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Bar Harbor
Sunday morning, I went to visit cvirtue and family, bearing Christmas presents. There was a bit of a last-minute panic, as I couldn't find the present I had ordered for Arthur. I did a quick substitution, and wrapped up one of my favorite Daniel Pinkwater books instead. (Monday night, I discovered what had happened to the original present -- it hadn't actuallyv arrived in the mail yet! Not sure how I had gotten it in my head that it had...)

In addition to the wrapped presents for Christmas, I also brought by a book to give the kids right away. It was technically from kestrell, passing on a gag gift that my mom had gotten her for Christmas some years ago. A small cardboard book titled "I'm a Little Penguin", and with a rubber finger puppet of a baby penguin sticking up through a hole in the pages.

Kes speculated that the baby penguin would soon receive a lobotomy at the hands of the twins; I thought they might well *insert* brains (as they had done with a model skeleton). We were both wrong. What *did* happen, mere moments after the book hit their hands, was the discovery that the baby penguin could be turned inside out! That led to many variants of a game called "Where is our baby penguin?", with the baby 'hiding' by being inside out.

I had been a little worried that the twins might have seen this book as being lacking, being only ten pages long. No fear! This was ZOMG the most popular book evar! I had to read it to them at least six times through straight, and then some more times with variations. The puppet gives you extra options for interactivity, after all. "make the baby penguin scared of him!" "Make the baby penguin eat him up!" "Catch the baby penguin under the glacier!" (This last involved closing the book while I had the finger puppet bent over, so he was smooshed under the cover.)

We managed to get off of penguin topics briefly, when CV got Arthur to show off his Toy Story Alien suit (very cute). But then somehow (I really can't reconstruct how), we started playing Alien vs. Polar Bear; I was the bear, and the Alien was trying to force feed me with a stuffed penguin. Well, at first the bear liked eating the penguin, but then the alien kept extracting it from the bear's stomach and making him eat it again, which got pretty gross.

A little later, after taking off the Alien suit, Arthur put on his cape to become Super Penguin. Super Penguin needed a nemesis, of course, so I was appointed Evil Penguin. Oh, the mortification! Elizabeth was not as enthralled by the whole penguin thing, but sometimes joined in as Super Penguin's baby sidekick, with her magic frisbee.

Being Evil Penguin eventually wore me out, what with all the chasing. I decided to become Zombie Evil Penguin, so I could shamble after them at a more leisurely pace. This worked out well for a while, but eventually Arthur declared that the zombie was too scary.

In the end, I got a few minutes to sit down and actually chat with the grown-ups. I had to leave on the early side, which was probably just as well. The twins were getting tired and grumpy, and I suspect dinner that night had lots of whining.

That evening was the next session of gyzki's game. At long last, after many weeks delay, we fought an actual dragon! There was much excitement.

My character comported himself bravely, stabbing the dragon in the eye. Unfortunately, brave is not the same as wise -- attracting a dragon's attention while unarmored is a quick route to debilitating wounds, so that was the only blow I landed before being knocked unconscious.

Luckily, the rest of the party prevailed. While we did not actually *kill* the worm, we wounded it grievously enough that it fled back into the darkness. That counts as a win, so go us!

After the game, I spent a while chatting with oakleaf_mirror. She is trying out the 10-day free trial of World of Warcraft, and wanted some tips. I was happy to share, of course. gyzki hung about listening for a bit, but then left because he is still trying to resist WoW's siren call. Resistance is Futile! All Gamers will be Assimilated!

On Monday, the high point of the day at work was a surprise meet-and-greet with a new design candidate. He's a talented guy (responsible for the "Haunted Orphanage" level of Thief 3), but out of work due to the vagaries of the rarely-sensible gaming biz. We could use another pair of hands in design, and he seems to be a good personality fit. Here's hoping we can work out a mutually beneficial deal.

Monday night, redknight and JJ (is she on LJ?) came over, bearing bounty from Mary Chung's. They were there to borrow some CDs from Kes for a party they're hosting at Arisia. But there was also considerable amounts of hanging out and chatting, mostly about books. And scritching. JJ is most excellent at both the giving and receiving of backrubs :)

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You sound like an officially adopted uncle. ;) Penguin book sounds awesome.

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