Tag Archives: MIddle Weasel

What a lot of people say to me:

“It must be tough, being the only guy in the family…”

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I have three daughters and one wife. When people are told the dog, Moose, is a female too, the reaction is often as above. As if Moose being male would be some kind of compensation, as if we could share a beer in my workshop and talk about sports and carburetors while the little women got on with their knitting upstairs…

Why do I need this sympathy? How am I disadvantaged by being surrounded by my family? Am I supposed to be unable to empathise with my daughters? Is there something about their gender that means I can’t speak to them, understand them, laugh with them? Eldest Weasel knows more about Doctor Who than I do, it’s true, and I wouldn’t try and beat Middle Weasel when it comes to Sherlock Trivia. Tiny Weasel has more style in her little finger than I managed to acquire in 42 years, but I don’t wish she was a boy.

Men have a lousy reputation these days. We’re portrayed in the media as stupid and forgetful. We forget birthdays and anniversaries, we don’t get the right gifts for Valentines Day (which isn’t about the men, remember). We’re smellier than girls, untidier than girls, we leave the toilet seat up ALL THE TIME, we can’t cook for ourselves, we’re obsessed with sports to the exclusion of our loved ones and we can’t talk about our emotions.

So, if you want to sympathise with someone, sympathise with a poor lady who has a husband and three sons. Or, you know, talk to her a bit first and see how SHE feels about it. Maybe she likes them, or something. Weirder things have happened*.

 

 

 

*”Jersey shore”, for example.

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Fan Expo Vancouver 2014

Thor and Loki, fighting as usual...

Thor and Loki, fighting as usual…

This was our third visit to FanExpo Vancouver, but only the second year we actually got inside. We’d been planning the day for ages – tickets bought well in advance, Weasels’ costumes worked out – but the last couple of days before were a blur of activity. Somehow, this did not include me getting the adjustments to my own costume done. Next year. Maybe.

Tiny Weasel had settled on a version of Ana from Frozen who is only onscreen for a few moments during the song “Do you want to build a Snowman?” but it came out pretty well, thanks to Mrs Dim’s sewing skills and some decorating on my part.

Tiny Weasel on the right, with a borrowed Olaf, meeting an older version of Ana.

Tiny Weasel on the right, with a borrowed Olaf, meeting an older version of Ana.

Middle Weasel had chosen the slightly more obscure computer game character Juno Eclipse. I built the hat, the gun rig, the rank badge and belt buckle, and Mrs Dim produced an awesome uniform jacket that will see plenty more use in everyday life.

These two members of the 501st made a good honour guard for Middle Weasel's arrival.

These two members of the 501st made a good honour guard for Middle Weasel’s arrival.

Eldest Weasel is usually quite shy and retiring, but she wanted to be a Time Lord, so Mrs Dim produced some fabulous robes, and I put together a headpiece based on the one worn by Timothy Dalton as Rassilon. She walked everywhere with an amazing poise and confidence, even though she was stopped every few feet by people wanting photographs – even at Subway!

This TARDIS cosplayer has used latex to make Gallifreyan writing appear burned into her skin. Amazing job.

This TARDIS cosplayer has used latex to make Gallifreyan writing appear burned into her skin. Amazing job.

This year the venue was larger, and we arrived early on the Sunday, so things were quieter for the first hour or so. We had a good chance to wander the booths and chat to the vendors and exhibitors, and saw some of the big names arriving for their signing sessions – Tom Felton, Charisma Carpenter, Eliza Dushku, Robert Englund…. (No photos of them this year, sorry!)

Attending in costume, even if only through the Weasels, was a very different experience to last year’s plain clothes day. There’s more of a sense of cameraderie with the other cosplayers, and it’s such fun meeting with other groups and taking photos together, or swapping notes on costume choice and construction.

I’m going to end with a photo reel without comments : These pictures have been posted on my Facebook page and my G+ account, so I’m all commented out, but feel free to ask for explanations or identifications!

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Sandy Sun Diego…no, wait…er…

Mrs Dim and I have a differing view of holidays. There are all kinds of examples of this, but the one I’m thinking of right now has to do with the journey versus the destination. For me, the holiday doesn’t begin until you get there. For her, the holiday begins as soon as you leave your house. That’s not to say that as we step out the door, Mrs Dim becomes some serene, floating goddess of benign goodwill. No, she can be tense and stressed, just like the rest of us. But she’s tense and stressed because there are things to be done. She’s also able to occasionally raise her head above the noise and nonsense of travelling weasels and see the beauty around her. I’m not.

I mentioned in an earlier post how the emigration went by in a blur of things to worry about next. This journey, though less epic in many ways, was still a challenge. We had to get out of our house with all our kit and dog, then drive to Sister-in-law’s where we would drop the dog. She would then drive us on to the local airport where we would catch a small plane for the hop down to Seattle, and then transfer to a proper plane for the ride to San Diego. Once we got there (assuming all went well up to that point) we’d pick up our hire car and try to navigate our way through an unfamilliar city to find the holiday home. THEN I could relax.

And with the benefit of hindsight, I can honestly say the journey was not that bad. We chose the Linden US Border crossing because it’s quieter, and the guards were in a jolly mood, actually smiling and giving us directions to the nearest coffee shop. Mrs Dim’s Sister and her husband live in a beautiful house that they built in a rural area near Bellingham, and their house has been a welcome refuge on several holidays and smells of peace and relaxation, even when you add three weasels and a dog. They produced a brilliant lunch and then we hopped back in the car for the trip to the airport.

Compact and bijou is an overstatement for this little airfield, but it’s an International Airport now, I think, and we waited patiently in line at one of the three check in desks while the lady in front bemoaned the regulations that would not allow her to bring her ukelele on as carry-on luggage. The plane was a decent-sized turbo-prop effort, not the bi-plane with seats strapped to the wings that I had been fearing, and we’d barely reached cruising height before we were heading back down into Seattle.

There was time to eat there before hustling to the next flight – we had to ride the train system to reach the right gate, which meant we could claim this was a planes, trains and automobiles holiday – and the next plane was a jet, but there was no tv. The weasels were a little disappointed, but the views were good through the windows, and the fizzy drinks were free and plentiful.

By the time we landed at San Diego airport, I was pretty much done. I’d not found the book I was looking for at Seattle, so I’d spent the flight twiddling my thumbs and doing far too much thinking. But the queues were loooong for the rental cars, and it was dark night by the time we got strapped in and launched off onto unknown roads. Luckily the directions were good, and we reached the house with only one stop for milk and sandwiches as breakfast offerings.

The house is incredible. When I have the resources at my fingertips again I’ll include the link, because you should come and stay here. It’s palatial, so close to the sea it’s obscene, and the local cafe’s do amazing breakfasts. The place is clean, the beds are comfortable and there are all the conveniences of home (including wireless, hence the holiday post….)

I’m writing this on Wednesday, by which time we’ve had our acclimatisation day (cafe, beach, big tea) and Middle Weasel’s Birthday (late breakfast, LEGOLAND, big tea) and now they’ve left me to write while they head for the beach again. I have plays to work on, of course, and reviews I could be doing, but as soon as I’m done with this post, I shall be striding off to the beach after them – this is a family holiday after all, and whatever the differences in expectations Mrs Dim and I have about holidays, we both want them to be full-family affairs.

Pre-tea appetizers

What we ate on the balcony before we had tea on the balcony....