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We have turned south bound on the 19th day, and on the 20th we took an unplanned stop for a day of TV watching and eating microwave mac & cheese because Jeff has strep throat.

I love traveling with him.

I would not trade these days for anything.

I am so grateful for everyone who made this happen and there are SO many people who made this happen.  My life is such a gift.

I am a fan of Chris Colfer as an actor on Glee, and I’m curious about him as an author, and as actor in other shows (he is amazing in the staged read of 8):

He has written a couple of best selling YA novels.  The first one I read, the second one I listened to part of, they are interesting and fun.  Not my usual genre but pleasant.  So now that he is on a book tour for the third I checked to see if we would line up anywhere, and low and behold we did.  I ordered two books, got two tickets, and planned to go stand in front of him (as hundreds were doing every day) for eight seconds.

Each person *could* have six items to sign.  There are photographs into the 250 person range with me overhearing one employee saying there were 400 tickets distributed.

Two things start to happen in tandem to each other.

The first is that I became acutely aware of him as a person, and I cannot imagine spending three weeks going around the country doing what he is currently doing.  Even with staff to help (Neil Gaiman has written interesting things about being the guy in the center of a book tour), being excited about the potential to promote the book, and being genuinely interested in the people who read it … I just.  Couldn’t.  I wanted to bring a bottle of water, or diet pepsi, or an apple.  Something to acknowledge his humanity in this.  I wonder about the surreal nature of being a 24 year old guy who wins awards, is a New York Times bestselling author, who sings like a dream and has gotten very very fine in the last couple of years and looking up and smiling …

…while the second thing is happening.

The girl who I overhear saying that she has worked for an hour a night for 30 nights on what she wants to give him.  I see her later, after she met him for 8 seconds sobbing Beatlemania style outside the book store.

I see the retiree who is hopping up and down.

I see the woman in front of me who is older than I am, has two Glee related tattoos that I can see, and has a special made phone cover which is a picture of her and Darren Criss.  I hear her say to a stranger / new friend that Darren has seen her at so many events that he recognizes her.

I know there are many shades of intensity in any fandom, and that a lot of them are healthy (or mainly healthy most of the time at least).  Hell, I’ve chosen to drive for an hour each way to spend 8 seconds with him.  I’ve made special shirts for other things.  Fuck – I’m going to Dragon*Con in costume (AGAIN).

Still, I think about some things Glee cast members (especially Chris & Darren) have said in regards to the actions of the fictional characters they play.  I think about people who find solace in fandom (me, sometimes) and those who drift over to the deep end of fandom where their own life drifts away on a cloud of gathering information about someone else.

I love seeing people excited about stuff, I know that my geek shows up in strange ways, I know that adults are not allowed much in the way of giddy reaction to anything, and more than anything I kind of hope that (1) everybody at that book signing was ok by the end of it, and (2) that Chris enjoys his work because I doubt that he predicted that it would be like this.

Deck

Things that are true:

1.  Two weeks into Epic Summer Roadtrip.  Great time, wonderful visits, working on dealing with homesickness.

2.  Went to a book signing on Thursday (Chris Colfer for TLOS3) and it was interesting, good , strange, fast, and has me debating all kinds of meta stuff in my head which I would talk about except that it is the shape of a circle and I cannot find the entry point.

3.  Kiddo is McDs binging right now and WOW.

4.  The very first place I wanted to go when I had a minute to myself was the garden store that I love so much, but I knew I wanted to go there because my first thought was “I need to go to church”.  It is about reverence and peace.

5.  I thought my robot necklace was lost but now it is found.

6.  AirBnB is a GREAT way to (1) save money, (2) meet cool people, (3) actually experience a town when you travel.  Do it.  It isn’t mutually scary – only scary on your side and it will work out fine.

7.  I like borrowing dogs.

8.  I like this, but it is hard and I am a bit tired.

My son and I are collapsed at the Quality Inn Downtown Baltimore (new drapes and bathroom, surprisingly lovely) at the end of day two of the Summer of 2014 Adventure.  We are utterly exhausted.  He is awake (still), and I am barely so -but it is worth talking about.

I made a mistake by not upgrading my phone to a talking GPS / maps function.  I regret that.  So far, that is pretty much the only thing I regret.

The first night we stayed in Raleigh, NC at a home I booked through airbnb.  It is not natural for me to pull into a residential neighborhood walk up to a house I’ve never seen before, introduce myself to strangers, and spend the night.  Still, it worked out well, they were nice, the room was completely what we needed (it had a bed that was comfortable) and it allowed us to redirect our resources for stuff we wanted to.

We were directed to a restaurant where we ate, and then more importantly to Pullen Park which we did not see *much* of but it was AMAZING.  We would not have known to do that without our hosts.  At this point Jeff would likely point out that I swear – a LOT – when I am driving in unfamiliar cities.

We got up in the morning (they made blueberry pancakes, ham, cereal, coffee, and juice) and hit the road early.  We knocked out the first 150 miles like BOSSES.  Then we hit some construction, but we were still rocking, then we got near Quantico  and

 

we saw the peak first, then the signage and in 1.5 miles went from “What is that?” to “Let’s go”.  My dad is a Korean war vet and I wanted to get him a quick gift but we walked into the atrium (it is free) and it was breathtaking.  We gaped, and I got teary, and then we hit the store and tried not buy ALL OF IT.

So back in the car, drive around /through Washington DC (which I will be happy to NEVER do again), drove the lovely parkway between DC and Baltimore and then got to the National Aquarium which Baddest Mother Ever had pointed me towards.

About halfway through I remembered the museum class I took as an undergraduate and realized how we are in a golden age of museum pieces right now.  Both the Marine Corps museum and the National Aquarium are clearly designed with specific amazing goals in mind.  It is a golden age to be sure.

Then, to dinner, a water taxi, and around to the hotel.

I must sleep, as much as I am genuinely and surprisingly sad to leave Baltimore we have family to catch up to for the rest of the week.