downtime during the term. Sleep is not downtime, and playing a game with such leeway and scope is like ticking little boxes of accomplishment. “I think I’ll scan planets tonight! Hurray!”

Taking a break until summer will cause all the crisp, sharp detail to fade, and I don’t want to miss a single thread in this complex tapestry I’ve been weaving. Even though it will hurt. Even though I KNOW I’m going to stay up too late some nights, and go to bed crying. That’s what a good story does, it makes you feel and ache and I don’t want to miss it. These characters deserve my emotional reactions.

Last night while the DLC was … DLing? … I wrote out a list of predictions I have for the third game based on my choices in the second.

  • Shepard starts the third game on earth, in jail or disgraced for the choices she “made” in “Arrival”. (Seriously, this was the worst piece of DLC I’ve EVER seen from BioWare. It was CLEARLY rushed to market to bridge the gap between 2 and 3.)
  • Joker and EDI’s relationship will continue to develop, and there will be more commentary on her as an AI
  • The Asari and Turian homeworlds will be visited, adding to the Quarian Fleet and Tuchanka in ME2.
  • War will be avoided between the Geth and the Quarians. Legion and Tali will play a key role in reclaiming the homeworld.
  • Cerberus will be out for Shepard, somewhere on the spectrum between passive trip-ups to a full-scale Galactic coup. Probably involving Udina, that schmuck.
  • The annoying Mr. Conrad Verneer will make some final, hopefully redeeming and epic appearance.
  • Khalisah al-Jilani returns for a third punching opportunity.
  • The following Citadel characters return: Mouse, Captain Bailey, the Consort, and Chloe the doctor.
  • Former party members deaths that cannot be avoided: Wrex, Mordin, and Thane. Their stories have been told, and their natures are such to give their lives for the cause.

My final prediction? Shepard may win the war but lose the battle, committing the ultimate sacrifice to save a galaxy reunited with purpose and resolve.

I couldn’t think of a better legacy.

Things That Go Boom In The Night

I love the Fourth of July because it’s a holiday based around shiny colorful explosions and food, with just a touch of summer heat and classical music.  It’s very my family – we love food and tinkering with things that are just a little bit fast and dangerous, and singing while we do it.

My cousins and I took Alasdair to pick out a pack of fireworks, and then threw a few more in. Thanks goodness we got all those sparklers; my aunt is addicted to those thing, and they made for much better lighting sticks than the ones included with the purple rain’s and sparkling fountains.

Even better, it seems EVERY OTHER neighbor of my mom’s housing development went south of the border for their fireworks. Nothing’s better than knowing someone ELSE will get arrested for the illegal M80’s and bottle rockets than getting to watch them first! We had the fairground-sized GIANT ones going off overhead and young kids firing bottle rockets down the middle of the street, with just enough breeze to carry the smoke away.

With the country’s birthday safely concluded, I’m turning my attention to my birthday next week.  “Lost Boys” is playing at the boardwalk it was filmed on, so it’ll be a day of sun and surf and vampire cinema and corn dogs.

T minus two months and counting!

Published in: on July 5, 2012 at 14:59  Leave a Comment  
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