Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Month: May 2007

You know you’re in a geek relationship when…

You make an innuendo riffing on an old Electric Company segment.

Your partner says “What is this, an x-rated episode of Sesame Street?”

And you correct them, because it matters…

And they don’t get mad, because they understand.

I love my kitanzi.

The dude abides…

Whew. What an utterly wonderful, utterly exhausting weekend.

kitanzi and I flew up to Michigan to attend my sweetie aiela‘s wedding to davehogg. We had a marvelous time, the ceremony was wonderful, new friends were made and old friends were seen. Lacking the wherewithal to do a full report, here’s some highlights:

  • We flew up into Flint, MI, on a CRJ-200 50-seater. While the seats were smaller than I’d like and there was no in-flight entertainment at all (even music), it wasn’t an unpleasant 90 minute flight, and by flying to Flint rather than Detroit, we saved $80. We rented a silver Jeep Liberty, which appears to be some sort of native Wildlife in Michigan, judging by the number of them I saw out and about over the weekend.
  • Proving that yes, sometimes Kit and I are still in grade school, we had a huge giggle over the fact that Exit 69 on I-75 in Michigan is “Big Beaver Road”. (Later, we had even more fits over noticing that the Hooters on Big Beaver Road has a couple of letters burned out in its sign, so that at night it proudly identifies itself as HOORS).
  • Hanging out with Dave and Angie and various friends and family before the rehearsal, before and after going to pick up the rental tuxes. (While I own a tuxedo, I went ahead and rented because they wouldn’t rent just the matching accessories, and if you’re going to pay the whole price, why lug a suit all the way to MI? I was pleased with the fit…aside from the shoes, it was very comfortable. Formal wear *should* be comfortable, IMO…)
  • The rehearsal dinner was at a very meat-oriented establishment called Camp Ticonderoga. I spent a large part of it chatting baseball with my fellow honour attendant, Dana. (She was the Best Gal, and I was the Dude of Honour.) During the dinner, the bridal couple gave those of us n the party gifts…mine was a copy of Kermit the Frog’s autobiography/self-help book. I could not have asked for anything nicer. I read it on the plane ride home.
  • After we finished dinner, we went bowling. Now, I have to say that in spite of the fact that I had not picked up a bowling ball in close to twenty years…..

    I was terrible. Oh good Lord, was I bad. I remember once being not-half-bad at this, but that was long ago and far away, and I was miserably bad. But I had a great deal of fun hanging out with all the folks who came by, and flirting with the girls. And it was classic rock on the loudspeaker, what’s not to like?

  • The Red Roof Inn on Dequindre Road in Warren is very comfortable, and hardly a pit like the Knights Inn across the street. We stayed in the latter Thursday night, and checked out promptly the next morning and moved across the street.
  • A limo came to take us from the house to the church on Wedding day, and then later to the reception. This was traveling in posh style, but more to the point, it was fun watching the kids reactions.
  • The actual ceremony itself was wonderful. Pretty much everything went off the way it was supposed to, nothing major got screwed up, and, yes, I cried.
  • The reception afterward was tremendous fun, as everyone finally breathed out and started to enjoy themselves. During my toast, i apparently amused a great number of davehogg‘s friends by revealing that I’d originally friended him on LJ for the express purpose of keeping an eye on him when he started dating aiela. The food was astonishingly good, and I had a great deal of fun dancing through the evening, despite my constant bemusement at the DJ’s mix of music. (Who plays “Careless Whisper” at a wedding reception dance??).
  • We finally got a ride back over to D&A’s with Dave’s brother and sister-in-law (who are delightful people…I need to send Jill some mp3s), changed clothes, and went back to the hotel to crash. The next morning, we got up early, had our third breakfast in a row at Tim Horton’s (mmmmmm. Can we get those down here, please?), and drove back up to Flint, where I took advantage of the lovely little business center to surf on my laptop until our flight boarded. The trip home was uneventful, we orded pizza, and then collapsed into a deep sleep.

So that’s the weekend highlights, on an event level. I did want to save out a few things that were more personal for last:

  • Getting some unexpected quality time.
  • Watching someone dear to me heal some old scars and let go of some old fears.
  • Finally getting to meet the mysterious Dana, who I’ve heard so much about
  • Getting to spend a little more time with cjdoyle and jenx
  • Last, but certainly not least, getting to meet the delightful renniekins. Thanks for all the dances, and for just being so very you. 🙂

While my pants are not entirely bankrupt, some funds may have been directed into unmarked accounts without my notice, so please direct my attention anything I missed that you’d be heartbroken I didn’t see.

Good weekend.


Had a marvelously relaxing weekend.

Friday night, we drove down to Sandy Springs to meet up with zencuppa and waltzr, who were in town for a dance event. We ate at Mirage, a Persian restaurant that happyfunpaul and I discovered while waiting for his train on his last visit to us a couple of years ago. I had been promising to take kitanzi ever since, and zencuppa and waltzr suggested they liked ethnic foods, so we decided it would be a perfect time. We were not disappointed. Kit and i started by splitting a plate of dolmeh, succulant grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions, and raisins, while Andrea opted for the ash-e-anar, a pomegranate soup that looked nearly thick enough to eat with a fork. We then all went for lamb dishes. Kit, Andrea and I each ordered the barreh kabogs with a side of shirin polo that was spilling off the plate, while Jim went for, I believe, rack of lamb with a side of baghala polo. Everything was absolutely delicious, and the conversation was even better. After stuffing ourselves to the brim with good food, we sent them off to their dances and headed home for the night.

Saturday, we went down the street to Massage Envy to spend an hour being professionally de-stressed. This was intended to be part of kitanzi‘s birthday present last week, but a last minute scheduling problem caused us to relocate the appointment for Saturday morning. I walked out, as always, feeling much more relaxed and happy than I went in. I believe I could stand to spend an hour every day on that table, though my wallet would not thank me for it. After the massages, we popped over to Cracker Barrel for a large and satisfying lunch, and then back home.

Sunday, our friend Alice came over for brunch, and we had a good time over several hours chatting about all manner of things. I always enjoy when she comes over, because she always has interesting things to talk about. (Brunch, since this started as a foodblog post, was “impossible pie” made with sausage, apples, and cinnamon, along with a side salad of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and pears seasoned with balsamic vinegar. Afterwards was strawberries and whipped cream with spiced angelfood cake. I did nothing; it was all kitanzi.

Over dinner, we finally caught up with NBC’s Heroes. Oh. My. God. This show juts keeps getting better and better. I’m looking forward to the season finale just to see how it all ends. (And I hope that the current arc does end definitively — or at least as definitively as a comic book story ever does. I’d hate to see this turn into another Lost or X-Files.) This most recent episode proved that the series has not yet lost its capacity to surprise me, and every episode seems to leave us watching the fade to black and saying “Whoa.”

So, what did you do fun with your weekend?


Someone sent a bit of Internet Humour™ to a mailing list I’m on, featuring The top 16 things likely to be overheard if you had Klingon technical writers working on your documentation team”.

Number six on the list was:

6. This version of Word is a piece of GAGH! I need the latest version of Framemaker if I am to do battle with this manual.

I responded that, since gagh was food, and considered a delicacy by Klingons, this phrase made no sense.

But I can’t believe I actually started an e-mail with the sentence “A Klingon wouldn’t say that.”

Story: On the Corner of Galaxy and Fifth

One of the things that hejira2006 and I decided to do in conjunction with Aphelion’s 10th Anniversary was to resurrect the novel that we wrote together back in 1998 as a serial project for the zine. Some of you may have read it back at the time, and offered suggestions that went into the revised manuscript. But this story hasn’t been available on the web in nearly eight years, as we spent some time trying to sell it, and some more time thinking fondly of it while it collected digital dust in a virtual drawer.

This is a story that has comedy, detectives, time travel, Shakespeare, and speculation on the future of aviation, not to mention plots, intrigue, bad jokes, an unexpected love story, and at least one filk song.

You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. Parts 3-5 will appear over the next three months in Aphelion, and I’ll be sure to mention it here when they come out.

Feedback is, of course, appreciated. 🙂

Aphelion Webzine’s New Look

Back in 1996, having been drug by me kicking and screaming onto the Internet, vila_resthal started submitting some of his fiction to an online fanzine called “The Dragon’s Lair”, which was run by a Baltimore fan named Roger Bennett. Dan really enjoyed the community, and the chance to show his writing to other people and discuss it. Thus, he was extremely disappointed when Roger shuttered the project less than a year later for various personal reasons.

He expressed this disappointment to me, and I said “Well, why don’t you start up your own ‘zine. There’s already a group of writers to draw on, and that way you won’t lose the community that already exists.” After much debate on whether he had the wherewithal to do that, and promising to help him with all the technical details, Dan decided to do just that, and launched Aphelion Webzine in February of 1997. Eventually, we added a lettercolumn/forum to help facilitate discussion between writers about the stories they were putting in, and it grew and prospered. Lots of other fiction webzines have come and gone, but Aphelion has endured for 10 years now.

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary, we’ve been running a lot of “Best of” links with stories from the entire 10 year run, but I wanted to do something more. You see, Aphelion’s look and feel could charitably be described as “vintage”. (It could uncharitably be described as “archaic” and “clunky”). I’d had in mind a major overhaul of the ‘zine’s look and feel for some time now, and even had some preliminary discussions with alymid in 2005 about her possibly helping with the revamp, but then various personal issues ate my brain and I never got around to it. I knew this would be a major project to undertake, and that made it easy to put it off just a little longer.

Well, I finally found my round tuit, and today, with the May issue, the new design was unveiled. And I have to say I’m rather pleased with it, if I do say so myself. I did start with a template from Steve's Templates, but I spent a good month tinkering with it to make it just exactly the way I wanted it.

I’ve probably been remiss in not pimping Aphelion more in this journal over the years. We are not a fan fiction site; we public original SF&F from developing writers who are looking for feedback on their work. We are a fanzine with a community of aspiring writers who are willing to provide feedback on stories and hopefully help writer’s improve. Our biggest goal is to eventually lose our best writers to paying markets, something which has happened often enough to be gratifying.

Filkers may be interested to know that we do run filk lyrics and sfnal poetry, and would love to have submissions from you as well. I’m also looking for “feature” articles (reviews, essays, etc, either on the subject of SF&F or on writing).

So, please, go check it out. Read the stories. Leave comments in the forum. If you have a story you really want folks to read, send it in. We’d love to have your submissions, your feedback, and you readership. Like any fanzine, it’s only as good as the people who make up the community.

There are some things I’ve worked on that I’m really proud of having been a part of. Aphelion is definitely one of them.

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