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I do want to get to the rest of my weekend before I forget things. Even though I took copious notes to avoid that.

Saturday after lunch, I headed to keryx's swinging pad (a really lovely high-ceilinged wood-floored refurb) to hook up with her and her dancing shoes. We found her friend Chelsea, turned around and headed out to Richmond Pride. I totally forgot my doumbek and had to borrow one! Pride was great fun, and the drummers for To The Earth very kindly let me play and thankfully, I didn't make an ass of myself and thanks to Tigre, was able to follow along and keep the rhythm. We did three sets over the course of the afternoon. This reminded me that I need to get a strap to attach to my drum, because even if I'd remembered it I'd have been hard pressed to play standing up. Pride was plagued by a few meek protestors with a really, really big yellow sign. A lovely lady with a dalmation and the sparkliest face ever danced along with us. I found a bracelet with my name on it. By the time it got close to 8, we were all exhausted and ready to get on with the partying. Somwhere there are pics of me drumming with the group! Which I hope I get to see. Oh, and I met the queer square dance group, which was really compelling. I did square dancing in the 4th grade, and it was always my favorite dance to do at the spring festival. I am so white.

We got back to the pad and A. set out a ton of tasty appetizers, including sushi which I am still in the phase of falling in love with. I plucked on her harp a little... I must say, it's nice to have the full set of strings. I tell myself that's why I don't play more, even though we all know it's not that. There was some discussion of drama, much discussion of fake prostates, and some discussion of ASL. I was tired and unlively for the party, and felt a little outsidery, but that's to be expected. By the time people dwindled away I was so exhausted that I tried to read and the book fell on my face because I couldn't hold it up.

A side note to all this: spending time in Richmond made me, as usual for every place I visit, imagine that I could live there. It's urban, but it's small enough to get around in! There's so much that's charming, but the press of humanity and the cynicism of a city driven by the political machine is not so prominent! Most of all, it's freaking affordable!

At any rate, we did eventually get up Sunday morning. Originally our plan had been to go to Busch Gardens. Did you know that Busch Gardens costs $50 to get into nowadays? Huh. So after long talks about the deep meaningful things of life, keryx and I decided that the best way to celebrate our 20 years of friendship was definitely a short road trip... to somewhere that doesn't cost money to get in to. It was a great choice, and we headed off down paths we've walked together almost two decades ago to the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. Wow. I know I went there many times as a kid, but I was surprised how few memories I actually have of the place. In the car on the way down, we talked about career stuff - this was probably way more helpful to me than to A. - but it really put me in a positive frame of mind about things. I've taken some measures this week to move further on that and possibly get into some classes that could take me in a direction much more appropriate to me than the one my job was leaning towards even a month or so ago.

Right, so we got there, famished. We walked from campus, and talked about college life. I expressed some regret that I didn't choose W&M. I made a number of extremely unwise choices back then, and right now I'm doing well, but putting myself right in the middle of a scene of "what it could have been like" was very jarring. From there we went to discussions of costuming, which led A. to try anew to convince me I need to go to Pennsic. I am still not sold on the idea... over the years a number of people have talked it up to me, and I've yet to be swayed. We'll see. :) I worry that the time when I had the right attitude for Pennsic is gone. Not about the naked lounging by the swimming hole thing, that's fine. Just the entire historical recreation thing. I have no particular excitement about it like I once did.

Finally, we made it to the Cheese Shop and procured Smithfield ham asndwiches. Lunch was really, really, really tasty. There was this orzo salad. Er... I hope I have time next weekend on the way to or from Norfolk to maybe get some, because thinking about it is making my mouth water. We then strolled around the colonial stuff, sharing memories and generally enjoying ourselves. Twenty years is a long time, and in that time we've come together and drifted apart more than once. That we still share so much basic stuff in common is really remarkable. And comfortable. A.'s voice is something that while I don't have perfect concrete memories of the words, the tone and timbre have not changed, and while 6th grade is a long, long time ago, it's so amazing to have something so sense-familiar. I'm so happy we're both here, and communicating. Which sounds like a really robotic way to say "omg BFF <3".

April helped me with something totally random sunday afternoon too. My back problems heartily reasserted themselves about halfway through our walk, and I complained. A. had me walk ahead of her, and soberly observed that I walk funny. Apparently my natural gait is such that I stick my left foot out, pointed to the side, while my right foot points straight ahead. We stopped by the side of the road in the grass, did some stretches, and then I tried walking with both my feet pointed forward. It was pretty crazy how quickly that made the pain go away. In addition to that, I lift my left shoulder up higher than my right. Just trying to be conscious of those two things made a significant difference. I recall when I was younger I had a problem where I would walk on the outside sides of my feet, and would wear out all my shoes on the side, and my parents were all concerned about it. I unlearned that somehow - I imagine I can unlearn this. In the meantime, I feel like I'm doing an Igor walk.

We hit some crazy traffic heading home, and dumped off 64 to take a back road and get Slurpees. That was probably the best Slurpee I ever had. In Richmond, I bid my goodbyes and hit the highway, immersing myself back into magical british stuff, and took a long meandering drive home via 301. Greeted Jack gratefully upon arrival and collapsed on the couch, where we watched Margaret Cho's Revolution, which weirdly wasn't all that funny. Her delivery was so laden with excess physical expression - everything was held just a few moments too long. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood... we ate gyros and I got my mind back into day to day reality until, wiped, I lay down to sleep.

Monday night was peril_book_club. We have a new slogan: "Now with twice the colon!" There was pie. And the best salsa EVER (Trader Joe's Hot - in the fridge/fresh section). Poor examorata was the only person who liked the book. Her input was valuable! I still would think twice before I read another Ishiguro book. [edit] Spoilers about the latest book included in comments.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
You didn't like Never Let Me Go??? I loved it. It was hard to put down, and very disturbing. It's important! Also beautiful. And well written!
Oct. 3rd, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
examorata will be very happy to hear that someone else liked it! I think it suffered from being read by a group of people inured to harder-core sci-fi, people who thing not giving answers about your device is a cop-out. I could be wrong but that's my perception.

Personally, I felt like there was just too little there. No explanations about the meat of the clone device, no depth to the characters (everyone agreed that this was potentially a side-effect of whatever he was trying to get across with the cloning thing), no compelling challenge in re: the important stuff you're referring too. The way he held back was not the way I usually enjoy understated books.

It was well-written, in the sense of style and language, I thought.

One of the telling things is that a few of us had read an interview with the author where he referred to the fact that he wrote the book as a love story, and added the clone thing later as an afterthought. I should find that quote.

That said, I can completely understand why someone else would really get in to the book. I think most of my criticisms are sort of subjective. I'm not tryin' to dis you!

So what organs do you think were donations 1 through 4? Your input will be welcomed!
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
I love Ishiguro for all the things that he doesn't say, I think. (Although, for instance, I prefer the movie ending for The Remains of the Day, for its stated rather than implied heartbreak.)

I definitely liked Never Let Me Go, which I think should probably be read as if it were mainstream fiction rather than SF, if that makes any sense. I think an SF author would have done a different, and deeper, exploration of the issues. What makes Ishiguro, and this particularly book, good is the fact that the issues are by and large just hinted at, and left for the reader to imagine and consider. His characters and their memories are generally viewed through a distorted lens, as well -- he's leaving you to draw your own conclusions. The issues are simply a backdrop for the story -- not unimportant, but still largely a framing device.
Oct. 4th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
"I think it suffered from being read by a group of people inured to harder-core sci-fi, people who thing not giving answers about your device is a cop-out."
Actually, I thought not raising questions about his device was the copout. I didn't need to read 300 pages about boring people with no lives to wonder about the ramifications of human cloning for organ donation; amazingly, it's a possibility that had already occured to me before I read the book.
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
For once, Todd and I stand in total agreement.
Oct. 4th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
You know, it occurs to me that you say that a lot more often than one would expect. Or maybe I'm just imagining things...
Oct. 4th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
I thought the same thing. Definitely more than once.
Oct. 4th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! I have a terrble memory!!! I recall the times I butt heads with Todd more than the times we agree. Clearly I am totally remiss.
Oct. 5th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's about the ramifications of cloning at all. And I thought they did have lives! :(
Oct. 5th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Heh, didn't see this comment while I was replying to yours. As I sorta mentioned in the other comment, I found the "romantic" story to be too lackluster to be noteworthy. If I felt the characters were fleshed out and the story wass compelling, I'd be prefectly willing to accept the clonig/organ donation thing as a pretext for the story, but since I didn't find the story to be of note, the cloning is all that I'm left with.
Oct. 4th, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
I was surprised at the amount of dislike for the book; the online bookclub was at least half-and-half pro-and-con on the book.

I'd read more Ishiguro in a heartbeat.
Oct. 5th, 2006 12:15 pm (UTC)
I feel like that isn't the point of the book at all! I feel like the time I spent thinking about the donations was a waste of time I should be thinking about the deeper themes. It could be your group is really spoiled by scifi explaining these things, so I forgive you, but I felt like it was the love story between too people who were contrained by their birthright - predestined if you will. And it ties you in and makes you think about the ways in which you are predestined yourself. Remember she says "I don't know how it was with you - but at hailsham we..." also it was beautifully written and the characters and places were so real!

I'll post about the organs later to emphasize my point about how that's not the point at all! ;)
Oct. 5th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
We are talking about the same book, right? Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro? Cause I found the tragic story (two lovers, destined to be because, you know, there weren't many other options out there and they can't get pregnant so they might as well have some fun before they're zipped open, but held apart because they had a catty friend, but do manage to resign themselves to perfunctory sex when they can at last be together) to be every bit as finely crafted as George Lucas's romantic tearjerker Attack of the Clones. If you have by any chance read Atonement by Ian McKewan, or The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, I would be curious to know if you think that Never Let Me Go seriously offers up anything more intellectually or emotionally stimulating than either of those.
Oct. 7th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
I haven't read those other books (but I did like attack of the clones) and I stand by my opinion. Possibly, I just like it dark. Love isn't supposed to work out. At least, in my experience. Maybe when I'm older and less bitter I won't like it as much.
Oct. 9th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
Ok, so my theories on the donations (such as they are because I didn't think so much about it) is to think about what we need organ wise. 1 would probably be something like one kidney, a part of the liver, maybe some nerves that aren't important (sural nerve is what we use for graphting, it only provides sensation to a small area of hte leg which people don't mind losing when it will help them with more important nerve functions) Possibly some skin, skin donation would be very painful. The liver grows back to some degree, so they could probably harvest the liver each time, also probably bone marrow each time - but the liver has a lot of blood supply so it would always be risky, and probably what causes people to die after #2 - might be due to how their blood supply to the liver is to begin with. 4 would probably have to be everything donation - maybe bone, spinal cord? I mean, this is something people wouldn't do in real life, but maybe that would work? I dunno. Eyes? Cornea? Stuff you really need.

I'm sorry I don't have more definite ideas, but I don't like thinking about this kind of donation because whatever you think about cloning as in stem cell culture, this type of thing is DEFINITELY inapproprate, and goes against all my moral fibers!
Oct. 3rd, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
Roughly where, and how often does said book club meet?
Oct. 3rd, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC)
Once a month, Monday evening, Laurel/Columbia/Silver Spring corridor.
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
You are totally welcome to stop by a meeting and enjoy noshies and conversation that is vaguely book-related! Feel free to join the lj community - usually all announcements are made there as well as on a mailing list.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
<3 BFF
It's really really really hard to put into words what it's like to have someone who's known you for 20 years and isn't a family member.

It's exponentially harder to say how it feels to have the person understand you as much as you're sure they did when you were 14.

Not to mention the weird way being in Williamsburg with you made like 90% of my life all sorta blur together. So I guess what I mean is... I'm really glad you came down this weekend, and I'm glad we're still connected.
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
Re: <3 BFF
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
It sounds like you had an awesome weekend! I am firmly rooted in the sushi fan club and love any excuse to eat it. My only problem now is anything more than small amounts of wasabi gives me *wicked* heartburn. I am officially old.

As for the walking thing, it may have something to do with your gait and slightly bowed legs that affects how your back works. I'm no expert, but maybe a chiropractor would be able to help.

Miss you!
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
I wish I were not so freaking scared that a chiropractor was going to paralyze me! I bet it would help.

Miss you too. :) No question I was thinking of you alot this weekend.
Oct. 5th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
Chiropracters can paralyze you too, but i think it's more common that they cause dissections of the vertebral (brain) arteries. That's what we had a big problem with on neurology. Of course, those patients are older than you are, and the chiropracters always argued it was there before they messed with the neck... Whatever.

You could get a massage instead.
Oct. 5th, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
O.k. Now I'm officially NEVER going to a chiropacter...
Oct. 7th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC)
Don't! They're uneducated hacks. They do more harm than good. If you want something along those lines, I'm all for massage, massage therapists don't protend to know medical stuff, but they know body-lovin.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )