May 2004

May 2004

May 30 — The Kenyon family and their neighbors has a big beach party thing today. Henry and I went and were there for hours! It was nice. henry ran around with kids and played in the water and boogie-boarded, and I took a chair along and sat and read my Flash book. A nice woman let me sit under her umbrella, so with that shade plus the all-over sunscreen, plus long pants/sleeves, plus large shady hat, I think I may have escapsed with only a slight sunburn.

May 29 — We went over to watch Return of the King with Dad. There are a lot of battles in that movie, my oh my. I’d forgotten. But it’s a good one.

May 26 — Happy birthday Dad!!!

This morning Henry accompanied me to the lab to get my blood drawn (am on a higher dose of blood thinner and they want to see if my blood is thin enough yet) and then we drove down to Del Mar, to deliver my sweater to the fairgrounds. We had a lot of fun chatting and listening to music while we drove, and the line to drop off Home and Hobby entries moved along quickly. They let us drive right onto the fairgrounds and park near the grandstand (where the Home and Hobby display will be) and we saw some of the food and ride trailers waiting to be set up. I can hardly wait to go to the fair! Everyone should try to see my red wool cable-stitch hooded zip-up cardigan :)

Austin headed home to Texas today, so we are minus one houseguest, heheh. Wastrel will be here for a weekend in June, and then Chloe for a month in July, and we’re hoping Tabatha might be able to visit sometime in Summer too!

May 24 — I got to come out of my isolation today yay! Dan gave me a million hugs and kisses, and when I pick Henry up tomorrow I’ll bet he will too :) I learned about a new quilting technique called “paper foundation piecing” which makes it far easier to piece complicated patterns. I tried it with Dan’s Monkey Wrench quilt and it works very well! I pieced two more blocks with greater accuracy than I managed without the paper foundation. Here’s a page that explains the paper foundation piecing technique. Boy, you learn something every day! I made a full-size line-drawing of my pattern in Flash, and then printed it out so the most complex bit was in the center of the paper (it’s a 12.5″ patch so it would have been annoyingly difficult to work the entire patch on a paper foundation). Then after I was done with the piecing, I just ripped the paper away from the back of the patch, voila!

May 23 — Last night I watched about 2/3 of the second P&P dvd, so this morning I finished it, while quilting, and then I watched “Some Like It Hot” and “Dr. Strangelove”. Movie day!

May 22 — Another pleasant day of solitude. Stayed up WAY too late last night, finishing “Getting Over It” by Anna Maxted. Yeah I read the entire book in one day and it’s a thick one. And good! So I’m deservedly tired today. But I spent a pleasant morning listening to NPR (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Wha’ D’Ya Know, and Away with Words) and qulting, then a pleasant afternoon playing Tropico. And now I’m going to bed. Maybe I’ll watch a dvd on my laptop before I go to sleep, just so I dont start another book and stay up too late again.

Funny link! Requires Flash, family-friendly: Amy’s Diary. I can’t decide which is my favorite — March 5? April 17? November 18? The only problem is that there are only ten entries!

May 21 — Yesterday I had my radioactive iodine treatment thing, to kill my evil hyperactive thyroid. Take that, thyroid. All I had to do was swallow an enormous pill that a linebacker-shaped male nurse-type-guy gave me out of a titanium cylinder, and then Dan drove me home. I have to stay away from people for three days, so I don’t leak radioactive iodine particles on them and wreck their perfectly innocnet thyroids. I get to have the bedroom and back bathroom all to myself, Dan’s sleeping in Henry’s room, and Henry’s at Matthew’s house for the next few days. So I have my laptop, a large stack of library books (don’t worry, the radioactivity will be completely decayed by the time they go back), my sewing machine, my quilting, and a few audiobooks. My door is open so I can hear Dan out there in the living room and I’m not lonely at all. He checks on me frequently and delivers food and good cheer :) Today I listened to an audiobook (“In Tuscany” by Frances Mayes — read by the author, alas. It’s a rare author who’s any good at reading his own stuff aloud) and quilted for a long time, then read my book for hours (“Getting Over It” by Anna Maxted), then played my new game, Tropico, for hours and hours. And ate. Very relaxing and pleasant! Sort of an odd little mini-vacation.

May 19 — Now that Dan’s birthday has passed, I can finally post a picture of the quilt I’m making for him! I decided to make it a couple of months ago, but quilting is far more time-consuming than I anticipated — so on his birthday I only had two sections finished and joined together. I’m doing it lap-quilt style — joining four 12″ blocks together and then quilting them, then joining the finished two-foot-square blocks together. This is a picture of how much I have done so far! It will be queen-size (about 6′ by 7′) when it’s finished. The pattern is called “monkey wrench”. I’m hand-quilting it, by the way! If I were machine-quilting it, it’d be done, heheh. I’m machine-piecing it though — I’m not insane.

May 16 — Happy birthday Dan!

When I rented “Amelie”, I also rented “Big Fish”. Both movies got a 3 1/2 star rating from Leonard Maltin so I figured at least one of them would be good. I was right — “Amelie” was marvelous! But last night we tried to watch “Big Fish” and gave up after half an hour or so. Blech. So we put “Amelie” back in and watched part of it with the director’s commentary — he’s so funny! It got late so we didn’t finish, but we’ll watch the rest before it has to go back on Wednesday.

May 15 — Last night We watched “Amelie” — wonderful movie! We both loved it. It’s startling, almost, to see a movie that has uniformly good acting, directing, writing, etc.

This morning I got up at 8 to drive Austin to a job thing down in Cardiff, then came home and worked on stuff, then went back to pick him up at 12. Traffic was Hell. We got home about 2:30, and for a couple hours I lay on the couch and watched “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (I’m not a Doris Day fan but Jimmy Stewart makes everything better). Then Dan and I went to the beach — we walked just a little bit, not much because I’m pretty shaky, and mostly I sat in the sand while Dan took photos. We were there until the sun went down! Very nice.

May 13 — Thursday. Felt rotten all day. Bah. Got nowhere near enough sleep last night and also I’ve been feeling more and more hyperhyroid for the last couple of weeks. Finally my blood tests came back looking hyper so now they’re going to destroy my thyroid, what fun. Took Henry to homeschooler park day and he had a great time running around playing swords with a bunch of nice kids, and I lay there and worked on a project (a project which will soon be revealed) and read a bit. And beamed some some software to a nice teenage girl who had a Visor Prism. Rupert won the million dollars, yay. Now we have to wait until September for the next round of survivor. However shall we survive?

May 11 — It’s almost 11pm. I’m sure there was something I wanted to say about today, but now I’ve forgotten. Yesterday Henry rented a new game for the gamecube, Pokemon Colusseum, and he just loves it! There’s lots of reading involved (it’s an RPG-type thing) and he seems to be able to read everything just fine. Six months ago, he would have needed help reading everything and he also would have needed help figuring out how to play the game. Oh, another thing about Henry — he loves this new kata they’re working on in his karate class. It’s called Sai-fa or something (I never know how to spell them, just how they sound). Anyway he works on it every day.

Oh I remembered what I wanted to say! Dan urled me on a page with screenshots and even a trailer for the up-coming Zelda game! It’s not suppsed to be released until 2005, grr, but the screenshots and trailer look marvelous. I don’t feel like pasting in an url right now — just go to nintendo.com and hit the Zelda link. Prepare for happy shivers when watching the trailer!

May 10 — We got our Anonymous 4 “American Angels” CD on Saturday! It’s a female quartet singing early American “shape note” hymns. So beautiful. I’ve listened to it over and over, doing housework, going to sleep, playing games, and driving to pick up Henry yesterday. My favorite is “Shall we Gather at the River”. I can barely understand any of the words but the sound of it is just lovely.

Dan took this photo of Henry at his Karate class last week. He was sparring with Sensei Paul, I think. He looks so fierce, doesn’t he?

May 08 — Saturday. Got up about 9:30, worked on a project for a long time, watched “Shadow of a Doubt” which wasn’t that great. I expected more from a 4-star Hitchcock movie. Played Crystal Chronicles with Dan and we beat another dungeon. Later Austin and I watched “The Thomas Crown Affair” which was ok… it was frantically artistic, 1968-style, but rather dull after the initial robbery. They should have worked more on making believable, likeable characters. Dan and I went out at night for water and CANDY, and then we went to bed and I played Railroad Tycoon for hours on my laptop. Fun :)

May 07 — Pleasant day. I read the last chapter of “Tale of the Toa” to Henry this morning so he’s got the whole book on CD now and I don’t have to read any Bionicle books any more! That was the deal — I already read all three of them to him, but he said if I would re-read one and make a recording of it, I wouldn’t have to read them again. *whew* :)

Henry wants to enter something in the fair this year and today was the deadline for entry forms, so he decided to enter an “original model” made of Bionicle parts. He can invent something really neat before the delivery day. I mailed my entry form last week, for my sweater. The fair starts in about a month. I’m so excited!

This afternoon Dan and I played some more Crystal Chronicles and beat another dungeon. My guy was rewarded with a Mage Staff (magic +3) so I’m eager to play again and see if I can notice a difference in her spell-casting ability.

Later, we took Henry to his Karate class. While he helped out with the little kids’ class, Dan and I walked around a bit taking photos with his new camera. And then we sat and watched Henry’s class. Dan took some photos — we’ll see if any are good enough to show off.

May 06 — Dan’s got a new online photo album thing here: Dan’s photo thing. It was hot again, today, hot hot hot. Ugh. I had a free hour or so in the afternoon and started another game of railroad tycoon. This time I’m doing a little better. To win the scenario, I have to have $5,000,000 by the end of 1899 — it’s 1887 or so and I already have around $3,000,000. So I think I just might win!

I got email from my English friend, Julie, this morning! What a lovely treat. Her letter went into my spam folder (CRM-114 is ruthless) but luckily I noticed it in there. Hi Julie, if you’re reading this! Write again soon!

May 05 — Wednesday. Long, long day. Did laundry, fixed several breakfasts, cleaned kitchen, paid all the bills and dealt with various money issues. It’s surprising how much time it takes to pay bills. Then it was time to fix more food and clean the kitchen again. I felt vaguely crummy all day, so I lay down for about an hour before I went out to teach my piano students. M came up to take H to his first advanced (green belt and higher) karate class! Henry said it was lots of fun. They did point-sparring, I think. Finally got though all the teaching etc and got home, thank goodness. Now it’s time to veg with Dan and go to sleep. Possibly we will play a little more Crystal Chronicles.

May 04 — Henry helped me with the grocery shopping this morning, wonderful boy. We treated ourselves to a couple of bagels at Einstein Brothers, too. After shopping came housework, reading to Henry (we’ve done half of the Dawn Treader already!), and piano students. Tiring day and I feel grouchy. We played some Crystal Chronicles tonight, for the first time in a while. We beat a boss but it was soooo close. Dan’s guy was already dead, and mine had half a heart left when I dealt the final blow.

May 02 — Last night we watched “The Triplets of Belleville”. Great movie! Strange, but great. Great soundtrack too! It was hot today, 92 degrees. Nasty.

May 01 — Henry and I went to Holiday Park this morning, and he had a fine time rollerblading and swinging and playing while I worked on a project. We were there for a couple of hours, and then we came home and had some lunch and then I took him swimming for a little while. Just sitting near the extremely chlorinated apartment pool makes my eyes burn, so I tried wearing a pair of goggles which may have helped a bit. My eyes were only slightly burny later. But the goggles fogged up so I couldn’t read, heh. Luckily the pool is unheated and Henry gets cold really fast, so we were only there for 20 minutes or so. Hate chlorine.

Later in the afternoon, Dan and Henry and I all went to Guajome park. It was lovely there. We walked around and took photos and had a nice time all together. Here’s a photo of Henry coming down the slide at me!

A while ago Dan found a game for me called “Railroad Tycoon II” (mac version) so this afternoon I finally installed it and tried it out. It is very very fun! It gives you a map (I used England) with cities and stuff on it, and you have to lay track to connect the cities. And you have to haul resources from one place to another and make a profit. And you have to maintain your trains and make sure perishables don’t spoil, etc. First I tried a campaign and failed miserably. Then I tinkered around in “sandbox” mode (where there’s no goal and you don’t have to worry about money) for a while, and then tried a “scenario”. I had to start it over three or four times, but I finally got the hang of it and I seem to be making a profit!

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