Mastodon August 2003 —

August 2003

Aug 31 — Ugh, crampy. I finished my cd player case! I made it of red flannel, nice and soft and bright. Dan suggested adding a couple of pockets in back for extra cds, which works well! Also I *finally* got around to installing the windows palmdesktop gunk so I can download photos off my palm (sample: henry!) and try loading some mp3s onto it! I started reading “The Poisonwood bible” today and it’s excellent.

Aug 30 — Yesterday my cd burner died… right when I wanted to copy a bunch of stuff for Jo AND make myself a new mp3 cd. So today Dan did some research, and found a good one at Circuit City, $70 with a $30 rebate. We went there to get it and found that it had a $30 rebate AND a $25 rebate… so it’ll actually cost me only $15. Amazing. Jo bought it for me, for a treat :) We all went to the Wild Animal Park and had a great time — the threat of Exotic Newcastle Disease has ended, so they brought the free-flight part of the Birdshow back and re-opened the aviaries! We had a great time and it wasn’t even THAT hot (we were there late-afternoonish). Started working on a case for my new mp3/cd player — I’m planning to make a clear window in front with vinyl, and then have velcro on back so I can stick it to the velcro on my car dashboard.

Aug 28 — I have gotten my lovely new Zire 71 all set up with my essential apps. Since it uses OS 5, and my IIIc was running 3.5 (I think) I was worried that some of my antique software wouldn’t work properly. Almost everything does, though. I need to hunt up some fancy OS 5 enhanced stuff to take advantage of my high-res screen and ultra-fast-processor! Any suggestions? This little Z71 is the prettiest palm ever, and it’s soooo fast, and the screen is bright and sharp and clear and elegant, and it LOOKS good, and it feels nice in my hands. The camera is fun, too :) Dan made hotsyncing work in Linux for me right away, so I haven’t even installed the stuff on the cds, like the RealPLayer and Audible player — but when I do I’ll have music in my zire too. Amazing. My new mp3/cd player is excellent. It feels nice and solid, and it works well in the car, and the fm tuner gives me better reception for KPBS than the boombox on the desk! It’s so nice having music in my car again. I need to make a new cd. Tonight Jo and I watched the first 4 episodes of P&P :)

Aug 27 — Happy birthday to me! I had a great day. Thanks, everyone, for the birthday emails! When we got up in the morning, Dan and Henry gave me my presents — Henry gave me a beautiful hardback copy of “The Saturdays”, they gave me both of the homestarrunner t-shirts I was wishing for, and Dan gave me the iRock mp3/cd player I wanted AND a zire 71 with a 64MB memory card! All my presents are so wonderful, and my family is wonderful :) Susan gave me an amazon gift certificate, and my parents gave me the 4-volume, newly reprinted “Treasury of Knitting Patterns” books by Barbara Walker. Oh and Jo surprised me later in the day with chocolate mints and flowers! Everyone is so good to me :)

Aug 26 — We (Dan, Henry, Jo, and I) rented & watched The Two Towers tonight (along with everyone else on the planet, probably), which was great of course, and now Jo and I are watching “The Bachelor and the Bobby-soxer” (1947, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple), which is relatively dull, heh :) Movie night, yay :)

Aug 25 — We just picked up Dan’s mom (Jo) from the airport! She’s really sweet — brought me some absolutely lovely brown Egyptian cotton to sew something with! It’s so silky and lovely, and it’ll be waiting there for me the instant I get a notion to make something all of a sudden. :) I started “Pigs in Heaven” today — it’s a bit darker than any of Kingsolver’s other novels that I’ve read so far. I was in a quandary today, wanting to read and to practice my banjo, and discovered that I can do both at the same time, heh.

Aug 24 — Mmm lazy day. I finished “The Bean Trees” and can hardly wait to start another Kingsolver book. Tonight :) This afternoon we dropped my car at Danny’s so he can fix the smog problem and do my oil change and whatever else needs to be done, so I took Dan’s car to SD to pick up Henry which means I had a good CD player to use! So I took along my Pete Seeger complete Carnegie Hall concert from 1963 cds. LIstened to the first one on the way down and the second on the way back. Henry told me the slow ones in minor keys sounded Elvish… especially “Genbaku O Yurusumagi” (Never again the Atom Bomb) which makes me weep every time I hear it. We listened to “From Way Up Here” over and over, trying to learn the words and tune, which is tricky. (from way up here, the world seems very small, it’s just a little ball, of rock and sea and sand… no bigger than my hand) Henry can actually HARMONIZE, so on This Land Is Your Land we were both harmonizing in different ways with Pete. :) It was great!

Aug 23 — Last night I finished Prodigal Summer! I loved every page. I think I liked the “Moth Love” thread of the story best. I’m glad the author didn’t wrap everything up in a tidy little package at the end. You can kind of see how the characters’ lives will just keep flowing on and intertwining… I hope Lusa and Deanna get acquainted when Deanna comes down off the mountain in September… I’m sure they will :) Today we went to the Mall (hateful place, far too many people) so Dan could get a new watch, and we strolled around looking at things. He bought me a new card game I’ve had my eye on, “FLUXX”, made by Looney Labs . We played it 6 or 8 times already tonight — it’s WONDERFUL! I highly recommend it. I started “The Bean Trees”, another Barbara Kingsolver novel, tonight. Very good so far :)

Aug 22 — Watched “Easter Parade” (1948, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland) with Henry today. That’s a pretty good one :) We both love “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “A Couple Of Swells”. The costuming isn’t very impressive in that one though… Judy has one really nice brown suit but all her other dresses are just ugly, especially that pink-and- brown one near the end. Ah well :)

Aug 21 — We just finished watching the extended Fellowship of the Ring dvd. We watched it in little bits over the course of several nights. Wow :) All that “extra” stuff (I mean the stuff they should have kept in the theater version) was great. I like Elijah Wood less and less and less though. I never thought he was a good choice for Frodo and I’m sick to death of him by now. I’m totally happy with all the other actors, but I’ve had enough of Elijah Wood’s pale pasty pretty face and sorrowful bugged-out eyes. And inadequate acting skill. Heh. On the other hand, I am more impressed than ever by whomever played Boromir… Sean Bean? Yeah that sounds right. The extra material gave Boromir’s character more dimension and I thought Sean Bean did an excellent job. In other news, I started “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver today and I really like it! (Thanks Chloe and John!)

Aug 20 — It rained tonight. Wild! When I got home from work I found that Dan had hooked up a new set of computer speakers for me! My old ones were so crummy. My new ones even have a sub-woofer! I tested them out with some TMBG, Cake, and Prodigy — sounded GREAT. Such a nice surprise :) :) :)

Aug 19 — We went to the library this morning and I got a stack of books by Barbara Kingsolver, on Chloe’s recommendation. I’ll start one as soon as I’m done re-reading “The Three Miss Margarets”, which is even good the second time in one week! Hmm then we went to the bank and the water store (bought 10 gallons; we’ve all been drinking a lot of water in all this heat) and by the time we got home it was time to make food for everybody, and then I had a little rest and then it was time for my Tuesday afternoon piano student, then Karate, then back to Sal’s house to cook for Dad. While Sal had a break between students she and Henry had a swim in her pool while I did the grocery shopping — it was a good time of day for shopping (6:30 – 8) — cooler, not crowded at all. I think I’ll switch to nighttime shopping for the rest of the summer. They released “Chicago” on DVD today so I rented it on the way home and Dan and I watched together after I got Henry to bed. Good movie!

Aug 18 — O.K. here’s my long-awaited birthday wishlist! I may add some more stuff if I think of anything… I’m all tired out — I did a lot today. Cleaned the floors, dusted, vacuumed the screens, did the bathrooms, etc. Read LotR to Henry, played Mille Bournes with him, returned the too-big shorts, cooked for everyone. Hmm, I think it may be time for a little Zelda!

Aug 17 — Hot. How long ’til winter gets here? I worked on my new brown sweater a lot today — did the back from shoulder to underarm, and now I’ve got the front almost there too — then I’ll join the front and back together and begin to work in the round. Hmm, I should have started that cable pattern in front too… well, I can drop those stitches back and work them up correctly.

Aug 16 — We went out for dinner and a movie tonight! Had dinner at Chili’s which was perfectly pleasant, then hung out in the new bookstore there for a while, then went to see Freaky Friday, which was great! It was really surprisingly good, very entertaining, touching, funny! Much better than I was expecting.

Aug 15 — Henry’s all better today, yay! Worf (aka James), an IRC friend we’ve known for years, was in SD on business, and this morning Dan drove down to pick him up so he could hang out with us a bit before he flew home. Nice guy! I’m reading a new book called “The Three Miss Margarets”, one of those stories that takes place in the South, where everyone knows everyone else’s family history for generations back. So far it’s very very good! I drove Henry down to his dad’s house today and traffic was awful, as usual. It occurred to me that, maybe, if we planned it right, we could somehow make the trip down there on the Coaster, our nice commuter train. Their schedules are a little strange, but it might work. Then we could spend a couple hours on a nice air-conditioned train, reading or playing games, instead of sweating and dodging idiots on the freeway, I mean clog-way. Hmmm…

Aug 14 — Ugh it’s hot. The entire East Coast is without power today, it seems. So hey, East Coast friends and relatives, if you’re reading this I guess you got your power back! :) Henry’s sick today, poor boy. He’s got a fever and has spent the day lying on the couch, resting. I read him most of another chapter of The Two Towers, and we watched some Fred Astaire together, and talked about vaudeville and other things.

Aug 13 — Dan’s helping me install vmware; when it’s finished I’ll be able to run windows programs in a window on my linux desktop, which means I won’t have to reboot into the winders to update quicken, etc. Cool :)

Aug 12 — We used one of our “Rent One Free” coupons to rent the gamecube “megaman” game for Henry. It’s kind of frustrating how the game gives you random battle chips — sometimes good ones, sometimes crummy ones — but on the whole we’re having fun with it :) Neither Henry nor I have been able to beat the first boss yet though.

Aug 10 — Hot. Tired. Bought some nice brown worsted cotton (real cotton) for another tanktop sweater.

Aug 09 — Hung around the house all day, sewed a bit, played with my computer, listened to NPR (streaming live from Also did my ironing. Did I ever mention the “new” iron I bought on ebay? I got fed up with my iron (which wouldn’t iron wet cotton cloth FLAT) and sought a good old heavy iron on ebay. Found one that’s probably from the 60s or 70s (has a cloth cord). It reminds me VERY much of the iron my mom used when I was little. I only paid $3 for it and I LOVE it. It gets very hot, produces plenty of steam, and is nice and heavy. I always thought I was bad at ironing and I just hated doing it, but it’s actually fun with my new iron. Things get flat.

Aug 08 — Today was the last day of Henry’s Karate Camp. They went to the Wild Rivers water park and had a great time. Henry says the best two days of the camp were the laser tag day and the water park day :) I watched “Roberta” which was not great until Fred and Ginger started singing and dancing, and then all of a sudden it got good! The “I’m Hard To Handle” number was wonderful. Dan and I had to drive to Kearny Mesa this afternoon… it took 2.5 hours to get there and then back to Carlsbad to pick up Henry. Traffic was appalling. So then we picked up Henry, did some stuff at Mom&Dad’s house, and then Dan bought us Jamba Juice smoothies for a treat! They just opened up a Jamba Juice in O’side… yum yum yum! Best Smoothies Ever. Then after we got home, Henry and I took turns playing my new Zelda game (Ocarina of Time, ported for Gamecube). Lots of fun!

Aug 07 — Went along with Henry’s summer camp crowd today — bowling, laser-tag, and a hike at Hosp Grove. Henry was a little bit apprehensive about the laser-tag bit, but it turned out to be the best part of the day for him :) I knitted most of the time, and finished my sweater! I blocked it when I got home and it’s still drying. Photos soon! My wonderful Dan brought home Chinese food for us tonight, and now I’m watching one of the Fred Astaire movies the TiVo got for me on Tuesday — “You Were Never Lovlier”. I chose this one because I’d never seen it before, but it isn’t very good. Rita Hayworth gives me a pain, and the music isn’t very interesting. I think I’ll just fast-forward to the Fred parts :)

Aug 06 — Tonight, when I was reading The Two Towers to Henry, we finally passed the part I am familiar with and got to something new! I had read up to almost-the-end of “The Palantir” last time through the book, before he wanted me to start over, and now we’ve just finished that chapter and I don’t actually know what’s coming next. Sometimes Tolkien is so much fun to read, when he’s not being all epic and grand. Those bits bore me sometimes. Anyway that last chapter was nice and juicy.

Aug 05 — It was Fred Astaire day on TCM. Wonderful, wonderful Fred!

Aug 04 — Today was Henry’s first day of Karate Camp! I took him to the dojo at 9, and they had a seminar on newaza, which is sort of wrestling around on the floor. I stayed to watch and it was really neat. Then they all went to the beach for the rest of the day! When I picked him up afterwards he was worn out and very happy. :)

Aug 03 — Finished my shorts, yay! Also won an auction for the gamecube port of the Zelda game “Ocarina of Time” — can hardly wait to play :)

Aug 02 — Worked on my new green shorts a lot today. I did a great job on the pockets! But then after I got the side seams sewn, I tried them on and they seemed like they needed more width. So I carefully added a panel of fabric to each side and did lovely topstitching and everything, then did the waist. Then tried them on and they were too big, grr, so I had to carefully pick out those side panels (16 rows of stitching). Remember to measure, Kara, remember to measure! Tomorrow I should be able to finish them. Finished Ender’s Game today :)

Aug 01 — Dan and I went to the store tonight, late, about 8:30, so I could buy some groceries for my parents — great time to shop! No crowds, no traffic, so white-hot sunshine. We were having such a nice time that, after we dropped off the groceries, we went down to Mervyns (open til 10!) and did some much-needed Dan-clothes-shopping. It was so nice to be out at night together :) Today I made a new shorts pattern, this one with a curved front pocket, and cut out the pieces from my new green batiked cotton. Hoping I can do the sewing tomorrow, and have new shorts. I read a fun book today, too, called “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” by Sophie Kinsella. I enjoyed it quite a bit (well I read the whole thing in one day, so I guess it’s obvious that I liked it :). At first I was kind of annoyed by the protagonist, Becky, but I soon grew fond of her. It was also, um, how shall I put it… unmistakably “inspired” by Bridget Jones. So it took me a while to get over that, too… But it was fun to read and had a great ending :) Also started Ender’s Game today, on Dan’s recommendation — super-good so far! Ok, going to bed to read some more :)

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