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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Whatcha knittin?

That seems to be the question of the day. Not that it's a bad thing. I'm just working on a lot of things right now.

So here's the list. Of course, I'm still working on I Do. Thanks for everyone's votes on the poll. :D I did need some prodding to get this finished. Here is the progress on the second sleeve:

I started working on some socks while I was at GenCon just because it was easy to travel with sock knitting. Here they are:

And today, I finally started on my hat for the Hats with Heart contest that is going on at UNC Hospitals. I'm using some left over Merino and some Encore I won in Elizabeths' contest. Here's the start of the ruffled brim:

Well that was a quick knitting update for everyone. Good night!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Holy huge GenCon post Batman!

Well we're back and whoo what a good time we had! I know I promised to post this yesterday but frankly, I was way too tired to sit in front of a keyboard for even one second longer than I had to. :D I'll warn you... this is a mighty long, picture intensive, post. If you can make it through in one sitting, you deserve a cookie!

I'll start off with a day-by-day, play-by-play for you all. Not just because it's easier for you all to read but really so I can keep track of it all in my head and make sure that you get the full tale! (Looks like I'm going for the dramatics ain't I?)

Wednesday the 17th: Of course, the question on everyone's mind is, 'Was Eric your flight attendant?" Why yes he was! See (That's him facing the camera in the aisle):

Poor guy. That woman was pestering him. (Can you tell by the look on his face?)

Today's lesson is as follows: People... as the wife of a flight attendant, please do not ask your flight attendant the following questions because they do not know the answers. All you are doing is delaying the flight and pestering someone who is trying to work.

1. "Are my bags getting loaded on the plane?" Assume the answer is yes because they don't know for sure. They don't work with the baggage handlers. Look out the window. See your bag? Yes, it's getting loaded. Don't see it? Have faith that it will get on the plane especially if you are on one of the planes that Eric works on. Why? Because you have to bring your bags plane-side yourself. (Unless you had a previous connection where you checked your bags but still, look out the window... you can most likely see them.)

2. "Will I make my connection?" They don't know and they can't guarantee you will. How fast can you run? This is why you should -always- schedule -at least- an hour layover. Why? Because weather is in the hands of Mother Nature (and I have said it before, Nature is a Mother!) and no matter how much you may think it's possible to land in driving rain... you won't be happy when the plane flips/slides/fish-tails/etc. Be patient. They will land/take off when it is safe to do so and no sooner. Also, if some dumb-ass on another plane still hasn't turned off their cell phone, then the plane can't take off. If the plane can't take off, this causes delays. Can you see how this can snowball and delay your flight?

3. "Can the pilot make this flight smoother?" I'm sure that s/he is trying but please see #2. Nature is a Mother. Turbulence happens. Deal with it.

4. "Can we make sure that there are no delays? I'm in a hurry." Yes, the flight attendant (who is not flying the plane) will make sure that nothing, and I mean nothing, will get in the way of you making it to your next flight on time. This one person will stand in the way of all the other passengers, planes, gate agents, baggage handlers, Mother Nature, everyone in the Tower, and time itself to make sure you get to your connection on time. Please people, think before you open your mouth.

But I digress. This lady was asking at least two of the above questions. Now one other interesting thing to keep in mind... while the cabin door is open, your flight attendant and your pilots are not getting paid. You heard me. It is part of the rules with the airline industry and the FAA. They might be getting a per diem at the time (Eric's is $1.30 an hour) but nothing else. So don't be surprised if they want to get the plane away from the gate as badly as you do! :)

But I digress again. After seeing my poor man getting badgered by this lady, I was nice to him and didn't pester him the entire flight. (But I wanted to!) ;) Here he is doing part of his safety demo. I couldn't help but giggle at him showing us how to put on our oxygen masks. (And yes... the 'turn off all electronic equipment' sign is lit up. ) I turned the camera off real quick once I took this picture. (Tee hee.)

Once the plane was under way, he let me come up and see the galley up close and personal. It was nice to sit with him and sneak a kiss or two (or three... or twelve) before I had to get back to my seat.

Once we landed, he had two more flights to work so I had some waiting to do at the Charlotte airport. It wasn't so bad. I did some knitting, had a drink at one of the bars then took a nap. His next two flights were actually from Charlotte to Indianapolis (where we were heading) and then from Indianapolis to Charlotte. He told me later on (on -our- flight to Indianapolis) that he made an announcement while the plane was landing asking who was going to GenCon. Six people raised their hands and he told them he'd see them there. He did. (Well two of them at least.) :)

Once we got to Indianapolis, we pretty much checked into our hotel, had some dinner and went to bed.

Thursday the 18th: And it begins. :) I could not believe the number of people that were there already. After all, the busiest day is Saturday and it was only Thursday and the place was packed! Here are some of the interesting booths/displays we saw in the Exhibit Hall:

my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends

And for the knitters... look... Harry Potter scarves! (They were selling like hotcakes!):

my friends

But of course, the booth we really want to see was the Forge booth!

It was so great to meet in person all the people that both Eric and I (mostly Eric) correspond with. :) Here are a few of them (from left to right... Matt,
Tony and Malcom):

my friends my friends my friends

We bought so many indie games including My Life With Master, AState, The Mountain Witch, Prime Time Adventures and more.

We got to play some indie games we purchased at Origins but hadn't had a chance to play yet, like
Capes, and Sorcerer.

It was a full day and after walking around the convention center at least four times, we were dog tired and went to bed.

Friday the 19th: The day started with some great demos at the Forge booth. We tried out Under the Bed, Sorcerer, and
Polaris. The rest of the day was filled with some more exploration of the rest of the convention center and getting into some other games. At one point we stopped by the artist's booths to have a look. While we were there, we had an artist named Andy Hopp stop us because he loved my t-shirt. Like at Origins, I wore my "offensive t-shirts". :) Andy enjoyed it so much, he happily endorsed me! See:

my friends my friends

Of course there were other rooms besides the Exhibit Hall. Here are a few different looks at the Miniatures room. :)

my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends

And here are a few looks at the Collectible Card Game Room:

my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends

And here are some interesting people we saw all throughout the convention:

my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends my friends

One other thing that was going on all weekend was the card stacking. Check it out! I put them in order by day:

my friends my friends

my friends my friends

my friends my friends

At the end of the night, people were invited to throw change at the cards in an attempt to knock them down. All the change was gathered up and then donated to charity. (I'm not sure which one.) And then children were invited to dig through all the cards and take what they liked. :)

But I'm getting off track... Later on that Saturday night we met up with some of the folks from the Forge booth and got the chance to play Capes with its creator, Tony. Talk about a great time! The one line I can't get out of my head is, "Remember. Justice always leads... to Victory!" Here's the pics that go with that phrase. (Tee hee!):

my friends my friends

Yup, every time I look at those pics, I think of that night! Thanks for a great time Tony!

Saturday the 20th: Oh wow, we were whooped in the morning! We had stayed up until at least 2am playing games and we got to the convention hall at noon. Sadly, we got stuck in the most horrible game of
Legend of the Five Rings. It was awful and we left early. After doing some more shopping and wandering, we got into a Pirates of the Crimson Coast Swiss Style tournament. It was a lot of fun and I placed 9th! ... Out of 12. :P But the best part is that I won the Fellowship award because the judges thought I was really fun and because they loved the smack talk I gave when I had to play Eric. By the way... he placed 8th! (The dice were with him!) I won one of these.

Once again, we hung out with a bunch of the folks from the Forge Booth that evening and played a great game of Sorcerer! And once again, we were up too late but it was worth it.

Sunday the 21st: Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Yup, I turned 31. :) We decided to do some last minute shopping and then get into a
SPANC tournament. We had never played and thought hey... why not? :) Talk about a fun game! Here's a pic of some of us playing. (And yes, for the record the guy next to me does have cat ears on.):

It was such a fun game, we ran to the Exhibit Hall to buy a copy. There was only one left and it was the demo copy. The folks at that booth were nice enough to sell it to us for just about half off.

At about 2:30pm, we left because it was time to head to the airport. Now of course, most of you that know us well, know that traveling with us is always an adventure. And yet... no adventures had really occurred yet. Fate had saved it all up for my birthday it seemed but thankfully it wasn't as bad as some of our previous adventures have been. :) At 2:40pm we called our hotel for the shuttle bus... like they told us to. We needed to be at the airport at 4pm since our flight was at 6pm. So we walked over to the Greyhound bus terminal where the shuttle bus met us and started waiting. At 3:10pm, I called to ask where the shuttle bus was (cuz they said it would be there at 3:00p,). The gal on the other line informed me that she had just come on shift and said that the driver was on her way and should have been there already but was probably stuck in traffic. Okay. And we waited. A hobo came over and asked for change than got into an argument with another man waiting for a Greyhound which ended with the hobo throwing his change back at the other man and storming off. It's 3:20 by now. I call the hotel again (since it's only 5 minutes drive away). The gal on the other end of the line says that her brother is on the way to get us and he'll be there soon. She doesn't know where the other driver (the gal) is and he'll be there momentarily. Okay. And we waited. The man that had been in the argument with the hobo comes over and starts talking to us (while he is picking up the thrown change) telling us about how he doesn't have much either and well, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's 3:30. I'm starting to get miffed. I call the hotel. The gal on the other end says she'll call her brother and see where he is. No answer she tells me. He's got to be on his way. Okay. And we waited. the hobo comes back and explains to us on vodka soaked breath, about how he has a job, he's a decent man and yadda, yadda, yadda, got any change? It's 3:40 and now I'm enraged. I call the hotel.

Me: "Where the hell is the shuttle? We've been out here since 2:40!"
Hotel clerk: "She never came and got you?"
Me: "Obviously not! Nor did your brother. What the hell?! We called in at 2:40... like the other gal told us to!"
Hotel Clerk: "Uh-huh."
Me: "The other clerk, well she assured us that we would have a shuttle there at 3:00pm. We have to get to the hotel, grab our bags and then get to the airport by 4pm. I don't frigging see that happening now!" (My voice is climbing by this point.) So I need to know, is he coming or not because if not, I need to find and ATM so I can pay the $30 for a taxi back to your hotel (yeah... it's was that much!) and then I have to pay for one to the airport. I'd really rather not considering... you offer shuttle service!" (I'm yelling here.)
Hotel clerk: "Oh she didn't tell me that! Oh no! She went home and the driver's changed shifts too. The gal driver went home and never said anything to my brother or I. I'll send my brother over to get you now. He's just leaving the desk as we speak."
(And there goes that teeth grinding politeness from my voice.)
Me: "Are you fucking kidding me?!?! *breathes deeply* Okay I'm sorry. Okay. We'll be here."

That man must have flown! He was there in a heart beat. He whipped back to the hotel where we grabbed our bags. I did apologize to the clerk because she didn't deserve to be yelled at but she said, "Oh no, no need to apologize at all. I would have been yelling a lot sooner!" And off we went to the airport. Eric gave him a $5 tip since he rushed so much to help us. I really did appreciate it too.

When we got there, our plane was delayed by about an hour and when we landed we were now an hour and a half behind. With a two hour drive ahead of us, I was so happy that Eric was willing to drive because he didn't have to work until about 4pm on Monday and I had to be at work at 8am on Monday. We got home at 1am and I promptly went to bed. :)

Monday the 22nd: Oh it was a long day at work. A long tired day. *laugh* But when I got home... I had gifts waiting for me! Yay! LittleMy (the gal I had SP'd for) sent me a thank you gift. She really didn't have to but I love it all. :) She sent me some chocolate, some lovely kidsilk haze yarn, some hand lotion and a really funny card! Thanks so much!

And check out the card:

But what really floored me was what -my- Secret Pal sent me. Oh Lumen2002... I love you!:

A Yukata, a teapot, some tea, stitch markers, a bag to put them in, some artsy post cards, some glass beads she made for me and this great book! Unfortunately, it's only the title and the chapter titles that are in English. The rest is in Japanese. I can not read Japanese but it's lovely and the charts are easy enough to follow. :) Here I am in the yukata:

Now go get your cookie. You earned it.