Having just emerged from deadline mania, I'm in that post-book stage where I look around the house and wonder what I've forgotten to do in the meantime.
Shawn is a great list-maker. I swear she has lists that keep track of her lists. I, meanwhile, wing it. Only on very rare ocassion have I actually ever forgotten something entirely, but I also have days like to day where I have to take active stock of everything I need to do.
For instance, a lot of people have sent me books to read for review or a blurb. As cold as today is, this would be an excellent day to sit down with one of them. But, I also need to get a stronger start on ideas/synopses for Ana books #4, #5 and #6 in case my publisher/editor is interested in seeing them. This weekend's wind also knocked a chunk of plastic out of our screen door, and I need to grab a screwdriver from the basement and remove that pane and get it replaced at the hardware store (probably with glass, who even knew that was plastic before it broke? Not me.) Tomorrow, it's supposed to snow (possibly as much as several inches), and I'm, once again, chaperoning Mason's class on a field trip to the Minnesota Zoo. Brrrrr.
At least I don't have to get ready for Passover or Easter, since Ostara bunny came and went months ago. I'll probably have that experience I often do around Easter where I wonder why the heck all the stores are closed, and then suddenly remember that it's some kind of holiday. :-)
Speaking of Easter, I won't be at Minicon this year. (I've been getting things for Convergence, but I won't be there THIS year, though I will next.) I will, however, be one of the GoHs at Diversicon (July 29 - 31)
, don't forget. Please come.
In other news, it was a fairly eventful weekend, although with some false starts. I was, of course, sick as a dog on Thursday (which, btw, does NOT impress the cats.) I felt well enough on Friday that, when we dropped Mason off for his sleepover, Shawn and I bravely attempted a dinner out at Fasika, the local Ethiopian restaurant. It was brave not only for my stomach, but also due to its proximity to University Avenue, which is completely under "destruction" (as Midway Books puts it) for the light rail.
Despite being a general fan of progress, I'm not terribly pleased about the light rail. It's going to significantly change my neighborhood, and I'm not entirely sure for the better. It is NOT intended to serve the local community. It's designed to shuffle business people from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul, with very limited stops in between. Currently, we're hemorrhaging businesses. Porky's is gone for good. My martial arts studio is leaving (luckily, they're not moving too far away for us). As we walk to the remaining classes there, I've been watching businesses packing up and buildings empty. University Avenue is going to be a ghost town. So, okay, maybe they'll tear it all down and build condos with Starbucks and Subways in their lower levels. Better than Porky's and Ax Man? I'm not sure.
Anyway, Shawn and I had a nice night out, even though I couldn't eat very much. We came home and snuggled up for a movie, which was nice, but I wish I'd felt better generally. On Saturday, Mason had a playdate with naomikritzer
's daughter for Pokemon trade/talk. Shawn and I had planned to make it a fun tea for grown-ups (and kids), so I baked scones and Shawn made her famous cranberry upside-down cake. We had Devonshire clotted cream and marmalade and jam and all that sort of lovely "tea" sort of stuff. I even pulled out the fancy tea cups and our cheery yellow tea pot, in which I brewed jasmine tea in my tea ball, no less.
I'd been planning on taking Eleanor to Kelly McCullough's annual Red Current party, but the weather had turned nasty and Eleanor no longer felt up to it. So, once again, my family snuggled under blankets and watched a movie. On Saturday night it was HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. I know this is probaby sacrilege, but I'm a bit disappointed in part 1. It's a LONG movie and yet, for someone like Shawn who has NOT read the books, it fails to explain some critical bits of information. For instance it's never explained how the Death Eaters keep finding Harry and crew. Yet, by the time they're camping out, he's calling Voldemort "He Who Must Not Be Named," which is utterly out of character unless you know that they'd had a magical trace on anyone who boldly used Voldemort's name. Also, although they show Voldemort hunting for the Elder Wand and all the various wands exchanging hands, the critical information about wand possession is completely unexplained (ie, that it's not truly yours to command unless you take it by force.)
There were other things, too, but I was surprised by how often either Mason and I had to lean over and explain things to Shawn. I understand that people like Shawn are rare these days, but there are really long stretches of silence in the movie. It would have been nice to fill some of that with information, you know? Especially since the movie ends on such a downer note. (If I were the director, I would have ended on a bit more triumphant moment, ie the Gringotts heist. Also, if I'd directed, I would have had Harry rescue more people at the Ministry, as he does in the book. However, I approve of letting Hedwig go the way she does in the movie, rather than the book, which is so AWFUL. Mason is having us re-read this book, and I have to say I also like the way we get to see Dudley say good-bye too, though I can see why they skimmed over that.)
However, I'm looking forward to Part 2, though as a huge fan of Neville Longbottom, I'm a little worried that they haven't give him the build up he needs for that last awesome moment of his. Also Fred and George's "Freedom Radio" would have been nice to hear from, too, if only to give the audience like Shawn a better sense of what's going on out in the larger world. They could have used that for all sorts of information filler -- like what the Snatchers are doing, who they are, etc. The Snatchers completely BAFFLED Shawn.
Anyway, back to my weekend... on Sunday, Mason and I dropped Shawn off at Goodwill and he and I went in search of some new fishes. Tragedy struck in the small tank. I lost two of the white cloud mountain minnows over the weekend, I think to old age. One of them, Sunshine, had made a bit of a recovery, but... uh, he'd slowed down enough that the giant goldfish, Bob, who shares his tank, took a bite out of him. He went to the summerland headless, alas. Gucci, gucci Sunshine and Chicory, you were good fish!
We went to the Fish and Reptile store on University (which seems to he hanging on, at least,) and picked up three new fish (which now makes a total of four white clouds). The new ones are: Savannah, Stanley, and Finbird. Named, repectively, by Shawn, me, and Mason. Savannah and Stanley might actually be a slightly different fish, as they're quite a bit more golden in color. The woman who helped me did not actually know what fish I was looking for, which surprised me, because usually the staff is so incredibly knowledgable, you know? (I just looked up white cloud mountain minnow + golden and apparently there is a version called "golden white cloud," which may be a mutation brought on by inbreeding... but they are rather pretty.) But the good news is that everyone schooled up and are zippy enough that Bob could not take a bite of any of them (though he did try at first.)
Whoa, so that was my weekend, with a couple of breaks for rants about lightrail construction and Harry Potter.