Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nerds and Trains and Trees

Historical reenactors are strange people. Especially aficionados of the American Civil War.

Roaring Camp Shenanigans
These guys think they are awesome as they hang out in their Civil War gear.

I mean, I get it, somewhat: I am a dork, afterall. There's something fun and escapist about dressing up for a different time period. Especially one that's become so distant in living memory that the messiness of the reality has been glossed over by a patina of glory and nostalgia. Renaissance Fairs are cool, with their bawdy men and giant turkey legs, and no one dying in the street from the Black Plague. I have fond childhood memories of visits to a medieval "living museum" town (which for the life of me I cannot find on the internet, probably am misremembering the name), with done-by-hand craftwork and people jousting without actually intending to kill each other. And I've seen Colonial Williamsburg, and Indian "settlements" with people pretending to live in teepees or longhouses and making headbands out of leather. All in the name of bringing history to the eyes and minds of a next generation.

(On a side note, I wonder: will people one day reenact concentration camps in the name of History? Or is that taking it too far, even 100 years from now?)

However, watching grown men and pubescent boys run around in costume, shooting blanks at each other, acting out old battles and random skirmishes, really had a feeling of, as my friend Josh commented, coming across a bunch of 11-year-old boys playing in the woods. Exactly that kind of awkward seriousness.

At any rate. Idle talk last weekend while at the Maker Faire coalesced this weekend into a road trip down to Felton, where the Roaring Camp Railroad is. For Memorial Day Weekend, they also happened to be having Civil War reenactments (hence the above pondering) going on at the same time. Chuck was thrilled, since he loves trains. Josh rented a car, and did the driving this time, since I wasn't sure my Baby could swing it.

As a child, I'd been to Roaring Camp once or twice. I think it's where my sister got attacked by a goose (or was that somewhere else?), and I remember riding the train through the redwoods and thinking it was pretty cool. Coming back something like two decades later, I wasn't disappointed.

Roaring Camp Shenanigans
Chuck is excited

Roaring Camp Train Ride
Boy love

Roaring Camp Train Ride
Sarah on a train!

For the trip home, we drove up the coast on Highway 1. The weather was gloomy most of the way, but cleared up as we had dinner in Half Moon Bay, and was gorgeous by the time we got back into San Francisco's City Limits.

Oaxacan Dinner
I attack my food with a vengeance. It was pretty good, but next time I'm definitely getting the awesome mole.

Memorial Day weekend is kind of awesome. I still have two more days off to blow off some steam.

Roaring Camp Train Ride
The train blows off some steam. Ha!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Proof That I'm a Dork

The world didn't start to end today, as had been foretold by crazy prophets out of Oakland, but I've gotta believe that's because Macho Man Randy Savage saved us all by threatening to snap Jesus like a Slim Jim if he tried anything. (Yeah, I know — I'm so original in repeating a meme.)

My face is a sunburned red from spending all day down at Maker Faire with the Ceramics Crew and Elka. I think we all had a blast, despite the herding cats experience of trying to keep track of everyone at once. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered, and just gone with it. But the Crew is always good for some shenanigans, can't help wanting to stick with them.

Maker Faire 2011
We got to ride a school bus in from the parking lot. There were a lot of signs ... as well as an interesting type of emergency kit.

Maker Faire 2011
Josh and Chuck try to be the next awesome Make Magazine cover.

Maker Faire 2011
Obligatory ride on Lindz's awesome Electric Giraffe. A perk of being an ex.

Sexy moment of the day: the Doctor Who theme song as played through two Tesla Coils. I didn't think about trying to get a video until it was too late, and I'm really peeved at myself about that. But it was kind of like this, just without the goofy guy in the suit doing hand dance:

Tomorrow will be a recovering day at home, roasting a chicken and watching the Sharks hopefully dominate in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Canucks.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Like a Hockey Puck to the Head

The last week or so has been a series of realizations. I will spare you the melodramatic interpersonal ones, and entertain you only with the truly deep, meaningful ones:

  1. I have a stomach of steel, but my intestines are weak sauce. Learned this after a bout of food poisoning that managed to not have any effect until it was too far down the tube (as in past the Duodenum) to be vomit-worthy. If I were a normal person, I would have puked a few hours and been fine. Instead, I got to experience 24 hours with overwhelming gastrointestinal pain that I just had to wait out, nothing doing. Totally unfun.
  2. Overwhelming gastrointestinal pain is not quite overwhelming enough to numb the pain of a Sharks loss during playoff season. They made up for it the next game, at least.
  3. I've been driving around for two months with an expired car registration, because I completely forgot to pay for the online renewal in the mess of February and with the trip to NY in March. Fortunately, this has been rectified, to the tune of $133. (My on-time registration would have been $72. Word to the wise, my friends: don't be late re-registering your car.)
  4. I'm addicted to coffee. Or maybe just caffeine, but it took a cappuccino Sunday afternoon, and the sudden reversal of mood, for me to realize that a four-day bout of general grump and crabbiness was due to withdrawals. Oops.

And now, a song about San Francisco.

(Suck of a video, but it's the song that counts.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teal and Black and Teal and Black

It comes in cycles. Right now: down cycle. I'm getting that restless, get-me-the-fuck-out-of-here feeling again, the frustration with the general blandness of things around me, flavored with the worry that I'm not doing enough to make myself interesting and that's making me lose the ability to draw interesting people to me. I think I used to have that power: I have a lot of interesting friends. I just need to remember how I did that.

But things will come back up soon — are already starting to. And I'm not nearly as low as I was a year ago.

Good things that have happened this week (because I need to remind myself on a regular basis):
  • Sharks are up 3-1 against the Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals.
  • Watching game 3, I got into a good conversation with a lawyer visiting from Chicago, and it reaffirmed my faith in talking to people at bars. I hope he is reading this because hey, you reaffirmed my faith. Give yourself a pat on the back for that one, Sir.
  • I was dismissed from jury duty, so I no longer need to fret about working weekends so I don't use up all my PTO.
  • I discovered that Netflix now has Cheers, The Twilight Zone, and (just for Geof) Twin Peaks, in addition to a whole slew of James Bond films. I have a lot of watching to do, coming up.

Good lord, when did I become one of those "re-affirming" people? Somebody hit me upside of the head with a Nerf bat and let's drink some bourbon.