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May 28, 2007

What I Did With My Memorial Day Weekend


For the last couple of years Krissy and I have spent Memorial Day up at Wiscon, but this year our niece Andrea graduated from high school, and we needed to be there for that. Wiscon happens every year; Andrea graduating from high school happens only once. It was a nice ceremony too, full of all the stuff that makes graduation gradutastic. It also reminds me that my high school graduation was 20 years ago. Yow.

What did you do with your Memorial Day weekend?

Posted by john at May 28, 2007 11:25 AM

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Subspace | May 28, 2007 11:50 AM

Made a chocolate cake that was so powerfully chocolatey that it literally stained my tongue black, watched "The Fountain," and the 2005 Australian zombie masterpiece "Undead," and played video games. Oh, and tried to go grocery shopping, which was a small slice of hell.

Nate Von J | May 28, 2007 11:53 AM

If you include what I'm doing on Memorial day itself right at this minute, deleting old emails and straightening up my classroom. I think I might head down to my Grandparent's and Great Uncle's grave and pay them a visit.

Dan | May 28, 2007 11:56 AM

I hung out at my brother's house and watched him do his best not to burn the neighborhood down after grilling some ridiculously greasy burgers stuffed with some sort of evil cheese with jalapeños in it.

That was definitely one hell of a fireball.

Dan Bailey | May 28, 2007 12:00 PM

1. Hung out with my friend, Wren, who I hadn't seen since '04, and is in-town for a graduation.

2. Found a buyer for my old road bike, which will enable me to buy the wheels for the new one.

3. Got jolted out of bed this morning at 4 a.m. by a (false) fire alarm and threw out my upper back in the process.

So far. More today, I'm sure.

Joe Sherry | May 28, 2007 12:43 PM

Let's see, my wife worked, I stayed at home dog sitting a neighbors dog, watched a lot of tv and Netflix, read a few books (even one of yours), and watched random music videos on you tube.

Joe Sherry | May 28, 2007 12:46 PM

Let's see, my wife worked, I stayed at home dog sitting a neighbors dog, watched a lot of tv and Netflix, read a few books (even one of yours), and watched random music videos on you tube.

Bill Blum | May 28, 2007 12:47 PM

Stayed up all night trying to comfort a crying 1 yr. old--- who is inexplicably happy today, as if nothing was wrong. Probably going to spend today learning more SQL, and toying around with Python code.

1 yr. old: "diddle daddle dah!" ( I wasn't crying. You are mistaken.)
Me: "Yes, you were."
1 yr. old: "dididididid DOO DOO DAH!" (I'm cute. You're going bald.)
Me: "Yes, and yes.... but you were still crying."
1 yr. old: "phbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt." ( Your recollection of last evening is woefully inadequate, old man. And you're still bald. Let me pull out more hair. )

Annalee Flower Horne | May 28, 2007 12:51 PM

goofed around like it was going out of style, mostly. I did watch Operation Stormbreaker, the movie made from Anthony Horrowitz's first ALEX RIDER book.

The book was fun in a 'Every time I turn the page, I'm losing ten brain cells' sort of way, but the movie was stupid!awesome. James Bond with teenagers-- almost as good as Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter (I am not making that up-- it's available on netflicks, and it's the best thing ever), except that JCVH is a musical. And really, beat that.

Annalee Flower Horne | May 28, 2007 12:53 PM

By the by, congratulations to your niece! She's doing better than I ever did :).

Karen | May 28, 2007 12:56 PM

Drove from DC to Boston, attended a Free Culture summit, drove back from Boston to DC. In the process, drove through Baltimore three times due to horrible lostness.

Tim of Angle | May 28, 2007 01:04 PM

Attended a memorial service for friends of mine from high school who died protecting your sorry asses from people who'd kill you in a heartbeat if they had the chance.

Hey - you asked.

kmkat | May 28, 2007 01:08 PM

Attended #2 son's graduation from high school. Wrote up a blog entry celebrating that plus #1 son's graduation from college a couple weeks earlier. Attempted to pack for 3-week vacation. Failed. Tried again.

Herkdriver | May 28, 2007 01:12 PM

1. Cut the grass.

2. Thought about my grandfather, a WW II vet who fought in Africa and and Europe.

3. Thought about my buddy Tico who died (along with his crew) in a training accident a few years ago.

4. Thought about my uncle a (still living) vet of that fun jungle romp 35 years ago.

5. Wondered how many of my buddies are not going to make it back whole from the fun in the sand we are having in SWA right now.

Sorry for the depressing thoughts, just needed to say it.

-et- | May 28, 2007 01:23 PM

Drove to Phoenix (103 degrees F!) from LA (71 degrees F) to attend a ballet in which our older granddaughter was performing, and spent some time with her family. Brought the younger (8) granddaughter back with us for a visit and time with her former schoolmates and friends.

BTW, don't complain about having graduated from high school 20 years ago. My class is having its 50th anniversary reunion in a few weeks. Talk about feeling old . . .

Marianne | May 28, 2007 01:40 PM

First I worked. Then I went to a barbecue. Today is for running errands and having a friend come over and play with our wii.

Not bad, as weekends go.

Kate | May 28, 2007 02:03 PM

Swapped stories with my father who stayed with me while the kids were away for the weekend. We talked about Vietnam and his childhood.

Watched Forrest Gump. I think that makes the 12th time since it's come out. It still hasn't lost it's charm even though I can quote word for word.

Panicked when I almost lost the 2000 words I had written on my story, but luckily found it in the temp directory.

Played Age of Empires 3 with my son and my dad.

Had cake.

Ken McConnell | May 28, 2007 02:07 PM

I finished the rough draft of my second novel, Null_Pointer. Now on to the third novel, Betweos.

Amanda | May 28, 2007 02:14 PM

I'm at work, considering my long weekend was last weekend. You Americans are so behind the times, I mean really. I was supposed to take my Girl Guide group camping this weekend but it was too cold and wet and yuck all weekend, so we cancelled.

Last week on my long weekend, I did as little as possible since it was my first full day off in who knows how long.

Chang, for rizzle. | May 28, 2007 02:31 PM

It ain't over yet. Still drunk.

Just kidding. It's over...

Cathy | May 28, 2007 03:04 PM

Went to Balticon. With 2 friends threw really great parties Friday and Saturday nights. Have just gotten home and will now proceed to vacuum, do laundry and write an analysis of OMB rules for work tomorrow.

Cynthia | May 28, 2007 03:41 PM

Planted petunias and little creepy white flowers with my mother, turned over the back garden bed to find old bricks and dagger like shards of broken glass, which made me reconsider dahlia placement (they have to be dug up yearly) and plunk a perenial there instead.

Read Huffington's bio of Picasso and decided I wanted to be a self-important artiste with lots of lovers.

Then realized I was a) already self-important, b) can't draw beyond stick fingers and c) a chronic misanthrope.

So another great plan shot to pieces.

Assidously avoided travel, as the local roads seem to be the set for a LARP of Mad Max lately.

Laurie Mann | May 28, 2007 04:44 PM

Continued reading a really large biography of James Madison (this after having been to both Montpelier and Monticello last week).

Got somewhat caught up on Program planning for Confluence.

Did some yard work.

Avoided seeing POTC3 with Jim and Leslie, but saw Shrek the Third with them today. It was a bit obsessed with bodily functions, but the bar scene, and high schools scenes were very funny.

Went to Jim's godparents' house for the traditional day before Memorial Day potluck, and chatted with many of Jim's cousins.

Angelle | May 28, 2007 05:00 PM

Cleaned out my closet and my sewing room, made the most perfect oatmeal-pecan-chocolate-chip cookies known to humankind, and read letters from 1967 that young men serving in Vietnam had written to my late aunt.

Ruth | May 28, 2007 05:32 PM

Went to Wiscon and listened to Naomi Kritzer set up the writing about war panel by saying, "I suggested this panel because I thought John Scalzi was going to be here."

Laura | May 28, 2007 05:32 PM

I'll be going to work at 6 pm. I took a nap earlier.

Cassie | May 28, 2007 05:39 PM

Hung a hammock. Rehung the hammock up about 8 inches. I'm about to retire with pages to edit and swing until dusk, or somebody demands food.

CaseyL | May 28, 2007 06:26 PM

Went to Folklife on Friday.

Meant to go again Sunday with a friend, but it rained like crazy, so we went to Bellvue Square instead. The mall has all the usual stores (yawn) plus some interesting ones, like an art gallery with high quality work. They had a lot of Erte prints and bronzes - all for amazingly reasonable prices considering it's, y'know, Erte. Found out that gallery owns the Erte estate!

Oh, and also spend a goodly part of Saturday reading GB and TLC. I'm very impressed with how the characters developed and the plot unfolded over the three books, getting more complex and interesting each time. Now: on to Sagan's Diary!

Today: BBQ dinner with my neighbors.

I adore four-day weekends...

Rachel McGonagill | May 28, 2007 06:44 PM

I went to Wiscon, where Mr Scalzi was immortalized in song in the opening ceremonies. . . .

cherie priest | May 28, 2007 07:31 PM

Same as you, but for my little brother. The niece still has another twelve years to go (thank God).

Marty | May 28, 2007 07:34 PM

Went to a bonfire at my daughter's home on Friday evening -- ate brats and other picnic food, played with grandchildren. Helped with a surprise 80th-birthday party for my dad on Saturday -- ate brats and party food, chatted with family and friends. Church on Sunday morning, then took my parents and two grandchildren to a minor league baseball game Sunday evening -- ate baseball park food and watched the home team lose. Drove home this morning and went to a friend's cousin's home this afternoon -- ate chicken and picnic food and chatted with surrogate family and friends. Home now to collapse and get ready for the work week -- not planning to eat again until next week.

Paula Helm Murray | May 28, 2007 08:51 PM

Went to ConQuesT in Kansas City (well, I LIVE here, and I've only missed one since about 1977--the year I went to Balticon while we were bidding for 2006) and had the delightful experience of being able to have a conversation face to face with Ms. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, our toastmistress.

All in all, a good weekend, though I'm a bit tired. Today spent some time thinking about all my relatives who have served in the armed forces thoughout the years. I'm positive that I've had relatives in one or another branch of the U.S. military in all war theaters since WWI.

Paula Helm Murray | May 28, 2007 08:51 PM

Went to ConQuesT in Kansas City (well, I LIVE here, and I've only missed one since about 1977--the year I went to Balticon while we were bidding for 2006) and had the delightful experience of being able to have a conversation face to face with Ms. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, our toastmistress.

All in all, a good weekend, though I'm a bit tired. Today spent some time thinking about all my relatives who have served in the armed forces thoughout the years. I'm positive that I've had relatives in one or another branch of the U.S. military in all war theaters since WWI.

Tatiana | May 28, 2007 09:25 PM

Lazed around the house for two days, then today drove Housemate and Perky Pixie (a.k.a. the resident 5-year-old) to Battle Creek to feed giraffes. Hey, I didn't know they had giraffes in Battle Creek either.

deCadmus | May 28, 2007 09:47 PM

Yesterday, a crawfish boil: good friends, good beer, chubby mudbugs. Fun. (Check the web site for a spiffy pic.)

Today, ran up the flag and thought about my big brother. A lot.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward | May 28, 2007 09:48 PM

Worked on the rental house.

Skied today. Very cool. Conga line up and down Mt. Hood.

Rode the horse.

CJ-in-Weld | May 28, 2007 10:02 PM

Painted the nursery, installed a ceiling fan there, put an extra dowel rod in nursery closet halfway down – those tiny little clothes don't exactly reach the floor....

Steve Buchheit | May 28, 2007 10:03 PM

Spent Saturday catching up with my smart friends, then stayed at Mom's overnight and had sister-in-law come over and watched Airplane (there's a movie that couldn't be made today). Sunday drove back and worked on logo for client, and cleaned up. Today caught up with some outdoor chores, continued working on logo, and made some progress to feeling like normal.

Soni | May 28, 2007 10:23 PM

I was at the Brevard White Squirrel Festival ogling camouflage-challenge tree rats and trying to avoid smokers who think that just because they're outside, no one else will be bothered by their impenetrable clouds of doom.

Yeah, that's 5 minutes of fix-getting for you, an hour or more of sinus pain for me. Thanks.

PixelFish | May 28, 2007 10:31 PM

My boyfriend and I bought a mixer, a waffle iron, and an ice cream maker at Williams and Sonoma. Then we attempted to make ice cream and failed. (We failed to strain the mixture when we should have, so it went eggy.)

We also drove to New Hampshire for the first time and had lunch with friends.

Lizzibabe | May 28, 2007 11:12 PM

I drove down to Roanoke to visit my Moms and my Dad & his GF. I saw POTC3 & did shopping w/Moms, and duly admired Dad's new prosthetic foot. Dad creeped me out by pulling the foot off and waggling his stump at me and laughed his fool head off at my reaction. Visited the Festival In The Park and ate chicken on a stick and drank lemonade. Drove home in time to watch Star Wars: Legacy on The History Channel. Darn good show, that.

hope | May 28, 2007 11:16 PM

Tim of Angle, Herkdriver

I'm sorry for your loss.

I walked in a small town parade, one with with the old cadillacs for the local candidates and the guy on the three wheel bicycle decorated with flags and I was glad that today I didn't have to remember anyone that was lost, all my vets came home from their wars and my husband's lottery number was high.

diana pharaoh francis | May 28, 2007 11:18 PM

I had chickenpox. With my 3 year old daughter.


Kelly Norton | May 28, 2007 11:21 PM

I spent all weekend going as fast as I could on a motorcycle around Road Atlanta.

Jonathan Vos Post | May 28, 2007 11:38 PM

No self-important geeky projects being reported here, not for lack of them. No, this is Memorial Day. I searched ancestry.com in their recently unveiled scanned image database of World War I registration cards, and read about my grandfather and some other relatives on their way in.

Later, my maternal grandfather was in the trenches at Aix-la-Chappelle, in heavy artillery, completely cut off for a long time, during which some GIs in his unit caught and roasted rats for food. Folks, brave men and women have died for Freedom. Today we honor them, regardless of party or politics.

Goner | May 29, 2007 12:12 AM

Thought about my dead friends. And forced relatives to listen to my stories about them.

MWT | May 29, 2007 02:02 AM

Made a big batch of gazpacho. This one turned out not to have enough tomato in it, but at least it wasn't overpowering with onions like my first batch. Next batch will hopefully be perfect - third times the charm and all, right?

Audrey Estock | May 29, 2007 02:11 AM

Me? Oh I... I packed. Lots of packing. Stuff into boxes and boxes into the truck. And got to hear a lot of screeching of family members because we're not actually READY to move yet, either physically or mentally.

Oh, and we threw out of a lot of trash. And things our mother would have liked to keep but the rest of us considered junk (insert more screeching here).

And then we went out to eat at Chili's for dinner.

Tomorrows forecast? More of the same! (There is a reason I don't like moving.)

Hogwallop | May 29, 2007 02:24 AM

Went and watched my cousin graduate from West Point. I don't think I can put into words how proud I am of him.

Steven desJardins | May 29, 2007 02:30 AM

I was at WisCon, pondering the question of dessert safety. (There were at least half a dozen volunteers assigned to dessert safety. There did not appear to be any dessert-related injuries at WisCon. Surely this can't be coincidence.)

Still Lurking | May 29, 2007 06:30 AM

There is a pop-up ad that comes up when I open your site. Normally I wouldn't say anything, it's your site, ads are your right, but I thought you had a no ad policy, and it is similar to one that was showing up at Scienceblogs, and there, it turned out to be some kind of malware (you'd have to ask them for the details).

John Scalzi | May 29, 2007 07:17 AM

Still Lurking, if you're seeing an ad, it's to do with your computer and browser, not this site. Run a spyware detection program.

John | May 29, 2007 08:08 AM

This weekend:
Celebrated my wife's birthday by taking her and some good friends to an incredible Southern Cuisine restaurant. Ate and drank decadently.

Lazed around my house, enjoyed some time with my 16 month old daughter.

Went to a National Wildlife Reserve, hiked 5 miles or so, took some pictures.

Went swimming for the first time this year at our neighborhood pool, grilled hotdogs for the family.

Reflected on fallen comrades.

Enjoyed the weekend very much, cursed the alarm clock this morning.

Anna N. | May 29, 2007 08:16 AM

I helped my mom start sorting through books in her classroom. She's been teaching first grade for 10 years (in the same room) and she's really amazing, but her bastard principal decided nope, no more - next year, she's teaching 5th grade. She's never taught anything even close to 5th grade.

And she has 4 days after school ends to move everything that's hers out of her room and down to the 5th grade room.

Which sounds like plenty of time, until you learn that, on average, elementary school teachers spend $400 of their own money per year on classroom supplies - and my mom spends more like $600.

/end rant

(Well, you asked...)

chang, myspacier than ever! | May 29, 2007 08:34 AM

Now that it's over....

Friday had dinner with the 'rents. Very nice.

Saturday had the kid and a friend of hers over. Went to beach. Casco Bay was frigging cold, like 50F if anything. Thought I would pee out of my eyes and shins would shatter.

Sunday went to the lake and opened up the houses. This required a little work and then much beer and food. Missed out on Zombie Kickball, though. We in our family know how to eat if anything.

Monday recovered from previous night. Comforted child when jet quadron buzzed house on the way back from Memorial Day Parade. Then went to parents house again to say hello to old friends. Then went to beach again. Then had family over for pizza. Went to bed at 9:30AM. Was tired.

A good weekend, thank you.

Natalie | May 29, 2007 09:12 AM

Went to Northern Michigan to visit my family--some of whom I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years. Gave my freebie copy of The Last Colony to my dad, told him he needed to buy the first two volumes first though. Went to my family's annual camping trip (did not actually camp, though), sat in the rain under the tarp (because it always rains, except for the Year It Snowed). Visited my grandfather's grave. Came home to Delaware. Oh, and got an idea for an actual story, but since I haven't written anything in over 10 years, I'm not sure I'm going to do anything with it.

SGT Arnie | May 29, 2007 09:21 AM

I went to WisCon, for the first time, wondering how it was going to play out. I wound up taking copious notes and feeling as though I hadn't really done my homework prior to my attendance. I also discovered to my immense amazement that in a panel entitled "Privilege of the Sword, Denied", which was concerned with the use of weapons and permitting/denying them to various classes of people, I was the only vet in the room.

All my fellow soldiers came home from the Gulf War physically intact. I only wish the current administration, in coordination with that in Iraq and other countries, wasn't so hell-bent on creating more Gold Star mothers. I respect the desire (and need) to comemmorate our war dead. However, I feel we owe them our heads as well as our hearts.

Clay | May 29, 2007 09:41 AM

My wife was in a wedding on Saturday, so from rehearsal to reception, Friday and Saturday were shot.

Sunday we lazed around, blew off invitations to join friends and family alike in order to hang out with the boy.

Monday slaved over a hot yard planting shrubs and flowers.

Nick Stump | May 29, 2007 09:56 AM

Talked to my best friend, Jason, who's in Iraq. He said the water at the FOB is so bad there's an epidemic of kidney stones. They have to drink Gatorade and juice which KBR is glad to sell them.

I been having old dreams of Vietnam days, sleeping too much or not sleeping at all. Memorial Day brings a lot of stuff up. Saw a special on TV saying Viet Vets are suffering from PSTD brought on by this war. Somehow that knowledge is no comfort to me. Thought I was though with all that years ago, but now this war is stirring everything up. Hate the thought I could be mulling this over for years. And I hate laying in bed wide awake, waiting for the Voodoo to come down. (Apologies to Miles Davis)

Jason, on the other hand, has Gulf War Syndrome and has just found out he was exposed to nerve gas in Desert Storm, so I guess I lose the screwed-up Vet contest between the two of us, especially as he's still getting shot at.

On the other hand it's been great to talk to him and I feel like I'm doing something when I send a package. Where he is, they only get one hot meal a day, maybe two and then those lovely MREs--LRRP rations to you Vietnam Vets. I sent him a goodie package this morning. I remember getting so hungry in for stuff I couldn't get, soupbeans and cornbread, Zagnut bars--all the things I took for granted. I just want him to have a taste from home and more than anything want him home with his family. Best I can do is throw some Zagnut bars in a box. Also sent him a copy of Old Man's War and told him it was about him.

Very frustrating days for a lot of us old veterans and Memorial Day this year was very sad. I wallowed in it, as only I can do. I babbled to my bride until she got that patient look on her face and finally after I had been in a funk all day, I finally decided I'd been in the state of self-pity long enough and the voice in the back of my head reminded me I have it a lot better than 58,000 guys who didn't get home. So I bucked up and for supper I made blueberry buckwheat pancaked from scratch, fried up some steak and eggs. Topped the pancakes with some Grade B Maple Syurp,(bigger and better flavor than A) and while we ate we watched the high-def version of John Ford's, The Searchers. What a beautiful piece of film making. The opening shots take my breath away.

Later I had the big boy portion of bourbon whiskey and slept with nary a dream at all.

Michelle K | May 29, 2007 11:40 AM

Put up my annual Memorial Day post on my website.

Put out the flag.

Cut strawberries and made whipped cream for the waffles my husband was making. (Yum! Is there anything better than fresh strawberries and whipped cream? I think not.)

Laid around reading Liz William's "The Demon and the City."

Got my grandmother in the car and went to my parent's house for dinner.

Went home after my dad (finally) told my grandmother he was starting radiation therapy next week.

Came home and was forced by my husband and grandmother to watch more of season 2 of Star Trek: Next Generation.

Kept waking my grandmother up so she wouldn't miss the important bits.

Took down the flag.

Read more to recover from the STNG. :)

I'm also lucky in that my great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all came back from their military service safe and sound, and that all my (extended) family in the military now are still hale and hearty.

Anne C. | May 29, 2007 12:12 PM

Finished up TLC. Great job, John. There was a significant lack of cliches, which made for compelling reading. I was also intrigued by the inclusion of Mennonites, since my family on my dad's side comes from Mennonite stock. Very cool stuff. I'm now reading TAD.

Spent two days with my visiting parents, including the obligatory M-day picnic at my half-brother's house. We saw Shrek the Third, which was a great example of why a movie series should end at three. A good, but not great, movie.

Spent one day on a fierce cleaning spree through the house and yard. Made the rest of the relaxing weekend feel earned.

And ran my first 10K race (the Bolder Boulder). A friend and I camped out the night before the race so we wouldn't have to get up at the crack of dawn that day. I didn't do too badly at all (10-11 min. miles) and had fun.

What more can you ask for?

Roger | May 29, 2007 12:58 PM

Celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with a big party in which all my relatives and most of my friends showed up. Much wine and beer was consumed and good food was had by all. Afterwards we all hung out in the hotel bar and drank expensive single malt.

M.A. | May 29, 2007 01:32 PM

Went to BayCon Saturday, where I bought a copy of China Mieville's Un Lun Dun. which I read straight through on Sunday. Monday I saw At World's End with a crew of neighbors. So now here I am at the office, with a head full of silly...

Shawn Powers | May 29, 2007 02:40 PM

Took the dog to the local parade. Took the family too. None barked enough to be annoying.

Buck | May 29, 2007 04:52 PM

Friday: drove from Detroit to my girlfriend's place in Mount Pleasant (Flat Dismal), MI.

Saturday: drove to the Upper Peninsula, stopped for a cool/cheesy reenactment of a 1763 attack on Ft. Michilimackinac by local Indians. Stayed in "the least ethnically diverse place" in the US my Chinese girlfriend has visited (Manistique, MI).

Sunday: boat tour of Painted Rocks National Seashore.

Monday: all day hike along the Lake Superior shore.

Also on Monday, reflecting on how different this Memorial Day could have been, now that my brother-in-law and his son have both returned safely from tours of duty in Iraq over the last couple of weeks.

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