- I have a Starveling Cat in Echo Bazaar now! Thank you again, yhlee. I can't express how much this amuses me. Anyone who's playing that I don't already know, leave your username in comments and I'll follow you under my game account.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (recorded off cable, half-watched while stitching) is not a very good movie. Granted, it wasn't a very good book. But I wouldn't have thought it possible to make the action sequences of the ending so boring on-screen.
- Reinventing the stitching wheel, part 25 in a series: linen turns out to not be a good fabric for blackwork.
- My car needs major repairs for the second time this year. I will not have put enough money into it to equal the payments I would have made on a new car this year, but I'm worried that I'm on the downward slide (it's a 2003 Prius with almost 94K miles). And I'm sad that I no longer love it. Any suggestions for feeling happy with one's older car again?
- The problem with Horton Hatches the Egg is that Horton is a Mary Sue, specifically the kind where the virtue of the protagonist is demonstrated by piling absurd pain and indignity on top of absurd pain and indignity. (Like an early Mercedes Lackey novel, or an SGA post-"Trinity" fic, except that Horton hasn't blown up a solar system.)
- I haven't done a SteelyKid post in ages, so those of you who don't follow Chad's blog won't have seen this recent picture. I have to point it out because it is so characteristic: open book, bare feet (she will not wear socks if she has a choice about it), random item of clothing she saw and insisted on wearing, stuffed animals, and big grin. That's our toddler.
My car went in the shop for two days this week (replace all the tires, repair a mis-aligned headlight), and I rented a car from the dealership. On the phone, they told me that they'd give me a Corolla, which was fine since my car is a 2003 Prius, in other words small, and a big car would be awkward.
Instead of a Corolla, they gave me . . . a Scion xB. I think the xB stands for "extra boxy." It looks like someone took a minivan and smushed it down with a rectangular compressor. An unspeakably dorky car—and I swear its dorkiness is an idiot magnet, since people tried to accelerate past me in lanes that were ending in ten feet, stepped out in front of me while I had the green light, all kinds of moronic behavior. (It was extremely sluggish accelerating up to highway speeds, between about 40 and 50 mph, but those weren't the times when people were acting like idiots around me.)
I was very glad to get my cute little car back.
This weekend we did Christmas at my parents' house, driving out Friday night. Saturday morning we saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and in the afternoon and evening I cooked two meat pies and a batch of baked mac & cheese, while listening to football on the living room TV. A good football day, as the Pats shut out the Buccaneers (who are good, unlike the Bills—but I still don't want to hear people talk about them as Super Bowl contenders) and the Giants beat the Chiefs with a record-setting performance from Tiki Barber. The movie was fine, given what it had to work with, and I do think the kids' acting has improved still more; but Hermione's dress was weird, Cedric had really big eyebrows (is this a British notion of attractiveness? Harry has the same thing going), and the ending could have stood thirty seconds' more exposition. The third is probably going to remain the best for the fresh quirky visuals and tight story.
Today my dad's side of the family came down, which was good because it's been a while since I've seen them for a holiday (and it's been years since I saw my step-cousin S.). My baby first-cousin-once-removed is very serious looking but was thrilled by the gift of a "Sit and Spin" toy, so that was very cute. And my parents' dog Truman did his usual crowd-pleasing performance of shredding wrapping paper as people opened their gifts. Then we sleepily drove off, made it safe home to our happy dog (who has already put a hole in the super-tough toy that my parents got her), and got stuff put away. It's going to be another long week at work, I'm afraid, but I'll try to get some Genji in, finish that monster Rent post, and so forth.
Catching up . . . . On Tuesday the 1st of June, we went out for an anniversary dinner at the local fancy French place, recently renovated but still with the volumes of McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York on the shelves, which never fails to amuse me. Unfortunately neither the service nor my entree were as good as I would have liked, but Chad's meal was fine and it was a nice change of pace.
That Thursday, Chad had some of his advisees over for dinner, which was fun though you'd never have though that people could talk about The Family Guy for so long. The tree people had come that day and ground out the stumps of the trees they took out (the yard looks much nicer now), so unfortunately there were many wood chips lying around for the dog to eat, despite our best efforts to stop her. Sure enough, she was sick the next morning. It would be really nice if she had a better ability to grasp causal connections.
On Saturday, Chad played hoop and I went to cheer him on. We went out for dinner after, to a place called Auberge Suisse that I'd seen recommended for its fondue. This was an extremely strange experience: there was one other couple in the restaurant when we came in, and after they left it was just us, the hostess/server, and an unseen person or persons in the kitchen. The food was perfectly good; I suspect the location, out in what looks like old-money suburbia, works against it.
We went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Sunday. ( Indiscriminate spoilers for both movie and book )
The next week was fairly uneventful; I had Friday the 11th off, as the State closed for Reagan's funeral, but came into work anyway because I'm a touch swamped at the moment. The weekend was more interesting, as I went out to Massachusetts because one of my friends from high school, now on the West Coast, was in town. Met the new baby, the first of our group, who is absolutely adorable—smiling all the time at three months—caught up with my friends, and spent some time with Mom and Dad, which was all good. I'd been hoping to met someone else, my (adoptive) brother's biological half-brother, who came very unexpectedly into our lives the week before, but because of logisticial issues, that didn't work out.
Last Tuesday, Chad's parents came down and we had a nice dinner to celebrate Chad's birthday early. I took Friday off and we went down to New York City for the weekend—tune in tomorrow for the details.