And hello and I hope you've enjoyed a reasonably pleasant Christmas. Considering my anxieties about my ability to pick presents for family anymore things turned out remarkably well, with everyone delighted by at least something. Dennis the Menace my dad liked even better than I thought he liked; and I got my brother a couple of Godzilla chess piece toys included Godzilla's son whatever his name was (from the movies, not the cartoon, so not Godzuki) as a pawn, and some creature we couldn't identify as a rook. Actually, my brother thought ``Rook'' might be the character name, to start with, since he didn't realize the toys, in that random box thing that makes things so frustrating for collectors, were intended to be chess pieces.
I also gave out another round of these solar-powered head-nodding things. The most notable of them were the penguin and, given to my sister, ``Momo the Pink Teddy Bear.'' I'd missed the label when I bought it and thought it was a pink deer of some kind. Momo comes with cards, though, because as you might imagine, since Momo is a frightfully cute Japanese kitsch object it comes with strange personality traits. In this case according to the label we have this insight into Momo: ``A stuffed bear who just loves to be washed. Is always happy, and just loves to carry mail, too.'' I had little realized how much my sister needed a plastic stuffed bear who loves to be washed, is happy about it, and is eager to carry mail.
Afterwards, among other things, we settled to a dessert including a wonderful and insanely thick Tipsy Pecan Pie sent me by gafennec and his brother. This is a very heavily sugar-and-pecan based desert, with filling so adhesive I can feel my insides gluing together. They were also so kind as to send a Coconut Yule Log, which we haven't opened yet, but are trying to. It's satisfying but very filling; half the family was ready to nap afterwards.
Trivia: Charles Dickens's American Notes, on first publication, sold 3,000 copies in Philadelphia in 35 minutes. Source: The Antebellum Period, James M Volo, Dorothy Denneen Volo.
Currently Reading: Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment, Patricia Fara.