Condo, no more

As of this morning, we are no longer the owners of our condo!!

To some degree, it is bittersweet to sell your first house. So many memories over the last 10 years, not the least of which was the birth of our children. All three slept in that bedroom! I think of Christmas mornings, family gatherings, birthdays…

As the last few weeks have wound down, every time I had to go over to the condo, it was very emotional. Would this be the last time I was ever there? There is so much muscle memory involved: turning the car from the alley to the parking space, the proper way to turn the key in the lock, which wall the light switch is on. It all felt deeply personal.

On the other hand, these last few months have been fairly stressful: having the first offer fall through, watching the savings account go down and down, waiting not-so-patiently for an offer, waiting for some disaster and to have everything fall apart (which happened with the first offer we got, and made us extremely paranoid after).

At this point I feel nothing but relief that it’s all over!

We’ve been in the new house for long enough that we are “moved in”, and each day puts the condo farther and farther in the rearview mirror. And of course, the new house is just about the most amazing place I could ever imagine living in. Still, there is always some part of me that is sad when a chapter of my life closes.

Onward, to new chapters!

Goodness Gracious

I was getting off the train today, and the pants of the woman in front of me caught on a nail in the platform, stopping her short. In the split second it took me to realize what happened, I almost pancaked her. With cat like agility I jumped to the side and loudly exclaimed what was apparently the first curse that came to my mind: “Goodness gracious!!”

Goodness gracious? What am I, a 90 year old nun? Who even says that?

I know it’s kind of silly, but I was pretty embarrassed thinking about all the people who heard me shout goodness gracious. I mean, you’d think it’d be better than f-bombs or taking the lord’s name in vain or something, but I don’t know. I just wanted to quickly say, “No, no, it’s cool everybody, I totally swear all the time!”

If you asked me to make a list of all the things I might yell in times of crisis, I never in a million years would have put goodness gracious on there. I don’t know if I’ve even *thought* “goodness gracious” in my head.

They say when you’re under pressure your true self shines through. All I can say to that is, “Goodness gracious.”

MST3k Live

[TURN DOWN LIGHTS WHERE APPLICABLE]

Last weekend I had the honor of attending the Mystery Science Theater 3000 live show, and can I just say it was one of the best shows I have seen in my entire life.

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For nearly the entire time I have been watching MST3k, it has been a pretty solitary activity. These days it’s mostly me watching on the iPad while I’m doing dishes (and of course once upon a time it was me sitting in my apartment in Philly, and before that it was me staying up reaaaaaaly late at my dad’s house). So needless to say, watching it among hundreds of people brought a different…energy to the equation.

Now, look, I’ve been to some *pretty geeky shows* in my day. Niche shows with an extremely dedicated audience, where 75% of of the attendees come in costume. And none of those shows even came CLOSE to the energy of this crowd. And they maintained that energy for the entire show (keep in mind this was the second show in a row for many of those people!) People were laughing so hard that it was hard to hear all of the lines, people were falling out of their seats, and I had tears streaming down my face. It was simply amazing.

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It was great to see everybody in person, but I was kind of surprised at how visceral my reaction was to seeing Joel Hodgson live and in the flesh. This man was a hero of my childhood, and there he was, standing on stage right in front of me.

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In fact, I came very, very close to meeting him in person! Turns out Tim Ryder, the guy doing the voice of Tom Servo on the tour, is a friend of a friend. Our mutual friend sent him my blog post about them replacing my stolen membership card and he contacted me through the blog. He tried to get us the secret backstage access, but there was a bit of a communications snafu and I couldn’t convince the security guys to let us in.

Next time!

Anyway, the show was fantastic, the crowd was as into it as a crowd could be, and I laughed as hard as I have ever laughed in my life. Even without the secret backstage access it was a night that I will remember for a long, long time.

The things I get in the mail…

You know, like adult storm trooper costumes…

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(If you think, boy, Shane sure has a funny look on his face in this picture, it’s because NATURALLY I was whistling the Imperial March when I took the picture but didn’t think about what that would mean for my face until I got the picture onto the computer…)

The package had a Packer’s magnet in it too. YOU REALLY DO KNOW ME!

Thanks Aunt Cecelia!

Happy Anniversary!

I realize there aren’t really any wedding pictures of us online, since we are SO OLD that digital photography was only starting to be a thing*.

And what good are wedding pictures if you keep them to yourself and nobody can see what you looked like with a goatee? (That would be me, not Sara…still awaiting pictures of what Sara would look like in a goatee.)

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Me: “Who’s that?”
Alex: “Baby.”
Me: “No, it’s not a baby. Who’s that?”
Alex: “Baby.”
Me: “No, is not a baby! That’s dada!”
Alex: “Baby dada.”

You know, when we got married everybody said, “Are you going to shave your goatee?” and I said, “No, why would I shave my goatee? That is what I look like.” I mean, if everybody was so desperate for me to look like somebody else, I could have worn a Nixon mask or something.

Then like a month later I shaved my goatee and have never had one since.

Now you might think this proves the naysayers right, however, I kind of like the fact that when I look back on these pictures now I look young, and foolish, and so 2004. I mean Sara just looks beautiful, and timeless, and basically the same, so what’s the fun in that? Might as well just look at a current picture.

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Anyway, here’s to lucky 13. May we look back on pictures of ourselves after another 13 years of marriage and laugh about how ridiculous we look, the way we look back on pictures of 2004.

*Whoops, looks like I posted a much better picture already at 10 years. Good thing I have this blog to keep me honest.

MST3k comes through for me

As you are probably aware, I was mugged recently. Of all the bad things that happened because of that, obviously the worst (BY FAR) was the theft of my MST3k Revival League membership card.

From my post on the new season of MST3k:

I had planned to lead with a picture of my Mystery Science Theater Revival League membership card, but my mugger is now enjoying it (because of course I kept my Mystery Science Theater Revival League membership card in my wallet…what if I needed to show it at a moment’s notice?)

Well.

Unbeknownst to me, a friend tweeted at the host of MST3k, Jonah Ray, and explained what had happened. A short while later, I got a little something in the mail:

The text of the letter reads:

Shane!
So sorry to hear that you’ve hit a rough patch and that someone made off with your Official League ID. We’ve got your back, friend.
Best,
Ivan
Ivan Askwith
Producer, MST3k

Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show I have adored for almost as long as I can remember, a show that I actually cried over when it was revived, HAS MY BACK.

If I wasn’t a fan already…

Seriously Wicked: conversation with a reader

I recently interviewed Evelyn about “Seriously Wicked” by my friend Tina Connolly. Spoilers below!

S: Alright, who was your favorite character in the book, and why?

E: Um, my favorite character in the book was probably the witch, because I like her, like, passion. Even though Cam kept rejecting her spells and stuff, she just kept on trying, and I think that’s… I mean, she stuck with it.

S: Do you, so, do you think the witch was a wicked witch?

E: I think she was a wicked witch in its own sense, like, she was wicked totally because she wanted to take over the town and be in charge and everything, and she was going to do it in wicked ways. You could also think of her in other wicked ways, like she kills animals for her spells. But, like…she also is like a nice mom and she takes care of her kid. And it’s probably very hard for her since her husband died, so.

S: What was the funniest part of the book?

E: The funniest part of the book is when – it’s also my favorite part of the book – is when Sparkle figures out that… She’s like, what is going on? How do you guys know that I’m a witch and like everything is coming back to her and stuff. It’s the funniest part because she’s just so confused and she doesn’t know what’s going on because she did a forgetting spell on herself.

S: Do you think if you were like Cam in this book, do you think you would like having a witch for a mom or not like having a witch for a mom?

E: Well if I was Cam I would have the same personality as Cam, so then–

S: (laughing) Okay, well let’s say you were in a situation like Cam but you were yourself, would you like that your mom was a witch, because, you know, maybe you could learn some spells and stuff, or would you not like it, because she might be evil?

E: Not like it, because, um, I don’t know. (laughing) I just think that the witch’s plans were pretty crazy.

S: So who has crazier plans, Cam’s mom or your mom?

E: Probably Cam’s mom, because she wants to take over the town, but mommy, she… (laughing) Yeah, pretty much Cam’s mom.

S: Do you think this is a good book for someone your age, and why or why not?

E: I think I would recommend maybe a few years older even though I liked it, because… I don’t know, I feel like people would understand it a little bit more, because like… I don’t know, it’s about like boys and love and stuff. I mean, no offense, but…

S: So were there any parts you didn’t understand? Or to take it a different way, is there anything you would want to ask the author if you could?

E: I would ask Tina Connolly where she got her inspiration from because most authors combine people they know, and I think that Cam’s personality – and all the people in the book in fact! – have very different, interesting personalities, and I want to know where she got her inspiration from.

S: Do you think maybe her mom was a witch?

E: Very unlikely. But maybe she was like me and Oliver when we made potions in the bathroom?