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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Ivy's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
10:10 pm
It's Tuesday! September 1st!
Today was laundry day. But, believe it or not, that was not the most exciting thing we did today! The most exciting thing today was going to visit Scott's mom, Pat. She lives in this wonderful senior community, and these days we tend to visit her there. Today, however, she wanted to go out. So we picked her up and drove a ways away to a lovely restaurant on the water. Good food, beautiful view.

Pat is 92 (Scott says she's turning 93 this month, but he's gotten the years wrong before, so I'm not positive). I was at her 90th birthday party, and it was two (or three?) years ago, so I know she's at least 92. Thing is, I would never have believed she was that old if I didn't actually know it. She's a bit slower these days, and words sometimes get lost, but wow. I hope I'm that sharp when I hit 70 (if I make it that far)!

She did an amazing job of directing me through a very roundabout route to the restaurant, and then back again a totally different route. I was impressed. Then we went to an ice cream parlor and had delicious ice cream with portions so big I only ate half (I saved the other half for later).

From ice cream, it was back to Pat's place. She had Scott sign the copy of The Sculptor that she had donated to the community's library, then we hung out in her apartment and chatted and looked at very old pictures of the family. They were really old pictures, some of Scott young, but then there were pictures of the family before Scott was born (he's the youngest of four), and even pics of Scott's dad as a baby! Pretty amazing.

I remembered to rescue my ice cream from Pat's freezer before we left, though it was all melted by the time we got back to our hotel. :-(

Back at the hotel, ennui set in, and Scott and I did little more than play games on our devices. Eventually, we did laundry. And found out the hotel was serving basically a free dinner, so we ate! After the food I ate my melted and refrozen ice cream. Very weird, but still delicious.

Then I wrote a blog post. This one, in fact. Which catches you up on today's events.
Monday, August 31st, 2015
10:09 pm
Monday! End of August
Look! It's Monday, and I'm posting about Monday! Go me!

This morning we woke early and drove to almost Boston, where Kurt Busiek happened to be for a few more hours, which we spent together eating brunch. I have known Kurt exactly as long as I've known Scott (having met them together at Syracuse, it really has been a trip all about SU).

It's always good to catch up with Kurt. We don't see him nearly enough these days. And Scott finally got him a copy of The Sculptor (Kurt was one of his kibitzers).

After a lovely few hours with Kurt, we had time to kill before our room in the next hotel would be ready. In a spur of the moment decision, we decided to go to the deCordova (a museum with a 30 acre sculpture garden and a several floor museum.

We spent more time in than out since it was way too hot out. The museum had an exhibit about walking art, which was fascinating. A whole lot to think about. I love art that makes you think.

We did walk a bit in the sculpture garden. There was a piece by Sol LeWitt! A few days ago, I'd never heard of him. Now I'm obsessed! Here's a picture of me (with sunglasses and my cane) standing in front of his sculpture:




And here's a picture of my favorite sculpture. It's by Richard Rosenblum, and it's called Venusvine. It's made out of bronze not vines! I kept calling it "I Am Groot," it made me happy.




After the museum, we checked into our hotel and just hung out for a bit. I got to talk to Winter about her first day of classes (stressful) and her roommate (awesome). It was good.

On our way to the hotel we had passed a Noodles & Company, which is a restaurant that Scott and I love, so we decided to go there for dinner. When we got there we discovered that it was still being built! No food there! But we had passed Jordan's Furniture, a Boston institution, that we hadn't been to in decades. We knew they had to have some kind of food (picture IKEA on crack), so we decided to go there. They had a Fuddruckers! I love Fuddruckers! We ate there, then wandered around the furniture until they kicked us out. It made up for Noodles & Company not being there!

All in all, a great day. Except for the fact that I just realized Monday is laundry day, and today was Monday, and I didn't do laundry. And I'd thought about it, but for some reason I thought tomorrow was laundry day. Aren't you looking forward to tomorrow's post now?
Sunday, August 30th, 2015
11:55 pm
All The Days I Missed
Yeah, I know. I've been pretty absent lately. I blame it on the internet, or lack thereof? Sort of?

I believe my last post was on Wednesday. So let's start on Thursday. For the sake of brevity, let's not do a detailed day-by-day.

Thursday and Friday were all about Winter and Syracuse (Winter, our daughter, not the season, even though the season is what most people associate with Syracuse). Scott had his last game of Settlers of Catan with Winter and her new roommate and a friend of said roommate's. And Scott and I spent a lot of time wandering the campus (much of it with some guy who was also an alumni moving his son in). We visited all the theatres we used to show movies in. It was a bit melancholic for me. It was very much another time and place.

There was also a convocation welcoming the new students. We watched. It was my very first time in the dome. Weird. There was a picnic bbq on the quad that Scott and I went to, but Winter didn't. Which was just wrong, but, whatever.

Friday we got to campus early to go to a parent meeting for parents of first year education majors. I'm glad we went. Winter had meetings at the same time and much later. We were supposed to be off-campus by noon, but by noon we'd still not seen our daughter to say goodbye! So we cheated and took her out to lunch, showed her a few things on campus, said goodbye, and left.

I think Scott and I were both feeling off kilter from the last few days so we just drove around for a bit. We passed my old dorm (Winter is now living in Scott's old dorm), then found the nearby cemetery that we used to hang out in and wandered there for awhile. Then we left Syracuse.

It didn't feel the same as when we dropped her at SF State. Back then, we knew we weren't going to be that far away (except when we were traveling, but then we were away from everyone); like if she needed rescuing, I could drive there in about six hours, or fly in 30min (with flights about every hour). But now she's out of reach. When we get back home it's a five day drive of a five hour flight (if one can be gotten). Even though, right now I'm sitting maybe 3 or 4 hours away, she feels like this time she's really gone. I've been sad today. I texted her early, and she let me know that she was too busy to deal with me until Friday!

Anyway, our SU portion of the trip ended with more SU reminiscing. Friday, after the cemetery, we drove to my friend and ex-SU roommate, Mel's! She was the very first person I met when first moved in to Syracuse, and was one of the best roommates I've ever had. She and her husband David live in the most amazing house. David was a stumpy at SU (meaning a forestry student), so he's uniquely qualified to build his own house. And Mel taught Home Ec for years and years, so the fact that she made an amazing dinner was not really a surprise, but amazing nonetheless! I am in awe of the two of them. They can do so many things I can't even dream of. And their daughter is a sweetheart. After dinner we got to see pics of a recent vacation. It was a great evening.

And since they put us up for the night, the morning was also filled with amazing food and great conversation. I can't imagine a better way to end our trip to New York.

From their house, it was on to Mass MOCA. We'd been hear about it for ages (they'd called Scott for advice when it was still in the planning stages), but this was our first visit. It's in North Adams, which is not close to anything, in an old factory. We both loved it. I think my favorite might have been the Sol LeWitt exhibition. It was on three different floors, and it was mind boggling. I could've spent hours staring at any given piece (I DID spend a huge amount of time). Here's a tiny part of one of the brighter colored pieces:



And here's the birds that I think I might've seen before, but they're really cool, and Scott and I found the secret place to watch them (not sure who the artist is):



From the museum we went to our secret hotel where we spent last night and are about to spend tonight. Our dinner at Friendly's was marred by them no longer carrying Scott's favorite ice cream. :-(

Today was all about sleeping late. Then seeing Ricki And The Flash. I enjoyed the movie. Scott and I argued about it afterwards. It's not perfect, but mostly fun. I wish they didn't feel the need to sing every song in its entirety. I would've preferred if we only had to listen to a verse or so. And it felt unexplained in many ways. The best part might've been the older woman who took our tickets. She informed us that it was one of the best movies ever, and "yes, she really IS playing guitar and, yes, that Is her daughter." I loved how she didn't feel the need to tell us that Meryl was also singing.

After the movie it was a lazy day here at the hotel. Dinner at Boston Market, then back to the room to work on this post. I took time out of writing so we could watch People Places Things, which we both enjoyed. I'd write more about it but I want to post this so I can get to bed. Maybe I'll talk more about in tomorrow's post.

And I PROMISE there WILL be one!
Thursday, August 27th, 2015
10:45 pm
Wednesday 8/26/15
So yesterday was Move-Winter-Into-Syracuse Day! When we got back to the hotel we were exhausted, and I couldn't get the internet to work, so I decided to write this today instead. I'm sorry.

Anyway, yesterday started with us all getting up rather late. I think we needed the sleep, and since there wasn't free breakfast ending early, it seemed the thing to do.

The two things that had to happen were: Winter needed her meds, and our "move in" time was 2pm (to 5). So, a trip to CVS and a quick breakfast, and poof! We were ready to move in!

But it was noon. We'd made it to SU, but we now had two hours to kill. Winter decided that she needed ice cream. I'm not sure what this was all about, but it became an obsession. We went many places on a fruitless search. Finally, we went to yet another CVS and a pint was acquired. At this point we were close enough to 2:00pm that we got on line (a car line) to wait for our chance to unload. This was the time Winter needed to pick up keys and such, so ice cream was eaten very fast!

The actual move-in went very smoothly, and took barely any time. And her new roommate is adorable and has much in common with Winter. I think this one's a winner.

Here's a picture of her new most prized possession and a shot of it hung in it's place of pride in her new room, room first:



...and the prized possession up close:


After moving her in, we all went to get dinner at the dining hall closest to her. It's a pretty awesome dining hall. She was really impressed. I get the feeling she'll eat more food here then she did at San Francisco State. This makes me happy.

Eventually we went back to our hotel and to bed.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
11:19 pm
Tuesday 8/25/15
I've decided to stop counting days, mostly because I was getting too confused. Today is Tuesday.

This morning, we slept in and I had ice cream for breakfast. It had been melted and refrozen and was delicious. I've been noticing that I eat really badly when we're on the road. Not good for my weight, but very tasty.

In attempts to find my favorite donuts to add to the bad food I've been eating, we went searching for a Dunkin' Donuts that actually made them (my favorite are the "Chocolate Kreme"—yes, that's the correct spelling). In our search, we wound up not far from the first home I remember. It was our apartment in Irvington. I lived there until I was in third grade. We went to the apartment and met the woman who now lives there! I was tempted to ask her if we could look inside, but figured it would be too tacky, so I didn't. But we had a nice conversation.

That was about it for excitement. We drove to our next hotel, which took about four hours. I DID eventually get my Chocolate Kreme donut at a service plaza. It was very good. Very.

On the trip, we got to hear the two episodes of Mystery Show that we hadn't heard yet. They were just as great as the other four. (Did I tell you that because of the second episode we learned that Britney Spears lives in our neighborhood and goes to our mall? We had no idea!)

For dinner we had food delivered to our room so we didn't even go out, just spent time together (with Scott and Winter playing yet another game of Settlers of Catan!)

When we booked this trip, all the hotels near SU were sold out, so we're about 45 minutes away. Tomorrow we move Winter into her dorm, which was the reason for this first part of the trip. Tonight's our last night all together for awhile. Sky even called, so it was almost like having the whole family together. I will miss Winter terribly. I'm glad we got to spend time together this summer and this trip. I predict tomorrow will be rather emotional.
Monday, August 24th, 2015
10:15 pm
Days 8&9 Sunday & Monday
Sunday was all about Winter and me (as far as I was concerned). Windy and I got up early, ate a quick breakfast and walked to our third, and last, theatre of the weekend. We weren't as far up in the line as we'd hoped, but we weren't too bad (about 10th in line?). Winter was exhausted so she slept on my lap for a bit while I wrote part of Saturday's blog post.

We were waiting for rush ($35!) tickets for Something Rotten. Neither of us had high hopes for the show, but Christian Borle is in it (he won a Tony this year for his performance). We love Christian Borle. Scott and I had seen him in Spamalot, and despite a cast full of actors we adore, he was our favorite in that play, even though we had no idea who he was at the time. We found out who he was when we saw him in the televised production of Legally Blonde where we adored him again. So we've been following his career. Winter really wanted to see him. More than she wanted to see the show. We were worried he wouldn't be at our performance, but he was. Yay!

When we finally got our tickets, we got seats in the first row, on the side.

After getting the tickets, we had time to kill. I chose not to walk us back to the hotel (where Scott had checked us out and was dealing with email in the lobby instead of joining us). Instead, we found a bench, sat, and played Broadway quizzes on Winter's phone. We are very good at them.

Then it was time for the show. It was a lot of fun. Not really a great play, but the actors were all wonderful. And the show references so many other musicals (most of which were in the quizzes we'd been doing right before) that Winter and I had a great time. I don't know that I can unreservedly recommend the show, but we were glad we saw it.

After the show we walked back to our hotel for the last time, picked up Scott and our car and drove to Elmsford. Getting out of NYC was much easier than getting in had been (it being Sunday)!

After checking into the new hotel, we drove off to Tarrytown, right near where Scott used to live, to meet up with Scott's editor Mark and his lovely wife Siena for dinner. The food was great and the company better. Wonderful end to the day.

When we got back to the room we were so tired we went right to sleep.

I was gonna do another post about today, but all we did today was go to two malls in White Plains to eat in their food courts. It was ridiculous. One for lunch, the other for dinner, with us going to a laundromat in between to do laundry. Not an exciting day to write about. Many games of Settlers were played. I wrote a lot.

I am now caught up. Tomorrow night (hopefully) I will post about tomorrow.
12:56 pm
Day Seven—Saturday NYC and Broadway
I promised today would be more interesting, and boy was I right!

We all got up very early this morning, ate a very quick breakfast, and walked to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night was playing. Scott went first 'cause he's faster than Winter and I. Despite being there way before we were told to be there, we were still fifth in line. We had fun hanging out, waiting for the few hours until the box office opened. When it did, there were two lines, one for evening and one for the matinee. We got on the matinee line, and were now second! Needless to say, we got the seats we'd hoped to get; not perfect (slightly obstructed) but good.

(The above was written last night, I was too tired to finish—you'll understand why at the end—so I'm finishing this now while in line for today's show.)

After getting our tickets, it was a walk back to the hotel. The hotel was about 12 short blocks and two long ones away. This means it feels stupid to cab it, but it's still a sizable walk. At the hotel, I crashed for a bit while Scott and Winter played yet another game of Settlers.

When it was time, we walked back to the theatre (I brought my cane, walking was taking its toll). There was a thing with the handicapped bathroom, which led me to walking down lots of stairs (long story). Our seats were in one of the the boxes, and since no one showed up for the seats next to us we were able to move to much less obstructed views!

The show was just as amazing and awesome in NYC as it had been in London. So very good. I HIGHLY recommend it! The set and spectacle make the show worth it, alone. But the play itself is haunting. Beautiful.

After the show, it was yet another walk to the hotel. We stopped at Macy's for dinner, then back to our room. Scott, sweet man that he is, decided I'd done enough walking and decided we'd get to theatre number two by cab. There was some tension as I wanted to leave asap since I needed to pick up tickets. We got a cab fairly quickly, but traffic was ridiculous. We finally got to a street fair that closed off the road we were on. We got out of the cab and ran the last nine blocks. We made it in time, but not as early as I'd wanted. But there was enough time for me to go to the bathroom (important in a show that has no intermission). On the other hand, boy was I hurting by this point.

Fun Home is a wonderful show. The music is great and the story and cast are amazing. I've read the book, and was impressed with how they turned it into a play. Winter declared it her favorite show ever! I'm not sure if it's my absolute favorite, but it's very high up there. I'd see it again in a heartbeat. I know I just said this about Curious Incident, but really, if you get a chance to see it, GO!!

While waiting for the show to start, Winter and Scott argued about whether more of the audience had or had not read Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, so we did an informal survey of the people seated near us. Several had read the book, and several had no idea that it was based on something. More had read the book than Scott had predicted, so Winter won that argument. Though we all agree it was a flawed survey for many reasons.

After the show I went to buy a t-shirt. While I was on line, the actors who played the two younger Alisons and one of the brothers were hanging out in the lobby. Winter got to talk to them, and Scott took this wonderful picture.



I was busy buying my shirt so I had to watch from afar, but I did get to tell them how awesome they were as we were leaving.

You would think our night was over then, but you would be wrong! It was back to the hotel where Scott and Winter played yet another game of Settlers of Catan. Oy. (As I write this, now on Monday, they are playing yet again)

Then at about eleven thirtyish, Scott and I walked yet again to Times Square to see an almost midnight art installation thingy that took over many of the big vid screens in the square. It was cool, but not as cool as I'd hoped? We did get soft serve ice cream at a truck, and that was cool (in more ways than one, haha).

We got to walk, yet again, back to the hotel where we just crashed. Hence this being so late.

Gonna post this (finally) then write up Sunday's post and post it later today. My post for today (Monday) will hopefully go up late tonight, but I expect it will be short.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
12:49 am
Day Six- Friday NYC!
We made it! Well, to NYC anyway. I wish I had some awesome stories to tell, but most of today was spent driving. Let's see... Big event on the drive was when our flat tire idiot light went on. We were far from anywhere. It took a bit before there was an exit. When it came, there was no gas station. We had to go another ten miles with the light still on. The next exit had two gas stations! Neither of which had air pumps. But we did get out to at least look at the tires to see if any looked low. They didn't. When I started the car again the light blinked a few times then went off and stayed off. When stopped to get gas ten or so miles later, I didn't even bother to check the air (even though that station actually HAD air!).

That, and the hour and a half it took to drive the last three miles of our journey, were it for excitement.

Until we got to our hotel. I pulled up in front of the hotel, Scott brought some of our bags in and found out where I should park. While I was waiting in the car for him to find out, a cab pulled in behind me leaving me almost no room to get out. I figured he'd just pull out when his fares left and I could back out. But he didn't. It was like he was waiting for me, even though he had left me only about four inches between us! When I realized he wasn't gonna move, and the guy in the BMW in front of me was also waiting on me, I started inching back. The cabbie tried to assist by helpfully getting out of his cab, walking over to me and yelling at me for being a terrible driver. Which I'm not. I'm an excellent driver, so I told him he was full of it. There was yelling, and cursing, and a guy across the street who joined in (on my side). It was pretty awesome! It ended with my cheering section (the guy across the street) saying "Fuck yeah!" So I think I won. Winter admitted she would've cried if someone yelled at her like that. I said he was a jerk, so it didn't bother me at all. And the guy egging me on was great.

All in all it felt like a resounding "Welcome to New York!"

After we parked and got our room, we walked to two of the theatres that we are hoping to rush for tickets in the next two days. Then it was a touristy diner for dinner, and back to our room. Scott is already asleep (we plan on waking very early tomorrow to try to get tickets). I'm going to join him as soon as I post this.

Tomorrow will be much more interesting! In the meantime, here's the only picture I took today. It's the view from our hotel window:
Thursday, August 20th, 2015
10:12 pm
Day Five- Thursday
We are in Pennsylvania! Just barely, but still....

I've always considered Pennsylvania to be part of the east coast, so it feels like we've arrived. Technically, we have just under four hundred miles to get to NYC, but that's a pretty easy drive for tomorrow. We might even get in early enough to do something fun in the city!

Obviously, we lost another hour when we hit Eastern Time Zone, but that means tomorrow is all in one time zone. Yay.

Um. Today was particularly uneventful. I didn't even manage to take any pictures. We only stopped at service plazas since much of the day was on toll roads. The most exciting thing was discovering a new Podcast. Thanks to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! We listened to an episode that had Starlee Kine as the guest. She was there (in part) to plug her new podcast Mystery Show. Which turns out to be rather awesome and one of the few things we all enjoy listening to. We listened to the first three (of six) episodes already! I expect we'll finish them tomorrow. Highly recommended!!

(The other Scott, Ivy, and Winter-approved podcasts, for those interested, are: Worst Bestsellers, Ask Me Another, and the aforementioned Wait Wait...)

Yeah. That's about it for excitement. Scott and Winter are playing YET ANOTHER game of Settlers of Catan. And I'm typing. I tell you, the fun never ends!

Tomorrow = NYC. Which promises to be much more interesting. And I'll make sure to get pics!
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
10:27 pm
Day Four- Wednesday
So proud of us! We actually got up fairly early today, and drove about 600 miles! Not fantastic, but our best day so far. We haven't been stopping much, except for gas, caffeine, and an occasional rest stop break, so not much excitement. I took all of two pictures today, the first at a rest stop because the impending rain clouds were pretty (the rain never really caught up with us):





And the second was at dinner, because Yay! Cracker Barrel! And Winter! (And dinner!)



Yesterday afternoon our weather turned cooler and has continued that way all day today. At one point it was almost even cold (in the 50°s!). So that's been nice.

We stopped early today and as I type this, Scott and Winter are playing yet another game of Settlers of Catan (they played several during the drive as well). Wish I liked the game more, but they're having fun.

On my last post a friend asked what this trip was about, so for those that don't know, I figured I should explain. Scott and I are taking Winter to Syracuse where she will be starting school in a week or so. She's a transfer student coming in as a junior. She's thrilled to be going there for several reasons; Scott and I both went there (it's where we met), she fell in love with the campus when we were on tour, and, most importantly, she can take classes in education as well as math. It's all win win win for Winter!

On our way there we are going to spend a few days in NYC to see some plays (we have tickets to Fun Home already)!

After we drop Winter at SU, we'll be in Boston for a bit, then Scott goes to CA for some gigs, and then comes back to me in Boston. Then there's a gig at Skidmore in NY, SPX in Maryland, up to UW in Milwaukee, and lastly (probably) Middlebury College, VT, then back home. That's the part that's definite. Things might get added? We'll see...

Right now we're in Moline, Illinois. I think that means we have less than a thousand miles to get to NYC. So, go me! Looks like we'll make it to NYC by Friday, easy!
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
11:36 pm
Day Three- Tuesday
Today was not much better than yesterday in that we started a bit earlier, but by the time we got gas and stuff, and we finally got on the road it was about 11am. Again, we drove about 500 miles.

We are spending tonight in North Platte, Nebraska.

This means we drove through Colorado today, which is probably the prettiest views of the trip. We even stopped for a half hour in Vale, which my favorite place we pass. I've never been (and still really haven't as we barely saw a thing) but I did take a few pictures, and since it was the most exciting thing we did today, here they are:



This was the view from the bench Winter and I hung out on while Scott attempted and failed to find me a Diet Dr Pepper (the air was too thin for me to do too much walking).

Other excitement for today: we lost yet another hour. It is now 11pm (central time). Scott's in bed and I'm about to go take a bath. The beds in this hotel are very high (like 3 feet up!), so we've been making jokes about the altitude, which is doubly funny since the actual altitude has bothering all of us all day.

Um. This trip is not all that interesting so far. Hopefully we'll do something fun soon?
Monday, August 17th, 2015
9:58 pm
Day Two- Monday
We started today far too late. By the time we got on the road it was already 11:30! Oy. Not a great start. We managed to do about 500 miles, which is not wonderful, but since we also lost an hour (we are now in Mountain Time), I'm not gonna be too hard on myself.

Today we drove from Vegas to Grand Junction, CO. Which means we drove through the desert and into the canyons. The second half of today's drive had spectacular scenery.

Scott and Winter played two games of Settlers of Catan, trying out both of Winter's new travel sets (yes, she has two different ones, they were birthday presents, it's a very long complicated story). They unanimously chose the newest edition as best.

That, actually, is about all there is to say about today. Hopefully tomorrow will be more interesting?

Maybe we'll start early, then stop early enough that I'm less tired when I write tomorrow's post. It could happen. Maybe?
9:35 pm
Our Journey to Syracuse, Day One- Sunday
(Okay, I wrote this last night and this morning, but I just got internet, so I'm posting it now. Next I'm going to write up today's adventures and post them when I'm done...)

We decided to start our trip on Sunday instead of Monday. I got a TripTik on Friday (from AAA) and looking at the mileage we figured the extra day would come in handy.

Our first stop was to meet up with Bryan K (of Avatar/Korra fame) for lunch. It was pretty awesome. We really like him and hope we'll get to see more of him. He gave Winter a present that she declared "Made my life" (it was, among other things, a sketch made just for her)!

After our wonderful lunch, we got on the road. I have discovered that driving for more than an hour does indeed make my back feel worse and that stopping to walk around when it's 115° doesn't actually help.

Because we started fairly late, and because I made us stop more than usual, we didn't get very far. We drove about 300 miles today, but then that's 300 miles less for the rest of the trip to drive, so go me!

And we are spending the night in Las Vegas, so that's fun. Well, except for the fact that all we've seen so far is our hotel. Once we were all checked in we were too tired to do much more than get food and head back to our room. It's almost midnight. I don't have Internet, so I'll finish this in the morning and post when I can.

Morning! This has been a pretty much useless trip to Vegas, but Scott and I had a lovely breakfast at a buffet this morning (Winter slept in). Now I need to ice my back, then get us back on the road. We are not starting out super early, so we'll see how much I can make up.

(Note: for the duration of the trip I'm not really on Twitter. I should see things directed at me, and I'll be checking comments on my blog and answering them at night...)
Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
6:42 pm
The Next Journey is About to Begin!
It's been awhile. Summer is hard. Just keeping up with Twitter seems to take up all my time. But we're about to hit the road again, so I decided it was important to update.

ComicCon was much fun. I did get a wheelchair which was very weird. I did not love it. There were some advantages, and I know it was probably a good thing, but I hated being at the mercy of others to get me places.

On the other hand, both of our kids were there and mostly in good moods. I was really sad when Sky had to leave, having both girls there was my favorite part of con this year. That, and the meals. This year all our meals were fairly small with awesome people.

There are stories and good times, and maybe someday I'll do a full report, but not today.

Right now I'm sitting in the Toyota dealer getting my car up to travel condition. On Monday, Scott and I are driving Winter to Syracuse! I figure we'll take the northern route to hopefully get some cooler weather.

For a long time Scott wasn't sure if he was going to come with us, but my physical therapist put the fear of death (mine) in him, and he decided it would be best if he came. I've had another epidural since the last time I wrote. My PT says I should be taking breaks to walk around every hour. It means it'll take longer to drive cross-country, but it's better for me? Anyway, she's explained to me how I can easily relapse and how the epidurals help but don't cure. So Scott's my security blanket. Gonna take my cane just in case as well.

Like I said, we leave on Monday, and I've decided to go back to daily blogging at that point. So, starting Monday night I'll post something every night for the whole trip (I get back early October). So look for those.

Because of that, I will probably be less likely to keep up with Twitter. I'll try, but spending the day driving and the night writing makes it difficult, so...

Meanwhile, friends of ours in the SoCal area, note: this Friday will be the last Game Night of the summer. We'll return again in October, but that's a long way away. So if you've always wanted to check it out, or are a regular but haven't been in awhile, or just want to wish Winter luck as she heads off on her new adventure, please come! And if you want pizza or sushi let me know by 6:15 on Friday (and if you do want food, don't forget to bring money to cover it)!

Wish us luck, I can't believe all we have to do before we go. With officially less than a week left. Oy! But we'll do it! We bought tickets for Fun Home, so we have to make it to NYC by Friday the 21st so we can see the show the next day. Some things are very important.

'Til Monday. Happy week!

(For the record, I wrote this yesterday, but I wanted Scott to proof it before I posted. Hence the delay. I will not let this happen when we're on the road...)
Thursday, June 25th, 2015
10:40 pm
A Story About a Back
I've been silent for a while. If you follow me on Twitter then you know what's been up, or this might all be new to you.

Either way, let me tell you a story. (Warning: This got very long, and delves into TMI territory. You've been warned)

The first memory I have concerning my back was when I was a little kid. I was at the doctor's and he had me stand with my back to the wall. He informed me that I had a mild case of scoliosis, in other words; a curved spine. He told me that if I wanted to fix it it would be considered elective surgery as the only reason to fix it was cosmetic. He also told me that it might give me problems if I ever decided to get pregnant, but since I was a kid at the time that seemed like a far-off concern. That was the only time in my life anyone's ever told me my spine's curved. I have no idea if it's true. But I remember it very clearly, I know it happened.

Back problems for me are like an old friend. I have snapshots in my head, memories of pain. I remember at college, riding the bus to the health center, standing all the way because it hurt more to sit. I remember showing up at dance class feeling fine thanks to meds, and being kicked out because it's dangerous to dance if you can't feel pain. That's the time I was given codeine and had a terrible reaction to it, leading a nursing student to diagnose my allergy to it.

There was Sky's birth. I was in back labor (she was what they call "sunny side up", which means her head was facing forward instead of back). It was incredibly painful. I had Scott punch me in the back with each contraction. I was all black and blue by the time she was born. And since the doctor didn't believe that I was in back labor (he claimed I just didn't know how painful labor was), he didn't do anything to help. I wound up with a C-section. Despite my relatively high pain threshold, I seemed to be a lot more miserable than others I know who wound up with sections. Not sure if that, once again, had to do with my back.

I remember when the girls were in elementary school and we had a field trip to Barnes and Noble. Mark Crilley was doing a signing, and our (very awesome) school decided it was worth taking the kids to it. I remember sitting with my back against a post in agony and frustration (it's when we first met Mark and got to hang with him for a bit, but it was marred for me by pain).

There are many other moments, but the most recent one (before this month), was when I woke in the middle of the night worried that my lungs had collapsed. I was in bed and I couldn't catch my breath. I was starting to panic. I tweeted, and was admonished by my followers for not waking up Scott and getting to the hospital. So I did. We went to emergency where they did a bunch of tests and diagnosed it as a back problem, not a lung problem, gave me some pain meds, and sent me home. I think that was the time my mom and sister showed up to steal my dog, since I was bedridden and couldn't walk him (I have an awesome family).

Mostly, what they all have in common is a memory of pain. Lots and lots of pain.

Which brings us to this last time.

On Friday (May 29th), we brought back Game Night. It was awesome. Lots of people came, lots of food was eaten, lots of games were played. A great night. I also started a puzzle. This is important, maybe; I don't know. I just know that when I woke up my back hurt. But there was stuff to do. There was laundry. Scott flew to NYC, which meant I drove to LAX and back two days in a row. Stuff. There was other stuff. I don't remember what anymore. I just remember that I hurt. As you can gather from up above, this is not new to me. I hurt, but not bad enough to do anything other than whine periodically that I hurt. No one (including myself) paid much attention.

On Thursday, things changed. Thursday I think I hurt more? Maybe I was just tired of hurting. I don't know. But. I remembered that I'd been given pain meds when I'd last gone to emergency and it occurred to me that this would be a good time to take them. So I did. And I slept. The whole morning. When I woke I got up to go to the bathroom. Sat down on the toilet and almost passed out from the pain. I managed to throw some water on my hands (good hygiene: so important) (couldn't even turn around to flush, though), and ping-pong back to my room (hitting the walls on either side of me). I only got as far as the floor of the bedroom, right inside the door. I was laying on my stomach, my legs had my shoes under them. I was in pain AND uncomfortable. I yelled for Winter. She thought my mom had called her, Mom said it must've been the TV. I was crying. I yelled again. Winter came up stairs. Got the shoes out from under my legs and phoned Scott at his studio. He came right home. It's about a 15/20min drive, so while we were waiting, Winter and Mom kept me company and got scared.

When Scott arrived he helped me get up so that he could drive me to the emergency room. We got as far as the stairs. I sat down and tried to scoot down them. I only got down one and I couldn't move again without massive pain. I was stuck. Scott called 911. They got here amazingly fast.

They had a chair that they got me into. And from there to the ambulance. I was in my nightgown. It was weird. I took my very first ride in an ambulance. When I looked out the window I could see Scott, Mom and Winter following in our car. It was surreal.

In the hospital I got seen pretty quickly. Except there was another ambulance bringing someone in at the same time and they kept thinking I was her. She had a fall and they were worried about concussion. No one was too worried about me.

They brought me in for a CAT scan and scanned my head. I told them they needed to do my back so they did that too (they later apologized for the first scan and told me it was a mistake that I wouldn't need to pay for. Oy). I don't think they found anything in my back, either.

They gave me heavy duty pain meds (the kind they're afraid you'll get addicted to) which only touched the surface of my pain. They wanted a urine sample, but I couldn't do it, they had to catheterize me to get it.

It was decided I was spending the night under observation. At some point an MRI was done. I was in too much pain to remember when.

At 9somethingPM I realized I'd not eaten any food since the day before. They got me a sandwich (and some other stuff, but I only managed to eat the sandwich).

Eventually I was put in a room (a single! That's all they have these days) and people went home (Scott might've brought Mom and Windy home at some point and then came back? I don't remember).

Friday morning I had THE BEST NURSE. I think she saved me. The doctor assigned to me decided there was nothing wrong with me. His cure: I should go home, lay in bed and loose weight, and I'd be fine. He was ready to release me. THE BEST NURSE thought this was crazy. I was in too much pain to even stand. She called the doctor. When he said he thought I should go home she looked at me and made a "what, is he crazy?" face. She told him I was a fall risk and not safe to go home to a house with stairs. Then she asked if he'd scheduled a specialist. He said no. She rolled her eyes at the phone and told him I'd specifically requested it (I hadn't. I'd assumed one would see me). Like I said, she saved me.

It was the specialist who decided I should have the epidural. Someone decided it should be done asap. The specialist said it would be done the next day, since I'd eaten breakfast, but they did it a few hours later with a local anesthetic instead of a general. I felt it. I screamed.

The next day the specialist said he'd looked at the MRI results and discovered that the technician had missed the pinched nerve (he'd caught the herniated disc and the torn one, but missed the actual culprit). The epidural worked (it was cortisone). I might need another one.

After a few days the pain was reduced enough for them to send me home.

I entered the hospital on Thursday and was released on Tuesday. I was still pretty bad for a few more days, but I did manage to get to Sky's graduation, though Scott had to drive and I needed to use a walker.

I fall down a lot. My right leg still doesn't like supporting my weight. My leg hurts more than my back does. I looked up "pinched sciatic nerve" and it turns out it is indeed one of the most painful of all medical ailments.

Being in the hospital was demeaning. I needed help to go to the bathroom, and couldn't wipe myself. I had to call for meds every four hours. Scott and my mom visited every day, my sister and her partner came out the first day, but the longer I was there the shorter the visits. Winter stopped coming. One friend visited and brought cherries (she is awesome). I complained of boredom on Monday(?), and another friend visited and Neil called. My iPad was being repaired the whole time, so I didn't have it, and I ran out of things to read on my kindle. When I wasn't in pain, I was bored. And dirty. No one thought to give me a sponge bath until I was getting ready to leave. I only managed to brush my teeth a few times. Ug.

But I'm home now. I'm scared to death about how much mobility I'll have for ComicCon. I have a walker and a cane. Scott wants me to get a wheelchair for Con so I don't have to stand and risk falling in the large crowds. I made a follow up appointment with the specialist, but he's so popular I can't see him until after Con is over. My regular doctor is going on vacation so I can't see him either.

I just keep telling myself I'm much better. And I pretend I haven't been told that this is very likely to come back. And I studiously don't think about the possibility of surgery with its six weeks recovery time.

I'm okay. I'm much better. The pain will go away. ComicCon will be fun. I can do this. I'm much better. I'm much better.
Thursday, May 7th, 2015
12:16 am
This post is long. Sorry.
Wow. I didn't expect that much time to pass between posts!

Minutes after my last post I tripped in the bathroom of the hotel we'd just checked into (long story). I fell flat on my face (really) (ow). I spent most of the rest of Italy in varying degrees of pain which meant getting up the energy to write didn't happen.

But I'm mostly better now, and on yet another plane, so I figured I should give the highlights.

Scott did a total of four appearances in Italy and all were standing room only! The venues were beautiful and the people were all wonderful. We were introduced to all sorts of different, scary, and amazing food.

And we even had a day off to play! We spent it in museums, of course. The one we spent the most time in had a crazy exhibit about food. Some of it was bizarre, and some inspired. After the museum we walked in the park in the rain, and found ourselves at a castle! We even got to go in for free since it was almost closing time. Then there was another dinner with our hosts, and sad goodbyes with our new friends.

And so ended our trip to Italy and our European tour.

We flew back to Newark to pick up our car. Got in the bus to long term parking. It was slammed. I had my new suitcase on my lap. When the crowd thinned the woman across from us asked if she could help with my bag. Then she said, "excuse me, but are you Scott McCloud?" (To Scott, of course). Turns out she is from West Point and had been with the students who were brought to Scott's event at the 92nd St. Y.—which was the first event of the tour! It felt like we'd come full circle. She told us that the students were loving The Sculptor, which made us feel even better. It was the perfect end to the craziness.

But the craziness wasn't yet over!

From Newark, we drove to Boston. Finally got our car serviced. Visited with Scott 's mom. Did laundry. Had dinner with a few friends. Picked Sky up from the airport. Did HER laundry.

Then came the reason we were in Boston, which I'm finally allowed to share! Scott was inducted into the Harvard Lampoon as an honorary member! It was quite the experience! I've been sworn to secrecy, so I can't really tell you much. The Lampoon Castle is pretty amazing, but pictures are not allowed so I can't show you. What I can say is that they treated us like royalty. Example: because Sky is a vegan, they got special food just for her. A lot of it. I was struck by how young everyone was. Sky realized that she was the age of the oldest there. That part was pretty disconcerting. As you'd expect, everyone was very funny, and there were some great stories!

The next day was spent with Sky interviewing Scott's mom, Pat, for a documentary she's doing (which is the reason SHE had come to Boston). The interview was fascinating, I can't wait to see what she does with it. She's visiting my mom this weekend to interview her (and no, it's not a doc about parents or grandparents, it's about being blind and living with someone who was blind).

After spending time with Pat, we rushed to a theater where we were just a few minutes late for the Avengers double feature. We met up with friends there and I later found out another friend saw me but wasn't sure if it was me (it was) so I missed her (really bummed, haven't seen her in ages). I liked Age of Ultron more than Sky and Scott. I'm looking forward to having the chance to see it again.

Sadly, we had to leave Boston the next day, which means there are still many friends that we, yet again, did not get to see. There was a stop at the cemetery to visit Scott's dad's grave (for Sky to film) and a two day drive to Chicago to drop Sky at the airport to fly home. I have not gotten used to the fact that Sky is now so very much an adult. And one that I enjoy spending time with. I'm very proud of that young woman. She's still on track to take the world by storm. As soon as we dropped her at the hostel, I started missing her.

Scott and I had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to drive home to SoCal. We drove hard (or rather, I drove hard, since I do all the driving). We made it back at around four PM Tuesday (yesterday, as I write this). We had enough time to run some errands, try to get our dog to like us again, take my mom out to dinner, do laundry, pack and sleep for only a few hours before getting up early, saying goodbye to my mom and dogs, and driving to LAX to grab a plane for Toronto and TCAF.

Other stuff happened, but this post is long and I'm tired and want to read or nap.

On the tv screen in front of me I'm watching Hard Core Logo without sound. Every so often I look up and smile at Callum Keith Rennie. The last time I was in Toronto I went to a special screening of HCL with the director and a cast member or two in attendance. I think this bodes well for an awesome trip to Toronto (watching it with no sound because it's a depressing movie and I don't need to see it again, I've seen it enough times to know what's going on when I look up).

Movie is now over. If this is posted, I'm in Toronto. See you at TCAF!!
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
3:16 pm
On another train!

Unfortunately, though I have lots to say, last night Winter had a bad night. She's not feeling well. I doubt that I was of any use to her at all, as I am thousands of miles away from her in Italy, but I was up much of the night texting her and doing what I could to help. I mention this, because it means that instead of spending this train ride writing, I've spent most of it sleeping. We are on a high speed train from Milan to Rome. We'll be there soon and the craziness will begin again.

I will see what I can write before we get there?

So, MoCCA was great. We saw many many people we knew. We skipped the Saturday night party so that we could go to Macy's and replace the suitcase that we bought in China (which is now broken). I love my new suitcase!!



Spain was totally different than many other countries this trip. We spent the whole time we were there in Barcelona. Only one hotel! We were there for the comics festival and that's what we did. Scott had many interviews, many many signings, and two public talks. While there, we spent all of our time within a few blocks. So I don't feel like we saw much of the city, but what we saw was beautiful. Spent time off at the nearby museum on the hill with a most awesome view, went to the converted bull ring that's now a mall, and even managed to do laundry (their washers were really cool, wish we had similar ones at home)!

When thinking about our time in Barcelona some things stand out. We now know so many people around the world! We spent time with people we adore from France, England, Canada, and even previous trips to Spain. We are becoming international! And we have friends everywhere!

Scott is becoming more well-known. Someone wrote us once, a long time ago, asking when we were going to do an appearance in Spain. He informed Scott that he was a "God in Spain." This has long been a running joke with us. Later, either the same person, or someone else said it again. Every time we go to Spain (surprisingly, this was my 4th and Scott's 5th time in the country, making it our most visited non English-speaking country) I harass Scott about it. This time it felt true! The show felt a bit like ComicCon. Scott was scheduled for a lot of signings, and he was afraid there wouldn't be people to fill them, but there were. There were encounters with fans when we were not at signings. We kept meeting cool people who were huge fans. It felt like a different level. And they were all so nice!

But for me, the coolest thing was that I seem to be developing a fan club! Since Meg is so me, when people who have read the book meet me and I act like me, they feel like they know me; and since they love Meg, they love me! It was awesome. And the people who treat me that way are always the best people. I was given gifts! Did I mention that the amazing chocolate we got in our first trip to Belgium got left somewhere? All gone and barely tried. I was pretty upset. They found out about it in Spain and before we left our hosts gifted us with some gorgeous and delicious Spanish chocolate! I was also given a mini blue Sailor Moon by this girl I adored, because she loved my blue hair. Like I said, pretty awesome!

I'm now on another train. We've done two cities in Italy (in Rome and Bologna), and both were so packed that people were sitting in aisles and others got turned away. The food has been interesting. As yet I still haven't had my shrimp risotto, but I have had some amazing desserts.

I think I'll stop here. That way I can post this next time I get internet. And then I'll do a write up of all of Italy and any final European thoughts on the plane home.

Oh, one more thing before I post this: have I yet mentioned the very exciting news about Winter? She had applied to Syracuse University As a transfer student. I told everyone I could think of at MoCCA to put in a good word for her (they couldn't, but I asked anyway). Didn't matter, the very next day we found out she got in!! So; go Windy! I am so proud of my kids! And now I get to drive her cross country. Mom and daughter time, ftw!!
Monday, April 13th, 2015
9:17 am
I'm too tired to think of a witty subject (part 1)
Whelp, I said the next blog would be written either while doing laundry, or flying back to Europe and since we did laundry by dropping it off again, this is being written on the plane back to Europe.

It's been a very busy week (or however long, I have no idea anymore, I've totally lost track of time)!

Scott's talk in Virginia was so full they had to turn away over a hundred people! I felt really bad, I even knew people who tried and failed to get in. Ug. Wish it had been in a bigger venue. I think Scott is awesome and want everyone to see him. And he did a kickass job. The line for signing afterwards was so long there was worry we'd miss dinner (Richmond evidently closes early). But we made it! It was a cool Italian family style restaurant, which I would've liked better if I'd had more say in what was ordered. What I ate was very good, just most of what they ordered was not Ivy friendly. But the people we were with were great, so it made up for my lack of food.

I would like to go on about the people we got to meet and spend time with both in Virginia and then the next day in Camden, but I'm afraid I will leave someone out, or get their name(s) wrong. Suffice it to say that we met a bunch of people that were so awesome that I wished I could've spend much more time with all of them. And I miss them already.

Besides the talk, Scott did some class visits in Virginia, where we met some very talented young people. Oh, and we also got a tour of their library's amazing comics collection. It was impressive. I could've spent hours there.

There was a class visit in Virginia the day after the talk. As soon as it was done we needed to run to get to Rutgers Camden campus. We got there in plenty of time, yay! Scott did his talk at Rutgers and it was the weirdest talk he's done in ages. The audience wasn't as large as the previous night, but they were enthusiastic. Unfortunately the door to the room was right next to Scott, and he (brilliantly) decided it should be closed. Many people came in late, every time someone walked in, the door would slam. Very distracting. Scott is hoping to completely revamp the talk. If he succeeds, then that was probably the last time for that talk. The new one will be even better!

After the Camden talk we were taken to dinner at an Israeli restaurant (in Philadelphia!). The food that I liked, I loved, the rest I didn't eat. But because I didn't have as much food as everyone else, I was still hungry for dessert. Which was pretty amazing. (I mean the dessert, not the fact that I was still hungry).

The next day there was a class visit in the afternoon, which meant we had several hours to play. We also had to do laundry. Instead of spending the day in a laundromat, one of our hosts, Robert Berry, found a laundromat that would do our clothes for us while we spent the time down the road at The Barnes.

It was a pretty amazing place. It was one very rich and slightly crazy, man's collection. All the rooms were filled to the brim with amazing art. Sometimes I found it too much. In his will he had stipulated that all the rooms had to stay exactly as they had been, which meant some rooms had art all shoved together, and others had only a few pieces on a given wall.
Things I discovered: I really do love Henri Rousseau. Every room we walked into, my eyes instantly found him. I knew I loved him, just hadn't realized how much. There were a bunch of Rousseau's that I'd not seen before. Just..wow. I similarly love Miro and Monet, as I had the same reaction to them (though there weren't as many of them). I like Renoir more than I thought I did (there were a LOT of Renoir's, I mean a huge amount). I like Cezanne much less than I thought I did (he didn't do anything for me). And I really would've preferred that the Serats were not up so high, cause I could've stared at them for hours! Like I said, the museum was pretty awesome.

And our laundry was all done when we went to get it, and we made it back to Rutgers just in time for the Q&A that Scott had there!

From Rutgers we were off to NYC. Well, we stopped at the Cherry Hill Mall for a bit and had a very nice dinner (I also bought some hair dye). I have no memory at all of what we did that first night. I know we checked into the hotel, but that's all I remember. Maybe we were tired and went to bed?

I remember the next day, Thursday, much better. In the morning Scott went off for an interview. While he was gone, I very quickly dyed my hair (it had been fading). I managed to get done with enough time to join Scott for a lunch with our new HarperCollins editor and Judy, Scott's agent. Very interesting conversation. Things are in the works, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say, so I'll just say that I'm excited!

After lunch we hung out with Judy for awhile to talk about even more things (while in NYC, meetings like this are a must).

The night time was spent at a party at The Society of Illustrators in honor of Aline Kominsky Crumb. The Society are the ones who organize MoCCA (MoCCA is why we were in NYC). The party was like a reunion. So many friends! The building is filled with all sorts of comic art. I didn't get to see anywhere near all of it. What I did see was pretty amazing. We hadn't been there too long when Scott and I decided to sit at a table. It was one of those very high ones with very tall chairs. It took work for me to get up (I am very short, and far too heavy to be graceful anymore). It was such a chore to get up, I decided I'd better just stay there for the night. So I did. Many people I adore came to join us and chat. There was live music, including the band that Robert Crumb plays with (they are really good, by the way). Perfect start to our con weekend!

Friday, our only commitment was that Scott had an interview in the morning. After that we had the day to ourselves. We decided to go to a bunch of museums but in the end, only went to one. The Cooper Hewett. Which is a design museum and associated with the Smithsonian. I highly recommend it. Kind of expensive, but super cool. And they gave you this stylus thingy that allowed you to save items that interested you to get more info later. So modern!

After the museum, we decided to go to a movie and this is where dumb luck appeared in the form of nuisance! We found a movie we wanted to see nearby, and headed for it, but we only had 15 minutes to walk it and it wasn't quite as near as we thought (and I walk really slow). So we missed it, which was good because Winter called, and she doesn't call very often, so I was glad I hadn't missed the call! While talking we walked to the East River and walked along it, stopping at a bench to just sit and talk to our daughter, which is why we missed the show we'd decided to try for after missing the other one (different theatres, different movies). Having missed both earlier shows we decided to get dinner near our hotel first, and then go to a theatre near there that was playing the movie we most wanted to see. We had dinner at a burger place that Scott had drawn in his book. It was a block from our hotel (the beautiful High Line Hotel). We just had to! When we were done with food, there was still an hour before the movie, so we took a walk on the High Line, which is one of the coolest things ever. Then we walked to the theater, which is when all our bad timing paid off! On our way to the theatre we were going to, we passed another theatre that belongs to SVA and was having a MoCCA event! We decided to do that instead. We had had no idea it was happening, and we were so glad we went. The movie was a documentary about Charlie Hebdo from the court case a few years ago. It was hard to watch knowing that many of the people we were watching had since been murdered. I've been thinking about the movie ever since we saw it, which is an indication that it was a good movie.

After the movie, Art Spiegelman and Francouse Mouley got on stage to talk about the movie. It started very scarily when Art was walking towards the center of the stage and didn't realize that the staircase was there and he fell ABOUT 8 FEET!! It was very scary! He said he was fine, and he looked okay, but boy did my heart stop beating for a bit there. Bill Kartalopoulis moderated the discussion and wow was he a wiz at getting the appropriate slides up! Fascinating discussion. Wish it could've gone on much longer.

So glad we got to see it! And if we'd made it to any of the movies we'd planned to see, we would've missed it.

Arg! I'm almost caught up, but our plane is landing, and this is really long! I think I'll post this when I have Internet, and write about the weekend in the next post.

We are now checked in to a beautiful hotel in Belgium and I've yet to get any sleep. Today is a busy busy day, starting in three hours, so I'm going to post this, as is, and and see if I can take a nap. I'll finish our adventures in NYC, next time I have a free hour...
Sunday, April 5th, 2015
1:16 pm
Back in the USA
When I last wrote, we had just gotten back to the States. We spent two days (Sunday and Monday) driving from NJ to Mississippi. I took it easy. Managed to catch up on some sleep (when we weren't staying up half the night to do laundry), and drive mostly in daylight!

Tuesday was our day to do stuff. Our host, Ben, gave us a tour of the campus and took us to lunch. At lunch there were several other people. Everyone was interesting and cool. College campuses are insular places. The faculty that we met was made up of great people, none of whom seemed to come from the area. It was eye opening for me.

After lunch and a rest back at our hotel, it was time for Scott's talk. Ben gave the intro. It was one of the best intros ever. Here's a link, you can read it!

The first people in the door for the talk were a couple that drove FIVE HOURS to get there! We talked to them quite a bit. Good people. :-)

After the talk Scott hung out to sign things. I love this part. It's when I get to talk to people and the people that come to see Scott are always interesting.

When Scott was done signing we were taken out to dinner with new and interesting people from the university. There were stories of natural disasters. So much fun!

And that was it for our time at Mississippi State University. We did, however, spend the next day hanging out at our hotel room trying to answer mail and stuff. I got caught up on commenting on all my comments, but didn't have time to write a new post. We also snuck off and saw Cinderella, which I enjoyed despite it being kind of strange.

We then spent Thursday and Friday driving and sleeping. And got into Washington DC early-ish Friday night. On Friday, my back decided to revolt. I spent the day in massive amounts of pain. Still managed to drive the six or so hours needed to get here, but OW OW OW!

Saturday my back was no better. It hurt and I still couldn't stand straight up. I was determined to have a good time, and I did. We spent the day at several different Smithsonian museums. But very slowly. With many many stops to rest. Despite the pain pills I took, I was pretty bad all day. Because of that we didn't get to see as much as we would've otherwise. But it was still a good day. At the Hirshhorn there's an exhibit of movies that are supposed to relax you. I found most of them too tense to be relaxing (I kept waiting for something to happen, but then nothing did), but there was one I loved that really worked on me. It was called "Staging Silence." I've been thinking about it all day. Almost magical.

It would've been a better day if I could actually walk or stand, but it was still pretty good. We got back to the room early, but I was grouchy and in way too much pain to write, so I read instead.

This morning I slept late (I clearly needed it), ate breakfast, and started writing this. My back is still in pain,but it's much better. I can actually stand!! I'm guessing I'll be good as gold tomorrow. I hope?

Don't forget: Richmond, Virginia tomorrow (Monday) night!
And Rutgers; Camden campus on Tuesday!
MoCCA in NYC On Saturday and Sunday (morning only on Sun)!

SEE YOU THERE!!
(I'm guessing the next post will be written while doing laundry, or flying back to Europe)
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
10:44 pm
Our Last Day in Paris
As promised, I am writing this on the plane home from Paris (technically, we're not going home; we're going to pick up our car in NJ and drive to Mississippi, but you know what I mean).

Yesterday, for me, was sadder than fun. We got to sleep in, and then spent much of the day at the Rue De Sevres office. Scott had several interviews, while I sat around playing games, reading, and trying not to fall asleep. There wasn't much time for lunch, so Nadia took us nearby to a store I've already forgotten the name of but it was awesome! It reminded me a lot of Harrods in London. It was huge! We only had a short time, but I would've loved to explore more, even if I couldn't afford to buy anything there. Nadia took us to the sushi bar (mmmm, sushi!), then got us dessert at the patisserie (omg, chocolate cake to die for, have I mentioned how much I love the food in France? I do. I really really do).

Then Scott did some more interviews, and then it was off to our last event of this leg of the tour; a signing in yet another great bookstore. This one in Paris. Another rousing success.

And then came all the goodbyes. This was the part that made me sad. Everyone was so wonderful, I didn't want to leave. There were actually tears.

Scott and I wandered a bit in the evening, but mostly we found an okay place to eat dinner, and then went to the hotel and packed.

This morning one of our new friends from Rue Des Sevres came to our hotel to make sure we got off okay. She gave me a box of chocolate marshmallow bears that I had liked. I cried.

So far everywhere we've gone on this trip we've met people who made me feel like I belonged. I am the wife. I frequently worry that people wish I wasn't there. That has not been true at all on this trip. I can't thank everyone enough. And I mean everyone. I love you all.

Some notes about our time in Paris:

Paris is amazingly good at being Paris! It lives up to expectations. Such a beautiful city!

The people, however, have changed. I don't know if it's just the people we were with, or if time has softened them, but no one made us feel bad about being tacky Americans. People were nice to us! It was weird.

The strangest thing for me at the signings was the lack of females. They were there, but in much fewer numbers. I've gotten used to Scott's signings being close to 50/50 gender split, but this was more like 90/10! And many of the women were getting books signed for husbands or sons (amusingly there were also men getting books for wives and daughters). I asked about it at the last signing, and they said most Ban Designee was geared towards men, but it was beginning to change. This surprised me. I figured with the lack of superheroes there would be a less male dominated market. Guess I was wrong. And all the storesh are so beautiful!

Of all the books Scott signed, the one person who I will remember most was the woman who spoke almost no English at all but came to get a book signed for her husband. He had wanted to be there but had been rushed to the hospital. She was there to get the book signed and then was going back to the hospital to give it to him. She was crying most of the time Scott was signing it. I hope he is okay, but I have no idea what was even wrong. The language barrier and her sadness were too great to overcome. I will never know what's happened, but I will think of them often and hope they are happy and healthy.

Our plane is going to land soon. Sadly, not in New Jersey, but in Bangor, Maine where we will refuel. This will make us land later than scheduled. Luckily I was not counting today as a driving day and there should be enough time to get to Mississippi by Tuesday, no problem. Since the next few days are gonna be just us driving, I'm not sure if I'm gonna post or not. If you're worried about us, I promise to tweet our whereabouts while on the road. You can check for updates here

Hi from New Jersey! We are at a hotel, safe and sound. I had more I'd wanted to say, but honestly it is now after 10pm Eastern time and I've been awake since 7am Paris time and I'm far too tired to figure out how many hours that is, so I think I'll just go to bed.
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