Monday, May 30, 2011

Not a funeral

I've been on a bit of a mental holiday, as you might have gathered. I tend to get wrapped up in projects (one of which will be done in collaboration with Dan Potter at Walking the Lethe) and lose track of the days. I've discovered that I really like drawing blueprints and perhaps should have gone into architecture, after all. Writing has been going well, for once, and I think I may be slowly swinging into another bout of OCD because I'm sorely tempted to try macrame.

But yesterday I was thankfully forced from my mental hidey-hole, in the form of a family gathering. There's a morbid joke in Karel's family that they only ever get to see each other when there's a funeral, and it's true enough that this year, for the first time since I've been here, a couple of people decided to have a gathering without a burial.

It was a little weird, because everybody remembered me, but I didn't remember anybody. I attribute this to the fact that every blood-relative of Karel's father looks the same, and that when there are a thousand people talking all at once, it's hard to catch names. By the time you've finished shaking hands and start saying, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that," they've already started a conversation with the person next to you.

The family has video clips from the thirties through the fifties, which were digitized and then played in a continuous loop through the day. It's one thing to know, intellectually, that the dignified old man that Karel calls "Pap" was a child at one time in his life. It's another thing to see the video of a blonde little boy building a sandcastle, and getting sand everywhere except where it was supposed to go. Photo albums of the family had also been assembled--it was fun to pick out who was in which photo and, if they were around, compare that picture to the person at the party.

I've got a few more job applications to send out, but after that, it should be back to blogging as usual. Subjects to be covered in upcoming posts are cheese, art supplies, and Noodle's dental.

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