September 2003

Sept 30 — So tired and awful-feeling. Bleah. Stayed on the couch all day pretty much. Mom came over and painted with Henry and played with him, which was wonderful. Tonight Henry found the Music Man dvd that we borrowed from my parents so we watched that together. Very nice. I hope I feel better tomorrow. I don’t want to have to cancel all the Wednesday students.

Sept 28 — Feeling slightly better; sleeping ’til noon probably helped. Henry came home around 2, and we went out to return the movie and buy 11 gallons of water. Dan spent hours and hours on the phone with Tech Support because our cable internet access is so flakey. He’s my hero!

Sept 27 — Happy 8th birthday wonderful Henry!!! I made him his favorite breakfast of pancakes and we spent the morning putting together his new Takanuva Bionicle kit, then I drove him to SD, hung out for a bit, then drove home. I was still feeling quite sick and it felt so good to get home after all the driving. Spent the rest of the day quietly on the sofa with my laptop, doing some work for Julie. Dan took good care of me :) Tonight we rented Die Another Day, the latest James Bond movie. It was… action-packed. The dialogue was extremely painful in places, possibly churned out by a team of monkeys with typewriters, and made us wince, but on the whole we had a wonderful time suspending our disbelief and watching together :) Judi Dench is awesome.

Sept 26 — ugh I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been either horribly tired, sick, or both for several days and just taking care of normal stuff has left me exhausted. Tomorrow is Henry’s birthday! His Great-Grandma Jean gave him his present yesterday — a wonderful lego set from their new “Designer” line. It makes many different robots and he loves it. He made several small robots yesterday, then took them apart and spent most of today building a LARGE robot out of most of the legos in the set. I highly recommend the Lego Designer sets — they’re a refreshing change from the sets that make limited, movie-themed stuff. Sally came over and took him out to play for a few hours and he loved that too :) Tomorrow I’m driving him to his dad’s house in the morning so Dan and I gave him his presents this evening and he was so happy and excited. What a wonderful little boy we have.

Sept 22 — I drove CosmicRay & Terah to the airport and traffic was pleasant, for a change. It only took about 45 minutes to get there! Amazing. Listened to the Goldberg Variations on the way there and the last disk of “The First Eagle” on the way home. Henry’s got a cough and sniffles, poor little boy. But I read to him a lot today and rented the Spiderman game for the gamecube for him :) Controlling Spiderman as he swings through the city is probably a dream-come-true for him. I practiced my banjo for AGES tonight — worked a lot on June Apple and Bill Cheatham (the newest, hardest ones) as well as my older songs. Also worked out the chords for Wish You Were Here, which sounds mighty funny when played with a banjo picking pattern. I think I want to make this sweater but I want to use Cleckheaton country 8-ply yarn because it is so soft and lovely and never pills or felts… and it is very expensive and I will need to spend about $70 so I’ll have to wait a while, heheh :) Ah well I’m good at that. Today’s new Strong Bad email wasn’t that great but last week’s still cracks us all up so you should go watch it!

Sept 20 — We did a lot of fun stuff today! Drove down to Balboa Park through hideous traffic and went to the MOPA (ugly website, for an art museum) and the arboretum. They’ve got automatic misters in there now and it’s really lovely and jungley. Then we drove back through hideous traffic and stopped for a walk on the beach — the water was warm! Then home for a while and then out to dinner (Dan drove since I was 100% sick of driving) and we’re all so tired now I think we’re going to bed early, heh.

Sept 19 — Drove Henry to SD — we listened to “Rat Patrol” most of the way. Now it’s permanently embedded in my brain. Come on, Rat Patrol! Dun dun DUNDUN dun dun da DUN DUN. Tonight we played Settlers of Catan with CosmicRay and Terah — it was the most fun I’ve had playing that game in a long time, and it’s always fun! They had played before so we didn’t have to teach them. The last few games we’ve played have been with newbies, and teaching them takes a long time. So anyway we had a great time playing!

Sept 18 — CosmicRay (a.k.a. John — he’s an old IRC friend of ours) and his wife Terah came to visit for the weekend! It’s a geek-fest around here tonight :) We’re all on the couch in a row, everyone has a laptop, Terah and I have been playing Tip-Top, and we’ve been comparing gadgets :) I am SO TIRED. I hope I can sleep past 6am tomorrow. I finished reading “Eat Cake” by Jeanne Ray — another good one! Henry and I started reading “By The Shores of Silver Lake” last night and I read another three chapters to him tonight! Great book.

Sept 16 — Today I was telling some young IRC friends about the Adventure Through Inner Space ride at Disneyland, my favorite ride. None of them had ever heard of it, and I know it closed a while ago but wasn’t sure exactly when. So I googled for it, and found that it closed in 1985. Ugh. I also found this AMAZING tribute site, with visuals, floorplans, the script, and vast quantities of information about the ride. Man oh man! The guy is working on some kind of CGI virtual ride :) I sure hope he succeeds — I’d like to show Henry sometime. Oh yeah here’s the url: www.atommobiles.com/. I got so excited when I found the site. Riding ATIS is one of my clearest memories of my first trip to Disneyland when I was about 4. I remember how pleasantly cool and dark it was, I remember being rather frightened by the tiny people travelling into the microscope thing, I remember that my brother sat in the blue chair with me and touched one of the huge fake snowflakes. I remember *exactly* how it smelled, and the spooky way the narrator talked when the snowflake started melting or whatever. I think I thought of it as the Blue Chair ride until I went again when I was older :) Other vivid memories of that first trip to Disneyland are: my brother telling me the Haunted Mansion was too scary for me (I’m sure he was right); singing “The Devil and the Farmer’s Wife” in our volkswagon bus on the way there, and my older sister’s boyfriend making a joke about how the part that goes “rightful rightful tippee-fi-day” sounded like “tippee-fried-egg”; my dad bringing us delicious cups of orange juice while we rested somewhere, and riding the Pirate ride — again, I remember the dark, the cool, the SMELL, the music, the little waterfalls, that big pile of glittering treasure, and being almost too frightened to have fun… but wanting to ride again when it was over :)

Sept 15 — Well my mechanic called this morning and told me my repairs would only be $455… So I decided to get them done and think about getting a younger car the NEXT time I need large awful repairs. This time it was a new front axle and some kind of wheel-bearing business and front brakes. My car is all done now and that funny clicking noise that I’d been hearing for so long (so long that I thought it was normal) is completely gone. I’m so tired… woke up really early ’cause I was worried about my car and was waiting for Danny-the-splendid-mechanic to call, then did a ton of housework, then a ton of errands, then took a break and played Super Mario Sunshine, which we rented with a free coupon, (it’s really fun so far!), then we went out and picked up my car, then I went and helped my dad, then home, took a little rest, then out for our monday night string class which was lots of fun! Now finally home and computing on the couch with my Dan, who takes such good care of me and is the best Dan in all the world :)

Sept 14 — I did some birthday shopping for Henry today — bought him the “Batcar” kit he’s been yearning for for months, and a ton of art supplies — new scissors, glue, construction paper, markers, and a big spiral-bound tablet of drawing paper. I’ll get a big plastic box for them all and he’ll always be able to find everything :) Then in the afternoon I went to Temecula to pick him up, and then we dropped my car at the mechanic’s and Dan picked us up. Sigh… now, after I get an estimate, I have to decide whether I should repair my Subaru or possibly buy a different car…

Sept 13 — This morning was so nice and peaceful. I listened to NPR, played games on my Zire 71, played on my computer, and practiced my banjo! I spent a long time at amazon, trying to decide how to spend my birthday gift certificate… I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of things. I’ll decide for sure sometime soon :) I also had a great time looking at amazon’s recommendations, deleting the off-the-wall ones, and adding some of them to my amazon wish list (yes, I finally made one). I found a Bouree from a Bach cello suite arranged for banjo at www.acutab.com/BullardSample2.html which I worked on until my fingers hurt too much to play anymore. This evening Dan and I went to fry’s and looked around for hours and hours and hours… didn’t buy anything but we had fun looking! Oh I found a nice gadget-oriented website run by a geeky girl! www.jenneth.info. Nice site, Jenneth! Her review of the aluminum Zire 71 case has me drooling…

Sept 12 — Nice day. Read to Henry, played some Zelda (going back through Wind Waker again… I love the cheerful cartoony colors), did house stuff, taught a student, took H to karate, etc etc. Ripped back my brown knitted skirt and started over with a better plan in mind (double increases instead of single).

Sept 10 — Um… it was Wednesday… Lots of piano students today, and I made Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, yum yum yum. Actually made it in the afternoon and called Dan to turn the oven on before I got home from work, so it was ready when I got home. Luxury! My piano students were darling and wonderful — everyone did extra well today for some reason. I like my job :) The Enterprise season premier was on tonight… thank goodness they finally redesigned T’Pol’s costume and made it more flattering. The old one was just too awful.

Sept 09 — The weather was actually pleasant today! I wore long pants and was comfortable, wooo! Finished the neck edging on my brown sweater and blocked it. I can hardly wait for it to dry so I can wear it. Henry got to demonstrate a good strong double-punch in Karate today! Oh, and I started a new book, “Home Comfort: A History of Domestic Arrangements” which so far is very interesting.

Sept 08 — It was cooler today, thank goodness. Henry and I started our music class tonight — we’re in a little class run by a nice homeschooling family, for beginning guitar/banjo/mandolin/uke players. It was really fun! Our teacher, Tim, taught the little ones three chords, and I worked on picking out the melodies of the little tunes we were playing, and working out nice fiddly banjo picking patterns over the chords. Oh also the Mehndi kit I bought on ebay a while ago showed up so I had fun with that! I did a little design on each foot and they turned out GREAT, better than I expected.

Sept 07 — I’ve just spent the last several hours installing and trying new palm software. TipTop by Astraware is good, and MegaClock is pretty cool too. I’ll probably stick with BigClock though. MegaClock is too fancy and doesn’t “lock” alarms after you set them… I always worry about accidentally messing up my alarms.

Sept 06 — Happy birthday wonderful Chloe! Hope you’re having fun in Philadelphia :) Today I read to Henry for hours and hours… First 4 or 5 chapters of Ramona the Brave, and then two books about the Apollo 13 mission. This afternoon we went to Fry’s with Dan, and then when we got home we watched the Apollo 13 movie! It was fun for me to see it again, and Henry enjoyed it extra-much, I think, because we had read all about it first and the movie was so faithful to the facts. It was Dan’s idea to read about it FIRST and then watch the movie, which was a very good plan. I think the movie would not have had the same impact if Henry’d seen it before we’d read about it.

Sept 05 — Man it was hot today. So hot, so dry. It’s 9pm and 88 degrees in the livingroom, with our industrial-strength fan blowing air in from outdoors. Henry and I went to the library today and chose a big stack of books about space — mostly about the Shuttle, Apollo 11, and Apollo 13, and then when we got home I read some to him and he read the beginning-reader one to me! Very interesting stuff. I’m learning a lot about space :)

Sept 04 — Soooo tired. I’ve got to stop staying up so late, talking and reading. Early to bed tonight. Henry is suddenly very interested in the Apollo Program, so tomorrow we’re going to go to the library and find him lots of books on Space etc. I think his interest was sparked when Dan played the Rush song “Countdown” for him in the car one day… it’s about the space shuttle, I think, and they had a long conversation about the shuttle and the Apollo missions and stuff. Henry built a little rocket out of legos and put three lego men in it, and said they were the guys from Rush, heheh.

Sept 03 — Finished “The Poisonwood Bible”. Good book, but still my favorite was “Prodigal Summer”. I’ve been practicing my banjo a lot the last couple of days, and my fingers are killing me!

Sept 02 — Happy birthday to Ken, the best of all possible brothers! Hope your day was great :)

Henry’s monitor has been acting funny lately — doing a sort of swelling-and-receeding routine a lot. Today it finally blew. We heard a loud POP as if someone had stepped on a balloon, and we all looked around, wondering what made that sound.. and then I noticed a puff of smoke coming out of the monitor. Poor Henry, it was the end of a long tiring difficult day and he fell all apart. Dan called CCC to see if they had any decent refurb’d monitors, and he took Henry down there instantly and bought him a nice 17-incher, which happens to be a dark charcoal gray. Very much a Batman-type monitor. :)

Sept 01 — Hmmm, what did I do today? Swept & mopped & vacuumed & did laundry, etc. Normal Monday stuff. Read three or four chapters of Ramona’s World to Henry, and played his new Pokemon card game with him once, and rode our scooters around before dinner. We tried out my home-made cdplayer case in my car and it worked well! All the buttons are accessible through the clear vinyl front, and the velcro on the back keeps it attached to my dashboard, and the remote attaches to the side just right. Yay me :)

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