This past weekend was one of much indulgence in movies, gaming, food and good company. Friday night, I took myself out to see The Forgotten. I found it to be an enjoyable movie. I've also discovered that I am slowly getting over my reluctance/fear of going and doing stuff like going to the movies by myself. I still can't find it in me to go to a restaurant alone, though. But, it seems I'm growing more comfortable in my own skin, by myself.
Saturday, I had the last session of the current DnD game that I'm in. Because one player had to drop out for a little bit, we are putting the game on hiatus until they can return. So, next time, we are shifting to the Traveller system. I haven't played in it before but that's nothing new for me with this gaming group. Saturday night, I enjoyed the company of Aaron, Glenn and Andrew at the Melting Pot. It has been almost exactly a year since we four did that. It was a very good time. A lot of fun discussion about houses, moving and the like.
Sunday, I bopped over to Hans' place to play "Dogs in the Vineyard" with him, Jeff and Robert. It was really cool. Not just because of the game but because I was invited/included. I enjoy hanging out with the three of them. "Dogs in the Vineyard" is a really interesting indie game about being "God's Watchdog" in the early West. We are religiously based circuit authorities that travel from town to town as Jury, Judge and Executioner when Sin allows the Demons in to infest and damage a town. It is a very different style of game play that I've not experienced before but am fast beginning to like.
Monday, I spent traveling to and from California to meet up with my family. My parents were out visiting my brother in Livermore and meeting the new baby Haley. Since they were so close and I had not seen my Dad in a couple of years, I thought it would be a good thing for me to pop down there, visit with them and meet my new niece as well.
As an aside, I got to thinking about just how amazing this era we live in is that I was able to make an 1800 mile round trip visit in one day to see family for a few hours. It just boggles the mind when you really think about it. I suppose, that's why I still get a thrill out of being able to get in a taxi without any luggage and say "To the airport." It makes me feel a bit like a jetsetter.
But, I digress. The plane ride down was over before I knew it because I passed out on the plane. I was really tired. My dad picked me up at the airport but was in a good mood despite the traffic. He is looking a lot better. He's lost some weight and he's shaved off his beard. This makes him look younger and healthier. A very good thing in my book as he didn't look that healthy a couple years ago.
Mom is looking as well as ever. Just like she did when she came to visit me. Suzanne is looking tired but I'm pretty sure that's because the baby keeps her up at weird hours. Scott is the same as last month but seems calmer and more patient. Suzanne is an excellent influence on him. Baby Haley... oh, wow... she's so tiny. The kittens I foster are almost bigger than she is. She's about 5 pounds and squeaks a lot. Plus, she's so hot all the time but that's a good thing for her. I did hold her after some hesitation. Kittens are one thing. Babies are another. Haley is really fragile. Mom got a couple of pictures of me holding her.
I took the whole family out to dinner at our favorite Chinese place. It was a good time. Talking about Haley, moving, work, the hurricane and all sorts of stuff. Devon, Scott's adopted son is very bright and artistically inclined. He's promised me a drawing for my refrigerator to go next to the ones from Emily and Amanda. Eventually, I'm hoping for pictures from all of my nieces and nephews.
Scott drove me back to the airport after dinner and the plane ride was really smooth. There were all of 13 passengers on the flight. It seemed a little odd to me because another flight to Seattle left 30 minutes earlier and was completely packed. I think it must have been delayed. The 13 of us, 4 in first class, the rest in coach, spread out and relaxed. As I drifted off to sleep again, I pondered the idea of something 'interesting' happening to Flight 485 and to the 13 passengers. Nothing concrete just a bit about what someone would have to do to find all of us if they had to for some reason.
A writer's mind is never at rest and that's the way I like it.
Another thought that occurred to me is that my relationship with my family is very much like my relationship with my cat. In a way, it's very sad. On one hand, like my cat, it is filled with love, communication and giving. I like being around them and they like being around me. But, on the other hand, like with Esme, it has the potential to turn ugly at the drop of the hat with little or no warning and I just have to be fast enough to evade the teeth before I'm bitten.
One good example of this was when I discussing Devon with my brother, finding out his interests. (A tentative pet.) I received a very surprising answer to whether or not he would introduce Devon to DnD. It was an unequivocal "No." (Esme snapping at my hand.) When I asked why, since DnD used to be one of his all time favorite hobbies (Me slowly bringing my hand back to see if she's receptive.), he responded that there was too much paganism in the game and when on to tell me about how there was too much about 'true spell casting" and "demonism" in the guise of the game. (Esme snapping at me again.) I nodded and said that as Devon was his son, he just needed to keep me up to date with what they will and won't allow with him. (Me withdrawing altogether.)
This sort of thing happened several times during the few hours I was there. My father got upset that they were teaching Evolution/Darwinism in history class. My family making comments about Bush being a good president. Suzanne making a comment about devil worship at Halloween. There were other comments as well. But, as this is my family and my family is born again, religiously self-righteous and stubborn, if I want to remain on speaking terms with them, I must step back, silently offended. I know they do not believe they are self-righteous. Just very confident and sure of the "one true way."
This situation is very sad to me. I want to love them unreservedly. I do. Just like I want to love my cat unreservedly but I cannot. She is a feral rescue (born again) with ingrain behaviors (religiously self-righteous/stubborn) and quick to bite in an _expression of displeasure. It hurts in more ways than one. It is hard to love while always being wary of the sudden bite from the most innocent of pets or the best of intentions.
I've been thinking of this a lot this morning and this realization weighs heavy on me.
Tarot Card for the Day: Four of Cups