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Beedoo!
I have indeed been keeping myself pretty busy since I got back. Firstly, my family has had one yard sale and will have another next weekend. I had a lot to put in, seeing as how I'm seemingly having to shrive myself of most of my worldly possessions, because I either have to leave most of them here at home or get rid of them because of the more permanent move to the Netherlands in the (hopefully near) future. We are also selling off a lot of things inherited by my mom from a friend who was a terrible hoarder. The yard sales are to clear out what's left--my aunt runs an antiques shop, and my mom's cousin deals in Native American Indian arts and jewelry, they're selling off much of the stuff between them (we hope!) and sending the profits to us.

My friend Andy invited me down during the middle of last week to hang out before he came up to my place to go back to college. We took the inflatable kayaks out on Watson Lake, near Prescott, and paddled around for nearly 3 hours. The first leg of our circuit of the lake was mostly through a lot of water weeds... it took a lot of paddling and occasionally losing an oar here and there in order to get past them. We raced each other across the lake, or "to that duck" for a while... I won once, but probably only because Andy hadn't figured out that he'd gotten stuck on the bank. After that, we just decided to follow the shoreline around, which took a lot of detours into little hidden coves in the granite formations around us. From the look of it, Watson was a small lake... but as soon as I thought we would reach the other side, there was a twist, or an outcropping or a trick of the eye, and we weren't anywhere near getting back to where we started! I pretty much wore myself out with this, and fell asleep on the couch while we were watching MST3K after dinner. (Dave cooked us lamb stew, and made us sundaes! Yum!) The next day, we went out to breakfast, went mini-golfing, watched Inception (which was really interesting), ate at In'n'Out, and then played Wii at his place for a while before I had to leave for home. This is like a very full weekend, but on Monday and Tuesday instead.

The following weekend, I had a D&D game in Phoenix. It's difficult to arrange several people's schedules to line up for one weekend or another, and since I won't be in Arizona much longer, I try to be there as often as I can, and make the most of the games. We have two DM's, running two different campaigns concurrently: Scott runs Dyrrte, Lanny runs Silverlight, and generally we switch off every other session. In the picture above, we see Beedoo! directing her halfling cleric, Ril, preparing to shoot an arrow at Skeleton #4, as a ninja riding a rhino enters the fray... this hasn't actually happened in our roleplays... yet... but it's the kind of chaos that tends to happen with us. That would fit right in with our encounters with zombie butterflies, Fox in Socks, kobold lawn-darts, and Scott's pimped-out version of the Wand of Wonder. Incidentally, the other players around the table are some of our characters from Scott's campaign: Spiritwolf, Xeliak (the kobold), and Dunnbrook (the dwarf). Not in the picture are Seth LaVode (human necromancer) and Faji-Ti, Rogue turned fox-morph.

Yet, although I've had a blast doing all this, I don't quite feel as comfortable in my own home as I did before my three months in the Netherlands... I miss my Arno quite a lot. But, in the meantime, there's also been a lot fo get done, as far as figuring out when I'm actually allowed back, fetching certain documents needed for my residence permit, and looking at possible flights. I'm also off my rhythm for studying Dutch and exercising, and it bugs me a lot... this is like the neverending vacation, and I just want to go home. ;p




Arno
I must admit to being a little charmed by the depictions above. Very, very cute. At the same time, I obviously don't like how Beedoo! is being left in oblivion-land by all this.

However, it seems there is an end to al this in sight. I have talked with the immigration services, and was told that basically Beedoo! can come whenever she likes, provided I make an appointment in advance for us to come to their offices and hand in all the paperwork. At that point she gets a note in her passport that says she can stay while our request is evaluated.

So... Maybe she doesn't need to keep herself occupied much longer!