My mom and I went shopping together for birthday presents for me when I was in Omaha, and we hit sales like mad. We also got some things that I probably wouldn't have tried on by myself and Mom might not have bought for me if I'd been absent, figuring I wouldn't have worn them. Like this:

Wouldja look at that. It's not your monitor: that dress really is that bright. Also very popular with a certain contingent in my neighborhood. At least, it sounded like approval they were voicing; as it was not my native language, I had to make do with interpreting the tone. But this not like any other dress I own. Which is sometimes a plus. It's fun.

And then there's the turquoise Hawaiian print skirt (shown here slightly wrinkled from a day's wear). Also rather bright. Also unlike anything I own. Not quite, however.

And finally in the fashion show of clothes I wouldn't usually have worn, we have...pants. Flowered capri pants. I spent all day feeling like people were staring at my butt, because I was wearing flowered capri pants. I have no evidence that this was the case. It's just a little disconcerting. We talked about the pants thing before, so you know that these are my warm-up to wearing pants. You should see what happens when I jump into something with both feet.

Anything as bright as any of the above makes me feel a good deal wider in the...well...everywhere, really. I'm told that that's not the effect, however.

So. The Sunday before my birthday, Mark and I went to a picnic hosted by his co-worker Vince and Vince's wife Chelle.

That would be they. They're, as I often tell people about couples, easy to tell apart. Chelle reminds me of someone I knew at Gustavus, but not the Real 'Chelle, whom I am not to address that way but occasionally slip and do anyway.

It was a very nice park they had the picnic in, except that it was summer in California, so it was:

brown and dead. With nice green trees mocking us for the brown and deadness of these hills. This is what it looks like near where I live: brown. Also, dead. When they talk about the golden hills of California, this is what they mean.

Actual birthday pictures follow here.