Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Kaylee, my daughter-to-be!
been prouder or more excited. My wife and I are expecting a baby girl
around July 21, 2004. Mom Molo gave us the gift of a 4D imaging session to
digitally capture our baby's motions in Renée's 24th week of pregnancy.
See the slide show here. Watch the full 9
minute, 29 second video here!
Saturday, February 21, 2004
My Dad's 50th Birthday!
Dennis Burns turned 50 on February 23, but
we all wished him a happy birthday on Saturday the 21st at a
Arizona. Click here to see pictures that my Grandma Pat took at the
here to see pictures that she took at the
following day. (I didn't go, I was driving home).
Monday, June 17, 2002
Nathaniel's got a webpage!
Nathaniel's website is up! Meet my
brother, and marvel as he learns how to run his own website, right before
your very eyes! Check it out at http://wasabi-anime.com/Happy
Saturday, March 23, 2002
father, Dennis Burns and his fiancée Bonnie were married this
last Saturday. It took place at the Renaissance Festival in Gold
Canyon, Arizona. This was my first Renaissance Festival, and for
those who have never been to one, let me tell you...
It was BIZARRE!
Don't get me wrong, I had fun and all. It was a wonderful treat
to see my ol' family (Dad, Nathaniel, Grandma Pat and Marty), not to
mention the new additions to my clan, Bonnie, my new step-mom,
Christine, Robert, and Nicki, my new younger siblings. But, I
cannot escape just how unusual the whole experience was.
It took us the usual six hours to drive from San Diego to
Arizona. This was Renée and my second trip to AZ. so we tried to
be prepared for how dry it gets. We showed up around 4pm on Friday
and went to the festival to pick out costumes.
My brother, who's been the "cute one" since we were
children, had no trouble finding the perfect costume in no time. (razzenfrakkin')
It took me about an hour to finally pick out one that wasn't too "peasanty-looking",
tent-sized, or child-sized.
I didn't intend to pick out something that stood out, but that's just
the way it happened. The costume that got the most nods of
committee approval was a shock red beefeater dealie. Renée got
away with something less flashy, but it turned out to be pretty itchy.
So we show up for the festival (this story will be more interesting when I
have pictures, I hope) and right off the bat, random freaks are
approaching me and jabbering to me with very poorly-rendered Medieval
While I managed to turn most of them away with an (outwardly friendly,
inwardly irritated) nod, there were some who simply didn't take the hint
and would persist trying to make conversation with me.
"Why are these people trying to role-play with us?" my wife would
"Can't they tell we're not freakishly absorbed with this
nonsense?" I would offer.
A quick look at one another and it became very clear. We fit the
We were dressed like those who took this stuff seriously. We were
wandering around the grounds in the garb, and people naturally assumed we
were every bit as hardcore as they were.
we took my father's advice, bought an artichoke (nummy!) and sat in on
"The Ded Bob Sho".
Ded Bob is a skeleton puppet that wanders into the crowd, picks some
hapless souls to play onstage with him, then proceeds to insult the
Ded Bob came perilously close to Renée, which terrified her, (Hee! Hee!)
but ended up picking a lady from the row in front of ours. The show
actually wasn't too bad, but when it was over I was achin' to try one of
those turkey legs they sell.
As a side note, turkey is a New World food that reached Asia Minor only
after 1500 and did not come into general use in Europe until the late 16th
century, well after the Renaissance. The famous image of Henry VIII
munching on a magnificently large turkey leg is classic but probably
apocryphal. (The bird in question would more than likely have been from a
goose or other large water fowl.) They are perfectly period for
Elizabethan feasts, as turkeys are mentioned in Thomas Tusser's 1576
farming calendar, but not for either the Middle Ages or Renaissance. Many
Medieval themed restaurants and Renaissance Fairs should be sternly
admonished for serving turkey (and potatoes) as authentic food!
I have spoken with others who have gone to the Renaissance Festival and
apparently my experience with the turkey leg was not typical.
Nevertheless, I was underwhelmed. The amount of SKIN on a turkey leg
is phenomenal to say the least. I don't eat the skin (if I can help
it) and so I peeled it off. That reduced the net weight
considerably. Once I started into it, I found that mine was mostly cartilage,
sinew and fat. *sigh*
Anywho, it was about time for the ceremony, so Renée and I headed back to
the grassy knoll. We took family photos (you
can see all of the photos here) and then marched off to do the ceremony.
The ceremony was a cornucopia of events. I have to say I couldn't
keep track of what religion was what, as the shebang included Christian
elements, Native American custom, sword-and-broom-hopping, bread-eating
and some weird pagan thingy that involved an elderly woman with a feather mask
taking her clothes off backstage in broad daylight.
To each their own, eh?
Anyway, Bonnie looked beautiful in her outfit, which matched my dad's
quite well. I had to step on Robert's feet off and on to keep him
still during the ceremony, but he's a good kid too, and it all went rather
After the ceremony, we formed a wedding procession and marched across the
fair to the jousting arena.
There, the "King" and "Queen" announced the marriage
of my father and Bonnie, and we watched a mock-joust from the box seats
and drank mead. (I like mead.)
When the joust ended, we headed back to the grass area for the
reception. Renée and I sat with my Grandma Pat, Marty, Ruth and
Robert. We sat and caught up with family as my dad and Bonnie
After much reveling (the German band that played was actually quite good),
the newlyweds cut the cake. My dad wussed out and didn't smear the
cake in his bride's face. I was shocked beyond belief, I must
admit. We then wolfed down our cake so we could go change out of our
a cool guy who reminds me a lot of my father-in-law. I'm really glad
I got this chance to meet one of my dad's best friends. He kept
grumbling about his Robin Hood outfit, complaining that he looked like Peter
Pan. (He did!)
When the reception ended and we (finally) changed into our civilian
clothes, we headed back to the hotel and all hung out at the bar.
After I was treated to five "Number 10" Bloody Marys (supposedly
super spicy, I guess), Nathaniel and I found a song from the karaoke book
to belt out together in this quiet country style bar. When our turn
came, we were told by a cocktail waitress that we couldn't do it "too
loud". Uh-huh, sure, no problem!
we startled the whole joint when we belted out "Chop Suey".
I'm sure that the dazed expressions on everyone's faces was indicative of
just how dumbstruck they were that so much raw talent was theirs alone to
I got a neato knife for being in the wedding party. I think it's
meant to skin grizzly bears or something, and if I lived in Arizona, I
could probably carry it on my hip to the movie theatres. Seriously
though, it's pretty sweet lookin'. Thanks, dad!
Will I be attending another Renaissance Festival anytime soon?
Did I have a good time? Damn straight!
In honor of this joyous event, I thought one of Robert Burns' poems to his
beloved Jean Armour, who he married in December of 1788, would be most
O Were I on Parnassus Hill
Listen to a verse
O, were I on Parnassus hill
Or had o' Helicon my fill
That I might catch poetic skill
To sing how dear I love thee!
But Nith maun be my Muse's well
My Muse maun be thy bonie sel,
On Corsincon I'll glowr and spell
And write how dear I love thee.
Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my Lay
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day
I couldna sing, I couldna say
How much, how dear I love thee.
I see thee dancing o'er the green
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een
By Heaven and Earth I love thee!
By night, by day, a-field, at hame
The thoughts o' thee my breast inflame
And ay I muse and sing thy name
I only live to love thee.
Tho' I were doom'd to wander on
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun
Till my last weary sand was run,
Till then, and then, I'd love thee!
It is said that his married life with Jean Armour was the happiest
period of his career.
Congratulations to you both, Dad and Bonnie.
May at least a hundred
blissful years together lie ahead of you!
(Click here for ALL the photos)
Esther Rhoades' Birthday Party
Friday, November 2, 2001 ::
This weekend, my wife and I are taking a road
trip to Arizona for a family get-together. My great-aunt Esther
turns 90. Woo!