And so, in the spirit of Celeste's birthday, we hung out with Celeste. First we all went to Michael's, which actually wasn't part of the festivities, but Mom wanted yarn so we all tagged along. We got a punch needle kit for Athena to work on when I'm practicing the piano, but alas we didn't realize until right before it was our turn to pay that the punch needle tool wasn't included. But we also got American Girl trading cards, so now we have two excuses to go back. It's kind of strange that American Girl stuff seems to be popping up everywhere all of a sudden. Maybe we're only just now noticing it.
Next we headed all over town to first get gas for Sarah's car and then to the mall that has a Build-a-Bear Workshop. I'm sure there must have been a faster way to get everywhere, but... oh well. Anyway. Build-a-Bear. We'd never been there before, so it was a pretty neat experience. Celeste got a monkey that she named Jorge Curioso, which probably doesn't quite mean what she intended, but it's still amusing, and that's what's important. She dressed him in an Air Force uniform, because her husband has recently joined them, and gave him sunglasses to match her husband's.
I got the classic brown bear, because it was the softest, and named it Kumagai. See, it's kind of a Japanese history / Haruka 3 joke, because the character I've claimed as my own from Haruka 3 is Taira no Atsumori, and in our Classical Japanese class, we read the excerpt from the Tale of the Heike where Kumagai kills Atsumori. But he wasn't very happy about it, and in fact Atsumori was a stupid punk, so I think it's kind of good-natured... or something. My mind's a bit frazzled right now, so I'm having a hard time laying things out so they make sense. But also, kuma means bear.
And Athena got a snow leopard. She's always loved snow leopards, and when we were really little, she had a plush snow leopard toy that was her very very favorite. But blackhope had one just like it, and they were both at our apartment (I think because Jon had given up on his) when Mom and her friend were sorting everything out for the move, and Athena's got given away while Jon's was kept, because Mom didn't know the difference. Athena was the only one who could tell the difference, and they did it while we were at the movies. So now she has a new snow leopard, and his name is Yukishiro. "Yuki" means snow, and shiro means any number of things but we just needed it to make it a name. Yuki by itself is a name for a rat, not a snow leopard.
Then we went to IHOP where we had a good time and chatted about things and when we were done eating our waiter was busy talking in the kitchen, so Celeste and Sarah starting mixing up sauces. I think they had tabasco sauce, marinara sauce, ketchup, maple syrup, blueberry syrup, chocolate syrup... by the end they added some cheddar cheese and Sweet N Low (or whatever that not-sugar substance is), but we might have missed a few things. They actually both tried it twice--once before the cheese and not-sugar, and once after to see how it had changed. I think they said it wasn't too bad, but neither of them drank all of it.
And then we went back to Mom's place to maybe hang out, but Sarah got caught up in the needlework project she bought (they didn't have that samurai we wanted, which is why we didn't get one ourselves, but we're poor, so that's probably a good thing) and one of Celeste's friends whom she hasn't seen in a while called to wish her happy birthday and invite her to hang out and do stuff, so we came home to kitties who both seemed to miss us very much.
And now here we are. Today I'm thankful for Build-A-Bear Workshop, having two new furry friends, having a nice time hanging out with family, being home with our kitties, and not having to drink Celeste and Sarah's crazy concoction.