Postcard Party Round-Up!

I asked, you answered, et voila!

Postcards: Map of Napa wineries, Cape Cod Farm Cranberries

Thanks to everyone who participated, this was a lot of (good, cheap) fun for me and I hope for you too!

I’m sharing some of the postcards you sent / received here from those of you who emailed afterward. If you didn’t share and you still want to, feel free to email me images of the postcards you received and I’ll add them here.

Postcards: Eat drink and be merry, Top of the Rock NY, Dancers by a bridge

Postcards: You are the cat's meow, Vancouver BC

Want to go again? Or want in on the next round?
Let me know in the comments!

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Just a little (link) love: My queendom for health points Edition


It’s been a rough week. I’m lying in bed trying to rest up, listening to our Inchworm creep around in hir crib “talking”, having just woken up from a nap. It’s noon and I’m sick. Ugh. As if I wasn’t tired enough just being me, I had to venture out of the house and catch some horribly inconvenient germs. Still, I am vaguely grateful that ze had a nap and a real one, not one of those 7-minute gotchas.


Grace Hopper

Does the Pope actually have to worry about approval ratings? Because that’s weird.

I can’t shake the feeling that while prison labor may have the benefit of reducing recidivism and teaching good work habits, it’s rife for abuse and is exploitative.

Sensible things about work life balance

Hiring a nanny seems like a no brainer to me so I’m glad we budgeted early for one. Now, we just need to FIND one.

Roths and Roth IRAs: Y/N

Restorative narrative: reporting on trauma


Aggressive gendering

A neat wearable for girls (hat tip Cloud)


Ignore warnings and safety guidelines at your peril, sightseers.

If all lives truly mattered I don’t think our society would look and act like it does.


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SDCC 2015 recap


Preparation for this year was brutal

Badge purchasing was organized by lottery system.
Hotel booking was a lottery system.
Parking passes were sold on a lottery system.

It’s a flipping miracle that we got passes, secured a hotel room through the lottery system for friends, and secured a parking pass.

Our rental vehicle was booked for the week and I let out a sigh of relief on June 28th.  All was set, I thought. Then I quickly sucked it back in because with my luck….

Sure enough, I’d booked the wrong dates for the rental and rebooking was estimated to be $1800. A panicked call to Enterprise + a reasonable service rep = corrected booking. Whew.

Oh wait.

At the last minute, our lodging plans changed and we needed to book a hotel for ourselves. Two weeks before Comic-Con. Now THAT was a hoot. 99% of the hotels in our desired region were booked out and the hotels that were available were the Embassy Suites for $800/night, the Doubletree for $900/night and the Indigo for $1800/night. Awesome.

We needed both a baby and pet friendly hotel and I was not paying over $500 a night for four nights of an average hotel that would then charge for parking and a pet fee for Seamus, no way, no how!

Ten hours of searching, and 6 bookings later, we booked an average hotel somewhat near downtown that didn’t have recent reports of bedbugs. (Ugh!) Clearly, our standards had changed. And it was going to cost nearly $1700 for the whole stay. *clutch throat* I’ve never spent that much on an entire trip to SDCC, forget just on hotel! But it was a last minute change, it couldn’t be helped, and I refused to let it ruin our plans. One side effect of having been a extra frugal Con goer, and spending next to nothing on hobbies, is that our savings are absolutely solid and our cash flow can bear a hiccup or two even in the four digit range.

Packing was a bummer this year because I still don’t fit most of my clothes and that includes my standard Con wardrobe of geeky shirts.

Comic-Con commenced…

Left: BADGED!  Right: a fantastic cosplay.

Left: BADGED! Right: a fantastic cosplay (I didn’t know the character, unfortunately).

We didn’t get Preview Night for Wednesday which, in retrospect, was for the best. Logistics were already well nigh incomprehensible, trying to make it to town and ready to hit the floor on Wednesday would have been excruciating stress.

Thursday was our first day on the floor and it was yet another bust: Seamus hurt his paws before we left. While one paw was responding to home treatment, the other significantly deteriorated in just the two days since we left San Francisco. I made the call to give up an afternoon at Con and take him to a San Diego vet to head off a major infection. I was grouchy about the loss of floor time but it was the right call. He responded to the medications overnight, allowing his paw to actually start healing. Hallelujah! And it was “only” $110.

With Seamus all set, we headed out Friday for our full day on site with a lighter step and clear conscience. Despite all the missteps and mishaps leading up to this day, it was wonderful.

SDCC photos courtesy of @ashleyserena

Left: I’m really not sure what’s happening here. A unicorn/centaur Colonel (KFC)? Right, top: Ashley on the Iron Throne (Game of Thrones Experience) Right, bottom: Tribbles! All photos courtesy of @ashleyserena

The Kelly Sue headed panel on writing, and then on their company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, were both fantastic.

We browsed a discount TPBs booth where I impulse bought $45 worth of comics for myself and a friend. Browsing wasn’t even on the list of things I thought we’d have the freedom to do but LB was so incredibly cooperative. Ze was just hanging out, enjoying the sights and sounds, and it was awesome. I picked up gifts for three people and got myself a new t-shirt. We took a dozen pictures of LB and PiC hanging out and having a good old time, and had silly pictures taken at promo booths.

I was sad to miss the panel with Congressman John Lewis, the last surviving member of the “Big 6″ from the civil rights movement, who marched in Selma on Bloody Sunday. Even typing that makes me tear up at what people had to go through to be treated like humans. But I’m really happy that it happened.

There were many other fun and wonderful things this year, and we missed many of our regular visits (Marian Call’s concerts, for one) but this trip renewed our enjoyment of the event. Every year we’re aware it might be our last, but as long as we can go, we will.

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One more for the Annals of Unsolicited Advice

What is it with people who feel like their sole purpose is to educate on the Right Way to Mother?  Not Parent, because I notice these folks don’t ever lecture PiC on parenting, just Mothering. I’ve asked him, he’s puzzled that this keeps happening.

Some people think that because I’m a first time mom, everything I do or worry about is because I’m a first time mom and scoff at my decisions as that of a rank amateur. My life experience, my values, and my ability to evaluate a situation and make a decision were evidently all switched off once a child passed through the birth canal. Nope, it’s all new-mom nerves now! I’m a trembling, jello-jiggly wreck of an excuse for an adult now. Be forewarned!

Other people think that just because they now have experience with their first child, everything that happened to them is absolutely canon and will happen to me.

The latest round was a first time father who thinks, nay, insists! that we must get our wee Bean into a daycare or professional care as soon as possible because, as he puts it, the “separation anxiety will only get worse”. He lectured me soundly on how he’s speaking from experience, and that what he hears from me about finding a suitable carer, it’s “already a problem” because “no one is good enough.”

Mind, he didn’t bother to listen to what constitutes a suitable care provider. He just assumed that because this is our first go-round, we’re incapable – or rather, I’m incapable – of allowing an experienced person take care of our progeny.  It’s clearly because I’m a first time mom that I object to bad judgment and blatant negligence or unreliable people. If I had another, I wouldn’t be so foolish as to insist on someone who can care for LB safely and reliably.

Be proud of me for not rolling my eyes so hard they could have doubled for gyroscopes.

Instead of nodding and smiling, which might have shut him up but I doubt it, I mildly noted that I don’t, in fact, have issues with relying on people to help with LB. I could see that he was ratherput out by my inability to just take his well meaning but totally unwelcome and misplaced advice.

Certainly people and children have separation anxiety but I’ll not be railroaded into believing that we’re fated to endure weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth if I don’t give LB the boot now.

LB gets on well with new people, with or without me and PiC in the immediate vicinity. We make it a point to take hir and Seamus out to meet people so that ze can enjoy new faces and new voices. Ze loves the sound of new languages and enjoys a good “flying LB” no matter who administers it.

Sure, we’ll get some things wrong. But you know what? Every parent does. This is the first time we’re raising this child, and we’re doing our best for our child. People who think that we (I) don’t know what we’re doing because this is our first time at this rodeo can get stuffed.

As any parent worth their salt will tell you: every child is different. You learn more techniques that might work with each new one but that doesn’t mean you’ve unlocked the secrets to all children, forever.

If any parent shares their stories with me, I’m happy to hear them. I’m happy to extract useful techniques from those stories. Moralizing at me and outright telling me that my knowledge, skills, and life experience are worthless next to your one experience with your own child and family, though, that just gets my goat. It reminds me of that uncle who spent half my grandmother’s funeral lecturing me on the importance of getting into a good college. I was 24, graduated already, and had been supporting my family for oh, 5 -7 years by then. We don’t speak anymore.

Seems to me that people are all eager to proclaim their right to their own values, morals, or beliefs but completely fail to recognize that they ought to then respect the rights of others to think for themselves.

Though, if people quit annoying me, whatever would I write about?  😉

:: Surely, I’m not the only one blitzed with unsolicited fodder, am I?

:: EDIT: I should note, in both instances, the well-meaning father and the uncle, I wasn’t asking for help or advice or even talking about the subject they brought up. They cornered me, said hello, and then started lecturing. In the parenting case, he basically told me that I was doing it wrong (though he didn’t know how I was doing it) and that his way is the only way. That’s the thing that puts my back up.

When I post here, I welcome your thoughts and comments whether it be advice or something else!

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