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I ended up going with Scott to take Cordelia and her friend to the restaurant. The plan was that I'd wait wherever he and I ended up for dinner until after he took the 3-4 kids to the dance. We had trouble finding a restaurant and ended up at Seva, a vegetarian place. We tend not to go there because my food options are severely limited by needing to avoid tomatoes and peppers and walnuts and peanuts and eggs.

I ended up ordering a cup of soup and two sides, asparagus and sweet potato fries. The soup wasn't edible by me, and Scott didn't care for it either. The menu said 'butternut-apple bisque,' and I couldn't taste either apples or butternut squash. It went more toward the savory end of flavor, and I couldn't place the herbs, so I didn't force myself to eat more than a couple of spoonfuls. I was concerned that the soup contained something that would make me sick. The restaurant ended up removing the soup from our bill. We hadn't asked them to. I'd have been cranky about spending $4 on a cup of inedible soup, but I did order it, so...

I also got dessert, banana cheesecake. It was recognizably cheesecake, but even though I could see banana chunks, I couldn't taste the banana at all. Scott tried it and also couldn't taste the banana, so I'm again puzzled. I think that, when something with a particular flavor is in the name, it's weird not to be able to taste even a trace of that in the food.

Cordelia's only comment about the dance was that it was loud and that the music was terrible. I'm not sure if the latter refers to sound quality or to song choice.

Scott's parents have reserved a house for a family vacation next summer. They didn't consult with us about potential conflicts first but did consult Scott's brother and sister, so we're a bit puzzled. We won't know for at least another month whether or not Scott can get that time off, and I'm pretty sure that the timing will mean that Cordelia couldn't do choir camp even if she wanted to. (Though Scott thinks the location of the house is actually kind of near Interlochen.) Scott's parents have promised to 'help' us with the costs but want us to tell them how much we can afford to pay. Which is both reasonable and burdensome because Scott finds it shaming.

To be honest, I'm not sure we can afford anything but gas money and our share of the groceries. I'm not convinced that Scott will be able to tell his parents that. He was able to say, months ago, that we couldn't go because we couldn't afford it. Now, we can't just not do it. We have to figure out what we can scrape together and ask for the rest. I understand why Scott's parents want everyone there. They're both 75 (and will be 76 next summer), and their oldest grandchild is 18 and in college. The odds of getting him to come to future family vacations aren't really all that great. The odds of Scott's parents being up to such a vacation in three years, five years, ten years... Yeah.

Is it weird that I feel that 'tell us what you can afford, and we'll cover the rest' is more embarrassing than 'because you can't afford it, we'll cover the expenses'?
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There was no trip to the movies yesterday. My step-father needed to finish a draft of a paper he’s co-writing. My mother was on the phone all day with the realtor that’s selling her father’s house in the Keys. Cordelia didn’t really want to go, at least not enough to do it with just her father for company.

Scott and Cordelia did go to a mall and spend some time shopping. They got some t-shirts and a calendar and were gone for about two hours.

We met my parents and brother at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. I really disliked the dish I ordered. I got it because Scott wanted to try it and wanted to try another dish that was marked as spicy. I really didn’t have a strong preference about what I ordered. At any rate, this was chicken cooked with pieces of fruit, and every bite tasted of the nastiest part of an orange peel. I rather suspect that nobody’s going to eat the leftovers. We’re taking them with us anyway, but Scott didn’t care for the flavor either.

We spent some time in the hotel hot tub last night. It had been crowded our first night here and closed the second, so this was our first chance. Cordelia eyed the pool, but she wasn’t willing to swim in it if there were other kids in it. I’m really not sure what that was about.
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It ended up taking us a lot longer to get on the road yesterday than we’d planned, so we didn’t get to Kalamazoo until around 5:00. My parents and my brother came by about an hour after we arrived, and we all went to dinner. The hotel where we are doesn’t have a restaurant, but the Holiday Inn next door does, and we ate there.

We talked a bit about the ways that the internet has changed learning and research. Mom commented that, when she looks at videos about refinishing furniture, a lot of the people don’t have the slightest clue how to do what they claim to be expert in. My brother commented that it’s now so easy to look things up that nobody bothers to memorize anything. We all talked about encyclopedias and how neat we used to think they were. Well, Cordelia didn’t. She doesn’t remember encyclopedias at all.

My parents are having some issues with the cold and the snow after more than a decade in Baton Rouge. They had thought they were ready for it, that they remembered, but it’s different when it’s 2F and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Their dogs love the snow, but one of them has little body fat and very thin fur and so has to come inside regularly or she’ll freeze. The other dog is apparently much more suited to cold weather and so is loving the time outside. Mom said that that dog is normally a couch potato in Baton Rouge because it’s too hot for her.

Today, we got up just barely in time to have some of the free breakfast that the hotel does (closing up at 9:00 on weekdays). I was surprised— Most breakfast things like that do scrambled eggs, but this buffet had peeled hard boiled eggs and a bunch of very rubbery looking fried eggs. There was a boxy machine that made pancakes on demand and pork sausage that was mild enough that I could eat it but otherwise not much of note, just lots of bread adjacent stuff.

My parents had things they needed to do for the early part of the morning, so they got here about 11:00, and we all went to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Scott was in seventh heaven. My parents had somehow missed his enthusiasm for planes and how much he knows about them, so they were a little astonished. Scott and my step-father hiked to the secondary building while Cordelia and I got smoothies and sat with my mother and talked. The secondary building had things that people could actually climb into and had an area where a bunch of people were restoring a plane that had recently been pulled out of Lake Michigan.

Apparently Lake Michigan was the training ground for aircraft carrier pilots during WWII, and a number of planes went down there. At this point, it’s a race against time to recover them because of zebra mussels. The plane they were working on was one that had gone down right after take off when the engine just died with no explanation. It was the pilot’s third time going up, and he wasn’t even injured, but they weren’t able to save the plane.

(The 'aircraft carriers' on Lake Michigan were some sort of repurposed cruise ships that had had paddle wheels and such. My step-father said his best guess was that they’d been brought in from the Mississippi.)

Scott really very much wants to do the sort of work that these guys were doing. It’s a volunteer gig, and they’re constantly looking for people with a love of planes and some skill with tools. Scott says that, maybe, when he retires, he’ll be able to do something like that.

We had lunch at a Japanese restaurant that Scott found via Google. Then we all drove twenty minutes to Three Rivers to visit a very large used book store called Lowry’s. I bought a lot of used romance novels, things the library doesn’t have, at a little more than half what I’d pay on Amazon, and some mysteries.

My parents had to head back to Lawton before I was done browsing. There’s a limit to how long they can leave the dogs alone. About then, it started snowing more heavily. The road back to Kalamazoo goes through a good bit of very, very flat farmland, so the wind was whipping through. I called my mother when we got back to our hotel and told her that I didn’t think they should drive back our way for dinner. My brother disagreed vehemently because he considers that sort of weather trivial, something that happens every week or so all winter. Our parents tried to come to Kalamazoo but ended up turning back. My brother says that their mistake was trying to take 94, that they should have taken Red Arrow (an old highway) because nobody ever goes more than 45 mph along that and because, unlike 94, it has shelter from the wind. I pointed out to him that it’s been at least two decades since either of them drove in the snow. That makes a huge difference.

We had dinner with my brother in a pub sort of place called Gallagher’s. Scott and I both had chicken pot pie and weren’t entirely satisfied with it. My brother picked the place because it was only about five minutes from our hotel and pretty easy to find. I’m pretty sure Cordelia was bored stiff by the conversation which was mostly political griping. (My brother reports that our mother has been hearing people at the hardware store talking about how Trump’s cabinet picks prove that he’s abandoning the people who voted for him. Van Buren County is about as red as it gets, so this is actually a fairly big deal.)

Tomorrow, Scott’s hoping that he, Cordelia, and my parents can go to a movie. He’s also talking about trying to find a store that carries superhero related t-shirts that Cordelia will like. I’m not optimistic on that bit because she’s already rejected the sort of thing that Target carries. I will likely just hang out in our room all day, either listening to audiobooks or watching Steven Universe.

My left foot is killing me from the walking I did today. My Achille’s tendon hurts a lot, and the area where it attaches to my heel (is that the calcaneous bone? I seem to remember it being, but we did bones in seventh grade, so…) is a bit puffy. Also, my skin seems to be reacting to the sock glue, so having a day when I don’t need it would be really nice.
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On Thursday, before everything blew up, I ended up calling the hotel we were considering for our time visiting with my parents. They don’t have pet free rooms. The person I talked to said they could do a deep clean before we arrived, but there’s no guarantee that that would be enough. They don’t track which rooms have had which kinds of pets or when there have been pets in particular rooms. That seems silly to me. It takes weeks for pet related allergens to decay to the point of being harmless, and I’m not the only person in the world with animal related allergies.

I am putting off looking elsewhere because, at this point, we don’t know if we’ll be able to go at all. Cordelia may not be able to leave town during the window we have, and Scott may have to use up those vacation days now in order to help her out. I should have a better idea about that by the middle of the week. My parents say they’ll cover the hotel if we are able to visit, so from the financial point of view, it’s doable.

I’m thinking that I probably shouldn’t buy the other Christmas gifts I was planning. It’s a pity because the Sentinels of the Multiverse thing I ordered for Scott turned out to be a heck of a lot less substantial than I expected, given the price. I really hope that he knew what it actually was when he put it on his list. I got Cordelia an electric shoulder blanket that got good reviews, and there’s a blu-ray set that all three of us wanted— Supergirl season 1. Cordelia bought Scott a copy of Ant-Man. I had intended to get some books for both Scott and Cordelia, but I think I need to hold off on that until I see what’s happening with our medical expenses. Of course, I want to buy Cordelia All The Things.

For today, I’m keeping my to do list short. I need to wash a load of laundry (two if I’m ambitious). I need to bake bread (bread machine) because I know I won’t do it tomorrow. Doing the dishes would be nice, but I kind of don’t think I will. I’d like to go to the library, but again, it doesn’t absolutely have to be done today. My holds don’t expire until tomorrow, and I can renew the one thing that’s due today.

My sister’s eight year old son is apparently having huge, huge anxiety problems. My sister has has five surgeries and a major car accident in the last year and a half. Each time, she’s assured him that everything is okay and over (because her doctors always told her it was). Now he doesn’t believe it any more. And really why would he? He’s struggling at school. He understands things when my sister explains them, but the methodology she teaches him for math isn’t what the schools want, so they mark his work wrong even when he gets the right answer. He doesn’t understand the methodology they’re trying to teach at all because it doesn’t fit how he thinks and learns. She can’t homeschool him because she needs to work in order for the family to have health insurance.

I kind of want to write utterly self indulgent drawerfic right now, but I’m spending most of my time with Cordelia glued to my side and reading over my shoulder (she’s out of the house right this moment but will be back soon).
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My game went well yesterday. The pronouns got kind of confused, but, eh, whatever. Misgendering someone’s character is nowhere near as bad as misgendering them, at least not in a four hour convention game where they didn’t create the character. If they’d created the characters, that would be different because the players might have some investment.

We had one man playing a male character, and one woman playing a female character. Then there was a woman playing a character of undefined gender ('other' covers a lot of territory, and the player didn’t specify). The final player was a guy who looked at his character, which I’d tried to write gender neutral but tended to think of as male, and decided that the character read female. Later on, the character shape shifted into male human form in order to impersonate a dead assassin.

I ended up doing a lot more making stuff up than I had planned to. A lot of things I had been going to do just didn’t feel right with this group and the things they did. I only ran about ten minutes over my time slot (there was an hour until the next game scheduled in there), and I let the player characters take down the bad guys without any twists because it was the very end of our time slot. If it had been a game I expected to continue or if the players had been unwise about how they went about things, I’d have had at least one person get away, but the players were pretty sensible about their tactics and about what they could do.

I played in a Chill game from 8:00 until a bit after midnight. Chill is a horror game, but the horrors tend to be on a smaller scale than in Call of Cthulhu, and the player characters are actually part of an organization dedicated to fighting such things. My character was a young, former soldier with combat experience in the Middle East. Her impetus for getting involved with the organization was the organization saving her girlfriend from a werewolf that my character, who had been expecting coyotes, couldn’t kill.

I was the only woman at the table apart from the GM, but it was a reasonable group of guys. I didn’t really look closely at the advantages and disadvantages when I picked the character, and I discovered once I did that the character had a honking big disadvantage in terms of not being able to talk clearly. The explanation said it could be shyness, could be a stutter or a lisp, or anything else that made spoken communications something I wasn’t comfortable with or good at. I did a lot of hand gestures and holding up the items that I thought were important in order to draw attention to them. I didn’t speak in complete sentences unless they were very, very short and most just tried to pick the important words. Sometimes the other players got what I was getting at, and sometimes they didn’t.

We were trying to locate and stop a revenant. The GM hinted heavily (at least, I thought it was heavily) that we would need dirt from its grave in order to kill it. She actually said, when we found the grave, that the dirt 'might be useful.' And the revenant left dirty hand prints on everything it touched and kept stopping to shower without managing to get rid of the dirt. My character had a rifle and a very high skill with it. I ended up pulling out all of my bullets and smearing a little bit of grave dirt on each of them. None of the other characters did, so I was the only one who could do more than knock the thing back.

But we’d cornered it in a bathroom, and one of the other characters could draw a line that magic and monsters couldn’t cross, so we were able to stand back and take our time. A couple of characters who lacked weapons tried throwing handfuls of dirt and then were surprised that throwing loose dirt was actually difficult (some of that was dice, but…). Then the martial artist smeared dirt on his hands and arms and went into the bathroom and rolled a critical success on his attack. He didn’t kill it, but he got it down for long enough that I could put a bullet through the heart, and the law enforcement types could put cuffs on it. That shut it down. We then took it back to the grave site and burned the body. Some characters just wanted to bury it again, but I was very opposed to that.

I got back to the room about 12:30, and, naturally, I had a hot flash. Scott and Cordelia were both already asleep, and I didn’t want to risk waking them, so I just got ready for bed and used a damp towel to try to cool off a little. I didn’t end up sleeping all that well. The bed isn’t terrible. Lying on it doesn’t hurt. It’s just that, when I stand up, my back is very stiff and painful, and my knees and hips ache.

We got carryout Chinese food last night. Scott nearly poisoned himself by trusting that the online menu was accurate. He ordered a dish containing several different types of meat. The online menu did not mention beef, just pork and chicken and shrimp, but I was dubious when I saw the dish. The paper menu Scott ended up with said there was beef. Scott didn’t end up getting sick (which surprises me because he did eat some of the dish), so we got hugely lucky. We threw out half of the food because Scott wasn’t willing to try to keep it and take it home (or to eat it cold in the morning).

I’m trying to scavenge a decent breakfast. I don’t want to spend $15 on the hotel’s breakfast buffet given that it would basically be bacon, a little fruit, and a ton of carbs. If I could eat eggs, it would be different, but I can’t. I’ve gotten about half of my stuff packed. What’s left is all the small things that I’ll have to find. I think everything that’s left is by the sink, but I’ll need to look around a bit.

Cordelia has asked Scott to take her home some time between checkout and when he runs at 4. I think that it’s a reasonable thing to ask given that there’s nothing else he can do in that time because how things are scheduled, but it’ll take at least half an hour.

I have about 1500 words of my Yuletide fic done. This is just one section out of several that I have planned, but I think this bit could stand alone perfectly well if I don’t finish anything else, and that’s something of a relief. I need to tweak things a little because there’s a character who uses a few different names in canon. I’m used to using one, but my POV character would likely default to the other. Or maybe she wouldn’t. I need to review that specific bit of canon.

I’m glad we have a couple of hours before checkout because I just slopped tea all over my chest. I’ve only got the one bra that’s clean, and I already packed the spare shirt that I brought. I can dig that out because Scott hasn’t taken that bag to the car yet, but I don’t want to shove the wet shirt into the bag or to put the wet bra back on.

I haven’t been able to brew tea that’s strong enough for me to taste it. I gave the second mug extra time to steep, but that didn’t help. I’m hoping that two mugs of weak tea will give me enough caffeine to avoid a headache from that. Of course, I’m likely to get a headache from poor sleep. I don’t know.
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I just got back from a breakfast for women GMs. Cordelia came along and stayed for part of it even though she’s not a GM and not interested in being one. Including Cordelia, there were eight of us. I think that part of that was that it was 8 a.m. on a Saturday so that being there required more effort than most people were willing to put forth. I know that wanting to go to the breakfast was part of the reason I didn’t play in anything last night. I really enjoyed the discussion which was pretty wide ranging. Cordelia left after about an hour and a half, but I stayed until things finally broke up at 11:30. Four of us stayed that long. I’m pretty certain that I was the oldest one there.

There was only one person pre-registered for my event. She’s someone I know and have gamed with previously. If Scott is willing to play, I can run something, just probably not what I had planned. I think though, that Scott and Rain wouldn’t mind if I go off script entirely. I’ll just be a little sad about all of the prep work I did that won’t get used.

No one pre-regged for my Sunday game or for Scott’s. I think the timing works against us. Any players we get will probably come in on generics and not really have planned to stay at the convention quite that late in the day.

We got out the door a little later yesterday than we intended, but the trip to the hotel went faster than Scott expected, and there was no line for picking up our pre-reg stuff. We had a game at 10. It was scheduled to run until 2, but at 12:30, the GM told us we’d run through everything she’d had planned. We were using the Leverage game rules, but the scenario kind of went sideways because the two guys playing the hitters refused to make plans or to cooperate with the rest of us. They just wanted to wave their guns around and shoot people. The rest of us pointing out that killing cops made all the other cops really enthusiastic about coming after us didn’t make any impression at all. Scott actually says that, because of those two players, the game left a bad taste in his mouth and that he really regrets that he’s not likely to have a chance to play with a different group any time soon.

Scott wanted to hang out at the convention until we absolutely had to leave to get Cordelia, but I was too tired and really couldn’t walk. Also, there weren’t that many people there, and the dealers’ room wasn’t open. If we were just going to sit around, I wanted to do it at home where I could deal with laundry and the dishes and all of that. Scott wanted to try to get our room early so that I could nap there. I wanted to lie down in my own bed.

Scott was pretty cranky with me because my attempt to nap meant the we left home about 5:30 last night which is, of course, an awful time to be on the highways around here. Me pointing out that none of us had anything scheduled until 10 p.m. didn’t make him happier.

I spent most of the evening in our hotel room. I started a couple of different bits of my Yuletide story. I’m not sure if I’ll keep them all, but right now, I’m planning five sections that will involve different character interactions. I’ll see how that goes.

Cordelia hung out here, too, mostly watching TV (well, trying to find something to watch on TV). We didn’t manage to get the heat to work, but we did manage to turn off the thing that was blowing freezing cold air throughout the room. Sadly for me, the room was cold enough that I wanted a blanket but not cold enough that the quilt on the bed was bearable.

I’m playing in a game from 8-12 tonight. I think I’ve played the system before, but it’s been at least twenty years, so I’m not actually sure. If I have played it before, it was with this particular gamemaster and likely at UCon. The game system is Chill. It’s a horror adventure game kind of in the same vein as Call of Cthulhu but without the trademarked bits. I don’t remember anything at all about the rules, but the GM listed it as no experience necessary, and I’m pretty sure I can adapt. I’ve had fun playing some thoroughly terrible game systems just because the GM and/or player group was good.
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I’m up because I’ve had a headache since around the time Cordelia got up. I’m hoping that I can beat it into submission and go back to bed for a while. To that end, I’m delaying my dose of Zoloft until lunch time. If that works okay, I’ll probably take it then as a regular thing. At this point, I’ve had my tea and breakfast and taken naproxen. An hour later, none of that has addressed the headache. It doesn’t feel like a migraine, so I hesitate to try Amerge, especially since I think Amerge may not be safe with Zoloft (the information sheet with the prescription says not to take Imitrex. Amerge is fundamentally the same thing, just longer acting).

I got about another eight graphic novels at the library yesterday. I’m hoping I can read most of them this week and get them back to the library. I have thirty three items checked out with more holds likely to come in.

I checked last night as to whether or not the library had a copy of a movie I was considering offering for Yuletide only to discover that it was never issued on DVD and isn’t available anywhere I could find but Amazon. I could buy a copy, electronically, for about $8, but I’d rather not do that, so I’m not going to offer the fandom. It’s not as if I don’t have plenty of other options.

I spent a little time sorting the fandoms that I’d put on my I-could-write-this list and then moved to my yeah-but-I’m-not-going-to list. I wanted to figure out my reasons for each decision. There were two things I plan to request that are unlikely to get offers, and I want those to be on the part of the sign up summary that indicates no offers just in case someone’s thinking about offering. Two things are fandoms I’ve written before that I just don’t want to try this year. Six were things that, based on the requested characters, I suspect will call for shippy fic that I’m not convinced I could pull off. Nine were things that I love but that I don’t think I can write because they have very distinctive styles or characters that I don’t think I can pull off. Ten are things with canons too long for me to be willing to review the whole thing and then write. Nine are things that I would have to buy in order to offer (two of those, I could almost certainly get from the library, but the others, not so much). The remaining ten are things that I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t want to write them.

I’ve still got sixteen fandoms I’m willing to offer, so I’m calling it good. I may check out a few of the five minute fandom options, but I’ll only offer those if they really grab me by the throat and insist. There was one video I thought I might offer, but then I discovered that the nominator hadn’t disambiguated and that the video I wanted to write for wasn’t the one they wanted to receive. The song name was pretty damned generic, so I don’t know why it was approved without disambiguation.

At any rate, I’m hoping to do my Yuletide sign up some time today. I don’t want to wait until the last minute, and I thought that the middle of the day, US, on a weekday would be a better time, in terms of server load, to sign up.

I managed to do my UCon event pre-registration last night. Several things I was interested in were full already. I ended up with three events and some generics. Some of that was that I’m not sure how tired I will be. I didn’t want to commit to anything Friday night, for example, because there’s something I want to do at 8 a.m. on Saturday. I will have time to nap after that because there were only two things I was interested in that morning and both are full. Scott and I will play in one game together, Friday morning. We were trying for two, but he got the last ticket for that one. It’s a Sentinels of the Multiverse game with the game designer, and I think Scott will get a much bigger thrill out of that than I would. He’s hoping to get his boxed set signed. If I’d gotten the last ticket, I’d probably have given it to him.

I wonder if anyone’s signed up for either of my UCon events? There are a lot of people running Sentinels, and I’m in the very last slot of the convention. I don’t know how many people stay that late. I’m the only person running Amber diceless, but it’s a pretty old system at this point, and I don’t know how many people will know Zelazny’s books.
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Scott had to work 3:00 to 7:00 this morning. He went to bed around 8:30. I was up until about midnight because Cordelia didn’t get in until after 11:00. I was up every two or three hours all night, needing the bathroom, the same as the night before. I really hope this doesn’t continue. Usually, I can got four to six hours. I ended up awake at about 7:30 and gave up on sleeping any more.

I wrote about three hundred words on a story I hadn’t touched in months. I might focus on finishing that one because I don’t think it will be dreadfully long. Also, I’m writing to a prompt from someone else, and I promised them a story.

I did Cordelia’s UCon registration last night. I bought her some generics and two tickets for specific events. I haven’t been able to persuade her to look at the game listings to see if anything else would interest her.

I’m hesitating over mine for two reasons. The first is that I’ve already paid my $10 registration fee but that the site won’t let me buy event tickets unless I buy another registration. The other thing is that I have no idea how much energy I’ll have or exactly when Scott and I will arrive on Friday. There are things I’d like to try that start at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. on Friday, but we may not get there that early. There are some things I’d like to try on Sunday, but they all run over check out time. I’m not convinced that we can get up, pack, and be out of the room in time to make a 9:00 a.m. event. Scott and I are both running games at 4:00 on Sunday, and given our interests, check out time, and what’s available, I don’t think we’re going to be able to play any games earlier in the day. I’d like to play at least one game with Scott, but I don’t think timing is going to work out. The things we’re both interested in are mostly at times when he’s running games or on Friday or Sunday morning.

Scott and I got carryout from Applebee’s for dinner last night. The food was okay. I wish they wouldn’t keep changing their menu and getting rid of the things I like/can eat. Their online order form also doesn’t have any option for making special requests such as me not wanting black pepper or Scott needing his food kept away from beef.

I did the last of the easy phone number changes yesterday. Monday, I’m going to figure out how to change the number on record with Social Security and Medicare. Neither agency has ever called me, but I’m sure that, if I don’t change the number, suddenly there will be occasion for it.
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I got everything urgent on yesterday’s to do list done. There’s part of me that feels like I didn’t do anything on the writing front, but I spent about an hour doing research to help me make some important story decisions. Sadly, the option that works best is the one that’s least original. I suppose cliches are cliches for a reason.

I sent off the Social Security forms today. Scott looked them over and said that they looked accurate to him. I just kept staring at them and thinking that there must be something else I needed to say or to clarify.

I’m still debating the question of running something at UCon. I thought about taking an old Amber scenario I ran at a convention in the 1990s and repurposing the characters, but none of the related documents are in a format I can open (I don’t know what they were originally, either, which makes it harder). I might have hard copies in the basement somewhere, but looking would be as difficult as reconstructing everything from scratch because I’m not sure which boxes my mother put that stuff in back when we were packing stuff away before Cordelia arrived. Tomorrow is the deadline for event submission. They’ll likely still take events after that— they usually do— but such events don’t tend to get scheduled when the GM wants and are otherwise inconvenient.

At this point, Scott’s not planning to get a hotel room for the convention. I would prefer a place to stay if only because it’s a huge help during my down times to be able to lie down or pull out my laptop somewhere comfortable.

Scott’s getting annoyed with the books in the living room, the ones I want to get rid of. I just don’t feel like there are enough of them to merit talking to Books by Chance, but they’re all things that start at at least $8 used on Amazon. It’s just that Books by Chance doesn’t like to take old books, and most of these are. I suppose I should email them. I also need to email an antiquarian book dealer who’s been recommended to me as someone who might be interested in an old Quaker book that I have. Those things just keep getting pushed down the list of priorities.

I’m looking at ordering some tea from the Stash website. The hard part is keeping myself from ordering lots and lots of stuff. I really just want the white chocolate mocha black tea, but I could get that sampler that Scott used up again, and I could try this, that, and the other thing that looks interesting. But I don’t want to spend money, and I really don’t need more boxes of tea cluttering up the cupboard, not even if they’re on sale. Sadly, the other Stash tea that I wanted more of, one of their Chanakara teas, the blue ginger, is out of stock. My impression is that that entire line may be going away because all of it is heavily on sale or out of stock. The Walmart website says they still have it for mail order, but I don’t know if I want it enough to order there.

I spent a while last night looking at fair trade chocolates I could order online. I won’t because, by the time it arrived, I wouldn’t want it any more. I discovered, though, that one of the chocolate shops downtown, Kilwin’s, has some fair trade stuff, not everything but some things. But I also don’t want chocolate enough to go downtown just to get some. I also don’t want a lot or need anything high end. A couple of squares of Dove dark chocolate (which I’m 99% sure isn’t fair trade) would do me.

My to do list for today has two things that will be very quick, one thing I can’t do until about 5:30, and two very time consuming things that I likely will be working on for days or weeks. One, of course, is the fic I’m writing. One of the quick things will be hard because it’s a phone call. I managed two phone calls yesterday, changing our phone number with Cordelia’s pediatrician and school. I should probably call Kroger pharmacy today as that’s more likely to matter soon than my various doctors.

The other quick thing is making sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia for tomorrow. For some reason, doing that at the end of the day seems to eat up a vast amount of time, but when I do it in the morning or early afternoon, it clearly takes less than five minutes. I have no idea on that one.
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We need to run some errands this afternoon. The toys we want to donate are in the car. There’s a check to be cashed. I’d like to get to the post office to mail a couple of things. Then there’s the library. We have to go today or tomorrow. I should also put away the laundry I washed yesterday and run a second load. The putting away is necessary because we only have one available basket. We used to have three, but one has vanished, and the other is holding laundry that Scott’s been intending to put away for many months (I just keep dumping his clean stuff in there every week. Learning where he wants everything to go is on my long term to do list, but we never seem to have time for that).

Cordelia has finally gotten Pokemon Go to work on her phone, and she’s enjoying it. She caught a couple inside our house last night. We’re going to use that as incentive to get her to go out with us to run errands. The area around the library is soggy with Ingress portals, so it must have a lot of Pokemon Go stuff, too.

I gave the hotel where we stayed in Chicago a good review at the site through which we booked it. I’d definitely stay there again if we go back to the area. It’s the SpringHill Suites by Marriott O’Hare Airport.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke about 4:30 and didn’t fall asleep again until around 9:00. Scott got up at 9:30 to go do a fasting blood draw, and then the pharmacy called to say that the prescription I called in last night is ready for pick up, so I just gave up and got out of bed.

I have a DVD due back at the library tomorrow. I think I can renew it, but I’ve already renewed it once, and I’m not sure that keeping it another week will get me to watch it. I’ve also got some DVDs coming in this week’s batch of holds, including one largish set (which has a two or three week check out period). I’ve got three graphic novels due back on Sunday, and I’m still holding out hope that I’ll finish some of them in time to return them. I’m halfway through one of them, so that one’s entirely possible.

Scott’s looking at signing up to run something or another at UCon this year, and he asked if I’d thought about running a PlotLuck. I have, but I really don’t think I’m up to it this year. It just feels like something too big given how I’ve been doing the last year. I might try to run some sort of tabletop rpg, but I haven’t done that since before Cordelia was born (so over thirteen years), and I was never very good at contained scenarios. I wrote one for Scott once that worked well, but I think that was 90% because he managed it properly. I can write decent scenarios. I’m just terrible at running them so that they finish in the event window. I think that the problem is that I kind of meander as a GM and would rather let the players chase down what intrigues them rather than try to get them to follow my planned plot. That works a heck of a lot better for a campaign. Also, I have no idea what system I could use. I go rules lite no matter what I use, and there really isn’t anything current that I know well enough to run with.
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I napped for a bit before we left the hotel yesterday. I just couldn’t stay awake. We got out of there around 11:00, an hour before we had to leave. We drove to the Museum of Science and Industry and spent about three hours there. It would have been longer, but I pointed out to Scott that it had been six hours since breakfast. I was a bit out of it through the entire time in the museum.

The folks at the hotel front desk told me that not only was there not supposed to be a feather pillow in our room but that the entire seventh floor of the hotel is supposed to be a feather/down free zone. I suppose that designating one floor for it makes remembering easier for the staff.

We got to Lawton about dinner time and ended up stopping to eat with my parents again. I think my step-father was really surprised at how scared Cordelia was of their dogs which are pretty big and pretty rambunctious. They’re about 18 months old, so maybe they’ll calm down later. I don’t know. It just makes me glad that we didn’t end up staying overnight with my parents this summer. My mother understood, but I think she always hopes that the situation will have magically changed or that my step-father will somehow remember that he needs to control the dogs (they do listen to him, but he doesn’t mind them jumping on him or shoving their noses into parts of his body, so he forgets that some people really do). I ended up with a scratch on one leg from one of the dogs jumping on me.

We made it home around 8:30. I spent about twenty minutes unpacking the stuff that absolutely had to be unpacked, and then I kind of collapsed on the couch.

We got up a little after 7:00 this morning so that we could pull ourselves together and get to Cordelia’s dermatology appointment on time. That and her annual were in the same building and only forty five minutes apart. Scott chose to stay in the lobby during the appointments. We stopped at Kroger on the way home because Cordelia was out of cereal.

I’ve been writing this afternoon. It’s pretty much OOC crap, so I don’t expect to do anything with it long term. I might share it with a friend who enjoys this sort of thing but doesn’t know the fandom and so wouldn’t be thrown out of the story by the question of why these characters would even do these things. I’m just kind of throwing in whatever I feel like writing without bothering to do the work of, you know, making it good.

We didn’t get anything much else done today. We might still go out to the library later, but we also might not. None of the holds expire until Saturday, so we have time. Then again, we have time now, so I don’t know.

We have a lot of leftovers that I ought to eat, but I really, for some weird reason, want pasta Alfredo (this is probably partly from watching Cordelia eat her leftovers from last night). I don’t actually like pasta very much, so I’m confused by this. What we’ve got is about a dozen potatoes, some green beans, and either pulled pork (currently frozen) or pulled chicken, so that’s probably what I’ll end up eating. I just don’t want to.
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I think we only spend three or four hours at the Field Museum. The reciprocity with the Hands On Museum got us basic admission for free (I think that would have been between $60 and $70 total), but we had to pay to see the Terracotta Warrior exhibit. There was a lot less to that than we expecting. It was very impressive but we saw it all in under fifteen minutes without rushing.

I was pretty tired by the time we got to the museum because we ended up standing most of the trip in on the Blue line which is a bit more than half an hour. I did some Ingress along the way, but any time the train went underground, I couldn’t do anything (Scott still could). We had seats on the bus for the second leg of the trip.

Ingress in the museum was very frustrating because, for some reason, GPS was hugely, hugely flaky. I’d be trying to do something, and suddenly the GPS would think I was somewhere else altogether. I managed to upgrade a resonator on Wrigley Field from the Tibetan exhibit. A lot of the other place the GPS threw me to, I couldn’t find a portal I recognized to orient me, so I don’t know if they were near the Field Museum or miles away.

I think it was about 2:30 when Scott had seen everything he wanted to. Cordelia adamantly refused to try the planetarium or the aquarium. I think that Scott and I might have wanted to walk a little bit to do some Ingress, but Cordelia complains non-stop when we do that. Also, I wasn’t sure what sort of resources I actually had left, physically.

We had to stand for a good bit of the bus trip back, and the bus took a turn that Scott didn’t expect. He says that the route Google gave him called for a right turn, and the bus went left. So we walked about four blocks to the Blue line instead of the two we expected. Fortunately, the train was not crowded. We just managed to catch the hotel shuttle (they do one every half an hour. It’s a fifteen minute walk.)

We ended up getting dinner from a salad bar and hot bar at a grocery store near the hotel. That was not particularly good and not particularly bad. I’m kind of wishing I’d suggested eating in and then seeing what the Outback downstairs has in terms of dessert. It’s a little late for that now (in terms of me being able to eat anything).

Checkout time is noon. We’ve been getting up at 7:00 and getting breakfast around 7:30. That leaves a lot of time for packing. I expect Scott and Cordelia will go swimming again during that window. The plan is for us to drive to the Museum of Science and Industry, spend a few hours there, and then leave no later than 3:00. I’m kind of tempted to stop in Lawton on the way home because we’ll want dinner around then anyway.

I did suggest stopping on the way home to visit Scott’s aunt and uncle, but Scott’s not willing to deal with them and his cousins this year due to political differences. Too much need for us to bite our tongues or say things that would split the family. I think Scott might argue with his cousins, but his aunt is 80.
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We’re trying to get our act together to get out the door to head for the Field Museum. We’re all dressed. We’ve all had breakfast. The next step is making lunches to take with us. I’m just sitting around right now to see how my digestive system settles down. Mornings are pretty much not great times in that direction, and I really want that out of the way before we start our trek.

I had coffee this morning. I added seven of those little cups of flavored creamer plus some sugar. That made it just barely drinkable. They had turkey Canadian bacon this morning, so there was protein I could safely eat. I also had a small bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and cranberries.

It’s kind of sad that, after coffee and a coke, I really, really want to sleep.

Scott realized last night that his pillow did, in fact, contain feathers. Nothing in the room is supposed to contain feathers/down, but it was 11 p.m., and he didn’t want to deal with it beyond swapping pillows with me. I think we should tell the front desk because the next person in the room may have a more severe allergy than Scott does.

Scott and Cordelia went swimming last night. They were surprised at how warm the pool is.
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Scott and Cordelia came back to the hotel around 2:00 because Cordelia was worn out. Scott suggested that we go back into town to walk around Chinatown but realized it wouldn’t work when I pointed out that I can only walk a few blocks and that that has to include getting back to the starting point.

The easing of stress meant that I kind of ended up falling over for an hour long nap. Cordelia was not pleased by that.

After I got up, Scott and I walked about three blocks to a Walgreen’s to get a few things he needed. There was a portal across the street from that, so we hacked in and captured it.

We stayed in for dinner. I had some Progresso soup. Scott had chicken and green beans (and was annoyed that we forgot to bring the baked potatoes). I’m not sure what Cordelia ate, but she had something.

Scott looked at maybe going to Chinatown after our museum trip tomorrow, but it would require a lot of walking to get there, and then it would be all walking around. We’re pretty sure I can do it.
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We all woke this morning before any of the alarms we’d set went off. The free hot breakfast was fairly varied, but the protein options were mostly things I can’t eat. I ended up with some muffin type things and some honeydew melon and two slices of lunchmeat. I’m pretty sure those were ham, but they weren’t labeled. All three of us tried the orange juice. Cordelia and I found it too sweet. Scott didn’t notice that at all. I couldn’t finish mine because it tasted wrong.

I had a headache for about half of last night. It eased when I got up but didn’t go away. I think that it’s partly me freaking out over trying to go into town to meet Scott and Cordelia for dinner and partly me being undercaffeinated. I’ve had a small Coca-Cola. I probably should have ventured the coffee at the breakfast. I just didn’t want to try to deal with it. I ended up lying down for a while after Scott and Cordelia left, and I think that helped, too.

And a bit later…

I’ve made coffee. I wish that hotels provided more in the way of creamer for coffee. One packet of powder isn’t nearly enough for me. I added two packets of sugar and poured in some honey, and it’s only marginally drinkable. When I use CoffeeMate or the equivalent, I do three parts coffee to one part creamer. That stuff’s largely sugar, so I don’t add anything further.

Scott just texted to say that they’re done at Willis Tower and are heading for Navy Pier now. (I seem to have estimated the time they’d spend at Willis Tower accurately. Scott’s text was within half an hour of my best guess for when they’d be leaving for Navy Pier.) He emailed me a photo he took from the skydeck. He also texted to say that buying the transit pass is very, very easy. That’s just part of what I’m anxious about, but it helps a little.

I kind of want to write. I’m not sure whether I should try editing the Amber thing I wrote the other day or see if I can come up with something else. The existing story needs a fairly massive rewrite of the beginning because of my usual problem with not including things that I know that the reader really needs to know, too. I always laugh when I hear the writing rules that say one should tighten in a second draft and cut things out. I always, always, always add at least 150 words per thousand of the first draft. At least. When I’m writing, I have a tendency to jump over the stuff that’s obvious to me and to assume that it must be equally obvious to everyone else.

I need to clarify the starting situation and how everyone came to be where they are and to make the decisions they made. I also need to lay groundwork for the ending.

Of course, when I first saw the beta comments, I had a nasty migraine and just kind of wanted to cry because everything (not just the writing!) seemed utterly impossible. I’m glad that I sat on that and just left everything until my brain was functioning again. I’m pretty sure I can make this work.

But I’m still kind of foggy and anxious right now. It might be better to write something new, something that’s not going to take much thought.

I think, now that I’ve had some coffee, I should drink a lot of water. I’m pretty sure that dehydration contributed to my mid-drive migraine yesterday. I had had about half as much water by that point in the day as I normally would have had. Pretty much the first thing I did on getting to the hotel room was to knock back about six glasses of water (hotel room provided dinky glasses).

I’m confusing myself about time of day because I haven’t changed the time on my laptop. It would be pretty easy to do, but we’ll be home Wednesday evening, and then I’d have to remember to change it back. I’m mostly remembering to subtract an hour or to look at my phone for the right time but not always.

I’ve been listening to little bits of different audiobooks, but nothing’s sticking right now. I don’t think it’s the books. I’m pretty darned sure it’s me. I brought some DVDs that I could watch on my laptop, but I’m not convinced that I’ll do better with those than I am with audiobooks.

And I just dripped coffee on my shirt. Fortunately, I brought an extra, but it’s still not ideal.
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We’re in Chicago. I feel pretty generally terrible at the moment, partly from a headache that came on at about the Indiana border (I had naproxen in my purse, but my migraine medication was packed, and I didn’t dare take an Ativan because I wasn’t absolutely sure I hadn’t taken one this morning. I’m 60-70% sure, but I didn’t want to risk it) and partly because we had dinner very, very late. I’m not sure I’m going to sleep at all well because of the eating late. It was 7:55 Central time which is an hour past my normal deadline due to the time difference.

We had lunch with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend. I was really pleased to meet her. She seems really nice and enjoys the things my brother does— watching baseball, bike riding, ferrets. She’s a psychologist. She asked if I’ve read anything by Nisi Shawl, who is her cousin, and I had to admit that I haven’t. I should, but I haven’t.

My brother and step-father were both thrilled to hear that Cordelia is thinking about social work. My step-father pointed out that the University of Michigan is internationally known as a school for social work (at the masters level and higher). He also said that she shouldn’t believe people who tell her that social workers only do one specific thing because there are a lot of different specialties. He and my brother did admit, though, that the bit about not getting paid very much is true.

We got to the hotel around 6:00, local time. We’d had an interesting time because Scott decided to let Google route him on what it considered the current shortest way given traffic conditions and construction, but that led to difficulties in terms of needing to change lanes at awkward times and without much notice. The voice would tell us to take a particular route without telling us if it was on the right or the left, and with, four lanes going the same way, that makes a huge difference.

I’m dithering about whether or not I can go downtown to join Scott and Cordelia at dinner time tomorrow. It will mean managing a bunch of scary things entirely on my own. They would really like it if I do, and I think the food might well be better than a bowl of microwaved Progresso soup, but I’d have to figure out where and how to buy a CTA pass. The website uses enough jargon that I’m pretty sure I’d be confused even without the lingering headache.

Of course, if I don’t go into town, I’m going to have to venture out anyway to get a hack in for Ingress. The nearest portals are not easy to get to, so I’d have to wander a bit and hope to find something that I just can’t see from here. As far as I can tell, though, all of the El stations are portals. I suppose I should have expected that.

I made my Camp NaNo goal, mostly. I had 9804 words of new fiction this month, and I decided that I would just take a chunk of my journal writing to fill things out. It’s writing. I did it this month. I figured Scott and Cordelia wouldn’t be thrilled by me sitting up with my laptop, trying to come up with another two hundred words.

Of course, at this point, they’ve gone out in search of a grocery store that’s still open. Scott and I both forgot his distilled water, so he can’t do his sinus wash or (more important) run his bi-PAP.

The hotel is reasonably nice. I asked for no down pillows because Scott’s allergic, and they gave us a 'guaranteed feather free room.' They apparently use down pillows in most rooms but have a few rooms designated for people with down/feather allergies. They run a shuttle to the nearest El station once every half an hour. I didn’t ask how late in the day they continue that or how early they start. I should have. The desk staff were very friendly and polite.

Okay, time to brush my teeth. I might as well get my time at the sink while there’s no competition.
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I’ve got some packing done, almost all of my clothes and an assortment of dishes, cutlery, and canned goods. I’ve packed the medications that we might need on the trip but won’t need before we leave.

Scott did the grocery shopping. I asked for canned fruit and canned vegetables, and he got like five cans of vegetables and no fruit (we have two cans of fruit in the cupboard) which I think is kind of the opposite of the correct proportions in terms of what our family will eat. I had him get some Coca-Cola because I don’t know that I want to deal with trying to make coffee that will please me while we’re at the hotel.

I think Scott and I have very different ideas about food for this trip. He thinks that, with one loaf of bread, we can all three eat two sandwiches a day, Sunday through Wednesday, and be fine. I don’t think I can do that without just stopping eating by some time on Tuesday.

We made it to the library to pick up the audiobooks I had on hold. It was incredibly crowded downtown, bumper to bumper traffic all the way down Division and Broadway and hordes of people walking along the sidewalks, and it took us twice as long to get home as it normally would. Scott got stuck in a turn lane as we headed down Division, so we had to go around the Farmer’s Market in order to get back to the street we needed to be on.

The audiobooks are The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, and How They Choked by Georgia Bragg. Another audiobook came in, but that's for me rather than for the family to listen to on the trip. I think Scott and I might like trying Ancillary Justice, but I'm pretty sure Cordelia would rebel.

Right now, I want to nap, but I need to do more packing. I also need to shower and then pack the shower stuff. I’ve had some things I want to take laid out on the couches in the living room, but Scott keeps moving them and piling other things (that we’re not taking) on top of them, so I’m going to have make extra sure I find everything and actually get it to the car.

Scott thinks we’re actually going to go out and do something after we reach the hotel tomorrow. I think he’s dreaming. I also can’t think of what on earth we would want to do that we could start at 4:00 or 5:00. I had thought we’d stay and the hotel and that Scott and Cordelia would swim and we’d all relax. Maybe we could watch a DVD on my laptop or something.

The idea of doing something after checking out of the hotel on Wednesday but before heading home makes more sense to me. Scott says that he thinks Cordelia will enjoy the Field Museum more than the Museum of Science and Industry and that he likes the idea of having the planetarium and aquarium right there if we get bored with the Field Museum. Maybe we can do Science and Industry on Wednesday. I’d hate for Scott to miss it altogether, and I very much want to try to get Cordelia to be interested in science enough to be (at the very least) scientifically literate.

I haven’t started printing directions yet. I will likely do that while we watch whatever movie Cordelia picks out for tonight. We’ll see.
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I woke this morning with a headache that I haven’t quite managed to get rid of. I took Ativan (because it might be trip related anxiety) and Amerge (because it was definitely migraine-ish). It might also relate to the weather. I heard thunder right for a couple of hours this morning. I just can’t seem to kick this one.

Scott is worried that he will get sick because he often does during his vacations. He thinks that suddenly not being sleep deprived signals his body that it can afford to be sick.

I’m going to work at getting Scott to bed by 10:00 on work nights. It will mean prodding and nagging which I hate doing, but apparently he can’t do it himself in spite of wanting to or, at least, saying he wants to.

I got Cordelia to talk to me about possible shopping destinations. Water Tower Place didn’t appeal to her at all. Her main objection was the lack of a book store. Neither of the other options seem to have a book store, either, but they do have stores that carry things she won’t see at our local mall. I think her interest in Navy Pier is more or less nostalgia because she had a lot of fun there when Scott’s brother’s family lived in Chicago (she and her cousin can’t have been older than about six). All of the things that I told her about that are there, she kind of went 'Eh' to (except the candy store), but she still wants to go. She’s very enthusiastic about the idea of Chinatown because the photographs online are very colorful and full of things that she’s not going to see in Ann Arbor.

Scott and I are thinking that they’ll start Monday with Willis Tower then go to Navy Pier and then to Chinatown. If I can manage the anxiety/agoraphobia, I will join them in Chinatown, and we’ll find dinner before going back to the hotel. I’m not entirely sure about paying admission to Navy Pier entirely for nostalgia and a candy store, but… Yeah.

Cordelia doesn’t actually care about the museums (or says she doesn’t). Scott wants to go to Science and Industry because it’s been his favorite since he was very, very small. I want to go to Field because I want to see the terracotta warriors exhibit (which costs extra). Both museums are big enough that it’s impossible to see everything in a day even if you’re there from open to close. I’m trying to figure out if we should try to do both museums or just one or the other. If we do just one, I’m inclined to go for Science and Industry because, for me, seeing a museum exhibit isn’t really all that different from seeing photographs. I can’t touch anything either way, so there’s the same level of distance and the same tendency for what I see to vanish into a kind of cotton wool memory where I know I saw it but don’t really remember the sight.

Scott needs to do several things today so that we can leave on time tomorrow. We have to pick up library holds. We need travel food and hotel room food. We need portable recharger thingies for our phones. I can’t do any of that without him to drive.

I need to dig out suitcases (I wrote yesterday. I didn’t actually do anything useful). Now that we have a plan for Monday, I have to print directions. Scott’s planning to get an app for finding directions on the fly, but he can’t tell which one is the official app and refuses to go to the the CTA website in order to identify it. I have no idea what that refusal has to do with. Is it like the old 'If you ask for directions, you lose,' thing?

I’ve got enough clean clothes to pack without needing to do laundry, so I should be able to start. Cordelia has packed everything except what she needs to get through today and tomorrow morning. I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to take all of my medication bottles or just count out enough to get through the trip. The bottles are a PITA, and I would have to leave them in our hotel room. I don’t think anyone would steal any of my meds. People don’t go wild for anti-reflux meds or for singulair or what have you. The bottles are also evidence that the medication is legitimately prescribed. But, really, would anybody think I had levothyroxine for some other reason? I think Wellbutrin is the most likely, of any of my meds, to be abusable, but that’s purely a guess.

Let’s see… The trash has to go out. It’s already a bit stinky. I can’t imagine what it would be like by Wednesday. I should probably pull things that will go bad out of the fridge and toss them before I take out that trash. I’ll run the dishwasher tomorrow morning, whether it’s full or not, because I’m not willing to leave dirty dishes in there for days.

Oh, great. The mail just arrived, and I’ve got a largish packet from Social Security. They want me to prove that I’m still disabled. I think I’d be better able to deal with this if I didn’t have a headache and wasn’t trying to put together a vacation plan. They want a list of every doctor/medical professional I’ve seen in the last year. I hope I can pull that list together. It will probably help that all but one of them is part of the UMHS.
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I’m trying to figure out what to do when in Chicago. Cordelia just assumes that it will magically work out because what else are parents for? Scott’s exhausted and busy and doesn’t have time to talk about plans, but he’s the one who’s going to have carry out the majority of the plans, especially if I stay at the hotel one or both days.

He wants to do shopping/wandering around on Monday because it’s supposed to rain Tuesday which would make wandering around outside unpleasant. I’m wondering if I could face the mass transit system on my own in order to join them at dinner time that day or to spend the early part of the day with them and go back to the hotel when I start to tire out too much. (I’m less enthusiastic about the latter option because of the risk of me being too tired and/or anxious to get back on my own.)

Maybe I send them to the Willis Tower first thing on Monday and then they wander around after? I kind of suspect that Cordelia will find wandering around a bit less fascinating than she thinks she will. We’ve suggested three possible places for wandering around, but we can’t persuade her to look at websites and decide which she prefers. Scott’s only interested in so far as Cordelia is.

I’ve been looking for reviews on various destinations in terms of wheelchair accessibility, but I can’t find anyone at all talking about renting/borrowing chairs onsite and how well that works. I only found a handful of review at all, and all of them focused on accessible entrances and restrooms and elevators. All of which are hugely important but don’t address the problems I’m likely to have or things like how crowded it gets and whether that affects access to exhibits. I found one review of Shedd that indicated that it’s nearly impossible to get close enough to see anything in a wheelchair when it’s crowded, but nothing about Field or Science and Industry. I wonder— Is it that people who borrow wheelchairs don’t want to talk about it online? Am I using the wrong search terms?

I’d like to know how hard it’s likely to be for Scott to push the chairs each place has. I’d like to know if they have many that are wide enough for me to sit on and how many they have total. How often do they run out? Is there a time that’s better/worse for getting a chair? None of the places allow reserving chairs in advance.
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I was right. Scott had to leave as soon as he got dressed. I don’t think he even ate anything before he left. I hope he remembered his Beano so that he can eat some popcorn without getting sick.

Scott says he wants to keep any Lego people we might have. I was going to let him sort them out, but I knew that, if I asked him to, it would be weeks before he got to it. I don’t know how many of the figures will actually be useful for his purpose (minis for gaming), but they’re separated out now.

Ideally, I’d like Scott to take them and the books not worth selling to donate today. Art Fair may make that too hard to manage (it certainly means the books won’t go to the Friends of the Library), but keeping two tubs of toys in the living room isn’t great (and taking them back down to the basement seems unwise).

I’ve printed the directions from the Chicago hotel to various destinations including back home. Later on, when I feel a little more able to focus on it, I will print the directions for getting to the hotel from all of those places. Experience tells me that reversing things doesn’t necessarily work with, say, bus routes, and I don’t want to rely on Scott (or me or Cordelia) having enough charge on his cell phone to access directions that way.

I’m going to have to nail Scott down on what he wants to do when so that I can print directions from one destination to another. I’m not willing to do directions from everywhere to everywhere else, not when there are five or six distinct destinations that he and Cordelia are talking about.

Scott apparently doesn’t care when bread gets stale because I can’t persuade him to put loaves into bags or to close those bags. He’ll eat it anyway, but Cordelia and I won’t. Yesterday, he bought baba ghanouj that came with very thin flatbread for dipping. Scott left the bread open on the counter. I found it about six hours later at which point it was crunchy. We had a similar problem with flour tortillas earlier this week. The bag hadn’t gotten closed at all, and all of the tortillas were so dry they were crispy. I suppose that microwaving might revive one of those, but I resent having to try to salvage something like that. Also, microwaving only tends to keep things soft for a couple of minutes.

I’m going to wash the dirty sheets now. Then I’ll see about getting Cordelia to put away silverware so that I can run the dishwasher. After that, I’m not sure. I should write, but I feel like I need a nap. I got up earlier than usual because of Scott getting up, and I’ll have to do it again tomorrow because I have a dentist appointment in the morning. Or maybe I could manage a walk. It’s not horrifically hot yet, and it’s not actually raining right this second.

October 2017

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