1. Alarums at Arrivals and the Sleep-Deprived Queasy Roadtrips That Nightmares are Made of )

2. Arrival at Cloudland Canyon and a Severe Lack of Flashlights )

3. The Lookout That Didn't Look Out, plus Finnish Delicacies )

4. Worrying symptoms )

5. Bae's First American Speeding Ticket )

Wax's mom pulled up with our box'o'kitties exactly as we walked into the parking lot with our suitcases, so we carried them up in the same trip. Snookums started shouting in the box and didn't stop for a couple of hours after we got him inside.

PS: We brought Wax's mom a bottle of Southern Comfort, which neither of us has ever tasted, and a box of her favorite duty-free chocolates, to thank her for caring for the kitties and houseplants.
We came back with:

  • Four bottles of ibuprofen caplets (200 mg x500) and some Sudafed

  • Three bags of Butterfinger minis and one bag of mini Reese's Cups

  • One pair each of flip-flops from Old Navy (they were $5 USD together whereas the cheapest I could find the identical plastic Made in Chinas for in Finland was over 20€)

  • Three pairs of yoga leggings and a sports bra, two tank tops and a 100% cotton plain white Oxford shirt (me)

  • Sweatpant shorts, a long-sleeved popover shirt and foldover-waistband white linen pants (Wax)

  • A souvenir t-shirt each & a baseball cap from Cloudland Canyon State Park, a pair of sunglasses and a big sunglasses case each, and a bag of cotton terry-cloth crew socks (I looked EVERYWHERE I COULD THINK OF for cotton terry socks here)

  • An eye-searing blue paisley suitcase that looks like a Lily Pulitzer knockoff

Also a giant pop-up book of dragon illustrations from my mom for our niece who loves dragons, the silk phoenix kite my dad brought me back from Singapore in 1988, and a pink glitter USB cable.

We consumed a bunch of Pop-Tarts while there but forgot to bring the extras back with us. I also wish I'd brought back some extra goldfish crackers, but the suitcases were pretty full.

Many things went wrong, but nothing catastrophic; everything managed to recover and occur at the right time in spite of these snags. That will take longer to write up.
"X and Y are the guests of honor, but I don't know who they are," said my sister.

"I don't either, but I know I'm not interested in their work because they're both men," I said.

My dad said, "Yeah. And weren't all the other names on the list of guests men, too?"

(They were... except for one.)
On the Ashkenazi side of my extended family, 9 members in 3 generations have lived past 50, and of those 2 have died of breast cancer and another's been in treatment for a few years (male breast cancer in his case). Now we've found out my aunt is entering treatment for it too, and she's only 55.

Statistically, this is troubling. (Personally, my aunt's prognosis isn't bad and the rest of the oldies seem sanguine, so I'm not TOO upset.)

Thanks to my atheist great-grandparents, though, neither of my aunts were even aware that we're Ashkenazi, hadn't even heard the term -- and naturally, her doctor asked her specifically since it's a risk factor. (I didn't learn it from my family, either, even though my dad knows; I think it came up in the genetics chapter of high school biology... .) I said "I can't believe they didn't know that!" and my sister replied that she didn't either. =_=
I was gone from home for a week, for 5 days with my little sister in Stockholm! [personal profile] waxjism has been feeling under the weather, which meant switching anti-depressants, and has been in the midst of tapering off one and onto another simultaneously for a month or so, and therefore feeling even MORE under the weather. So she didn't come along.

Table of Contents:
1. Wed: The Shoe Affair, The Mall that Cthulhu Built, and a Digression: Don't Try to Eat Vegan in Downtown Stockholm's Central Tourist Destinations
2. Thurs: Medieval Museum and Museum Tre Kronor
3. Fri: Drottninggatan and the Historical Museum
4. Sat: Kungsholmen
5. Sun: Gamla Stan and Gustav III's Antiquities Museum
6. Mon: National Gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts and St Clara's Church

Read more... )

My photo posts from my photoblog at Tumblr: Walking in Gamla Stan - On the Street & in the Church - The Medieval Museum - The Historical Museum - Plaster statues at the Academy of Fine Arts

I just found out that my dad is my sister's long-distance cheerleader when she has to catch a bug inside her flat to release outside, and he has been doing this for years.

When it comes to Crunch Time (ie time to put a bowl or something over the bug) she'll say "Okay, I have to put the phone down now!" and hang up, but then she'll call back after to notify him that she successfully ejected the bug from the premises.

"One time I walked by him talking on the phone and he was saying solemnly, 'That was really brave,'" said my mom.

So this could be useful. Like I could call my dad on the phone when I'm afraid of my inbox and let him coach me through the process.

Although the only thing that upsets me as much as I've seen my sister get upset about grasshoppers are like, having to initiate conversations with people. And I'd need two phones for that one probably. ("Turku Health Center Tallbacken 2." "Can you hold a second please? - Daddy, a nurse answered the phone! She said the name of the health center!")

Honestly, I'd moved in with Wax when I was her age, but a few years before that I was living alone, and I did have to call my dad a lot. He's definitely coached me through filling out scary forms that had to be mailed places. And also with leaving my room and braving the horrors of a communal kitchen to make myself food.
"I thought that now the kids are pretty grown up, we could have a movie night together and pick a nice animated film... but when we got there they all wanted to watch the same thing: Monster High. Not one of them wanted anything else." - sister-in-law

Dear Mom & Dad,

I'm sorry that for all of 1988 the only video I ever wanted to rent was Barbie & the Rockers.

Here's the slightly more detailed babble about the design & execution of the Mage Carmela portrait I made for her birthday.

Carmela the Mage, 25 May 2013, mixed media on paper, A3

On Tumblr

Read more... )
This is a post about the planning of the fantasy portraits I painted of the triplets for Christmas for my mom and anyone else who might be interested (she's the only sure bet, as it were.)

These are the pictures (embiggenable via clickthrough):

Read more... )

The fashion highlight slash teachable moment of the last few weeks was when my Thai classmate asked the Bangladeshi one why she doesn't wear jewels dangling from her nose/ear/face daily. There were other related questions but this one stuck with me the most, possibly mainly because the lady in question tried to answer by miming the amount of stuff that would be dangling in her face if she had worn it. ("Wedding! Wedding! Only wedding." "Why?")

I pointed out that although our Thai classmate also owns some large and elaborate jewelry, as do many of the rest of us, she doesn't wear it out every day with jeans and a t-shirt either, and she ceded the point reluctantly with a wistful protest, "But it's so pretty." Well, this is true.


It's Father's Day in Finland today. American Father's day was in July and when I talked to my dad on the phone I told him that I thought of writing him a haiku in Finnish for the occasion (he's a poet so there's a lot of poems-for-occasions going around in our family), but my Finnish hadn't got very far and also I wanted to say "poet", which in Finnish is 5 syllables by itself (runoilija). I had to ask Wax how to say it; at the time I'd only been learning Finnish a couple of months. But now I was able to write one completely on my own (although Finnish word length was still a bit of a stumbling block)! And I was even able to make it a science fiction haiku (he's been into those lately)!

Isäni kulta
Tuoli nopeampi
Kuin aikakone

("Darling Daddy, chair faster than time machine.") (Finnish doesn't have definitive pronouns, so it could be a specific time machine or a general time machine; context doesn't specify.) (My dad's power wheelchair has the ability to jump curbs and zoom around really fast, possibly not actually faster than a time machine, if one exists, but assuming that one doesn't I guess it is still faster. My sister and I both enjoy standing on the back of it and riding around. In San Francisco this summer she banged her knee on the frame twice and I did it once. It's not a completely hazard-free hobby.)


I know that Red Dwarf is crack and has about as much concern for continuity as Gene Roddenberry or Arthur Conan Doyle, which is to say, less than none unless continuity looks like it would be useful for a good joke. But still, even on second watch-through, it is quite hard to deal with 7x02 "Stoke Me a Clipper" when Rimmer leaves, because it lends a (perhaps ludicrously out of place?) bittersweet note to latter seasons to know that Original Rimmer is still gone, even though Resurrected Rimmer is right there (ludicrous because everything else is already rather sad/bleak/bitter-along-with-the-fun-bits by definition, written right into the basic premise and everything). There's badfic where Original Rimmer comes back and he and Lister have a variety of action-packed, tear-streaked, porny love stories in consequence, but aside from any other potential drawbacks to them, they also leave me feeling badly for Resurrected Rimmer. (Except for that one where it actually was Original Rimmer who had traveled back in time after 600 years of immortal badassery to go undercover as himself and he wasn't really resurrected at all.)


I've mentioned my Ideal Dress before, the dress I have exalted above all others and always wanted since childhood. (It's the green flapper dress that Cyd Charisse wears in the Broadway Melody dance number of Singin in the Rain.)

Well, [personal profile] waxjism and I still haven't got around to making a formal replacement-for-the-nonexistent-wedding portrait of the two of us that we didn't have taken when we eloped three years ago. (Wax has a suit that would work alright, but I don't have anything I could wear for it, not even a white blouse that fits to stick under a waistcoat in a pinch.)

(NB to [personal profile] waxjism and people who hate descriptions of clothes: skip this paragraph) I mean, I have my old bridesmaid dresses: a black satin evening gown from Amanda's wedding, a black twill dress such as a sexetary might wear to a 1940s funeral from Aubry's, and a Grecianesque number in eggplant-colored chiffon from [personal profile] pierydys's; I also have the raspberry chiffon cocktail dress I wore to Marre's wedding, and my favorite dress has served at both [profile] hollsh and [livejournal.com profile] guinevere33's weddings, but the straps literally broke OFF both times and it's waiting to have a third set sewn on. And basically, black glitter lace over nude and black twill and black satin and red-wine-ish chiffon are all way less apropos for one's OWN pseudo-wedding portrait than they are for somebody else's. I don't want it to look like a PROM portrait.

So sometimes I toy with the idea of using this as an excuse to get (let's be real: make) myself something like this dress. (I've never really had anything close, except for the sequin-trimmed green satin leotard I performed a tap recital in at age six... I've only ever even owned two pieces of green formal wear, an ill-advised forest velour overall at age 10 and the metallic dark green party dress I wore to [livejournal.com profile] bexless's wedding.) So even a piece of only semi-dressy stuff in a shade from the emerald/malachite-green family would be a hugely exciting event in my wardrobe. On the other hand, as much as I love that particular shade of light-malachite-emerald-with-a-dash-of-kelly green, sequins aren't really me. For that matter, formal wear isn't really me.

That's why after we became obsessed with knitting and uh, spent our first 50 euros on cashmerino silk-blend yarn, it occurred to me to maybe interpret my Ideal Dress in the form of a dressy pullover sweater, like maybe a tunic-length one with a cable design echoing the shapes of the sequin embellishments. Obviously we can make a silk-blend pullover for Wax too, but the design is complicated by her refusal to have favorites of anything. She doesn't even have a favorite TYPE of shade of green, let alone an Ideal Dress. She'd be quite happy to go out dressed as a bag lady whose entire wardrobe had fallen into a random selection of different green dyes.

The last few days I've been pondering the linked diamond designs on the Cyd dress and the 30's-inspired design of Keira Knightley's Atonement dress, which would look better on me, and is just as beautiful, although it doesn't have the same nostalgia attached. (The neckline of the latter is certainly easier to interpret onto a long-sleeved sweater.)
My parents have taken in a feral kitten - a tiny, slightly ragged calico shorthaired mutt who had been living on their deck under the grill and shadowing their Bad to the Bone chipmunk-killer tom around like the tiniest fangirl. (My mom, for unfathomable reasons, has named the kitten Sappho.)

She was pooping on the couch, so my mom put a litter box on the couch. Hooray for thinking inside the box!

It stopped the pooping but started another problem because Kitten considers kitty litter to be an awesome toy, and likes to play with it and in the process kick it all over the couch.
My parents like to telephone for a long catch-up approximately once per week, and they usually want to talk to me at the same time. As a result, they usually put the phone on speaker.

When I call them using my Finnish provider's long distance, I get a pretty good sound quality. But when they call me using their much more affordable calling card, the sound quality is ... I'd say tolerable. Like, not nearly as clear, but it's fine unless one of us uses speakerphone and then it's a bit of a pain. (This is probably because the calling card is bouncing between VOIPs or something to make itself so cheap, idk. I can't imagine how it could be that bad otherwise.)

They tend to call me with one of their cell phones because they can program in the number sequences instead of having to punch them all in each time like on the house phone, even though the quality of speakerphone on their landline is a lot better.

So they've got a cellphone on mediocre speakerphone, over a calling card of dubious quality, and then eventually when my ears start to hurt I usually give up and put mine on speakerphone too and at that point one sentence in three has to be repeated due to sound quality.

This is still not QUITE as bad a calling experience as the up-to-3-minute lagtimes we used to sometimes get over Skype. But on the other hand, Skype was free, and it's adding insult to injury to have to be paying for a conversation that leaves you with a sore throat and a sore ear and also slightly irritated from having to say 'WHAT?' and 'I didn't hear that entire last sentence' so many times.

Maybe Skype again. Maybe it won't lag that much anymore. Or maybe I can make them get on two different extensions of the landline so they can both talk without using speakerphone.
We went to my oldest friend's wedding on a mountain outside San Francisco last weekend.

According to the news, they've been having the same weather as us lately: around 20°, kind of. On the day of the wedding it was actually way hotter than expected, but when we went back into the city on Sunday it went back to the forecast. The problem is that Turku is nowhere near as windy as San Francisco in this time of year, apparently. (In the autumn and winter Turku is VERY windy, though.) There was a constant hard, cold wind that made it feel like it was firmly below 15° the whole time, and I didn't have adequate garments for layering with me at all.

Sunday we went to the Aquarium of the Bay. Then I went with my family to Ghirardelli Square - we wanted the old factory to still be open but apparently all it is now is a collection of giftshops so crowded you can barely walk into it. It used to be home to a tea salon I have been dying to visit for over a year called Crown & Crumpet, and I was super excited to go there, mainly because you can't order the teacups with the pink crown teapot over the internet; but when we got there we looked up their website and found out they're closed for moving and I didn't get any awesome tea swag at all. :(((

I want this teacup and also I want it on like a shirt or possibly on everything

Monday we were supposed to just meet Dad's internet fandom friend (his fandom is original sf poetry and it's mostly old people and doesn't overlap with our circles much) at an sf bookstore in the Mission called Borderlands, and then spend the majority of the day exploring the Castro. But some things came up: Read more... )

The Return Journey from Purgatory

We had to wake up at 4 am for our trip to the airport and I was out of cash to tip the bellhop, and then there were no Starbucks in our concourse. My earbuds had started to hurt my ears so badly that we only watched 1 episode of Game of Thrones, and we were unable to locate a deli with bagels OR a Starbucks or indeed ANYWHERE to sell us tea during our layover in NYC; and the world's rudest, most obnoxious American jerkface lady had the seat in front of Wax on the Helsinki leg. She kept her seat all the way back, which is so far that to get out of our seats we had to climb OVER THE ARM, the entire time, and had to be told by the flight attendants to straighten it up when they served food both times. To which she responded respectively "Why?" and "Who, me?" So her seat was literally pressing against Wax's knees the entire time and Wax is only 5'5". There LITERALLY wasn't room between the seatback and Wax's abdomen for her laptop!

So after this 7-hr interval of BOILING RAGE we got to Helsinki completely exhausted and promptly got lost on the way to baggage claim. While we were trying to find it and on the verge of collapse, Wax's backed-up SMSes arrived and one was from her mom saying that the dog hadn't drunk or eaten anything since Thursday! Making 5 days! And we were still trapped in the airport. When we found someone to lead us out, Wax was freaking out because they delayed us TWICE at the stupid passport control even though we'd ALREADY BEEN THROUGH IT FIVE MINUTES BEFORE, and the said someone gave her attitude about it (srsly fuck you dude; she wasn't even flailing at YOU). Still not having eaten, we piled onto a (VERY HOT) bus for a 2½ hour commute...

...and then went immediately to meet Wax's mom to take Perry straight to the vet. I stayed there with him for two hours or so, almost completely zombified and having come out the opposite side of hunger so that I didn't even know I was hungry, while they gave him an IV to prevent him from shriveling up and floating away, took a blood test and urine sample, and ultimately prescribed some antibiotics for a UTI.

I gave him his medicine and he ate and drank Wednesday night before I fell asleep, but I think I got a broken 7 hours of sleep altogether, and Thursday morning I kept staring at the computer, unable to remember when I needed to leave to catch the bus.

Purgatory Still Not Over

So I was late to class, and then I found out that we hadn't learned anything all week and the substitute didn't intend to start now. It was so boring (and overcast outside, and nearly deserted inside the school) that I sort of felt like I was dreaming, just floating along blankly through everything with a severely delayed reaction time. That is, until I got home and found out that THE DOG HAD STARTED PEEING BLOOD! I didn't really have a panic attack, but I think I just couldn't anything anymore. I just sort of sat there moaning and nearly crying in response to every single thing that happened, including when Wax started (FINALLY) playing the latest episode of Teen Wolf.

Eventually (after talking very incoherently on the phone to the vet, and giving the dog some pain meds) I took a Xanax and slept. And, yes, we did spend 3 hours today covering 'to get from [person][case]' and 'to give to [person][case]', which, yes, we had actually already seen before, and, in fact, the substitute DID demonstrate using the clever device of pretending to hand her pencil to at least six different people, and she did explain 'take' and 'bring' a LOT of times and tell Loud Girl to be quiet when, for the first time ever, I didn't even want her to shut up because nobody was actually saying anything that conveyed any information at all; but at least I finally got to come home and sleep another four hours. Oh, and we didn't even do so much as a worksheet in that time, just looked at the overhead while she yapped. I'm bitter.

But whatever, at least it's the weekend and the dog seems to be getting better. And my mother-in-law did the dishes for us while we were gone. She's a champ.


May. 12th, 2012 06:36 pm
WAX answered the phone and it was her mom. Then

WAX: I uh... have to go?
ME: You have to go?
WAX: To drive Mom home and then bring the car back here while she's out of town. Uh, see you in three hours.
ME: But...! ... Okay. :(
WAX: But I don't have Trespassing on my phone.
ME: Your headphone jack doesn't work on it anyway. - Oh, you mean for in the car. Well, I'll put it on your phone for you while you get dressed.
WAX: Yeah. ... Oh well, I guess it's fine... the FM transmitter doesn't work that well in Mom's car anyway.
ME: Okay, then... I'll burn you a CD while you get dressed.

So I put the CD in and it started burning, after a brief technical problem because I had to open Brasero from the applications menu because apparently it no longer appears in the blank CD right-click menu in Nautilus in Ubuntu Oneiric.

By the time Wax was completely dressed it was only 28% finished burning, though, and she hovered over my shoulder, widening and narrowing her eyes comically at the progress dialogue on the screen.

ME: That doesn't help, you know.
WAX: But it makes me feel better.

Finally it said DONE! and popped the CD tray and I dashed over with a paper CD envelope and a Sharpie, scrawled Trespassing - NL (Wax had for some reason failed to download "Naked Love" when it first leaked and obtained it the next day, but after I'd already put the other ones on my hd, so I've been listening without it. I don't like it anyway!) on the disc, popped it in the envelope and passed the envelope to Wax, who stuffed it in her bag and basically ran out the door (because her mom's waiting in the parking lot and "you know how butthurt Mom gets").

But honestly, can you imagine a 3-hour roadtrip within a week of album release without it? D: D:
I'm one of those people who doesn't cry easily.1 Aside from when it's entirely due to hormones (which doesn't really count), usually I cry only at certain trigger topics, like book/movie/tv treatment of people's parents or pets dying (because I came close and because FURRY BABIES respectively) or people's close friend-mentors dying (because that's practically the only typical trauma I've actually experienced2).

Well, this has its downsides. I grew up quite close to my extended families on both sides, in the sense that my parents went to a lot of trouble to keep up the relationships with frequent visits, but not so close in the sense that I always lived on the other side of the country from them.3 Of a necessity this constrained how much emotional closeness I could feel to them, perhaps ultimately even more than things like common interests and opinions. In a sense, then, with both the grandparents that I've lost recently, I've found myself with a certain (though variable) numbness in among the loss, perhaps thinking I should feel more, and wondering if the loss didn't come a long time before their deaths - because my relationships with them were never as close as they could have been, and perhaps my loss is as much a missed opportunity as a vanished loved one...

Read more... )
Last Tuesday I rejected a call from my dad while I was in with my therapist. It was a notification that my maternal grandmother had died of a heart attack and my mom was on her way home from work to pack for the 11-hour drive to Kansas for the funeral, because she hadn't wanted to be embalmed. I did battle with ebookers for hours, leaving only 5 hours to pack, shower, and take a little nap before getting on the bus to the airport in Helsinki. Read more... )

Overheard at Grandma's Funeral

by my sister, between two of grandma's brothers:
HAROLD: Do you let the kids shoot bulls in the balls with bb guns, yet?
STEVE: No, I don't even let them shoot dogs. I gotta watch them close when they go out with guns now.
HAROLD: Why not?! We did it all the time!

also from my sister:
STEVE: I stole one of our dad's parachutes and took it up on the roof of the garage and was gonna jump off, but I met Harold on the way and he was older and he wanted to take the first turn. ... That parachute didn't even flutter.
STEVE: I'm tellin' the story about the parachute!
HAROLD: Which one?

by me:
MOM: Dad, how long did you have to court Mom before you asked her to marry you?
GRANDPA: I didn't ask her! I told her!
MOM: Well, did she say yes anyway?
GRANDPA: Well... I had to tell her a couple times.


GRANDPA: I was in the Navy and grandma was the pinup girl for the whole squad.
GRANDPA: No, I mean literally.


GRANDPA: I had a look around for the picture of her in her bathing suit from when I was in the Navy and that other one - [mimes breasts on his chest] - that was just the top, but I couldn't find them. She never did hang them up. For some reason. Can't think why.


GRANDPA: I was real protective of you kids. If anyone threatened you, like if there was a dog... one time there was these dogs that was scaring all you, barking and growling when you would walk by... it couldn't reach all the way to bite you or nothin' but it was too close to the sidewalk. And you kids come home cryin' and so I got my bat and I went walkin'. ... I didn't go walkin', you know, that wasn't something I did, but that day I did. And the cop pulls up beside me - the town only had one or two of 'em. And I guess there musta been something about the way I walked. And he says, Where you goin', Lastname? And I said, I'm goin' to kill me some dogs. So he says, Why don't you give me that bat and go on home and I'll take care of the dogs. So I didn't kill 'em, but they got moved back farther from the sidewalk.
I have had a busy month. Our monthly motto mantra on our Adam Lambert calendar is "This is the opposite of what I wanted", and that has turned out to be sadly accurate.

  • Wax's computer broke at the very beginning of the month and she limped along with a backup machine using a motherboard that spontaneously shut down every time it overheated for 2 weeks+ before her shiny new laptop (Jean-Luc is dead; long live Sir Patrick!) arrived.

  • My Chris Evans & RDJ Movie Party on the 11th was... not a failure, since we had fun, but we ran into an unexpected snag with being unable to play DVDs, thanks (indirectly) to the above circumstance.

  • Perry was tested for Cushing's, a chronic hormonal imbalance common to older dogs, at the beginning of the month. He started his medication the second week, stopped eating his food in the third week and had to be given an anti-emetic, and then turned out to be responding favorably to the meds after all (as of about a week ago). However, he's still turning his nose up at dry food thanks to the diet of tasty canned stuff I had to use to tempt him to eat when he was nauseated. But overall, the dog news is excellent. My parents are paying for his medication too, which is good since it is around €70 a month, but we are still failing to recover from several hundred bucks' worth of vet visits and blood tests that the parents didn't cover.

  • Our 4 niecephews were over for tea 1.5 wks ago and I showed them Batman: The Animated Series and all of them loved it, but especially Loke, who was instantly converted into a tiny 4-year-old starry-eyed Batfan. He said "BATMAN IS THE BEST" approximately 15 times before they left (with my box set).

  • We had a nice Lillajul (cookie-baking and miniature tree-decorating) party last Saturday with the brother-in-law and luckily, because the bank was holding onto our credit card payment at the time, idk BIL's bff Thomas loaned us his car Sunday so that we were able to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving feast with [personal profile] pierydys in Rauma. It was magically delicious! I ate so much turkey pot pie and stuff that I was literally unable to eat dessert.

  • This morning my mother-in-law woke us up asking if we wanted to go to Ikea, which boy did I ever, being in semi-desperate need of several things including recycling bins, poster frames, spice jars, storage boxes, and divided storage trays. But when we got there, she rushed us through the downstairs section so fast that I didn't manage to get a single object on my list. (She bought us other stuff: a cat basket, a wire tree frame that Wax wanted for her climbing plants, a colander. But why couldn't we rush through the parts of the store that DIDN'T contain all the stuff I needed?!) Then we stopped for coffee with Wax's bro and she bragged at length about how delightfully efficient the trip was while I sat there half-comatose after a couple of hours of sleep thinking "So I got out of bed for this."

  • Next weekend I'm having another party to make up for the lack of DVD-watching at the last one and this time [personal profile] pierydys will be there and she will make me a pecan pie for my birthday (albeit a week early but PECAN PIE! I haven't had that in years! :D) and we will watch Wonderboys and have a bit of a feast; and plus I will get to introduce some of my friends to each other, and I love doing that.

  • There was a big standee display of Lindt Lindor truffles next to the checkout at the S-market under Wiklund yesterday. We're talking like it was my height and the top foot included a giant, life-size photo of a twinkly-eyed, handsome middle-aged man in an immaculate chef's outfit carefully piping chocolate onto truffles. There were bags and various sizes of assorted gift boxes and I almost cried. A little box of milk chocolate Lindor truffles costs more than my entire basket of groceries (müsli, organic and fair-trade fruit, bakery bread, cat and dog food). It's really hard being away from my parents in this season because one thing that my mother ALWAYS splurged on, no matter how much money we didn't have, was expensive chocolate.

  • Finally: this month I taught myself tapestry crochet and made a very lovely basket. However, I can't actually use the basket for its intended purpose so now it's just sitting here on my shelf full of spare balls of yarn.

On the plus side I have been too busy/exhausted for winter depression for the most part.
The latest care package from my parents includes:
  • 2 packages of my favorite not-in-Finland dry food (red beans & rice)

  • 1 already-opened bag of my wife's favorite candy (mini-Butterfingers)

  • 1 now-out-of-date official Senior Girl Scout uniform bandanna, still in the package

Aaaand that's it.
Sometimes you spend Sunday evening relaxing, and sometimes you spend it discussing drinking games with your mother.

My mother is teaching children's religious education at her Unitarian Universalist congregation this year because there are no other volunteers, and she was singing the praises of the new curriculum she's using which she thinks is the best one she's seen in CRE so far.

MOM: It has activities that are actually fun, not stupid! Like this one - [describes the rules of Never Have I Ever, except instead of taking a drink, you run to the center of a circle to exchange a group-high-five with the other people who have done whatever it is]
ME: Well, they're UUs, so I guess it's good that they start learning drinking games early.
MOM: Oh, is that a drinking game?

We established that my mom knows almost nothing of drinking games and has never played one, so this ignorance doesn't necessarily mean anything about the geographical distribution or age of the game itself.

I was all ready to mock her for never having played one, but then I realized that I haven't either. I mean, several times at parties we've talked about playing one with television or movies based on how badly-written or homoerotic they were, but I don't think I've ever been in on an attempt where we actually stuck to the rules.

I read so much slash that I forget that I've only read stuff and not actually done it. (Also earlier today I glimpsed the phrase 'clean the pipes' and it took me a solid minute to remember that the phrase can have a non-sexual meaning.)


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October 2015


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