Hat on Top, Coat Below


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Archive for February 28th, 2006

Frozen Tundra

February 28, 2006

Last weekend Mr. Karen and I went to Wisconsin for the Green Bay Mini Con (a.k.a. Weetapie), and even though we got home Sunday night at a pretty reasonable hour I’m only now recovered enough to write a little something about it. (I imagine if I’d gone to all the scheduled events like some people did I’d still be trying to get my eyes to stay open for more than a few minutes at a time) . I confess I wasn’t feeling that excited before we left–partly I was tired of going places and just wanted to stay home (I know, poor me) and partly I was worried that I’d feel out of place and uncomfortable and everyone would shun me (even the people I already knew and who’d given no indication they hated me up to this point). Of course, once I got there I had fun and I’m glad I went. When oh when will I learn to skip the fretting part?

Others have already written more entertainingly about the group events than I could–and more completely, too, since I skipped karaoke entirely and left the Bad Bar long before the woman with the oversized inflatable penis showed up. Yet still I’ll write, so I won’t forget things like the pretzel bits made with crack and magic that I would have missed but for Deb educating me on how to eat pineapple fluff (with the pretzels, of course). I do not know if these pretzels were born in the kitchen of the talented June or purchased at a secret location in the hinterland. They are a mystery to me still, other than the fact that they were gooood. I don’t want to forget the sweet and friendly little dog in the barn. I can’t forget the Doctor, nice and minty; even if I tried, the bottle cap that ended up in my coat pocket would remind me.

Saturday morning I took Mr. Karen on a field trip to yarn and quilt stores. We hit the yarn shop first, where I realized my yarn buying skills are nowhere near as good as my fabric buying skills. I have no idea what I’d make with the pretty balls of fiber, so I don’t know how many to buy, and just getting a bit of whatever looks good to me seems like a sure recipe for cluttering up the house with yarn that may never get knitted. I did enjoy looking at Miss Kim and Magnum, the female and male plastic heads who modeled the completed hats. Next door to the yarn shop was a fabric store not in my grand plan, but since it was right there we went in, and I’m glad we did, because it was a window into an earlier era. They seemed to specialize in bridal fabrics, which I suppose are timeless, but the calico print bias tape from 1978 (I checked the label) was not. I didn’t buy anything here either, as most of the fabrics I saw were polyester blends and while I’ll use a blend on occasion these examples didn’t sing to me. The next place we went was a proper quilt shop–at least from what we could see from the parking lot, as we couldn’t go inside because they were closed on Saturdays. That’s just wrong. The next quilt shop we stopped at was open, though, and I found some bright Kaffe Fassett there prints and also got to pet the tiny white dog who worked there.

Then it was off to the NEW Zoo. That’s how it was listed in the guidebook–NEW, as opposed to the old, crappy zoo. Turns out it stands for North East Wisconsin, but that definition gets a little blurry when the tee shirts read “New Zoo”. They’ve wisely stocked the zoo with mostly cold weather hardy creatures–except for the giraffes, whom they distract from the chill by having guests feed them special crackers (2/$1.00). My favorite part was the badgers. When we first stopped by their exhibit, the big badger was relaxing in his University of Wisconsin colored house and the smaller one was hanging out in front of the log cabin. When we came by again on our way out, the smaller one was harassing the big one–snarling and snapping and pushing and prodding and chasing and just not letting up, leaving no doubt where the term “badgering” comes from. At first I thought the little one just wanted to sit in the red and white house, but it wasn’t content to just chase the big one out of there, it had to follow it all around the enclosure, through and around the logs and houses and rocks. The noise was tremendous, especially when the big one got annoyed enough to turn around and snarl back, but there didn’t seem to be any biting or scratching involved.

Our extracurricular activities on Sunday involved a trip to the closed on Saturdays quilt shop (it is open on Sundays, which is quite unusual) and a tour of Lambeau Field, during which we got to sit in a luxury suite and stand on the frozen tundra, which was more frozen than usual because they were making snow for an event the following weekend. We finished the experience with lunch at Curly’s (upstairs at Lambeau), which was a sort of semi-official Con event and one of my favorite things all weekend. I even got a chance to snag some swag from Mo’s trunk, which made me happy, because I’d neglected to pick any up on Saturday morning, figuring I could do it later when perhaps I’d be over my guilt at not bringing any of my own, except I never got back to the swag room. I could have grabbed some of the leftover crack and magic pretzels, too, but by that point I had eaten so much in so little time that I could not bear the thought of eating one more thing, even something so wonderful as those pretzels. Next year, I’ll have to train for the event and work up my tolerance for ingesting and imbibing.

Heading out of Green Bay, I turned to Mr. Karen and happily said “now I don’t have to be on a plane again until June”. He nodded. Both of us were forgetting that I had to get on a plane again in two days, this time for a business trip. I’m on that plane now, heading to Atlanta where I’ll connect to Huntsville, Alabama. The good news is I’ll thus pick up one of the states I need in my quest for all 50; the bad news is my hotel is an hour from the airport and my flight back leaves at 7:15–in the morning. Mr. Karen can’t believe the planes fly that early, because it’s just such a clearly nutty idea. You can bet I’ll be blasting the CDs I got at Weetapie to keep me awake on the drive.

(Pictures are here, though there are not many of them. I was too busy eating and drinking and talking and stuff.)

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