The fictitious lady in the title always relies on 'the kindness of strangers', but lately I have been the extremely grateful recipient of the generosity of my dearest friends. This weekend was another chance to visit some of my closest(though, alas, not physically) and oldest friends, A and B, and their lovely kids G and D (yeah, G kinda ruins the alphabetical order of their initials, but she's pretty cool so we'll just let that slide). I try to get down to see them once or twice a year, but with the moving and Mrs. Marius's crushing work schedule traveling has been more problematic than usual. Added to that my car's air conditioner died last year, and with temps regularly hitting the high 90s a long(three hour) drive is akin to a mobile sauna. But a rare convergence of events transpired this week that allowed not only me to travel south, but my lovely wife as well...and her a/c works just fine. :-D You see she's finally, after three years, being moved up to full time at her job, thus allowing her to quit the second job, and actually get real, honest-to-goodness days off. And there was much rejoicing.
We both had to work Saturday morning, but the afternoon found us giving the cats an early dinner, packing a change of clothes, and wending our way to the magical land of Naples. After passing through a deluge or two, this is summer in Florida after all, my cell rang and it was A instructing us to get off the freeway ten miles early and meet them at Outback steak house. This we gladly did and joined them for a lovely meal. There were many hugs and laughs, and amazed comments at the seemingly inhuman growth of the children, and catching up on such things as movies, and TV and such. And there was much rejoicing.
Ere too long we repaired to the hacienda, assured the ferocious Bigby the dog that we really weren't there to hurt him and that he didn't need to keep hiding behind the living room chairs, and settled in to visit. The ladies almost immediately began discussing Twilight, and us guys did our best not to roll our eyes out of our heads. Eventually B and Mrs. M went away to look at books, and A and I chatted about this and that, and then the words Rock Band were spoken. No, quoth I, I have not played yet. No sooner had these words been uttered when the kids and A pounced on their PS3, and suddenly the living room was converted into a Karaoke bar. I sang, 'played' drums(very badly), and had a blast. Eventually the ladies returned, and my wife had a bag full of paperbacks to bring home, and everybody joined in the game. A couple of hours later we retired to the hot tub while the kids swam and we chatted, reminisced, and just chilled. Bedtime followed soon upon.
Sunday morning was mellow and unhurried. Mrs. M had never played any Wii games, so that system was unsheathed, and we all threw things, and shot things, and then she was introduced to the strange world of Raving Rabids. Then a sumptuous lunch was made by A and B, and we feasted 'pon grilled piggy and taters. Alas, all too soon it was time to make our way home to the, at least in their minds, starving Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse. But before we left we were presented with some groovy stuff. A and B had cleaned out their daughter's closets, and the wife and B went through the Goodwill-bound bags to see if there was anything the CoA could wear, and yay verily there was. A, having been gifted this yuletide with the first two seasons of Star Trek TOS on Blu-Ray gave me his DVD copies of the same(at which point I think I might have squeed just a bit), and just when we thought the presents were done, they gave me a small, gift wrapped package that they said was meant for me at Christmas, but we never got together. I opened it, and if I squeed a little over the DVDs, I squeed a lot over this:
If you don't know what that is, last year a company released three Star Trek related fragrances, Tiberius, Red Shirt, and Ponn Farr. I loooove the artwork on the bottle. It's pure genius. And here it is on display with some very good company:
And then it was time to make our way home. More hugs were dispensed along with hopes that the next visit would not be so far away this time. We loaded up our booty and our memories and sallied forth. The drive home was uneventful, and upon our arrival the cats merely sniffed our hands and gave us sour looks over the obvious scent of our puppy-petting guilt. Then they started bitching about the empty food bowls, and all was right with the world again.
Thanks, A, B, G, and D. We had a great time. :-)
And there was much rejoicing.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Today was an interesting day. It started as most days do, with Starbuck waking me a few minutes before breakfast time. I shambled downstairs, fed the cats, and crashed for another hour on the sofa. Then coffee was quaffed, webs were surfed, and the daily boredom settled over me again like a bag of wet cement. Then, shortly before my wife was due home, something snapped inside me and I got sick of my inertia and started cleaning. After the move we managed to put away enough stuff so that the main living areas of the house were clear, and then we just sort of stopped. Today I excavated the living room, polished the remaining silver, and even hung one of our pictures, and now it looks like this:
So that was a good thing. Unfortunately, whilst vacuuming the rest of the house one of the cat toys got sucked into the beater brushes and I kinda lost my shit. Hurling toys the cats never use hither and thither, and hurling words I've been using far too often lately as well, my wife pointed out that I really need to get out of the house. Summers sometimes weigh heavily on me, and with the exception of last weekend's wonderful stay at Castle Duke there have been too many days where I haven't even left the house. Today it all crashed in on me. So my wonderful Missus dug into the webs and tried to find something for us to do tomorrow, since she actually has the day off. We settled on Tarpon Springs, which is just across the bay and the locus of sponge diving in Florida. It has a huge Greek population, so I'm looking forward to nomming many a baklava and grape leaf. I'm actually quite excited. It's very easy to forget that there is a reason, besides the weather, that Florida is a tourist Mecca.
Something wonderful that happened today involved the Duke and His Lady Memorial HDTV. For more than 20 years I have known that somewhere in the hieroglyphics adorning the Well of the Souls set in Raiders of the Lost Ark were R2D2 and C-3PO, but I had never been able to spot them. Today I popped Raiders into the blu-ray player, and spotted them quite easily in all that gorgeous high def clarity. I was giddy as a school boy, and my wife, who was unaware of this pre-DVD Easter egg, got quite a chuckle as well. It quite literally made my day. Cheers, your dukosity. :-)
And that's all for now. I'll give a full report on our away mission upon our return.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Gather round, folkses, and let me tell you of a groovy weekend. As most of you know, this weekend was our Independence Day celebration and Duke invited us down to his place to enjoy some brew, some noms, and some explosives. Alas, Mrs. Marius had to work, but sent me on my way with her blessing. The trip down was uneventful, and I arrived moments after the doughty Turtle and Sheeps. Hugs were dispensed, and then we went to lunch at a totally awesome place called The Ice House. It is actually an old ice house that has now been turned into a pub, complete with about four gazillion dart board, and a few more types of beer. Thus the drinking began. Upon our return to Chez Duke Targon and the family arrived and there was much rejoicing...and drinking. The rest of the afternoon/evening consisted of beer, movies, beer, a very strange board game, an incredible lasagna made by Mrs. Duke, vodka and beer, pool, and finally beer. At long last we all hauled our rapidly aging, and aching, heads to bed. Sunday, your actual 4th of July, saw us not too much the worse for wear, and a tasty breakfast was quickly followed by an even sillier game of Munchkin. If you are at all familiar with fantasy role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, get a copy of Munchkin. It's frikken hilarious! And family friendly as the participants in this game were made up of three children, and three adults. After lunch most of us old farts took naps as it was raining quite heavily. Later the rain let up a bit and Duke introduced me to the world of SCA fencing. This is similar to the full contact fighting I used to do with heavy rattan swords, but with real steel swords. These are not heavy broadswords, but more along the lines of the rapiers you saw in The Princess Bride. Between Duke, Turtle, and Sheeps they had enough gear to get me outfitted and a grand, if very sweaty, time was had by all. I really enjoyed myself and even have a couple of bruises to show for it. Gonna have to get more into this.
Sunday night was dry enough for the fireworks that Duke had acquired. He and I braved the mosquitoes, smoke, and occasional misfired rocket to play firebugs as we launched numerous brilliantly colored flames heavenward. Fortunately we were all quite sober...though more due to over indulging the night before than to any sense of safety...and everyone retired within with no net loss of digits or other vital organs. We played some more pool, drank a few more beers, and had an all adult game of Munchkin before turning in.
Monday was bug out day. Half of us were heading north, whilst the other half was headed south. Turtle and Sheeps and I met Mrs. Marius for an amazing lunch at an all you can eat sushi and Chinese food place called Crazy Buffet(if there is one near you I highly recommend it) and then we all went our separate ways; full, happy, and quite relaxed. I know it was something I very, very much needed, and I suspect that the feelings along those lines were quite mutual.
So unto Duke and his lovely lady I say thanks again for another grand 4th of July. And to everyone I say that it was, is, and always will be so wonderful to see you. I have been, and always shall be your friend...even if you do like Yuengling. ;-)
Love to all,
Friday, July 02, 2010
Ok, so slacker doesn't even begin to cover my lack of postings hereabouts, but I shall endeavor to make amends. As you may recall we recently pulled up stakes and hauled our collection of shit, crap, and sundry junk into a new(to us, anyway) abode. As I've whined previously it was more traumatizing than I'd anticipated, and I kinda spiraled into a deep mauve funk. (it wasn't a deep blue funk because I rather like that color, and this funk was not pleasant) As time has passed, however, and the stuff of our lives has osmosed into the closets and drawers of the new place I have found melancholy replaced by sheerest boredom. But not the kind of boredom that inspires you to actually do stuff. No, more the kind of boredom that, if it weren't for the pesterings of hungry felines, might cause one to question the wisdom of getting out of bed at all. Well, 'tis time to break out of this cocoon and get some shit done! And let me share a bit of advise for any of you that might be renting your dwelling from an actual rental company...don't waste your time cleaning before you leave. We busted our asses making sure the old place looked better than when we moved in, and still got buggered out of 9/10ths of our security deposit.
Now for a media report. Don't go see Robin Hood, unless maybe you are seeking a drug-free sleep aid. My grud! I expected it to not be very good, but I didn't expect to be bored to death. Russel Crowe exhibited all the personality of a piece of Formica in this snoozefest of a movie. The rest of the cast did their very best to add a sense of fun to the film, but every time Crowe was on screen he acted like a fun-absorbent bit of floating boom, sucking in all semblance of merriment until everyone around him seemed to just give up and wander, zombie-like, through the rest of the picture. Ridley Scott owes me two hours and twenty bucks!
On the up side, thanks to a massively generous house warming gift, we now have our very first HDTV and Blu Ray player. I had seen the high def televisions, and even allowed myself to lust after them a bit, but was only just beginning to entertain the possibility that we might, someday, be able to afford one. Well now we have one, and it's FREAKING AMAZING!!! And the best part is that the disc player has built in WiFi, so it can talk to our wireless router and stream movies from the Internet directly to the TV. If I might steal a line from Will Wheaton, I love living in the future. Anyone want to take a guess what the first Blu Ray movie I bought was? ;-)
And that's about it for now. I'll be joining Duke for the Independence Day celebrations again this year, and I'm very much looking forward to that. Podcasting is going great, and we've been recording like crazy lately, and the COA is at her dad's, so Mrs. Marius and I are getting a very much needed break.
So, I'm going to get some breakfast and then do some cleaning. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat until this exciting activity is fully documented in this august journal(I know it's not August yet, but indulge me) but I'm afraid I have to keep some things private.
Oh, and if you haven't seen the Matt Smith Doctor Who yet, why not?! He's brilliant!!