(no subject)

Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:59 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I was awakened early this morning by a phone call from the school district informing me that there would be school today but no buses. We're only three minutes walk from the school, so that's not a big deal for us, but Cordelia's friend's mother has asked me if I can take her two kids after school because there's no way she or her husband can pick them up until some time after 5:00. This may mean that I have to walk over to the school to pick the kids up. I think they'd be fine walking on their own, but I left it up to the other mother.

Yesterday's Girl Scout meeting was busy-- The troop is doing a brunch in April for the Brownie troop. In preparation for that, the girls decorated flower pots and planted seeds. There are twenty four Brownies, and generally only six or seven girls attend meetings for Cordelia's troop, so this should be interesting.

When we arrived at the community center for the meeting, the food bank that also uses the spaces was filling bags and sorting the contents of boxes. We helped them move their stuff to their office. I was afraid, when we first arrived, that we weren't going to be able to use the space at all.

Scott and Cordelia insisted on driving to and from Girl Scouts even though it's only four or five blocks. They pointed out that the last time Cordelia and I walked it completely wiped me out for the rest of the day. The difference between that time and this one was that yesterday was considerably warmer. I think we would have been fine walking.

We went to the library immediately after the Girl Scout meeting. I had about twelve items to pick up, mostly CDs. One of the books I picked up will probably go back unread-- It's the fourth book in a series that Cordelia's been reading, and she's still on book two. When I put the hold on the fourth book, there was a long wait list, so I expected it would be quite a long time before I got it. I thought Cordelia would have plenty of time to read books two and three.

Cordelia and Scott want to watch The Hunger Games together. (Scott mostly feels like he ought to see rather than actually wanting to see it.) I have negative interest in seeing that, so we have to figure out some place comfortable for me to go for a couple of hours. I can't plug in my laptop in the bedroom (no accessible outlets), and the dining room is cold. I'll probably end up in the dining room.

I did no writing yesterday. I just couldn't focus. I felt like the day was too fragmented. It shouldn't have been, but it felt that way.

Scott paid bills yesterday but ran into problems. Several of the bills were missing, and he had no idea how much to pay. For my credit card, he was able to log in and find out how much I owed, and it turned out he'd already paid the water bill, but the cable bill and the AT&T bill are difficulties.

Hi Dreamwidth

Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:17 am
dancesontrains: (crisis on infinite letter columns)
[personal profile] dancesontrains
Updates: attempted to move to Bristol last autumn, which failed after a few weeks. Have been rather more housebound than usual in the past few months. Drowning self under Harry Potter fic- maybe I'll even get around to watching the films after the third one :D

And I forgot to mention this earlier- current pronouns are they/them. I don't know what my gender is beyond 'mostly not a woman and I would like to not be continually mistaken as one', which isn't exactly concise.

How are you?

Media - February 2015

Mar. 1st, 2015 12:49 pm
themadpoker: (Default)
[personal profile] themadpoker
That went by faster than expected.

Books )

Books: 9
  non-fiction: 3
  ya: 2
  mg: 1
  chick lit: 1
  romance: 2
Manga/Comics: 22
[community profile] 50books_poc: 3

Movies )

Television )

(no subject)

Mar. 1st, 2015 09:46 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott played a lot of Kerbal Space Program yesterday. He was so intent that he often didn't want me talking to him. I couldn't tell, of course, exactly when he needed to be focused and when he could talk.

I wrote about 1000 words. I'm thinking that my point of view character is being a little too matter of fact given where she was at the end of the last chapter. I'm not sure though. She's been in worse situations, and being matter of fact is her way of coping. I'll keep writing and see what happens. I expect to hear back from my beta reader about chapters 1-4 on Monday or Tuesday. As usual, patience is difficult because I'm bad at that. That's nobody's fault but my own.

Scott took Cordelia to Target around 6:00 last night. She wanted to use her Christmas gift card to buy a couple of DVDs-- The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. She'd wanted to buy them the last time they were at Target, but Scott vetoed it then. I think he didn't realize she was serious.

We cooked a turkey breast last night. I put it in around 5:00, and I wasn't sure how long it would take. Naturally, it got done about halfway through the time while they were at Target. Fortunately, it was still warm by the time they got home.

Cordelia found The Voice on demand and decided to rewatch the first episode. I don't really understand the appeal of the program, but she definitely loves it.

We have Girl Scouts today, and Cordelia's saying she doesn't want to go. She seems to enjoy the meetings once she's there, at least as long as the other sixth grader is there, so I plan to insist.


Mar. 1st, 2015 10:26 pm
littlerhymes: (marlowe)
[personal profile] littlerhymes
Time was not my friend this month - too much work, too many commitments, too much stuff. Yesterday I realised I'd only finished 2 things for my reading list and hastily knocked off 3 more because I could not face the thought of doing an end of month round-up with only 2 items. ;_;

The White Devil - John Webster
10 Lb Penalty - Dick Francis
Chew 9 - John Layman and Rob Guillory
The Disreputable History of Frankie Laundau-Banks - E. Lockhart
Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding - Marie Sexton

February reading )


One Direction, McBusted
Spoon, Deep Sea Arcade
Drake, 2 Chainz

As You Like It

thoughts )

(no subject)

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:43 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I've started chapter five of the Harry Potter fic. It's a standoff, and I'm not sure how to resolve it. The characters have all discovered that the other characters are more dangerous than they expected and that they're in over their heads.

Scott had to go to bed early last night because he was scheduled to work at 3 a.m. Fortunately, it turned out that they didn't need him after all.

I really didn't do much yesterday. Somehow, all the time passed, and I had nothing much to show for it. I slept later than I meant to and never quite caught up.

I recently bought a bunch of different teas from Stash. I haven't tried everything yet, but I've tried some. Cordelia and I both really like the white chocolate mocha black tea. That's vanishing rapidly. The Black Forest black tea is so-so. It doesn't taste like anything but black tea to me. The decaf vanilla nut creme is dreadful. It tastes bad and doesn't even have caffeine to recommend it.

I also bought a box of Stash's lemon ginger tea, but I knew I liked that a lot, so it wasn't a gamble. Scott and I have both been drinking that.

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:30 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
If you're seeing slow page load times, pages not fully loading, missing icons, 'naked' pages (the text of the page only, without any styling, etc): please shift-refresh your browser, clear your browser cache, and then just hang tight. We're switching CDN providers, so your browser may have cached the wrong copy of things.

If the problem hasn't cleared up by tomorrow, then let us know and we'll look into it further!

the difference three years makes

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:10 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
(I am trying to post when I think of things, even if they don't seem "worthy" of posts, because I want to get back in the habit.)

We took the kids to Wild Kratts Live tonight. Wild Kratts is a PBS show about two brothers who, in bookending live-action segments, meet and talk about wild creatures, and in the animated middle, put on "creature power suits" and fly around in a giant turtle-shaped ship with a tech crew of three saving animals from the obligatory villains. (I have never actually seen an episode all the way through, so this is a rough approximation.) The kids love this, though SteelyKid is starting to go off it a bit, and it must be pretty popular because six weeks ago, the only seats left were literally in the second-to-last-row of the balcony.

Anyway. The show was cheesy but hit all the kid-pleasing notes, and they had a great time. But the thing of note was the end special effect [*], which was the brothers using a "miniaturizer" they'd recovered from the villains: they said they were activating it, fog or lights or something covered their exit, and then when the stage lights came back on, there were stuffed toy versions of the brothers on the stage where they'd been standing. (Which were, of course, for sale outside.)

As the subject line says: SteelyKid (now 6.5) and the Pip (now 3.25) nearly got in a major fight over this, because she saw that they were toys, but he insisted that they'd been miniaturized. Fortunately we were able to distract them before someone started crying over this disagreement.

[*] Prior special effects included "caracal power" of high-jumping using a springboard behind a fake rock, and "orangutan power" of moving through trees by swinging on a big swing coming in from off-stage. Also the process of donning a "creature power suit" was a stage blackout while the actor went off-stage to put on a cloth costume, covered by a super-slow animation on the screen, which made me really grateful for the person who put together all the Iron Man suit sequences into one video to clear the palate.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to listen to something other than the show's theme song to get it out of my head, fold laundry, and then collapse into bed.

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:29 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I did my usual three hours in the school library yesterday. Cordelia's class came in and actually did book check out, but Cordelia didn't get anything. I think she feels she has enough books from the public library. I recognized all of the girls who checked books out, but all of the boys were new to me.

I did the usual tasks, checking books in and out and shelving them. I also put barcodes and date due pockets on a couple of stacks of books. They were paid for by a grant, so the first thing I had to do was to look at the packing slips and verify that we actually had all of the books we were supposed to. There were two books in the stacks that weren't on the packing slips. The librarian's comment was that that was not the problem she expected to have. My guess is that there was another packing slip that got lost somewhere.

This week is the last week before our cleaning lady comes back from her vacation. I will be glad to have her back even if it does mean that I feel like my space is being invaded once a week (I like her; I just hate having her here if that makes sense). We haven't really kept up on any of the tasks she usually does, and it shows.

Scott and I watched a couple episodes of Leverage last night. We have one left on the DVD. I'm hoping we can get to it tonight, but Scott might have to go in early tomorrow, so I'm not sure we'll have time. I don't think we're going to finish Leverage before Mark Watches does. I was hoping, but we're going so very slowly that I think it's unlikely.

The deadline for registering for the school volleyball team has passed, and we never did persuade Cordelia to sign up. The last I knew, there were only five kids signed up, so I don't know if there will actually be a team or if they'll send the kids who want to play to the middle school to play on that team. I know that, for Rec & Ed at this grade level, a team needs at least six players present in order to play.

Last night, the school had a potluck, but Cordelia decided last week that she didn't want to go. I was a little disappointed because this particular potluck (which used to be called the International Dinner and now is called the Heritage Potluck) has been fun. It's a chance to try a lot of foods I wouldn't encounter anywhere else. I think it's largely that Cordelia didn't think any other sixth graders would be going. Scott didn't much care as he pretty much never goes because he doesn't dare eat the food.

Reading Thursday

Feb. 27th, 2015 09:29 pm
cyphomandra: (balcony)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
Just finished: Risk, by Dick Francis. Roland Britten is an accountant and an amateur jockey; after he wins a race he is kidnapped and held on a yacht until he manages to escape. And then, four days later he is kidnapped again. The set-up here is great, and the characters are good; the ending felt a little abrupt and I'm not convinced Roland's decision is entirely earned by the text. A fun read, though, and although I guessed part of the solution I missed a fairly big chunk.

Reading now: Genocide of One, Kazuaki Takano (trans Philip Gabriel). Thriller. A new life form that could wipe out humanity has emerged in the Congo; an American-run team of elite operatives are sent to eradicate it first. One of the team has a terminally ill child, and in Japan a pharmaceutical researcher receives orders from his dead father about synthesising a drug that may cure this disease. I'm 100 pages in, so things are still all drawing together. Author majored in film studies and works as a scriptwriter; the military plotline is a bit filmic, but the Japanese researcher has a bit more depth to it.

Up next: Probably the Star Wars book. Possibly the next Sarah Caudwell, if I work out where I put it, and Moominsummer Madness is still lurking nearby.


Feb. 26th, 2015 09:39 am
tangerine42: (Default)
[personal profile] tangerine42
Hello lovely friends and family!

Most of you have probably seen this on Facebook or Twitter, but:
We are thrilled to announce the birth of Deryn Laura Vadovszki on Wednesday, February 25 at 12:47AM! She is 8lbs, 2ozs and 19 inches long, and she and her family are all doing well. You can keep an eye on Facebook and on this journal for photos and a birth story soon.

There is also a very short video of her here: http://youtu.be/XgCfgekA-TY
For those of you who have expressed interest in helping us out over the next few weeks, we have a Meal Train sign-up on Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TS_dweTBc5P-cx2U0ZmJwKmXbxxPE7KmWKK33L4jpL8/edit?usp=sharing .

If you're interested in supporting us in other ways (light housework, helping with Dorn, running errands, etc.) you can let us know that here: http://goo.gl/forms/I0IxKZ6TSU

(Please let me know about any tech issues.)

Thank you all for your love and support through this pregnancy and birth! We can't wait for you to meet Deryn!

Danielle, Dave, Dornan and Deryn

P.S. - Feel free to share this announcement :)

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2015 07:44 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott called in yesterday and so didn't go to work. I think he was feeling really in need of a longer break. We'll just have to hope he doesn't get sick-- He only gets two call in days every six months. (and they do not accumulate). He's back at work today. Hopefully that's going well, and hopefully there won't be any weekend work. He'll be first on the list for weekend work after having three days off.

Scott and I went to Cafe Marie for lunch. They've changed their menu a bit, cutting back on what they offer just a little. They don't offer onion rings any more which disappointed us. Usually, we both get cherry chicken sandwiches, and one of us gets onion rings while the other gets sweet potato fries, and we share. Cafe Marie is going to be staying open later from here on out. It used to be that they closed at 3:00 every day, but now, they'll be open until 7:00 Monday through either Thursday or Friday and close at 3:00 on the weekends. I don't know that the extended hours will matter much to us. They might, I suppose, but Cordelia doesn't like Cafe Marie, so it's not a great dinner option when she's around.

We forgot to do a whole bunch of things yesterday that we'd meant to do-- change the sheets, bake bread, brine the chicken (I cooked it anyway, but it tastes better if it's been brined). I think I need to give up on the idea of banana bread; the bananas look too old even for that. We did watch some Leverage, and Scott played a lot of Kerbal Space Program. He's been having a lot of fun with that.

I think I figured out how to start chapter 5 of my Harry Potter AU. I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but the characters really don't have good options open to them given how much they don't trust each other. I do have to decide just how powerful a particular character is and whether or not she can actually do some of the things she's been guessing that she might be able to do. This will be a pretty much immediate follow up to chapter 4 because I can't leave the characters where they were. The other strand of the story also isn't at a point where I can easily take it forward, not yet. A little more time needs to pass in the story.

I'm thinking a lot about my Rurouni Kenshin AU, too. I know exactly what scene or scenes I need to write next. I just haven't figured out the right point of view character, and I'm not sure of the voices of all of the characters who will have to be involved. I find it easier to write scenes with three or fewer characters, and this will require about half a dozen different people all at once.
writerlibrarian: Black and white John Simm (John Simm 1)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
Minus 25 Celsius during the night and minus 8 Celsius (almost balmy) in the afternoon makes me grumpy. My back is yelling like a banshee. i have an acupuncture appointment tomorrow it should help.

Just Finished

Catherine Millet. L'art contemporain : histoire et géographie. This was a very good essay on contemporary art, the way it evolved, the market, the collectors, the trends. Millet is an amazing writer. She's written fiction and academic essays both very good and her writing style makes the reader involved in the tale she weaves be it fiction or art history.

Mhairi McFarlane. Here's looking at you. Contemporary romance that mixes some serious things (bullying, facing the bad things you've done to others) and humor in a tale of two grown up who find themselves helping each other move on, discover friendship and love.

I liked all her characters even Lawrence the cad. This is a 30 something hero and heroine that will make you smile, laugh and maybe cry.

I still have the Keating and the Lalonde hanging around my night table but I'm actually reading a silly Greek Billionaire romance (now that's a cliche trope) by Sarah Morgan where you need to take things to the second degree because if you don't you'll hurl your ebook reader at the wall.

I need to finish what's in progress. Crossing fingers I don't find myself tempted by something shiny.

Sara Gran. Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead. Because it's set in New Orleans, it looked interesting and was on sale in ebook.

all the feelings about all the books!

Feb. 25th, 2015 05:06 pm
applewoman: (Default)
[personal profile] applewoman
I’ve given up fan fiction for Lent, which I’ve done for the past two or three years. Since fanfic is my primary reality-avoiding coping mechanism, during this season I usually 1) Feel ALL the feelings, and 2) Read A LOT more books. Sometimes I feel ALL the feelings about the books! I have very little free time but I’m a very fast reader, so in the last seven days I’ve devoured five(-ish) books. No major plot spoilers below, but general impressions.

Prisoner (second in the Werewolf Marines series), by Lia Silver: I really liked DJ from what we saw of him in the first book (Laura’s Wolf), and I like him even more after getting a look inside his head. I’m glad the next book is being released shortly, because this one ends on a bit of a...not exactly a cliffhanger, but a major obstacle is unresolved.

One thing I find really refreshing about Silver’s romances is the absence of that super-annoying trope you often see: people who don’t talk to each other when it would make sense for them to do so. Usually it’s because the writer can’t figure out how else to stop them from immediately falling into bed with each other. Silver’s characters TALK to each other. They work things out. They don’t assume the other person is thinking this or that; they ASK when it makes sense to do so. The obstacles they face are real and not just in their heads, and that makes their resolution much more satisfying.

Also I really love the mythology of the werewolves she’s created. Scent names! Born wolves and made wolves! Special powers! Pack traditions! I just want to roll around in it all like a puppy.

Hawk, by Steven Brust: The latest in the Vlad Taltos series. A Brust book is always a pleasure, and I enjoyed being back in Adrilankha, spending time with some of Vlad’s old friends and enemies. I feel as if I’ve been reading this series forever—in a good way!—and I look forward to seeing where it goes next. (Ha, and I sort of have been reading it forever. I just looked it up: Jhereg was first published when I was ten years old. Wow, that’s impressive, isn’t it? Keeping a series going with a major publisher for more than 30 years!)

Low Midnight, by Carrie Vaughn: The latest in the Kitty Norville series, sort of. It’s the first one from the POV of Cormac, the bounty hunter Kitty met in her first book. He’s just so low-key and unimpressed by most things that the book never gained much momentum. Kitty has such a forceful personality; I really missed that.

No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, an anthology edited by Mercedes Lackey: Oh, Valdemar, land of my teenaged-girl heart! I will always love you, even though I’ve given up on reading any of the novels past, oh, The Mage Winds trilogy. But I still like picking up these shared-world anthologies, and I enjoyed this one, though there was nothing particularly memorable in it. Except for, oh! that one where it ended horribly. UGH. I closed the book at that point and complained to my husband, and he said the good guys have to die sometimes! Then he quoted Batman from the Lego Movie, which I have yet to see, but apparently this is sort of a meme now? “DARKNESS. NO PARENTS.” All right then!

I keep meaning to look for more good Valdemar fanfic. There’s a series I came across that I’m really enjoying; it could fit right into one of the published anthologies (except for being, ha, novel-length at this point): MueraRashaye’s “Friends Across Borders”, about the unlikely friendship between a Sunpriest from Karse and a Herald. Good stuff.

Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London series), by Ben Aaronovitch: Peter Grant! I love how repressed you are, and how good you are at being a cop, even if you keep having to ask yourself, “What Would Lesley Do?” (Oh, my heart!) I enjoyed this, even though it meanders quite a bit. Other people have talked about the pacing issues, and yeah, but it still held my interest nonetheless. It felt like it was setting up a lot that will pay off later, but I wish the next book was out NOW so we could get on with things. Not enough Lesley! Not enough Nightingale! But I enjoy Beverly, and I liked the cop Peter hung out with.

I also made an aborted run at Meghan Daum’s book of personal essays, The Unspeakable, but after reading the first two I gave up. I don’t think I was in the right mood for it. And I couldn’t help but compare her essay “Matricide,” about her relationship with her mother and her mother’s death, to Roz Chast’s Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, which I connected with a lot more readily and found very moving. Eh, well: sometimes I circle back round to things and they speak to me the second time. I bounced hard off the first Rivers of London book the first time, but when I came back a year later I really liked it.

Now I’ve started reading Stranger, by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown. Post-apocalyptic societies are my jam, and this one has lots of cool world-building so far. I do wish the publisher of the hardcover had not chosen to use a different typeface for each POV (especially a sans serif one! woe to my eyes!) but that’s a tiny distraction. I can tell already I’ll be wanting the second book as soon as I’m done with this one.


Feb. 25th, 2015 12:14 pm
cyprinella: (deadpool with fish)
[personal profile] cyprinella

I’ve done aquaponics – which is basically using fish to fertilize the water you use to grow plants hydroponically – out of the Battlestar before but this is the first time I’ve done a fruiting plant. I had a volunteer cherry tomato show up in my back garden thanks to throwing moldy tomatoes out for the squirrels. It got nice tomatoes on it before the end of the season so I decided to take a couple of cuttings and try growing it inside. Basically all I did was stuff the cuttings into some plastic pots with clay hydroponics substrate that I wired up to sit on the top of the tank and then let nature take over. Only one cutting ended up rooting and taking off, but boy has it grown.

tomato plant sprawling on the top of a large aquarium

Here it is 20 days ago, finally  getting its first fruits. The roots are on the other side of the glass tank cover. The light source is a AquaUFO + Red LED fixture.

On the other side of the tank I have my giant mass of watercress and some Garnet Rose Lettuce starting.

Lettuce seedlings sprouting

Here’s a picture of the whole tank. We’ve got the top wrapped with black paper because the LEDs are so bright that they make tv watching impossible. They’re also pretty uncomfortable to look at directly, although not dangerously so. Please excuse the state of the tank as I really needed to clean the filter before I took this picture. The aquatic plants at the bottom aren’t edible and have been in there for years. It’s mostly a mix of cryptocorynes and tiger lotus (Nymphaea lotus) as that seems to adapt best to the constantly changing light conditions and my lack of attention.

large aquarium with plants growing out the top

Twenty days later, we’re really cooking now.

The whole tank

It’s a bit hard to compare because the lighting conditions make photography tricky, but the tomato plant now spreads from one end of the tank to the other and has branches up to almost the ceiling. I did clean the filter so there’s less murk. I also had to change the position of the powerhead I have in the tank so it’s blowing the root ball of the tomato to the front of the tank. Makes for a somewhat less attractive showcase tank, but it’s fun to watch the fish hunt for food and spawn in the roots. My diamond tetras reproduce in the tank pretty regularly. I have less fry lately because of the addition of some more predatory fish, but eventually they’re going to be too big to comfortably be able to fit in all of the root structures and I’ll see more fry again.

Tomato Plant

Behind the light guard, you can really see how the tomato plant is covering the top of the tank. I’ve got tons of flower, young fruit and two ripe tomatoes! Jason tasted one of the tomatoes last night (because I don’t actually like them!) and said it was a completely perfectly ripe tomato with excellent flavor and sweetness. I am very excited to have them continue to succeed!

On the other end of the tank, the Garnet Rose Lettuce is starting to leaf out and turn a beautiful red. This is a new breed for me and I’m looking forward to tasting it.

Garnet Rose Lettuce seedlings

If anyone has questions about fish stocking, feeding, or any other specs, let me know.

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2015 09:20 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Yesterday was Scott's birthday. He and I didn't do much during the day. He went out for a little while to run errands and to give me time to wrap his presents. I didn't do a great job with that. There was one where I cut the paper too small and had to tape on leftover scraps in order to cover everything. I think a little bit still showed, but it wasn't too bad.

Scott picked up soup at Zoup. He got the chicken pot pie soup for both of us. That's our fallback option when nothing else sounds safe or interesting. I told him that, if they had a squash soup, I was interested in that, but they didn't. They seldom do.

Cordelia had no homework which was lucky because Scott had picked up Big Hero 6, and we all wanted to see it right away. We enjoyed it. Then Cordelia watched part of The Voice episode she recorded on Monday.

I baked Scott's cake after Cordelia got home from school. That was later than I wanted to do it, but, when I pulled out the mix around 11:00, I discovered that it called for softened butter rather than oil. I put the butter on the counter, but it didn't really soften. I ended up having to microwave it which is always chancy. I wasn't able to frost the dratted thing until after we got back from dinner, right before I served it up. It's a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, exactly what Scott likes.

Scott opened his presents before dinner. Cordelia got him Randal Munroe's book, What If? (She says she wants to read it, too.) I got him four Phineas and Ferb DVDs and a game book based on Stross's Laundry Files. I had ordered a second game book, but Amazon no longer has copies and doesn't know when they will have copies again. I'm considering canceling that order and seeing if I can find a used copy.

Scott chose to go to Blue Nile for dinner. I don't think any of us ate quite as much as we usually do when we go there, but we were all satisfied. We had the vegetarian meal because most of the meat options aren't things we would or could eat (there's spicy beef which, given Scott's allergy, we don't dare have on the plate. There's spicy chicken which none of us like. There's a mild chicken that we all enjoy, but it's not worth the extra money).


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