April 2004

April 30 — Tired. Took Henry to the dojo to help out with the little kids’ class before his own class. He loves helping the little guys, so we usually go early on Fridays.

April 29 — Thursday. This morning I took Henry to Sal’s house to play and then I picked up a few things for Dan at the grocery store and browsed through Cost Plus for a while (I never go there otherwise because it’s so boring for everyone but me, heheh) and then I went to the library and got a mighty stack of books! Some for me, and some about knights for Henry, and some photography ones for Dan. I found a new Clyde Edgerton novel on the new books shelf, yay! I read his “Killer Diller” years ago and just loved it. His others are good too, but “Killer Diller” was always my favorite. I also made a little jfile database for books I’ve read or want to read, so I can keep track of them better. Survivor tonight (how embarassing)!

April 28 — Actually remembered to take my Scotch Guard to Sal’s house so I could treat Kirsten’s purse before she goes home to SB. Taught students etc. And when I got home there was a lovely veggie burrito from Eriberto’s waiting for me!

April 27 — I finished Kirsten’s purse and delivered it to her this afternoon. She seems to like it :) I did a better job on hers than on mine (which I made up as I went along) or Mom’s (which I made using a slightly different and not quite as successful method). Also Kirsten’s has buckram in it for stiffening, which really seems to hold its shape better than even the heaviest dressmakers’ interfacing. At her request I put the cellphone pocket on the front, where it won’t interfere with the sides of the purse. I think it’s better there anyway.

April 26 — Dan got paged for work early in the morning, but (amazingly) I was able to get back to sleep and everyone let me sleep nice and late. I had to go get all kinds of blood tests done again this morning, but that was ok. I’m used to it by now anyway. I’m reading “Carrie Pilby” by Caren Lissner and I absolutely can not put it down.

April 25 — We all went for a nice walk on the beach this evening! It was foggy and mysterious. Lovely. Henry rolled in the sand and had to have a bath when we got home, funny boy.

April 24 — Henry’s belt test was this morning. He did very well and passed, so now he’s a green belt! He had to demonstrate a lot of punches, kicks, and blocks and also two katas, and the kids who were testing did free-sparring too, paired with non-testing kids so the sensei could observe them. We’re all so proud of him! We went up to Vinaka’s afterward for an ice cream cone, and bumped into the Kenyons there so that was fun. Then when we got home we found that his new Exo-Toa Armor bionicle kit that he bought on ebay had finally arrived, so he spent the rest of the day putting it together while I worked on Kirsten’s purse. We listened to my Pride and Prejudice audiobook the whole time, too. It was a pleasant day. Except that my sewing machine decided to skip a million stitches right as I was finishing up Kirsten’s purse, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. I think I may need to put a heavier needle in it. I’ll try that tomorrow.

April 23 — Guerin appointment in the morning, and then Dan helped me do all the laundry, and I took Henry to karate in the afternoon. Tired.

April 22 — This morning I finally got the floors mopped, yay! Now it’s less of a pigsty around here. Henry’s off playing with Sally, so after I catch up on my blog I’ll eat something and then work on Kirsten’s purse. I was going to make Helf’s screen protectors but I can’t find my thin vinyl anywhere, grrrr. Poor Helf, he’ll have to wait some more.

Last night we watched the most recent Sopranos episode. It stank. It stank like dead fish wrapped in garbage. We wasted an entire hour hoping it might get better, that SOMETHING might happen, but it never did. Man. This season started out well, too. The previous episode was bad, but last night’s took the cake for stinkitude.

April 21 — My throat felt a bit better today, so I taught all my students. Kathryn brought me a smoothie, that sweetie. Henry stayed home with Dan, since Matthew was sick, and they rode bikes and played with Henry’s RC car and had a barbeque. They even cooked me some potatoes in the coals, so I had nice hot dinner waiting for me when I got home!

April 20 — Today I had to go to UCSD again for another horrid test. They did a trans-esophageal-echocardiogram (maybe that’s spelled wrong) which means they stuck a thing down my throat and looked at my heart from the back. Or something. They gave me a sedative and I don’t remember any of it. Anyway they got a good look at the hole in my heart so I guess they will be able to figure out the best way to fix it. The thing made my throat really really sore and I could barely talk for the rest of the day. Dan came with me and took care of me of course, and Henry stayed with the lovely Kenyon family and played all afternoon. I was really woozy and nauseated all the way home so Dan drove nice and slow. And he stopped and bought me clam chowder from that place near the beach — I guess I asked for it while I was still groggy, I don’t really remember, heh. It was delicious and nice and smooth. Well anyway everyone at the hospital was very nice, so that was good. I guess I don’t have to go in for any more awful tests for a while, yay!

April 18 — Last night (April 17, 2004) we saw They Might Be Giants!! It was a wonderful show. Dan and Henry and I went all together and had a great time. It only took about two hours to get up to LA, and we found the UCLA campus and Royce Hall with no problems. The theater was lovely and our seats were good. The opening band was an fellow named Corn Mo. He was… different. But kind of cool. He played accordian, sang, and hit a cymbal with a stick attached to his shoe. Our favorite song of his was “Busey Boy” (download it here!) TMBG came on a bit after 9 and played until 11 or so! They opened with Robot Parade, and also played XTC vs. Adam Ant, New York City, Dr. Worm, In The Middle, Violin, She’s An Angel, Why Does The Sun Shine, Older, Particle Man, Istanbul, Ana Ng, Drink, Birdhouse in your Soul, Clap Your Hands, Man It’s So Loud In Here, I Palindrome I, Fingertips, and other favorites! Also they played a few songs from the upcoming album which will be called “Spine” — the most memorable of those were Stalk of Wheat and Au Contraire. It was really fun taking Henry to his very first rock concert. When Flansburg invited everyone to stand and come closer to the stage, we stayed where we were (so I could sit if I got tired) and let Henry stand on the arms of the seat in front of me, so he could see very well right over the crowd. He was thrilled and happy :) TMBG is a great rock band to take a kid to. They’re not bleeding-ears loud, and their music is so good! There’s always a bit of language, but it’s not bad. We saw quite a few other kids at the show. Nice!

Today I finished my purse tutorial, whew. You can see it here: gingham purse tutorial. If you make a purse following my instructions, please let me know and send me a photo!

April 16 — 4 hours of sleep, felt like crap all day. Ugh. Dan took Henry to Karate and brought me home a smoothie and some special treats from Trader Joe Himself. I lay on the couch and watched movies and played ffta most of the day. I tried really hard to enjoy “Kiss Me Kate” but it was very bad, so eventually I gave up and switched to “Ziegfeld Girl” which was extremely melodramatic but fun anyway.

April 15 — Here’s a photo of my recently-finished bpt sweater. Delicious, eh? You can read about it in greater detail on my crafts page.

We got up at 6:30 this morning and drove down to the hospital at UCSD for more nasty tests and things for me, so they could properly diagnose my pulmonary hypertension. I won’t go into details here, ugh. Maybe some other time. Right now my leg hurts a lot where they shoved a catheter into me so they could look around in my heart. What fun!

Dan just read me a (probably fake) english paper about Walt Whitman. We were both laughing so hard! It’s got a bit of salty language in it, so kiddies beware. Here’s a quote: “Walt Whitman is 90 stories tall and his adventures are legendary. With his blue ox, Emily Dickenson, Walt Whitman traveled across young America and helped the nation grow into the angry powerhouse it is today.” Here’s an url: Biography: Walt Whitman

April 14 — Someday, when we have a backyard, I want “the fantastic award winning eglu – the worlds most desirable chicken house”. Wow :) Go there and keep clicking “next”. Doesn’t it make you want to keep chickens? The website is so delightfully British, too!

April 13 — Felt kinda crappy all day, feminine-style. I’m going to make Kirsten a purse for her birthday so we went to the fabric store to pick out cloth and stuff — she chose a lovely dark olive-ish green solid, and some cool buttons for the closure. I’m excited about making it for her! Taught a couple of students, and then Henry went back to the girls’ house to play, and I went home for a bit and worked on my purse tutorial. Then when I went to pick up Henry I hung out there for a bit and made origami cranes for everyone. Such a nice family!

April 12 — Appointment with Dr. Tsai in the morning — he treated me for anxiety and depression and I did feel quite a bit better afterwards. So I did some grocery shopping and then came home and cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the floors, yay. I listened to the audiobook of “The Westing Game” that I got for Henry… I’d forgotten what a good book it is! I first read it when I was about his age, I guess, and several times since then but not recently. I made tamales for dinner and they turned out delicious! We watched the The Sopranos before bed, and it was ok but not great. The writers have got to stop making people act completely out-of-character.

April 11 — Spent most of the day making another gingham purse and taking photos of every step. The good people of crafster.org are clamoring for a tutorial, and I aim to please. But boy it’s tedious doing so. And now I have to select and crop and upload photos, and write out the directions. And it’s a complicated little purse. Whew.

April 09 — Worked on my purse for hours, and finally finished it! Here’s a photo (click to see a larger and different view). It’s got an exterior cellphone pocket, two interior pockets, and a key-strap. The bottom is stiffened with plastic needlepoint canvas, and the top edges are held straight by lengths of dowels in a casing, so it holds its shape nicely.

I updated my books page recently, so check it out if you are in need of book recommendations. Oh, this morning something very exciting happened! I got email from Laura Shaine Cunningham, the author of two of the books on my page! She bumped into my page and just emailed to say hello and thanks for the nice comments. Wow :) It made me glad that I usually mention only books that I like, and not the unreadable stinkers that I sometimes encounter. If you can’t say something nice…

April 08 — Started making a new purse, using some gingham that Grandma gave me. Photos soon.

This afternoon Dan went out with me to do some errands — first to fix dinner for Dad, then to the library. I got a nice new stack of books, yay! And then for a special treat we went to dinner at the Greek Corner Cafe, yumyum.

April 07 — Happy birthday, Kirsten!

My sweater finally dried and it is 100% awesome. I’ll get a photo up soon. This morning Henry helped me with the Trader Joe shopping, so all the grocery shopping is finally done for the week. Now I have to catch up on the housework before we all die of filth-poisoning. A bunch of students cancelled this afternoon, so I had time to work on a certain project. :) Henry’s off to San Francisco for the weekend — have fun sweetie!

April 06 — Spent most of yesterday at the hospital, getting various tests done. More tests next week. I don’t want to talk about it.

April 04 — Got up about 9, did some sewing and stuff (added some interior pockets to a big messenger bag, to make it more useful). After Dan got up, we sat on the balcony for a while, I playing ffta and he playing his acoustic guitar. I think it was possibly the first time we’ve sat together out there, and it was nice! There were kids swimming in the pool and making happy niose, although if you ask me it is far to cold to swim. But nobody asked me :)

April 03 — I didn’t get enough sleep last night so I was kind of tired today. But we went for a short walk at Guajome, and then at night we watched “Master and Commander” in bed, on my iBook! It was quite a good movie. Very exciting, good characters, good acting, and pleasantly unpredictable. Good ending, too :)

April 02 — This morning Danny-the-awesome-mechanic called me and said he was in the neighborhood, so he came to our place with a new battery and installed it for me! He tested my car, before he put in the new battery, by trying to start it with the lights and wipers on, and it wouldn’t start at all. So he says the problem was definitely the battery, yay! Now it starts up fine all the time.

I have to brag about my child here, for a minute. At karate class today, the Sensei held a little contest to see who could hold a certain tricky stance the longest. I can’t spell it, but you have your feet rather wide apart, your knees out over your feet, and your thighs almost parallel to the floor. And your back very straight. I can’t do it for even a few seconds. The Sensei went around eliminating people who wobbled, rose up at all, leaned forward or back, or just collapsed. In a class of 25 or 30 kids (ranging from white to brown belts), Henry and his friend Cierra held out the longest! They got a big round of applause :)

April 01 — Thursday. Happy birthday Jo!

Let’s see… I went out to do some errands this morning, and it was a little hard to start my car. That’s been happening now and then, lately. So I called Danny right away and described the problem, and he thinks I need a new battery. He recommended going to Sears and just having them install one, rather than drive out to his shop in San Marcos. So I went to Sears. Parked, went in, there were a few people ahead of me in line… One solid hour later, I got to the front of the line. There was only one poor guy working the desk and everything took forever. A woman who’d been waiting an hour and 45 minutes for her oil change, who also worked at Sears in another department, says they’re not hiring anyone full-time and it’s like that all over the store. Bad plan, Sears — it’s hard on the customers and hard on the existing employees.

So then there I was, at the front of the line. The guy takes my name, zipcode, shoe-size, etc and then we go to read the mileage on my car. Then he says we’re all set, and I say, how long will it take… and he looks doubtful and says, well there are three people ahead of you… Now, I’d heard them estimating an hour and a half or two hours for the guy three spaces in line ahead of me. And I’d already lost an hour of my day, and didn’t really feel like sitting at Sears for another 2 or 3 hours. So I left. Bah, stupid Sears. Called Danny, asked if there was somewhere else he’d recommend, and he said he’d do it for me tomorrow morning. Yay!

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