Monday, April 5, 2010

Apartments, Sakura Con and lots of Potato Salad

Well my weekend was packed full of fun. Friday, Mike and I went apartment shopping and finally found an apartment, yeay. It’s a loft and it looks like it’s going to be fun decorating and organizing the place. Utilities aren’t included, but we got a month free so it’ll hopefully equal out in the end. We sign the lease on the 10th and we’re probably about half way through packing.

Packing, now there’s an interesting subject. I’ve never had anyone ‘help’ me pack before. Usually it’s me, boxes, perhaps a cat and a full day or two to get everything together. Mike got the closet cleared out in about half the time it would have taken me and after a bit, I just had to let him go and not worry about organizing anything, just getting ride of the trash.

My sister also had birthday party and my mother had the coolest cake made for her. It was an orange Shubert cake and it tasted exactly like its name. It was delicious.

Saturday started off with my normal fencing lesson before turning into mass frenzy of packing, navigating and then setting up for the fencing demo held at this years Sakura Con at the Seattle Convention Center. It seems no matter how many times I drive around lost in Seattle, I just can’t seem to remember where things are. I ended up doubling back a couple of times trying to find the convention center before finally stumbling upon it. We didn’t have too much trouble making our way towards the office to get out passes and then it was up to the demo room to take a look at the space we where given. I should say first off, that last year at the same time, the convention had at least twice as many people roaming the halls and escalators. This year it looked like a sad reflection of its former self. I don’t know if it was from the lack of speakers or perhaps funding, but I was deathly afraid that we’d have even less attendees and spectators then last year.

Happily, that wasn’t the case. I’d say that we probably had triple the attendance then last year, and we managed to keep it for the entire show, thanks to the help of other volunteers from MTFC. At one point one of the volunteers offered to give me the microphone, probably afraid that I was angry that I didn’t get the chance to speak or fence at the event. I told him he was doing a great job and to carry on while I continued to make the rounds around the room and answer any questions the spectators might have. The hour flew by fast and the group was entertained and involved in the show. I think it was one of the best demonstrations MTFC has held.

Afterwards we checked out the paraphernalia that was for sale at the convention. There were a lot of articles that I wish I’d never seen but there where some really interesting stalls there. One in particular had a metal sculpture with glass used to create a flying dragon form. Another had skirts that I wasn’t willing to fork over the amount they were asking for, but it did give me some ideas for making my own skirt.

We navigated the many floors that were involved in the convention and headed down to Mike’s favorite restaurant, The Tap House, where sushi, popcorn shrimp, lava cake (the best I’ve ever had) and of course beer was consumed. I listened to some interesting stores and met a group from Portland that was up in the Seattle area for Sakura Con. Afterwards, it was a pain trying to get into the parking garage that I parked in, as the only pedestrian entrance available seemed to be two elevators with a line stretching down and around the block.

After many failed attempts at locating the outdoor entrance for the stair well, we only managed to get into it because someone leaving held the door open, our group ended up being a floor too high from where we parked. While half the group (me included) ended up just walking down the ramps, the other half (including Mike) squeezed between a bunch of thick metal cables and the cement floor. We’re talking probably about the width of my hand. Aside from being extremely tall, they’re also are whipcord thin. They might have bet us to the car, but I had the keys.

Sunday was Easter and it was relatively relaxing. My grandmother had the fun experience of trying to cook a ham that had already been pre-cooked. The meat was a little crispy, but after trimming off the burned ends, it still tasted good enough to eat. Next came the six (yes I did mean 6) pounds of potato salad she bought, to make sure everyone got some. Keep in mind that usually our family gatherings aren’t more the 6 to 8 people. Next year, we’re talking about shaping the potato salad into a shape of a ham and featuring it with ham as the accent meat surrounding it.

I also managed finished re-reading one of my more favorite books, and here is the review.

Book Review:

Archangel’s Kiss, by Nalini Singh

This is the second book in the series of Guild Hunter Novels and it was as ensnaring as the first. The passionate relationship between the main character Elena and the Archangel Raphael, smoldered the pages with an intensity the rivaled the paranormal suspense that I could barely put the book down until I had finished reading the last page. Her descriptions of Angels and their relationships with Vampires and humans is realistic and draws you into the secondary characters and the depths that they hold under their surfaces. It makes me wonder, and hope, that once she’s done with this particular guild hunter that she’ll match up the remaining Vampires and Angels that work for and are tied to Raphael.

This chapter of her series has the reader entering the scene as human guild hunter Elena has woken up to find that she has been asleep for a year and has been transformed into an angel by none other then her Archangel lover Raphael. As their relationship unfolds, it’s strained by Raphael’s need to come to terms with their new relationship and the sometimes hate filled experiences with his sentries. Mixed in with Elena coming to terms with her new body and relationship is the murder of other vampires and angels, stolen children and the desire one of the Archangels has for her immediate death.

I really enjoyed reading this book the first time around and it only gets better with every read. I’d recommend this book to anyone.

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