Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for Vacation

Dragon*Con 2010

So, I just got attended my first Dragon*Con. It was pretty awesome. I very much hope it will not be my last.

I got some cool pictures of the parade and some awesome costumes. I went to some super-cool panels about feminism, gender, nuclear power, dealing with police, adult themes in Star Wars, steampunk fashions, skepticism in education, G-d in sci/fi and fantasy, and several others.

Some highlights from the weekend were:

The Venture Bros. panel was cool, but I really didn’t think it was worth the hour-long wait in line. It was neat seeing all the folks being excited about my favorite show and it was very cool seeing the clip of the upcoming season. However, I realized that I generally don’t get all that worked up about seeing celebrities (with at least one notable exception below), and so waiting for this panel convinced me to not wait in similar lines for the rest of the weekend.

The Clone Wars panel was super-cool. I’ve heard the cast interviewed before, so I knew they were all just down-to-earth lovely folks. I love the show, and the discussion was fun and informative.

The Browncoats: Redemption Firefly fan movie was super-awesome. Go to the website and buy it and see (it’s all for charity!).

By far the most memorable experience of the weekend was the q&a with Avery Brooks. He spoke for about an hour and took questions from the audience. He talked about the importance of the “ing,” as in “do-ing,” “act-ing,” “chang-ing,” “liv-ing.” He said that trying to remove anyone from the planet whether for race, or oil, or gender is creating a malignancy. He spoke of making the world better. And I cried at least three times. I was inspired, moved, called, and ministered to. I had always loved Avery Brooks’ roles and acting, but seeing him speak I feel like I am now a fan of Avery Brooks the man. I even asked him a question about the spirituality of Benjamin Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and how his own spirituality helped him to play that role. It was towards the end of the time, so his answer was fairly brief. He talked about simply having the spiritual grounding by just being a man. The power of his speech, the penetration of his eyes (even through tinted glasses), and the general elegance of his presence all contributed to this being an hour I will never forget.

I did buy some art, as I am wont to do at cons, because it seems like a good way to personally memorialize the con for me as a special event. I got a print by Jasmine Becket-Griffith called “Skulls and Stars” and a print by Kate Lebherz-Gelinas called “Expecting.” Both pieces are just very ~me~ and are lovely additions to my slowly-growing meager art collection.

I went with a friend, and was super-great to spend some time with her. We did lots of stuff together, but also went our own way for things. I realized that this was the first time since my transition that I had traveled with a female friend for a vacation. It was very cool. We had lots of fun and I feel like our friendship is even stronger than before. Yay!

So, yea, Dragon*Con good!

[here are the pics]

Foxwoods with The Darling Boyfriend

So, my mom had some more free nights at Foxwoods, so I asked her if I could have one for me and my Darling Boyfriend. She said yes, and he and I went on Wednesday and stayed over Wednesday night and came home Thursday morning.

We left around 11:00 AM and got there about 1:00 PM on Wednesday. We went upstairs and threw our stuff in the room and then went and had lunch at Fuddrucker’s. I’ve only eaten at a Fuddrucker’s once before. I had basically the same impression this time that I did the other time: it’s good, but I do not agree that it’s the “World’s Greatest Hamburger.” We had a great time talking over lunch, though, like it seems we almost always do.

After lunch we went to see the Bodies Revealed exhibit. I’ve been sort of interested in seeing the exhibit for a while, and seeing it with my boyfriend was just amazing. He’s a wicked anatomy geek, so seeing bodies in various states of dissection with him was pretty interesting; he was like a kid in a candy shop. It was a little disturbing for me at certain points (the pregnant woman was really hard to take), but in general I just found it fascinating. The section on blood vessels was amazing (there was one exhibit that was just the blood vessels from an arm – so the blood vessels formed the shape of an arm – amazing). I loved looking at the bones and muscles and ligaments and tendons on the hands and arms; that was very informative to me as a drummer/drum teacher.

In the reproductive section there was what seemed to be an innocuous little note next to the female reproductive organs: “A woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have.” That sort of touched a nerve in me, and I had to catch my breath for a second. My Darling Boyfriend was amazing, because he totally understood why I was upset and was just really caring in that moment.

After the Bodies Revealed exhibit we went back up to the room and had a pretty heavy talk about future and kids and plans and all of that (more in the general sense, not really talking about “us” having kids “together” yet – I think it’s a little soon for that discussion, honestly).

We got some rest, and then took some time and made our own, more intimate, version of revealed bodies. 🙂

After our private anatomy lesson, we got dressed and headed off to dinner. I wore this cute little mini-skirt (~very~ mini) and tube top with a sweater and really cool boots.

We went to David Burke Prime for dinner, and it was quite probably the best meal I’ve ever had. I went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse earlier this year in Philadelphia, and that was fantastic, but this meal was a notch above that. We started with appetizers; Darling Boyfriend got calamari and I had a special that was two lollipop lamb chops with little pumpkin cakes. We shared the apps, and I couldn’t decide which was my favorite taste. I guess I’d have to go with the pumpkin cakes, but everything was out of this world. I was drinking a mixed drink with a few different alcohols (it was a fruity girlie drink) and Darling Boyfriend was drinking Guinness.

For our main course he got the twin filets with shrimp, and I got the 40-day aged ribeye. I also ordered a special side that was a cauliflower dish. My steak was most probably the best steak I’ve ever had. It was perfect. Simply perfect. Darling Boyfriend really enjoyed his dinner as well, and I gave him the bone from my steak to gnaw on. The cauliflower dish was very good, but possibly the only thing during the meal that wasn’t absolutely stupendous, only excellent.

We got two desserts to share: mini ice cream cones and peach donuts with dipping sauce. I also decided to get some Disarono on the rocks to top off the dessert course. The dessert was amazing; the little ice cram cones (with assorted flavors of ice cream) were awesome, and the peach donuts were one of the most incredible things I’ve ever had. The amaretto was, as I knew it would be, delicious.

Every bite of this meal seemed to just get better and better. I was overwhelmed by the joy and taste in every bite. I am given to hyperbole, I know that, but I really do think this was the best overall meal from beginning to end that I’ve ever had. I can not say enough positive things about the experience. I’m sure the fact that I had just enjoyed an experience of one type of physical exctasy before this gastronomic delight only added to the bliss, but I still think this meal will always stand out in my memory as truly special (having shared it with Darling Boyfriend certainly made it even that much more lovely).

Just. Wow. What an amazing meal.

After dinner we went for a stroll out by the outdoor pool. It was a lovely night, though it was starting to get a little chilly, so we didn’t last too long outside. But I really wanted to go for a walk outside, so I’m glad we did, even for just a little bit.

We went back up to the room and Darling Boyfriend gave me a massage. Oh my. What did I say earlier about bliss? Let me tell you, having a boyfriend that’s an anatomy geek sure makes the massages divine.

From the incredible sex, to the superb meal, to the divine massage, that was twelve of the most awesome hours I’ve ever had the joy of experiencing.

We woke up the next morning and went for brunch at the buffett. After brunch we explored the museum info center (someday I’ll actually get to the Pequot Museum) a little bit and then needed to head out. On our way we made a last stop in the “Tree House” (arcade). We played a bunch of air hockey and Darling Boyfriend got the better of me (I’m whipping him into shape to be able to beat his big sister this Christmas – long story, I’ll tell you sometime). We also played a trivia game, and a couple video games before heading back home.

It was amazing night away, and it feels like we crammed so much fun into those 24 hours.

Have I mentioned that I’m pretty smitten with this guy?


…I am.


Illuminate Me

A bit over a month ago I asked my mom if she had any free days she could get at the Foxwoods hotel. She did, and she booked a few sets of dates. This Wednesday & Thursday were the only two that I was able to go. I really needed to just get away from my house and all the stuff around me. I needed to take a breath and recharge. Here’s the one good thing about my mom gambling too much: free vacation for Penny.

When I got here we went to one of the high-rollers rooms for free food and drinks. I ate too much and had four White Russians. Yummy, and as my mom would say, we were feeling no pain.

So, we went to see the Cirque production called Illumination this evening. It was great. We had seen Pandemonium last year, and I loved that, but I think Illumination was even better. The acrobats were great, as always. There was a very funny comedy bit in the middle using four audience members and one of the members of the show acting as the “director” of their scene. I laughed a lot. Towards the end of the performance there was a man/woman couple tandem. The man kept dunking himself in a tub and then spinning and climbing on two straps hanging from the ceiling. It was a very romantic setting and scene. I found myself wishing I was here with my boyfriend instead of my mom. 😉

It was a great show, I’m really glad we went.

Tomorrow I hope to go swimming in the pool and get some work done (see, I said I was busy – even here I have to work).

Now I’m off to hop in the tubby for a nice bath after watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

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