Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday, of park and sun and bunnies and books

It has been such a lovely day! In spite of lingering cramps, I have had a nice, laid-back, sunny day, and I'm feeling pretty good right now. They even say it will be sunny again tomorrow! That would be awesome; I don't feel like I'm nearly summered out yet, and I worry, as August passes, that I won't get my fill before autumn sets in. Every sunny day helps! I even sat outside for half an hour today, reading, just to be in the sun. (I needed it, it poured all day yesterday.)

Then this afternoon, I went to Somerville to check out the Handmade Arts Market, which was well worth the time on a beautiful day. (It's outside, so on a bad weather day, it would be significantly less fun, in my opinion.) There were all sorts of crafters, many jewelry but others too, some very creative, and though I didn't buy much, I did get the first Christmas present of the year, so check off that milestone. I had some nice conversations with a few of the people there, and saw lots of neat things (check out this guy: his chainmail-type jewelry and the leather masks were all really neat). I don't imagine I'll ever have the money to get everything I see that I like at that type of place, but it's fun to look nonetheless.

When I had gone through the whole thing, I wasn't really ready to go home yet, so I decided to check out this little park, River's Edge, that I have passed a million times and never stopped at. It's so pretty! And peaceful, for its location. It was also practically deserted, which surprised me on a sunny August weekend. I guess because it isn't on the way to something by walking, even though it feels like it is, so unless you live right there, you'd have to go there on purpose. I don't know; it was nice, anyway, and I think they have little festivals there sometimes, so I'll have to keep an eye out.

Speaking of keeping an eye out, this guy fled my approach and then held very still, hoping he hadn't been spotted.
Really lovely, right?
The flowers were mostly past peak, but there was still a wonderful smell in the air.
Next year, maybe I'll remember to go earlier, and catch them all blooming.
Further down was a wonderful willow tree.

This could have been the same bunny, but it was far enough from where I first saw one that it could have been another.
He,too, kept an eye on me.
But there was nibbling to do, so he didn't flee.
I was certainly monitored, though.
You can't watch these people too closely, you know.
I took out my knitting and sat for a little while, enjoying my surroundings, then came home, and have been doing laundry and dishes and all the things that must get done eventually. I think the evening calls for a movie and some knitting time.

Oh, but the book, I was going to tell you about the book I showed you yesterday! Last year, I read about a Kisckstarter project--wait, does everyone know what Kickstarter is? Okay, back up.

Kickstarter is a way for people to try to get their dream projects funded: you start a project by announcing what it is you want to do, how much money you need, and what kind of rewards you'll give to people who contribute. People pledge as much as they want, and if the project makes the goal amount* in the set period of time, the pledges are collected and the person starts working on it. There are no guarantees that they will be able to do what they say they will, so it's a bit of a gamble, but I've contributed to a couple in the last year or two, and so far they have worked out.
*If the goal isn't met, poof, it dies on the vine.
  1. The first was a present for my brother, the IT guy.
  2. Then, from an online comic I like, I got a t-shirt from the Wormworld Saga.
  3. This book was the third one, bringing together my love of Shakespeare and especially Hamlet with my childhood memories of choose-your-own-adventure books.
  4. Still in progress (at the printer, apparently) is a book from another online comic, this one a knitting one, Worsted for Wear.
  5. And also in progress, from yet another online comic, Girl Genius, another book-at-the-printer situation.
I would like to say that by far, not all Kickstarter projects are based on online comics! Those just seem to be the ones I hear about...

Anyway, I'm delighted with the book I just got, and I haven't even started playing with it yet! It's great quality, really nicely done, something Ryan was able to do because his project blew its goals out of the water; he wanted to raise $20,000 in a month, and instead he got over $580,000, so as the money pledged grew and grew, he upped the deliverables (if we reach X, I will add Y). The book got bigger and it got better, and the results are amazing. This is a solid book, weighing over two and a half pounds, both b&w and color illustrations from many illustrators (11 pages of them, listed at the end), and I'm really looking forward to diving in.

I want to say, though, that even before the book came, I've been enjoying the process, because Ryan has clearly been having the time of his life. There have been regular updates about all the steps along the way (and I do mean updates: 60 so far), and his delight comes through clearly. Such as:
  • "Right now is exciting times, you guys!  Right now!  THIS VERY SECOND."
  • "Yorick skulls are shipping separately! So when you open your package and there is no skull there, do not be sad! There will be a skull sent to your house in a separate package. That is a real sentence I just wrote."
  • (Relative to customs problems with some non-US deliveries) "I'm really sorry that this is occasionally happening, but it's also in the purview of international relations which is pretty much entirely beyond my control. The upside is that if this happens to you and you do dispute it, you are now technically causing an international incident which is surely on most people's bucket lists?"
I mean, I guess if he was enthusiastic and incompetent, I would not find the enthusiasm so charming, but since he is both, I do.

Now, the kitty has come to point out to me that I am neglecting him. Off I go!


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