The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Bash of the Day #2596

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Bash of the Day #2596

I first met Laurel three years ago, at one of the bolder Hellaween parties over at the haus. Since then we’ve become much more inclined toward mellow events, and had just three friends over tonight for our tiny Halloween party.

Over the course of any Halloween, people will shed the less comfortable parts of their costume, slowly turning back into themselves. Laurel, who made herself into Marceline the Vampire Queen, abandoned the fang, black hair and sun hat when we migrated to the sofa; Alina was a classical sort of witch, but doffed the black hat when she came in. Ruth experimented with Pippy Longstocking pigtails, but the wire wouldn’t quite stay put. In this shot only Bob is still entirely Someone Else – a shepherd from a time long before sheep.

With a great deal of Laurel’s help I became Wirt, and in order to explain the costume we watched Over the Garden Wall with everyone. The music is still in my head – it’s a good way to end the night.

the loveliest lies of all

Written by Umbrella Man

November 1, 2015 at 12:06 am

Spook of the Day #2594

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Spook of the Day #2594

Our home is getting spookier by the day. Little ghosts and bats and skulls are perched on every corner, and the pumpkin is even decorated with a pumpkin. I brought home some pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups to put into our pumpkin candy bucket, but I don’t think they’re pumpkin flavored – probably for the best, as we’re on the verge of some sort of singularity event here.

We are tired tonight! Off to bed.

no one around

Written by Umbrella Man

October 29, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Posted in holidays

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Chop of the Day #2477

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Chop of the Day #2477

Mitch proved his mettle again today, carrying on the tradition of splitting a watermelon with a single top for this year’s Slaughtermelon. He performed in front of a bigger audience today, and with a total of five watermelons prepared for the slaughter, a lot of new people got to take a swing at it.

I made an attempt as well – my first time in these three years of the tradition. I managed to split the fruit in three swings, and might not have been able to manage a fourth if the watermelon hadn’t finally given in. Tonight I carry a small scar on my forearm from the encounter, and my hand still aches a bit from the first swing, but so much the better; I have come away with physical proof of the challenge I met.

The fifth and final watermelon was the toughest we’ve seen yet; hardened in the freezer, it took Mitch four chops to break open, parrying his attacks in the greatest battle I’ve ever witnessed between man and melon.

The chopped fruit was eaten or drunk as the party went on. A few apples met a brutal fate today, as well, but we’ve yet to see anyone attempt this with a durian.

squid lobby

Written by Umbrella Man

July 5, 2015 at 1:40 am

Posted in food, friends, holidays, people

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Newlyweds of the Day #2407

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Newlyweds of the Day #2407

I take these photos with the hope of encapsulating the day with them – bundling up everything into one image that says what it was like to be alive today. The archetypical image for a wedding is probably of the couple kissing at the altar, or perhaps walking down the aisle together after the ceremony, but shots like that are better left to the professional photographer, who must move as if she is invisible, a wraith summoned to preserve the moment while everyone else lives it.

So this shot of Brian and Shoshana dancing with one of the little nieces who attended will have to do, even if the little niece is obscured here. I managed to catch their smiles, and that is enough for me.

It makes me really happy to see them like this.

This was a long day of preparations for the ceremony, and because I was not a part of the wedding I watched from the sidelines as people scrambled about to get everything ready. No such event would be complete without some minor disaster, so the chuppah kindly filled this requisite when it proved too big to mount in the tiny sand pots we had available. Two of Brian’s friends rushed to the hardware store for bigger buckets and more sand, and managed to return just in time for the group photos, which had fortuitously run late. It was such a huge wave of convoluted logistics to get everything together, but as Brian said – without all these rituals we wouldn’t have the magic.

The ceremony began with the Concerning Hobbits theme, and both families came out like the heroes they are. Shoshana walked the aisle with smiles and tears, and I finally understood why people cry at weddings.

Brian has been a very good friend to me, always thoughtful and inquisitive, full of interesting questions that pushed me to consider things in ways that made the world a richer place to experience. It was wonderful to see him exchange vows with Soshana, their voices tremulous and happy, overflowing with love.

No bouquet was thrown, but at the end of the ceremony chocolate truffles were passed out to all the guests, who were asked to throw them at the couple as they exited. Brian actually caught mine, and I feel like that ought to mean something.

I didn’t know any of Brian’s friends there, though most of them knew each other. It hadn’t occurred to me how I’ve only really interacted with Brian as a single entity; our social spheres meet at a tangent. In a ceremony hosting a hundred and twenty people, I felt like a very small part of Brian’s life, and it was an honor to be there.

I talked with some of Brian and Shoshana’s friends throughout the evening – all intelligent, friendly people, and I wish I had more time to get to know them.

After the Horah and the couple’s first dance as newlyweds, the guests were invited to dance as well. I stood at first on the sidelines, of course, but Brian dragged me bodily onto the dance floor, where I really had quite a lot of fun. I had a conversation with another stranger there, dancing nonsense dances as we talked about our lives and how we knew the newlyweds.

This is the first wedding I’ve been to where I actually knew the couple, where I actually felt I could participate and celebrate them. Brian and Shoshana are wonderful people both, and they are surrounded by many other wonderful people, and from here forwards I’m sure many more lovely stories will unfold for the two of them.

where you end and I begin

Written by Umbrella Man

April 26, 2015 at 1:23 am

Posted in events, friends, people

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Sweater of the Day #2266

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Sweater of the Day #2266

Laurel and Jamie wrapped their masterpiece and placed it under the tree last night, and this morning their dad got to see the fruit of their efforts. Christmas in San Diego is pretty toasty – not sweater weather, unfortunately – so the new sweater didn’t get much wear today, but Laurel’s dad wore it enough for everyone to appreciate the spectacle.

Everyone was so welcoming today, and several presents were waiting for me under the tree; I even had a guest stocking by the fireplace, stuffed with a thoughtful array of sweets and trinkets. I wish I had things to give everyone else in return; they all deserve the best.

I’ll work something out.

Laurel’s birthady is in a few days, and it’s tradition here to have her cake after Christmas dinner, when everyone is still around. She has a bit of “excitement” afflicting her nose and throat, so I blew out the candles for her – the sparking kind that rekindle themselves if you aren’t thorough with your breath. When I finished she asked if I’d made a wish; it didn’t seem right to act as surrogate wishmaker.

It’s been a good day, despite some complications in the morning, and everyone is long worn out from the season. Time now, perhaps, for a little recovery from the holiday.

put them on the tree

Written by Umbrella Man

December 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Posted in friends, holidays, people

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Elves of the Day #2285

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Elves of the Day #2285

(Psst–keep this a secret until morning)

Laurel and Jamie spent most of the day patching together a present for their dad, who is renowned as Ungiftable, needing and wanting nothing. Their solution this year to gifting the ungiftable was a perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater, featuring a felted image of Santa Claus flying over a snow-laden neighborhood. Two strands of battery-powered lights and a string of little bells make the sweater a full-sensory experience, and to top it all off, Rudolph is spewing mid-flight onto an unfortunate snowman below.

It’s a marvelous piece they’ve made, and ultimately I think the gift is less for their dad than for everyone else who will get to see him wearing it.

I get to be part of the festivities tomorrow. Just being here is enough of a gift, but there’s a package or two waiting under the tree for me, too.

Better sleep, else Santa won’t come pick up some of the excess cookies we have…

tune my heart to sing

Written by Umbrella Man

December 25, 2014 at 12:43 am

Posted in friends, holidays, people

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Feast of the Day #2254

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Feast of the Day #2254

We had a proper Friendsgiving feast at the haus tonight, replete with delicious dishes for everyone. Laurel and I made ratatouille; Kendra provided a set of pumpkin pies; Mitch made an astounding assortment of foods, a fantastic display of his skill as a chef.

Well-fed, heavy with food, our party parted earlier in the evening than usual, ready to sleep deep. These holidays are a welcome thing.

too many cooks

Written by Umbrella Man

November 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm