So I came from Milwaukee to Minneapolis on the first day of 2003, and there was all kinds of stuff to do there, people to see, places to go, food to eat. I love that city so much. And many of the people in it, also: so much.

But once again, I didn't take pictures of a lot of it. Ah well. On Saturday evening, the cute kid factor finally kicked in.

Gavin babbled happily at us all the way to the restaurant -- he understands the idea of conversation, I think, if not words -- but on the way back, he was a sleepy boy. So Heathah held him for me to admire before he went to bed.

Miss Siri had no such limitations. Here she is with her mother. They're discussing the new holiday. See the headless being writing in the background? That would be C.J., recording the new holiday for posterior. You may think that's an error, but it's not: Miss Siri got a calendar from the C.J., as he thought it would be more to her taste than to his, and it was the kind that rolls up and has one full year on each side. Well, the rolling up provided a great way for Miss Siri to beat my butt. So finally I removed the calendar from her, and we looked to see if it was Beat M'rissa's Butt Day. Which it was not. Then we examined both 2003 and 2004, but Beat M'rissa's Butt Day did not show up anywhere. This was not satisfying to Miss Siri, so she instituted this holiday. And no, I'm not telling you when. It's bad enough that Dave and Ceej wrote it down for her.

Miss Siri insisted that we must have horns for this picture. Well, okay, no problem. I suspect that if she'd known Ceej would be in the picture, she'd have made him do the horns as well.

Dave and C.J. on the couch. Note C.J.'s socks.

Miss Siri is taking instruction in how to write my name. She was not satisfied with "M'ris." It had to be "Marissa." Siri has also acquired the concept of inheritance, and she was playing with her dad's wedding ring and his Palm Pilot. "Daddy, when will these be mine?" she asked. Dave laughed. "Never, sweetheart."

Here we are...umm...messing around, I guess. She's pretty cute, so I'm kind of a sucker for pictures with her. Note that in the foreground, Heathah is looking at the calendar which had been sadly lacking in Beat M'rissa's Butt Day, up to that point.


Siri has just informed me, in this picture, that she wants to be Supergirl when she grows up. "Not someone who sits and types at a computer all day?" I asked her. "That's what all of us here do." She considered, and perhaps after her Supergirl duties are done, her sitting at a computer all day duties will begin. We'll see. In the meantime, I lifted her up for Supergirl flying. It was the least I could do.

A few days later, I went to Como Park Conservatory with Aunt Ellen and Uncle Phil.

I really love the Sunken Garden, Christmas or not.

And I prefer the funny poinsettias to the normal kind, by far.

I don't think I'd ever seen all of this in bloom at once before.

And here's Aunt Ellen with an orchid.

I guess that's all. But I'll be back. In the meantime, out is thattaway.