In which oh, why not

Just found this on FB. The beard is starting to get positively Rothfussian. If only my writing would follow suit.

So technically my fundraiser was supposed to end yesterday, and in fact I just double-checked and it is definitely set to end on the 12th. But for some reason right now it’s still up and donations are still possible, so if for some reason you wanted to donate and forgot or something you have some unknown amount of additional time to throw in a few bucks. We’re over $350, which is amazing. Those of you who donated more than $25 should expect me to be contacting you next week to find out what book I’m sending you. Thank you all so much!

I’ve been quiet this week, mostly because the Ongoing Medical Calamity which ate the last month-and-a-half of the school year has raised its ugly head again, and I’ve been tired and stressed out and generally not wanting to deal with anything. I’m crossing my fingers that things are going to start improving again soon, but … yeah.

(I know, that’s vagueblogging, and I apologize for it. I’m personally fine, for the record; the OMC is not my MC.)

Also– and I know this makes me the worst person in the world, so feel free to call me terrible names in comments since I deserve them– I am heartily tired of summer vacation. One of the very worst things about America’s cultural outlook on work is that I can be in one of the very, very few jobs that actually provide large blocks of vacation time and I spend most of it climbing the Goddamned walls because I don’t know how the hell to just relax and I don’t feel like I’m using my time properly. I’m at about exactly halfway through my break and I’m looking around going WHAT DO I HAVE TO SHOW FOR THIS and freaking the fuck out because I have a month of break left– which is more than most people ever get– and I’m gonna waste it.

How the fuck do you waste vacation? I’m an idiot, dammit.

Oh yes right it’s the weekend

Missed posting yesterday, mostly on account of spending the entire day with my wife’s extended family, most of whom I haven’t seen in years. I think a lot of their recent get-togethers have been when I was unavailable for one reason or another– especially when I was selling furniture and was working every weekend– and everyone’s kids, who were all little children the last time I saw them, were suddenly, like, people.

So, yeah– it ended up being a fair amount of fun, particularly since the kids of my favorite of her cousins ended up sitting with us at lunch and we were able to bond over gentle mocking of the boy’s Pokemon obsessions. He will go from painfully shy and clingy to the most gregarious kid on the planet once it turns out he thinks he has something to talk about, and he found one of the teenagers who wanted to talk about Pokemon and an adult who was willing to, and he was off to the races.

My wife is back from Boston now, too, and so today was mostly spent either lounging about in the pool or resupplying after the boy and I ate everything in the house over the course of the last week. So, yeah. The weekend went pretty well.


This week will be busy– we’re probably going to the county 4-H fair on Wednesday, Thursday is Independence Day, Friday is my birthday, and Friday through Sunday is InConJunction XXIX at the Indianapolis Marriott East. I’ll be in Artists’ Alley somewhere– it’s small, I won’t be hard to find– and I think I’m doing some panels too but I don’t have my schedule just yet. I’ll keep everyone posted once I know for sure.

On my other kid

Pictured: not my kid, my kid

I just dug through a month’s worth of posts from five years ago to determine that, probably because she was a minor at the time and isn’t actually my kid, I didn’t mention that a former student stayed in my house overnight before the last Washington D.C. trip I chaperoned way back in the day. Technically she probably shouldn’t have been on the trip, but she’d signed up before moving to Arizona and I literally had her mom assign me temporary legal custody of her and just didn’t tell anybody about it.

I took a picture of her sitting on my couch, and I remember posting it to Facebook with a caption something along the lines of “Why is this in my house?,” which entertained a number of her other teachers who I was friends with at the time.

She is 19 now, and is back in town again, and I picked her up at the airport last night, and she’ll probably be here tonight too before spending the rest of the week with other family and friends. And last night, as we were driving back from the airport, she got a text message from one of her friends directing us to visit her at her job at Arby’s. The friend is also a former student.

So were two other employees at that Arby’s, including another kid who had been on that same DC trip. All four of them were in the same class, which was hands-down the best group of kids I ever had. And I had them twice, first in 6th grade and then when they were 8th graders. So it happened that I, a grown man less than a month from his 43rd birthday, found myself in an Arby’s at 10:15 on a Friday night, after the lobby had closed, at least nominally hanging out with four nineteen-year-olds, three of whom were at least technically at work (and one the manager) and none of whom seemed to think it was remotely weird that 1) I was there in the first place or 2) I was the person who had been assigned the duty of picking this kid up at the airport, a job that one might think would have gone to, like, actual family, but we all have our priorities where they should be apparently.

And I spent about twenty minutes bouncing back and forth between this is at least a little creepy and hey, Hacienda is right across the street, do you guys want to go over there for a while after you get off work? Because age difference or not this really was a great group of kids and it turns out they have not gotten less interesting as they’ve aged into young adulthood.

And I’m just gonna leave that thought there, because I’m not sure I have anything else to add to it, but yeah: last night was kind of surreal.

(About the picture: the boy didn’t remember her from her last visit, which wasn’t surprising, but as soon as he discovered she was wearing Psyduck socks she became his favorite person ever.)

In which I get summer break sorted out

So here’s what I did today. It was supposed to take 45 minutes.

The yard, prepared.
The tarp!
Initial layout of the pool.
My assistant, assisting.
Right here is the 45-minute mark, where the box said we were supposed to be done. Ha! No.
All of the piping and frame in place.
My assistant tests the ladder. It’s sturdy enough but it could be wider; I can see myself having trouble getting *out* of the pool– in will be easy, obviously, because of the water.
It’s gonna be quite a bit deeper than I initially imagined. It won’t be filled to the top, of course, but this is way less of a kiddie pool than I’d pictured.
Starting to put the water in. This will take a REALLY long time to fill. Total elapsed construction time before we started putting water in: about two hours, and not a terribly strenuous two hours, either. Not bad, really.
The filter, and my solution for the fact that the filter really doesn’t want to sit on the ground without falling over.

So, yeah, we’re gonna have a pool in the back yard this summer. Total cost was about $450, and a membership in the local neighborhood pool that we’d have to get in the car to go to is around $325, so I figure even if we only get a couple of seasons out of it it’ll be worth the money. I did the math; it’s a 48″ pool and it’s filling at about 4″ an hour so it’s literally going to take half a damn day to fill it up.

Also, across the 15 feet of the pool we’re only about 1.25″ off from level. I’m pretty certain that’s about as good as it gets in a back yard.

I’ll post another picture or two once it’s actually filled tomorrow, and then there’s chemicals and shit before we can start swimming in it on a regular basis, plus I’m sure it’ll rain for the next two weeks.

Whee!

Convention update

Unfortunately, due to the Ongoing Medical Disaster, which I’m considering renaming the Ongoing Medical Calamity because “calamity” is a more fun word than “disaster,” I have been forced to cancel my appearance at IndyPopCon the weekend of June 7th. It is not a good time to be leaving town right now, and I don’t see that changing in the next couple of weeks, plus I would have to take the 7th off from work and I can’t afford to take any additional days not related to the OMD.

So that leaves me with no con appearances currently scheduled between now and Kokomo-Con X in October, and two in a row cancelled. I’m considering seeing if InConJunction, which is over my birthday weekend, and Hall of Heroes Con in September still have spots available. Maybe one more summer con if I can find somewhere to go. Anywhere have something they’d like to suggest, ideally this summer and ideally within driving distance of northern Indiana?