December 2004

December 2004

Dec 30 — Yesterday, Wednesday, we had our big Christmas festivity at Mom’s house! Henry spent the morning playing with Sal, and then at about 3pm Dan and I went to join them (I was baking pie and cookies all morning) and Kirsten, Marcos, Dad, and Grandma were there, and then pretty soon Chloe showed up! We had a great time opening presents, eating fabulous Eggplant Parmesan (from Spirito’s), eating pie (I made apple, Kirsten made pumpkin), singing, and goofing around. Mom and Dad gave me a wonderful portable record player, a Crosley CR49, which I love! I have a perfect place for it in my bedroom and have been listening to my old LPs and enjoying them so much. It was a wonderful day.

Dec 29 — Please go to amazon.com and hit the giant front-page link to donate to the Red Cross, to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis in South Asia. It’s easy and fast and might make a difference to someone, somewhere, who needs some help. When I made my small donation this morning, the total was $2,170,438.37. Now, a few hours later, it’s at $2,377,609.37. Maybe $2.5 million by tomorrow? Way to go, people!

Dec 28 — Super-rainy today! This morning, after chores, I started a new Night-Elf character (A warrior named Ramona) And Henry played his Night-Elf, Zinny, and he led me around the Night-Elf area and helped me with the newbie quests. That was fun! We also baked Dutch Spice Cookies (Spekulaas), had a wireless Pokemon battle, did the grocery shopping, and worked on needlework projects! This evening we all three watched “A Christmas Story” again — fun :) Henry is completely obsessed with his needlepoint project, and even brought it with him to the grocery store and worked on it while sitting in the cart :) It’s almost done already!

Dec 27 — Henry’s friend Fargo was home today so the kids played together ALL day. I did the housework, helped Henry thread his needle (he’s passionate about his needlepoint project!), played WoW for a couple hours, cooked nice foods, etc. Oh I’ve played my new Pokemon game for 4.5 hours already! I love it.

Dec 26 — Henry came home this afternoon, and opened up his presents from us. He seems to be especially thrilled by the Snap Circuits electronics kit, the needlepoint kit, and the stilts :) He stayed up quite late doing electronics projects. He got so involved that he forgot to ask for a bedtime story. We watched “De-Lovely” tonight. Meh. It wasn’t terrible. Stilted dialogue, nice costumes, music well-composed and poorly performed.

Dec 25 — Merry Christmas! Henry was with his dad, so Dan and I slept latish and had a quiet Christmas on our own. He gave me a lovely necklace, silver, with leaves made of peridots, and a red GBASP, and the Pokemon FireRed game I’ve been wishing for for so long! And my new car, of course :) In the afternoon we picked up Mom and she came over for a while and we scanned some old family photos for her. Very very nice day :)

Dec 24 — Poor Henry threw up in the night (3:30am). So I dragged my blankets into his room and slept on his floor in case he felt bad again, but he slept through the rest of the night and felt fine in the morning. I woke up 5000 times to check on him. Two nights of horrible sleep plus a drive to LA and several hours in a car dealership have left me feeling exhausted! But we had a nice quiet day today. Henry and I took my new car to drop things off at the library and it’s so nice! I just love driving it. It’s so small and quick and lively, and it feels really solid and safe. Fargo came over to play for a few hours and I took the boys down to the park for a while, and read my new owners’ manual. Now it’s 6:30, Henry’s off with his dad, and I’m just about ready for bed. Maybe a little WoW first, though :)

Dec 23 — Dan surprised me yesterday by telling me that he wanted to buy me the car I’ve been wanting, and he found one in just the right color and configuration at a dealership in LA! What a great Christmas present! We spent the entire day today driving to and from LA and listening to Car Salesmen yap at us, and I’m so tired right now that I can barely form a coherant sentence. Seriously, we left the house at about 9:30am and got home at 7pm or so. Luckily Henry got to spend the day with Sal so he didn’t have to endure the Car Salesmen! I really do now own the most adorable car in the world — a lovely little blue Scion XA. I can see it from the bedroom window :) More tomorrow.

Dec 22 — Henry spent the day with Sal and I did the grocery shopping, which was exhausting. In the afternoon I went back over to the house and helped them decorate the tree, and we sang carols and stuff. I brought Henry’s friend Fargo along and that made it extra fun! He’s a nice kid. I got to assemble Mom’s new Ikea loveseat, too.

Dec 20 — Feeling a bit better today, yay! Cleaned the house, got the oil changed in the Acura, and had time at the end of the day for a little Warcraft with Dan :)

Dec 19 — Yesterday Dan decided we needed another copy of World of Warcraft, since all three of us like it so much. With two copies, not only can two people play separate games at the same time, two of us can join up and do quests together! He called around looking for a store with the game in stock so I didn’t waste my time driving all over the place. He had some trouble because there are several different “Warcraft” games and most of the salesmonkeys he talked to were quite confused. He finally talked to Gregory at Best Buy who had a clue and said he’d hold a copy for us. I went, found helpful Gregory, bought it, came back, and we got it installed and registered etc. Dan and I started two fresh characters, dwarves — he’s a paladin, I’m a priest — and started questing together. Lots of fun :) We played quite a bit more today and both got to level 8!

Dec 18 — Henry and I watched “A Christmas Story” (You’ll shoot your eye out!) at Dad’s recommendation and we both enjoyed it very much!

Dec 17 — Feeling pretty bad today. I didn’t sleep well, plus scratchy throat, watery eyes, stuffy head, sniffy nose. None of it is awful, but I do wish I could have stayed in bed all day. However, when we got out of the car after Henry’s two karate classes, he said “That was a wonderful day!” so I guess it was worth getting up and doing things after all. :) The Sensei had him do something more advanced than the rest of the class, some kind of jump kick, and he said it made him feel like jumping for joy. I didn’t see — I didn’t want to give my cold to all the karate kids, so I spent the time in the car reading Dick Francis, playing FFTA, coughing, and blowing my nose. And listening to the Will Arnett episode of Loveline.

Tonight’s dinner was something that _everyone_ liked (shock). A sort of broccoli/beef/carrot/ginger stir fry thingy from the Menu Mailer. I made rice for Henry and me, the kind from Trader Joe that looks and tastes like white rice but claims to have 80% of the nutrition of brown rice — a fair compromise I think.

I had a free hour and a half today to play WoW, so I played my warlock, Carol, for a while and got her to level 12.5 or so. Joined up with a couple nice fellows and did a few quests. It’s fun to be in a group for a while. And later, when I was on my own again, some guy was asking for help with a quest I didn’t have yet. It turned out I wasn’t eligible for it but I helped him anyway. When we were done he gave me three silver, which he said was half the reward he’d get. Quite nice, and not what I was expecting — I’m happy to help just for the exp.

Dec 16 — I feel a bit better today! Slightly scratchy throat, sightly low-energy, slightly sniffly. If yesterday was the worst of it, then this is practically a pleasant illness! Today I got to see my endocrinologist (after first demanding that they let me get my blood tested and then fighting to get a consultation before FEBRUARY) and lo and behold he lowered my thyroid hormone dosage. Surprise. I complain a lot about him but he’s really very nice, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s 3 minutes from my apartment.

I had about half an hour to play WoW today — not much but luckily it’s still fun even if you only get to play for a short time now and then! Since Dan’s playing now, and when he’s done we have a date to watch bad tv together, all I can do is read about it :) So here’s a fabulous review I just found: Gamespot review of World of Warcraft. You read that, just go read it. Doesn’t it sound like fun? It IS fun! It’s just as good as that reviewer says it is. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get another turn ;-)

Dec 15 — Sick. Not horribly sick, just sick enough to not want to do anything. But Dan and Henry are home so we had a nice day. Dan ordered Chinese food tonight for a treat — our favorite place delivers again :)

Dec 14 — I think I’m coming down with a cold or something. I’m not quite sick yet but I have that about-to-get-sick feeling. Bah. Did the grocery shopping today, finished a Christmas present for somebody, worked on Henry’s new computer some more (installed his camera software and emulators etc). Tried to play WoW for a while but the server went down and was down for hours and hours. Henry came home tonight yay! He and Matthew made a short film (a pokemon battle) and put it on a dvd! So cool :)

Yesterday in the mail there was a thin, official-looking envelope for me from The Internal Revenue Service. I tell you, that is not what anyone wants to find in the mailbox, no sir. I was pretty worried. But it was nothing but a payment coupon thing, in case I owe them money at taxtime. I guess it’s supposed to make things easier or something. Really, it took a few years off my life. These gray hairs brought to you by The Federal Government.

Dec 13 — I did a lot today. Did all the weekly housework, first, and then gave my Grandma a ride home from the dentist, and then worked on Henry’s new computer (had to ftp his special important files from the old box to the server, and then from the server to the new box) for a couple hours, and then played World of Warcraft for an hour and a half. I played my Warlock, Carol, today. She’s a gnome and so cute! Then I had to go teach and stuff, and now I’m home. And very very very tired.

Dec 12 — This afternoon I drove down to SD to pick up H and we went to the Junior Theatre preformance of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. It was absolutely wonderful! If you don’t know the book, we highly recommend it. The play was just as good! The kids did a wonderful job, just wonderful. The costuming was fabulous, too. Henry and I loved it and had a great time together. We even got front and center seats!

Dec 10 — Our wintery, rainy weather went away and now it’s hot. Ugh! This morning Henry had his piano lesson and then we went to buy a Christmas tree. Our favorite tree place was gone — their vacant lot isn’t vacant any more. So we went to the “other” tree place and they were gone too! So we drove down Vista way for a while and finally found a place just before Melrose. We got a nice little table-top tree and brought it home and decorated it, and it looks lovely. We put it on the kitchen island thing.

I got to play World of Warcraft for about half an hour this afternoon, and boy was it fun. I played my rogue. I finally figured out how to use my pickpocketing skill — you have to drag that skill onto the “sneak” bar while you’re in “sneak” mode, and then you can use it. I put my “backstab” skill there too and now I can sneak up on badguys and pick their pockets and stab them in the back, heheh. It came in handy for the “get the shipping schedule” quest — I snuck into the dock place and picked the guy’s pocket, got the schedule, and snuck away. The reward for that quest is awesome — a new knife that does 9-17 damage AND boosts my agility.

In the afternoon I took Henry to his bass lesson and since I didn’t have a student I got to listen in for a change. He’s doing well. And then we went off to the Dojo where he helped with the little kids’ class and then had his own class. I love it when they all line up and do kata together! Kinda like the Rockettes or something :)

Dec 09 — I insisted that my endocrinologist let me get my thyroid levels tested again today. I hate how I have to talk them into it. Whose blood is it, anyway??? I always have to argue with the receptionist and she always says “You can’t have your blood tested unless the doctor sees you first”. And then I demand that she ASK HIM, and then finally she comes back and says well, you can get your blood tested today but you have to have a follow-up appointment. Our first opening is in three weeks. Gee, thanks. And what is that supposed to accomplish, exactly? Oh I know — it’s so the doctor can get money from me! Right, I forgot what’s really important here…

Other nicer things happened today, though. I sat with Henry while he practiced bass and piano. He’s getting a lot better at knowing where the notes are on the fretboard! And I took Dan to the orthopdeist so he could get a cast put on his ankle. The guy gave him the nice removable kind of cast so he can scratch and wash, yay :) But he says not to walk on it at ALL for at least four weeks. But lucklily it’s ok with his boss for him to work from home.

I feel slightly less depressed today but extremely tired. Isn’t PMS lovely? During my free hour this afternoon I just lay on the bed and listened to my “The Dark Is Rising” audiobook.

Dec 08 — This morning Henry and I went on a super-fun homeschool field trip to the Escondido Children’s Museum! It was lovely and rainy and gloomy and cool. The museum is tiny but Henry had a ton of fun and wants to go back again soon! A nice woman, a volunteer from an animal shelter, brought some animals for the kids to pet and gave a little talk about them — a very nice talk, not “teachy” at all. They got to pet millipedes, a skink, and a guinea pig! They got to HOLD the millipedes too, eww. Millipedes are huge, HUGE I tell you! But harmless. We had a truly wonderful time.

Dec 06 — Well it turns out Dan actually BROKE his ankle. Ugh! His primary care doctor couldn’t see him today so sent him to the ER to get it x-rayed and they said it’s broken. They wrapped it up tight and gave him crutches and now he has to see an orthopedist to get a real cast.

I got all obsessed with that HP commercial and I tracked it down online. Go here: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/hpads/you/photography/index.html and click the TV ad called “Francois”. How cool is that?

Here’s a little nugget of joy for you Loveline fans: Sacred Wisdom of Chief Thunderbear.

Dec 05 — Dan’s ankle is a little better but still very painful. He’s keeping it elevated and iced. Henry played with Fargo all day, some of the time here and some of the time at Fargo’s house. The kids watched “Elf” again. I played both my WoW characters for a while :) It rained and rained and rained! We watched Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Devlopment tonight. Both were pretty good. The best part, though, was this amazing Hewlett-Packard commercial, for some kind of photo-printer I think.

Dec 04 — Henry woke up with a little sniffle so we decided he should stay with us this weekend, so as not to give his cold to Matthew. He was sad about that but cheered up pretty fast. We took turns playing World of Warcraft (all three of us) and Henry and I cleaned his room well and got rid of two bags of unwanted clothing! And we rented “Elf” and watched it all together this afternoon. Good movie. It was a very nice day. Dan and I watched the first episode of “Wives and Daughters” again tonight.

Dec 03 — Dan twisted his ankle badly at work today, so Marcos drove me down to to SD and I drove Dan home. His ankle is all swollen and painful. Poor Dan!

Dec 02 — Dan worked from home today which was a nice change! Henry’s computer became so infected with spyware that it pretty much stopped working. (I installed Firefox for him a long time ago but never told him NOT to use Internet Explorer.) So we ran Spybot Search and Destroy on it, and it found 71 spyware problems. Yipe. It was able to get rid of all but three… but one of those 3 was the one which really messed up the computer. So it was a choice of a) reinstalling win98 for him, or b) giving him his new Christmas Computer a month early — we went with option b. Dan built him a lovely computer a few weeks ago, fast and clean and new, and put winXP on it. And while Henry was out of town with Sal we installed all his favorite software on it and got it almost all ready to give to him on Christmas. So we gave it to him today. He’s very happy! It’s so much faster and more stable than his old box, mercy. We still need to copy some files from his old one but that’ll be easy. And now he has a nice working computer machine again.

Dec 01 — Twenty-four days til Christmas! We’re all excited :) It’s going to be fun. Chloe will be here on the 28th so that will make it extra-special! Let’s see, what did we do today… Oh, last night Henry’s hot-water bottle sprang a leak and he woke me up at 4:30am when he discovered his bed was all wet, poor boy. I helped him get settled again (a big fluffy towel over the wet place solved the problem for the rest of the night) but couldn’t get back to sleep. So I got up at 5 and went out to the living room to read my book (Dave Barry’s “Tricky Business”). Finished it at 6:30 and went back to bed for a ltitle bit til Dan got up at 7. So I was a bit tired all day but I didn’t feel too bad, really.

When Henry got up he was eager to play some more “World of Warcraft” (more about that later) which was fine with me but I was afraid he might forget to do his piano and bass practice and other chores. So I told him he could play for an hour, then take care of all his stuff, and then have another turn later in the day. He was good as gold. While he took his first turn, I did chores/laundry/etc. The while he did his music practice and stuff, I had a nice long Warcraft turn (I’m a level 9 human rogue). Then in the afternoon he had another turn. What a great game! Oh I bought some velcro and webbing this evening to finish another 12″ iBook laptop bag (same luscious corduroy as Chloe’s bag) which I will sell on Ebay this weekend, probably. And if it doesn’t sell, well, then I’ve got my own nice laptop bag ;-)

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