argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
The family reunion went better than I expected, though not without incident. All my immediate relatives on my mom's side of the family came except for two brothers and their children. Hard to believe I hadn't seen some of these people in a decade.

Saturday 25 July - We initially left home around 9:30 AM. About 15 minutes out, the check engine light came on, so we returned home and read the code, which was for an oxygen sensor. We debated about moving everything to another car (we had mostly packed the car the night before to save time), but decided to reset the engine code and try our luck. (The check engine light never did come on again.) We were off again at 10:40 AM. Traffic was fairly heavy.

Rest behind cut. )

I thought my grandparents were surprisingly energetic, but they've been discussing moving to an assisted living place on the mainland, which was a surprise to me. My grandpa can't do all the house and yard maintenance any more, but also doesn't want to pay someone else to do it. There are other factors as well, and multiple opinions among the relatives. My dad and I both think if they do move to the mainland, they should keep the island house and rent it out.

Since we've gotten back, my mom's gotten better and went back to work, though today was a down day. (Her birthday is tomorrow.) We have several upcoming performances with our ATS class/troupe. I have a job interview next week, though I interviewed there two years ago and it didn't seem like a good match at the time; asking others to be references is still the worst source of anxiety.

I'll try to post some photos in the next entry, but no promises on when it will be posted.
argurotoxos: Cillian Murphy as Kitty from Breakfast on Pluto (Breakfast on Pluto)
Hello, everyone. I'm sorry to have been away so long.

I spent most of April and May in Maine with my maternal grandmother after my grandfather was injured. While helping her out, I was also able to spend time with one of my aunts and take a week to visit my best friend. After roughly three months at either hospital or rehabilitation, my grandfather's now back home and is doing remarkably well.

I do have notes from the trip, but am not sure if I'll post them; I haven't even posted from my Arizona visit with my paternal grandmother (who is still with us and currently in Ohio).

For the time being, you can find a small selection of photos behind the cut that summarise some of my Maine and New Hampshire memories.

(One of the reasons I still keep my LiveJournal account is for photohosting. After LJ switched to the new Scrapbook system, my albums were in complete disarray -- I lost all the gallery layouts, photos were in the wrong directory or else arranged backwards, and so on. I salvaged what I could, but deleted the rest; this is why photos may be missing from old entries.)

Photos from Maine and New Hampshire, April-May 2012. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
I got back from Kun's last Friday. Had an amazing time that I'm only half-through typing up.

There aren't many, but I uploaded photos from our Maine visit back in April here. My scrapbook currently uses 80% of the available space, so I'll be weeding through a number of my galleries - Random and subgalleries, Cosplay References, Computer Games, Hunter x Hunter, and my Europe and Arizona travel photos - before uploading my New Hampshire photos.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Two preview photos. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Written at last. Since there's roughly a month to cover, it's not as detailed as it might otherwise have been and there's not much emotion or reflection in this write-up since I primarily wanted to document the happenings. For PortCon and New Hampshire, I've based my descriptions on a combination of my memory and a set of quick notes I kept in a notepad for the purpose of remembering what happened on what day.

Everything is under cuts based on location and further sub-divided by date. Photo links are within the text.

PortConMaine 2008 [3 - 6 July]. )

New Hampshire [7 July - 28 July]. )

Sarah's visit [28 July - 6 August]. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
The drive up to Maine on Thursday, 21 June, went smoothly enough, at least traffic-wise. It was the first time we'd been in Maine since my Aunt moved to a new apartment and the first thing we did was stop at was her new place. It's only a few minutes' drive from her old apartment and her new one has more room, but it's also on a fairly busy street and lacks some of the quite and privacy of the old one.

My grandparents were coming over on the ferry to meet us for dinner in about an hour, so until then we mostly talked and caught up with each other. My Aunt also gave me a surprise gift I'd completely forgotten about -- a belated birthday present. It was a pirate hat, the closest she could find to the type of hats they wear in Horatio Hornblower.

For dinner, we ended up going to a rather upper-class restaurant in the Old Port, the kind where the presentation of the food is just as important as the taste and one meal can easily cost $30. Apparently, one of my uncles had given my grandparents a gift certificate there several years ago that they'd never used. It was an interesting experience, even if I felt rather out of place; besides the fact that we almost never eat at restaurants like that, if I had know beforehand that we'd be going to that kind of place, I would have worn something besides my Yuugiou T-shirt, an old grey jacket decorated with worn blue dragons, and a baggy pair of black pants.

The food was mostly good, though I wasn't very impressed with their fish. The dessert my Aunt and I split at the end was very sweet and rich, so much so that I ended up with an upset stomach afterward. I'd had one the day before from a different food, too, so I was somewhat worried going into PortCon that I'd get sick again there. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

I didn't know whether I'd be spending the night at my Aunt's or my grandparents' before arriving, so we figured out plans for that night and Friday during dinner. Since I didn't have to be at the hotel Friday until after noon, it was decided that staying at my grandparents and then taking the ferry over to the mainland in the morning was best. Staying at my grandparents' house also gave me a chance to spend some time along the ocean.

While waiting for the ferry after dinner,
two events happened that made me
think of Sarah. First, my grandmother
brought me a map of Portland to look
at while waiting. It was fairly large and
the edges were filled with ads from
various businesses. One of them was
for Tim Horton's (on left):


The second was after we had boarded the ferry.
Standing on the top deck, we watched The CAT
pull out of the bay.


By the time we arrived at my grandparents' house, it was almost bedtime. I stayed up about an hour after my mum, drinking water and listening to the rest of Lestat.

It usually takes me a few nights to get adjusted to sleeping in a new place, with the result that I end up waking up much earlier than usual. I ate a very light breakfast outside and then went down to the ocean.

The waiting is always the worst part. After I had gotten into my Killua cosplay, I couldn't even focus enough to read anything to pass the time.

My Aunt pick my mum, my grandmother, and myself up at the ferry port and then it was over to the hotel. We arrived around 12:15 PM, said our goodbyes, and then I made my way inside the hotel lobby with my three bags and picked a comfortable corner to settle down, watch the various cosplayers wandering through, and wait for Kun and company to arrive . . .


That's all for the pre-PortCon post; the
narrative will be continued in the next entry
along with all of my photos from the convention.
The image on the left is a scan from the map
of Portland mentioned above; as you can see,
PortCon's hotel - the Sheraton - is quite literally
right across from Maine Mall.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
My mum, dad, and me left for Maine Friday morning. Rather than trying to cram even more presents into the car, we celebrated our own little family Christmas Thursday night. I got my mum a mouse pin and my dad the first season DVD set of The Pretender. My parents gave me a bunch of anime merchandise - including the Hunter x Hunter Greed Island OST [Original Soundtrack], the first Hikaru no Go OST, an a Hiei keychain - as well as a few non-anime items. But my big present from them this year was the complete DVD collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ^__^

The only memorable event on the way to Maine was our lunch stop at Denny's. We used to eat at Denny's all the time, but stopped after service became really slow. Hoping that service had speeded back up, we decided to give it a try again. Turns out service was still incredibly slow, but while we were waiting, my dad decided to play around with his tomato juice. Complaining that it was too thick, he poured some of his water into it. Then the taste wasn't right, so he added pepper. And tabasco sauce. And steak sauce. My mum was appalled, but I tried some and it was still drinkable. In the end, my dad drank it all. XD

Not much else happened Friday. We got to my grandparents' house - which is where we always stay when we go to Maine - and talked for a while before heading off to bed.

On Christmas Eve, we went to my Aunt Kate's apartment for dinner and the first round of present opening. I dunno why, but my aunt and grandparents decided to spread presents out over three days this year. o_0 We also watched one of the best Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, 'Tapestry'.

Christmas was the big present opening day. I know I won't remember everything that was given and received, but there were a lot of books. My aunt gave me a book about the history of Batman and my grandparents gave me a mystery set in ancient Japan and some other small trinkets. Both my dad and I received Sudoku books.

The rest of the day was spent chatting and catching up with each other and watching my dad's Pretender DVDs. We finished all of the first season before I left for New Hampshire on Thursday.

It rained on Boxing Day, leaving us with almost no snow and a whole lot of mud. My aunt had bought some random things from the $1 Store for all of us and thus concluded our present opening for the year. XD Once that was done, we watched more Pretender, talked, and just enjoyed each other's company. It's really nice to just sit back and listen to your family chat, even if you yourself aren't really participating in the conversation. Sometimes it is the little things in life that matter the most.

When we weren't watching The Pretender on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was listening to Nightwish like crazy ('Feel For You', 'Ever Dream', 'Bless The Child', 'She Is My Sin' . . .) and reading the Hunter x Hunter manga online. Even thought I've seen all the anime, I had just been reading the manga with the Viz releases and the most recent twenty or so chapters from nexGear. I hadn't realized how many things had been added to the anime, like Gon and Killua's fight over money in Celestial Tower and parts of Killua and Gon's visit to Whale Island. Vice versa, the fight between Hisoka and Kastro in the manga was absolutely incredible. And pretty twisted, even for Hisoka. I guess I understand why they cut it, but it would have been awesome to see that fight animated.

However, I didn't stay totally indoors during those two days; I did take two small trips with my parents. On Tuesday, my mum and I went to the small grocery store and found . . . Moxie! (Kingdom of Loathing reference and weird-tasting soft drink! XD) And then on Wednesday, we all took a short hike in the woods, which we really needed what with all the sweets and cheeses we had been snacking on since Friday. *grin*

Thursday was my last day in Maine, though my parents stayed until New Year's Day. My mum and grandpa drove me to the Amtrak station in Portland and I bought my ticket for Haverhill, MA.

The train was quite nice and I'd take it over a bus any day. It was also pretty empty, though I imagine it'd be fuller if it weren't the holiday week. There was a plug on the side for laptops, but I didn't use mine. Instead, I played a few Sudoku games and started re-reading Lord of the Flies. There was a snack car, but I didn't venture up to it, mostly because I was unnecessarily worried about somehow missing my stop.

Only two other people got off at Haverhill besides me. I had expected there to be a station -- nothing as large or comfortable as the one in Portland, but a station nonetheless. Instead, there were a few wooden benches sitting under a roof and a large parking lot. Plus, it was raining. It almost felt like being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, except for all of the obviously urban buildings. So I plopped myself onto one of the benches and hoped that Tomo hadn't gotten lost . . .


And that's it for part one! Part two will be posted tomorrow, but I want to say thank you now to Tomo's family, Kun's family, and Shampoo (and Justin and Musashi) for letting me hang out, spend the night, feeding me, and being such cool and welcoming people. You guys are awesome. ^_____^

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argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
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