June 11, 2009
ye olde outing

This hasn't been a good week, and I'd like to write it off and try again. Can't, though. It started going downhill on Tuesday and hasn't really recovered. Or maybe it has, and I'm just sulking.

But! Saturday was awesome. Some months ago Souzan told me about a medieval fair to which she brought her K8 every year. Blake's obsessions include, in no particular order: knights, lego, dinosaurs, Rubbadubbers, the Tick, Batman, Spiderman, small animals, cooking, crafts and the jokes on the back of Chirp Magazine. Since his father had already taken him to Medieval Times, I figured this was my best chance to enjoy his hobby with him (bonus: I don't have to go to Medieval Times). So we went. And it was awesome. The drive was really long and we started quite late, but we made it by lunch time and were sufficiently distracted by the various goings-on that we didn't even stop for lunch for a solid hour. Sage was in an excellent mood, and Blake bounced from distraction to distraction with hardly any pause. It was an excellent way to spend a Saturday, and I didn't even think about the TTC Knitalong. Not having pegged myself as the renfaire type, this is high praise.

ye olde outing
only those of honour bright shall click through for more...

On Monday I benefited from Stacy's amazing foresight with the chance to attend a Neil Gaiman reading at Luminato. When she asked a few months ago, I was typically vague, as my ability to make future plans is usually undercut by parenting or work (in that order). She went ahead and got a ticket anyway, which I was grateful for at the time but much more so when we were told in the introduction that the event had sold out in 3 minutes. I've heard Neil read before and I've stood in a signing line before, but never have I had such an intimate experience as this reading. Five hundred of the faithful filled the theatre and you could hear a pin drop (as evidenced by Stacy asking me to stop knitting because the clicking of my needles was disproportionately loud). I was glad that I'd finished my beer before the reading began. (Also: beer in a theatre? Where was the hotdog cannon? The Morpheus-themed plush mascot to get the crowd going? The scorecard? And most importantly, the collectible bubblegum cards? There is some money being left on the table here.)

It was probably good that the theatre was so focused, as nobody noticed me grey out when he announced that he and Amanda Palmer were dating, had, in fact, been dating for almost a year. Since I don't regularly read his blog, excellent though it is, I assumed that everyone else knew. Turns out that this only broke in a national way on Saturday, so I'm still on some part of the curve and not behind it yet. I don't have an opinion of the Dresden Dolls, really, but it's probably not fair that my first impression of Amanda is "try not to hate her because she is a) dating the hottest author ever and b) the innocent beneficiary of a breakdown of a marriage in whose solidity I had taken an apparently fatuous solace." That can't bode well for an unbiased listening, although she gets points for writing an upbeat song about abortion.

The signing afterward was long, but nothing close to what you can reasonably expect at another Gaiman gig. I'll have to look this up, but the first time I waitied in line I was seven months pregnant and it took the better part of the afternoon. The second time, the Boy & I went home when it became obvious that we were never going to see the front of the line before the two of us crashed (that night's signing is reported to have lasted until 2:30am). This past experience makes it seem that 1 1/2 hours in line is a positive treat, a zip through the signing autobahn. It was so comfortable that I didn't even get nervous when I got up there, and was able to tell the story of Blake demanding a personalized book without stuttering or getting weird. (We have a copy of "Wolves in the Walls" that is signed to "Sprout." Blake takes exception to this, as he denies ever having been a Sprout. "You should get it signed 'to Blake,'" he insists, and last night I got a copy of "The Graveyard Book" inscribed to appease him.)

The other neat thing about the book line was bellowing a conversation across the loop to Amy, who was patiently waiting for her first encounter with The Neil. I spent a good deal of my stay in line making up for lost auditorium time by knitting my February Lady sweater, which is huge and unweildy and if I want to knit it standing up I have to wad up the sleeves and yoke and keep it in my armpit while I work the bottom section. A few knitters in the crowd asked me about the pattern and the yarn, then showed me their own knitting projects which were all small and discrete. By the time Amy and I were within shouting distance, I had worked up a good head of steam and was more than ready to talk and knit and stand and wait at the same time.

Now. Amy has...this item. It is a rare and beautiful item that was a generous gift from some wise marketers who clearly know the value of viral, grassroots marketing. Amy is a wonderful person, a fabulous knitter, a fun lady, a smart cookie, and more than generous in her own right. But when I found out, via her blog, that she had received a box of antique doll-making props used by the Other Mother in Coraline...well, I had to iris-shut my heart like an airlock. I refuse to covet what is my sister's. I refuse to curse the fate that made her the receiver of such a present. I turn my back on generations of my relatives who would, at the very least, gossip about her shoe choices (impeccable, by the way). I was so sure that I had this under control that I was even willing to let myself ask to see it, to open such a fetishistic delight and gently touch the scissors, sure that I wasn't going to burst into tears or snatch it and run away to start a new life in Venezuela. I had not thought about what it would mean to uncover such a thing in the middle of people who have been waiting for going on two hours to see the author that invented Coraline. People who had run out of things to say to their companions. People who were trying not to think about how late it all was. Bored, focused people.

There was a tiny little riot.

I shooed them away by hurriedly closing up the box, my pleasure evaporated in a mist of "oh God I promised her I wouldn't hurt it what if they break the box??". Photographers sighed, frustrated. People began to question Amy, and a knitter came out of the woodwork and started a conversation about Fetching. I was suddenly relieved that I was not in charge of The Box. Too much responsibility for a girl of my temperament.


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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*