December 2005

December 2005

26 — Merry Christmas again! Henry loved his new guitar, his books, his legos, and all. Dan gave me a gig of ram for my iMac and installed it for me right away. My computer is sooo much faster now! Dan loved his slippers and his big whiteboard :) Chloe and Bob came over in the afternoon and we all hung around and had Christmas fun. Kirst and I played double solitaire, and we all sang Christmas carols, and at night we watched Santa Claus vs. The Martians and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra until we were too tired to stay awake anymore. It was a great day!

25 — Merry Christmas, everyone! Dan and I have the house to ourselves today, and we’re waiting to open presents until Henry gets home tomorrow, so we’re having a nice quiet relaxing day. Kirsten and Marcos are going to show up tonight sometime to that will be jolly!

23 — Dan took the day off work, yay! We ran some errands with everyone else in the world and had a fine time together. Stopped at Trader Joe’s and bought a ridiculous amount of sweet treats. They’re probably last us until next Christmas :) I woke up at 5am so I took a nap in the afternoon and actually slept a bit, so I had enough energy to go see Chloe and Rockola at Humphries tonight. She saved us a table so we could all sit together, and I knitted pants for Henry, and Dan had a tasty burger, and we listened to the band and talked with Chloe. Very fun! Horrible horrible thick fog on the freeway so we had to drive really slowly there and back again, but we survived. Lots of stuff happeneing at librivox… Betsie and I are working on reformatting the catalog, big job. I got a couple of new works uploaded and cataloged today — The Happy Prince (Read by Joy) and Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (read by Rainer). Good work, volunteers!

20 — woke up at 4am, unable to go back to sleep, so i’m pretty tired. but i have a spare few minutes here while i wait for Dan and pizza to arrive for dinner and i thought i’d better try to catch up… librivox was _slammed_ over the weekend as the result of the wired.com article and a mention on heise.de. we had so many new posts and questions it started to feel overwhelming — also two or three completed projects and a new upload system at archive.org to contend with. So Hugh and I chose three organized, dedicated volunteers and made them forum admins. Betsie is my new catalog helper, too. *whew* we had a ton of new german volunteers, and luckily one of our admins is a german woman, so she’s a tremendous help. she’s even helping me fine-tune my pronunciation so i can help with some of the german-language projects! it’s amazing to be meeting so many kind and wonderful people all over the world.

fargo is here for a visit, yay! and the boys and i drove down to birdcrazy.com in san diego and chose a lovely new english budgie. he’s here now, and it’s so nice to have a little bird chirping again.

16 — Hey librivox finally made it to wired.com. If we’ve scrolled off the front page already, you can find the article here: The Web Will Read You a Story. Woohooo!!! Check out this heartwarming thank-you from a listener and his grandmother in KY: http://librivox.org/index.php?p=142. Justin, we’re so happy to know that we’re making a difference!

14 — Finally got “Drum Taps” edited and uploaded. My god. Powerful stuff.

13 — Finished my knitted pants! I’ll have to get a picture of them. They are wonderfully soft and warm.

12 — My 2-year-old Hoover “Soft and Light” (it’s neither) vacuum cleaner has recently stopped sucking (only for vacuums is this a bad thing). I’ve been researching vacuums online for the last year or so, and had decided that I at least wanted to try the Sebo “Felix” model. This morning the house looked so dirty and the thought of trying to suck up all that darn dog hair and grit with a barely-working vacuum was depressing, so Mom and I went to a local high-quality vacuum dealer and tried the Felix. We fell in love with it and bought it on the spot! Brought it home and vacuumed most of the house before I had to leave for my 6-month checkup at UCSD. Anyway the Sebo Felix is a lovely vacuum cleaner. It’s very quiet compared to my old one, and the sound it makes lacks the usual high-pitched whine, so it’s less frazzling to operate. It seems to want to pull itself along the floor, as if it can’t wait to gobble up more dirt! The top bag-and-hose section detaches with the push of a button from the wheeled base, which makes it wonderful for cleaning the stairs. I went back to the store in the evening and bought an extension wand and a dusting brush — it didn’t come with these, which seems a bit mean. But it was only $13 total for the two pieces so that’s alright really. It won’t be hurt by vacuuming pennies, legos, and computer screws either — the gunk doesn’t pass through the motor. So, yay Sebo!

My echocardiogram and doctor appointment went well. He said my echo looked about the same, and since I feel about the same (pretty good, I just get tired if I do too much) I can just keep on with my current medication and see him again in six months. So that was good.

Managed to get Aaron’s chapter of Five Children edited as best I could, so should be able to upload that whole book Real Soon Now!

11 — Recorded my last section of Leaves of Grass — “Drum Taps.” Oh my it was long. I had to split the file into two sections of 45-50 minutes EACH. Whitman is a fine poet, but he does go ON a bit sometimes. I read it cold since I couldn’t bear to read it twice, heheh. I think it turned out ok, but we’ll see tomorrow when I do the edits.

10 — Saturday. Woke up at 6, still on Dan’s crazy early schedule from last week. I put on a good old episode of Loveline (when Adam was still there, *sniff*) and tried to get back to sleep but it didn;t work so I got up at about 7:30 and started working on librivox.org stuff. I recorded the last 4 chapters of A Little Princess and edited them (time consuming process, since I listen to every file from beginning to end and make a thousand little edits for fluency and pacing), then uploaded them to archive.org which took about 3 hours, i think. Anyway, I finally got them all uploaded and catalogued here: A Little Princess. You can download the files directly if you’re too impatient to wait for the next podcast episode. And then I fielded questions and helped newbie readers figure things out. We’ve got a new teenage reader who has started reading the Wizard of Oz for us — if he sticks it out, it’s going to be a fine addition to our catalog. Also made new catalog pages for our most recent projects. In the evening volunteer Paula, who has a podcast called The Writing Show, had me and three other volunteers as guests on her show — we did a 5-way Skype conference call between me and Paula, who both live in California, Hugh in Canada, Kristen in Japan, and Chris in Australia! We lost Hugh for a few minutes once but other than that it went smoothly. Amazing. I was sooo nervous I almost felt like I was going to have a panic attack but i managed to calm down. It was fun talking to them all; i know their voices so well, and they seem like friends since we chat on the forums together so much. :) The best part was when we did some impromptu readings — I may not feel comfortable talking to people but I sure can READ to them. Anyway, Paula plans to release that episode after Christmas and you can expect a link here :)

09 — This morning we met Ronnie and his mom and little brothers at the good movie theater (The Krikorian) to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was wonderful, and i highly recommend it. If you love the books I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all — it’s quite faithful, with only a few minor changes and a few extra chase scenes.

08 — I’m just waiting for one more volunteer to send me his chapter, and I’ll have all of Five Children and It ready to upload for librivox, yay! Tired, tired, tired.

06 — Henry enjoyed his Musical Theater class a lot today. He joined late, so the first two classes were a little bit uncomfortable for him, but now he knows what’s going on and has a script. His teacher gave him a cd to take home and practice to so we put that on in the afternoon and he rehearsed his part a little bit. Fun to watch :) And we played a couple of games of Clue when we got home from Bayshore, and then we recorded “The Frog Prince” together — Henry took the roles of The Frog and The King, and I was The Narrator and The Princess. Very fun! I hope he’ll make more recordings with me soon. Dan was at a VMWare training thing in SD all day so he got home late and I made him a steak and then we went to bed. OH, and Henry decided that he wanted short hair, VERY short hair, so I took the clippers to him and cut it like Dan’s a half-inch long all over. But he wanted it shorter so we tried 3/8″, but he wanted it shorter still so we ended at 1/4″. VERY short and fuzzy, very very cute. He then cut out a blue paper arrow and taped it to his head so he’d look like Aang. I don’t care WHAT he tapes to his head, now that his hair isn’t shaggy and sweaty and full of gel.

03 — The first day in a week and a half that my throat hasn’t hurt. Tickle-bird took a turn for the worse yesterday, was unable to climb onto her perch, and had a hard time even righting herself if she fell over. She cried a lot during the night, poor birdy, so this morning we took her to the vet for the last time. :( We miss her so much. She was the most delightful pet you can imagine. Here’s a photo of her when she was in her penny-tossing prime. Dear, dear Tickle-bird.

02 — Hey the Teaching Company is giving away two wonderful lectures on the history of Christmas: Teaching Company — Free Lectures on the History of Christmas. (broken link has been fixed, sorry about that :) I’m listening to the Victorian England one right now. Great stuff!!

Henry and I have been having fun with podomatic.com, sending each other recorded messages and such. Today he started his own podcast! You can hear it at henry.podomatic.com. I think he did a very nice job. Oh that reminds me, he asked me to submit it to the iTunes music store, so I’d better go do that.

01 — My head feels as if someone filled it with cement. Bleah. Today was Bayshore Day, so I picked up Henry at 8:30 (after stopping for bagels) and took him to Bayshore. He ran off to his science class and learned about rocks, and I had my first meeting with our educational facilitator. It went very well! I gave her the list I’d made of things we’ve done that seemed fairly “educational” (Henry reading Junie B. Jones out loud to me, our discussion of footnotes, counting change, watching Nova, etc) as well as a small pile of math pages we’ve done and a few other things. And of course he’s been taking their science and creative writing classes. Carolyn said we’d covered everything and seemed very pleased. So that’s nice! And then it was time for creative writing, so I sat next to H and he dictated a four-page story featuring him, Link, Zelda, and Ganon. Fun :) Then we went to Margaret’s so he could do some archery. Then home, and we watched two more episodes of Nova — one about Hurricane Katrina, and one about raising sunken treasures in the Alexandria harbor. Then some housework, then dinner, then off to see a little production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in San Marcos — very enjoyable. Didn’t see Dan all day so it was such a treat to finally get home and be with him for a little while before bedtime!

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