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Birthday sleepover tomorrow — baking cupcakes and dyeing eggs with two 7 year old boys.

Chuck E Cheese birthday party Saturday. Loud, but with bonus I-don’t-have-to-do-anything. And Guitar Hero!

Easter on Sunday. Egg hunt!

Oh, and did I mention that he lost his first tooth today? He totally lost his first tooth today.

That’s Laura with an A, committee people.  I hope this award comes with cash.

(side note: the number of adults coming to this party is hilarious. Video games, man.  Just saying, there’s a siren song going on here.)

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I'm writing this in the hope that doing so will exorcise the last remnants of my crankiness on this issue.

So, I play Echo Bazaar. And in Echo Bazaar, you choose an ambition and work toward it as you play the game. I chose the one where I'm trying to find a card game that will, if you win, grant you your heart's desire. It's taking forever; the biggest obstacle I had was gathering a bunch of antique coins (you can't buy them; you have to have them given to you). Somehow--long enough ago that I don't remember exactly how--I wound up with more of them than I needed, and whammo! I breezed through a bunch of the steps toward my ambition.

Next obstacle, I needed a patent scrutinizer. Now, I thought this was a person, so I went on my merry way, becoming a spy, romancing the gentry, fighting duels, joining the University, and seeking Knowledge Man Is Not Meant to Know. I lost my soul, got exiled for a while, probably died at least once. I also amassed quite a fortune in stuff I can sell.

Last week, I was browsing the Bazaar--the store area--and found out that a patent scrutinizer is, actually, an object you buy. Color me embarrassed. I buy it, move along two steps. Now I have three options, only one of which is open to me, and requires the deluxe patent scrutinizer.

I sell just about EVERYTHING I OWN, including some of the leftover antique coins, and buy the thing. Go back to my ambition ...


I know, right?!

If you are still reading this, feel free to laugh. It's funny. It's just a game. My desire to throw the computer off the roof is totally overreacting.

That said, I haven't been able to bring myself to play the game since.
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I have gone a little crazy in the inter-library loan department, especially considering it's almost Christmas. I have, in my reading stack, two October Daye books, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Legend, Ganymeade, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Shine, plus my father sent me home last week with the new Stephen King book (it's about time travel and the Kennedy assassination, so of course he got it before I did). And I'm still waiting on two books to come into the library.


On the other hand, I have read 70 books in 2011. (Thank you, Goodreads, for making it easy and convenient for me to keep track all year.) This is probably down from my pre-Zweeble days, but I feel it's a respectable number.

I've come to the disturbing conclusion that there are too many entertainment options out there for me, and that I don't have enough time to really watch/read/play/hear everything I want to. (This then leads to some questions of whether or not I have enough life left to catch up, and that sounds like I'm a video game character, but whatever.) I knew I was in trouble when being required to cut comics out of our budget felt more like relief because I'd no longer be woefully behind than sorrow at losing the stories.

If 2011 was about rolling with and trying to embrace Change, I think perhaps 2012 will be about reassessing and sort of narrowing my focus to what I really want to do with my "copious" spare time. Books, yes. Probably less TV. I'd like to see a few more movies, but I think Scott and I might have to re-designate a movie night to manage that. Then we can alternate with video game nights, maybe.

That leaves the internet, my biggest time-suck ...
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So, here I am with basically nothing to say.

Spent the day at the water park with the guys, and nobody got sunburned. This is a triumph. We're headed to my parents' for Memorial Day weekend, which should be nice. There is apparently a very nice community pool involved in the weekend, so we'll see if we can continue to not get sunburned.

I'm very tired. I'm also trying to read a book for the third time. As in, this is the third time I've tried it, and I'm just not making it past the first thirty pages. But for some reason, I just can't quite give up and put it in the Pile to Take to the Used Book Store. It may be because I bought the second book in the series, too, so there's more monetary investment there? It may also be because my Stack of Unread Shame is really pretty small, and all the books I want to read aren't at the library yet, so I feel obligated to read this one so I don't run out of books.

That said, Rebels and Traitors is still up there, and it's a doorstop, so it's not like I'm actually running low, page-count-wise.

I'm working through Pokemon: Black, and it's fun.

Yeah, see? Not much to say.

The ugh

May. 23rd, 2011 03:13 pm
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Oy, I feel like sludge. I spent a solid week and a half dealing with allergy crud, but yesterday was the first day I didn't have to blow toxic waste out of my sinuses every ten minutes. And then ...

(cue ominous music)

... later that night, as Scott and I played some more Lego Harry Potter,* I realized I had a sore throat.

This time out, I don't have toxic waste in my sinuses (yet), but I'm achy and when my throat isn't sore, it feels thick. Also, I took Allegra, so I feel pretty much stoned. As in, I got hit by a giant rock and have been stunned into submission.

Now, the achiness could just be from our ancient and decrepit mattress, so I'm not sure if I'm actually coming down with something or if I'm just dealing, once again, with crazy allergies. I suppose it doesn't matter much one way or the other at the moment. I'm not sure why the idea of being sick makes me go into hurricane-watch mode ("Is it headed this way? Maybe, maybe not--wait, it's crossing Cuba; no, no, it's turning toward Mexico ..."), but it does.

*The Zweeble and I actually beat the end of Year One the other day; I didn't think we'd actually been that close to the end, and it spurred me to want to play some more. The thing is, though, while I adored all the Lego Star Wars games, and the Lego Indiana Jones game, the Lego Batman and Harry Potter games haven't had the same thrill. I think it's because they've added all this extra stuff to them, and they're getting a little cluttered. Also, with the Harry Potter game, there are way too many cut scenes and they go on forever.

Plus, why don't you get to fly the car in Year Two?!
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1. I want Lego Harry Potter. Even the Zweeble knows I want Lego Harry Potter. The ad comes on the TV and he says, "That's the game you want, right Mom?" It's a little weird that his introduction to Harry Potter is a Lego video game.

2. Still thinking about that e-reader thing for the DS. (Assuming my DS is the right model. I can never keep up with these things; I know it's not the one they recommend, but that does not mean it isn't workable.) It would be really neat to have, especially for times when I'm between new books and just want something to read. Still, not sure. But it wouldn't be like buying a Kindle, where it's one more freaking gadget*--it's a gadget I already own, getting new use.

3. Still sick. Doctor's visit just told me what I already knew. Z. is improving, but slowly.

4. North Carolina in five days! I need a vacation.

5. I hate inadvertant spoilers.

*I didn't want a Kindle because, from what I understand, you can't go to, say, the Strange Horizons site and read the stories there on your Kindle. And if I'm going to have an e-reader, I want to be able to get all my online stories, too. The iPad thrills me bacause of all the other stuff, like music and movies and email, that you can have there, but I really don't need another monthly bill right now. In the end, what I want is an iPhone or, barring that, a touch screen BlackBerry, because the only really bad thing about doing all the iPad stuff on my BlackBerry is the screen being so small.
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1. Zweeb's got a cold. But I think he's doing better today. I was considering taking him to the library because he's so bouncy, but then I noticed that any time he sat still for a few seconds he looked exhausted. So I've been letting him careen around the house, and now he's crashed out in our bed.

2. Two days ago we were freezing to death, and today I have the windows open. And it's kind of muggy. Ah, Florida.

3. My husband is a big squishy goofball and he loves me. That's all.

4. I finished Gone Baby Gone and am now reading Shutter Island by the same author. (Yes, the Leonardo DiCaprio movie is based on this book.**) Why Shutter Island and not another of Lehane's novels (like the one about the stalker that I wanted to read next)? Because this is the one they had at Target. And it's a mass market paperback, so it's cheap. I felt like a bit of a doofus buying the thing yesterday when I was planning a library trip today ... but now I am vindicated!

So now I have read three Dennis Lehane novels, and all three are the books he's had made into movies. (I'm pretty sure there aren't more.) And not on purpose.

5. Jason's coming down tomorrow for Scott's birthday, so Scott bought him a new Magic deck with the extra, adds-to-the-"fun," annoying side cards. This is Scott's present. Because what my husband wants for his birthday is to have geeky fun. And to cook, which he's also doing. (Every time I look at this crazy-ass ham that's soaking in a container in the guest shower, I think of how on Mythbusters they always use pork to simulate human flesh.) I'm looking forward to making a Jason-Mii, because I'm pretty sure our little geek-in-training is going to want to play Mario Party.

**Scott called the ending when we saw the preview, so I am looking forward to seeing if he was right.
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The Zweeble's new favorite song is "Another One Bites the Dust." He calls it "the one with the tuba." And since he heard it as background music for some cartoon clip thing on the Disney Channel, he informed me in the car that Goofy sings it, and Mickey runs around during it.

He also enjoys saying, "Another one bites the dust" like it's said in the song--sort of spit out and growly.

Between the one with the tuba, the stompy song, and the red glitter shoes, I have to wonder if Z is the second coming of Freddie Mercury. That wouldn't be bad ... on the whole I think I'd prefer the next David Bowie, but Freddie Mercury's not bad at all.

Has anyone heard of Claritin messing up your brain chemistry? I took some night before last and spent yesterday in a haze of exhaustion and hypochondriacal anxiety attacks that wore off like magic around the 24-hour mark of taking the meds. Looking back at the day, I feel disturbed and slightly appalled--like I would if it was a friend telling me about it, not like it happened to me. Which is odd, and not how my particular brand of mental illness tends to roll.

And, as I have a moment: I hope ya'll had, are having, or will have a really great winter holiday of your choice. Considering my mother and I were finding gifts we'd forgotten about last night, and I ran out of wrapping paper, I think the Zweeble will have a fabulous day tomorrow. And that's all I need. Well, that and some snogging with the husband.

(And a rousing game of Mario Party! Because my crazy in-laws sent us enough gift card to buy a Wii and the appropriate accoutrements. But the snogging is still better.)
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So my printer died for the third time last night, and I gave up on it. Sure, they'll send me a new print head, and sure it'd get here--probably--in time for me to print the stuff I need, but you know what? I'm done. So I went out and got a Canon, and thus far it's pretty sweet. I'm now getting caught up on printing Zweeble pictures.

Said Zweeble is with his grandparents for the weekend, so I can get work done. Scott put together his Harley Davidson rocking motorcycle, which is also pretty sweet and not nearly as tacky as it might sound.

I got the Curious Village video game for the DS, which is really cute. The puzzles are actually challenging (well, okay, some of them are easy), which may say more about my logic skills than their actual difficulty, but whatever.

In music news, I am really enjoying Pink's new song--any song with a chorus that involves calling your ex- a tool is okay by me. Scott also found a mash-up of "Bootylicious" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that is disturbingly kewl. And I downloaded the Doctor Horrible soundtrack, and am reminded that when his cast can really sing, Joss Whedon can write musical numbers. (Look, I love "Once More With Feeling" as much as the next Buffy fan, but we all know Sarah Michelle Gellar shouldn't join the cast of Chicago, like, ever.) Plus, I love Neil Patrick Harris. I'd like to have him and Johnny Depp over for dinner.

I'm going to see if Scott will stop playing with his new lava-lamp PS2 controller long enough to go for a bike ride, and then negotiate for the TV time to watch the next episode of Jekyll. Leisure. I remember you.

(And yet, I still miss the little monkey running around making growling noises.)
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So Ike looks to be heading out to the Gulf by way of Cuba, so well under us. We're getting some weird wind and the odd storm here and there for just long enough to spoil the park/bike rides/TV reception. Which, by and large, is not anything to complain about.

The Zweeble seems to have a stuffy nose tonight--semi-runny--that's waking him up. I had a feeling something was off with him all day. We've raised his mattress on one end, and it's my night, anyway, so we'll see how he does. There's no much you can do for a baby with a stuffy nose. I just hope it's, like, Ike's barometric pressure messing with his sinuses (like it is mine) and not a cold, because the poor little guy doesn't need that.

And in Pandemic II, I managed to kill off everyone on the planet except for the population of Madagascar. This means I didn't win, but I feel that Madagascar's gene pool is not large enough to repopulate the entire planet, and all the water was tainted, anyway, so it's only a matter of time, really. :)

I'm feeling video-gamey lately. I kinda want to break out the DS ... but I don't want to play the dogs (I have a real kid, I do not need virtual dogs) and Final Fantasy, while fun, is not what I'm looking for, either. I'm interested in Spore, mostly because of Kyle, but I'm not sure that's what I want ... it might be. I'm intrigued by the DS version of Civilization, though I've never played the other versions.

What I really want to check out, though, is Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Later this month, Lego Batman.

And now, I'm going to check on the boyo and head to bed.
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Our e-mail is down, so this is the only way I can give Scott the link:

Pandemic II. The flash game for when you hate the world and want to take it out in a giant plague. This is satisfying even when all you do is take out five or six countries.
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1. It took me a week, but the office is finally re-organized and put together (except for the desktop, see below), the filing cabinet is filled (but has room for more stuff), and my art is on the walls ... and the whole room feels cozier. I still have the huge blank wall over the desk to do something with--I think I shall collect things, frame them, and make a semi-collage. I used to (back in high school and college) fill the area over my desk with postcards and pictures I liked; it was just all this stuff to inspire me and make me happy. This would be the adult, less-chaotic version of that.

2. The Zweeble is with his grandparents this weekend, so we took our iMac in for repair. "It's been acting all kinds of crazy," as the tech dude said. Apparently we've been doing the repair permissions/disk thing wrong, and there may be some hardware problems. This will be the last repair of the iMac. I've had that stupid thing in the shop way too often. The perils of buying the first generation of anything, I guess. So if it goes belly-up again, we'll be a laptop family until the Zweeble needs a computer for homework.

3. We attempted to buy Lego Batman, because we were under the assumption that it came out this week, which it did not. (September! Can you beleive that? I suppose they got Lego Indiana Jones out in time for the new Indy movie, and Dark Knight is really [maybe, I wouldn't know, see below] too dark for a Lego tie-in, but come on!) Then we tried to go and see Dark Knight, and the sound was so sucktastic we left and demanded our money back. We could hear the music and background stuff just fine, but all the dialogue sounded like it was being said inside a tin can. If all the previews and the commercials hadn't sounded the same way, I might have assumed it was just some sort of artistic choice, but ... yeah. Ow.

Anyway, we got our money back and will head out tomorrow to see the movie.

4. Watchmen. Probably not going to go see it. I don't think Alan Moore translates well to the screen, and while I'm sure it will be visually gorgeous, I'm just not excited about it being a movie. My opinion of the trailer: too much Dr. Manhattan, not enough Rorschach.

5. Yes, I did see Doctor Who last night. I loved it. Again, can you write fanfic for your own show, on your own show? But I don't care, because it was hilarious and fun, and the ending was ... well, it was a Doctor Who ending. Perfect and deadly.


Well, I hope for a season 5, or specials, or whatever. I also hope they'll film and sell David Tennant as Hamlet.
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So, in the end, not only will my insurance company not cover the topical gel stuff, there's nothing similar that can be prescribed because they won't cover that, either. It's all about Retin-A and use for wrinkles, and apparently how no woman over 30 (or 18, according to the nurse at the office) has acne, she must want this stuff for wrinkles.

For the record, while I have gray hair, I do not, as yet, have wrinkles.

Anyway. I'm slightly suspicious of the dermatology office, but that's neither here nor there. They told me to use the other stuff, they're the big ones, and after a quick call to the pharmacy,** I found that the other two scripts are covered, but they won't be in until tomorrow. That's fine. I have samples.

So, a pox on the houses of all the people involved in this policy--those who ruined it for the rest of us by abusing the system, and those who made the rule.

There are further bright spots in my day, though--lots of work done, my to-do list continuing to be plowed through, and hugs from my kid. So ... hm. I'd say it works out to being a good day.

Oh, and Guitar Hero has effectively killed my enjoyment of "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Message in a Bottle."

**I actually tried to find this out on the website. I have a master's degree in English, and I could *not* understand what this site was telling me.
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Let's see ...

For the first time ever, I have to say I was disappointed with this episode of Doctor Who. It felt like it should have been two parts, because they left some, you know, plot out. There were some nice moments, though, and I think Scott and I have figured out the over-arching theme of the season.

I still like Donna, and I really like Donna and Martha. Can't they both travel with the Doctor?

Yesterday we went to have hair done, and the Zweeble got his first hair cut. He was very good and didn't cry, but he's always very squirmy. Thus, the haircut is a little uneven and the front is sort of a bowl cut. I was joking he looked like a little Ceaser, but then my mother pointed out he looks more like a monk, so he's Friar Zweeble.

He looks very different now. Like an actual little boy.

Today we took the boy to the beach for the first time, which was a huge hit with all of us. [ profile] dealio is apparently the Adventure Parent: if the Zweeb went in the water, he wanted the dad with him. I am the Look At Stuff parent: when he wanted to sit and look at shells and play with sand, he wanted the mom with him. We didn't let go of him in the water, but the kid can float like a pro. He also reacted to things like sand and shells under his feet, but didn't freak out or anything. He paused when he stepped in the water for the first time, but then kept on going. Also, he did not eat sand. This shocked us both. Kid will put anything into his mouth, but didn't try the sand.

We hit Target for a bunch of things we need for the annual North Carolina trip--luggage, because all our old duffel bags are offically falling apart--and a new bathing suit for me that's ... um ... well, it fits nicely. Let's say that. Also got a SideRider Snugli thing because the sling really only works for me, not Scott. (It helps to have hips.) This will let him haul the kid a little more often--like, around the family reunion, through the airport when we go to Ohio, around the grocery store.

[ profile] dealio snuck the Lego Indiana Jones video game into the cart, too. Sneaky man.

Our last "set" of luggage (that would be two duffel bags and a couple of backpacks) lasted us 15 years (the backpacks are still good), though the big duffel we bought two years ago came apart after two uses. With any luck, this set will last 15 more. I'm still suffering sticker shock. :)
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I have all kinds of wacky stories--like the bagger lady at the grocery store who played with the Zweeble rather than help me put my groceries in the car, and leaned right into his little baby face as she told me she'd been sick the day before ... um, STAY OUT OF MY KID'S FACE, TYPHOID MARY!!!!!!! Can you buy Purell by the barrel?!--but I have no *time* anymore!

But, the basics:

1. Trying to read The Three Musketeers because it was on top of the stack, but I'm not really in a reading mood of late. Yeah, it happens every so often.

2. Doctor Who season finale, and then video game night with the husband!

3. Watched the third (6th?) Star Wars movie, and realized that I have two dilemmas when the Zweeble gets older: in what order do I show these movies to him, and when I do, how am I going to keep from spoiling stuff?

4. I've been playing Superman with the Zweeble, which he seems to like--I lift him over my head and do the "It's a bird! ..." thing, then bring him in for a landing and list all the nefarious evildoers he has defeated. He's very good at landing and striking a heroic pose. The thing is, whenever I start "singing" the Superman theme music ("Bum bah da bum bum, BUM BUM BUM, bum bah da bum bum, BA BUH-DUM!!!"), he cracks up. I've tried to explain that this is his theme music, he can't find it funny (at least not until I get to the "Can you read my mind ..." bit, but I don't plan on ever getting to that part, so it's good), but he doesn't see my point.

All right, I have shopping to do and a kitchen to clean, and only nap time to do it all in ...
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I'm waiting for a phone call back from my mother. We have various things scheduled this week--hair appointment (thank god--did I mention I went blonde again? I'm sorry, all of you who loved me as a redhead, but the gray was showing really, really badly as the roots came in *and* making me look bald, plus my husband had shyly mentioned he might like it if I went back to being a blonde someday, if I felt like it, possibly, so I did. Of course, now he's having a bit of difficulty adapting to the blonde, but such is life and it's kinda sweet. So it took forever to lighten my hair up--I actually got bleached last time because it was driving my friendly family hairdresser nuts--and right now it's still a little streaky, but in a good way. Except my roots are really showing and my bangs are way too long. Which was my point, to begin. This really ought to be a footnote. But whatever. All 3 of you reading are sophisticated enough to follow this, right?) and the girls (the other Fabulous Miss T and her sister, the Just as Fab, but Shorter, Miss L) coming over one afternoon this week to meet the Zweeble (the Super-Fab Mr. Z?).**

Anyway, I have no idea when, exactly, these things are supposed to happen, so now I have to wait for Mom to find her day planner and call me back.

In other news--hey, Robin McKinley has a LiveJournal ([ profile] robinmckinley) *and* a new book out (Dragonhaven--haven't bought it yet, but it's only a matter of time ...), all of you who like her books.

And I had all these shows I wanted to watch this season, right? Heroes, Reaper, Pushing Daisies ... Well, I skipped the Heroes premiere so I could play Lego Star Wars II with Scott (we finished all 3 movies!)*** Which was a lot of fun and something he and I need to do regularly. Well, maybe not that game all the time, but video games in general. Oh, gads, where is my point? Okay, I skipped most of Reaper last night, just didn't care much, and I have no idea if I'm going to manage Pushing Daisies when the time comes. And it's not lack of time--the baby is usually asleep by the time these shows come on. It's just ... apathy. Something is wrong with me! I am not a TV geek anymore!

It may be the unread stack of shame in my living room. Book geek trumps TV geek any day.

Ah, there is the phone ...

**ah, parentheses ... I love asides ...

***We fired it up again Sunday night. The last time we'd played our game was 2 days before the baby was born. And I'm sure the reason we didn't play the night before he was born was because I knew I had to get up for my doctor's appointment the next morning, and we'd end up playing until 1am. :)

I just noticed, I spelled "sophisticated" as "spohisticated" the first time through ... I need to start using spohisticated in conversation.
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Today the Zweeble and I are going to go have lunch with [ profile] dealio. I could very easily stay in the house all the time with the baby--not because I want to nest or anything, just out of inertia and paranoia about the heat--and that is definitely not a good idea, so I try to get out of the house with him once or twice a week, at least.

The Evil Empire is surprisingly child-friendly. Scott's been able to watch the baby for an hour or so while I've been at an appointment, and nobody has had a problem with my using them as a pit stop when I've been out and needed to change diapers. Actually, after some staff changes, the Evil Empire is not quite so Evil. Maybe a Vaguely Malevolent Empire?

He's outgrowing the swing, our Zweeble. He used to be too small for it. But at the moment, he's swinging and grinning and gurgling. God help me, I birthed a morning person. I should have guessed--when I was pregnant, he'd wake up and start kicking about 5am.

In an attempt to find a form of entertainment that I can easily put aside when the baby cries, I broke out my Ninetendo Dual Screen. I tried Nintendogs again, and now that I have an attention span of more than three minutes ... well, it's not much fun. Kinda pointless, even for a video game. Plus, I have to take care of a real child, so why do I want to do take care of a bunch of virtual dogs? My gaming should not hew so closely to my life. I have Big Brain Academy, but that's not the kind of extended-playing thing that I was looking for. And then I remembered ... Jason got me Final Fantasy III for Christmas, and I never felt like I had the attention span, when I was pregnant, to play it. So I started the game, and ... it's fun. Oddly like Pokemon, but I'm enjoying not having to catch my team, and the whole jobs aspect (with the attendant costumes--oh, people, the costumes! I'm choosing jobs by how ridiculous they make the characters look!) is fun. Like a lot of games, it doesn't know what to do with the touch-screen thing: it's actually easier to play the game with buttons, but when the Zweeble's insisting on napping in my arm, I can play it one-handed with the stylus.

I downloaded a bunch of songs off of "Instant Karma," the charity album for Darfur relief that is all John Lennon covers. Scott's and my favorite of those (I think it's a favorite for both of us) is Regina Spektor's cover of "Real Love." I also recently downloaded "Tiny Dancer," because I heard it on the radio and remembered how much I like it. I love old Elton John.

And I need to get reading, because I have half a Falco book to finish still, and the New Harry Potter comes out soon.

My sad news: didn't see Pirates of the Carribbean, and it's not in any of the theaters around here anymore. I'm bummed. :( I shall live, though.

Ack, baby's fussing.


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Laura E. Price

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