Hindsight

May. 5th, 2010 03:19 am
juthwara: (Default)
When I started college, it took me a while to find my groove socially. I spent most of my time with my suitemates, with whom I got along to greater or lesser degrees (sometime remind me to tell some of the tales of the woman who was forever after known to my friends as THE Amanda because she was so infamous). But who I was really looking for was the geeks. There wasn't a gaming or science fiction society on campus, so there didn't seem to be any ready-made groups for tracking down geeks. Aside for an incident of making a bit of a fool of myself trying to make friends with a likely-looking person and instead managing to give him the impression I was romantically interested (I wasn't), I went through my freshman year without really connecting.

Then my sophomore year, someone I had started to make friends with said she wanted to go to an SCA meeting. I had seen ads for their dance practices the previous year but didn't think much about them. But I thought this time that it sounded interesting, so I went along. And immediately it became clear that this was where the geeks were hiding. I had found My People. Anyone who knows anything about the SCA would immediately think "Duh," but remember, this was pre-Web days, and that sort of information wasn't as easy to come by. But with the wisdom of hindsight, I often wonder how different my freshman year would have been if I just gone to a dance practice. As it is. I met both my husband and my best friend through that SCA group, so I can't complain much.

Fast forward thirteen years, when we move to Philadelphia and abruptly leap from a very active social life to almost total social isolation. There I was, alone with a toddler all day for the first time in six months, completely alone in a new city. And then my father died! It was SUCH a happy time, I can't even tell you. Anyway, we looked at a lot of possibilities for meeting people, but the combination of weird work schedules and having a small child made everything seem impossible. Or we would do things like go to a gaming group, only to discover that they only played board games and actively looked down on roleplayers, the people we were actually looking for. I wanted to meet other parents, but didn't want to just sign up for a random playgroup because I really wanted to find someone I more things in common with than just children. I wanted to find geek parents.

In three years, things have improved but I certainly wouldn't call us social butterflies. More like social three-toed sloths, possibly with bad breath. And then, last Saturday, we went to a newcomer's event held by our local SCA. I think you can see where this is going, can't you? There they were. People with the same interests we have, who also have small children. K happily tore around with other kids while we sat and enjoyed geeky conversations, and got a possible in with a roleplaying group. Sunday, we went to a regularly-scheduled archery practice at the Baron and Baroness' house. They have an almost three-year-old and were delighted to find that [livejournal.com profile] longstrider plays recorder and I sing. We're probably going to get together for dinner soon. From socially adrift to Bam! Instant social life, in two days.

We keep looking at each other and wondering why we didn't do this three years ago. There were a bunch of reasons - things like dancing and fencing were on nights we couldn't go, we weren't sure what to do with K because we didn't know if there would be other kids around, all of the activities were on the other side of the city, the newcomer events were always on days we couldn't go... And of course, the fact that my father died and I felt massively ill for most of my pregnancy did a lot to make it hard to put myself out there for large chunks of the past couple years. But last weekend, we could go, and a bunch of activities have moved closer to our side of the city, and we decided that we would go anyway even if we couldn't fence or dance. And I'm so glad we did.
juthwara: (Default)
Dear polite inquirers,

No, our son is not named Alec like Alec Baldwin.

He is named Alec like Alec Guinness.

See? All the difference in the world.


Cordially,

Two geeks who didn't actually name their son after Alec Guinness, but will cop to the fact that seeing his name in a baby name book under a list of famous Alexanders is the first time we thought, "Alec? Hmm, I like that."
juthwara: (newborn)
Tomorrow, I'm going to go to the hospital and have an actual tiny baby.

I think we're ready. The grandparents are here on child care duty. The birthday girl has been amply feted, and I even managed to finish all four princess dresses and the cloak in time. I have finally acquired the big sister gift.* There's still plenty more sewing I could do, but it may or may not happen depending on what kind of baby we get. We have a dresser full of teeny weeny washed baby clothes and 3 dozen washed diapers. Our bedroom is set up so all four of us can sleep together if necessary.

[livejournal.com profile] longstrider and I went out to dinner and a movie tonight, sans child. We saw Up, which was just fantastic. I loved it despite the fact that I could see every single emotional plot point a mile off - I mean, how much more literal a representation of a metaphor can you have than a man with a house strapped to his back? But I don't really watch Pixar movies for the convoluted plots. The quality of animation, the fun characters, the wonderful talking dogs, the great touches of humor that had us laughing out loud at times - that's why we go see Pixar movies. I would definitely rank this one up with The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

Off to bed now, since we're going to have to get up way too early in the morning. Hopefully, this time tomorrow I'll have a healthy newborn sleeping next to me.


*I had left it too late to order something online, and when one of her birthday presents from a relative turned out to be a doll, we decided to get her something else. But then I drove out to an incredibly cool toy store (they have, no exaggeration, the ENTIRE line of Playmobil products), and discovered an anatomically correct boy doll, which I was able to purchase for the price of taking 2 minutes to fill out a preferred customer card, and FIVE DOLLARS. Down from $25. Zowee. At that price, I was able to get the doll carriage K had been asking for as well.
juthwara: (Default)
Good:

[livejournal.com profile] longstrider and I saw Star Trek on Tuesday. It was freakin' awesome. I think I would have been deeply conflicted about what it did to Trek canon when I was 16, but that was before my affection for Star Trek was stomped on, ground into tiny pieces and fed to crocodiles by the never-ending parade of mediocre series that followed over the next decade. I think any loyalty I had to Star Trek canon ended at about the third episode of Voyager, because if canon is going to include that? By all means, feel free to change it.*

What I cared about was that it was very well-cast with actors who did a great job recreating the classic characters, it was exciting and it was interesting. Some of the action scenes towards the end were a bit overbright and choppy for my taste (although I'm a bit oversensitive to that sort of thing) and the implausibility of the science was migraine-inducing, even by Star Trek standards, but I went in with my brain mostly turned off anyway and I didn't care. It was fun to watch and I would gladly see what J.J. Abrams would do with a sequel.

*I remember the precise moment I was really, truly Over Star Trek. It was when I was in grad school watching tv in the middle of the day and over the credits, I heard an announcer say, "Tonight on Star Trek Voyager : a transporter accident turns Neelix and Tuvok into one creature - Tuvix!" It took me several minutes to decide I hadn't hallucinated hearing that.

Bad:

Lily is currently at the vet, recovering from surgery to remove a string she swallowed that got hooked around her tongue but managed to make its way down to her colon, cutting up her small intestines in the process. Ack. Poor little kitty. They sewed her up as best they could and she seems to be doing fairly well. We got a call this morning saying that she had a bit of a fever, but cats usually get fevers after this sort of abdominal surgery and they haven't called since, so she presumably hasn't taken any major turns for the worse.

I'm trying not to obsess too much about how hideously expensive this is going to be. Because of course this is exactly what we needed only a month before we have a baby and I stop working for two months, cutting our income by a third: emptying our savings account! For the cat! I mean, I really believe that getting a pet involves being willing to pay for reasonable health care (I wouldn't pay for cancer treatments, but I do feel things that are quite treatable and within our means should be done and this qualifies), but I have to admit, when [livejournal.com profile] longstrider took the call from the vet this morning, while most of me was concerned about Lily's health, there was a little part of me that kept thinking, "She had better make it, because if there's anything worse than paying all that money, it's paying all that money for a dead cat."

Sigh. This is going to make life difficult. There are only three things we still need for the baby: diapers, car seat and bouncy seat, and we should be able to still afford them if we're frugal in other areas. But I had been trying to figure out what to do with K over the summer, since we were concerned about the effects of giving her a baby brother and yanking her out of her routine and away from her friends all at the same time. But I don't see how we can afford to continue to send her to her current preschool if I'm not working without dipping into savings, savings we no longer have. Argh.
juthwara: (tired)
We're all sick again, or more accurately, we're still sick since we didn't have the chance to get well first. The actual details are tedious and don't matter, and I don't think anyone really needs a recitation on how annoying it is to have an entire household sick for a month. So here's the shorthand version:

Whine, whine, complain, kvetch, WE'RE All SICK AND I'M SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT, grumble, grutch, kvetch.

There. Subject adequately covered.

On the bright side, our European visitor has arrived and it's been a pleasure to have her here, even if no one had the energy to do nearly as many things as we had talked about this weekend. Fortunately, being European, mass transit doesn't scare her, so we were able to send her off on the subway today to experience the pleasures of Center City.

Other news, in brief:

*K is a huge fan of dyeing Easter eggs, and an even bigger fan of eating hard-boiled eggs. Coincidentally, we only have one Easter egg left.

*The taxes are filed, and I now get to sit with lots of money in my bank account until the IRS gets around to taking it out. It still beats going to the post office two days before taxes are due though. I actually had our taxes done two months ago, but I didn't see any point in filing before I absolutely had to, when I could keep our money earning (miniscule) interest for us instead. Hey, that twelve cents could be vital to our future solvency.

*We watched the Doctor Who easter special on Saturday night. It was a pretty good episode, but not what I would call... special. If we're only getting four episodes this year, I kind of expect them to pull out a few more stops. I need my Doctor Who fix more regularly, dammit.
juthwara: (Default)
*I worked all day at the library today, then came home, took a nap and started in on the second job. Only to discover after an hour that the server had been taken down for unplanned maintenance (although I only found out a couple minutes ago that's what it was - thanks for letting us know so expeditiously, guys). This wouldn't bother me so much except that we were told to have our hours into the payroll system by 3 this afternoon, so I had to put my Friday hours in before actually working them. Ack. Well, I'll figure out how to handle this next week, I guess.

*Tonight after dinner, K went into the cabinet, got out several cookies and came to give me one. Then she told me that two of the other cookies were for Daddy. It was very sweet and touching. Of course, it was sweet and touching in a way that meant that she got two cookies as well, but a year ago she would have been trying to hoard all five cookies for herself so I'll count it as significant progress in the "thinking of others" arena.

*In Friday night tv, Dollhouse was a definite step up in quality from previous episodes and Battlestar Galactica had about as good of an ending as I could hope. This week's episode of Dollhouse also had a fairly clear message from Joss Whedon of "In case you thought I was trying to say that human trafficking is in any way acceptable or that I'm trying to glamorize it, no, I'm really really not."

*[livejournal.com profile] longstrider had the day off yesterday, so we were finally able to go see Watchmen. I admit that it's been quite a while since I've read the comic, but from what I remember, the movie was remarkably faithful to the comic. It was definitely incredibly graphic, but it helped create a tone that was very consistent with the story. Since the point of the comic was to provide a non-glamorized view of what real-life superheroes would really be like, the depictions of violence that didn't spare the viewer at all seemed pretty appropriate. Mind you, that meant I watched quite a bit of the movie through my fingers or with my eyes averted since I have very little stomach for graphic violence, but this is one of the very few movies I can think of where it didn't seem gratuitous.

*The same things has happened this week that happened last pregnancy: the day I started my third trimester, my pelvis started aching. It's more in the hips and lower back this time instead of the pubic bone, probably because Wulfrith is lying even farther back in my abdomen than K, which I didn't think was possible. I'm doubly glad now that I got travelling out of the way last week so I didn't have to traipse across the airport with my hips feeling like they're about to fall apart. Ah, the delights of the third trimester - aching joints, reflux, exhaustion, sciatica, ever-decreasing lung and bladder capacity... all sending the message that it's all downhill from here. Of course, at the bottom of the hill you get a baby, so it's worth it.

K informed me tonight that she wants two babies, a baby brother and baby sister. Sorry kid, there's just the one with no options of adding on. But it's good of her to remind me how much worse it could be. Yikes.

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