Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Friday, December 28, 2007

Long-ish update

Just realized it’s been more than two weeks since my last update. Wacky. Time’s moving at a strange pace these days—half the time it feels slow as molasses, but then suddenly I look around and go “hey wait, is it really almost 2008?”

Hanukkah was nice, and I got some cool stuff, including a Tardis cell phone charm, a Carbon Leaf CD, a ton of cool movies, and both seasons of Dark Angel. Whee!

We had our big crazy Newscorp City holiday party on the 14th. Jendaby and I had fun wandering around looking at everything, trying the food in each room (the food is one of the low points of the party, unfortunately), having drinks, occasionally bumping into people I knew, and just checking out the crazy décor and wildly varied outfits. Also, big thanks to xochitl42 for watching the kids that night so all three of us could go.

Last Friday we had a holiday party of sorts for just Children’s Books. It was at work, during the last two hours of the day, in the conference rooms, and was a bit weird—half the time no one was around at all, and then there was a brief period where the rooms were jam-packed. And of course it was the Friday afternoon before X-mas, so a lot of people had already left on vacation. Strange.

jendaby attended a Yule ritual that same night, and I minded the kids so she could go. Fortunately watching the kids was pretty easy, since they both behaved during dinner and dessert and bed-prep and once they’re in bed all’s quiet. I took advantage of the time to watch two movies I didn’t think jendaby would want to see: Bloodrayne2 (cheesey vampire Western whose only redeeming features were Natassia Malthe and Michael Pare) and Grindhouse: Death Proof (odd movie—good dialogue but way too much of it, strangely slow except for a few frenetic moments).

I didn’t have work Monday or Tuesday, so we just stayed home and hung out. Our son turned two Monday—time flies!—and we celebrated by watching him open presents and play with all his new loot and then having cake. jendaby had pointed out a few days earlier that it was like a time-activated switch went off in him somewhere recently, because he’s started saying “No! No no no!” to everything. Ah, the Terrible Twos—here we go again.

The long weekend was . . . long. I love my kids but they’re a handful and they both want my constant attention when I’m there, which is sweet but exhausting. It was also grey out most of the time, which always leaves me feeling a little bleah.

Wednesday I was back at work. There were six of us in my division, out of seventeen. There were four designers, out of something like twenty-five. And I was it for DTP. And of course everyone had left the worktable piled high Friday—and most of it was due Wednesday. Busy busy me. But at least no one put anything new on there.

Yesterday wasn’t as crazy. And today’s been fairly calm. So that’s good.

I’ve got Monday and Tuesday off, so another four-day weekend followed by another three-day week. Despite kid-fatigue, I could get used to this.

Tomorrow jendaby is going out to hang with many of her/our friends. Sunday I’m getting together with some other friends to start a new game (I’m playing, not running). Monday night we have dinner with deltagrl, skoobwoman, and qadgop, then jendaby and I will take the kids home, hang out, and ring in the new year. If anyone’s around and wants to join us, let me know.

And that’s about all for now—I’ll probably post a 2007 rundown/reminiscence some time over the weekend.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Duh. Books!

In all the recent craziness, I completely forgot to mention that I’ve had two more books out in the past month.

First there’s the new Star Trek: Corps of Engineers omnibus, Creative Couplings.

I wrote the title two-parter with glenn_hauman.

Then there’s Hour of the Daemon, the final book in my Warhammer Daemon Gates trilogy.

I am pleased. :)

Ups and Downs—Mostly Ups

Well, most of my weekend rocked.

Friday we gamed. Whee! It had been ages since we’d actually played, so it was nice to get back to it. And we basically wrapped up the first Supernatural story arc—and have a lead-in for the next one. Heh heh.

Saturday we had waterworks. Ugh. We’d noticed a leak under the bathroom sink earlier in the week so I called the plumber and they sent someone out (they asked if I wanted to wait until Monday, which would cost less, but I decided I’d rather have it dealt with while I was home). He took a look, said “yep, it’s your [insert plumbing term here]. No problem.” I’d also asked them to check the drips in the bathtub and the shower—both annoying, both there since we bought the house, neither a major issue—and also asked the plumber if he could actually set the sink flush to the wall (it was out about two inches, and couldn’t simply be shoved back because of the pipes). He said, “Oh, sure. I’ll just need to offset the pipe here” and pointed to show me exactly where. His finger grazed the pipe in question—and it burst. No, I’m not kidding. One minute, steady leak. The next—Boom! Water spraying everywhere!

So he and I go racing downstairs for the water main—past a very confused and amused jendaby. By the time we made it down there, shoved the chair out of the way, opened the utility closet and shut down the water, there was half an inch of water covering the bathroom floor—and water pouring from the living room ceiling. Which is actually a good thing—that was water that had spilled behind the sink and down along the radiator pipe, and if not for pre-existing cracks in the ceiling it might have sat there and rotted beams and such. Instead it drained out. But it meant us scrambling to set up towels and bowls to catch it all, and of course confusing the hell out of my son and the cat (our daughter was not feeling well, and was curled up in the basement watching a DVD and sipping ice water).

The plumber was great, though. Fixing the sink only took him about ten minutes—and it would have burst soon regardless, so definitely better it happened while he was right there. Fixing the bathtub (original fixtures, original washers, now nonexistent) took even less time. Fixing the shower took the longest because the plumbing was original and had never been touched so he had to literally chisel the faucet pipes out of the tiles so he could replace them. But now we have nice new pieces in the shower, new pipes under the sink, and no drips or leaks anywhere. Yay!

The rest of Saturday afternoon was fine—my daughter and son were both cranky, her because she wasn’t feeling well and him just because. After dinner and of course Hanukkah candles we left the kids in deltagrl’s able hands and jendaby and I headed into the city.

First stop was feiran’s birthday dinner. That was great—we had excellent food and a great time. Then we all headed to the subway together and took the train together for a few stops. jendaby and I split off at Times Square to catch the 7 over to Grand Central, and from there we walked to our next destination: our friend Tom’s birthday celebration.

That was also excellent. It was in a bar called the Overlook, and they had the whole upper floor for it—really nice place, very cool, and the bartenders and wait staff were excellent. We hung out and caught up with not only Tom but our friends Scott and Jon, neither of whom we’d seen in years. And then we briefly caught up with our friend Nick on the way out as well. Much fun, and really nice to see some good friends. We took a cab back home—easy enough at the hour—and then toddled off to bed.

Sunday was good. I got up around 9 or so and took the kids downstairs to let jendaby sleep a little more. She came down around 11 and we hung out for a bit before I hit the road to go grocery shopping. The kids were much better that night, and after they went to bed jendaby and I checked email and hung out and watched some Sarah Jane Adventures and chilled a bit. Then I went up and collapsed.

So, all in all a really nice weekend, with lots of friends and lots of snuggling. The only downsides were my daughter not feeling well—and she’s doing better—and the plumbing, which could have been worse and is now all nice and fixed.