• Robin Red Breast
    Family

    a very merry unbirthday

    My older nephew, wishing to space his birthday out from Christmas somewhat, requested a half-birthday, so the family got together today for a kind of combined Father’s Day/unbirthday party.

    Between the hours of 8am & 2pm, I baked a rather complicated cake, made its complicated frosting, made vanilla ice cream, cleaned the kitchen 2 times, did 4 loads of laundry, emptied all the rubbishes, cleaned the kitty litter, made lemonade, and just barely managed not to die of the outrageous 80 degree heat.

    Ted went out to do errands, and the first thing he said upon returning was, “In my defense, *you* sent me to the bookstore….”

    (The take was 2 cookbooks for said elder nephew, who wants to learn to cook, as well as Naomi Novik’s TEMERAIRE, a book for Indy, and the next three books of the Expanse series.)

    Post-erranding, Ted made a ridiculously delicious dinner of grilled veg, salmon, shrimp, & kielbasa, which we all sat down to eat with hearty appetites. We also spent a lot of time lounging in the back garden, where, among other things, I spent a few minutes leg pressing my sister, which is no doubt perfectly normal behaviour.

    The unbirthday boy cleaned up nicely, with a whole bunch of *extremely* nice tea (he’s apparently really in to tea, who knew?) and cookbooks along with an offer of cooking LESSONS from my husband the professional chef, and a super cool katana-style letter opener and some other good stuff, and seemed very pleased with his unbirthday.

    The cake and ice cream turned out very nicely–the ice cream was so rich and smooth it was practically obscene, which isn’t always the case with my ice cream; I don’t make it enough to be really good at it consistently–and the lemonade was appropriately appreciated.

    I managed to walk 4000 steps without actually leaving the house, which seems a little ridiculous. I am absolutely shattered, and to top it all off, I’m coming down with a cold. But it was a splendid day and we’re all happy. Tired. But happy. :)

  • Fandom,  Movies

    Birthday & Wonder Woman

    So yesterday was my birthday and it is also the birthday of my many many birthday twins, but I wasn’t online much and so I failed to say happy birthday to Esmerel and Silkblade and Chaz’s niece and also Morgan Freeman and Marilyn Monroe and Superman (the first Superman comic was published June 1 1938 :)).

    Happy birthday, twins, and thank you to everybody who wished me a happy day!

    Ted and Indy snuck off and got a couple pieces of art that have been sitting around for a long time framed, for my birthday. I had no idea what they were plotting, even with Indy saying, “Daddy and I went to see a man to do a thing for you and the man said it should be ready by your birthday!”, which kind of vague meaningless information is often sufficient for me to figure out what’s going on. This time I didn’t, though, and I was absolutely *floored* to receive these:

    I love both of these dearly, and was so surprised and happy! The raven is an artist’s copy of a painting done by an Alaskan artist who lives in Belfast (!!!). She had her copy at a convention to show the prints she was going to have done, but she offered to do an artist’s copy for me because we bonded so strongly over understanding Raven from an Alaskan’s point of view, and, being no fool, of course I said yes.

    The other is by an artist whose name I can’t remember right now, but I bought it at…Eastercon a few years ago, and I just…love it. So much. I can look at that painting for *hours*. And while the photo does reasonable justice to the silver frame of the raven painting, it really does no justice at all to the greens and blues and silver-gold shimmers of the other frame. I may have to take a better picture at some point, because it really is gorgeous.

    And then also for my birthday I got to go see Wonder Woman with a bunch of girlfriends, which was honestly a terrific way to see the movie. (The women going to the all-women showings at the Alamo Drafthouses in the states are going to have an AMAZING experience.) I looked down the row a few times, to see us all smiling like fools.

    There were scenes…I know I’ve seen scenes like then before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever beamed through them before. Watching a woman, watching _Wonder Woman_, doing those things…it meant more to me than I ever imagined it would. I mean, I was looking forward to it, obviously, but…it still affected me more than I expected.

    Gal Gadot is terrific as Diana. I mean, honestly, utterly terrific. I think she deserves an Oscar nomination. She was *amazing* in the role. Chris Pine is very funny and charming and this is probably the best-written part I’ve ever seen him in. And Robin Wright is just OH MY GOD. OH. MY. GOD.

    There are a WHOLE BUNCH of things I’d have done differently. I would have liked to have seen what a female scriptwriter would have done with the story, for example. But it was funny and it was powerful and it had heart and it made me happy. I hope it makes ALL THE MONEY and I intend to do my part in seeing it more than once to help that goal. ♥

  • Family

    Deirdre’s 40th, Mark Twain

    Yesterday was actually Deirdre’s birthday, so we had a party for her. I’d just arrived in Dublin when Ted got a call saying our wretched escape artist dog was loose, which seemed goddamned impossible because he’d been IN THE HOUSE but no, no, he was loose, he’d figured out how to open the back door ane made his escape, so I had to come tearing back from Dublin to get him and bring him home and lock him in more thoroughly and then go rushing back in to Dublin. I have never made the walk from the train station (where the lads who’d found the damn dog brought him to me) to the house so fast.

    I called a taxi to meet me there to get me back to the train station, figuring there was no chance at all with 5 o’clock traffic that I’d make the express train that would get me back to Dublin in a vaguely reasonable time frame, but to my sheer astonishment I made it with about six minutes to spare and got to the party.

    Ted, at Deirdre’s request, cooked a vegetarian Mexican feast of nachoes and enchiladas and rice, all of which was incredibly good. Wow so good. I made Stacked Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe forthcoming at the patreon page next month!), which were also a hit.

    stacked_raspberry_cupcakes

    And I gave Deirdre her birthday present, which was one of the Elfquest coloring books I’d gotten from last year’s Kickstarter.

    There’s context to that gift: when she was about 9, she colored in one of my original black and white Elfquest comics, which utterly enraged me and although she apologized she really couldn’t, at the time, understand why I was SO. ANGRY. (About two years ago the topic came up and she winced and said, “Yeaaaah, I’m really sorry about that,” which was a much more sincere and therefore much funnier apology, given that thirty years had passed, than the original. :))

    Anyway, so that was the context of the coloring book, so I gave it to her and she immediately BURST out laughing, which was just what I hoped she would do, and we were both terribly pleased with ourselves. :) She asked where I’d gotten it and I explained about the Kickstarter last year and she was like “Oh wow have you been holding on to it all this time then?” and I was like “yeah basically,” which she thought was great. :)

    (Ted said, “Did you color in the first page?” to me, which made us burst out laughing again. I WOULD have, too, if I’d thought of it!)

    And lastly, during the party we were explaining the word “schlep” to my 13 year old nephew, and how it meant getting oneself (or something) from one place to another, but connotated effort, plodding, weariness, a heaviness of soul.

    I said to Ted, “What’s the…that word where…” and despite these words being almost entirely incoherent and certainly failing to reference any point which would clarify them, Ted, without missing a beat, said, “Trudge,” as he fully understood that I was thinking of Paul Bettany’s naked Chaucer scene in A Knight’s Tale. :) :) :)

    So it was a good little party and I’m really glad I made it.

  • Family

    Deirdre’s 40th

    My sister had her birthday party planned for last night, and after a bit of angsting decided to go ahead with it despite the circumstances. I think that was absolutely the right choice, and it was a busy, loving gathering…

    …even if Deirdre did show up two hours later for her own party. It was worth it, actually, because it was a costume party, themed Cyborgs, Angels, Fairies and Superheroes, and she came as a cyborg (we’re half cyborg now, you know, since Dad had his brain surgery. that’s how it works, right?) and her costume was AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING.

    cyborg01

    I my own self went as my own comic book character, Chance, which is either really lame or really awesome or really meta, possibly all three.

    chance01

    Superhero and cyborg sisters (this has to be one of my favourite pictures ever taken of us):

    sisters

    Bunch more pictures behind the cut.