Last weekend, Elspeth came by to speak about the Haven website, which takayla is doing for them currently. During this time, Elspeth invited us to come down to their house, and teach her and Nybor about computers. Nybor, being an artist, has a Mac, but their previous "teacher" was an all-to-common problem in the tech world: bitter, impatient, and condescending. Now, while there were personality conflicts, they did understand that this guy had a lot to go through, and don't really think poorly about him, although Elspeth had some spats with him on a communication level. I felt it was my duty to show them that the computer did not have to be an all-consuming black hole of knowledge. Elspeth asked me to come the following weekend, and I took the challenge.
Anyway, I thought CR could use some time with them.
So on Saturday, we first went to our local passport office and got CR's passport updated. Well, they have to send it off update it, but we'll get it back in 2-3 weeks. Mine I can mail in, which I'll do tonight. It was interesting: you are not required to schedule an appointment, but if anyone decides to do this on a weekend, I'd suggest it. Luckily, there were only two people ahead of us. And then came a family of 5. Two adults, three kids aged probably 8-14, and the father was a rude, impatient rat bastard. In karmic retaliation, his eldest and only daughter was a whiny bitch, and his wife seemed to be a little unstable and strict. My family and I believe the reason we got service ahead of them was because the father was so mean to the woman at the passport window.
More flies with honey than vinegar was the lesson that day.
So after a stop for food and weighing, we headed off to takayla's hometown in the Appalachian mountains. It's usually a 2-3 hours drive, depending on traffic, weather, and stops. We got done in about 2 1/2 hours. takayla dropped me and CR off at Elspeth's house, and she went to spend the day with her sister Debbie.
The computer lessons went well. I think Elspeth was a better student because she didn't interrupt with anecdotes. But I was there to learn, too, so I stayed quiet. I apparently said some "wise things" to Elspeth, which is a very, very high complement, but I don't know if I deserve them because the older I get, I think I realize the less I know about anything. Two things that she liked: the story of Plato's Cave (which somehow she never heard of while Nybor did) which I used this to explain why computer geeks tend to get so far removed from their real selves ... and the comment, "Preserve the mysteries by constantly revealing them," which I used to explain why I don't think knowing about computers to be a secret geeks clutch so strongly to. She liked the last one so much, she left to go back upstairs for a while. CR told me (he was upstairs watching "Matrix: Reloaded" and eating cheese and crackers) Elspeth came up, and asked him about the crackers. CR replied something which escapes me for the moment, and this also got Elspeth delighted, who then retired to her room to meditate on what he said as well.
So if anyone goes to any of Elspeth and Nybor's seminars, and gets some weird lecture involving Preserving Mysteries and Cheese Crackers... that's our fault.
Later, it was evident that Nybor couldn't take any more lessons because he started getting that artistic stubbornness I know only too well (from my own issues), and then he wanted to show me some nude pictures of people to show me how he does form. I said it in 1987, and I'll say it now: it's amazing how many girls will pose nude for that man. Thankfully he really IS an artist, and not some random pervert.
We also spoke again about our writing project, and he gave me the green light and approval to start writing it. Elspeth asked me not to distract him with anything else, because they are working on a series of classes with some role playing stuff that they wanted me to comment on. I thought it looked good, but I wanted them to ask someone like tth or aylinn who had a lot more recent experience in gaming. Maybe I'll contact you guys on their behalf. In any case, I will probably start the outline soon, and then ignore it and do a NaNoWriMo kind of thing either in May or July. After that, I'll send it to him, where he'll probably ignore it and nothing will become of it. I won't take offense at this, because it will get me writing, and he's an artist, and does not think in straight lines, so I won't place him on a pedestal just because he used to write sci-fi, is a famous artist, and so on. I lose nothing.
After we had enough, I went upstairs and spoke with Elspeth for a long while about the past. I learned some of the other side of how the meeting with takayla and I were arranged. Then takayla came back for dinner, and we had veggies, ham, potato salad, and sugar-free shortcake. Elspeth wanted CR do find his allies in a spiritual journey, and asked our permission to do so. We agreed, and set up seeing her the next day.
Saturday night, we slept as "The Candlewick Inn," the town of Keyser's version of a B&B... sort of. It was build from an old Victorian house in the 1980s, and takayla and I had our honeymoon there (thanks to my Best Man, Neal). We have often gone back of the last 17 years, and we could be gone for 3-4 years, and they still know us by name. The place is showing its age, though. They have some water damage issues, and the bathrooms show signs of wear, but the service is so friendly, you don't care. In fact, rather than have CR sleep in the rollaway, they let him have a room of his own, and only charged us for our room. "That rollaway is SO uncomfortable," said the owner.
The next morning, we went back to Elspeth's house, and when on a journey of some sorts, which I got next to nothing from, but CR did, so that's cool. Then we got to hear a LOT of Elspeth's past. Stuff I had no idea about. Very, very interesting.
After that, we went to takayla's sister Debbie's house, where we met takayla's niece Erica and her two kids, Kaitlin and Danielle, aged about 8 and 1. Ver-rah cute.
Then we took the long drive home, with a stopover at the Super-Walmart near Keyser, where I got a watch (finally!) and some potting mix for the tomato seedlings for transplanting.
It was a good weekend, and apart from some stomach trouble and allergies, I had a good time.