The most important thing we had to do Saturday was send skylerbunny's gifts out to him. His birthday would be Tuesday and had we gone to the Art Fair on Thursday we'd have a reasonable safety margin for mailing things out; but this, we'd have no margin for the 2-3 days Priority Mail expects.
This meant the next important thing we needed to do was pack his presents. They'd need very secure packing, since they were fragile, and the Post Office out of Lansing delivers things by tossing the boxes loosely into Pintos which are shoved off the Mackinac Bridge. She's had problems with sending things out west before. (Also problems sending things east, to me, in that they take a day longer against all geographic sense.)
Fortunately, she has boxes, boxes of many sizes, and found one that was just about the right size for my gift. I had to squeeze it in a bit and the box wasn't perfectly level, but it wasn't far off. Between the paper given by the vendor to wrap it up and the newspaper bunny_hugger had, I was able to pack it solidly enough that it would not move except as the whole box. bunny_hugger realized I failed to get a card from the artist, so, there wasn't any chance to include that as contact information in case it was damaged. Rats. She also had a box about the right size for her gift and plenty of packing material.
And we had a mailing box, as well, a Priority Mail large-size flat-rate box which I had used to send something to her sometime before. This is one of those little things showing how well bunny_hugger and I complement one another: I have a natural tendency to hoard stuff like flat-rate Priority Mail boxes so we'd have a fresh one when needed, but I never have smaller-size gift boxes. But the reused box would do fine as well.
I did need a birthday card, though, and as we got ready to walk to the nearby hippie bookstore it started to rain. After driving to the very nearby hippie bookstore it stopped raining. It had never got above a sprinkle. We found a card that while not birthday-oriented made me think of skylerbunny, as well as a card that should go well for my brother and his girlfriend and the celebration of the imminent child that they're not calling a baby shower for whatever reason. They also had rolls of stickers and I picked up a sheet of house-decoration stickers.
One of the cards I picked out was trouble for the cash register because they didn't know what the price should be. The cashier said he thought it was about three dollars, and bunny_hugger went back to the section to find that the other cards didn't really make clear what the price should be, but it seemed like $2.99 was the asking price for some similar cards. I was satisfied with the $3.00 tag. The stickers, the cashier didn't bother ringing up. bunny_hugger told me that previous experience indicated the staff found the rolls of stickers more of a nuisance than a regular salable item and they seem to have progressed from not caring what price the small, medium, or large sheets should be to just wanting them out of the store. They don't seem to move fast.
Back at her home, we filled in our cards, and stuffed the flat-rate box full of newspaper and slipped the cards and sticker sheet in around the gifts. Off to the post office and the scheduled last pickup of Saturday, which we got to with about twenty minutes to spare. If the Pinto winds were west-facing that evening there might be a chance skylerbunny would get his gifts by his actual birthday.
bunny_hugger has a backyard pond, as well as a garden full of slightly overgrowing local plants. It has the look, really, of a slice of state park that happens to be in the midst of the residential district and it's a great place to sit and eat in the evening and watch for what life is there. She'd got toad tadpoles earlier this year, but saw only one out of the pond; still, there are a lot of birds which come around, many of them using the pond to drink or wash up, and as we ate we also watched to see what might come by. We spotted several birds taking quick drinks, but nothing more --- possibly our presence alarmed them --- and saw a cat stride through the yard. But otherwise we had to be content with sharing one another's company in the cooling hours of the day. We could be very content with that.
I haven't mentioned our entertainment this trip other than the Harry Potter movie, but that's worth a paragraph. We were doing our best to keep up with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien, but were foiled on watching their Thursday shows when her Tivo (not actually Tivo, but the equivalent for her cable box, which is not actually a cable box) crashed. We'd have to catch reruns of those. Similarly we would be foiled repeatedly in trying to catch the last few minutes of Disappointing Futurama, this one where Leela starts writing a children's show.
bunny_hugger had been catching up on last season's Doctor Who (not seen as she hasn't got BBC America) through Netflix Instant, and she ventured onward with my company to the second half of the Silurian two-parter. I'm happy to say my guess that she'd like the episode, a near-future alien-diplomacy one, except for the bit at the end connecting to the Season Long Sigh Threat To The Universe If We Must Have One proved dead on. The follow-up episode, the Vincent van Gogh pseudohistorical-monster story, similarly she liked right up to the point where it went off the rails (although its connection to the Season Long Sigh Threat was faint enough I don't believe she was bothered by it). The Matt Smith Doctor is stuck in plots that tend to be about a draft or two away from quite making sense but boy has he got a great character. I don't know that she's seen ``The Lodger'' yet (modern-day monster story, weak connection to established Overarching Plots as of current evidence) but I suspect she'll like it, if only for the soccer scene.
There was a slight mishap as her rabbit got his out-of-the-cage exercise Saturday night. He was hopping around a bit, and bunny_hugger figured to join him in playing in a bit of chase-and-be-chased. Unfortunately he (apparently) took her hopping around him as a sign he was about to be put in the carrying cage, which he never likes, and he retreated to his cage and couldn't be coaxed back out. We felt bad about this --- she worse than I --- particularly since the evenings were the only times the day was getting comfortably cool. But the days were cooling off.
Trivia: The Babylonian Zodiac sign corresponding to the Latin Scorpio was the Scorpion. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: Nanotech, Editors Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois. Hey, there's even stories that aren't grey goo catastrophes!