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02 December 2009 @ 07:31 pm
Busy busy days!  

We saw a bunch of friends throughout the remainder of our visit in Fairbanks. Sunday night we were like, “….why exactly is it we’re not staying longer?” Well, because Ted’s mom had said she’d be off work the 19th-30th, and we could come those days, and, well, we didn’t really *think* any further than that, darn it. We didn’t think, “We could stay longer, see a few more people, do a few more things…!” Next time we’ll have thought of it in advance. :) So now we’re rushing through Anchorage and kind of going, “…yeah, we could have stayed longer here, too!” Next time we shall. :)

Anyway, so Monday in Anchorage was Family Day. My uncle and two cousins, plus five attendant children, came up from Kenai, and another cousin and his wife took time off work during lunch, so we all went over to Bear Tooth for lunch. The first ten of us were trying to stuff ourselves into the corner booth when oen of the waiters (a guy we recognized! He’s been working at Bear Tooth forever!) came over, took a look at us, and said, kind of gently, “The theatre is open…”

So we poured gratefully into the theatre, where the kids spent much of the next couple hours running up and down the aisles screaming happily while the adults more or less kept an eye on them and chatted. Very cute kids–my cousin Moira has four boys, ranging from a month to seven years old, and my cousin Kerry has a three year old girl. Emelia and I hit it off straight away, as her mother was putting a barrette Emelia didn’t want in her hair, so when I met her she was standing with both hands on her head and an expression of terrible dismay.

Naturally, I put both hands on my head and copied her expression of dismay, and about two seconds later she latched onto my thigh, there to remain on and off through the afternoon. :) (I speak Small Child quite well, apparently. Years ago my friend Jai’s two year old daughter was playing drums with the pots and pans, so I sat down with her and played too, and Jai said, “…you really are just a great big two year old, aren’t you?” :)) At one point, I was telling one of the boys something about “Uncle Ted”, although technically all those kids are (I believe) first cousins once removed. My uncle, though, thought the simplification of “aunt” and “uncle” certainly simplified things, since explaining to kids why all those adult people are cousins is sort of weird. I said I’d basically always figured it was easiest to call it by generation. :)

Anyway, it was really, *really* nice to see them, and I hope very much that next time we come over here we can get down to Kenai for a day or two. We split up around 2:30 so the Kenai people could get home–or at least get through Turnagain, where it was blizzarding–before dark, and bobbled over to Bosco’s with Emily-the-mad, who decided at the last moment to zoop off to Orycon and then stay in Anchorage a couple days after Orycon so we could see her. :) Bosco’s actually had a couple back issues of Chance 2-5, which was kind of nice to see.

We stopped by B&N, where I signed the books they had in, and did a bit of driving around to see how Anchorage had changed, then went to dinner with what Ted refers to as our outlaws–they’re Deirdre’s in-laws–and that was equally nice. A very splendid salmon dinner, which *laugh* was in a lemon sauce that the chef–the husband of the family–felt was too sour. We none of us had thought it was, but he jumped up, poured it out, and went to make a brand-new sauce. The little girl, who’s five (and a half) hadn’t eaten her salmon, which was unusual, and someone asked why sh e wasn’t eating it. “It’s too sour!” she shouted, which completely undid our (genuine) protests that it hadn’t been. :)

Today, which was planned as Friends Day, we ended up running errands and were somewhat late to Kaladi’s (got there at two after planning a 1:30 arrival). We blamed the Irish rubbing off on us. :) But we managed to catch everybody who’d been there, including our former boss from Internet Alaska, whom I had hardly expected to see at all. So that was entirely lovely, and our friend Melissa (who looks FANTASTIC!) also pounced us while we were still outside the coffee shop, and when we got in my college roommate Liz was awaiting us (as was our friend Kim, but I totally failed to recognize her, as she is vastly shorter of hair and blonder than the last time we saw her!). More and more people showed up through the afternoon–people from the Alaska chapter of RWA, high school friends, more high school friends, some fans whom I’d never met before but who had driven in from Wasilla, just lots of poeple! It was fantastic! And then we went out to dinner with a few of them, and another high school friend dropped by, and finally we all tumbled off, and now I’m waiting to have an internet connection so I can actually post this. :)

(posted Wednesday morning from the Anchorage airport, in fact)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
 
 
 
dtm on December 3rd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
I have often considered it a great deficiency in English kinship terminology that there's no simpler term for that "knight's move" relationship, and the term we do have isn't directional.

I mean, I can also say "this is my cousin's son" or "this is my daughter's second cousin", but as far as terms of address go, we end up using "Aunt" and "Uncle" too. K doesn't seem bothered by the fact that "Aunt Mary" is the grandmother of "cousin Aaron" (sometimes called "second cousin Aaron"), the mother of "Aunt Lisa", and the sister of "Grandma". "Aunt" in practice ends up meaning "one or more generations up, and one or more moves sideways, ending at a woman". ("sideways" means through marriage bonds, same-generation familial bonds (i.e. sibling or nth-cousin), or long-term close friendship)

Actually, trying to come up with a consistent and concise notation for kinship relations is quite challenging in its own right, let alone trying to come up with useful terminology. Somewhere I have a vague memory of seeing a paper where they came up with a binary string notation for kinship relations that had the interesting property that if you reversed the string, you reversed the relationship. The authors then used this notation to translate the prohibitions in the Torah about who couldn't marry whom into restrictions from the woman's point of view.