Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The whirlwind continues

. . . or “Now that’s what I call a weekend!”

Last week was fairly quiet—my dad and G came back up Tuesday and had dinner with us before heading back home Wednesday morning. Predictably, the kids were not happy Wednesday—they’d gotten used to having family around, and suddenly it was just jendaby and I. Oh well. I did go on a late-night shopping expedition to stock up and to prepare for Monday.

Thursday I minded the kids so jendaby could go out and see Iron Man and have dinner with friends. She definitely deserved a night out, and I was glad she had a good time.

Friday was the start of Summer Publishing Hours—Oh, how I love thee!—so I got done a little before 1pm and headed home. That night we had part of the usual crew over and played the best worst boardgame ever! We were up until 1am doing that, which was a blast.

Saturday was xochitl42’s wedding! It was awesome! The day was absolutely perfect, the setting—Cedar Hill in Central Park—was gorgeous, the bride and groom both looked great, the ceremony was really nice, and we were all very happy. The reception was also excellent—except for the wedding party families jendaby and I knew almost everyone there, so we had a great time table-hopping and hanging out. We headed back home in the late afternoon and took it easy that night.

Sunday jendaby was out again—popular lady!—so I stayed with the kids and did some cleaning and some picture-hanging. She came home in early evening; I had been planning to head out then but that got cancelled last-minute, so we had dinner and relaxed instead. We watched War, which wasn’t bad—good if brutal action sequences and a decent storyline, though with an obvious twist. I did like the fact that it wasn’t a Hollywood movie, so lacked the standard Hollywood ending.

Monday (yesterday) we had our annual Memorial Day All-Day Cookout and Game. It was great! We had a bunch of people over (eleven of us in all), tons of food ably grilled by the lovely jendaby, an entertaining game GMed by the redoubtable slothshaman, and a whole lot of snarky fun. The kids were a bit of a handful, particularly my son (whose allergies were driving him nuts), but other than a few understandable screaming fits they were mainly just vying for attention, and of course it was much quieter after they went to bed. We didn’t finish the game but we hung out until around 11:30 (we started around 1:30), then cleaned up a bit and went to bed.

And now it’s back to work, but a shortened week and a half-day Friday. I’ve hopefully got a movie-and-dinner outing with friends on Thursday, and Friday and Saturday I’m helping xochitl42 pack and move. And that’s the end of the month—and perhaps the end of the whirlwind as well. For now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

On with the whirlwind . . .

It’s been a busy two weeks.

Last Friday (the 9th) jendaby and I got together with a few friends as usual. Low-key but nice.

The next day we (all four of us) headed into the city for our soon-to-be niece-in-law’s birthday party. That was fun—we got to see my youngest sister (YS) and her fiancée (YSF) and meet his parents and sister and her family. Everyone was very nice and the kids had a blast—the birthday girl was turning two and the party was at a kids’ gym with padded floors and all sorts of stuff to climb and crawl under. Afterward we and YS and YSF took the kids to Central Park, stopped off at a playground there, then went to the Natural History museum for a bit and finally out to dinner at Brother Jimmy’s. Good day.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, so as usual we went to a Mets game. It was fun but too windy and cold so we only stayed for the first half. We stopped off at a crafts store on the way home, then relaxed and watched Dr. Who that night.

Monday I went to a screening of Prince Caspian with a bunch of co-workers. It wasn’t bad—I didn’t particularly care for the first one (good effects, decent acting, weak story and very little use for several characters) and I thought this one was better in pretty much every way—but hardly brilliant. Going in a group was fun, though.

Wednesday I went to TekServe and they managed to fix my laptop! And it only cost $40, which was totally worth it—they warned that the keys might not work as perfectly as before but hey, I can type again, which is really all that matters. That night my dad and his girlfriend (G) flew in, so the kids and I picked them up at the airport and then we swung back to get jendaby so we could all go to our favorite diner for dinner.

Thursday was quiet for me—work as usual, etc. I did get a cool book in the mail, pursuant to a possible project—more on that if it pans out. And worked out details for another project as well.

Friday I had lunch with my dad and one of his friends at Second Ave. Deli. Still awesome, and since my dad had kindly brought me a muffuletta from N.O. and I’d had it (okay, half of it) for dinner Thursday night I got to have my two absolute favorite sandwiches in the world (a muffuletta and a Second Ave. Deli pastrami on rye) in the space of two days. Happy happy stomach! That night we had friends over, YS came back out to our house, and she and I went to pick my middle sister (MS) up at the airport. It was ugly out but we got her successfully, and everyone had a good time. Got to bed around two.

Saturday we got up and the girls and I took the kids out to the bakery to get bagels and pastries for breakfast. After eating we hung out for a while before taking the kids to the playground. My dad and G came out that night with my aunt and we all went to Sripraphai for dinner. Excellent Thai food! The kids were completely wiped out by the time we were done, so my aunt gave me a ride home so I could get the car and come back to pick the rest of them up. We all hung out for a bit at home before my dad and I made a late-night shopping run to get diapers and a few other necessities.

Today we all got up and had a nice relaxed breakfast—the kids actually didn’t wake us up until nine, which shows how tired they were. Jendaby and I headed out a little before noon to go into the city for a three-way birthday party (threedukes, jon, and xochitl42), which makes the fourth birthday party we’ve attended in three weeks. We were the first ones there by a wide margin but once everyone else showed we had a lot of fun, and it was nice to be adults-only for a bit—my sisters and my dad and G took the kids to the Queens Hall of Science and had a great time. We got back after MS had already gone to the airport, unfortunately, but got to see my dad and G and YS and my aunt before they all left—my aunt to go home and G and my dad to drive YS back to D.C. It was strangely quiet at dinner—it’s been several days since it was just four of us. The kids were exhausted and fell asleep quickly.

Right now, Dr. Who beckons. Then a little work—I’ve got an outline and two pitches to write—before bed. This week should be reasonably quiet, though my dad and G are back Tuesday evening and leave for N.O. Wednesday morning. And of course we have Memorial Day weekend coming up, and a wedding to attend! Busy busy busy, but it’s been a good busy.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'd type "Oy!" but I seem to be missing the "y" . . .

Yesterday my son got hold of the laptop.

Apparently he turned it on. That's fine--frighteningly precocious, but fine. But he also decided to streamline the input process . . .

. . . by removing keys from the keyboard.

He didn't eat them--he doesn't usually put non-food in his mouth, thankfully--and we were able to locate them all. But laptop keyboards aren't like regular keyboards. They have little fiddly plastic bits instead of springs. And some of those are now broken or missing. I was able to reinsert some of the keys but not all of them, amd I don't know if it'll ever function properly again, esp. for real writing.


The moral of this story, clearly, is "just because a child hasn't messed with a particular item before, don't assume they never will."

Monday, May 05, 2008

And so begins . . .

. . . the Crazy Month of May.

This month is going to be a madhouse for us—far more so than usual for this time of year. My dad and my two younger sisters are visiting, we have several birthday parties and a wedding to attend, we’re going to a baseball game, we have friends coming over, I’ve got a story and some RPG projects to write—and of course that’s in between the regular day job and the kids.

Thursday morning I brought the car in to the mechanic to have it checked over—and to finally fix the door handle, which they broke over a year ago. Then it was off to work as usual.

Friday I picked the car up after work—all tuned up but with the door more of a mess than ever thanks to their discovering they needed a second part they had to order and so leaving the door half-assembled in the meantime. Most of the game group was busy but our friend Peter came over to have dinner, hang out, and watch Juno, which was very cute.

Saturday morning we got up, packed, gathered the kids, and headed out to NJ. We visited jendaby’s grandmother for a few hours, and then headed down to Cherry Hill to see my old buddy Rob. Rob and I have been friends since we met in summer camp back when I was twelve. We hung out together a lot as kids, esp. since our parents became friends as well, and kept in touch once I left New Orleans but haven’t seen each other for years. This despite living only a few hours away—for years we’ve both said we should get together but then would get busy. So we finally made it out to see him, his wife, and their two kids. His parents live nearby and came over as well, which was great—I’ve always liked them and haven’t seen them since we got together for dinner after my parents had moved back to N.O. It turned out to be Rob’s younger son’s birthday party, so we wound up being invited to that, which was very sweet, and we hung out until around 8 before heading out to find our hotel—which was way back in the other direction, since we’d chosen one that was near our cousins up in Skillman. We didn’t get in there until around 10, got the kids in their beds, relaxed and took a bath, and then went to sleep ourselves.

Sunday we got up, packed up, checked out, and headed over to Skillman for our newest cousin’s baptism. That was interesting—very pretty church, very involved service. The kids behaved reasonably well. Afterward we headed back to Steve and Jenny’s for lunch, which was great—hanging out with them and our other cousins and aunt and uncle plus Steve and Jenny’s friends. There were plenty of kids there, so ours got to run around and play quite a bit. We headed back out around five and, despite a little Sunday traffic, got home without any real problem. Had some dinner, gave the kids a bath, and then put them to bed—they sacked out almost immediately. We stayed up for a bit, though, to watch last week’s CSI (good ep) and this week’s Dr. Who (miles better than last year’s Dalek two-part debacle by the same author but still with massive plot holes). Then finally to bed.

I’m home today—some stomach issues, which will hopefully pass soon—but tomorrow night I’m off to see Iron Man. My youngest sister’s already in town, so I’ll hopefully see her some time this week, but if not before we’re getting together Friday and over the weekend. And so the craziness continues.