It's funny--I went back and read last year's entries for this week, and things were... well, a lot more tense at the time. Sam was sick, everyone was worried about him, George was miserable at his job, he and Sister Girl were on the outs... The physical setup is the same--I'm living in the same house with the same people--but the atmosphere is so different now. It's not totally sunshine and roses, but it's a lot better. And I think the book has a lot to do with that--my parents definitely started treating me differently after the book contract. I think this is part of why twenty-six doesn't wig me out--because this year at least I have a sense of being on a path to something, of knowing what I'm doing, of having something to look forward to.
Even so... I'm a little wary about tonight. We're going out to dinner for Sister Girl's birthday, which is on Friday, to the Olive Garden, which is her favorite restaurant. (We were going tomorrow, but I realized that I had the HRC dinner meeting. Yes, I realize that how odd it is to go out to dinner for someone else's birthday on mine. Your Earth logic is not a valid currency here.) Italian food is my favorite, so no harm no foul, but... I don't know. Sister Girl has this infamous obsession with birthdays. No, I should rephrase that--Sister Girl has this infamous obsession with her own birthday. She could give a shit about someone else's, but it would be hard. And she's a huge, huge... diva. Diva. That is the word we will use. Diva. And she's intensely insecure--I think she views her birthday as the one day of the year she can demand validation. And if she doesn't get it? If you so much as look at her the wrong way? Batten the hatches. And so of course, any day on which her birthday is celebrated is her birthday by extension. Also, she and George still have a tense relationship, in which she'll fly off the handle at him for any little thing, so... basically the situation has the potential to go up in flames at any time. Whee!
Meanwhile, there was a bad situation the other night involving Sister Girl cooking two kinds of corkscrew pasta--one that turned mushy while the other was still dry in the middle--and somehow this was all my fault, and I really felt lucky to get out of there with my life. She's got the heat on so high that the house is roasting hot but she yells at me if I try to turn it down or, God forbid, turn the air conditioner on (I don't care how cold it is outside. If The House Is Hot, You Turn The AC On). Last night she had a friend from the Culinard over and they practiced cooking things all frickin' night--and this is my fault, but I was having one of those days where you just don't feel like socializing, so I stayed upstairs and went hungry rather than go downstairs and get dinner. I know, I know. But this girl already was all like, "Where is your sister? I want to meet your sister! I can't believe I haven't met your sister!" And she's never even heard of "Cleolinda Jones"--she just wanted to meet me because I'm related to Sister Girl. And that just weirded me out a little, so I stayed holed up. I don't know. I think it may be time for Diva Cleo to make another appearance ("I AM AN ARTIST! I CANNOT ART UNDER THESE CONDITIONS!").
(I feel terrible, because it sounds like I'm horribly unhappy, and I'm not. I've actually been in a really good mood the last couple of days. I'm just more anxious about what might happen.)
No snow today (I love birthday snow, but I rarely get it), but a lot of sunshine. That's something.
I didn't watch Earthsea--a movie that's neither faithful nor good doesn't have much to recommend it--and wrote instead. It took about an hour of flailing, but I eventually got some good stuff done. That said, I think I'm just gonna turn "FRODO: *falls down*" into a macro. And--oh! oh! the EE is out today! I have been promised the gift set with the Minas Tirith statue, so I'm looking forward to that.
I don't know why Donna Summer was what I wanted to listen to as midnight rolled around, but last night I found myself playing Neopets solitaire and listening to tracks I'd ripped from my Donna Summer-live-on-VH1 CD. I think it's because that CD makes me happy--aww, here's a birthday email from Ginger. Yay! And thanks for all the birthday wishes, y'all--it means a lot to me. : )