It's been a lovely two weeks of vacation. Too lovely, perhaps. I go back to work Tuesday, and I so don't want to.
But I've been very lucky, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. In the last two weeks, I got to go to Mexico for a week to visit my dad and my stepmom. A few years ago, they built a house in San Miguel de Allende
and I'd not been to see it yet. My dad usually comes home for Christmas, and he decided not to this year, so he suggested that I and my brother come down to visit for the holiday. He sweetened the deal by offering to pay for whatever part of the ticket we couldn't afford as a Christmas present. Turned out to be the best decision ever to say yes. I had such a relaxing time and it was warm (in the 70s during the day, in the 50s at night). The town of San Miguel is like a Renaissance city, all cobblestones and cathedrals and haciendas dating back to the 1500s, the legacy of Spanish conquest, of course, but still, pretty breathtaking to look at. It's definitely a tourist city for Mexicans. Every weekend, it gets a huge influx of especially young Mexicans, from places like Guadalajara and Mexico City, who travel in to bar hop, see bands and walk around the Plaza Jardín in the center. There's also a significant American ex-pat population here, artists, artisans, musicians, and people just wanting to be surrounded by all that.
In terms of socializing, it was a great time. Got to see lots of my dad and stepmom, who were really generous and gracious to us, and I got to spend a couple of days with my stepmom's daughter, her husband and their kids, who I hadn't seen since they were pre-pubescents. Now they're teenage girls, 15 and 16, and they act so much older and at the same time younger than I was expecting. Girls that age in the States seem to me like they'd be so jaded and mature before their years. It's not like they weren't obviously teens, hooked to their MP3 players and talking about celebrities and all that. But they were also very respectful to their parents and made efforts to socialize with me and my brother, even though we were obviously the adult "tios". (It totally blew my mind to realize that technically speaking, they are my nieces - I have nieces! Hadn't thought about it until this trip.)
I also got to see old family friends closer to my age, some of whom my brother and I had grown up with for a while, but hadn't seen since all our families moved apart from each other. And there were some whom I had never met at all. Basically, it was kismet that all of us happened to be in San Miguel at the same time, so they invited my brother and I out for drinks to catch up, and it was such a blast that all regrouped at one of their houses the day after Christmas for a "recalentada" - a traditional party you have the day after a big party like Christmas or a Quinceañera party (think a girl's "Sweet Sixteen" party, but done at age 15.), where the leftovers are reheated and you party a second time. For Christmas, everyone brings leftovers from their own Christmas Eve party and so it's like a potluck.I met more folks from the family satellite, and to my surprise, of the younger set (mind you, we're all like 30-40), literally 50 percent of us were gay, so I got to ask what's it like to be gay in Mexico? Does the macho culture make it scary, etc? I said I wanted to bring my girlfriend, but I was a little worried.
I had to screw up my courage to ask, because it was me coming out to all these people as gay for the first time when they hadn't heard even an inkling of it, (also, my dad and all his friends were at this party, did I mention that??) but having people there openly talking about their partners and there being even one couple there made it less of a thing, and it was cool. I got the scoop on the gay zone in Mexico City, and the attitudes towards gayness (it sounds like there's a weird combination of tolerance and stereotyping going on that's generally harmless, if clueless). But the main point this guy was telling me was that he felt totally safe, and it's been even cooler since Mexico City legalized gay marriage. One of the guys, Mauricio, told me I should totally bring trovia
and even offered to show us around Mexico City (where he lives) if we came to Mexico. I felt so accepted and relaxed after that, because I felt like a part of my life that I was consciously avoiding talking about was out in the open.
I also wrote for Yuletide this year, and GUYS, I managed for my first Yuletide ever to finish almost a WEEK in advance! Seriously, you don't know how awesome that is. Every other year, I've been literally posting at like two minutes to midnight, completely stressing out. But I was determined to get my story done by the time I left for Mexico because I didn't know if I would have reliable internet access with my netbook over there. (And thank god I did, because my dad's assurance that he had internet did not apply to a wireless network...) I was so pleased and it gave me hope that maybe I'll keep doing Yuletide, because this year, I also learned to absolutely limit myself to fandoms that I knew for sure I could actually write. I know, it sounds obvious, but every Yuletide, I'd always end up caving for my last signup offer because I had run out of reasonable fandoms, and so I'd pick something that I was vaguely familiar with, that I'd seen or read years ago, and be like, "Well ... I guess
I could write that if I absolutely had to. But I'll probably never get assigned that." And then of course, inevitably I would. Also, I think it paid off that I know more fandoms this year, thanks to a lot of watching of older t.v. shows I got introduced to this year.
Also exciting for Yuletide, was my story!!! I got a Black Books
story, which was loads of fun. The Bernard voice was PERFECT. And Fran and Manny were hilarious as well, just in the way they are on the show. It totally made me want to read more BB fic and rewatch the show.
As many of you know, grinninfoole
and I have been in the slow process of disentangling our lives, living . Holidays are of course some of the collateral changes. He didn't come with me to Mexico for Christmas (actually, we didn't spend last Christmas together either, since I was in Germany with trovia
For New Year's Eve, all bets were off as well, and so he has elected to go to a special board games event at his store and I am going out with a lesbian meetup group to Diva's, the local gay club, for their New Year's Event. I'm terribly nervous about it, because it's the first time I'll be meeting these folks, and I've never been to Diva's except for goth night, and I still harbor these secret fears that I'll be rejected somehow, which I know logically is ridiculous, and I'm sure it'll be loads of fun (the two women who are meeting with me beforehand for dinner are already talking about how much fun we'll have playing pool and dancing), but STILL, yikes! New social group! I'm still a shy nerd at heart sometimes. D:
But I'm going. I'm going in a few minutes, actually. Wish me luck!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, MY LOVELIES!!!!
P.S. Oh, and daybreak777
, I haven't forgotten, I've just been busy entertaining usakeh
, who has been visiting this weekend, so there hasn't really been a good time for a chat. But I'm going to try and connect with you tomorrow. :)