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Archive for August, 2012

Canada birthday and other stuff that happens in America’s top hat

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Let me see, August 28th… hmm. Yeah, that should do it. I doubt any birthdayey stuff will happen a month and twenty days past my birthday, right?

*Stands still*

*Looks around*

Indeed, all appears most unbirthdayey.
So, I can lazily write up the end of my most whirlwind birthday season yet! (Plus, I can’t have Smarty Pants showing me up on my own blog with fancy trip reports and stuff! *GASP*)

DUUUUUDDDEEEEE.

TOM BRADY! HELMET! SIIIIIGNED!

At one point, on my actually actual birthday, Fisch and I were re-rolling the Brady fathead he got me and I was all “wooowww” and I realized I had said it out loud and he was looking at me, so I quickly added “this fathead is so cool!” And he accusingly goes “Liar! You weren’t wowing about the fathead! You’re cheating on my gift with the helmet!” And then he sewed a scarlet A on my t-shirt and threw stones.

RUUDDEEE.

But anyway, lots of equally as awesome as Fisch’s fathead stuff happened.

I had a surprise birthday party just for me in Toronto!

That’s right, no stoopid Chinese Pete and @Vinnay flags mucking up my personal surprise cake and perfectly delicious exactly how I like it vanilla birthday ice cream! But let me rewind a bit…

The way I remember it 1, At Astinto and M were totally like, hey, you should come to Toronto and hang out for a few days in August! And I was all “no, I don’t want to intrude, you guys were already SO nice and made me a cake last year and took me to hockey musuems.”

But they were all “It’s not an intrusion at all. You must come! If you don’t, we will cry.”

Naturally, being the great humanitarian that I am, I could not stand to be the cause of such suffering, so I agreed to come to Toronto and be fed, and hydrated and celebrated with baseball games and cakes. No, no…stop with all the praise, it’s the least I could do, especially considering how terribly Canada was doing in the Olympics!

*smiles sweetly*

Mary, who suspiciously didn’t travel abroad with me AT ALL last year, and @petitedov made the trip up with me. We were supposed to spend a couple of days in Buffalo hanging out with @VinNay, but he was too busy with work. And by work, of course, I mean booze and hookers. Instead, he took us out for a quick dinner and fireworks on his catamaran. Our waitress had tattoo of the map of Buffalo on her arm. I asked to see it and she proudly held out her arm and rotated it, so I could see the full effect of her geographic pride snaking around her arm. I admired it, but also thought, as much as I love Brooklyn — and I do LOVE Brooklyn — the only way I’d have a map of Brooklyn inked into my skin is if there were also a telltale X which corresponded to hidden treasure at its real life location.

After fireworks and boating in Buffalo, we hit the road again to our real destination in Canadia. This involved getting across the border and THAT, in turn, involved getting out of Buffalo. VinNay offered to show us “the fast way” out of Buffalo.

Um.

Yeah… so an hour and a half later, we’re still following him through the backroads of Western New York when we finally see a sign with a pointing arrow with the word Canada on it.  Mary goes: TURN THERE!

So, I do.
Because Mary clearly has implanted an obey chip in my head.
I have now turned the wrong way down a one way street. Also, who’s got two thumbs and is not the best at three point turns? #ThisGuy *headdesk*

“WE’RE GOING TO DIE IN BUFFALO JUST LIKE PRESIDENT MCKINLEY!” I screamed, demonstrating not only my vast knowledge of American history, but also that coolheadness under pressure that my people are known for throughout the world.

After surviving that brush with death, we had to face the Canadian border patrol. We were on line for what seemed like forever, before the little man in the booth started barking questions at us.

“Where are you going?”
Mexico.

“Toronto.”

“Why?”
To do your mom.
“To see a Yankees game.”
“When are you leaving?”

When your hair grows back.

“Sunday.”

He peered inside the car and handed back our passports.

To the Queensroad!

I set the cruise control so I wouldn’t constantly have to remember that 100 kph wasn’t 100 mph. We still made it to At Astinto’s in about an hour. Our beds were already made up for us and there were steaming cups of hot cocoa waiting and mints on our pillows. Plus, they read us all stories. It’s my favorite place to stay in Toronto!
And while we slept, Astin was preparing chicken in the kitchen, while M did secret cake things. I was not allowed in the refrigerator.

We got up early the next morning for our trip to the Islands, our awesome hosts were all “hey, would you like a western omelet for breakfast, Dawn?” And I, wide eyed with awe, said  ”OH MY GOSH!! I WOULD *TOTALLY* LIKE A WESTERN OMELET! HOW ON EARTH —”

But seriously, the ham was diced in little ham pieces and M made home fries that were really good. I NEVER EAT home fries!

Yeah, I’m pretty much moving to Canadia now.

Our islands trip got rained out, so we ended up taking a tour of the Toronto underground and going to the limited time only Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Know what I learned? Jesus almighty in heaven, Picasso was a whore!

Astin and M took us to the members lounge for tea and crumpets — but there were no tables large enough to accommodate five people. Well, there was, but one lady decided to sit there. Alone. And refused to relent even when faced with my steely eyed glare. We moved two extra chairs to a three person table, but the surly waiter yelled at us and then refused to serve us. So we left. If @atthisisnotapril had been with me, oh boy would the floor of that place been strewn with condiments. STREWN!

M wanted to take us to a cute little pastry place across the street, but it was jam packed, so we walked to another cute place a few blocks up — passing a Krispy Kreme along the way!

“KRISPY KREME!” I shouted, with an enthusiasm not once shown during the three hours spent perusing seven decades of the manwhore’s greatest masterpieces. #whyIcantgetnowhereasaperson

No one else seemed as enthused, so we kept walking to the other pastry place. We ordered lattes and baked goods and sat down to chat about floating film festivals and pizza ovens shipped from Italy and all the while I heard:  ”DDAAAWWWWNN… DDDDAAWWWWNNNNN…DDAAWWWWWNNN” humming in my ear.

I looked around and couldn’t see who was calling me. So I went to the entrance and looked outside. Then I walked to the corner. Then I walked down the block. And finally, as I was standing outside the Krispy Kreme store, I realized it was a glazed donut calling me! This would later be referred to as the time Dawn ran away from tea without telling anyone. But in my defense, IT WAS THE DONUTS’ FAULT! See, and I KNOW @VinNay is going to seize upon this episode as evidence that he didn’t lose me in a grocery store, I just wandered off and lost myself, but THAT IS FALSE! HE LOST *ME*! AND BROKE HIS OWN TV! HHMMPPHH. #RACES

Anyway, the donuts returned me safely back to the coffee shop. Everyone was very worried, except Astin who had figured it all out. I assume it’s his years of Simpsons watching which gave him the insight into the power of donuts.

Mmmm.

Do-nuts.

We went back to the Homestead and preparations began for my surprise birthday dinner! They prepared many of my favorite foods… almost as if I had requested the whole meal in advance! Petitedov kept requesting weird cocktails and then, as is the Russian custom, if she didn’t like it, she’d throw the glass to the floor and yell “Hasta La Vista!” It was quite disconcerting.

All I wanted was white wine, but M kept handing me empty glasses. She gave me like four empty glasses in twenty minutes and by then, someone else had drank the whole bottle. I was very sad. But I can’t complain, the rest of the evening was SO FUN! We played like four different versions of Scene It — I brought up the Simpsons version that Fisch gave me last year and M owns many of the others — Mary was my partner. M and @petitedov were partners and Astin paired with @VinNay, who had driven up from Buffalo that afternoon.

There was Simpsons Scene It and TV Scene It — which I clearly had been training for my whole life; there was Movies Scene It which I have only been training for for like six years, so M won that one and I think Music scene it, which I didn’t stand a chance at — now, Taylor Swift Scene It? Bring it on!

Dinner was AH-MAH-ZING! They even had the hot sauce I liked and Astin let me make my own seltzer! THEY MAKE THEIR OWN SELTZER! The corn was kind of vindictive though and tried to blind me. I ate it extra viciously after that.

After dinner — I was all blindfoldededed and the cake was brought out — DDUUUUUUDUDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEE:

IT’S ME! AS THE COMPANION ON THE TARDIS!! DUUUUUUDDDDDDDEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

HOW AWESOME IS THIS CAKE! @VinNay was SOOOOOO JJEEAALLLOOUUUSSSSSSS. He tried to cut me out of the cake and eat me so he could pretend he was the Companion! But he wasn’t! IT WAS MEEEEE!!!





M TOTALLY topped last year’s cake, which honestly, I didn’t think was possible. She had jedi mind tricked me, somehow, into dressing like the cake topper she had made. And yet! This one was better!!!

DUUUUDDDDEEE.

Petitedov was also totally jealous and kept trying to steal Astin and M away by “helping to clean up” and “doing the dishes” and not “running from the cat screaming ‘bad dog’.”

I don’t really remember much more about that night — but a sensation lingers that VinNay and Petitedov are the worst people in all the world and I hate them.

The next day, Astin woke us up with pancakes!

And because I’m the only person in Cristendom who hates fresh squeezed orange juice and real maple syrup, he offered to make me fake syrup from scratch!
How awesome is he? Wait… what am I doing? All this praise and every American will want to have their Canada birthday in Toronto and they’ll be booked for years in advance and next thing you know I won’t get to have Canada birthday for another ten years!

I take it back! Toronto was not awesome! There are cat dogs! And they eat their owners’ faces:
And the cat tried to steal my ipad and eat my ice cream. I saved the ice cream. #ThisiswhyIcanthavenicethings

After having pancakes and leftover fried chicken (sorry, President Obama) for breakfast. They took us out to the ballgame.

The Toronto Maple Jays were battling the New York Stinkees in a game of pitch and toss.


The Jays had lost the previous two outings and I was very worried they would be swept and I would have to watch, so I brought all of my cheerleading skill and training to turn the tides the Jays way!

To make the Americans feel comfortable, Astin arranged to have the American Idol, Carrie Underwood throw out the first pitch!

After that it was up to me!

Derek Jeter came up to bat and I booed him and called him Derek Jester! He struck out.

Then Nick Swisher, “More like Nick Squished-er!” Oh yeah, I came up with that ON THE SPOT, Y’all!

We were sitting next to these Yankees fans who had driven up from Buffalo, but by the third inning, they had run off crying!

The Jays had built up a six run lead, so I figured I could relax with a few glasses of wine — the Yankees started to battle back in the seventh and with the lead down to two, I started to worry. Thankfully, the Jays held on and got the win! I was high fiving everyone.

I was wearing my Santana jersey, with a Mets t-shitr underneath, when one guy was all “Mets? Are you lost?”

I laughed and said “No, it’s an anti-Yankees statement.”

We high fived and then his friend was all “the Mets are kinda like the Clippers, aren’t they?”
I glared and said “HEY!”

And then Astin was all “Dawn… do not get into a fight with them. They have free health care and nothing to lose.”

POUT.

*kicks rocks*

After the game, Canada birthday was pretty much over. We took a trolley ride and went to a brewery that didn’t make beer — and then we headed back to America. We picked Vinnay up for dinner. He promised the best Mexican food in the world and all the sangria I could drink. But when we got there, the restaurant was closed. So, we went back and played his dog in no limit hold em for treats and water.
We did not win. And the dog took our pillows.

Sad panda.

We did a tour of Buffalo architecture the next day and I spent the afternoon defending the honor of Thomas Edison against the slander of a bunch of Tesla hooligans. (We ended up going to the Mexican place for lunch and I said to the guy at the counter: Edison or Tesla? He replied Edison, so I borrowed a dollar from Vinny and tipped him with it. Then I laughed cause Vinny is NEVER getting that dollar back. HAHAHAHAHA) Aww, Vinny also unveiled the his keyboard rendition of “Clair de Lune” since I’d never heard it before. He worked on it FOR MONTHS! MONTHS! And only made like one mistake! YAY! :-)

We also took a tour of some house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for some rich people.
Know what I learned? Frank Lloyd Wright was a hack. Also, I despise conservation. They should level that house and build a Krispy Kreme. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. They should build a casino.

1. Any versions of the story which involve me saying “So when’s Canada birthday this year? And I have to stay over because I didn’t get to eat nearly enough of my cake last year” are patently false. And untrue. Also, lies.

What the hell is this??

Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

The day an American is no longer free to chase a Canadian through the streets of Los Angeles, is the day I move to… um… Canada, I guess.

VinNay Guest Post – GenCon Trip Report

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by Smarty Pants

Gencon 2012 is in the books.  This year I convinced 2 local friends to make the trip with me.  We were meeting a few college friends of mine, plus two other local friends who have since moved away.

The drive out was ok. One of my friends is a non-smoker and threatened to drive himself if we were going to smoke in the car.  I thought about calling his bluff, but didn’t for sake of party cohesion. It took us about 8.5 hours because we stopped frequently for smoke breaks and hit a White Castle along the way. Not sure what the big deal about White Castle is.  The burgers suck.

We arrived and I grabbed my badge in the VIG (Very Important Gamer) lounge, while my friends waited hours in line for theirs.  Yeah, that’s how I roll. I had a quick GM’s meeting with Catalyst because I was running some games for them, and then we headed up to the Shadowrun Meet and Greet. Many beers were had. The Meet and Greet moved to a bar and many more beers were had. We got a few Shadowrun rules cleared up for us by the design team.  Like using babies as armor, and using grenades as projectile weapons. Fun times.

My college friends arrived around 10pm, so we went to meet them. Catching up and more drinking happened.

VIG early admittance started at 9am Thursday morning. My head hurt, but I wanted to get into dealer hall before the masses to make sure I got a few things I wanted before they sold out. Like a Tardis bathrobe. And a creepy dice bag made by Abbotts Hollow.

We had a 10AM demo of Inevitable by our friend Lex, one of the designers of the game. Very fun if you like games in which you screw over your opponents. I picked up a copy. Spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the halls, trying some new games, and looking at all the costumes.

One thing they was awesome this year were all the food trucks.  Indy has had a food truck explosion. There were 10 trucks outside the con at any given time, rotating for lunch, dinner, and late night. Cheap and tasty.

Thursday night was our Shadowrun tournament (day 1), we ended up having to take two girls onto our 6 man team, one of which had not played before.  Grrrr.  They were fun, but it hurt us. Especially since they grabbed characters that really made us shuffle around our standard roles. Also our GM on day 1 was mediocre and seemed to favor the girls for interaction. Balls.

When the tourney (day 1) was over at midnight, we headed to play Are You a Werewolf?  Eric and Adrian (Buffalo friends) did not seem that interested, but once they played, they were hooked.  We did that until about 4am. Oh, and somehow we had a bunch of booze mixed in.

Friday we had a convention only SR mission (umm, I won’t both explaining what that means), and then day 2 of the SR tournament.  Day 2 was better, we came up with a kick ass plan to what was essentially A Train Job.  Bad part was, the GM didn’t pace us well and we didn’t finish in time.  He seemed a bit disinterested, and though he said we probably had the best overall plan we didn’t get the full points because he fucked us over on time.  So, in the end we finished 5th in the tournament and won zero swords. Sean (college friend) had been texting us to come to some bar for about two hours.  Apparently there were lots of hot girls in costume.  By the time we got there it was pretty dead, so we had a few drinks and . . . and . . . I don’t remember it gets fuzzy. I guess we had a bunch of drinks.

Saturday I was running some games for Catalyst Game Labs. They were fun. Got some kids interested in Shadowrun and demoed the game for a group of post grad physicists from Purdue.  Afterwards we were supposed to go back to the JW Marriot for a game of Paranoia, but some of us stopped off at the Cards Against Humanity World Championships.  I had been looking for this game for months because they sold out their kickstarter and was hoping they might have some for sale at the event.

When we got there, the game developers (a few college age kids) let us join the tournament, though they had no sets for sale.  I bubbled the final table. They gave us all free copies of the game. Classy kids. Great game. It’s like Apple to Apples for adults. Back at the JW, we got some food, and missed both Paranoia and Dread games we had scheduled.

Finished the night off with booze, more Are You a Werewolf, and Battletech Combat Pods. Combat pods are hard when drunk. Got to sleep around 6am. Hit the road for home at 11am.

Hmmm…..somewhere in here was the Gencon Ball.  Saturday night. It was like a prom for all the people that never got invited to prom in HS.

Here are some pictures from the con.

 

Posted without comment

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Couple dies trying to save dog from drowning.

Okay, I lied, one comment:

Other boaters, alerted by screams, helped pull the couple from the water. Efforts by rescue personnel failed to revive them, and both were pronounced dead at hospitals.

The dog survived and was taken to the municipal animal shelter.

Mmmhmmm

Taylor has a new song!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 by Dawn Summers

America is FINALLY listening!

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Pet ownership down!

Oh, and remind me to tell you about the Canadian cat that tried to steal my ipad!

Mitt Romney woos the Dawn Summers vote…

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

promises to slash funding to Amtrak!

Taylor Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

This was the very first Taylor Swift song I ever heard:

Taylor Tuesday: bitches be crazy edition

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

hahahahahaha

Monday, August 6th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Two men waiting at the Pearly Gates strike up a conversation. “How’d you die?” the first man asks the second.

“I froze to death,” says the second.

“That’s awful,” says the first man. “How does it feel to freeze to death?”

“It’s very uncomfortable at first”, says the second man. “You get the shakes, and you get pains in all your fingers and toes. But eventually, it’s a very calm way to go. You get numb and you kind of drift off, as if you’re sleeping. How about you, how did you die?”

“I had a heart attack,” says the first man. “You see, I knew my wife was cheating on me, so one day I showed up at home unexpectedly. I ran up to the bedroom, and found her alone, knitting. I ran down to the basement, but no one was hiding there, either. I ran up to the second floor, but no one was hiding there either. I ran as fast as I could to the attic, and just as I got there, I had a massive heart attack and died.”

The second man shakes his head. “That’s so ironic,” he says.

“What do you mean?” asks the first man.

“If you had only stopped to look in the freezer, we’d both still be alive.”