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Various and sundry

Because I worked the Saturday before last, and my school was closed for Good Friday, I was blessed with a four-day weekend, and it was glorious!

Thursday: I started the day with a writing morning, for the first time in ages, during which I nearly finished a draft of my [community profile] ff_exchange story. Then I came home and worked on my Dragon Age replay all afternoon, followed by a lovely dinner with lovely friends and lovely wine in Alameda.

Oh, Dragon Age. I am so into this game, it's kind of ridiculous. To the point where, after a bit of agonizing, I broke down and bought the Ultimate Edition. To be fair, that cost about as much as buying Awakenings (the primary expansion pack) and one of the smaller downloads, so it'll probably be more cost effective in the end. Still, I have to face the fact that I have now purchased another copy of a game I already own. Does this make me a bigger geek than I already am?

Friday: Culinary adventures on the Peninsula with SE! We started with lunch and cupcakes at Vanilla Moon, then wandered down the street to an olive oil shop, where I was unable to resist walking out with a bottle of balsamic vinegar flavored with tangerine. It was really neat to taste dozens of oils and vinegars, play with blending the flavors, seeking out the perfect vinaigrette or dipping sauce combinations. The shopkeeper was really knowledgable and helpful, too.

Other stops included a taiyaki shop in San Mateo (little fish-shaped pastries filled with custard, bean paste, and other delectables including Nutella -- yum!); three attempts at finding a bakery in Redwood City that culminated in tea and pastries at Pamplemousse, which is our go-to place for such things; a spice store with a huge and fascinating stock; and a wander through Kepler's. Then we met up with T and SF for a tasty Japanese dinner of yakitori and other small plates, followed by a trip to Beard Papa for a cream puff dessert. Great food, great fun. I consider it rather a miracle that I didn't end up bringing home anything more than the vinegar, three jars of spices, one book, and half a dozen macarons from Pamplemousse.

Then we came home and played some Portal 2. This is a theme that will recur.

Saturday: The day of errands and lounging. Washed the car, got groceries, played Portal, made dinner, played more Portal, got some writing done, probably would have played more Portal but my wrists said "No." Fortunately, the writing went okay, on that front. I wrote the last little bit of my FFEX draft -- it needs a lot of work still, but at least that first runthrough is finished -- and then I started the Dragon Age fic that has been nagging at me ever since we finished the game. Well, one of them, anyway. Where all this will end up... we'll see.

Sunday: Easter Brunch! R and S hosted, we made hash browns, more yummy food was eaten, more good company was had, and then we dyed eggs. I don't think I've dyed eggs since the SKERG* Easter Brunch of 1997. There were some real beauties, too. Then we came home and played some Portal 2.

Oh, Portal. We started with multi-player cooperative, which is interesting and challenging. I would say, so far, that it's every bit as good as the first one. But I'll hold more complete thoughts for another day.

And so that was my four-day weekend. Which I really, really needed. And now, with luck, I'll be ready to go back and face the daily grind, rejuvenated and ready for more.

*SKERG, for the uninitiated, was the nickname for the apartment where I lived with four other people for a couple of years after college, so named because it was the most pronounceable combination of our first initials. I forget who coined it, but it stuck, to the point where we still refer to it by name, even though the household broke up almost 13 years ago.

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