Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas!

Good Heavens. I turn around and the month disappears. It's quite disturbing. Now, before I get lost in trying to catalogue everything that's happened this month, I have a request for all the computery-types who read this. Will one of you please email me and say "this is why I think your reader might not be working and this is what you should do to fix it". That's Google Reader, for the record. It works fine at the museum. It works fine at my parents' house. But it will not open at uct, and I don't know why. Now since I'm rarely at my parents' house for the purposes of computery stuff and no longer at the museum, this is a problem.

Right, on with the catch-up... There was the undisclosed weekend, which I wrote about on a Tuesday. And there we told Waynnnnnnnnne that I put up a summary of the game after every game. Well, yes. But we never said I was particularly prompt about it. Anyway, as I recall ... not much happened. I think we argued a little over what our next step in the investigation should be. We reported to Doji Someone-Important [the guy we report to - I don't remember his name right now]. And I don't remember anything else... That was possibly the last game of the year. H* wandered off to France and, apparently, we're on the verge of really important stuff that we should all be there for. Since the only Tuesday left in the year is Christmas, we might be playing on another day, though that hasn't been organised yet. Oooh... we could play at miller's - won't that be fun?

Anyway, the next thing that happened was Button coming home. He went off to Wonderwerk [a cave near Kimberley] to do some field work. He was expecting to be inside the cave and instead was outside surveying most of the time. So he came home more than a little sunburnt. He also came home early due to a lack of work. Quite tragic, as I'm sure you can imagine. And, it involved sushi because we had to celebrate, after all.

Then it was Friday and my sister arrived. On Saturday, something happened. I don't remember what it was though. I get the feeling it was important, but I don't remember. Then, on Sunday, Phillygirl and I were due to head over to Riebeek West to visit Bandie and the Unmarried-son-in-law [that's my grandmother's unmarried son-in-law, if you're wondering]. Of course, it was pouring with rain here. So we phoned her up and it was pouring with rain there. Not exactly our idea of a good time, so we went shopping instead. Not really my idea of a good time, but sometimes sacrifices must be made. Sadly Christmas is one of those times. I did find one present and I got to see what we got for Mom [Philly did the purchasing on that one] - more importantly, I found a beautiful skirt for me! In the evening, Lucas was hosting some sort of social event, which I ended up declining. I'd had my fill of people for the day. And it turns out that it was the right decision - I was very sore that evening and that never makes for a fun time.

On Monday, I did as little as possible, except hanging out with Button and finishing up my report for JS. I met with her on Tuesday and gave her my report [which Button read and proclaimed not to understand a word of - hopefully it's merely assuming previous knowledge because the person I wrote it for knows about it, rather than a complete inability to explain things clearly on my part]. So, sieving Wendell with defatting solution didn't help, except for possibly destroying nylon and silicon as both my sieves are now broken. I'm waiting for the new year to get new mesh. Have you ever tried to find 10 micron nylon mesh? It's not that easy. Especially not when the people that it originally came from have been taken over by a bunch of morons with an outdated and completely useless website. Well, not completely useless as they had at least one helpful link, but that's not the point. Pig is busy defatting. I need to make some new defatting solution so that he can continue to defat. First, I need to find out what to do with the old defatting solution. Hopefully I'll be able to pin down IN today. Then, I'm going to ultrasonicate Pig, in the defatting solution. That'll be fun. I like to play with that machine. Also, FR [from Geology] is on leave until January sometime. So there will be no more LN ordered. The one tank is empty. The other tank is swiftly on its way to being empty. So, no lab work for me. On the other hand, my museum contract is not being renewed - due to a number of reasons that I'm not really interested in detailing here. So, I will have plenty of tiem for lab work next year. Let's hope I actually do some.

Then it was Wednesday, my last day at the museum, which I spent doing admin. Not a single skellie for me. I did meet Button for lunch at the nice little fish place. Which really needs to learn about things like cucumber and tartare sauce. Then, I took yesterday completely off and spent it doing more shopping. The first thing on my list of things to buy was medication. Then I went shopping for presents. Two very difficult presents. Which I eventually found. And that's me done for the year. No more shopping. Unless, of course, there's no food [like there's no milk at home right now] or I happen to see something that I like for me. I hate shopping for other people. Especially impossible people.

Now it is today and - oh look at that - more shopping. This is different though. I've been commissioned to buy something for Button and it's very simple. I barely have to leave my desk. Of course, I have to transport it home and magically wrap it without him noticing... And then, sometime this weekend, it's off to Miller's. I like to be at Miller's. And Miller's for christmas is my favourite.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Untitled

So, on Friday I went to an undisclosed location with an undisclosed person for an undisclosed event. Neither of us made any undisclosed purchases at the time, though she may have since then and I may yet. There was a little bit of TMI, which I must admit usually doesn't bother me. This is partly because I'm nosy and partly because I'm very good at not thinking about things. Let's just hope that I can manage not to think about it when I next see undisclosed person's boyfriend. Hopefully the little bit of TMI that she got isn't too disturbing, and since I think her completely capable of working out who I meant... Hopefully the person that I meant never finds out what I said - I'd be in so much trouble.

On Saturday I went to yet another undisclosed location for yet another undisclosed event. I did not stay as long as I would've liked for undisclosed reasons, known only to myself, another undisclosed person and the undisclosed girl-in-pink. It was nice, however, to avoid further interaction with creepy-boy and disconcerting-girl. And, of course, this undisclosed person tried to kill himself. I'm afraid I wasn't very helpful, but I'm sure he'll forgive my inaction, given my state of mind at the time.

Well, that was fun, I almost confused myself. Hopefully tonight is not too awkward.

In other news, I have been working. I have done very little that isn't work. My report is coming along nicely. It's a pity about Wendell.

Wednesday, 05 December 2007

So It's Been A While

Stuff has happened. There have been two games [I'll get to the details later], there was Lucas's birthday dinner [which was fun, though I suspect he was rather disappointed by the lack of other sushi], there was Thanksgiving [photos are up somewhere], there was Tiina Napoleon's 25th [utterly bizarre to see people I was at school with after 7 years, but fun], there was supposed to be Claire's 21st [I was in bed by 8pm instead, which was disappointing, but necessary] and there's been an awful lot of work. Oh, and Criminal Minds [cute geeky guy mmm...]

That's not in a particularly clear order, but that's irrelevant.

Criminal Minds is a series we got from my sister while in Cintsa. It's one of those ones about the absolutely amazing team of FBI Profilers who always get the bad guy[s] and so on. It has a number of redeeming qualities.
[1.] It's not awful [2.] I like the characters [3.] It has the cute geeky guy [admittedly lacking in glasses, but I've forgiven him for this] [4.] It has the fat girl who nobody notices is fat and who is the computer specialist type and nobody ever says anything disparaging about that.

Lucas [so much for my not-using-real-names resolution. On the other hand, he comments as lucas, so it's not my fault]. Anyway, Lucas had a birthday. A bunch of us went to a very pretty place in celebration. It was fun. Particularly since I got to spend more time than usual talking to the female part of what Nad calls the Davison-Maclay-Hivemind. Button had some interesting observations on some of the attendees, whether or not they're accurate is another matter, one I'm not qualified to evaluate, so I will merely taunt you with the knowledge that they exist and not share them with you.

In terms of work, I had a meeting with my supervisor, JS. I have selected my next sample [a cow, named Pig. Don't ask], and it has been broken up. We decided to start with the rib samples we had, rather than the femur [as we did with Wendell] in the hopes that that would prove more compliant. However, JL was able to break up both the rib and the femur of Pig with a pair of pliers [I think], rather than the bandsaw that was necessary for Wendell. We've also decided to try to sieve Wendell with defatting solution rather than acetone. If this makes it easier then it means that it's the fat that's the problem [too much fat causes the bone particles to stick together and not go through the 11micron mesh]. We must wait and see what the outcome of that is, however. I'm also supposed to be writing a report on the results I got from the giraffe powder.

Two games have gone past, and I will not bother attempting to separate them. So, we started by going to Masazumi's wake. At least, Kamenosuke, Ishie and Hideo did. Yashamaru arrived late. There were a number of dead people floating about [ghosts], who disappeared around the middle of the wake. All but one of them. Confluence remembered the existence of my father and he had a great time at the wake. I suspect that he had an even better time later, when Bayushi Yutaka cornered me and attempted to have his usual sort of conversation. Sadly, I failed at keeping a straight face as my father mocked him horrendously. I don't think he was offended, however [actually, I suspect he was encouraged, which can only be a bad thing].

The magistrates [much to Yashamaru's dismay] were then dragged upstairs by Yutaka, who wanted to show them the delightful view from the upper story window. I suspect Yashamaru didn't understand that he was merely trying to find an excuse to speak to us somewhat privately. He has apparently discovered the identity of the poisoner, who apparently did it by accident ["I have no medical skills whatsoever, but this thing you're taking that's medicinal in small doses and fatal in large - I think you should up your dosage, it'll make you feel better. No, really."] - he did not wish to disclose the person's identity to us, though we have our suspicions, and failed to get a promise out of Kamenosuke that we would not investigate that aspect of the case. He then offered us his assistance, should we require it.

On our way back to the Gaki, Yashamaru told us that he had discovered the identity of the tainted individual at Maiden's Lake [to be fair, it's not particularly hard when they walk up to you and tell you], the stolen jade tea was for them, their current supply of jade tea has been stolen. The kami say that the tea is not missing. Yashamaru refuses to tell us the name of the person in question, though both Kamenosuke and Ishie have figured it out. Currently, matters are at a standstill, as our only advice for this person currently is to get hold of the Kuni and ask for their help. If this person does not wish to inform the Kuni of their predicament ... things will possibly get ugly. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. The news does clarify something my father once said, which I thought was merely uncharitable, but since he never bothers to give me useful information that I can actually use immediately, it's annoying.

Anyway, while Kamenosuke and Hideo stayed with the Gaki, Yashamaru and Ishie went over the wall. They attempted to discover what the thing that went over was. The kami were singularly unhelpful. Having convinced the right people that we should be allowed to take the Gaki into the estate, we did so. He led us to where the flying, tainted creature went into the castle. We then took him back outside, gave him his soccer ball of mint [actually, that might have happened before, it's hard to keep track] and, with the return of his daisho, he attempted to commit seppuku. After the third attempt, Kamenosuke cut off his head and he started turning into some sort of acidic ooze. Ishie set him alight and, while discussing their next step, Nagataka arrived. Hideo elected to remain with the corpse and supervise the clean-up.

Nagataka had been prevented from attending the wake by a rather disturbing vision - one of the unidentified members of which was later identified by Yashamaru as the man who killed his mother. From the other details we suspect that the other unknown person involved is Isawa Hanchero. We met with Daichi the next morning, following which Yashamaru and Kamenosuke went to chat to Isawa Saigo. He told them that it was Hanchero's mother who first wanted to learn about ways in which to intimidate the kami into lying or refusing to reveal information. She, however, is dead. As one of our major tasks is the locating of Hanchero, the news is worrying. Other worrying news: Hanchero's mother had an accomplice/ally who was never identified and is still wandering about out there.

I bumped into Masazumi's younger son, who trained with the Asahina. He was carrying a rather curious smelling something, which he informed me was a tonic he'd made to help someone be calm. Since I thought I knew precisely who he was taking it to, I let him go with merely observing how nervous he was and how it seemed that he was particularly unhappy to have met me. I then went to collect pretty stones in the garden. Kamenosuke went and spoke to just about everyone, while Nagataka and Yashamaru amused themselves as only Dragon can. Hideo spent most of the day in bed, recovering from supervising the clean-up. Kamenosuke and I had a little chat about the aforementioned younger son, which resulted in him writing a haiku, which Doji Taniko was asked to deliver. She was upset because her grandmother forbid her to speak to her mother and refused to say why. [Incidentally her grandmother also said that she'd explain when Taniko was older, but as she's hoping to commit seppuku soon, that seems unlikely]. At some point, Yodo arrived with a message for Kamenosuke, from Nagataka, explaining that he wouldn't be able to attend the wake - he'd forgotten about it due to his need to count push-ups.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Things To Do [in no particular order]:

  1. Never ever forget glasses ever again. Ever.
  2. Ensure the presence of headache medication just in case.
  3. Read GC's MA thesis.
  4. Type up relevant material from [3].
  5. Keep list of SAM-AP numbers from [3]. (That way I am doing both my MSc and my museum work at the same time. Sneaky.)
  6. Speak to JS about sieving/milling/defatting/samples/etc.
  7. Write up LARP stuff.
  8. Write up anything relevant from JS 1986.
  9. Do museum inventory stuff for JS 1986.
  10. Sieve, sieve, sieve.

So, in order to make some of these more doable:
  • there's nothing particularly relevant in JS 1986.
  • Any museum stuff has to wait until next Wednesday [they kicked us out of our offices today so that they could replace the flooring].
  • Having read bits and pieces here and there of GCMA over the past year, I'm pretty sure I don't need to know all the background information. I just need the relevant stuff. Which is Chapters 5-9. 5 = 30 pages. 6 = 17 pages. 7 = 9 pages. 8 = 62 pages. 9 = 10 pages. I should probably have a look at the appendices as well. So, I think that today I should get Chapter 5 read. Tomorrow I should write up anything relevant from it and read chapters 6 & 7. I want to finish reading it over the weekend and finish any associated writing on Monday, at the latest.
  • Sieving must happen as often as possible. More = better.
  • Talking to JS will happen whenever I happen to catch her in her office [or the passage, or the lab or ... anywhere, really].
  • The LARP stuff needs to be typed up and sent off to [insert name here] before I see her. Hopefully I'll not only get that done this weekend, but I'll also do more.
So, this list should get me through to Monday. At which time I can see how far I've gotten and whether or not this list was too challenging. In which case I know for next time. Theoretically.

Under the Covers

So, yesterday was a bad day generally, which got progressively worse. This is not to say that the whole day was utterly horrendous, just most of it. I broke my phone yesterday and I'm not entirely sure how. So Button and I spent the morning trying to get it fixed. After going to the Waterfront, we found that we had to either send it to head office and only get it back on Saturday, or go to Canal Walk. So we went to Canal Walk, found the right person and it was done in 15 minutes. And then [seeing as how he's the guy who fixes things, not the salesperson] he nearly forgot that we were supposed to pay for this. Then we had breakfast.

Now, I am at varsity, trying to do some work. This is difficult for two reasons. One I need to talk to my supervisor and say "in the past couple of months I've sieved some of the powder, but really I haven't gotten anywhere with this bloody project" and I don't particularly want to do that. The other reason is that of all the things I could have forgotten this morning, I forgot my glasses. God forbid I forget something I don't actually need.

In other news: today is Thanksgiving in the US [Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October]. So, Button is attempting to make his first ever Thanksgiving dinner. And we've invited my mother...

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Windy Wednesday

So, it is Wednesday morning in Cape Town and it is even more windy than usual. I didn't blow away, however, which I always feel is a good thing. Even better, it's stopped raining. Having said that, I wouldn't particularly object to it starting again seeing as I am now inside and not likely to be going outside for a while yet.

Many among you will have noticed that I have twice mentioned that today is Wednesday [three times now], which means that yesterday was Tuesday. Which can mean only one thing. The 5th Annual PAST Keynote Lecture! PAST used to be the PalaeoAnthropological Scientific Trust, but has decided that it's not only human origins that are important, so it's changed its name [but not its acronym] to the Palaeontological Scientific Trust. And last night was the first time that these annual lectures came to Cape Town [previously they've all happened in Joburg] and the speaker was Paul Sereno. He was speaking about African Dinosaurs, from Sarcosuchus [technically a crocodile, not a dinosaur] to Nigersaurus [only just announced, and we saw a cast] and so on. Unfortunately I had to leave early [a mere hour and a half after the talk started], so that I could make the game.

I wasn't even the last to arrive. As is usual we spent a fair amount of time sitting around chatting about completely unrelated matters [I sometimes feel very sorry for Confluence - it must be like herding cats] and I didn't feel remotely awkward, uncomfortable or self-conscious at any point. The game started with Kamenosuke hunting down Ishie, who seemed to have recovered from the ill-effects of a powerful air spell that she could only manage with the assistance of Yashamaru's void spell. Well, she could have done it without the assistance, but it was important that she manage it first time, every time and it's a tricky spell. They meditated for a while before being summoned by Doji Yumiko, the recent widow. She informed us of her decision regarding Doji Seitaro [Kazushi's youngest adopted son, who he reportedly duelled to the death, but actually banished such that he was actually a ronin (Ichiro), who had been impersonating Doji Tsurumatsu the famous war-hero at winter court]. And she invited us to Masazumi's wake. We decided to continue our investigations by having a brief chat with a servant, Bayushi Yutaka, some more servants, Masazumi's second son [I can never remember his name but he's the one that's particularly close to Daichi] and Yutaka again, before heading into town. It became clear that someone attempted to poison Masazumi with a poison that easily mimics natural causes [and therefore is unlikely to have been the person behind the assassin], the old woman had died because the other servants gave her Masazumi's leftovers and that tempers had been running high prior to the evening meeting.

We started our town-based investigation at the Running Fox, the Inn where Keiko had spent some hours pointlessly waiting for no-one and happened to see a Daidoji guard go past. So we questioned the Innkeeper and were reintroduced to the ronin Hiroji. Who was executed. Who is now a hungry ghost [also known as Gaki. Essentially they are undead who may be horribly mutated and are doomed to wander the world searching for something and never finding it]. He gave us some useful information and followed the smell of the blood that walked past. This lead us down to an abandoned warehouse near the river. Yashamaru and Hideo attacked Hiroji when they believed he was about to attack Kamenosuke - perfectly sensible and most apreciated. Of course, since Kamenosuke seems to like Gaki-Hiroji, Ishie's not particularly bothered by him. The rest of us [Kamenosuke included] were distracted by some tracks, which seemed to lead into the warehouse. Hideo, Nagataka and Ishie headed into the warehouse while Yashamaru did his water-spell-to-see-what-happened and Kamenosuke kept an eye on Hiroji. At least, until his Ishie-senses started tingling.

In the warehouse, Hideo examined the front door [we came in through a hole in the back of the warehouse, following the tracks], Ishie went upstairs, accompanied by Nagataka. There we found a decapitated body. Yashamaru could have told us this as he saw it through his water spell. It was while looking for the missing head [in order to identify the person] that Kamenosuke's Ishie-senses began to tingle and he swiftly abandoned Hiroji to the unappreciated care of Yashamaru and went into the warehouse. Just in time to see Ishie very nearly fall from the second floor to the ground. Unfortunately the damage to the side of the warehouse had extended to the inner supports. Ishie managed to keep her balance and not fall. Nagataka, however, who rushed to her aid, fell over the edge and hurt his ankle rather nastily. Rather him than her, however, as he can regenerate himself.

All gathering in the warehouse now, we decided that the dead man was most likely the assassin who killed Doji Masazumi. So who killed him? Hiroji mentioned that one of the other people he could smell, smelt really bad. Does this suggest 'tainted person' to anyone? We secured the warehouse, arranged for people to guard it and so on. We then followed Hiroji back through town on the scent of the really-awful-smelling-person. Who did not spend much time on the ground. Enough for Hiroji to track him to the walls of the estate. It was then time to go to the wake, so we left Hiroji on the side of the road [a rarely used road, pretty much only used by peasants and people travelling to and from the secret passageway]. And there we left it.

There's not much other news, except that it is in fact raining again, there's another lecture this afternoon and for the non-squeamish females among you: menstrual cups are so, so much better than traditional items.

Monday, 19 November 2007

pretty hair

So, I have cut my hair and it is pretty. At the very least, I'm happy with it and it's no longer so long that it annoys me intensely.

I have spent most of this morning learning about menstrual cups, thanks to a wonderful post by Confluence. I suggest all females read it.

In other news, work continues much as ever. I was at Kirstenbosch yesterday, in celebration of my 25th birthday with many people coming to visit and say hello. It was lovely. In the evening, Button and I watched Rear Window. On Saturday we watched Lawrence of Arabia. Both were brilliant movies, though I think I liked LoA better than RW. If nothing else the male lead was less annoying.

Apparently I have nothing to say.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Cintsa

So, there was yummy unagi on Thursday. It was good. There should be more. Perhaps Button and I shall obtain some in honour of my oldness.

We woke up horrendously early on Friday morning [though not quite so much as Philly and Whatsit] and then I slept until we got to Riviersonderend. And we drove and we drove and we drove. And then, approximately 12 hours after we started, we stopped. We had arrived in the middle of nowhere, in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape is very pretty and now I've seen Port Elizabeth, East London and Port Alfred. We saw monkeys on the drive up and on the drive down. There was lots of livestock. We also saw some buck and ostriches and so on.

Anyway, Cintsa is a lovely place, on the sea and a lagoon. It was very windy, but quite lovely. I went swimming on Monday, which was a bit of an experience. Usually sea-swimming involves being at Miller's. It does not involve a sandy beach with waves. It was fun, though, and not particularly cold except for the getting in and out. The house we stayed in was enormous and had a lovely view.

Yesterday, we drove home. We left at a reasonable hour, which meant that we got home fairly late. In fact, after all was said and done and moved from car to car and so on, Button and I got home - exhausted - just after nine. So no game for me. Hopefully nothing dire happened to Ishie in my absence... It's unlikely, but you never know with Confluence.

And now, it's back to the grindstone, with nothing but work before me for the next few days. And then it's weekend. And, on Sunday, it's my birthday party, very exciting. I hope the weather's nice - it's pouring with rain at the moment...

Thursday, 08 November 2007

ready to go

So, Button and I spent a rather stressful evening last night packing for the trip. We won't be going home again until Tuesday. As a result a number of things didn't happen - I did not phone my grandfather for his birthday [by the time I got time to do it, it was too late], I did not organise photos for uploading [though Button's computer is going with us and there are some on there...] and we did not go to yoga.

Anyway, I hear that two new people have been sent this way. MF, my father's cousin [I think] and AB, who is not related but may as well be. Hopefully they won't be too discouraged by all the meaningless gibberish that seems to be scattered over my blog [at least, meaningless from the point of view of people who don't understand it] and will learn to just skip over any paragraphs that contain the word 'game', which is what my mother assures me she does. At least, when she actually reads my blog and doesn't just have TheOldMan tell her what I said.

Now, since I meant to phone MF and tell her about it [but didn't because I don't have her phone number and am just really bad when it comes to phoning people], I shall now give you an account of my second visit to the OT. She examined me fairly thoroughly [she skipped over some things as I'd just seen the rheumatologist the day before] and declared that I have full range of movement in everything and have no need of any more assistive devices. Her greatest concern is the fatigue and she gave us a number of suggestions of things to do to combat that. Even going so far as to say "and if you feel you need to, just take a nap". Yes. Something to do in the middle of my roleplaying game, certainly, we wouldn't wish to deprive That Cat of another chance to eat me. Although, the only time I've ever fallen asleep at their house [I don't know what you're talking about, I was reading the whole time, I swear!] the cat in question did not attempt to eat me, but to cuddle up to me. Though I suspect she was more interested in the heating pad than in me.

So, important things to remember are sushi tonight [unagi for meeeeeeeeeeeee!], and waking up at some horrendous hour to head off to the eastern cape tomorrow. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, 07 November 2007

Goodbye Mountain

I can usually see the mountain [well, signal hill] through my [very small] window at the museum. Most of it is obscured by a rather low raincloud today, which is kind of depressing, even though I like rainy weather. For some reason I don't feel like working today and yet am getting what seems like enormous amounts of the stuff done [not right at this minute, of course, but one does need breaks every now and then].

I'm quite excited. Button and I are having sushi at the Sake House with mom and dad tomorrow night [which reminds me, I must phone mom - why she insists on calling on Tuesday evenings is beyond me], then we're going to sleep at their house. Briefly. We leave early Friday morning for the Eastern Cape. It's very exciting. We're going to meet Phillydilly and Whatsit at some place near a beach. And we're only coming back on Tuesday... hmm... that might be problematic. Anyway, regardless of whether or not it affects next week's game, it's exciting!

Speaking of games, there was one last night. It was very exciting, as we were beginning the investigation of Doji Masazumi's murder. I'm sorry to say that Ishie was rather useless ... though I suspect that was more due to the fact that I was exhausted and having trouble focusing rather than Ishie actually being useless. She and Yashamaru did interrogate some Tsumae guards. Well, Yashamaru questioned them, while Ishie made sure they weren't lying or omitting important information. She mentally bonded with whatever the female guard's name was. Otherwise, the game was quite fun as it involved examining the crime scene, discovering secret passages, interrogating people and generally splitting up the party for most of the evening. And for a change, Ishie and Yashamaru were left alone and didn't spend the whole time insulting each other. In fact, Yashamaru even helped Ishie to cast the spell in question, which shows that all shugenja can get along, no matter what, as long as only shugenja are around. Or something.

Yesterday was the 6th of November. Something [that was] important [at the time] happened on the 6th of November. And I got an sms from an unknown number saying "happy 6th november" which confused me greatly. I eventually worked out that it was from Tiina Napoleon, through the simple method of examining my address book for rarely used numbers that aren't stored in my phone. And then I sat there and stared at my phone, confused. What could she mean? And then it hit me and I spent the entire drive to the game laughing. It was most amusing to me, particularly given the length of time it took me to work out what it was...

And now I've run out of things to say, which is a pity as it means I must go back to work.

Monday, 05 November 2007

some people are morons

So, my sister is the most religious of my family [though she may object to that, it's what I believe at this moment] - that doesn't make her very religious at all though. And for a long time now she's had a tagline on her blog that says "I believe in one god less than the christians". Obviously, someone that I'm not going to name ['cause that would just be meaner] felt she needed to be shown the 'true path' and sent her the following email:

Hello [akika's big sister],
You might remember me from [that high school that you went to]… I was in [very old ex-boyfriend]’s year. I think we might have met once or twice? I bumped into your blog via [very old ex-boyfriend]’s page…..and then I stumbled across your mail address on the [that high school that you went to] page. I was going to comment on your page but thought it better to mail you..
I see you believe in one less God than Christians… I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… which 2 do you believe in? Just kidding!!
Anyway on a serious note when I read that under your profile I felt the Lord say that although you don’t believe in Him, He believes in you, that He has purpose and plans for you beyond anything you could hope or dream of, that the sense of awe you get when in His creation is same sense you will get as you see your destiny in Him unfold.
It’s up to you. He is waiting. You need to choose Him. You have thought about and understood the gospel (an intimate relationship with Jesus as He washes away your sin and gives you His right standing with God) in the past but I believe He wants to drop it into your heart and then you will really know it.
I also feel God saying that people have always recognized your intellect and academic ability but He sees you heart and your longing for purpose and meaning beyond the “rat race”. He has that for you.
Ok. That’s my bit. Feel free not to reply. Hope the whole house thing works out for you!
Cheers!

[religious moron]

So, naturally my sister responded, and since I saw that too, all I'm going to say is - wow! She's a lot politer than I would've been. Of course, there was the amusing incident with the Lying Pilot. An ex-boyfriend of hers who left her because of, among other things, her sister's inferior height. That would be my height, if you're wondering [between 4'11" and 5' - 1.5m]. And then he went off and married some other girl he'd been cultivating, who had a lot of money. She's much happier without him, though sometimes it's hard to tell, since she lives in Joburg. Anyway, Button and I were at the waterfront once and saw him, since he looked straight at me, seemed to know who I was and then pretended not to see me I proceeded to say very loudly "That's my sister's ex-boyfriend, the one who left her 'cause he didn't want kids as short as me. He ran off and married some girl with lots of money. That must be his new wife."
I'm sure at least some of you are shocked. He blithely ignored me, I don't think his wife understood, though it was very clear I was talking about him as I was glaring at him the whole time [and I may have pointed ... I'm not exactly nice about some things]. Button was horrified and so were my family when he told them.

Anyway, my point before I got distracted by the story of the Lying Pilot, is that if you're going to be religious, go be religious. If you want to convert people, convert them by the power of example, not by worthless platitudes that are only relevant because you know absolutely nothing about the person in question. And for god's sake, if 'the Lord' is saying things to you, I suggest you seek psychological help!
[Edit: for the record, I meant to mention that the gentleman in question ... I think I'll name him Religious Moron, was reasonably well known at school and not for his religious beliefs.]

On to actual posting - I seem to be missing the post where I said "'character creation happened at the end of October and we started playing in the first week of November" ... possibly it exists only in my head. It wouldn't surprise me.

Anyway, Friday happened. Button and I went to Andiamo in the Cape Quarter for supper, it was very yummy. We then watched a very silly movie from the 70s, Murder by Death it was a most enjoyable send-up of the murder-mystery genre. Saturday morning saw blood tests - which I hate, but it's important to be sure that my liver is not taking horrendous strain due to my medication. It was okay, clearly the people who staff Pathcare in Sea Point are qualified and know how to do it so that it doesn't cause tremendous pain. I know where I'm getting my blood tests done in future! We then went to New York Bagel for breakfast - it was a bit odd for me [why they hid the syrup, I don't understand], but delightful.

On our walk back to the car, we saw a branch of Cafda, who I adore, so in we went. And what do you know, we came out with books! Most of which are already finished. There were four volumes of the Agatha Christie Crime Collection, containing 3 novels each and a copy of Little Men. Then we investigated the Chinese grocery in Sea Point, to find out if it was really worth the drive out to Paarden Eiland. The Sea Point one is just as good. In the evening we watched a delightfully slow movie from Korea, called Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring.

This morning I went to see my rheumatologist. Things are looking good, though he's upped my medication ever so slightly. And now I'm trying not to face the fact that the mill needs to be cleaned.

Thursday, 01 November 2007

at last or already?

So, it is November. It is November and I haven't gotten anything done - where has the year gone? It is finally November and I can concentrate on my actual, real work. Some things are funny like that.
More excitingly, it is November which means that my birthday is coming up [always exciting, regardless of how uninterested I happen to be] and so is that trip to the eastern cape that we've been planning.

And you know, I just realised, our game has been running for over a year now. Waynne didn't join us until this year, but the rest of us were playing at the end of last year... I can't remember when we started though. It certainly doesn't feel like we've been playing for so long. In fact, it feels like we barely ever play - you could argue that this means I need another game, but you'd be wrong. I'm busy virtually every other evening [though not really] and there just isn't time for another game. Besides which, there aren't really any others that interest me.

Now, the smart ones among you will be saying 'didn't she write an exam today?' And yes, I did. Chemistry is officially over and something that I don't have to worry about anymore. And, strangely enough, I bumped into the current CLAWthing in the exam venue. Well, I think she's the current CLAWthing... Although, I saw the previous CLAWthing [from 2007] on Tuesday.

And now I've completely run out of things to say, other than: I need food.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween

So, today is Halloween, All Saints Eve or Samhain. At least, it's Samhain in the northern hemisphere. Down south it's Beltane, since that's the festival that celebrates Spring and we're heading into that season now. And I must admit that I don't particularly care about any of this. Halloween is Button's favourite holiday [though I must admit that the idea of it being called a 'holiday' is strange to me], and we'll be briefly attending a halloween party this evening, after that thing that's preventing us from joining amy's birthday celebrations. But amy understands and has forgiven me, so it's all okay, even if it does mean I miss out on sushi. But amy and I shall plan for another evening of sushi, with Button and, presumably, the Caretaker. Now if only I could think of a name for her...

Anyway, no doubt there'll be more on that tomorrow, after my exam. I should do some studying, actually. Today looks like it's going to be a long day - we have to head out to blue route to go to the bank, and we're going to stop by a police station and get something signed for Button's latest visa issue. I know he also wants to stop by the american embassy, which is out that way, but I think that would need to be a morning thing, as I think they stop letting people in around twelvish.

Yesterday evening saw the game - it was, as always, fun. I don't know why I bother saying that every week, I just keep repeating myself... Anyway, it was the evening of the young courtier's dinner, arranged by Kamenosuke. The evening went off swimmingly, with Yashamaru delighting both the void kami and the guests with the 'tell the kami all your secrets' game. Some interesting things were revealed. On a completely unrelated note, Nagataka had a vision and needed to meditate upon it and therefore abandoned Ishie, who was supposed to set him alight as part of the evening's entertainment. After some consultation with Kamenosuke and thanks to some delightful ingenuity on the part of Doji Taniko, another spell that 'isn't necessarily dangerous' was used to entertain everyone instead. Though you'd think that Kamenosuke would understand that when Ishie says that something isn't necessarily dangerous, she means that it doesn't have to hurt anyone... Speaking of which, poor Tsumae Ayako is setting herself up for unpleasantness. Although, to be fair, Kamenosuke is probably to blame and Ishie won't actually do anything other than what Kamenosuke specifically asked her to. And if he knowingly does things that might be somewhat compromising, well, he has only himself to blame. Of course, Ishie would never blame him and will always be available should he require her assistance. Though I really did like Waynne's plan with the box of fireworks in the garden. Just give me 3 days to learn that spell and I think we've got a great plan for an 'accidental' death. Speaking of which, we ended the session in the middle of the night, with only Ishie awake to hear the news - Doji Masazumi has been murdered!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Things I like

It has occurred to me [about 5 seconds ago, or so] that the list of things that I like to do is steadily growing. One of the things on that list is unagi! I really like unagi, I even like unagi when it's not perfect-unagi-just-the-way-I-really-really-like-it. Like the unagi we had last night at Beluga. I say 'we', but I mean 'me' 'cause I didn't share it with Button. Overall I found the Beluga sushi rather substandard, though very cheap. The most important thing, however, was that the company was good. And entertaining. This is particularly important since we were there to celebrate Wombat's birthday. Who I'm tempted to start calling Bunnygirl.

But I digress, the point about my list of things I like to do is that roleplaying is currently at the top of it. Why is that? As you all know, my game is not until tomorrow. But I had a rather vivid dream last night, which I blame H* for entirely. Entirely! You see, a good long while ago [time is fuzzy], he and I had a conversation that went something like this:
H*: I'd like to have an opportunity for Kamenosuke to explore the link between him and Ishie.
me: That sounds like fun, we should mention this to Confluence
H*: we should
[luckily, he didn't, since I suspect he was sitting right next to her at the time]
me: of course, this will result in her causing bad things to happen to Ishie...
Neither of us particularly liked that idea, so we didn't mention it to Confluence, so she couldn't come up with evil-dm-ness on that topic. Somehow, that resulted in my dream last night, which I'm not going to provide anyone with any details of, particularly not Confluence.

Also, on my list of favourite things to do is spending time at Miller's. So Button and I wandered down there after his meeting on Saturday. Yes ... Miller's ... just the place for a nice, happy, relaxing time. Really. We arrived before it got dark. From the top of the stairs I could tell that someone had taken a crowbar to the door. The door was still locked and unopened and none of the windows were broken. A reasonably good sign. So in we go and nothing's missing, broken or particularly disturbed. There is a rather distrbing rattling sound, that seems to be coming from the roof. So Button climbs up and investigates and finds that one of the skylights is very close to falling out. While on the phone with mom to find out if this is recent damage [as in someone trying to get in, or not] a particularly strong gust of wind comes by and the window rattles, partially bends and breaks. Luckily just the corner came off and the whole thing didn't shatter. So Button wedged the window in so that it hopefully wouldn't shatter during the night and we'd worry about fixing it in the morning.
So, we go to bed eventually and about 3 in the morning, Button is woken up by a crashing sound, followed by rustling. He attempts to put this down to the wind, and goes to investigate. He doesn't seem to find anything, but I have more experience and know precisely what I'm looking for. Sure enough, the bread is missing. And yes, it is just where I thought it would be - in the place where the civet cat used to live. Apparently there's a wild cat living in the house again. The next morning sees a number of food items missing, or, rather, scattered across the floor. Later, I was on baboon-watch - they'd been sighted and we were a bit worried that they'd get on the roof, pull on the broken window and find their way in. Not that there was any food lying around, but that's not the point. So I'm sitting by the glass doors keeping half an eye on the outside world, as the baboons seem to have disappeared. Eventually I look up and there is Fred walking along, eyeing me. And then he stood up and tried to open the door. Luckily Button and I are sensible people who locked said door when the baboons were first sighted. He couldn't get in, so he wandered off. And luckily didn't decide to go wandering along the roof.

And now I was distracted by 'tea with the dean' ... only, the dean didn't show up because the faculty office screwed up somehow. So that's been postponed. But I have something else to say. More of a question to pose, actually.
What do people see, when they look at me? More specifically, why do people who recognise me and are quite happy to say hello and so on have so much trouble acknowledging me when they see me walking with a stick? What is it that they see?

Friday, 26 October 2007

more on other people's blogs

So, I have made some adjustments to the list of blogs that I link to. Some have gone because they never update, new ones have appeared. The ones that have appeared are here courtesy of Confluence [I will get the hang of this not-using-people's-real-names thing] who is a wealth of wonderful links. Now if only she would post them on her blog or something, so that we could still find them after she's changed her status message. Anyway, in an effort to find some more interesting stuff, which I won't be linking to until I'm sure I actually really like them, I went trawling through the blogs here - just clicking on 'next blog' over and over again...

What I don't understand is all the 'money-making' or other business related blogs. Who on earth reads them? And all those ones with naked women plastered all over them? While I'm sure there's a market for it, can't they be a little more discreet? I have no problem with nudity in general, I have a problem with seeing pictures of nearly completely naked women that probably aren't real when I'm looking for something else. Either way, I quickly learnt that if the 'title' came up as just a number, go backwards quickly. Or, for that matter if the first thing to come up was some adverts pertaining to adult entertainment ... mostly because none of them have the little 'next blog' link. Most frustrating. There are also a lot of blogs that look quite fascinating, but are in other languages, so I can't understand them... and I've never been good at learning languages, so probably I'll never be able to understand them. And what, I ask you, is the point of a blog where all you do is advertise how much of a 'tortured genius' you are. Or how 'feminine' you are. Online quizzes can be fun, but is it really necessary to create a blog dedicated to all the quizzes you take?

In other news, there was unagi last night. Button and I went all the way around the corner to Benkei sushi. It wasn't quite as brilliant as Willoughby's and Sake House, but you could make the argument that I'm biased by the way in which they make their unagi. Also, Benkei is more expensive. But it was good all the same, we got the little unagi roll, a california roll and a Geisha B roll. The unagi was good, but not the way I like it best. I don't like california rolls, I've decided. The Geisha B was okay - it was kind of like a rainbow roll in that the top was alternating tuna and prawn. And there the similarity ended. I quite like rainbow rolls, actually. Just the bits with tuna, though. I wasn't so fond of the prawn-topped bits of the Geisha B roll either. I guess I just like tuna.

Also happening last night - we cleaned the house! Well, mostly Button cleaned the house and I stood around trying to help. But since it's been a good long while since we've managed to do more than just tidy, it makes for a happy house :)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

mind boggling

How on earth do some people get it together to write more than one blog post per day? Yes I have been known to very occasionally write two on one day. But I certainly don't post every day. It might be different if I had an internet connection at home though. And all these people who write about actual issues. How do they find the energy? This thing you're reading now is essentially a glorified diary, though without all that personal stuff. So, really, my blog is essentially a laundry list of what I have and haven't done. Speaking of which, did I mention Tuesday night's sushi? Unagi for meeeeeee! Anyway, if you want to see a glorified diary, go read my sister's blog.

And since I'm all up-in-arms about my lack of issue-dealing-withness, let's have a look at the Arthritis Foundation. Hmm? Why, no, I hadn't heard of the arthritis foundation until today either. You'd think it would be the kind of information that doctor-types would give to patients diagnosed with arthritis. Anyway, the occupational therapist mentioned it in an offhand, I-presume-you-already-know-about-this kind of way. So we got the pamphlets from the rheumatologist next door and I went to their webpage 'cause she mentioned that they have support groups and even the one pamphlet said something about it. And yes, the webpage mentions them too. And yes, I grant you that the webpage claims to be in the process of updating itself and generally making itself better, but is it really that hard to have contact details for support groups? Especially when you've got a whole long thing written out about all the different kinds of support groups that are out there? Well, that's very nice, I'm glad to see that there are generalised support groups and specific support groups and all of that - but what's the use if I can't find any of them?

Now that that's out of the way, we can go into my other disease-related rant. People who want to 'help'. I am young [and look younger], I am small and apparently that makes people feel the need to protect me. I'm also female and blonde, which shouldn't be relevant, but probably are. Maybe it's time I dyed my hair again... I happen to have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Here's a nice little piece of information for you - I don't remember what it's like to be pain-free. Button and I believe we've pinpointed the beginning of my problems. My mother reports a rather drastic personality change when I was 8 or 9. Instead of the cantankerous, quiet young lady you see before you today, you could have had someone more brash and outgoing. Or something. And that's one of the indicators for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Especially since I was complaining of pain - put down to 'growing pains'. A common reaction, but according to the arthritis foundation, growing pains peak at ages 4-5 and only occur at night! And, of course, children eventually stop complaining about it because (a) it doesn't get them anywhere and (b) they begin to get used to it and believe that it's 'meant' to be that way.

Ahem. Anyway, so I've been diagnosed with a chronic disease and have a body-type that seems to scream 'help me, I am useless'. And everyone knows someone who had arthritis. And they were in a wheelchair, couldn't walk, couldn't do this, couldn't do that... whatever. And they magically cured this incurable disease through a strict fruit-and-vegetable diet. Or only eating pulses. Or walking ten miles on the beach every morning. Yes. Well. That's very nice for them, isn't it. Here's the thing: I don't want to hear about it. Arthritis is an individual disease - no two cases are the same. They're kind of like snowflakes or fingerprints that way ... or people, for example. No two people react in exactly the same way to the same thing. And I don't want your advice about what I should and shouldn't be doing. I don't want to hear about the people I should and shouldn't see. Take your unwelcome interference and offload it on someone else. I understand that people care and want to help. I also understand that many people feel helpless in the face of something like this. I am not one of them. You might be. Don't make that my problem. Don't push your opinions and advice onto me because it makes you feel better - it just makes me cranky, pisses me off and brings me oh so very close to biting your head off ... and even worse, it makes me feel guilty because if I say one goddamned thing about how angry and annoyed it makes me, you're going to put on your injured face and make me feel guilty about my feelings because you're only doing it because you care. Are the above sentiments ones created by people who really care? Why no, I don't believe they are.

By all means, ask me how I am. If you're my mother, go ahead and make suggestions [just not 5 million appointments all at once, please! And, no, dad, those sorts of books are not nice birthday presents, but I do appreciate them on other days]. If you're some arbitrary person who is not related to me or a very good friend take your opinions and your stories somewhere else. If you really care, if you really want to help me, then by all means help me. Give me your arm when we go up stairs, they're difficult for me. By all means offer heaters and blankets etc. for the ever-so discrete 'health reasons' because I do feel the cold and it does make me worse. Offer me your sympathy, if you're feeling particularly expressive - hell, go ahead and ask if there's anything you can do. Just don't tell me that I simply must try this wonderful diet that cured your auntie Martha. I am not your auntie Martha and I don't care about her.

And now I actually feel slightly better.

On to the laundry list! Today [as you may have noticed] was the occupational therapist. It was a bit of a waste of time as she didn't actually do anything, but I guess you can't really have the 'doing something' appointment until you've had the 'finding out' appointment. Yesterday was supper at Quay 4 with mom and dad, after yoga. It was fun and the food was nice. And I even ate all my food, barring the mini-corn thing [which I despise] and a couple of chips. Like I said, Tuesday saw unagi for me. Unagi is my favouritest sushi of them all - yay for dragon rolls! That happened because Button thought there was no food in the house [he was wrong] and we needed to celebrate anyway. Button-bursary stuff was happening and celebrations were required. Sadly there's no definite funding yet, but things are closer to being there. Hmm... I wonder if we should 'celebrate' my OT visit with some more unagi?

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

tired now

I think it's safe to say that one of my biggest issues lately is fatigue. It's common, apparently, but that doesn't make it any easier. Especially when you're trying to work and all you want to do is lie down and sleep. And any sort of exertion causes it - taking the stairs, rather than the lift, for example. It's also caused by such mundane things as being awake for 4 hours... it's never that specific, sadly, so I can't even predict how I'll feel when.

Anyway, in other news, the game was last night. I like my game, it makes me happy. And while I think that Lucas said I'd said some things in the previous post that he wasn't supposed to know [it wouldn't be the first time...], I didn't actually say anything that Ishie would've thought the others didn't or shouldn't know.

In the actual game... we prepared for the upcoming young courtiers dinner. Which is apparently going to involve all sorts of young people who happen to be at court. Unless they're of particularly high status. It was a little touch and go when Kamenosuke said he wasn't going to invite anyone more than 2 years older than him - Ishie is about 3 years older than him. It turned out that he was inviting people older than Ishie anyway, so it didn't really make a difference. And to be fair to him, I don't think he actually thinks of Ishie in terms of age [or invitations, for that matter]. While Kamenosuke was running around arranging things, Ishie spent her time in the garden, learning a new spell. Kamenosuke is arranging for certain of the magistrates to display things at this dinner - Hideo will be arranging a Go tournament. Yashamaru will enable a few of the courtiers to ask questions of the void kami. Nagataka is going to do something monkly. And Ishie is going to assist Nagataka in displaying his magic resistance ... essentially by frying him with her new spell. Or trying to at any rate. It means that she can play with her new spell and, since she has something concrete to aim for, probably won't set any courtiers on fire. Or the room... or anything that's not Nagataka. Anyway, Hideo is particularly concerned about Tsurumatsu, the supposed Doji war-hero. Kamenosuke doesn't seem to worried as Hideo - mostly because he put Keiko on the case. What Kamenosuke is concerned about is the young Tsumae that nearly got another Tsumae killed in a duel... he's been cast out of his family and is now a ronin. So Kamenosuke had Ishie send him a message letting him now that he can stay at 10 Plum Blossoms for the winter. And then told the rest of the magistrates. Ishie was amused by Hideo's face - he's still getting used to Kamenosuke's idealism and ... well, general niceness. Kamenosuke and Ishie also took a walk up to one of the towers, in an effort to solve another part of Kamenosuke's letter game, with an unknown individual. It's really quite lucky for Kamenosuke that he chose to confide in Ishie, as she was the one wandering around the garden who happened to recognise the colour of the tiles. So Kamenosuke has laid down the gauntlet and is waiting for the next step in the game. And I think that's everything that happened before the actual dinner... which hasn't happened yet.

Otherwise, there's not much going on, aside from the internet being uncooperative and enormous piles of doctors appointments in every direction. Oh the joy.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Agasha Ishie

So, Ishie is my character in Adrianna's L5R game. That's Legend of the 5 Rings, for those of you who like your acronyms explained [though if you didn't already know that, I can't imagine that you found it very helpful]. L5R is a roleplaying game set in feudal Japan and is a rather complicated system, I understand. We're using the Window system in the L5R setting. The 5 rings are air, earth, fire, water and void. All very complicated, I know, but it gets more interesting now...

As I said it's a feudal setting, we're all playing samurai, of fairly low status. The samurai are divided into clans, each of which have a number of families and schools in them. There are shugenja [magic-users], bushi [fighters], courtiers [political types] and monks [religious types, or retired samurai]. Ishie is of the Agasha family, in the Phoenix clan. The Agasha tend to be fire shugenja and Ishie is no exception, though she does have quite a strong affinity with earth.

The Agasha were not always part of the Phoenix clan, however. They used to be part of the Dragon clan, but for a number of reasons that I won't go into, most of them transferred to the Phoenix clan. A remnant remained with the Dragon and these are now the Tamori. This has caused some slight issues within the party, as Lucas's character is Tamori Yashamaru. As he's a void shugenja, he trained with the Isawa, a Phoenix family. Other party members include, Togashi Nagataka [Sean], a Dragon monk; Doji Kamenosuke [Simon], a Crane bushi/courtier and Akodo Hideo [Waynne], a Lion bushi. Those of you who have been following the magistrates' adventures in the Katani Valley, will be aware that there is a somewhat special relationship between Kamenosuke and Ishie. Kamenosuke was fostered to the Dragonfly [a minor clan, that essentially are responsible for helping the reclusive and rather cranky Dragon communicate with the rest of Rokugan], shortly before the Lion slaughtered [most of] the Dragonfly, he was sent to the Phoenix Lands to train with the Shiba. The Shiba are bushi that are essentially trained to protect shugenja, and it so happened that Kamenosuke and Ishie spent an awful lot of time training together, became very good friends [virtual family, even] and as a result Kamenosuke is very good when it comes to protecting Ishie. He's also very determined to do that. When she's paying attention, Ishie tends to be quite older-sister-ish and protective of Kamenosuke as well.

And I've gotten completely distracted. So, the Agasha used to be part of the Dragon clan, as such they still retain some rather odd habits. They're known to attempt [and occasionally succeed in] multi-element spellcasting. They're also alchemists - the people who make fireworks and other explosions, though it's somewhat more complicated than that. Now that they are no longer in the Dragon clan, they do wear more clothing, though they still show somewhat more skin than the rest of Rokugan considers decent. And, like the Dragon, they have a thing for tattoos. So, at Ishie's gempukku [coming-of-age], she got a tattoo, which you can see a very bad photograph of. It's on her lower back, so no-one's actually seen it yet, though she keeps meaning to show Kamenosuke a drawing of it. It's essentially two autumn leaves surrounding a flaming mountain. It is possible that at some point there will be a better picture available - one that's clearer, perhaps, or even colourful.

Anyway, we're talking about Ishie - the magistrates have been appointed to investigate strange goings-on in the Katani Valley that may or may not be related to the recent Rain of Blood. It's a joint effort between the Crane, Dragonfly, Phoenix and Dragon. And they're tried really hard to get the Lion involved, which seems to be happening now, since Hideo has joined the party. Given the information above, I'm sure you can imagine that as well as occasional ... disagreements between Ishie and Yashamaru [which don't happen very often, they're both too practical to bother with that sort of nonsense], there is also some tension between Kamenosuke and Hideo. And, really, there's not much more I can say, without discussing things that certain players who may or may not read this may or may not already know...

Monday, 22 October 2007

the clouds are crying

So, stuff has happened. Not much has been happening lately. Friday saw a chemistry test [which I think went reasonably well, but you can never really tell]. Later I had my first acupressure session. That was quite fun, though painful in places. I'm going back this afternoon. Hopefully it will help in the long run.

Friday evening saw zombie games at Simon & Adrianna's with Simon & Adrianna [unsurprisingly] and Kevin and Neil. I wasn't terribly much fun as I took my methotrexate on Thursday and so was very sore on Friday evening. I don't really know how that works, but it does. So mostly I sat around while everyone else played. Button and I left rather early, actually, as I was very sore and he was sufferingly with rather awful hayfever. Apparently Kevin won.

On Saturday, there was some house cleaning, though I didn't do very much of it. Then we went down south, to my parents house. Button went off to the kite festival at Zandvlei, and mom and I went birthday shopping. So now I have a very nice shirt and some summery pants. Of course, it's been miserable weather since then, so I can't wear said summery pants. But sumemr is on it's way...

In the evening, the final Chrysalids LARP happened. It was great! My character [Rachael] is on her deathbed, though of course not literally, or she wouldn't have been at the town meeting. So they somehow organised for a wheelchair, which was great fun. And since I may very well end up in one eventually, it was nice to know that I'm perfectly capable of maneuvering the thing by myself. Of course, it also made the frustration very clear to me - I could stand up and move to the side when the wheelchair got taken over the ridge, but I couldn't have done it by myself.

On to the actual LARP. Rachael didn't actually kill Kevin [Dave Sharpe], evil son-murdering bastard that he is. Sadly, he's known her long enough that he knows just what to say to get to her. Although, he's lucky he wasn't around when she pulled out her shotgun in an attempt to get Lara Darken [Gill] to marry John-Henry [Garrick]. He was being a right pain in the ass, more specifically, he was being a threat to the family's survival and safety. So I disowned him. It turned out that he felt Gabriel [Lucas] was my favourite son and that in his absence he should attempt to take on his personality. He ended up behaving more like himself and was welcomed back into the family ... and wasn't completely enraged with his poor, dying mother. Nathan [Simon] brought Levi [Tai] to me, though someone nearly poisoned him. In the end the family was proving difficult to deal with and I very nearly gave up all hope of saving them. Most of them saw sense in the end - poor Michael [Wombat] was sent off to join Father Ezekiel [Mike] in negotiating with the city's army. Hopefully he won't die. At the end of the LARP John-Henry took me home. Nathan and Levi will come to collect us when it's time to head off into the fringes, where it's safe.

Sunday was the debriefing, but I wasn't there so I don't really know what happened. Button and I headed up the west coast with a bunch of archaeologists and interested persons. It was very nice to see the sites that we managed to find, though I do think that as archaeologists, it's preferable to go without the interested persons, as you don't really get what you need out of the visits. It was great fun though, and we saw lots of tortoises, kudu, eland, wildebeest, zebra, ostriches, bontebok and gemsbok. When we got home, we headed down to the market. There we bought a large pile of books [how unsurprising] and performed the heartbreaking, but necessary, task of purchasing a walking stick. In the evening, there was chemistry and mending...

Thursday, 18 October 2007

the week got away from me

So... it's magically Thursday already. This is problematic as I have a chemistry test early tomorrow morning that I'm not nearly prepared enough for. Mental note: pack calculator. On the whole my chemistry mark so far is fine, and this course is not particularly important to me overall. Wendell continues to filter slowly through the sieve. This makes me happy. He needs a little more milling, which will happen tomorrow, but that really should be enough. I hope.

Yesterday Button and I went out to celebrate the number 15, which was Monday. We went to Willoughby's, at the waterfront after yoga. Yoga was okay - I saw DO there, who I was friends with at school, and who I haven't seen in absolute ages! I was very surprised to see her because as far as I was aware, she was overseas. Unfortunately she had to leave before the end of class so I didn't really get to chat to her. Then it was off to the waterfront for a celebratory supper. Unagi for meeeeeeeeeeee! I love dragon rolls. We looked around at exclusive books for a while. Didn't buy anything, which is good.

The day before, was Tuesday. Which means roleplaying! It was good. I very nearly left Kamenosuke to his own devices. And, really, aside from giving Yeiji a couple of pointed looks [particularly when she started bringing up the Fortune of Marriage], I wasn't overly antagonistic. I spent most of the dinner discussing magical theory with Yashamaru. After dinner, we had to rush to the aid of a couple of drunk Tsumae, who were about to be duelling the ronin Ichiro [I think - it's hard to keep all the names straight sometimes]. We managed to save the one boy, while getting the other boy into what could be described as more trouble, without it actually being our fault. I also [finally] drew Ishie's tattoo. Of course, I will at some point post it up here. Once I get around to it one day soon...

Monday, 15 October 2007

weekend

So, on Friday progress was made. Also, a bunch of people I know went to see Stardust. Button and I did not join them - we went out to celebrate a few things. In the end, I was very glad that we didn't go to the movie. Firstly, I was my cousin, Shaun, at the Waterfront. This was quite shocking as no-one knew he was down here. Secondly, I bought a very nice book [review here] and ... could barely walk. Button carried me from the car to our door. It was most unfortunate. At least it's never happened before.

On Saturday, I did lots of chemistry. Not enough, but lots. I took myself for a walk to the waterfront, for absolutely no reason whatsoever... And in the evening, there was a LARP. Opera, Opera, run by Jo, Jessica, Eckhard and Philip, with one DM's-husband running around for good measure. I came very close to achieving all my goals, and the final one will happen soonish. The LARP was fantastic and I thought everyone was well-cast and all seemed to enjoy it...

Yesterday... nothing happened. And now I'm trying to do ten million things at once.

Friday, 12 October 2007

PROGRESS!!!

Yay! Thank you Susan Bourne and Judy Sealy! With the suggestion of "put a tiny amount of powder in the sieve" and "use the squeeze bottle, but don't leave the acetone in it and let it air dry between uses", Wendell has begun to go through the sieve! Celebrations all round! Thank you also to Neil Ravenscroft [also of the chemistry department] for taking the time to show me scifinder scholar and pubmed, so that I know now that my celebrex and methotrexate won't interfere with each other. More importantly, I know how to do it now, so I can check up on all those other things I take [or will end up taking in the future...]
Also, not so nauseous this morning. Still a bit nauseous, but it's better when I eat and so on...
So I am feeling happy. I don't have anything else to say, but yay! Happiness!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Smug

So, there was a game last night. Simon displayed hitherto unknown predictive powers. Yashamaru left in the middle of the duelling contest, Isawa Saigo didn't take much longer to do the same [though he at least waited for it to be finished]. Kamenosuke won, so Ishie is understandably smug. Not particularly surprised though - who else would've won? Then there was a party in his honour, which we attended. There were lots of young women fawning all over him, unsurprisingly. The only one Ishie didn't object to was Taniko. The bit where he invited Yeiji to dinner didn't go over so well, but Ishie's going to try to be polite. At least until we've gotten the necessary information out of her. After all, he brought this on himself. I don't think this is covered in the original agreement. It's one thing to be forced into situations due to propriety and so on, it's another to create them... Although, at least Nagataka opened her eyes to the reality of Bayushi Yutaka...

Aside from the game, not much else has been happening.

I just heard that a guy I knew at school was badly assaulted in a bathroom at his place of work. Apparently he's fine now [he had to be hospitalised for a while] and they've made some arrests. Still...

Monday, 08 October 2007

Monday, monday

[Linda, Linda, Linda-a?]

So, the weekend happened. It was fun. On Friday night, Button and I went shopping [I needed a new pill case, among other things] and we went to see TMNT. It was most enjoyable, though they should've consulted me as there were a few things that I would've done differently [I mean really, Casey can recognise Raph a mile away but Leo's so dim he can't see it? And Raph doesn't say anything about that? Who made this movie?] Saturday saw Brendan's Birthday Dinner Whatsit at the Sake House. That was very enjoyable. The only sad thing about it, is that I ate all the food [except for the one piece I gave to Brendan] and there was no leftovers. Particularly sad since I wanted it yesterday. Yancke was particularly sweet, in that kind of bittersweet way... Button wasn't there, he was off watching Tania fight. Or so I thought. Apparently she has bronchitis and the doctor refused to let her fight. But, she still gets to go to the World Championships in Thailand.

Yesterday I did next to nothing, but sit around and make Lord of the Rings wordsearches. Oh, and there was an awful lot of chemistry... and a slight meltdown in the evening. But these things happen. Things are much better now [it's amazing how much difference simply emailing your supervisor can make]. Button went to the boat show and got very wet, but had a great time. More importantly, he went grocery shopping and there is food for us to eat!

Friday, 05 October 2007

hiding

So, stuff has happened. There was a game, which involved the first round of the duelling competition. Ishie is feeling very smug 'cause Kamenosuke defeated the war hero, or whatever he was. Not much else happened, aside from lots of general chatting and silliness. It's been a month, after all.

Button has been working on funding applications [and will continue to be for a while], which involved working late into the night and waking up really early to do more. In the same room in which I'm trying to sleep. This makes sleeping difficult for me - especially since I need quite a bit more than he does. Lack of sleep makes me cranky... All in all not a brilliant week. But it's weekend now and I only have billions of piles of work to do...

Yesterday I went to see the rheumatologist. Well. It could be worse, I'm sure. So, rather than getting better [or even just staying the same], those of you who've seen me recently might have noticed that it's been getting worse despite what I may say [denial? what's that?]. And it took him about 3 seconds of poking and prodding to figure that out. My left knee [the one that's been sore lately] was warmer than the right, which apparently points to inflammation. The swelling has not reduced anywhere, and in fact, is a bit more pronounced in my fingers. So, I am now taking methotrexate, at a very low dosage, along with folic acid. They come in little pills [about the same size as the pink ones, but flatter], which I am able to swallow. This is the least severe of the conventional drugs, but it means blood tests, blood tests and more blood tests... oh the joy.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

two feet, firmly on the ground

Sort of, at any rate...

So, stuff has happened. There was a lovely long weekend that was supposed to involve work. It didn't though, as we spent most of sunday and monday at miller's, along with my parents and the puppies [who are soon to be 9 years old, but that doesn't stop them from being puppies]. On Saturday night we celebrated BO's one year with racing [I just watched, it was funny] and then supper at the spur. There were 11 of us, poor waiter. And most people had the special that involved being given lighters... At the very least it was a fun evening and Kenilworth Centre is still standing. On Friday night... work happened. I don't recall anything else happening, but I'm fairly sure it wasn't all work.

Since then, work has tried to happen. I did some chemistry on Tuesday. I didn't do any milling because there was no LN to use ... so I guess it's a good thing I didn't try to do work on Monday - Miller's was a lot better than being annoyed that I was at varsity on a public holiday and couldn't mill. There was no game on Tuesday, though SC & AP are back from Poland. Next week... Yesterday was museum day and I finally [finally!] got through Deano's thesis. Of course, now I have to go back to one of his giant tables 'cause I've decided to add some info into the inventory... oh well. Then there was yoga, all by myself 'casue Button was off with BO somewhere. It was nice and I really enjoyed it. It's been a couple of weeks since I was last there - why archaeologists will insist on scheduling talks for yoga night I will never understand!

Today, there has been milling! Yay! I'm currently waiting for that which was milled to be ready to be sieved. Well, I have to wait for the tube to warm up enough for me to check and see whether there's still powder inside it. Then that powder needs to be sieved. I have a nasty feeling that said powder is not in the tube. And if it takes too long, I won't find out until tomorrow morning, 'cause I've got to go to the museum soonish... Had a very nice chat to LC this morning. It's been a while since I've really had a chance to talk to her and she was both understanding and supportive, as well as being helpful.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

too much

Life is currently being overwhelming. I think it's very rude of it to sometimes be overwhelming and at other times to be unutterably boring. But variety and all that...

I have lots of work. I'm trying to do it all as well as doing important things like getting enough sleep/exercise, remembering to take my medication, eating, etc. I seem to be losing, but I think that's just mid-week perception and things will change towards the weekend. The problem is that the work is not very interesting.

I am an archaeologist because I am interested in people. Why do they do these things [as opposed to those]? Why do it one way instead of another? What do they believe? Why do they believe that? One of my favourite anthropological stories [and one of the most difficult to wrap my brain around] is the story of the Pacific Islanders [I forget which island and which group of people, but they lived on an island in the pacific] who starved to death. An entire population wiped out. Why? Well, their crops failed and there was nothing to eat. You see, fish was not considered 'food', so they couldn't use it to survive. But why not? I don't consider insects as food, or rodents, etc., but you can be damn sure that if I was starving I'd try to catch a few and eat them. So why didn't the islanders try to eat some seafood?

The problem with studying people is that there are so many of them and they all believe different things and behave differently, both in terms of cultural and temporal differences. So how can I ever figure it all out? Do you pick a region and look purely at the cultural and temporal changes in behaviour there? Or do you pick a culture that you're particularly interested in and learn all there is to know about those people? Personally, I'd go for both [pick a region and learn all there is to know about every culture through time], but that's just not possible. So you need some kind of compromise. You need a bunch of people who're experts on one culture. Then you need to come along and look at which cultures were in this particular region at which particular time and see what the experts say about those cultures. Then you somehow need to figure out the most interesting stuff of all - why and how those cultures changed/adapted/altered/etc. Of course, to do that you need a whole bunch of other experts who can tell you about the kinds of things that would be relevant to that sort of inquiry and so on and so forth. Which is why we never get anywhere very quickly.

Of course, by belief I'm not necessarily talking about religious ideologies, more about the beliefs that shape people's lives. Organised religion plays a part in that, sadly, but it is not the whole. There are very few people who, finding themselves starving to death on an island, would not try to catch a fish simply because their religion forbade it. Of course, that's not exactly a hypothesis we could test as people might die - it would lead to all sorts of liability issues I imagine, and probably wouldn't be very good for science overall. People believe all sorts of things and most of them never share their most personal beliefs with others. Of course, many beliefs are simply there, they're never articulated even to themselves, so you can't exactly find out what it is. You can, however, get at an idea of what they believe from their behaviour.

Like this person, who we'll call Adela. She would never accept this description of herself, but it's based on her behaviour and may well be a reflection of many things - subconscious beliefs, fear, insecurity, religious dogma, not thinking things through for herself but merely accepting what she's been told, etc. There are many reasons for her to behave the way she does. I don't understand them, but I find her utterly fascinating. She is extremely narrow-minded, if you disagree with or question her, you are being mean to her. If you don't agree with her she gets offended and tries to avoid the conversation - presumably she either dislikes arguments, is afraid of conflict or has simply learnt that I'm not going to concede to the weird religious beliefs that she does admit to. On the few occasions that you do manage to get her into a discussion on anything, she will not use reason. She will just state her beliefs or feelings, over and over again, until you either concede or she can't take it anymore and runs away. Your world must revolve around her, you must drop everything to attend to her whenever she wants your attention and you must agree with everything she says. She's also incredibly manipulative to get you to behave this way - she does not think that she's manipulative [or at the very least won't admit to it], however. Once you're aware of her manipulations they're so obvious and puerile that they've easily avoided.

And in spite of all this [though some may argue it's because of all this] I actually like her. It's not just that she fascinates me or that I think she's some kind of 'project', I actually genuinely care about her. I don't know why - my best guess is simply that it's because people are weird. To be fair, this is a completely one-dimensional view of her, detailing the behaviours that so particularly fascinate me about her. Also, I'm quite sure that I see some of the same behaviour in myself - I've got a clearer idea of the reasons behind it there though.

Anyway, that's been building for a while and is part of something that I've been doing in my breaks or while waiting for wendell to finish up in the mill, etc. I've been making a wishlist on www.loot.co.za of all the books I want. An overwhelming amount of them are either biographies, histories, or archaeological type books. There are quite a few that integrate history and weird beliefs for that matter. And just a smattering of fiction. But since I pick up most of my fiction at the market and currently don't have much time for reading the ones I'm busy with.

There's just too much work to be done...

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

all aflutter


so there I was idly paging through uct's monday paper as I ate my lunch and what did I find? One of my favourite people in the whole world [though you wouldn't think so given how little we see/talk to each other]...
The article doesn't make complete sense, but here it is for all of you to see.

UCT graduate can lead orchestra
New heights: Patrick Goodwin has been appointed as the new deputy concertmaster for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dream come true for young violinist who takes up senior position with Cape Philharmonic. UCT graduate and violinist Patrick Goodwin has been appointed as the deputy concertmaster of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). In what he described as a "dream job" and a "fantastic opportunity", Goodwin will sit next to the concertmaster and occasionally lead the orchestra. His appointment came after he performed as a soloist with the orchestra for the first time in 2005. "It has always my dream to play as a soloist with the Cape Philharmonic since I moved to Cape Town," he says. He graduated from UCT in 2004 with distinctions in violin performance and chamber music. Goodwin was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra from 2000 to 2002 and became concertmaster of the UCT Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble. Goodwin recently obtained his master's degree in violin performance with distinction from the De Paul University in Chicago. He is the first UCT graduate to be appointed as second chair to the CPO, and is just 24. Professor Peter Klatzow, director of the SA College of Music, said they were surprised but delighted that Goodwin had been appointed to such senior position at his age. UCT student Paula Fourie is now a full-time member of the CPO's viola section. While at UCT, Goodwin studied under Professor Farida Bacharova, who is also Fourie's teacher.

Monday, 17 September 2007

already?

It's monday morning, classes started - which is to say I had to get up really early - again today, wendell was being uncooperative... however, I have lovely new glasses and am determined to mill that bloody cow to within an inch [or, really, a micron] of its life and get it through that sieve. Perhaps this sieve isn't working and I should switch to a different sieve.... there's a thought. Something to look into anyway.

So... the weekend happened. Saturday morning saw button and I up horrifically early [what kind of person thinks it's a good idea to drill into the wall in a block of flats at that hour?]... morning routines finished, it was off to get the glasses :) They're very pretty, but while I'm vain enough to keep wanting to look in the mirror while I'm wearing them [I expect that's going to wear off by next week though] I'm not quite vain enough to take a picture and put it up here for all of you. If you want to see them, you'll have to come visit me.

Later in the day, I saw mary, who was having a birthday. That was a fun afternoon, though we did little else than wander around the waterfront looking at pretty things and watching an old movie again. In the evening, button and I were planning to go see some artsy thing at hiddingh, but miscommunication happened and we stayed home and watched Kiki's Delivery Service instead.

We spent a lazy sunday morning wandering around the craft market, yet again buying an extremely large pile of books... Yesterday's major event, however, was the opera - Mozart's Magic Flute, directed by Willian Kentridge. It was visually stunning - and I mean that in the strongest sense of the word. It was fantastically beautiful and incredibly well done. The cast was well put together and played their roles exceptionally well. In fact, the only thing I didn't like was the story, which is rather sad as it made the whole thing far less enjoyable for me than it should have been... Afterwards, button and I went out for dinner, which was very nice, so the evening ended well.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Happy to be alive

Right, well, I had a meeting with JS, which resulted in me having a working mill. This is very happy news. The mill I was using is being made to work, as well as an even older mill than the old mill that I'm currently using. Hopefully the new mill model has found a way to solve the problems of both previous models. Hopefully. The point, however, is that the mill worked! I milled Wendell and he stayed in his tube, there was no leaking! This makes me very happy!

On my way home I found another reason to be very happy. I left uct, just in time for a shuttle to hiddingh, which was good as it was getting quite cold and miserable. The shuttle arrived at hiddingh without incident. So I started walking to the car, so I could pick button up from sahra. Three or four steps before I turned the corner out of hiddingh, there was an accident. And I'm very grateful that I wasn't walking faster. I was taking my time, daydreaming along slowly. There was hooting, squealing brakes and the black car hit the white car and skidded across right in front of me [and another white car, which escaped] and hit the railing and came to a stop. Had I been walking just a little bit faster, the car would probably have hit me as well. But I wasn't, and I'm very happy about that. So, by the time I got to button I was a little upset. And it took a good long while to get there 'cause I walked all the way. Why did I walk all the way instead of phoning him and telling him to meet me at the car, or something? Well, I left my phone at home yesterday. And I didn't think to borrow someone's, or head down to the museum and use a phone here...

In the evening, Button and I met Mom and Dad for supper at Mano's. It was very nice. They only take lunchtime bookings, which suggests that it's much busier for lunch than supper. But the food was excellent and there was a lovely atmosphere. While the restaurant wasn't empty, there still weren't that many people there - under ten tables. The windows above the doors, etc, are beautiful and there was a fantastic rain storm going on outside.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Long day already...

Well, it's been a while, and things have happened. I [finally] worked out what was [still] wrong with the mill and spoke to JL about it. We came up with two possible solutions, one of which Button and I tried out yesterday afternoon. It worked reasonably well, with the simple problem of me not being able to get the tube out afterwards, because it was in so tightly. This is a problem, but at least the sample stayed in the tube!

On Friday evening Button and I went shopping. Theoretically this was going to be grocery shopping, but it didn't end up that way. While shopping for funeral shoes for him, I'd spotted a nice pair of black sandals that said "buy me". They've got a slight heel, but nothing to difficult for me to cope with. And they'll go very nicely with just about every item of clothing I own and ... well, the only exception I can think of is my [numerous pairs of] tracksuit pants, which I'm very fond of, but don't usually feel the need to wear heels with, so it's okay. Considering the funeral, Button had put the idea of a little black dress into my head. While I have one, it's a light summery thing and simply won't do for more formal occasions. So we wandered about trying to see if there was something suitable, which we didn't find. Though I even tried on a couple. Then we wandered into one of the expensive stores and spotted a lovely dress which was on sale for less than R100, so we bought it.

Saturday morning it was off to the optometrist. One we'd never been to. I'm getting new glasses [I can't wait for Saturday]. Poor Button however, received the news that his retinas were damaged [which abysmal idiot thought it would be a good idea to have white site forms in the desert?] - he's not getting new glasses 'cause he doesn't really need them, though apparently he needs a different kind of contact lens for the one eye... In the evening we went off to Edgemead for D&B's engagement party. I wore my new dress, with pants underneath and my pretty sandals. Aside from having cold feet, it was really nice and quite fun. Hopefully the wedding won't clash with the conference that's happening around that time...

Yesterday Button and I [prior to doing some milling] rearranged much of the house. We like it better like this and I'm pretty sure that the plants do too...

Thursday, 06 September 2007

late-night milling.

Or not. So, I have after hours access to liquid nitrogen, so that I can work in the evenings, maybe occasionally on a weekend. Do I have any difficulty getting into the Geology Department? No. Do I have any difficulty getting into the lab with the LN? No. Can I get LN? No. It would appear that the thing on the end of the hose, that enable the LN to liquidise into your flask has been hidden for the evening. Unfortunately there was no one else there to help me and I couldn't find it...

there is other stuff to say, but I'm tired and cranky and can't find the words right now...

Wednesday, 05 September 2007

rainy rain

I was going to wear my pretty red shoes from chinatown today. I haven't really been able to wear them 'cause one of them was refusing to accept that it was supposed to have a heel attached to it. Eventually I gave up trying to fix it and removed the other heel. So now I can wear them. Unfortunately they are not designed for inclement weather, so I decided not to wear them today. Very smart of me, as it turns out, as I haven't seen this much rain all at once for quite a while.

I didn't make my lecture this morning. I was going to, but then sleep needed to happen. Apparently I slept very deeply [though Button claims that when he came to bed - and had to move me so that he could fit in the bed - I only woke up long enough to tell him that I hadn't fallen asleep yet. I don't remember this and have no idea whether or not it's true], and sometimes when that happens I really just can't wake up until I've slept enough. Which was apparently until just before eight, this morning. On the other hand I feel really good now.

Button and I went shopping last night. We had to buy him some shiny black shoes to match his suit 'cause he has to go to a funeral today. We also ended up going out for supper [again] as we were starving and not nearly ready to head home to our empty fridge. We did a little bit of grocery shopping so that we could eat breakfast this morning [pasta leftovers make a great breakfast before 7am, fish not so much]. There were a few heart stopping moments when our cart [with Button's shiny new shoes, et al.] disappeared. Luckily the people behind us had just taken the wrong one - obviously the most distinguishing characteristic of their cart was the screaming child in it and now that they'd let it out, they couldn't tell which was theirs anymore. Or something...