July 2nd, 2012


For want of a chromosome...

[There are a lot of things I like about my current philosophical outlook, and one of them is the focus on the here-and-now -- don't waste too much time fretting about past decisions or future choices, and for heaven's sake, don't indulge might-have-beens. They feel nice, but they're a fine source of dukkha, usually making you unhappy in the long run.

Most of the time I'm pretty good about that. But today is different, and I'm going to allow myself an exception.]
Once upon a time, a cell divided wrong.

It was a small thing at the time: maybe a little bit of genetic damage, or a chromosome misplaced in a daughter cell, or any of a host of other possible errors. But the result was that it didn't know when to quit. And time passed. And here we are.

Just for today, I'm going to peek into the world where that didn't happen.

Today is Jane's 50th birthday.

Yesterday was the blowout party. I'd thought about doing it on Saturday, but we decided not to step on Buttery Birthday. So instead, we had the hordes descend on our house yesterday -- I'd been talking it up for months, and close to 150 people showed at one time or another. In our usual way, instead of getting it catered, we mostly did it ourselves, although *bigger* than usual -- friends brought a bunch of tents and popups for shade, the potluck stretched across five tables, and the party lasted until almost 10pm, when Jane declared that it was time to kick everyone out, since it was a school night. I'll be doing dishes for the next *week*.

Tonight is quieter: a long-planned birthday dinner at Blue Ginger, which is always her favorite. She'll have the dish that used to be butterfish and I'll have the lobster -- tonight is all about celebrating age and habit.

I'm still working at Google -- my temper has come down to a simmer since the nymwars debacle, and I'm still trying to do what I can on the inside to make things better. I'm doing things with the Wave codebase, and still trying to convince people to revive the product in a more business-friendly way. Jane is still toddling along at NREC -- still always fretting about the company's future, but it continues to get by.

Our spare time and attention is being utterly consumed with Carolingia, as we settle into the job. I'm being characteristically over-enthusiastic, with seventeen projects in the pipeline to try and bring the energy levels up. She's being tolerant, and going to most of the out-Barony events with me, but is periodically whapping me and reminding me not to burn out.

And our house is getting ever-more-full of Stuff. We keep talking about doing something about that (and she's gotten me to make progress on the great comic book project), but there's always tomorrow. We have years yet to deal with all of that...
[Make no mistake: my life is good. I'm enjoying building a new life with Kate, and pondering new adventures in my career. It's fun, and exciting in ways that my life hasn't been in a long time.

But today, more than any other day, I have to let myself miss the old certainties -- the life so well-practiced that I had real confidence about where it was going and what would come next...]

Latest finds -- SCA and Deeds

Today's main project has been digging through some files -- mostly because they are stacked in front of the next bookshelves that I want to deal with. So I'm finally continuing the great filing project that Niki started while she was living with me.

I just found the big archive of papers that goldsquare donated -- a mix of event stuff, formational paperwork for the Grand Council, and most of the key papers around the Crisis. So when it does come time to write up the history of What the Hell Happened in 1994, I know where the materials are.

But the really interesting bit was the manila envelope that has been sitting there for months and months, that I finally got around to looking into. Which is full of deeds. Mostly for land around Philadelphia. From around 1780. And I don't mean facsimiles -- I mean real cut indentures, on parchment, with wax seals on ribbons.

I *assume* these are related to Jane's genealogical research, but I'm not sure where they came from and I'm not certain whether they pertain directly to her family. (Niki, did you see any context for these?) But they are Incredibly Cool. ladymacgregor was over this afternoon, picking up cat stuff for a local shelter, and had great fun looking at one of them. These things are Legal Documents Dammit, written in utterly beautiful penmanship, some of them *big* -- like, a couple of feet across. They're all folded up (and look like they've *been* folded up for their entire 200+ years), so they have to be treated delicately, but the parchment is still in pretty good shape, and they're mostly legible.

So I have yet another fascinating mystery project here, and yet another case where I dearly wish I could ask Jane where the heck these came from. In the meantime, I've put them in the empty box labeled "acid-free", which I assume Jane bought for more or less this purpose...