The Stainless Steel Rat's LiveJournal

The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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stainsteelrat
Happy New Year!

Yesterday afternoon while Amélie was asleep Lu and I did a bit of supermarket shopping and then scoped out a local park. The MIL had mentioned it and said it was quite good. And it was fab! It was full of joggers, but there was an average sized playground. It was all relatively new, relatively big, and felt lovely, by Sao Paulo standards. Sometimes Sao Paulo can surprise.

After a rough day the evening was calmer, thankfully. I restarted my XCOM campaign, and I think I've cracked the main problem with my strategy, that I was being too aggressive during the encounters. Instead I've adopted a more defensive strategy, and that's working a lot better. I'm spending much more money on the team as well, and far less on building facilities, as well as saving a bit. We'll see if it works long term.

There was the inevitable midnight champagne, and lots of fireworks. There's a particularly poor family that live almost opposite the PILs house. There seem to be three families that are living in the house, and with poverty typically comes a particular lack of sense here. At around 2:30am they were driving a backfiring motorbike up and down the road. I'm used to it, so just wear headphones half the night. Even Lu was pushed to her limit though, and she got up and shouted a very stern "Feliz Ano Novo!" (Happy New Year!) out the window, not that it achieved very much. I didn't get to bed until around 2am anyway (XCOM addiction), so I suspect I had only just gone to bed.

I was up around 7-8am this morning, and feeling a bit tired. We went again to the park around 10am with Amélie, and she loved it. She wouldn't get off the swing, which is the usual "problem". She then spent 15-20 minutes going up and down some steps, and walking around in the large drainage paths for the rain. The amusing thing about Amélie is she gets so much enjoyment from the simplest things, complicated toys get much less use than these sorts of things (I'm sure she's not the only one!).

Outside the park I spotted someone was leaving fruit for birds in a group of trees. There had been some rather dull looking bem-te-vi's there, but when we came back there were a couple of beautiful types. Along with the park, it was so lovely to see someone care about their environment.

We had leftovers for lunch, and then it was nap time. I slept on and off until 4pm, but it was a disturbed sleep, with Amélie climbing all over me at one point. It's amazing though how much rest I can get even from this. Then it was back to a bit of XCOM, and Amélie fell asleep. Lu and I headed off to the local lovely* shopping centre. Most of it was closed, with the exception of the cinema and a handful of restaurants. We contemplated watching The Life of Pi, but having read the book and not being sure what to make of it I thought I'd rather wait for the torrent. Lu wasn't fussed either. Instead we had dinner at Outback, which cost R$105 (around £35). I paid with the remainder of the Christmas money I got. The food wasn't great - a mediocre burger and cold chips. We should have gone to McDonald's, and I don't like them much (Burger King were shut).

*Personally I find shopping centres as dull as ditch water. But despite that this place is gorgeous, it has to be said.

I should have known it was a mistake going to the restaurant alone with Lu. As per usual we drove each other up the wall, not helped by Lu being tired and antsy. We argued about baby names, then about moving back to Sao Paulo, and then Lu moaned that I was swinging some food she'd bought for Amélie. I called her stupid, she called me retarded, and that was that.

Now we're back home. Amélie woke up about half an hour after we got back, and she's watching Bambi.

Tomorrow we're off somewhat early to the ultrasound, where we might found out the sex of the baby. Unfortunately and inevitably the PILs are tagging along with us. Lu's cousins (the nicest ones) are coming here to stay the night, while on their way to somewhere on the coast for a holiday. In the evening Lu, Amélie, and I are off to a pizzeria to meet a USAian travel writer, Kevin (and his wife). My boss for the website may also go as well. It's going to be an interesting evening, and hopefully I don't get overcome with anxiety.

Edit: I meant to post some photos...

Balancing

^Lu and Amélie at the park.

Brazilian Birds

^No idea what this is, but lovely.

Brazilian Birds

^It's a bem-te-vi on the right, but the bird above and to the left is gorgeous, an iridescent blue.
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I don't like birds, but they are pretty

I love 'em, and it's unusual to be able to get remotely close. I must go to the Pantanal one day.

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