To begin with:
My poor birds must hate me. They have gotten nearly nothing to eat for two weeks. I put up a mesh feeder of thistle feed to keep the finches happy while I waited for the starlings to stop lurking on my windowsill. But once that was gone…I didn’t get around to refilling the suet feeder. And then the suet feeder and the peanut feeder blew down and got a bit bent and dented. And then I picked them up and brought them inside but never got around to refilling them or hanging them back up.
I’m sorry, birdies. I suck.
Starving wildlife aside, I have had a couple of marvelous days this week. I haven’t participated in any huge, bizarre events but I’ve taken a couple of hours here and there to hang out with some really fabulous people.
I went out to dinner with some family and lamented the height of the boy I still consider my My First Baby Cousin. I can’t believe it’s been so long since he was born. It seems absolutely impossible. It was wonderful to see them and share some awesome places. We’re definitely all related! We all have the same “blame it on the family genetics” excuse for our less presentable jokes and habits, for example. I usually only see members of my extended family at big family gatherings, such as Christmas, when all the younger cousins are a veritable army and the aunts and uncles chatter about old friends I never knew. It’s always fascinating to me to get to see my relatives in smaller groupings and see how they’ve changed, how they’ve evolved (and in the case of the kids, how they’re finding new ways to make me feel incredibly old). I can’t afford to feed a growing boy, so my aunt and uncle can keep their son, but I might actually kidnap their daughter if they ever visit me again. She gives magnificent hugs!
There was a Board Game night, a gathering loosely coordinated via Reddit, which I learned about through my roommate and his girlfriend (who was one of the organizers, as it happens). Board games in the basement of the local nerd Mecca: Pandemonium. I adore board games, I always have. The number of times I dragged my parents and sister to the kitchen table and forced them to play “Life” or “Trivial Pursuit” or “Rummikub” or whatever I happened to grab off the shelf…! My sister and I played “Clue! Junior” so many times I had every possible combination of clues and solutions memorized. There’s something important about being face-to-face with other people, laughing and chatting and munching while you compete. Teasing and joking and fun just aren’t quite the same over the Internet. Finding people who are willing to sit down and invest an hour in a board game is incredibly hard these days. It was a breath of fresh air to have an entire basementfull of individuals materialize!!
[In case you’re wondering, I got creamed in two different rounds of Munchkin before calling it quits because I had work the next morning.]
Last night, though, was the kicker. BOOK CLUB!!!!
I joined this book club on Meetup.com about ten months ago. Yesterday, we were discussing The Devil in the White City (which I couldn’t put down until I’d devoured it all). It was a singularly well-rounded conversation; even though we did drift off into little group side conversations from time to time, there was a really good balance of feelings about the book and a lot of interesting debate over larger metaphors (capitalism-versus-psychosis was particularly engaging). One attendee brought a book she’s keeping in reserve for her father’s next birthday – a picture book of the official photographs of the Chicago World’s Fair! It was incredible. I want to gooooooooo. I don’t want to meet anyone who wants to turn my body into an articulated skeleton, but I do want to gooooooo.
To finish off, I’ve received a couple of compliments at work this week.