March 2003

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March 2003

Mar 31 — It was summery again today, but they say we might get drizzle later this week. Good. Too soon for real summer. But it was nice wearing my summer clothes, and eating my dinner on the balcony in the warm evening breeze. Henry has been asking me to make some more clothes for his doll, so today I made her a nice nightgown out of some red flannel we had hanging around. I let Henry iron it, and let him sew some of the short seams by turning the wheel by hand. But mostly he watched and bounced around. I was able to use the sewing machine when I was his age, but I had spent hours watching my mom sew… but I’ll probably let him use the sewing machine for real on the next outfit. Why not? It doesn’t matter if things turn out perfect. *chants to self* Do not be a perfectionist, do not be a perfectionist! Oh, I used non-sew-on snaps to finish the nightgown, the kind you need a pliars-like tool to affix. Henry thought that was GREAT and I let him squeeze the pliars to set them in place! Boy that sure beats sewing on all those little snaps. He also had a fun time making a Potion in the sink, consiting of sudsy water and lots of plastic toys. Yum! And of course he did it in the dark, because he was in a dungeon :)

L.O.L James Lileks on pizza.

Mar 30 — We just watched Six Feet Under. Meh. Whatever. Hate Brenda, hate fakey-fake poser art teacher, hate Nate, hate Lisa, hate Ruth’s kleptomaniac friend. Hate the way Claire blinks. The new apprentice guy seems cool in a very odd way, though. I think he and Ruth will get along just fine. But it’s always lovely to lie on the couch and watch it with Dan, no matter how blah the episode :) Henry and I went to the beach for a couple hours, until the sun started to go down. He dug a big pit, and I admired it and read my book. Lovely :) And I installed a bunch of Necessary Software on Henry’s computer — ncftp, secureCRT, irfanview, winzip, winamp, simcity2k, the incredible machine, worms world party, and zsnes. It’s so fast! pthree’s going to mail us his spare sound card soon, right pthree? :) What a nice good tweenbot he is. <3

Mar 29 — I did lots of errands in the morning — post office (the line was incredibly long), drug store, returned a video, etc. Man it was HOT today. After I got home I did all kinds of nice things. I watched a movie, “The Heiress”, which was great but unfortunately then end was cut off! So the last thing I saw was Morris pounding on the door and Katherine not letting him in (good for her!). If anyone knows how it ends, please email me :) I also de-cluttered Dan’s desk area, and vacuumed underneath it and it’s so nice now! And I worked on Henry’s computer and, by bedtime, I had windows re-installed and everything running fine. It turned out that his hard drive had a lot of bad sectors and errors and stuff that wddiag said were not repairable, but luckily Dan had a spare 13-gig drive hanging around unused so I put that in and everything is fine now! Now all I have to do is find him a sound card and install all the things he needs… Dan’s helicopter friend Kyle came over for dinner and to hang out, which was really fun!

Mar 28 — Yesterday Henry and I got out our watercolors and made some lovely paintings together. I showed him my tube watercolors and showed him how to mix colors, and we had a great time. This morning I took him to his dad’s house and we got to take the Acura because my car is still in the shop, so we had air conditioning (it’s hot today) and a real stereo! We listened to the BBC radio play of LotR on the way down, and I listened to NPR on the way back. When I got home I was really hungry so I made my latest favorite lunch: rice, black beans, and diced tomatoes heated up with a couple of big spoonfuls of cottage cheese and a little soy sauce stirred in. Sounds odd but it’s really quite good. Pretty soon we are going to pick up my car, yay!

Later… yes I’ve got my car back now. It’s so nice to drive it again. The Acura is luxurious but my car feels so good to drive. The seats are really upright or something, I don’t know. Dan just read “Catch 22” so tonight we rented the movie and watched it together. Help the bombardier! It was pretty good, beautifully directed, but I think it would have been pretty confusing if Dan hadn’t told me all about the story already. I have this vague feeling that I watched it a long long time ago with Darren but I don’t have any clear memories of it except the “help the bombardier” parts… Odd. Anyway I felt proud to have identified the guy who played Orr as the guy who played the guy who ran the dog show in “Best of Show” :) (I had a feeling that he was also in Close Encounters and the imdb proved me right)

Mar 27 — Henry is exactly 7.5 today. Sally took him ice skating! I did icky errands all morning. I need to install windows on henry’s computer again but I’m kind of putting it off. Poor kid. his computer got all unstable again so we rounded up enough leftover parts to rebuild it (Dan’s old motherboard and my old videocard) and I put it all together and it should be fine, and better than before, but we need to get him a sound card because his crummy old motherboard had one built-in. Maybe pthree has an extra one…

Mar 26 — My book is so good! Here, the editorial review on Amazon sums it up pretty well.

Mar 25 — Mmmm another lovely spring day. I wore my yellow pillowcase skirt — still haven’t posted pictures of on my crafts page because I can’t figure out where, in which partition on which computer, I stored the photos! Henry took them for me and I remember cropping and rotating them… but where they are now is a mystery. Well, I’ll ask him to take some more. This morning I did the laundry and all the floors and wiped down the bathrooms. The house looks great! I’m so proud of myself for changing the habits of a lifetime and learning a better way to keep house. Go team me, and thanks Flylady! Henry and I played Rivers, Roads, and Rails today, and I read him another chapter of Fellowship… I realized that we’ve been reading it pretty much non-stop since Christmas, when my parents gave him a nice hardback of the whole trilogy. We finished Fellowship already, got about halfway through Two Towers, and then started the Fellowship over again for some reason. Can’t remember why… Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of it but Henry loves it so much that I don’t have the heart to insist on something ELSE for a change. We do read the occasional picture book or whatever from the library, but the default bedtime (or anytime) book is always Tolkien. I’m writing this while waiting for my 6:15 student to show up. Oh I bought 9 gallons of water today too.

Later… Bah my clutch cable broke AGAIN tonight, as I was getting on the freeway to go home. Dan came right away to rescue us, and Triple A sent out a nice tow truck guy. We had my car hauled to Danny’s and I’m sure he’ll fix it right up. I sure am tired of broken clutch cables, though.

Mar 24 — Cold and damp today. Quite a change from the sunny weekend! We took Dan’s car in for an oil change this morning. After we got back I found that I’d left MY lights on and my battery was dead but Dan rescued me. :) This afternoon I cleaned up the crud under the table where the TV lives and it looks so nice now! A couple days ago Dan moved the gigantic speakers that we didn’t use anymore, and now the table is so much less cluttered and more light comes in the window behind the table and it just looks so much better. Got a letter and a lovely card from Melissa today! Hooray! Melissa if you are reading this (and I hope you are) I will write soon!

Mar 23 — This weather was lovely this weekend — sunny, warm, nice cool breezes. Henry and I went out to the helicopter field again to watch Dan fly. We took some good toys for Henry and also there were a couple of nice kids for him to play with — he loved that. Oh and we took his RC car along and he drove that on the new dirt RC car track which is right next to the helicopter area! And I *finished* the book I started yesterday, and began a new one that is excellent so far — “The Natural History of the Rich” by Richard Conniff. I have a little problem with really good books… I want to read them as quickly as possible to find out what happens, but I want to read them as slowly as possible so I can make them last longer. Quickly usually wins, since I’m an insanely fast reader anyway. When I put Henry to bed tonight he decided to listen to his Mister Rogers cd (the Bedtime one) and after I came out to the living room i could hear his little piping voice singing along :)

Mar 22 — Henry and I went to the library this morning and I found three books on the New Books shelf that looked very tempting! One of them, “The Nanny Diaries” looked so good that I started it when I got home and I’m halfway through already. Helped Henry find a stack of books about Robin Hood, too — he just watched the old Robin Hood movie with Errol Flynn in it :) We drove out to the helicopter field to watch Dan fly for a while, and then I let Henry rent a movie and watch it while I read my book.

Mar 20 — Did my taxes (Dan made my computer talk to the printer!), paid the bills, did grocery shopping, hung out with relatives, took Henry to his new Thursday gymnastics class, etc. A couple days ago I got Bridget Jones’s Diary from the library (read it before in a badly-scanned, completely unformatted e-text) so I’m reading it all over again and laughing so much! Love the lovely Bridget :) My 6:30 piano student cancelled so I came home early and made a good dinner! Mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and chicken for the IRQ.

In the afternoon today I tried to make the TiVo talk to the VCR so I could bounce last weekend’s Six Feet Under episode onto a tape for Scott. Before I started moving cables around, it made perfect sense — TiVo –> VCR –> TV. Well, I switched all the cables around but couldn’t manage to get the VCR to let the TiVo signal through to the tv! It was very frustrating. I eventually gave up and re-wired everything the way it was originally. When Dan came home he explained the problem! I hadn’t noticed the tiny little “INPUT” button on the VCR remote — pushing that would have done the trick. I totally understand now!

Mar 19 — Finally finished reading the Tom Bombadil chapter to Henry tonight. I really dislike Tom Bombadil. That sing-song way of speaking he has just makes me want to scream. I suppose it’s clever or something but it drives me nuts. I don’t like the Barrow Downs chapter either, but after that it’s smooth sailing until the long talky Rivendell chapter. We went over to Sal’s house this morning and Henry played with the little cousins in the backyard and garage for hours! They played Swordfight and Secret Club and Archaeologist and had a fine time. Scott and Kirsten and I watched the pre-war coverage on some news channel, and Scott made me a kick-ass cup of coffee.

Mar 18 — Went to zoo with all the nice relatives. It was crowded for some reason — odd on a wintery weekday. Good for our lovely zoo, but I hate crowds. Very very tired tonight.

Mar 17 — Spent the entire day at Legoland with my relatives — lots of fun, too tired to write much more. The boys are great, really nice, Henry had a marvelous time and so did I! I knitted a sock for Henry while we waited in line for things. Bought some 80% nylon/20% wool for cheap cheap cheap just to have something to work on. It’s nice to work with and very soft. Bedtime.

Mar 16 — My Uncle Scott, Aunt Jennifer, and their three boys (my cousins Daniel (9) Mark (7) and Luke (5)) are in town for about a week, staying at Mom’s house. Today when Henry got home (noonish) we went over to meet them! I’d never met Jennifer or the boys. They’re all super nice. Henry and the boys played and played and played. We went over to the little skateboard area by the pier and they skated and scooted for ages. Dan came too! It was so nice hanging around with them all. Oh, Kirsten and Marcos were there also, so it was a whole lot of my family all in once place :)

Mar 15 — Oh, it was a nice lazy day for a change. It rained most of the day, and Dan was out, and Henry was at Matthew’s so I had a very peaceful, quiet day. I listened to NPR, did two loads of laundry, played NWN for hours, and dealt with a bunch of digital photos. See the bottom of my photos page. Oh, I did my taxes, too! I didn’t wait ’til the last minute, hooray for me :)

Mar 14 — This morning we went to play at LaRaine’s house! They have the coolest house ever. Henry and Anna played while I gave Ella a little sewing lesson — she wants to learn how to make doll clothes so I showed her how to make a simple pattern, cut it out, and start hand-sewing it. It was really fun! I took my old Mandy doll’s patterns (the ones with all the interchangeable, color-coded pattern pieces) but Ella’s Felicity doll (an “American Girls” doll) is a lot bigger than Mandy. But that’s ok, it’ll be fun showing Ella how to look at the little patterns, and figure out how to make them fit HER doll. Afterwards I took Henry to Matthew’s house, then came home, did some house stuff, hemmed Dan’s blue pants, put together a lasagna for dinner tonight (super easy and good recipe: mix 1 1/2 jars of sauce with one tub of ricotta, and add some garlic powder and/or Italian seasoning. Layer 9 cooked lasagna noodles with 1/2 pound grated mozzarella and about a cup of romano. (sauce, noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese) and bake for about 45 minutes at 350. Yum!). IN the evening I taught my students and took my Grandma to the store. Good deed :) At night we went out and rented “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and bought some CANDY and went home and ate lasagna and candy and watched it together. It was really pretty good… not perfect, and the sound track was appalling, but it was quite enjoyable.

Mar 12 — We did the groceries today. I made a list and planned ahead and I don’t think I forgot a single thing, yay me! Dan went out to r/c helicopter meeting thing tonight, so after I put Henry to bed I watched part of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (musical, 1967, Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore). Meh. It wasn’t that good. I haven’t finished it yet, but I started ff’ing the tedious parts, especially the Carol Channing parts. *shudder*

Mar 11 — Hey take a look at Dan’s new blog. Looks nice, eh? I might tinker with the blogging software he’s using. (It does comments, Caysie :) I don’t know though. I’m really fond of typing in my little entries right on the server in vi… I’m not sure how I’d feel about doing it a more fancy windowsy way.

Henry’s Junior Theater performance was this morning! LaRaine and I hung out and talked in the cafe before it started — really fun :) And then the performance was so wonderful! The kids acted out several aspects of medieval life — nobles, peasants, knights, swordfighting, dancing, etc. They all did such a good job! Henry was an Archer/Knight/Dragonslayer. I took lots of photos but I don’t have the ambition right now to select, crop, resize, upload, etc. Er, well, maybe I should anyway… hang on. Ok, here you go! Here’s Henry-the-Archer, here’s Henry-the-Knight, and here’s a Battle-scarred Knight! Notice the nice green wooden sword that Dan made for him, and that curious golden ring on an elvenchainlightyetstrong around his neck!

Mar 10 — I guess I didn’t mention that Henry and I washed my car on Saturday! We took it to the self- service car wash, and scrubbed it well. Then we cleaned three bags of garbage out of it and vacuumed it with the impressive carwash vacuum. The thing grabbed my shirt and didn’t want to let go, and it sucked up all manner of disgusting things out of my car. When we got home I Windexed the windows and the dashboard and everything. It looks so nice now, and it even smells better (go figure). We’re not going to let it get that bad every again. I had to scrape an antique, mouldering cookie out of the floormat with a stick.

How does this look with a little separation between thoughts? Ah, good, looks nice. So this afternoon Dan and I took Henry down to the baseball field on the corner so he could drive his RC car. That’s a great place for him to drive! He seemed to have a ton of fun, and Dan and I got to take a couple turns too. Dan brought his battery charger along so we could charge up the batteries when they died! We all had a great time.

Also I injected new ink into Dad’s color printer cartridges, which was lots of fun! I just love doing that. My fingers are multi-colored now :)

Mar 09 — I got almost 10 hours of sleep last night. I feel good again! Henry and I just got back from a trip to the video store so he could spend the gift certificates that Kathy gave him for Christmas the last two years! He picked out two superhero movies, both animated. One is Spiderman vs. the Green Goblin and the other is something about The Justice League (Superman, Batman, and Wonderwoman?). While we were out we walked up to the other end of the parking lot to the grocery store to get some canned spaghetti and meatballs for Dan (he loves that stuff!). Well, that store is usually really expensive so I only took three cans, but then when we paid it turned out they were on sale for $1 each, plus the checker gave us a coupon for $.40 off 4 cans. So we went through again and got four more cans, and then we got a coupon for $.45 off 5 cans… so we went around again :) And then we figured 12 cans were enough! Now Henry is watching one of his movies, and I am going to play Neverwinter for a while :)

Mar 08 — Henry’s with us this weekend! Dan was at the field all day with his helicopter, while Henry and I did things together. We vacuumed the whole house, finished “Ramona’s World”, and did some watercolor painting together. Henry did a still-life of my vase of flowers, and I did a still- life of two tomatoes and a pepper on a plate, and a portrait of his spiderman doll :) After our paintings were dry, we hung them all on the wall! Henry also played outside in the sand with a bunch of kids and I kept an eye on him from our balcony while I read my book. Oh, the appleseed we planted has sprouted!

Mar 07 — Now I’m reading “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell — I’m crazy about him but I never read this one before! I’m enjoying it so much. It’s the story of the 5 years he and his family (very English and eccentric) spent in Greece, starting when he was ten. Wonderful story :) Something I noticed: my grandma looked so pretty tonight — she was going out with friends and she had on a purple velour pantsuit and a pale pink sweater. Well, it doesn’t sound so good but trust me, she looked great. Poor Henry — his computer died AGAIN today. The thing gives us so much trouble, ’cause it’s built with old spare parts I guess… Dan keeps fixing it for him, though. Henry and I went out scooting and skateboarding this afternoon before I left to go teach. It was a nice sunny cool day, and we had a good time together. We go down to a dead-end alley in the apartment complex — not much traffic and some good gentle hills for swooping down. While I was teaching, he and Dan watched several episodes of the 1960s Batman tv show together. I’m glad there’s a show that they both enjoy! POW! KRAK! ZAM! Oh, I was just writing to Chloe and that reminded me that I should mention here that I am knitting a cute little cap. I got the pattern from knitty.com . It’s this one. But I’m knitting it in some natural-colored wool that my grandma spun a long time ago, and I’m doing the ties in I-cord and the edges nicely chained.

Mar 06 — Did all the grocery shopping this morning, put everything away, etc. I had to buy gasoline and didn’t have enough to go to the good gas station, so I had to pay $2.15/gal (for CHEAP gas) so it came to $26 to fill it up. Bah. Now I am going to play my game for a few minutes before I leave to pick up Henry, go to the yarn store (some of my yarn came in!), take Henry to karate, help my dad, and teach Elizabeth.

Mar 05 — I woke up really early because little kids were shrieking outside our window. Bah. But, I got a lot done today! I did the flylady’s kitchen mission today (shove stuff over and wipe down all the counters) and my kitchen looks great :) I also read two chapters of Ramona’s World to Henry, and played a game of Streetcar with him (excellent boardgame), and sat on the porch in the sun and finished my book, and talked with Chloe on the AIM again, and taught my students, etc. Oh and Dan and I watched an episode of Seinfeld that I’d never seen before! That’s always a treat.

Mar 04 — I’m reading “To Love And Be Wise” by Josephine Tey. Terrible title (doesn’t it sound like a romance novel?), great book! I read during Henry’s class this morning, during his karate this afternoon, while I was waiting for my students to show up this evening, and as much as possible before bed. Oh, and in NWN I did the thing where you talk to all the henchmen in order to get their quests… they talk WAY too much and I got kind of burned out. When I go back again (I have to be at a higher level in order to actually find out what I have to do for them) I will not try to talk to all of them in one day. Blah, blah, blah. It was gray and rainy today :)

Mar 03 — Nice Monday. We went to the library in the evening and got four NEW audiobooks for Henry so he’s really happy! And a stack of real books for him to practice reading, and a Ramona book that neither of us has read (I guess Beverly Cleary has written more since I was a Ramona fan!), and of course I got a stack of books for myself. After chatting with Chloe about books on Sunday, I decided to read some Josephine Tey — and I found one that I’ve never read! Oh JOY!!! Tonight Dan and I watched yesterday’s brand-new “Six Feet Under” episode. Ok, I won’t give anything away for those of you who haven’t seen it yet… but boy oh boy was it stressful. But VERY good. So nice to see something of genuine quality on TV for a change! I let Henry listen to his new audiobooks at bedtime so of course he was up very late… old favorites help him get to sleep but the new ones are so exciting they keep him awake. Oh, well :)

Mar 02 — Well! I slept for 10 or 11 hours and I feel great :) YAY for Sunday. Dan’s off flying again today but this time I stayed home to do some Kara stuff. I did the laundry, caught up my books page, and now I’m going to play Neverwinter nights for a long long time. But first I’m going to call the yarn store and see if my yarn is ever going to come in!

Mar 01 — So sleepy this morning I could barely get up. I had to wake Henry up, too in time for his gymnastics class which is unusual ’cause he’s almost always up by 8 or 8:30. He was going hand-over-hand on the rings in class and he looked exactly like a little gibbon :) After I got home we went out to the flying field so Dan could fly his helicopter. Kyle was there, and he’s a super-nice kid, and Rod was there but he left a bit after we got there. I read “Girl Talk” by Julianna Baggott and wrote letters. It was cold and windy so I stayed in the car a lot of the time, heh. Really nice day :)

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