On Friday, John came by Pobox North (my apartment) for most of the afternoon while he car was at the shop. We got gyros (at the awesome semiannual Greek Food Festival) and worked on our own projects. After work, Gloria took us to get his car. John and I headed for beers and dinner while Gloria headed home for dinner and to prepare for work. Just as we were passing my parents' neighborhood, my brother called to tell us that he was in town, at my parents' house, and locked out. We stopped by, helped him get his things inside, and headed over to Stahley's for dinner. I think we had a pretty good time. Three dozen clams, twenty hot wings, a pizza, and three pitchers of beer: forty-five dollars. Even better, Steve treated!
Steve's going to be in town for a few weeks, come and go, and will be staying with us. (My parents' house has been more or less an insufferable mess for the past twenty years, give or take a few weeks, and my siblings and I are getting less and less capable of coping.) Before that was decided, though, Steve asked whether we'd like to go down to Maryland to visit our sister's family, including our brand new niece, Anika. It was short notice, especially for Gloria, but we figured it would be a good time, so we packed into Steve's truck (Gloria spent four hours in the jumper seat) and headed south of the Mason-Dixon. The ride down was slow and cramped (it took us over four hours to travel the 180 miles to DC) but the visit was relaxed and fun.
Jacob, my two year-old nephew, is talking quite a lot (sometimes I could even understand him) and enjoys dancing, pretend cooking, and pretend jackhammering. I only made him cry once, which is probably better than I might have done. I picked him up and I guess I bumped his his head into the ceiling. I didn't even notice having done so, but he was pretty traumatized for about five minutes.
Anika was really small, which was to be expected, but I was still pretty impressed by her tininess. She didn't do much crying, but I got the impression that it's because she isn't yet capable.
We had some good food while there. We'd done Greek food again, before leaving town, and had Indian leftovers for dinner. The next day we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, Lebanese food for lunch, and cinnamon buns at Ikea for dessert.
I'd planned to casually suggest to Steve that maybe we'd stop at Ikea on the way back, but before I had a chance to insinuate it into his head, someone else brought it up and he seemed immediately enthusiastic. He'd never been to an Ikea before. We had a good time, and Gloria and I were both happy to finally get some more bookshelves. These should help alleviate some of the clutter in the library, even if I keep acquiring books at a modest rate for another two years or so. Hopefully I will have dealt with my book collecting issues by then, though. We got two BILLY bookshelves: a 31" beech shelf for the library and a 23" shelf for my office. We wanted to get the latter in "dark metallic grey," but that was discontinued, so we got brown-black, and I think it looks pretty good. I've got all my tech books alone in their own shelves, now, and they look like a pretty nice little collection. Maybe I'll organize them based on whether I've read them...
Anyway, the clutter is much reduced, and maybe tonight we'll have a chance to start re-ordering things.