evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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The Social Events of The Weekend

Saturday: I don’t like to exploit the generosity of my friends, but when our tentative socializing happened around dinner time and sanguinity offered to feed me, it seemed wrong to pass up a chance for a home-cooked meal. grrlpup, sanguinity and I all talked about the events of the week while sanguinity cooked and we subsequently consumed tasty curry. Afterward, they shared the wonders of a Warren A. Hatch DVD. If you’ve never seen one, you really should check it out. He’s a substitute teacher who lives in SE Portland, and his life-consuming hobby is videotaping the wildlife (mostly microscopic) living in the dozens of man-made ponds in his back yard. He then assembles DVDs from this footage, performing the unscripted narration himself. He’s no David Attenborough or David Suzuki; yet there’s something hypnotically fascinating about his amateur voiceovers. He’s definitely knowledgeable, and his bibliography is HUGE. But there’s an assumption that the viewer will find the material as inherently fascinating as he does. For example, there’s a long segment about a Yellowjacket Wasp nest in his yard. We see Yellowjackets coming in and out of a hole in the ground. He tells some interesting facts about them. Then for a while, he runs out of things to say, or perhaps he just gets wrapped up in watching the insects, but he stops talking. And we keep watching Yellowjackets going in and out of the nest, for MINUTES! If he’d looped the first ten seconds of this footage repeatedly, it would look about the same. Yet, there’s just something weirdly compelling about it (we saw about ten minutes of Yellowjackets, but he said he taped them for SIX HOURS). He does much the same for colonies of single-cell organisms, fresh-water mollusks and other tiny creatures. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a Science Geek, and I don’t subscribe to Animal Planet because I could camp out in front of the TV and watch Nature Shows for days at a time. I’d imagine that those people who aren’t enthralled by such things would be bored within seconds, but I found it all surprisingly entertaining.

Sunday: ZOMG!1! I feel as if today saw another Major Landmark in my Journey To Be A Professional Writer; I attended a luncheon hosted by maryrobinette for her Writer Friends to welcome another writer to Portland.

There was Christina (Guest of Honor), jaylake, davidlevine, Marilee, Dave, kateyule, Spencer, Chrissy, Rick, Damien, maryrobinette. And me. I checked out some of the websites of those on the invite list: Hugos. Campbell awards. Writer of the Future winners. (And I was all like, whoa!)

I didn’t talk much about it before I went, in case it went Horribly Wrong (you know, like when someone there says “Wait, you mean you haven’t won a major writing award? What are you doing HERE?”) But everyone was very nice, and I was again reminded of what I often say: Famous People are just like us Ordinary People, except Better. I tried not to dominate the conversation, and fortunately the others were willing to fill the gap and not leave everyone staring silently at their plates. These are people who can tell Knock-Knock jokes and actually be funny (and I was either the only one to get Jay Lake’s Morris Minor pun, or perhaps the only one to react). Hours flew by, and all too soon it was time for me to leave.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that maryrobinette is a wonderful and gracious host. Not only does she have an appreciation of eclectic yet beautiful table settings (oh_that_jocelyn would approve), but she prepared a delicious meal conforming to the combined food allergies/restrictions of a dozen guests and made it look easy. Sadly, she and her husband R are moving to New York, so their friends on the East Coast will soon be the ones to benefit from their hospitality. I hope the East Coasters are properly grateful.

SuperBowl XLI – I find the juxtaposition of the two social events interesting; lunch was spent with people I just met, the afternoon was with people I’ve known for decades. And the Superbowl Tradition has been observed almost that entire time. Dude M has the largest of all the Dudes*, so we gather at his house to watch the Superbowl commercials and the intervening game. There was also a bunch of tasty food (I didn’t need to eat anything for the rest of the day). I only watch one football game each year, and this one wasn’t a completely one-sided blowout like so many Superbowls have been. And the consensus was that the half-time show was “Not Lame” (performance by The Artist Formerly Known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince (and personally, I was amazed that the two dancers on stage managed to do their entire show of vigorous choreography wearing 3” heels in the pouring rain, and they didn’t fall once (at least, not that we saw, anyway))). So, despite being snubbed by lenser, it was a quite successful gathering.

A highly social, and enjoyable, weekend. And while I managed to get Monday’s comic ready, there were a number of Things To Do which did not get done. But it was well worth it.

* Television, that is.

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