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A very nice weekend. On Saturday we took Sebastian to a penguin class at the zoo - he got to see them and draw them. I picked up a cap at the gift shop that actually fit my head, for a wonder.

Later, Sebastian and I drove up to Boston. We got choreg and lahmejun from a couple of Armenian markets in Watertown, then went over to my parents' place.

We had a nice family get-together at my sister and brother-in-law's new place (they have a harpsichord, which sounds amazing - I played the one song I know, and it came out great) and then drove home.

It was pretty late, but Sebastian stayed awake through the drive. He'd read the first Harry Potter book all the way to Boston, and finished it on the way home.

On Sunday we went to Foxwoods with Teri's mother. I hung out with Sebastian while they gambled. We went back and forth several on some people-movers (like the ones they have in airports). Then we spent some time at the arcade. After dinner at the Hard Rock cafe, we headed home.

I was pleased with myself tonight. Sebastian was watching a live-action Scooby Doo that he's seen before, but I insisted on a family movie night; we had Mary Poppins from Netflix. Neither he nor Teri had seen it before, and in no time he was laughing and laughing. Teri really liked it too, although she fell asleep before the end. Now Sebastian is interested in reading the Mary Poppins books.

Now everyone is asleep. My computer is still in the shop (I hope it will be ready tomorrow), so I'm going to sleep too. Good night!

Posted via LjBeetle
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I don't want that incredibly annoying encounter in WoW tonight to be the end of my day, so:

Teri complained yesterday that the living room AC smelled bad. She didn't think I could do anything about it. So while she was out, I did some research.

Vaccuumed and cleaned with a toothbrush, vinegar & water; it's amazing how much gunk & fur was in there! Then a little Lysol. Now it has no odor and is much colder. Felt good to have accomplished something!

I also recorded some lullabies for Sebatian. I'll spare you having to listen to those, though. ;D

Posted via LjBeetle
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Okay, I have a problem: as I mentioned earlier, my phone can simultaneously cross-post to Twitter and Facebook. I have a link set up for LJ as well, but it requires me to write and post separately. I'd say there's a crying need for someone to work out a way to add LJ as one of the "social network" options for Droids.

Today I also ran into the Twitter length-limitation problem when cross-posting. Although to tell you the truth, it may have encouraged me to make an improvement. On Facebook, the post looked like this:
An idiot in a white SUV was blocking the other side of the road. A truck came around the corner towards us and crossed the median to avoid crashing. The car ahead of us went into the brush. Scary!


But on Twitter, I had to edit it down to this:

Idiot in white SUV blocks 1\2 of road. Oncoming truck crosses median to avoid crash. Car ahead hits ditch. Disaster averted.


Teri thinks I should have mentioned that the truck was a large tractor-trailer, but there wasn't space enough for that. For a few seconds it was headed straight for us. I blame the young idiot in the white SUV; I don't know what he was doing, but blocking half the road in a dangerous area near a blind curve was a really stupid thing to do. Several people could have died.

What else? I set up Facebook on Teri's phone for her. Also showed her a few tricks, including how to make speed-dial links. I think she's getting more comfortable with the phone.

Doing okay with WoW. My top character is up to level 72 now. I still get killed by the Horde once in a while, but I'm trying not to let it get to me.

I read two more chapters of The Castle of Llyr to Sebastian at bedtime, and then had him turn out the light. I was going to sing to him, but he asked for a story instead. I told him about a time when I was very young, living in Belmont (Massachusetts) on Trapelo Road; how we'd go to the Pepperidge Farm Thrift Store, and then on to the Waverly Oaks park and playground. From there I moved on to the park across the street from Waverly Oaks, which doesn't have much more than a pond and a mill wheel, as I recall. I explained mill-wheels and different ways in which the wheel could be turned; windmills, animal-powered milling, and waterwheels. He was soon sound asleep.

I'd like to find a mill to take him to, so he can see how flour is made. Does anyone know of one in the general area?
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I got another late start last night, and when I got on, nobody I knew was online. So I played my Tauren shaman, and did quite well. Didn't die once, and completed a lot of quests; I got up to level 13. I was particularly proud that I was able to sneak into a mine, kill a supervisor, and grab his clipboard; that required some careful movement!

I got a new weapon as a quest reward, a Goblin-smasher. I didn't realize that it was a two-handed mace, though, and that my skill in staves didn't translate. A little time spent killing 5th-9th level monsters soon brought both my Defense and two-handed weapons skill to the current maximum, 65. I'm not sure if I can train that.

I've shifted my home base to the main Tauren city. Quests are starting to point me to the Barrens. I went there once, prematurely, and it seemed very dangerous.

I'm still wondering how (or if) the quests will segue into "darker" quests. So far the worst I've done is kill some humans and dwarves who were desecrating our land with mines and stealing our water. I wonder if Tauren get "evil" quests?

I suppose the undead do. I'll try an undead character eventually. I imagine that will be too scary and evil for Sebastian to see, though!

P.S. - My mage has been taking the Deeprun Tram to the Ironforge area; that's where the quests seem to be more appropriate for him right now. Unfortunately I've died a few times. I'm also going to be bringing my main fighter over there, too.

I'd like to give Teri a short tour of WoW, starting at Goldshire, and then heading into Stormwind, the Deeprun Tram, and take a griffin back to Stormwind from Ironforge. I suppose it would just bore her, though.

Or there's a small chance that she might decide to try the game...nah.

Saturday

Aug. 2nd, 2009 12:53 am
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Let's see...Teri and Sebastian picked me up on Friday, and we stopped at L.L. Bean. We spent more than I'd planned. We got a reasonably-priced backpack for him, and got it monogrammed with his initials for an additional $6; Teri hated the style Sebastian picked, and I have to admit that it's fairly awful. But he needs to be able to make his own choices and his own mistakes at least some of the time.

We also bought sneakers for him. And when I saw that I could get a good pair of sneakers for myself for $54...well, that's about as good a price as you'll find outside of Wal-Mart or Payless. And those ultra-cheap sneakers fall apart incredibly quickly. These sneakers have the L.L. Bean guarantee.
Read more... )
Lastly, we stopped at a DVD store. I wanted to see - just to see - how much season 2 of Saturday Night Live cost. I assume it would be $60-$70, the same as season 1. And that was the original marked price. But it was on sale, marked down to $24.95. So were season 3 and season 4. I went a little crazy, so I bought season 2 and season 3. I'm looking forward to seeing some of those classic Franken and Davis sketches, among other things.

And now I should get some sleep. Whew! It's late!

Scouts

Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:37 am
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We had the last Cub Scout meeting of the season last night. Thank goodness! It will be good to get a chance to rest on Tuesday nights. Although I also want to work out something for Sebastian and me to do on those nights, since Teri will still be at a meeting then.

Maybe we'll take a stroll.

Circus

May. 3rd, 2009 10:28 pm
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We went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus in Providence on Saturday. Teri hates the circus; she thinks that they're cruel to their animals. I'm afraid that she might be right. But at the same time, seeing a Russian circus was one of the more memorable moments of my childhood, and I wanted to provide that for Sebastian.

We picked up the cheapest tickets via Ticketmaster; they were $15. Teri decided that she wanted to come along too. Ticketmaster pissed me off royally by charging an additional $3.50 per ticket "convenience charge" (what the hell is convenient about that?) and $5.85 in assorted additional "screw you, we're a monopoly" fees.

That includes charging us a "delivery" fee for letting ME PRINT OUT THE TICKETS!

Ticketmaster is a monopoly and should be broken up. The executives who run it should be executed. Sorry, I might have lost my temper for a minute there.

Anyway, we went, and even though we were in the cheap seats, we had a good view of the circus. The Dunkin' Donuts Center is quite small, so even the upper-level seats get a closer view of the stage (or ice, during hockey) than you get in larger venues. We all had a lot of fun. It was a long show, close to three hours, but it was really well-done and impressive. Okay, there were some cheesy moments, yes. But circuses are primarily for kids, after all.

The one thing that bothered me and Teri was the tiger part of the show. Teri suspected that the tigers' spirits had been broken, and I could easily imagine that that was true. Sebastian was very excited to see the tigers, though.

There were more acrobatics than Teri and I had expected. Maybe B&B has been influenced by some of the new human-only circuses.

I was stunned to pay FIFTEEN DOLLARS for a snow-cone in a light-up circus cup. Stunned.

But we'll definitely go again. In the meantime, we're looking forward to seeing They Might Be Giants at a family show in Boston in May!

Hit

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:43 pm
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To sum up: we were rear-ended tonight in Franklin. We were in an intersection, waiting for the oncoming traffic to clear so we could make a left turn. A woman hit us pretty hard from behind. Sebastian started crying.

The woman drove down the street and pulled over. Then she drove about a quarter-mile down the road. After a while, she turned around and pulled over in front of our car. I'd called the police, and they showed up fairly quickly.

Teri had a headache, and my neck hurts quite a bit. Sebastian's okay. The back section of our car is detached from the body on the right-hand side, but it doesn't look too awful. I'll be filing an accident report tomorrow.

I talked to Allstate, our insurer. Lest anyone wonder: Allstate sucks, Allstate sucks, Allstate sucks. We're out a $500 deductible, and then after that they'll see if they can recover the money from the woman's insurance company and reimburse us. The Allstate rep was less than helpful.
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We had a nice dinner tonight. There was a fundraiser at Chelos, a local family restaurant; 15-20% of the check for anyone coming in tonight with a special ticket would go to Sebastian's cub scout pack.

The place was filled with people we knew. It was a nice feeling.

When we got home, Teri and Sebastian went into the bathroom to brush his teeth. I went back out to the car to get a drawing that Sebastian had made; he wanted it. When I came to the back door, though, I heard a strange sound. What was it? It almost sounded like a cat screaming. Or was it Sebastian, imitating a cat scream? He does imitations sometimes. But if this was him, his skill was reaching new heights.

I opened the door and went in. The screaming became louder. I looked towards the dining room, and saw something terrible.

Widget, our new kitten (well, he's a bit large to be called a kitten now) had somehow gotten trapped between the back slats of one of the dining-room chairs. He was hanging sideways, flailing about in agony. The space between the slats was less than three inches across where he was. It looked like it was cutting him in two, just above his hind legs. Since two thirds of his body was hanging unsupported, he was helpless...and screaming.

I ran over and grabbed him, lifting him. He tried to sink his teeth into my hand; somehow I had expected that, and managed to turn my hand enough to make it a gash rather than a piercing. I tried to gently see if I could move him in either direction - how had he gotten into this fix? - but he was stuck. And still screaming. I thought of the large snips in the back shed that I've used to cut branches and saplings; could it cut through the slats? Would Widget live long enough for someone to get it and let me snip it?

The bathroom door opened. Teri rushed out and grabbed Widget too. She was thinking better than I was; "Lift him!" she said. The space between the slats was wider at the top of the chair, although the in-and-out design didn't make that immediately obvious to me. We lifted, and got him out. He disappeared.

Sebastian was very upset and scared. He said he was going to throw up. He didn't, but Teri and I didn't have much time to console him; we needed to find Widget. It seemed entirely possible that he was dying, although the thought crossed my mind that he was A) young and B) a cat - and therefore doubly hard to kill.

I searched the basement. Teri and Sebastian searched upstairs. When we met in the dining room, Widget was there.

He seemed fine. And he's done some climbing, running, and jumping since then. He still seems fine.

I got Sebastian into bed, and finished reading Doctor Dolittle Returns to him. He calmed down and fell asleep.

And that was our day.

Home

Jan. 24th, 2009 08:38 pm
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All the tests were negative, including the MRI and MRA - everything is absolutely fine. They think it may be a reaction to a medication that she's been taking for years; that seems odd, but I guess it could be true.

We're all home now. She's sleeping (she's still zonked out of her mind on sedatives). Sebastian's asleep, too.

I'm pretty tired. What a weekend!

Hospital

Jan. 24th, 2009 12:32 am
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Last night Teri and I were having dinner (Sebastian was with her mother), when she told me that she felt funny. The whole right side of her body felt "mushy", and the right side of her head was tingling.

We went home and called her doctor. She was out on maternity leave, but the covering doctor called back soon and told her to go to the emergency room if she still felt the same way in an hour.

She really didn't want to go to the emergency room. She told me she felt a bit better, and went to bed early. I did some stroke tests before she did, and she seemed fine. I should probably have insisted she go to the ER.

The next morning - this morning - she said she felt better, though not perfect. I was worried, but wasn't sure what to do. So I went to work. At around 9:30 that morning, she called me. She was at work, but she was really dizzy; the feeling of strangeness on the right side of her body was much worse.

I had her call her doctor, and called my parents to see if they could give me a ride to her work - since I take the T, I had no way to get there on my own. And Teri certainly couldn't drive to pick me up! I considered an ambulance, but she didn't want that.

Her doctor told her to go to the emergency room, and specifically recommended Miriam Hospital in Providence. My father drove me to meet Teri, and I drove her to the emergency room at Miriam. I'd never been there before, but after following the directions I discovered that I actually did pretty much know where it was - it was remarkably close to the bus station where we pick up [livejournal.com profile] stairflight sometimes.

They ran a bunch of tests. Neuro tests, of course; lots of them. A CAT scan. Cardiac enzymes. Thyroid. You name it! They also hooked her up with an IV, and pumped four bags of saline into her; apparently she was dehydrated, or they thought she was (it might have explained the symptoms). They hooked her up to a heart monitor as well.

All of the tests came back fine. She passed all the neuro tests with flying colors, as I knew she would (I'd observed her pretty carefully). The EKG and cardiac enzymes were fine. But her heartbeat was too fast - it was in the 110-120 range, and it should have been around 90. Her blood pressure was also much higher than normal. Usually it's quite low, but now it was in the 120/80 range.

Jeeze, I'm tired. Let me wrap this up for now. They decided to keep her at the hospital overnight; they got her into a room at around 10PM. I wasn't allowed to stay with her, so I'm home for the evening. Sebastian is spending the night at Teri's mother's house.

With any luck I should be able to bring Teri home tomorrow. I think she'll be okay.

New router

Dec. 28th, 2008 12:17 am
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We did a bit of shopping on the 26th, and I picked up a new wireless router. As you may remember, our old Linksys one died a few months after we bought it. So this time, I went with a Belkin.

It was...I can't tell you how much easier it was to set up than that Linksys router. It was so easy to get it working with the Wii, and I was stunned at how much easier it was to set up security, too.

We had a lot of Wii updating to do, and I couldn't resist downloading a few games: Star Fox 64 and Dungeon Explorer (which was originally on the Turbo Grafx).

What else? Oh, right: Sebastian got Teri a DS for Christmas. I figured, what the hell. We survived the flight home, after all - and that was a pretty scary experience.

One thing I forgot to mention about the flight: when we were in Atlanta getting ready to come home, and the weather reports were really bad, and the pilot was making scary-sounding announcement (and sounding pretty scared himself)...I went over and bought Sebastian a giant $53-dollar stuffed panda from the Zoo Atlanta kiosk. I figured that on the small chance that we might die, it made more sense for his last few hours to be as happy as possible - and that by holding the panda on his lap, he'd get a little more protection if the plane got shaken up.

Teri and Sebastian got a lot of DS games, too. Teri bought Shrek: Carnival Games; I tried to tell her that that was almost certainly a crappy game (stuff based on movies and TV usually is, and I personally HATE Shrek) but somehow lost the will to press my point. Sure enough, though, the game turned out to suck royally.

One game that has addicted both of us is the "Word Link" game in Margot's Word Brain. It's kind of like a cross between Boggle and Tetris, with the emphasis on Boggle. You have to make words from letters, and when you do the letters disappear and new ones drop in from the top. You only get 90 seconds to get as high a score as possible.

I have the two top scores right now, but she'll doubtless beat me eventually. She'll have quiet time to play. And random chance is definitely a large factor, so the more she plays, the more likely she is to get top scores.

Argh. Must sleep.
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Last week Teri and I went to get our hair cut. I was finished first, of course. I wasn't sure if she wanted me to pay, or if she was going to pay. So I went into the back where she was and asked.

She wanted me to pay, so I headed back towards the front of the shop. A guy who was having his hair cut said, grinning, "Hey, you can pay for me too!"

Sometimes I manage to come up with an appropriate response when I need it.

"You'd have to do what she does!"

Everybody cracked up.
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Last Tuesday Teri volunteered to help at Sebastian's school, and helped serve lunch. Sebastian was very excited to see her at lunch, and introduced her to his best friend.

Widget was let out of the bathroom very early, but she's adapting to the house well - and our cats are adjusting well to her, although Sarah still seems to have hurt feelings.

Sebastian loves ReBoot.
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It was kind of a dull weekend; we didn't do anything except shop for groceries and play in the back yard.

But I did a lot of cooking today.

This morning, I made a chocolate vinegar cake. I hadn't made on in quite a few years - before Sebastian was born, in fact - but I'm sure I made one for Teri at least once. She didn't remember it, though, and seemed to be a bit dubious about the whole idea.

But it came out better than I expected; very moist and quite good, even though vinegar cakes are typically better on the second day.

For lunch I barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs. Again, they came out pretty well. I wasn't able to get "good" meat; we bought it at Price Rite, and I've had some bad experiences with their ground beef. But since money is tight, I figured what the hell. The gamble paid off, this time.

Then for dinner I made twelve calzones with some more of that meat. My calzones are cheeseless; just ground beef browned with minced onions, and then mixed with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper, and salt. Sebastian ate a whole one and Teri ate two, so I guess they must be good.

Whoops! As I was writing this I forgot about the last six calzones, which were in the oven. But I caught them in time; they're fine.

Tooth #6

Jan. 6th, 2008 10:07 pm
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I just played the Tooth Fairy again. Sebastian lost his sixth tooth today, the lower left lateral incisor. It had been incredibly loose for days - basically just flopping loose, with only a tiny flap of skin still attached - and this morning Teri's mother pulled it out (over his objections, he tells us).

So I just took it and left a silver dollar in its place. This time was a little different, though; rather than buy a silver dollar for the occasion, I used one of the ten I have from when I was a child. I'd resisted doing that up 'til now, but I can't justify spending $14 - $18 when money is as tight as it is right now.

Besides...it's not as if I was planning on selling those dollars. I'll give them to him gladly, even if I regret the necessity.

Here's a picture of him tonight in bed, ready for the Tooth Fairy. If you look carefully, you'll see his Tooth Fairy pillow, a bear that he insisted be in the shot (even though it's not normally one of his favorites), and the tooth itself in a plastic bag.



This one makes his mouth symmetrical again.

Incidentally, I took this photo with the new Kodak EasyShare camera that Teri got me for Christmas. It was a shock; I hadn't expected it at all. Our old Fuji camera is relatively new, and although I've hated it almost from the first day we bought it, it was incredibly expensive.

The new camera was a stroke of genius on Teri's part. Even though it was probably only half the cost of the Fuji, it's easily twice the camera. In part that's because technology has advanced, but it's also because the Fuji camera - an A350 - really, really sucked. The Kodak is model C813, if you care about such things. It also took the "galore" video that I posted in a recent entry, and the quality of the original MOV file is startlingly better than the old Fuji videos.

She spent all her birthday money buying it for me. To be honest, that amazes me...humbles me, too.

Hi, hon!

Mar. 4th, 2007 09:09 pm
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I've finally managed to get Teri to get onto LiveJournal. I'm not sure how much she'll use it (this is all a bit new to her), but she'll be recording stuff of interest to her; you can check out her profile if you're curious.

Her username is [livejournal.com profile] terim. Hi, hon!

Quick note

Jan. 25th, 2006 03:18 pm
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I will get back to everyone who has commented - AND comment on my flist, to the best of my ability. I appreciate you all a lot more since that long dry spell.

But I've been beyond busy lately.

While I'm here, though, a quick note for no good reason: last night I stepped on a thing. It might have been a short length of pencil lead from a mechanical pencil. Or it might have been a needle. Or it might have been a carpet tack with the head broken off. I don't know.

Whatever it was, it ended up piercing the sole of my left foot. And it took Teri about ten minutes of probing with needle-sharp tweezers to get it out.

Ouch.
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Just a few bullet points about the weekend:

- I made scrambled eggs for the first time in my life yesterday morning. For Sebastian, of course; personally, I hate eggs. But they came out pretty well, apparently.

- Sebastian is sick. Friday evening he fussed and told us that his stomach hurt before we put him to bed. He's complained about that in the past, and we think that he's a little bit of a hypochondriac, so we left it at that. Later in the early morning hours he woke up, crying again, and the pain was clearly very bad. I gave him Motrin, and he was better within ten or fifteen minutes.

Seven hours later, though, he suddenly started crying hysterically again. Same thing: pain in his stomach. It was on the left, side, not the right, or I'd have feared that it was appendicitis. He also started saying that he wanted to go to sleep, and that set off alarm bells in my mind. When a child says that something hurts and they want to go to sleep, they are not faking.

So we called the doctor. Ended up bringing him in. The doctor checked him thoroughly, had a test run at the local hospital (fortunately no shots or blood-tests were necessary), and came up with nothing. We switched Sebastian over to Tylenol, and the time periods stretched out a bit; it took about forty-five minutes to an hour for the Tylenol to take effect, but more like eight or nine hours before another dose was needed. And he hasn't had a dose since this morning. Still, we're going to follow up with his doctor. This shouldn't be happening.

- Hadn't mentioned it before, but Teri gave me a GameCube game called Baten Kaitos for Christmas. I started playing it recently, and it's actually pretty cool - a computer RPG, but combat is handled with an on-screen card resolution system. I was always able to resist Magic: The Gathering and its many clones, but I imagine that someone who was into that might enjoy Baten Kaitos even more than I am. Teri and Sebastian like it, too - Teri even played it for a while, and did pretty well!

Fable

Dec. 25th, 2005 10:40 pm
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I'm not easy to shop for.

Most of the things I want are rare, highly obscure, or expensive. Often they're all three.

"I hate giving you computer games," she said, "because I know that I won't see you for months."

She was exaggerating, of course. But there's an element of truth in her words, too; when I have a new game, I'm an addict. I steal what time I can to play. I stay up late at night, on far too many nights, playing.

So I was more than a little surprised when I saw the Fable game for the PC inside the wrapping of one of the Christmas presents she gave me.

It cost $50. No, we can't afford it. But she got it for me.

I wanted to install it right away. She wanted me to wait. I agreed, reluctantly.

Christmas night came, and she and Sebastian went to sleep. I went to my computer and installed Fable. It took a while - there are four disks. Once I was done, I double-clicked on the Fable icon.

There was a pause, and then a message informed me that my video hardware was totally inadequate to play Fable. When I tried to proceed in Safe mode, the game terminated. I tried again, and again, and each time the game terminated before it could begin.

It was hard not to feel bitter. This was yet another legacy of the screwing I got from a sleazy local computer store owner - he'd lied to me and built my computer with the cheapest components available. Then he went out of business and disappeared.

It's possible that in two or three years I'll be able to afford a new, cheap computer that will be able to play Fable, but there's certainly no guarantee of that.

But she knew that this game would take me away from her and Sebastian. She hated that...and she bought it for me anyway.

I thought about that, looked over in the mirror, and smiled.

And it wasn't a bitter smile at all.

Merry Christmas.

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