Saturday was a cold day, and I was getting used to the idea of quite that much cold by doing my daily exercises --- actually, I was doing short, yoga- and strength-building exercises on the WiiFit rather than the half-hour step aerobics I tend towards, so that I'd be able to help my father installing the washer and dryer if he needed it --- when my mother got a phone call. From her side of the conversation, full of talk about their being in the area in no less than an hour but possibly longer because they hadn't decided what they were going to do, I picked up the essentials before the plans were relayed to me: my brother, his wife, and my niece were going to be nearby and would we like dinner with them?
Well, sure, of course, and when they got down (after I'd finished a not very grueling exercise session and was programming) we had some debate about where to go to eat. My father suggested a strip mall nearby with a diner, a steakhouse, two pizza places, a sushi place, and some miscellaneous others and while my brother wasn't sure just where it was, he thought following would work just fine. In the parking lot my mother was in the midst of calling them when they rolled their window down to pick a spot. We picked the diner, on my father's talking about how he liked it, and my reassurance that I'd been there with bunny_hugger so I had good feelings about it, although I admitted the food may have been irrelevant to those feelings.
My niece took to what seems to be her first Lavishly Fifties Retro Style Diner with energy, although it's to be noted she's at the age where everything is the most amazing thing ever yet. And she delighted my mother by running directly into her arms. She also charmed the waitress, who had a slightly distracting habit of touching my shoulder if I said anything in her direction including thanking her for putting the basket of rolls on the table, and while she sat at the far end of the table from me I was able to get a bit of quality time in by making faces at her while she looked in my general direction. (My father said that I hadn't learned the most important rule of parenting: eat first, play later. True, but it's not like I'd have much time afterwards.) She also found as among the most interesting things ever the ceiling fan and the TV set which for some reason had a bull-riding contest going on.
So it made for a successful dinner visit all around, and I learned a bit about the complex web of other children's birthdays which my brother and his wife participate in now that they have a child (yesterday's was something featuring Dora the Explorer; in a couple weeks there's a joint birthday at one of those inflatable-bounce-house places and they don't know the right etiquette for giving a gift to one of the other birthday children that they don't know), and we left just as snow was seeing its way clear to falling.
Trivia: Russia's adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1918 resulted in the omission of the 1st through 13th of February that year. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: Triplanetary, E E ``Doc'' Smith.