austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

They put a parking lot on a piece of land

So now let me describe bunny_hugger's most recent visit, over the New Year.

Her trip started too early, because of slightly complicated things. First is that when she came had to depend on whether she would have any interviews at a gathering of her professional association that week in Boston. She didn't get any and so scrapped plans to go there, which is depressing professionally but happy in several regards. First, it opened up more time for us to be together. Second, the conference opened in the middle of the Boxing Day Blizzard and was by all reports a catastrophic fiasco. Yes, transportation was hopelessly screwed up and that was beyond their fault; but the organizers either didn't bother making any decisions about cancelling or postponing events (particularly the all-important interviews), or if they did, didn't bother communicating any of this. They've come under a lot of criticism for this but, really, how could they possibly have transmitted information about last-minute changes in a tightly-packed schedule, unless they were to use e-mail, web sites, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or hiring a homeless guy to stand in the conference lobby and shout at people?

Anyway. Due to the lateness of her buying a ticket to me bunny_hugger could only get a remotely sane fare by leaving at horrible hours and taking a roundabout route which began the 14th of October and lead through forty major airports. And while I had my frustrations getting up --- the existence of snow on the ground, even though it had been quite adequately plowed on all the highways and primary roads, and tolerably on all the secondary roads, resulted in drivers becoming incredibly stupid and leaving me trapped in a gridlock where I spent an hour going five freaking miles --- and thus was late arriving for her, it wasn't as tiring as hers. She had to get up at what both of us regard as a decent hour for going to bed, and of course there's the prospect of sleeping on an airplane, hilarious as that is.

So when we got back to my (parents') home, what she really needed to do was nap. I understood, certainly, and actually it wasn't a bad use of time: I needed to do some work on a mathematics paper that's been clinging at my free time for weeks now (and honestly should have been for months). And it lead to her discovery that I'd gotten an electric blanket, which has been the only thing making the winter tolerable so far; and my discovery that I'd failed to mention it even though it's exactly the sort of thing I ordinarily go on at length about. It's not as heavy as bunny_hugger's, but if you turn it all the way up to ``stun'' you can turn a cool night into a toaster oven, or you can set the thing to reasonable levels and be comfortable instead.

My parents were looking very forward to seeing bunny_hugger again for many reasons --- seeing her, naturally; the possibility she might bring a box of chocolates like she did last Christmastime --- and had already planned a concert as well as multiple dinners. They were slightly worried that she was napping rather than being up and about but I reassured them that she was perfectly healthy and happy, she'd just been up for 240 straight hours of plane travel and packing before that. This they understood.

When she did wake there were happy greetings all around, and my mother wondered about the meaning of bunny_hugger's ``MICHIGAN SQUIRREL UNIVERSITY'' sweatshirt. There's not much way to explain that succinctly, requiring as it does explaining the backstory of the alt.devilbunnies universe and of her own avatar's history within it, so bunny_hugger efficiently explained it as a slightly complex in-joke. I think my mother was enchanted with the idea of a squirrel university.

We did need to eat, and while my mother wanted to bring us all to The Cheesecake Factory --- she'd gotten gift cards as the result of something-or-other (I think it may have been Christmas presents from clients; there were also a lot of plates of cookies and Starbucks items) --- they felt it was a little too late for them to go up for a big cheesecake-laden dinner. And this was fine; it opened up the time for us to go to our diner, and cherish that ritual, not to mention French onion soup.

Back home we settled into the quiet routines of the night --- besides both of us being surprisingly tired there were specific plans for tomorrow whichwould involve slight extensions to my family --- and watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special, a charmer in which The Doctor figures out the most convoluted and creepy way possible to save a distressed starship. She's still seen previous little of the Eleventh Doctor, but I think she's starting to see what's charming about him even when the show does go overboard. (We were both a bit disappointed by the unnecessary declaration that The Doctor changes history through his meddling; without a handful of lines it could have been a perfectly respectable closed timelike loop, which seems to be going out of fashion as a time travel motif.)

This may sound like we didn't do very much during the day, which is not the important thing. We did it together, which is.

Trivia: In 1886 Rhode Island extended the franchise to all veteran soldiers and sailors of the Civil War regardless of whether they met property qualifications. Source: Rhode Island: A History, William C McLoughlin.

Currently Reading: Practicing History, Barbara W Tuchman.

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