February 2003

February 2003

Feb 28 — We met my friend LaRaine and her two little girls (Ella and Ana) at the Wild Animal Park today! We all had a great time. The weather was gorgeous — it was still raining a little bit when we got there, but it cleared up right away, except for occasional tiny sprinkles. Cloudy, cool, wet, and lovely. We went on the hiking trail, up to the condors and then down to Kilima Point and then around to the playground. Everything smelled so delicious from the rain! The gibbons over by the playground were hooting and swinging all around! Then in the afternoon I had a few students and Henry went to karate, and we came home and I made dinner and put him to bed and then played NWN and talked to Dan and then we watched Enterprise together and ate ice cream and now it is bedtime!

Feb 27 — Last night I cleaned my desk. I took everything off and put it in a huge box, vacuumed, and then put everything back in the right place, and threw out the junk. It took 2.5 hours but boy it’s really nice now! Today is grocery day, so I have to go make a list now, and then play Neverwinter until the stores open! More later… Mister Rogers died today. I feel so sad. He made the world a better place. There were many thoughtful columns about him online today… one that I liked particularly well was this one, written by a woman who really WAS his neighbor when she was a child. I liked her stories about him, and the photo at the top is wonderful. Here’s another lovely article. I did lots of stuff today but I don’t feel like writing any more.

Feb 26 — Yesterday, Dan installed Neverwinter Nights on my newly-upgraded computer! I gave him NWN for Christmas, and he’s been playing almost daily ever since and hasn’t finished yet. It’s a nice big game! I started playing today and it’s just amazing. I created my character last night. The character creation system is excellent — very detailed, but for every option there’s a “recommended” button so if you’re not sure how you ought to divide up your points, or whatever, you can just take their recommendation. I am a female half-elf fighter, chaotic good alignment. My name is Amoniel Willows, I think. I’m terrible at thinking up names so it’s lucky for me that the game will randomly generate one if you want it to ;-) Playing is really bringing back memories of playing pencil-and-paper D&D ever so many years ago, except this is a lot more fun. Speaking of fun, I’m still thinking about how much fun we had up at pthree’s house. That was really great. He even gave us his bedroom, and slept on the couch in his computer room! What a sweet pthree :)

Feb 24 — Finished “The Professor and the Madman” today. Good book! Henry helped me do a Five Minute Room Rescue in his bedroom this morning, and then we took about ten minutes to tidy up the bathroom (mopped it too!) and then I mopped the kitchen and vacuumed my room. And, thanks to the flylady (and me!) everything was pretty clean already, no big disasters, so it didn’t take long at all to make most of the house look great! Now, this week, accordning to the flylady, our Zone is the livingroom. Now that’s the biggest challenge in the whole house, because of the piles and piles of boxes and helicopter stuff and other hobby stuff and desk messes of four people… But tonight after I get Henry to bed I will declutter for a few minutes and see what happens :) Henry and I played Worms together several times today. We play as a team against the computer. Henry’s really getting pretty good at it, too! We like to use unlimited Ninja Ropes (all three of us love those Ninja Ropes) and unlimited, high-explosive DYNAMITE! Pretty soon we’re going to play as a team against Dan :) OH! Last night Dan and I played and I won THREE games! I only won once before when he let me have extra life to start with, and last night I didn’t have any extra life or anything. What a great game :) I’m trying to find a decent radiostation on shoutcast…

Feb 23 — Last night we played Worms a lot with the pthree! Lots of fun :) Today we got up early and drove home. It was a nice drive, and it only took us 7 hours to get home, amazingly. No horrible traffic in LA this time. We really like the long straight stretch of I-5 between LA and SF. It’s easy to drive, non-confusing, and when you need gas it’s very simple. Lots of nice bathrooms too :) We listened to out audiobook almost all the way; oh, actually, we listened to NPR for a while until we got on 5 and lost the station. We heard LeAnn Hansen and Will Shortz and most of Car Talk. Oh what a nice little vacation we had :) Pthree didn’t mind it that we didn’t want to go places and do stuff. We just had such a nice time hanging around his place! The cows that live across the street from him came up close to the fence yesterday, and we walked over and said hi. Cows look so peaceful, and these cows were very shaggy and cute. Pthree has daffodils growing in his yard! I’m tired so this is pretty random… just writing down a few thoughts. Yesterday we went to Penngrove Park so Dan could fly his helicopter. We could see sheep in a distant field. And the ball field we were in was actually soggy. It RAINS up there in Penngrove. Everything was green and lush and beautiful. Well, anyway, we had a perfect little vacation :) Hey, in other news, my nephew, Chris, and his band won a GRAMMY! Yay!!!

Feb 22 — Last night we drove drove drove to Vacaville to meet pthree’s girl, Steph, and have dinner. It was nice; Steph is very sweet and I had good clam chowder. When we got home we sat in a row on the couch with our laptops and talked and laughed and played games together. That was GREAT :) We played Worms World Party which is really fun :) We slept nice and late this morning, and I made pancakes for breakfast/lunch. Now we’re going out so Dan can fly his helicopter and show pthree how cool it is. And I will walk around the little town and read my book. I read “The Miss America Family” yesterday and today I’m going to read “The Professor and the Madman”.

Feb 21 — We’re here in Penngrove at pthree’s house! We drove for ten hours yesterday. Boy oh boy that was a long drive. We stopped in Buttonwillow at a Denny’s for dinner — it was a really nice Denny’s and the food was good! And then we drove for hours and hours and hours… But it was a really nice drive and we had fun talking and listening to music and a little bit of an audio book (but then we got tired of it). When we finally got to pthree’s road, which is just a little rural one-lane road with a few little houses and lots of cows, we almost missed his driveway (it was dark) but luckily he had stuck a “P3” sign on his mailbox :) So we knew we were in the right place. :) His house is so cool; it’s nice and old and solid and calm. It’s really great to finally get to met p3 in person! We’ve been friends for, oh, three years or so and have never met. He’s at work today, so we’re just going to hang around and relax and maybe take a walk and read and stuff.

Feb 20 — It is a blue sky, green hillsides, BEAUTIFUL day! We had a little lightning storm last night and we were afraid it might rain today. We’re going OUT OF TOWN for the weekend, yay! We’re going to visit pthree! Ok we’re leaving in less than an hour so I have to go pack.

Feb 19 — I make pancakes for Henry almost every morning. I mix some flax seed meal and some coral calcium into the batter, for extra nutrition! They do turn out tasty. So anyway today after breakfast we did the banking and grocery shopping. Henry is such a great helper! When we put the food away we did it in a new and different way: he unloaded the bags onto his skateboard, and sent it scooting across the kitchen to me, where I was standing by the fridge. Then I took the food off and scooted his skateboard back to him with my foot. Very entertaining! Henry’s like Jem Finch — he’ll always have an idea :) (I think that’s what Atticus said) Lordy, I’m tired. Going to collapse on the couch for a while and then go to bed. Leaving on trip tomorrow, which is great but I get all nervous thinking of things I might forget to do/take/remember. I’d better make a list.

Feb 18 — Lovely morning at cafe writing letters while Henry was in class. And then I dropped him off at Matthew’s and took myself to the library! We’re going out of town this weekend so I got a stack of audiobooks for the drive, plus some stuff to read! Sometimes while we are driving Henry reaches over and pets my shoulder. Sweet little boy. We listened to The Phantom Tollbooth on the way to SD. Oh, heheh, on Sunday we finished up The Hobbit, so then last night we had to look around for another book for bedtime. So we were browsing over the bookshelves, considering this and that… and then Henry decided on The Fellowship of the Ring (again). So we started it all over. :) What is it about those books that he finds so incredibly satisfying? Well, whatever it is, it’s fine with me. I can deal with The Fellowship again :) Tonight we read about the Party, and the bit where Bilbo finally gives up the ring. That’s a very good scene. There’s a spot where you can just tell that the deciding moment has just passed, and Bilbo will be ok. Henry made some kind of comment right then that let me know that he felt the same way. Neat. He’s got the little boy desire for Heroes, and up ’til he discovered LoTR it was always Superheroes he was crazy about. But I think he finds the LoTR heroes to be just as good, which I think is wonderful because they really are HEROES, and are heroes in many ways (and none of them can fly or shoot webbing out of their wrists). I’m finding Sam to be one of the most heroic characters in the story. At Sal’s house this afternoon I started a sock for her (so she didn’t have to deal with casting on and dividing the stitches over three needles etc) which was fun. I love how my fingers just KNOW how to start a sock without much guidance from my brain. And Susan read “A Bargain for Frances” to Henry and me :) WE LOVE YOU SUSAN! Dan’s almost finished building his latest heli so I think we are going to watch SNL together in a while :)

Feb 17 — Henry and I made a neat Star Ship out of his K’Nex today. And he helped me clean my bedroom and flip over the mattress. Henry’s monitor was kind of fuzzy, so it was hard to read small text. So we swapped it for my old monitor today, which is more convex but doesn’t have the fuzz problem. It’ll be better for a beginning reader to not have to deal with fuzzy text! Tonight we’re going to pick up beautiful Susan at mom’s house (she’s visiting from NY) and bring her home for dinner! We can hardly wait to see her :)

Feb 16 — I practiced my banjo a lot last night and tonight. Sore fingers! Finished reading The Hobbit to Henry! Now we get to pick out a new book. Hmm… Maybe Dr. Doolittle. We went to the beach this evening to watch the sunset. It was really really cold so I took the icky blanket out of the car and wore it like a shawl and watched while Henry played in then sand, digging TRAPS. The sunset was pretty, nice and orange, though not spectacular. When we got home, we watched another episode of The Crocodile Hunter together. Dan and I like that show almost as much as Henry does, I think! Ok, now I have to find something to eat and go to bed.

Feb 15 — Henry gets to stay with us this weekend! YAY! We did some errands this morning (elastic, new gas cap, stuff for dad, etc) and I rented “Lilo and Stitch” for Henry. It was fun watching that one again; it’s not too terrible and it’s actually funny in some places. The sci-fi elements are great. Probably let him watch it again tomorrow. I wish I had some Blackberry Avalanche ice cream right now.

Feb 14 — Happy Valentine’s day! I had a great day :) In the morning, Henry and I drove down to San Diego for a homeschooler little kids’ Valentine’s Party. Henry’s best friend, Nicolas, was there and we set up a big table of craft supplies and everyone made valentine bags and then the kids exchanged Valentines and we ate snacks and stuff. Lots of fun! Henry read part of “A Bargain For Frances” while we were driving, and we sang “There’s a Moon Out Tonight” over and over. Henry sings the backup vocals (Whoa-oh-oh ooh) and fills in the chord at the end with me. He has incredibly good pitch. I taught a bunch of piano students in the afternoon, and Michelle took Henry to Karate (lovely Michelle!). Then when we got home I made a heart-shaped pancake for Henry’s dinner, read him some more Hobbit, and put him to bed a little early. Dan rented “Minority Report” for us, and we ordered dinner from Oggi’s (our favorite Italian place — they deliver!) and ate and watched our movie and just had a lovely, relaxed, perfect evening together :) :) :) “Minority Report” was pretty good, if you don’t look too closely at the plot flaws and stuff ;-) Very entertaining. We like to pause the movie from time to time and make guesses as to what’s going to happen next, whodunnit, etc. :) After Agatha started running around, I realized that she looked terribly familiar. Couldn’t figure it out, though, until I looked her up on imdb.com. She played Harriet Smith in “Emma”!

Feb 13 — I’m feeling relatively healthy again, yay! Woke up wayyyyyyy too early and couldn’t get back to sleep, thinking about all the millions of things I have to do today. So I decided to get up and do some of them. Except that I feel so tired and awful I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done. Blah. I’d better make a list so I don’t forget anything important.

Feb 10 — Flu. Or something. Blah. Dan and Henry took good care of me today. Henry read me lots of stories and Dan went to the store for graham crackers and they both brought me things to drink all day.

Feb 09 — It’s 7am — I just got back from taking Tab to the airport (She’s going back to NY for a visit). We got up at 4:30am! It sounds horrible but it was actually rather fun to be up that early. It was pitch dark when we left, with stars and everything, and it was still dark when we got to the airport. Boy, 5am on a Sunday is the time to drive! There was NO traffic and it only took 40 minutes to get all the way to the airport :) Oh, I acquired Quicken, which so far seems to be MUCH better than MSMoney. It hasn’t done anything offensive or inexplicable yet, which is more than I can say for MSMoney. Ok now I will clean my desk! Or possibly I will sit here reading back issues of the backfence and giggling :)……(later) Well, I read the backfence for a while and then my lack of sleep caught up with me, and I lost all ambition. So I lazed around, and then slept for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and then did some laundry. It’s only 8:30 but I think I’ll go to bed pretty soon… Exhaustion… creeping… up… Productivity… failing… Where’s the remote? I will lull myself with some mindless entertainment for a while. It’s Seinfeld time! (We miss you, Tabatha!)

Feb 06 — Last night I tried to balance my checkbook (which is now kept by MSMoney) and created a total disaster, due mostly to MSMoney’s incredibly bad interface. I worked on it for 5 hours and it got worse and worse and more and more snarled up until I finally just gave up completely. Today I deleted EVERYTHING and started over from the beginning. Luckily, MSMoney decided, this time, to download all my bank transactions since mid-December, so it’s got to be up-to-date enough. I wonder how much Quicken costs. Tonight I realized that I had not informed MSMoney of my recurring transactions (e.g. rent, car payment) So I went back to the earliest rent payment and told it to make it recurring. So then it told me I was late paying rent in January. So I told it it was paid, and then it stuck that payment in twice. Gee, thanks, that really helped. So basically, I have two months of information which I can’t organize in that way. Maybe there’s a way to trick microsoft into doing what I want it to do, but I can’t figure it out. Grrrrr. This morning I did all the grocery shopping, and then fixed up MSMoney, then drove down to pick up Henry, then we drove back up to Carlsbad and were an hour early for Karate so I took him to the park for a while and he found a nice little guy to play trucks with while I lay on the grass. Then we had a little snack at the coffee place upstairs from Karate. We agreed that we should do that more often — it’s a very pleasant place. I told him that when he starts reading chapter books, we can go there, have a little something to eat, and read together :) I practiced my banjo for a long time tonight! Beautiful Susan sent me the newly reprinted Pete Seeger banjo book (which you can get from homespun tapes)! Pete starts you off in C tuning, which is new for me, and I also worked on a couple of tunes in my clawhammer book that are in C — “flop-eared mule” and “molly hare”.

Feb 04 — Blah I’ve got a headache. I read a lot last night and today. I think I’m getting headaches from reading again. Odd that they stopped for a while. But anyway I read a really good book — “Bridget Jones’ Diary” by Helen Fielding. I enjoyed it tremendously and it was worth the headache. I read it on my palm, and the scan was really bad — there were tons of errors such as the recurring “fudge” instead of “fridge” heheh. I figured most of it out anyway :) I just read a few reviews on Amazon, and thought it was funny that no one realized that Bridget’s mom was a parody of Lydia Bennett! They all seemed to think she was meant to be like Mrs. Bennett, which she was, as well, but her main function in the plot was as Lydia. I wonder how the movie version is. Bad, probably, but Colin Firth is in it so maybe it’s worth a try :) Ooooo I just discovered that there’s a sequel. Hmm…. I already have the headache, so maybe I should read it tonight if I can find it in e-text ;-)

Feb 03 — Last night when I went to bed I was certain that it was Monday night (actually TODAY is Monday) and I even set my alarm early so I could get up in time to take Henry to his Tuesday class. Just before I went to sleep I suddenly realized that I was all mixed up, and re-set my alram to the right time. And then when I woke up this morning and looked at the clock I was convinced for a second that I’d overslept! Goofy :) We went over the Kaylee’s house to play — a nice little homeschooled girl just Henry’s age. Her parents are extremely nice, and I had a great time chatting with them while the kids played. They’re really relaxed and pleasant. And then when we got home we all four (Dan, Kara, Henry, Tabatha) went to the beach for a while!

Feb 02 — Slept late (10:00am). Did some regular Sunday stuff (laundry, bills, etc.) also just lazed around for a while. On the way down to pck up Henry, I stopped at the yarn store and got some more yarn for my afghan, plus asked them to order some more green and black. On the way back up here we stopped at the park and took a little walk while the sun was setting, and Henry swung on the swings. Tab found this fun little typing test online; we all took it a few times. My best was 51 WPM, which isn’t that great but oh well :) Dan was like 400 WPM or something :) When he types it sounds like someone shaking a can full of teeth. Heheh. OK I’ve GOT to go to bed so I can get up early tomorrow.

Feb 01 — The space shuttle “Columbia” exploded this morning. I don’t usually look at any news sites in the morning, so I didn’t even know it til someone mentioned it on irc. :(

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