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Yesterday, Bobby and I celebrated twenty-one years together. We celebrate the anniversary of when we started dating, not when we married. We were young nerds in love, at the end of our 9th-grade year. I was 14, and he'd recently turned 15. We had been friends for the entire year at our magnet school for math, science, and computer science. (Neither of us went to our home high schools, so we often marvel at how precarious our even meeting was: We both applied, were accepted, and decided to go; we ended up in the same homeroom with identical schedules except that he took PE when I was in band.)

He was the social superior: very liked by everyone and popular in our isolated nerdy class. ("Magnet kids," as we were known, mostly took classes together, since we also tended to be in "gifted and talented" classes in our other academics as well.) I was middling, the kind of girl who doesn't really get noticed but starting to forge my own identity and express myself more freely. Going to a magnet school was a big deal for me in that I wasn't stuck forever with peers who had known me mostly as an awkward nerd who was despised by most other kids and had a slew of humiliating baggage associated with her. It gave me a chance to start over again.

Anyway, in May of 1996, I realized that I had a crush on Bobby--actually, my best friend pointed it out to me, in a note she wrote to me on her graphing calculator, of course, because we were blithely naive of how stereotypical we "magnet kids" could be--but even though we were friends, he was a social class above me, and I didn't think there was any hope of reciprocation. In retrospect, it says something about my self-esteem at the time that I assumed that this person who was my friend, who was never anything but kind to me, would never entertain the possibility of dating me.

So, long story short, said best friend and one of Bobby's friends who found out about my crush orchestrated the two of us dancing together at the last dance of the school year. And we haven't looked back since.

We never actually asked each other out, but one never asked the other to get married either. We just fell into stride with each other, and that's where we've stayed. (On this theme, we've never had "a song"--the thing to have when we were first together--but we do have a poem.) I sometimes tell him that being with him is the same as being alone ... and for an introvert, of course, that is a high compliment.

We're long past the point where I'm supposed to wonder and want other people, right? I truly don't. I told him the other day that if he ever finds someone he prefers to me (he insists he won't), then I'll just live alone, with maybe some animals and a lot of houseplants.

"And a lot of spiders," he added.

Indeed, he knows me. (He asked me to remove a largish jumping spider from the ceiling the other day that I would have totally just kept around and loved like people love cats. I much prefer spiders to cats!)

So yesterday I buzzed out of work pretty early for me and popped into my email just long enough to make sure that the SWG hadn't crashed into the Sun or anything dramatic like that, and then took the evening off from everything. We went to Parker Pie for dinner and shared hot Buffalo wings and a pizza with hot Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and ricotta cheese. I had a Citizen, and he had two Hill Farmstead beers, so I drove him home (the lush ... I always drive him home! my beer allergy works out really well for him!). We took the Goldens for a walk down River Road--Guinevere is in training as a therapy dog and has homework five nights a week, so Bobby spent half of the walk working with her while Lancelot and I were the distraction--under a watercolor evening sky that was doubled in the river. We returned right as the sun set to sit out on the deck and read until it got too chilly for me to bear. (It is still unseasonably cool.) Then we warmed up in the hillbilly hot tub, saw the first fireflies of the season, and I saw seven satellites (as well as Jupiter being insanely bright right now).

It was a great evening. It's been a great twenty-one years.
Today, Bobby qualified again for the finals of the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. He took bronze in his age category, which is pretty daggone impressive because 1) this is his last year in this age category, which means he is competing against guys ten years younger than he is, who are in their mid-20s, and 2) as luck would have it, he came down with a cold yesterday and so was far from 100% when he did his run today. The conditions were also awful: in the upper 40s F and a slow, cold rain. (I know because I stood outside in it for about ten minutes, waiting for him to come down! I was wearing my Roxy hightops, and the warmth from my feet through the soles of my shoes caused me to freeze to the ground.) He only missed silver by a half-second and finished three seconds better than the gold in the next age group up from him.

The finals this year is at Jay Peak, in northern Vermont, the very last stop on the Vermonter Amtrak line. He turns 35 the day before the competition, so depending on the rules, he might get to compete in the next age group up, which would improve his chances considerably of taking a medal in the finals. He placed fifth last year.

I'm very proud of him! He hasn't been doing this very long and has honed his skills primarily on our small southern mountains. At the finals, he competes against guys who have been doing this their whole lives and on mountains "steeper and deeper" than his beloved but nonetheless tiny Liberty.

Posing with his medal and his stick with Liberty in the background.

 photo 2016-02-21 14.58.18_zpssaquunc3.jpg

And a scary-close-up of us together! I need longer arms and refuse to buy a selfie stick!

 photo 2016-02-21 14.58.44_zpszk51mxgm.jpg
Bobby ended up placing fifth in his category today at the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. This was a very impressive result (in my admittedly biased opinion!) There were 36 competitors in his category, which was ages 26-35, so he was also competing against guys significantly younger than him. And it is also worth remembering--and it's easy to forget sometimes because he's come so far so fast--that he has only been doing this for four seasons now, and missed part of two of those seasons due to injury. So I am very, very proud of him. :)

Pictures below the Cut )
Last week, when Bobby and I were sitting at the bar in Pie-casso, there was a giant slalom event on the television. I told him that it looked cool. "Oh, that's giant slalom," he said.

"Funny, the people look like they are of ordinary stature to me, not giants at all."

"No, it doesn't mean that giants participate, it just refers to the kind of event it is."

Well, this was timely, as we returned from Vermont to discover that Bobby had a chance to participate in a giant slalom event today at Liberty, the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. He wasn't initially sure that employees of the mountain would be allowed, but it was decided they were. He is tall (6'2") but not a giant.

There were 700-some participants overall and 28 in his category (male snowboarders ages 25-35; as he noted, there were some "pretty young dudes" he was up against). He texted me when he was getting into line, and I wrapped up in my cold-weather gear and schlepped out to the end of the course in my inappropriate-for-snow shoes. It was snowing quite hard; we are under a winter storm warning in north-central Maryland today. I arrived right as he was coming down and got to see the end of his run.

This was his first competition, and I don't think either of us knew what to expect, but at 2:30, we stood to hear the winners announced ... and he took bronze in his category! Which means that he is now eligible to race in the finals at the end of March, at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. It is a televised event! So it looks like we will be back on the Vermonter and headed northward again sooner rather than later.

Photos and Snoooow! )
As of yesterday, Bobby and I have been together for 18 years.

I have told the story before of how we got together at the ages of 14 (me) and just-barely-15 (him) at a dance at our nerdy math-science magnet school, so I won't repeat it now. Suffice to say that we have been together for well over half of our lives by now with no plans on changing that anytime soon. I am still as crazy about that man as I was the day in ninth grade that my best friend typed on my graphing calculator, "You are in love with Bobby," and I realized that I was (in teenage terms anyway!) indeed in love with Bobby.

I'm going to beg preemptive pardon for the cheesy sentimentality that follows ... I connect with Bobby as I never have with another human. He is both my best friend and the partner I've chosen to make my life with. I never thought I'd want to marry anyone. (I never thought anyone would want to marry me!) I test as 100% introvert, and since I work a job that requires me to be "on" socially for at least a few hours a day (my students don't let me off easily on that either!), then I need a break from people more often than not, and Bobby is the only person who doesn't count in that. I often tell him that he is just as good as being alone, which sounds awful, unless you know what it's like to live in an extremely introverted brain, and then you understand that it's actually the highest compliment I could pay. We are at the point where we often joke that there is a shared brain that floats between us because one of us will think something and the other will say it, or we will speak in unison. He has seen me at my worst and still manages to love me.

Our anniversary was pretty low-key but good all the same. We went to the farmer's market in the morning and for lunch at a local cafe, then had a bunch of errands to run that mostly involved procuring food for various animals. We went to the gym and to pick up our friend's dog, who we were watching yesterday. We both had chores to do in the afternoon, but we had a date that night: We went to a local Asian restaurant that serves great Malaysian food, then to the movies to see Maleficent (don't laugh! we both enjoyed it!), and then for ice cream at that Carroll County standard, Hoffman's. We went home and were supposed to have a firepit, but the wood was still damp from the rains earlier in the week, so the firepit was hella lame! Putting a votive candle in the firepit would have given an equivalent amount of light and warmth! But it was okay because, after our busy day, we were both yawning by then and went to bed pretty early. Bobby also wrote me a beautiful alliterative poem, which he read for me. It was a good day.

I have been meaning for a while to scan in some old photos from high school. Our anniversary was a good excuse to finally do that!

18 Years of Bobby and Dawn )
Every few days, I think, "I should write in my journal about that!" but then never actually do. Although I'm not taking any classes right now, it's a busy time of the year in the House of Felagund, and I've been staying very loyal to my gym schedule. And I've been busy at work, with a large senior class this year and all of them in some form of jeopardy (usually related to HSAs), plus the after-school program. And trying to get the B2MeM ebook together. Anyway, I've been photographing things, so I'll at least share my photos and some updates will likely straggle along with those photos.

Pictures below the Cut ... )
  • Every now and then, I have one of those social butterfly weekends. This was one of those weekends. Bobby and I met our friends Tristan and Don for Indian food on Friday night. On Saturday, we hosted a Burns supper for six of our friends in the SCA. It was so, so much fun. The food, prepared by Bobby (except vanilla ice cream by moi), was fabulous and plentiful. We had some big eaters at the party and still put away leftovers. There was beer and Scotch. Lots of empty bottles, and four different kinds of Scotch to pass around. (I indulged in my favorite, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, and ended up quite happy.)

  • Sunday was less good. Bobby was at Ski Patrol training, taking the sled down a double black diamond run with moguls (apparently the most challenging run to do with the sled on a snowboard) when some ass on skis cut in front of him. To avoid hitting the guy, Bobby put on the brakes hard and ended up wiping out and reinjuring the shoulder he separated last year. So he's back in the sling. It's not as bad as the injury last year, thankfully. Two of the senior patrolers took off after the guy who caused the accident and gave him a piece of their minds at the bottom of the hill.

  • It's been ridiculously cold now for over a week. It is presently 12F/-11C. Yesterday, it got above freezing here for the first time since last week. When I woke up in the morning, it was 33F/1C and actually felt warm outside when I went out to care for the chickens. It was short-lived, though, and by going-home time that afternoon, was back down below freezing again.

  • I am almost done with my current grad school class. The class is on the Enlightenment and is the one where I am the only student in the class. It has been ... okay. It is just not the time period that I am most interested in, and the reading has been lengthy and intense, with a paper due for each work.

    • The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova

    • The Confessions of J.J. Rousseau (this guy is fucking crazy and the book is about as long as Don Quixote*)

    • Pride and Prejudice (this week felt like vacation!!)

    • the major works of Thomas Paine (totaling to DQ length again)

    • The Journals of Lewis and Clark (not the whole thing thank god)

    It has been hard to motivate myself. I have my final paper left and a multimedia presentation of my abstract, and that's it. I finished the Lewis and Clark paper this weekend. I think the final paper is going to be on idealistic depictions of Nature in Rousseau and Paine and how each author uses the concept of the "natural man" in developing his ideas of the ideal government and civilization. Doesn't that sound exciting? The good thing is that I have most of my sources already from the papers I already had to write on these authors.

    *Don Quixote has long been my standard for what counts as a long book, ever since middle-school Spanish class when the length of DQ was the subject of hushed awe by my teacher. I had to read DQ for my last class on the Renaissance so it is on my Kindle now, and it is easy to compare its length to that of other books by the number of little dots below it on the listing.

  • I am taking March off from school. I can do crazy things like that now that I'm no longer on financial aid.

  • The Goldens got into a fight yesterday. I had taken some overcooked, stale wontons out to the chickens. The wind caught them and blew a few of them and a lot of crumbs past the fence and onto the snow. Phil gobbled up the whole wontons right away. I didn't think much of it. Bobby and I were eating breakfast when we heard one of the Goldens start crying outside. We both ran to the door since there is a possum living in the shed, and we were afraid one of them had gotten to it. But no ... Phil had his jaws closed on Alex's head and was pinning him to the ground while Alex screamed. Alex has a small puncture over his right eye. As far as we can tell, they were fighting over the wonton crumbs, as though they don't have ample meat-based food constantly available in the house.

  • And I think that's all.
Well, it's official! My paper proposal for Mythmoot II has been accepted! *subdued and slightly terrified squeeeee* This will be my first conference presentation. However, since it specifically encourages fans, students, and first-time presenters, then I think it's as good a time as any to take this particular plunge. This means I need to double-down on preparing for it, though; I've been negligent here, in part because I think I didn't want to get my hopes up and ... :^|

The conference is in Baltimore, and I'm hoping that maybe I see some fellow Silmgeeks there ...? :D

In other good news, it is Friday, and I have survived the first two weeks of school in one piece. The beginning of the year is always the hardest part. It's lots of single-class lessons, which means more planning. Next week, I will be settling in to reading some texts with my classes that should take more than a class period to get through.

In other good news, Bobby is making another attempt at The Silmarillion and seems to be enjoying it more this time than the other two (??) times he's tried it. He has been taking Mythgard courses with me, so I think he likes being able to connect it in to the larger history and mythology ... exactly the opposite of how I did things, which was to read the Silm and then become interested in the history and mythology. He's at present pondering something that I'm nudging him to write up and post to the SWG. I'm shameless. I've been trying to get him into the Silm for years.

Okay, to close out, I have some cute pictures. Well, one is probably only cute to me, but the other is most likely cute to anyone warm-blooded.

Cute Pictures )
Tomorrow is the presidential election. World, breathe a sigh of relief; our years-long election cycle will again grind to a close. Of course, it will start up again soon enough.

I am not so worried about the presidential election tomorrow. Oh, I am fervently in support of Obama, for a variety of reasons that I'm not going to enumerate here. Tomorrow's a big day here on ol' Maryland, though. Tomorrow, we vote on a ballot measure, Question 6, that if passed, will extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Anyone who's known me for even a little while knows that this is a HUGE issue for me--yes, so huge that I am willing to overuse HTML markup and abuse caps lock to make my point! I don't follow polls because they tend to get me worked up for no good reason (since I can hardly change their outcome by myself), but I asked Bobby what the prognostication was for Question 6, and he said it's very close.

It's personal and emotional to me because my sister is gay. If Question 6 passes, it won't really change her situation, personally, since her wife is not a U.S. citizen and, therefore, they need federal law to change too in order to be able to live here. (I don't even know that they'd make that choice, but it would be nice for them to actually have a choice.) In terms of our family, then, it's more a symbolic victory than anything, but it does have very real positive consequences for other people I care about, including one of my dearest friends and his husband, who have been in a committed relationship for over 25 years and yet still lack even basic rights as a couple.

From a less personal perspective, I have very mixed feelings. Not about my support for the measure but about the fact that I'm even called upon to support it. I find it deeply, deeply disturbing that people are so quick to accept that a majority can vote upon the rights of a minority. We are all minorities in some way. That makes us all vulnerable to the whims and bigotry of the masses. Even if one supports the measure, why would one support such a precedent?

Of course, there's the religious angle. I'm not Christian. Never have been and am going out on a limb to say that I never will be. I resent being governed by another person's religious beliefs. I don't presume that others should be governed by mine. And the same Christians who are out there screeching to "Vote Against 6! Don't Redefine Marriage!" are the same who bleat about being persecuted. I'm trying very hard to remember that these idiots are still people and to not be hateful right now. *trying trying trying ...*

So tomorrow, I'll of course be watching the presidential outcome, but I'll be right and truly nervous about Question 6.

Since this is going on longer than I thought ... more stuff below the cut. )
Bobby took up snowboarding this year; he's had the board and the equipment for years and finally got around to taking a lesson and getting started. He's hooked. As my journal location frequently attests (because I go with him), he is at Liberty Mountain usually twice per week.

In a couple of weeks, he's doing something cool similar to a walk-a-thon, only he will be snowboarding to raise money for a charity called the CHILL Foundation. The CHILL Foundation helps underprivileged and underserved youth learn to snowboard with the goal of improving their self-esteem and teaching them life skills. Most of the students Bobby and I work with at our school sit under the "underprivileged and underserved" umbrella, and I think groups like this have the potential to make a huge positive impact for kids. Most of our kids rarely travel outside of their neighborhoods, and they have very little understanding of the opportunities available to them beyond the streets. At school, Bobby and I try to take them on field trips or provide enrichment activities that show them all that life has to offer and to give them something positive to participate in. (We took a group of students snow tubing last Friday and they loved it!) So I think the charity he's supporting does very cool work.

If anyone's interested in supporting him (or learning more about the charity), here is the link. As usual, I'm proud of my husband for the work he does. :)

15 Years!

May. 31st, 2011 03:39 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
Today is Bobby's and my 15-year anniversary! A half of a lifetime together! Obviously it is not a wedding anniversary; that would put us married at ages 14 and 15. Yikes. However, we've always celebrated the anniversary of the day we got together as our anniversary. Although we have fond memories of our wedding day, it was mostly official/governmental recognition of what we'd known since we were in the 10th grade and caused a stir in our nerdy magnet program when I started wearing a ring on my left hand and we told people that we were engaged.

For our 10th anniversary, I wrote a series of 33 drabbles (f-locked) about how we met and got together. For those who haven't heard the story, it's our 15th anniversary, so I'm going to wax sentimental for a moment.

A Tale of Nerds in Love )
This morning, I woke up and there was snow on the ground. Snow! In April! In Maryland! Yes, I know we live in north-north Maryland now but still. Snow in April is ridiculous. Hasn't it ever heard the saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? What the hell kind of lamb is this? A Monty Python killer lamb??

I know I'm not old enough to tell uphill-both-ways stories yet, but I don't ever remember snow in April.

This has been the longest winter that I can recall. It started the first week of November. I remember this well because our Halloween party was on 1 November, and we had a lot of people attending for our small house, so I wished very hard for a day warm and pleasant enough that many of them would want to go outside ... and I got it. 1 November was gorgeous! And, a few days later, temperatures dropped precipitously, and I felt as though I'd paid for that one perfect day. And it stayed cold and miserable, so much that Bobby and I were both expecting a white Thanksgiving. (Which we didn't get because, despite winter hanging around for five months, we had a record low snowfall. Double boo!)

I'm ready for winter to be done and over! I miss baring my arms in public and my legs below the knee! I really needed a long skirt and boots today, but I refuse to wear boots in April. So my legs were cold. Oh flippin' well.

([ profile] angelica_ramses, has the miserable summer stuck so adamantly in your part of the world as miserable winter has here? I do hope not!)

On a positive note, it is Bobby's birthday today. The old man is 28. Because we are planning a trip to Ireland this summer, he has refused all birthday gifts from me to save for the trip. We did, however, have an excellent dinner at the Thai restaurant in Westminster. And I'm off for the rest of the week, and Bobby is on Spring Break, so we can stay up together until the small hours of the morning. We're hoping for weather pleasant enough tomorrow to inaugurate the hiking season.
Friday night, we were supposed to go out to dinner for [ profile] meryth's birthday and then go see a movie. Unfortunately, shortly after awaking from our Friday afternoon nap, Bobby started feeling poorly. We went out anyway, but he kept getting worse and worse, so we rushed through our dinner and skipped the movie in favor of coming home. By the time we got home, Bobby was feverish and practically convulsing, he was shivering so hard. He bundled up on the couch for an hour, then his fever broke suddenly and he felt much better. He even ate some oatmeal and waffles that I made for him (his request, not mine!).

So since Meryth kind of got the short end of the birthday stick, we will do a birthday dinner for him sometime later.

This weekend, we had planned to go to my parents' house. My parents are currently doing massive construction on their house. They are converting the current garage into a great room and dining room, knocking down the kitchen walls so that it opens onto the great room, and building a new garage. My dad has kept us all updated with frequent emails and pictures, but he's been chomping at the bit to show off his new room, even if it's nowhere near finished! So we went over to spend the weekend; he bribed us with dinner at Basta Pasta. Bobby and I are still near enough to our days as students that free food will still draw us in.

Not a Very Exciting Weekend, so under the Cut for the Sake of the Flist! )

Before I STFU and stop jabbering, all Feanorian fans out there, check this out! [ profile] noliel has made a music video about Nerdanel and Feanor; she did all of the drawings herself. It is beautiful and an amazing effort! I downloaded it on Bobby's computer just so that I could see and hear it (since Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin has no sound card.) It was well worth the effort!

I Am D.E.A.D.

Oct. 17th, 2006 08:38 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
I am dead-tired today. I've had one too many days of shaving off a half-hour or hour of sleep and thinking that it won't matter. By the afternoon, my motor control was beginning to decline. I crashed my hip--not the bad one, fortunately--into the doorframe trying to walk into Johnny's office. Luckily, we both found it amusing.

I'm really writing because I wanted to report on Bobby's first game as a Baltimore Piranha on Sunday night. Firstly, they won 5 to 3 against the Dullblades. (Which sounds waaaay too much like "Duskblades" for me not to resist making D&D jokes!)

What?! Bobby's team actually won a hockey game?? Well, they're not called "Your Team Name Here"....

So how did Bobby do? Well, he scored two goals and one assist, so pretty damned well.

The first goal was actually his; he made it look effortless, and Potter and I were whooping and hollering. He shook his stick at us. He played a great game, and his wife is very proud of him. :)

Meanwhile, my research for my essay on Elves and fading is coming along. I'm through HoMe IX, so three volumes yet to go plus the books. Well, I should say that I'm finished surveying those volumes and compiling quotes in three entries worth of posts. I haven't read the relevant sections yet, but I figure that's what my State job is for.

Then it will be written. Then it will be finished. See how eloquent I am tonight?

But the issue is far more complicated than I'd realized before, and the two sides that I find tugging at my loyalties kind of simplify it too much, I am realizing. But that is why I am doing this research; because I was tired of taking other people's word for it and wanted to have my own informed opinion. So far, it's been a lot of fun to read how a particular idea evolved over the course of many years.

The lovely Nelyo icon that Rhapsody made me is officially my little research gofer. He's now the official mascot of Dawn's research posts for this project.

I had forgotten how much I loved nonfiction, incidentally. It used to be that I thought of myself as a better writer of persuasive and nonfiction pieces and merely meh at fiction. I'm not quite sure when my priorities switched.

Could this post get any more random? Well, yes. So I think I'll stop now, before it gets too much more crazy.
I have promised you all a post about my ten-year anniversary and skating show yesterday....

So Here It Is! )
Happy birthday, [ profile] greenknight33 !!!

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday. He is a quarter-century old. (He has put up with me for ten of those twenty-five years, so let's give the man a hand! ;^D)

I have written him a birthday story--since I write everyone birthday stories and he doesn't get to escape just 'cause he's family--and just finished it. It is a ghost story set in our notoriously haunted hometown. I will post it later, but I wanted to share it with him first...and also compile my author's notes. (Original fiction be damned!)

It will be flocked, so if there is anyone out there hanging out and reading my journal and not on my flist who wants to check it out, now might be a good time to let me know to add you. ;)

Bobby: I hope that you enjoy your day! I will do my best to see that you do so; you deserve every bit of happiness that you find.

Friends, you are welcome to embarrass my husband with birthday wishes if you want. I'll force him to read them see that he gets them. ;)

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