ladyvyola: an orange pansy against a bright blue background (Default)
Insta-update from Discworld Con 2006! [livejournal.com profile] av_lad and I safely arrived at Heathrow, made our way to Paddington and were promptly met by [livejournal.com profile] clanwilliam and [livejournal.com profile] gmh. After a quick trip to their flat to consolodate luggage, we drove up to Hinckley, only slightly delayed by a short, though severe, thunderstorm.

Met lots of people and refused many beers but it's pretty much a blur -- [livejournal.com profile] av_lad lasted till 9 pm, I made it to 11 before heading to bed. Today's been more coherent since most folks have badges so I can see the name as well as hear it.

We've gotten from several people, "Oh, you're the ones [livejournal.com profile] clanwilliam was talking about!" Oh, the reputation we seem to have! But they do seem pleased to meet us, thank heaven. :)

We've volunteered for the Watch, which is the more-than-Gopher, less-than-Security, keep-an-eye-out-for-trouble group. The Lad and I both get edgy when we don't have work to do at a con!

Good lord, do these people drink! And drink! And drink! Yet few get impaired. Years and years of training on ale and stout and lager, I presume. We're practically tee-totalers in comparison. The only real problem is that accents (various English, Irish, Scots, Icelandic, Dutch....) get thicker and thicker. Again, thank heavens for badges. At least we can keep the players straight as the stories get told.

More as time allows (and after the incriminating photos are deleted from the cameras....)
ladyvyola: an orange pansy against a bright blue background (Default)
Aaaaand now we're back to no hand luggage out of the US.

Cripes. To paraphrase [livejournal.com profile] lasayla, Hell is an eight hour flight with nothing to read but your boarding pass.

Dear [livejournal.com profile] av_lad, you better be at least as amusing as the in-flight entertainment. I'm just sayin'. (I, myself, am infinitely amusing. He has no worries on that front.)
ladyvyola: an orange pansy against a bright blue background (Default)
Oh, yeah. You can just imagine my mother's feelings this morning as she listens to the radio, just six days before she sees me and [livejournal.com profile] av_lad off on a flight to England.

Plot to blow up UK flights in mid-air foiled.

This is why we can never have nice things. OK, no liquids or gels in the cabin. ::mentally redistributes toiletries to luggage::

And great, no carry-on baggage out of Britain. At least it looks like I can take it with me. Hopefully by our return at the end of the month things will have calmed down.

I remind myself, and my mother, that I live in the D.C. metropolitan area and work for a government contractor. It's not like my day-to-day risk level isn't already above the norm.
ladyvyola: an orange pansy against a bright blue background (Default)
I have some 35 first cousins. Just counting my dad's side of the family.

And I'm heading to a reunion with them this weekend.

See, I'm the product of two of the classic American tropes. Mom's the result of Western European immigrants, mostly Scots, coming over in the late 1700's. They were farmers who went to Kentucky and then pushed west, into Kansas and then Texas and finally hit California in the 1910's and 20's.

Dad's the son of Ukrainian peasants (Grandpa left because he didn't want to wind up in the Austro-Hungarian army) who lived in nearby villages but didn't meet until they were in Pennsylvania. She worked in a hotel; he worked in the mines. They ended up in upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes region, and their nine children (my dad's the youngest) married into various other immigrant enclaves -- Ukrainian (of course), Polish, Italian, Scots -- all intent on being fruitful and multiplying. (How Mom, a Long Beach Protestant, got into the mix is a story in itself.)

Multiply, multiply, multiply. I think of the 37 cousins, there's only two younger than my brother and I. I can barely manage to tell the players without a scorecard. And with the cousins growing up and moving away and having their own children and even some grandchildren already (when Grandma died -- at age 107! -- she had great-great grandchildren), there are whole generations who don't know each other at all. So a couple of the oldest cousins have proclaimed themselves "The Favorite Grandchildren" (lies! all lies! usurpers! pretenders!) and set up this reunion to remedy the situation.

After all, they point out, the kids need to know who everybody is so they don't wind up marrying each other.

Did I mention the 8+ hour car trip required to get from Northern Virginia to Auburn, NY?

And that it's going to be me, my parents, my brother and his two sons (3 years, 18 months) in a minivan?

[livejournal.com profile] borgmama, the rat, can't go because she has classes so she's staying home with my 10 month-old niece. She keeps saying how much she's going to enjoy relaxing at home this weekend without the boys. I repeat, [livejournal.com profile] borgmama = rat. Do the math yourself.

Thought to hang on to: In exactly three weeks, [livejournal.com profile] av_lad and I will be bound for England. 13 days in which to pester and annoy [livejournal.com profile] clanwilliam, [livejournal.com profile] gmh and anyone they are silly enough to introduce us to. Details will be forthcoming.