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Good weekend: I wrap up my last project for Photo112 Tomorrow as well as complete the take home final. The GUTS Alumni show was pretty awesome and we had a fair number of people show up at the hoose today for Rock Band and food sharing. Plus the weather has been warm enough when I've had to be out and about that I could have the windows down. Today was rainy but still warm enough to open the doors to the house. Still: we are *so* ready to enjoy our tiny trip to the west side next weekend.

, originally uploaded by toosuto.
toosuto: (Stop I love you)
Rona (happily): I miss Aberdeen! I miss Aberdeen! I miss Aberdeen! I miss Aberdeen! I miss Aberdeen!

Josh: What do you miss about Aberdeen?

Rona: Soup soupie! I miss soup soupie! I miss soup soupie! I miss soup soupie!

Josh: Rona, what else?

Rona: And Charis. I miss Charis.

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I'm still missing Scotland, plus I haven't really taken many personal photos lately so you get a two year old photo of Castlegate. Been reading lots (it's the tension doncha know) and I heartily recommend Mortal Engines as well as Airborne and Skybreaker which were brilliant. Spent some me time in the darkroom at Prep which was nice and I feel like I've got my feet underneath me a little bit more anyway. Ran a one hour improv workshop this morning which was more fun than it had any right to be and went on a fall colors photoroll that ended up being more about the models that came since hardly any trees have turned yet (nor have either of my burning bushes in the front yard). Realized that yet again I have chosen a field in which who you know is much more important than what you know. I know I am a little slow sometimes and should have known it from the start. On the other hand I know a lot of talented awesome people who may need my photographic services, you just don't know it yet: So if you even twitch in the direction of a photographer remember that I exist, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. I need to get my work international because, it is possible and I deserve it. Anyway, hi internets, how are you?

, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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Know 'xactly when we're back again....

T minus 5.5 hours.
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I am particularly homesick today.

Nap Buddies, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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This is Mark our GM for GURPS and all around great guy. And I'm not saying that just because I'll be sending him a link to this entry...

Mark, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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It's 3:15 am here and 11:15 am back home and–as tired as I am–apparently I am not tired enough. Eventually I'll get it sorted I suppose. Random ephemera:

  • I hadn't realized how much I missed the sound of crickets. Even now the chorus is singing outside my parents house.
  • I also can hear the freight trains as they pull through town, I never once heard that sound in the UK, despite it being nation of trains. It's kind of sad as I think about it since the blast of the diesel engine's horn is my most favorite sound.
  • Rona, who is coping fantastically (and did exceptional on the flight–and layovers–to Spokane), is still a little over stimulated and under rested, exclaimed to us yesterday in the car, "Why did we leave Aberdeen!" It breaks my heart and there was no answer Sara or I could give her
  • Grandma Stolte stole Rona's birthday (and our welcome back from the family shindig, we let her as we knew we'd be too tired organize it our selves) and since she doesn't do it for anybody else, "There are just to many people now, y'know?" she exclaims, Rona and I are not sharing our birthday. I am find this incredibly disappointing.
  • Scotland misses us so much that it sent high, high humidity with us. While the lightning and thunder were much appreciated, I am not sure that we could have dealt with the heat (85˚ F/29˚ C), or will deal with the heat and lower humidity (as I write it sits at about 67%).
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Arrived with very little fuss (I suppose) but completely exhausted. The list:

1. Watched Spidey 3, Cars and Chicken Little on the plane from Gatwick. Then continued to miss the fancy back of seat DVR for the rest of the trip.

2. Bean burrito (-onion) had. Crunch Wrap Supreme (-sour cream) had.

3. Phones are active,m numbers coming soon.

4. The kitties should be on the ground by now (assuming they weren't delayed any more) and should be back in Spokane by this evening sometime.

5. ... Nope it's gone. Still far too tired.

6. Tonight: corn meal waffles and streaky bacon!

5. I remember now: people talk funny here and couldn't queue if their lives depended on it.

7. Driver's License: renewed!

8. I have only walked to the wrong side of the car to drive twice. And I mostly remember what side to drive on, when I don't remember it's when I am route planning (note to self: there are very rarely the opportunity for a free left turn here).

9. We miss Scotland a lot.

10. Is a nice round number to end it on.
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The whole Smith household has been anxious and tired. I've been finding myself nearly overcome by emotion at various times for no reason at all. Needless to say (especially since I've said it plenty of times before) we're not so much excited leaving. In the interest of sanity here is a list of things that I am excited about RE: moving back stateside:
  • waffles, either from Tracy (the best waitress ever) or corn meal waffles from scratch off our own waffle iron;
  • Tacos, from the taco truck;
  • sour mix (apparently, who knew they didn't have it in this country–no whiskey sour for me and don't even ask what they attempted to give me);
  • Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage;
  • the end of Sara and mine's separate social lives with the reintroduction of Regular Babysitters™ and/or child friendly restaurants and events;
  • putting together some sort of improv project (assuming we stay in the 'Kan long enough);
  • working again;
  • access to a photo studio;
  • disposable income (eventually).
Today we're having a follow-up breakfast to my night out with the some of my GURPS group, followed by laying low. Monday Sara will make her last trip to the library and we'll start cleaning the flat. Tuesday we'll make the final push to clean and I'll have to trek out to the airport to pick up the car for the Long Drive™. We'll have a couple of visitors (including our final walkthrough with our landlord) and then to bed for our 7 am departure Wednesday morning. Assuming we hit London town at the right time (and I really hope we do) we'll have dinner with [ profile] slownewsday and [ profile] giantlaser. Which is the most appropriate way to bring this adventure to a close: by sharing a last meal here with the same friends we shared the first one.

Dammit. I just made myself tear up all over again.

Run Away!
Run Away! originally uploaded by toosuto.
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Just in case you missed it in [ profile] secret_hippie our last ditch attempt to stay bore mean, kick to the crotch fruit. Plans proceed apace otherwise. We packed up and weighed three out of six pieces of luggage. I went to aikido for the last time here and got my scurvy fighting new belt (it's orange). Today Sara is working at interview transcription and then we're meeting up for a little lunch. We'll work some more on packing tonight, working so we can finish up Thursday evening. Thursday I'll break down the Tower of Obsolete Power™ and we'll box up Rona's toys what are going in the post. Friday morning friend Mairi will help me shlep it all down and get it actually on it's way. A week from tonight will be our last night in our home.

A Very Wet Bee, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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Back from Beat the Drum. Scotland knows we ar e leaving so treated us to traditional weather, i.e. completely driecht. [ profile] secret_hippie's shoes are possibly a total loss (I doubt they'll dry out before we leave anyway). Rona spent much of the concert riding in her buggy wanting out or to go home up until Great Big Sea actually started their set, then she was ecstatic to be there, "Is that Great Big Sea?"

"Yes, honey."

"All of them?"

We stayed with Susan and Andrew, and their daughter, friends we met through flickr, and they were wonderful gracious hosts. *sigh* 11 days.

At Play, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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Had my last big (more than two other people) flickrmeet yesterday at the North East Falconry Centre: had a great day. Flickr friend Pamela, who has been our driver for every meet except Comrie and the local Aberdeen meets, picked us up just before lunch. She gifted us a quaich and a small bottle of whiskey distilled for Clan Smith and a scottish bear for the Monkey™. It's the prefect example of the generosity and easygoing friendship that has been extended to us during our time here. It sucks to have to leave. We stopped for lunch at Archeolink (a living history exhibit) on the way up and spent a good 3 hours at the centre itself and then finished off the evening sharing a meal at the filling station (where I had a haggis burger with peppercorn sauce: delicious).

The Eagle Is Landing, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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Still trying to figure out what to do with the folks while they are here. We'll be showing them around town of course (old aberdeen, a couple cemeteries and churches, Duthie Park etc.) as well as visiting the Scottish Boat Festival, the festival in Stonehaven (highland games and music), a day trip (maybe an overnight) to Edinburough and going out on a flickr meet in July. I'm not sure what else to suggest as I think we still have a lot of time to fill and sitting around Garthdee will only entertain one for so long. Locals, any suggestions? Not locals, what would you want to see if you came to visit?

Unititled, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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The Winter Garden at Duthie Park was a hit yesterday, expect to see photos of flowers in my photostream for the next little while as I get them processed. Today we drive the coast northward and then around to MacDuff (across the bay from Banff) to see what we can see and visit the MacDuff Marine Aquarium and, for the moment, the weather has turned in our favor!

Creeper, originally uploaded by toosuto.
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I suppose I have to come clean at some point I just hope I am not jinxing it. For a while my friend Collin has bemoaned my leaving Spokane for more Scottish climes (actually before we even left he was complaining). So eager to have me work for him he's willing to wait for me to wait for Sara to finish most of her dissertation before I come on board. Along with a contract proposal that I simply couldn't turn down. Things are still a little in the air, I won't really consider this the plan until I've signed an actual contract but there is no reason not to start rough planning. We are doing the early footwork for a house etc. and by Labor Day I should be back in Spo-vegas. As much as it is great news and I am super excited to be the senior photographer/designer for a publishing company that is going to make it well worth my while I am already sad at the prospect of leaving Scotland. But at least we know that between my job and what Sara finds (and they are there to be found in Spokane) we'll be able to come back. And if we are really lucky things like seeing Great Big Sea right the end will soften the blow (it's just matter of scrounging up the money required).

I haven't taken taken very many pictures lately, Rona's been sick and we're still adjusting to Sara's new schedule (which is nearly over). So I'll leave you with more Rona from the Family Toast pool.

Stargazing?, originally uploaded by equso.
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I hereby declare today a success! This is how I roll Scottish style. Now I should let Sar sleep.

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On the way down to ASDA today a very nice man stopped me for directions to the Great Western Road. I was unable to help him. He did, however, ask if I was Canadian so I guess that made my day. Apparently I have a "canadian twang" that reminded him of Toronto. He then gave me his condolences for the idiot shrub and went on his way.

£31 )
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This makes up for skipping out on the official fireworks for Guy Fawkes Day )

I am working hard on making myself make more art. New Illustration Friday work coming which will also be going out to [ profile] mrsbrewer (along with instructions to turn it into a fine print for under $10 at Kinkos).

Happy sigh.
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Camembert and Plum Kettle Chips. This place is heaven.
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Life has seen so overwhelmingly normal that it seems like there hasn't been too much to say really. [ profile] secret_hippie has settled quite well into school and while parts of it seem challenging it is more a function of the professor or specific subject (who wants to learn to speak and think like middle management?) rather than of grad school itself.

Groceries get delivered which is nice, because now we only have to haul stuff up the hill if we forgot to buy it ahead of time or need something specific for dinner. The weather is mostly what you'd expect: overcast, and rain, rain, rain. Except for the days when it isn't. Those days are mild with piercing blues skies and wisps of clouds that remind me of summer.

I am settling into being a stay at home dad. It is a bigger adjustment than I had really thought about, but I am liking it just fine. We read, we play with her puzzles and generally have a good time. I manage to get some work done while she naps or during the morning or afternoon when Sar isn't in class. Sometimes I wish I could just run out and shoot but despite having limited chances at photography of the town I am still discovering new things to shoot.


Absentee ballots arrived here and I've voted. I was relieved to see that at least my excuse for less evil than the other makes a slightly better than average shill and voted against this habeas corpus nonsense. No if only the DDR mat or the box with the rest of Rona's toys could finish making their way through the labyrinthine mail system. Somewhere we should have info to find out their location but we haven't tried looking yet. Perhaps we are afraid of what we'll find.

Today is d&d day and [ profile] neepheid and [ profile] percible will be picking me up this afternoon to drive all the way out to Kemnay where we play. If I am lucky my thief won't die this afternoon. He's not to bright really. And when did 17 miles get to be a long way to go? When our parents visit I think we may rent a car so we can see more of Aberdeenshire and the Highlands than just downtown.

October 2013

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