Ivy (ivy_rat) wrote,

What I did on my summer vacation (or why I've not been around and omg, so much has happened)

I think I'm back.

So much has happened this summer. Part of me was thinking of doing several posts talking about each big thing, but I have a feeling that would only interest me. Enough time has passed that I think many of the Big Events have been condensed in my memory that I can give salient points and the big picture, without being too bogged down in minutia.

I guess the biggest thing that happened this summer is that we moved. Not very far, just a town over; actually we're less then a mile from the border of the old town, so really not far (4 miles?). The old place (which we loved, mind you) was raising our rent, and Sky was going to be moving off to college, so we decided that it was time. I figure this is good practice for our Two Year Plan, which, I guess, in a way, is starting now, since the next move will likely be in two years, when Winter is done with school.

The thing about the move is that we did it in less than a month. That's less than a month from when we got word that our rent was being raised and we thought, "Hmm, maybe we should move" to when we were no longer living in our old place.


The whole month was a whirlwind. Went something like this: They raised our rent. We decided to move. We spent three days looking. Found a place. I went to a Star Trek convention thingy and had a great time. I came back. We said "we'll take This One" and told the old place we were leaving. They asked if we could be out two weeks earlier as they had someone who would take the place. We said okay. We started packing. Decided that we would use the money we saved (by getting out early) to hire movers. I went to Carson City (with my friend and fellow curler, Carol) to watch our curling team's skip get married (what an adorable couple, much fun at the wedding). Got back and packed. Three days later we started moving things into the new place. Two days after that the movers did their thing and we started sleeping in the new place. A little more than a week later we were finally out. Our last day was a Friday. There were people at our house for Game Night and I was taking Sky and some friends to Orange County to see Bob Dylan (I didn't see the show, just drove). Got back home, dropped everyone off and went back to the old place to help Scott put the finishing touches on it. The whole thing was rather nerve-wracking actually.

I love my idea of the Two Year Plan. The one part I'm not looking forward to at all, however, is the moving every two years. We really need to get rid of massive amounts of stuff if we have any hopes of making it work.

So, Saturday morning, bright and early, we gave back our keys. Then on Monday, Sky and I went to Santa Cruz for Freshman Orientation. We drove up the scenic route and had a lovely time. Tuesday was the orientation and Sky got to enroll in classes and talk to people. She also had a very long meeting with the Disability Resource Center and got services all set up, so all in all, a really good day. The problem came in the middle of the night when I suddenly was very sick. My guess is something to do with the heat? I don't know, I just know I was really really sick.

This made the drive on Wednesday not a lot of fun. But drive we did. From Santa Cruz we drove to the new place (about a five/six hour drive), where we picked up Scott, Winter, our friend Robynne, and our other friend Barry (Hereville) Deutsch and drove to San Diego (another three/four hours) for ComicCon. If I'd been feeling better, I think I would've enjoyed it a lot more than I did. The drive I mean.

Normally I do multiple posts about Con. I'm not going to do that this time. Instead you get a mini report:

Scott deemed this year one of the forgettable ones. It wasn't bad, just not much exciting happened. I don't completely agree. I had three things happen, that I think I'll remember for a very long time:

Thing One: I had someone come up to me to say hi. Someone I only knew because she's commented on this blog. She made my day by being; A) a cool person: she was even wearing my favorite Scott Pilgrim shirt! (Favorite as in of the several I own it's my favorite) in fact I'd almost worn it that day (I wondered if she was aware that Mal- Bryan Lee O'Malley- walked up to our group while we were talking.) And B) actually excited to meet me, and called herself a fan! This was seriously cool. Thank you.

Thing Two: Kathy Li, Sky and I were sitting around talking. I seem to spend quite a bit of my time at Con sitting and talking to Kathy Li (I was ego surfing the other day and found a comment Kathy had posted on UserNet that if you wanted to find her at Con, just look for me, since we'd likely be together: that comment was over a decade old!). Aaaanyway, we were, as is our want, reminiscing about Cons gone by, and someone overheard us and asked if she could interview us for the ComicCon website. We said sure! And so we were. I have no idea what we sounded like, if we came off looking dorky or great or what. I don't know if they got anything they want to/will use. I haven't really looked (too afraid, honestly). But I can pretend that they used it, and it was a lot of fun being interviewed, so yay us!

Thing Three: Well, actually, I'm not going to tell you thing three. Thing three was a panel that I went to. It makes much too good a story and is far too long for me to go into here. Plus, if I told it, I would be being not too nice to someone I don't know, and that seems yucky to me. When I tell people that I went to the panel, they look horrified and ask if I'm crazy. But see, the thing is, I got to see it! Now, I get to regale people with the story of a panel that I will not soon forget. If you see me in person, and are actually interested, I will be glad to give you my interpretation of said unforgettable panel.

I spent most of Con at panels this year, and I think they were again pretty much all comics related. The only one I remember that wasn't ALL comics was the GLBT X-Men panel, which was mostly about the comic, but had the writer of First Class there as well. That was a great panel. Wish I'd not missed as much of it as I did.

So that was Con: The Short Version. I've left out lots of stuff (Seeing Captain America with Larry Marder, Charles Brownstien, and their friend who I really liked, but who's name I've misplaced, the fantastic Scholastic Book party, seeing panels, friends, meals... so many other things). Not the most memorable Con, but lots of fun anyway.

We got home from Con on Monday night, and on Wednesday night, Winter and I took the redeye to NYC where she turned 16 on the first of August.

For her birthday I was going to do a whole long post about her oh-so-memorable-birth, about what my family did for our 16th birthdays', and why, and about what Winter and I did in NYC. But I'm keeping this short, so: Winter and I went to New york. We were there for about a week. We saw some friends. My sister joined us for a few days and we did a memorial thing for our other sister. And mostly, Winter and I saw shows. We saw: Catch Me if You Can, Billy Elliot, Fantasticks, and Wicked. Winter's favorite was Catch Me if You Can, possibly because that one was a total surprise to her, she had no idea what it was about, whereas she'd seen some sort of version of all the others. Except for Wicked she stood at the stage door and managed to get a picture of herself and whoever had been her favorite performer in each show. As celebrations go, I think it was a success. I know I had a blast.

When we got home on Wednesday, it was to the new apartment, unlike the rest of the family, I'd only spent a handful of nights there, it was somewhat disconcerting. We threw a housewarming party a week and a piece later on a Friday.

On the following Tuesday the apartment finally got internet (too long a story for this post). Later that day, Scott and I were gone again (did you notice that I managed to take a trip with every single member of my family, as well as one with all of us and one by myself. I didn't notice till I wrote this. That's pretty cool). This time off to Australia!

Australia was a blur of a trip. We left here late Tuesday night, arrived there Thursday morning (no Wednesday for us!). Luckily we bumped into Jim and Mary Woodring in the airport. We got spend time with them, something we haven't done in a very long time. They'd been to Australia before and knew some things to do. Which is how we wound up on a ferry to Manly Beach. I know this shouldn't have amused me, but it really did. Especially the Manly Fast Ferry (which we did not take), and before I figured out that we were going to a place called Manly Beach. (yes, I am twelve).

We had a great time wandering around Manly Beach with Jim and Mary. After we got back the four of us found some dinner nearby. Friday, Scott and I spent with just us. We wound up walking through the gardens (amazing. And the bats. I love bats. They were beyond awesome), then to an art museum that we spent several hours at. Scott had several interviews and then there was a dinner with all the speakers.

The dinner was in one of the restaurants in the Sydney Opera House. And that is where we spent the rest of our trip to Australia. Seriously. We had dinner in the very nice restaurant. The festival was Saturday and Sunday. Scott did a workshop in the conference type room (gorgeous room) on Saturday, then we went to as many things as we could. Scott did his lecture on Sunday. Both of Scott's things were wonderful, but then that's not surprising. Seeing as many other people talk as we could means that we got to see something in everyone of the five theatres in the Opera House. We never did get the tour (so we'll have to come back) but we heard lots of stories. We even got to hang out in the green room (omg, is that huge!).

It was a great weekend, lots of cool people, really interesting talks, music, art, I can't say enough good things about it. I'm so glad we got to go.

Sadly, since Scott has a book to draw, we didn't have any extra time to spend, so we left bright and early Monday morning (getting back home several hours before we left).

Winter started back to school two days later (the girls did not come with us to Australia, maybe next time). It was a frantic rush to make sure that she had everything she needed.

I spent the next few weeks driving Winter to school and then driving Sky places so that she could say goodbye to everyone and acquire all she needed for living away from home. Sky and I had adventures: We took a sunset sailboat ride, we spent a day at a museum, we watched movies, and Sky had going away events. There was one for Game Night, one for my folks and one for her friends. Then, this past week, we picked Winter up right after school on Thursday, got three of Sky's friends (including her boyfriend), Scott, Sky and I and all seven of us drove up to Santa Cruz together. Once there we met up with Sky's best friend, Kendra, who's also going to UCSC, and her dad. We moved the girls in, toured the campus, met a professor (and fan of Scott's), had food and said goodbye. Our friend Robynne was also in town, so we got to see her as well. Of the seven in the car that I'd taken up, only Sky and I had ever been to the school, so we enjoyed showing the others things. Kendra's dad was an alumni of UCSC so he got to play tour guide.

We drove up on Thursday, spent Friday getting the girls settled in, all had breakfast together Saturday morning (there were 12 of us since Sky's roommates joined), and then had two tearful goodbyes. It was all rather sad. We drove home Saturday afternoon sans Sky, though we still had three of her friends.

That was Saturday. Sunday I spent with my mom and Winter. Yesterday I didn't do much of anything (well, I did do a bit of the bills that needed doing...). My doctor is concerned about my blood pressure, so I've been going in for BP tests. had one last week, one yesterday and another tomorrow. Next week I meet with the doctor and he gets to tell me that I'm fine, really.

And today. Today I spent writing this post. No seriously. That's about all I did. Sorry it's so long. I honestly left stuff out, I forgot all about my brother and his family coming to town and what we did, I didn't talk about all the movies I saw (I think X-Men First Class wins as I saw it at least four times), and so many other things. But, I'm back now.

That. Is what I did on my summer vacation.

It's somehow quieter without Sky around, and I miss her. We listened to Wait..Wait...Don't Tell Me on our way back from dropping Sky off at school. There were a few jokes that I laughed at and looked to Sky, since they were ones that pinged back to conversations we'd had, and she wasn't there. Even though there were five other people in the van, none of them got the jokes. In that moment, it started to sink in. This is my first child to leave home. I'm surprisingly okay with it, but then again, I think I've not processed it all yet.

I'm sure there was more to say, but this has gone on far long enough. I promise that the next post's wait and length will not be nearly as long.

I've missed you all.
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