On Friday, 24 August 2007, Janice and I took the day off from work and drove to Upstate New York. We visited her parents near Saratoga Springs for a pot pie dinner before returning to our hotel. On Saturday, the four of us had a barbeque (sloppy joe) lunch and carpooled to Utica, where we attended the wedding of niece Jessica W. to Jason J. Jesse is the stepdaughter of Janice's middle sister Michelle, who was there with her family: husband Melvin W. and children Becky, Laura, and David, as well as grandson Daetyn (see photo above).
The drive through the countryside was scenic and uneventful, but violent thunderstorms knocked out power in the converted barn where the ceremony was to be held. High winds also forced the reception from a pavilion tent into the barn. Fortunately, with a sense of humor, a patient minister and guests, and some generators to keep the food warm, the wedding and reception went smoothly.
The food was good (you can't go wrong with pasta), although I'm not a big fan of country music, which Janice's youngest sister Melinda and her husband Gary T.L. also contended with at another wedding. We had to leave early because Janice's parents had to go to work early the next morning.
On Sunday, Janice and I visited Melinda and Gary and their children Amanda and Joshua. Everyone in Janice's family loves animals, and I enjoyed seeing various dogs, birds, fish, and a cat over the course of the weekend. While Janice, Melinda, and Amanda walked to the hospital where Janice's mother's is an emergency room nurse, Gary, Josh, and I talked about superheroes and played various Xbox videogames. It's a pity we don't live closer.
Shelly's family visited the Boston area this past summer, and Gary & Melinda hope to travel down to Washington D.C. with us next year. In addition, Janice's parents Marvin and Linda are beginning to plan for a trip to Hawaii next May! We hope to join them.
Speaking of travel, while my parents are in Belgium, France, and Switzerland this month, Janice and I won't be attending a technical communications conference in Seattle. Aside from our Manhattan holiday and my mounting dental bills (plus next year's Hawaii trip) affecting finances, getting a block of vacation time from work on short notice would be problematic. As it now turns out, I have some extra leave days that I had allocated for Seattle that I need to use before year's end, since they won't roll over!
This past weekend, Janice and I stuck around the house. On Friday, Aug. 31, we had dinner at the "Fuji" Japanese steakhouse. On Saturday, in addition to "Ninja Warrior" and "Feasting on Asphalt," we watched the DVD of the computer-animated "Monster House," which was pretty good. Although the horror/comedy wasn't as visually stunning as some of the works of Aardman/Dreamworks or Disney/Pixar, at least it didn't involve singing animals or satire of beloved fairytales. I also caught up on reading and sleep.
We also stopped by New England Comics and Papa Gino's in Norwood, Massachusetts, as well as at a Halloween store. While I get annoyed when Christmas decorations go up after Halloween, the latter is my favorite holiday, partly because of the lack of social obligations and the freedom to wear costumes and scare people! I picked up a few decorations, and Janice and I got some fantasy art prints framed.
On Sunday morning, Janice did her usual volunteering at a local animal shelter, and I played "City of Heroes." We went for some short walks and straightened up around our duplex. On Labor Day itself, we finally refiled approximately 500 DVDs that had been in binders whose pages are not removable and thus made alphabetizing our collection difficult. Even our boxed sets are now out of their cases and in binders, saving precious shelf space.
I was mildly annoyed to realize that several discs are out on loan, and I vowed to again be vigilant. Thomas K.Y. had hoped to meet for a meal and a movie, but we both ended up being too busy this past week. Janice and I grabbed dinner at Bertucci's, which is reliable in being open on holidays such as Independence Day or Labor Day, as well as within walking distance from our duplex.
I also talked briefly to some of the New England role-players (more on that in other postings) and to "Westchester crew" members Damon F.P. (Happy Birthday!) and Ron J.K. I haven't yet heard from David I.S., who relocated from Ithaca to Rochester, N.Y., but Robert A.S. in North Carolina and Byron V.O. in St. Louis, Mo., did touch base.
Work has been busy, but recent editorial meetings at CW have been productive. The ongoing shift in emphasis from print to online is challenging the publishing and journalism industries, and I hope that my peers and I will be able to adapt to changing technologies, workflow expectations, and skill requirements. Most of my colleagues are very busy, uncertain about job security, and willing to learn.
I've posted new animated avatars on my MySpace.com page (myspace.com/gened5) and have joined several "Web 2.0" social networking sites, including LinkedIn, Meetup.com, Facebook, LiveJournal, and GoodReads, often to read friends' blogs. In upcoming postings, I'll write more about the new genre television season, gaming, and comic books, as well as about anything you request!