moon_custafer: (Default)
Yesterday was my Uncle Roger and Aunt Jill's 50th anniversary. We only have these really big family reunions once a decade or so, and while I found I could easily recognize all my immediate cousins (including one who I hadn't seen in a quarter-century, but who looks like an older version of his adolescent self), the younger generation was trickier to identify -- I'd either never seen them, or had only seen them as infants, and the family resemblance made it tough to guess which had come from which parents.
It's quite weird to be in a crowd of forty or so people who, apart from spouses and adopted children, all look like differently-aged and -gendered variations on the same template.
"There are only two noses to go around," I said at one point. The presence of my aunt's sister really brought this home to me, as she hadn't seen most of these people since the wedding fifty years ago, and I kept having to explain who everyone was:
"Now who's that?"
"That's Holly. She's the younger daughter of Roger's sister Heather."
"She looks just like Mary."
"Yes, I suppose she does. I'd never really noticed." And indeed, I saw at that moment that my cousin really does look just like a younger version of our grandmother. Later my mother's cousin Laurie noticed how much one of the children looked like her brother Doug (not present) at the same age, and I know from a comparison of photos at a reunion ten or so years back that Doug looks likes a younger version of his late father, my great-uncle Dalton.
All of which can be a bit spooky. I take comfort in the knowledge that circumstances do not necessarily repeat, and that even with similar physiques and temperaments that biology is not destiny. This is more a matter of principle -- there was no one there I could look at and think "oh God, I hope I never turn into *that*." If anything I had the uncomfortable feeling that we may be a eugenicist's wet dream. We're all pretty healthy (there is some history of breast cancer, but also a pretty good track record of surviving it). My Great-Aunt Janette is ninety-two and definitely still has all her marbles. None of us are particularly hideous.
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A short documentary on the possible future of print. My father appears around the 4:42 mark running a 19th-century press. It's kind of strange to see him on screen, like looking at him through someone else's eyes.
moon_custafer: (gonzo)
My parents took out out for lunch for my birthday, and mentioned that they'd recently got into researching my mother's grandfather with the prompting of her cousin. She'd never really known her grandfather (he'd been about twenty years older than her grandmother), and all she'd heard was that he was musically inclined (and not so good at farming). There was also a family legend that he'd originally been destined for the church. Apparently this turned out to have been true, except -- well, we're not sure what went wrong along the way, but apparently he ended up being convicted of "burglary and sacrilege," served time, and afterwards emigrated, changing the spelling of his name in the process. I think his downfall came after he'd been doing missionary work in the slums of London, and Dad speculated he'd snapped under the pressure (the research had also turned up some cases of mental illness in other branches of the family).

Somehow, they only part of this that surprises me is the church connection. I'd thought all the religion was on my Dad's side of the family.

Afterwards, I bought some yarn (Mom wants a bulky garter-stitch cowl for Christmas), a mini-cupcake pan and liners (for seasonal baking), and, from the thrift store, a red blouse and a green blouse/poncho thing which may in fact be an Xmas-tree skirt.
moon_custafer: (crem)
Easter dinner at my brother's house with my parents, and my brother's cat, Edison - my brother himself being in Atlanta, playing kickball.

Earlier in the week I'd given Dad a copy of D.A.: A Journal of the Printed Arts #69 on the strength of the lead article (by writer/illustrator Seth) having the word "vernacular design" in the title.

It turned out to be a good decision - that much I'd guessed after buying it when I read through the article, in which Seth first tries to identify elements in vintage publications which strike him as uniquely Canadian, and then in the jaw-dropping second half, describes how in his layout of The Collected Doug Wright he attempted to subliminally evoke the experience of visiting the Vimy Memorial.

Dad seems to have enjoyed it - he works in the print shop at a local pioneer museum and plans to lend it to a colleague there. He and Mom might also be going to a printers' convention later this year.

The roast beef was perfect (Mom had been worried about it - my brother's oven works but the thermometer doesn't).

Afterwards, she and I played chocolate Scrabble, which turned out to be harder than regular Scrabble as there aren't really enough tiles; I think the board might also have been smaller than a regulation Scrabble board.

Edison finally came downstairs when dark fell (he'd been enjoying a sunbeam in the west-facing bedroom), rubbed his face against people and furniture and deigned to play with his toy mouse.
moon_custafer: (spoon)
My cousin's wedding was good, and the reception afterwards was good - the only thing was that in between we had about three hours to kill. So we drank coffee, and then we went to a Blockbuster closing-out sale. I now own a $6.99 copy of My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. And then we visited my grandparents' graves; and by that time we figured it was ok to show up at the golf club where the banquet was to be held.

I learned my cousin has a suit of chain mail - a few years ago, he bought 50 lbs of rings and, with three weeks until Hallowe'en, roped his friends, family and co-workers into helping him link them into mail. I also learned he and a few of his friends went to a LARPing weekend once, but were too scared by the other fans (possibly the panda furry, but more likely the self-cutters) to repeat the experiment. His sister, OTOH, ran into a crowd of cosplayers from Anime North last night and seems to have been intrigued, once she decided she wasn't just hallucinating them.

ETA - here are my parents and brother killing time at the Starbucks, and here's green_trilobite with his iPad.
moon_custafer: (Default)
In keeping with recent annual tradition, we spent Christmas eve with theengineer and his brother, eating Chinese takeout and watching videos, which included footage of this year's Ad Astra as covered by Ed the Sock and Lianna K.

Today we went to my brother's house for dinner with the family. All our gifts went over well; green_trilobite could finally stop keeping quiet about his surprise for my mom - a 1914 copy of Adventure containing a previously-unknown-to-us story by my great-grandfather, the earliest by him we have found. Everyone ooh'd at my portrait of Edison the cat, and it does look good in the dining room.
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green_trilobite's mother passed away last night at the Versa Care nursing home. Once a talented artist and designer who corresponded with Buckminster Fuller (she had spotted a mathematical error in one of his books), and once had a radio play accepted by the CBC, Peggy had been in frail health and suffering from dementia for about two years. In keeping with her humanist principles, her body has been donated to the University of Toronto's medical school, and no funeral will be held, although an informal memorial get-together will likely be held in a few weeks' time. green_trilobite and I thank you all for your sympathy.

I've posted a short "Canadian History" vignette to youtube, for which Peggy did the animation - the figures are three-dimensional, cut and folded from heavy vulcanized paper manufactured as a liner for electrical sockets (she called these sculptures "Scoraform.")


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