May 2006

May 2006

31 — We’re finally having normal, June-like weather — gloomy mornings which burn off to clear and sunny afternoons. Just lovely, not too hot yet. Henry and I went to the thrift store to find a good Grandpa Joe costume (He’s going to be Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Sunday) and we found him a red sweater vest and a blue dress shirt, just perfect with his old man pants. Turns out Julie does still have that z22 that she reviewed and is selling it to Henry for a VERY generous price :) He’s so happy!

30 — Henry’s last rehearsal (before the final run-through on Sunday). He knows his lines! After class we went to Fry’s to look at the Zire 22 in person. Henry fell in love. It’s so tiny and adorable! But the model at Fry’s wasn’t actually working (just had a screenshot pasted to it, LAME) so then we went to Circuit City to see if they had an actual working demo model and they did! Jeepers, though. Last time we went PDA browsing, the PDA counter was in the front of the store, right in full view, easy to find, loaded with various PDAs and accessories. Now the PDA section is a floor-level locked cabinent, about 2.5 feet wide, in the furthest back corner of the store. Sigh. But a nice clerk unlocked it for us and Henry got to test an actual working z22, and he fell more in love than ever. Here’s a review, courtesy of the-gadgeteer.com. Hmm… I wonder if Julie still had that z22… Migraine tonight. Ugh. H8N.

30 — I helped Henry set up Palm Desktop on his computer, and showed him how to install new apps on the IIIc. He’s delighted! but it’s kind of annoying how many developers no longer support antique PDAs like the IIIC (no Bejeweled!!) Henry decided he wants to buy a new Palm of his very own. We checked out the current crop at palm.com, and the Zire 22 looks like a great choice for a boy with limited income and small hands, who doesn’t need his PDA to play mp3s, take photos, or talk to the internet. So he’s planning to save up for one :)

29 — Henry and I cleaned the Sitting Room (which is what he named the room off the kitchen where his computer, my sewing area, and the printer are) this afternoon. We actually had lot of fun, and got it all tidy and nice. Now that my comfy rocking chair is downstairs, there’s room for the ironing board to live in front of the window in the Sitting Room, so we can leave it up permanently. And my sewing area is so much cleaner and nicer that I can actually SEW again!

Henry found the charger for the IIIc (my former PDA, now his) and charged it up, but alas, it had gotten so dead that it forgot everything it ever knew.

26 — Headachey and tired all day, bah. Henry and I went out early and bought tickets for the 6:10 showing of X-3 (the third X-men movie, whatever it’s called). We prefer the newish Krikorian Mulitplex in Vista. It’s very clean and every theater has stadium seating, so Henry can always see over whoever is in front of us, and comfy seats with rocking backs and liftable armrests. Henry and I pretty much lay around all day, watching Mister Rogers and doing sudoku puzzles until Dan came home. Then a quick dinner and off to the movies! Weve all been looking forward to this movie so much! Dan dropped us off so we could get good seats while he parked, and we got PERFECT seats, center, a couple rows back from the front aisle. And Dan managed to park and find us before the movie started, though he had to park pretty far away!

Previews: Some dreadful thing about a ghostly motorcycle rider. Some dreadful thing about a guy trying to break up with his superhero girfriend. Some dreadful remake horror movie. A Kung-fu movie that might be rentable. And ONE review for something that actually looked worth seeing — a new Superman movie! We are excited about that one.

Now a few words about X-3. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it so I’ll be vague. I enjoyed it very very much! Lots of tragic moments which, amazingly, hadn’t already been given away in the trailers. Nobody, but nobody, kicks ass like Magneto. The scene of him and his band of mutants striding over the Golden Gate bridge was quite thrilling. Um… not much I can say without giving anything away. If you liked the first two movies, you should like this one too :) We certainly did. There’s a HUGE GINORMOUS FATAL plot flaw… but if you just sorta ignore it it goes away and the movie is thoroughly enjoyable :)

Today was Dad’s birthday. I miss him so much. I think about him every day still. It seems as if every day I read about something that I’d like to talk about with him, or see a cool show on PBS that he’d have enjoyed. I know he’d love Sudoku. We used to sit on the couch together and work Picturelogic puzzles and cryptic crosswords. MIss you, Dad.

25 — Henry found the charger for my old IIIc, which became his IIIc when I got my Zire 71 a few years ago. Alas, the IIIIc died so thorougly that it forgot everything. So I helped Henry set up Palm Desktop on his computer, showed him how to find and download apps or his palm. He’s so happy and excited! but a little bit bummed because the IIIc is so very old that it won’t run some of the new versions of his favorite games, so he’s thinking about saving up to buy a new Palm of his very own. My wonderful geeky boy.

While we were poking around on astraware I noticed a sudoko game for palm. And suddenly I remembered that I’ve been hearing about the addictive fun of sudoku puzzles for quite some time. So I installed Astraware’s sudoku on my palm and fell in love. It’s $20 to register so I tried a few other versions just to make sure I found the very best. Astraware’s has the best interface, but TopSudoku is pretty good also. Clunky interface but once you get used to it, it does the job ok. Also I found a really great version for Mac OS X: unisudoku. Excellent interface, sleek and simple. I’ll be registering this one for sure. SUDOKU!!!

24 — House. House, M.D. Best TV show since Foyle’s War. The season finale aired last night, and we figured out what was going on before the ending. If you saw it, you know what I mean. I generally have a problem with “dream sequence” shows but there was a good reason for this one, and it was extremely well done, with just the right touch of surreal creepiness. Also they didn’t leave us hanging in dreamland until next fall or whenever the new season begins; we know all the nuttiness wasn’t real and that he hasn’t lost his mind. Now we must content ourselves with watching the first and second season — hardly a consolation prize. We enjoy it so much that we have a hard time stopping after one episode and usually end up watching two or three or four until it gets just too late.

Henry had lunch today with some of the Bayshore faculty and all the kids who submitted designs for the yearbook cover. I dropped him at the restaurant and spent a happy hour wandering around in Fry’s all by myself. Lovely, and Henry had a great time at his lunch, won a tie-dyed t-shirt, and ate plain noodles and applesauce. Henry food! :) Also he learned to dive today (Sal taught him)!

20 — Library this afternoon, then to the guitar store for strings and then to Dan’s Place of Employment for a little while. I got a book off the New Books shelf, “Family and Other Accidents,” which is soooo good. I read most of it already. We watched Lost in Translation again this evening (excellent movie) and took another late-night walk on the beach. A very nice day :)

19 — Henry and I went to the Wild Animal Park again for a while this afternoon. It’s been gray and gloomy here on the coast (May Gray and June Gloom is typical here) but it was warm and sunny, with a pleasant breeze, at the animal park. Very nice, though a little hot for us since we’d worn jeans! We rode the tram first, then had Haagen Daas ice cream bars (oh well, all purchases support the conservation efforts ;-), walked through the Lorikeet exhibit, then up through the conifir forest to Cat Canyon, where we saw a pair of lions sleeping in the sun. The lions have a huge canyon to live in, and lots of bushes to hide in so it’s rather rare to get such a good look. Oh, and when we rode the tram, we watched the male lion strolling up the hill to join his mate in a clump of bushes. What a treat! And it was extra lucky for us, because Henry really wanted to see lions today. (Maybe because we watched an episode of Nature about lions recently?) This evening I tried out my new headset mic. I think I’m getting a bit more noise that I got with my desk mic, but it is so very convenient. I was able to take my laptop into another room for recording without having to build a stack of books to get my mic up to the right height. In the evening Dan and I took a 2-hour walk on the beach! I had to rest a lot, but still got a lot of good walking and fresh air. And Dan carried me up four flights of stairs to street-level on the way back to the car :)

18 — Everyone was GONE for 1.5 hours this morning so I got a ton of recording done — 6 more chapters of my chidren’s history solo project! Pediatrician appointment for Henry this afternoon. When we got there he decided against having the wart on his thumb frozen off, so Dr. Wood suggested over-the-counter stuff and duct tape. And as long as we were there she looked and his throat and listened to his lungs etc (he’s still mildy sick) and said there’s nothing to worry about. Just a bug. This afternoon I did MORE recording — O! Joy! — one more chapter of history and two of Sense and Sensibility. Tonight after dinner we all three watched X-2 together. Fun movie. We’re pretty excited about X-3, which comes out a week from tomorrow! Whoopee! Oh, and I finished (the the third and final time ;-) my green shrug! I wore it around for a while and I am completely satisfied, at last. Just need to wash and block it and deliver it to the Fair next Wednesday. It’s sad that I won’t get to wear it again until I pick it back up in July, but I enjoy contributing to the Fair anyway.

17 — Henry’s still a little bit sick — juicy cough — so we’ve been skipping all our activites this week. So no park day this afternoon, no karate tonight. Don’t want to spread the bug around. He and Sal worked for hours cleaning up the back yard.

16 — Happy birthday my sweet Dan :)

12 — Henry woke up with a sore throat poor boy, and I’ve been horribly tired all day. I spent hours lying in bed listening to loveline on my iPod, and Henry spent hours watching cartoons. Dan’s coming home tonight, late. YAY!!!

. 11 — Save the Net NowRight now Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the First Amendment of the Internet — a principle called “network neutrality” that preserves the free and open Internet. Congress needs to hear from you today or they will hand over control of what you do online to companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Politicians are trading favors for campaign donations from these companies. They’re being wooed by people like AT&T’s CEO, who says “the Internet can’t be free.” Sign this petition to tell your elected representatives to protect Internet freedom now. Click the image and sign the petition!

09 — I love it when listeners send me feedback and fan mail! I received such a sweet email tonight, from Patti of South Dakota:
Greetings! I am dropping you a note from chilly South Dakota. Since I am the one who downloaded the Secret Garden to listen to at work (all my friends are fighting over who gets to listen to it next!) I volunteered to write and tell you how much we are enjoying your efforts. It is wonderful! I work for Wells Fargo Processing here, hundreds of us in numerous buildings all processing and taking care of our customers. Someone has to change all those names when people get married, or sadly divorced! We listen to alot of audio books, and trade from cubical to cubical. We have decided your voice is lovely to listen to, and you do such a good job with each character. I thought you might enjoy something that is happening, the people who are enjoying it the most, are the ones who have immigrated here as adults. They love the story, the simplicity, and of course how it is presented by you. It is so understandable for some of them, their English and comprehension is minimal sometimes. So thanks again from all of us in Name and Title at WFB, keep up the good work, and we are looking forward to Heidi! (yes, I read a bit of your blog!) Oh yes… I am a foster parent, and you can bet that all the children that pass through my door will get to listen to these wonderful audios, along with their reading.
(I hope you don’t mind being quoted, Patti!) The wonderful Anita wrote me a great summary so I was able to finish cataloging Heidi today: http://librivox.org/heidi-by-johanna-spyri-solo/. I started working on my next solo project this evening, a History of England written for children (“Our Island Story”). The 110 chapters are short, so I recorded the first four already!

07 — Dan flew away to Georgia this morning, to learn Python at the Big Nerd Ranch. I miss him already but I had a nice semi-quiet day on my own (Henry’s still at his dad’s). Too many piano lessons going on to allow me to record, but I chose a new solo project — a History of England intended for children, in 111 short chapters. Mercy. Also finished my green shrug (loosely based on knitty’s “I Do” shrug) while listening to librivox’s collaborative “Pride and Prejudice” which rocks, of course.

06 — Heidi is finished! I recorded the last chapters yesterday, then edited them today, and our fabulous proof-listners checked them over so now all I have to do is upload them to archive.org and make the catalog page etc. Hooray! Now I need to choose a new solo project. And I suppose I ought to start a new collaborative children’s book also.

Dan and I went to the Wild Animal Park again today, specifically to tride the tram since we missed out on that last time. Today they weren’t doing the lame “pay extra and get priority boarding” thing so the regular line moved extremely fast and we were on the tram in no time, looking at baby mouflon sheep and rhinos, wild cattle and elephants, sage brush and mule deer. It was lovely, as it always is.

After we got home I checked the mail and found THREE movies — two from greencine and one from The Film Connection. I put on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” which was ok. Nothing to write home about, but pleasant enough to watch once. Interesting premise, anyway, and good acting. And then at night we cuddled up in bed with the entire first season of House. Ah how we love House! We watched the pilot, which had moments of hilariously obvious exposition and not-yet-developed characters, but was overall very entertaining and better than the average pilot I’d say. Ahhhhh HOUSE!

05 — New obsession: Zoo Tycoon 2. It runs on both my macs and is so much fun! Golly. I worked through the tutorials and then started the campaigns. I expected that they’d be difficult and frustrating and planned to move to Sandbox Mode, but the campaigns are actually simple and fun, and least the easy level ones. I bought some penguins and put them in with my polar bear (who didn’t eat them, thank goodness) and the zoo guests seem to like that a lot. Henry loves to watch me play and gives good advice.

I’ve really enjoyed listening to the recent Loveline episodes in which Joel McHale is the guest, so tonight we watched “The Soup” (his show) for the first time. Very very funny! Hey Dr. Drew, I suggest you hire Joel as your permanent co-host!

02 — Karate this morning, then home for a few minutes, then off to musical theater rehearsal. We planned to go to Legoland this afternoon, but when we got there we discovered that they’re closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, whoops :) We thought it was Wed and Thur. So we ran back home, got Henry’s bike and my book, and went to that new little park in Carlsbad (just east of El Camino off Carlsbad Village Drive). He biked around on the winding paths for 2 hours and I read my Gerald Durrell book (Marrying Off Mother). Our library has disappointingly few Durrell books. Sigh. Also finished Betsy and the Great World this morning, so that’s two books in one day, heheh. I hope I can find some QUIET soon so I can finish recording Heidi for librivox. I only have another chapter and a half to go!

01 — Checkup for Henry this morning — he’s just fine of course. Then we went to the library to pick up the books we’d sent for from the other branch, then to the mailbox place to get the package with Sal’s ipod case in it. (Her shuffle was stolen, so we found a nice factory refurbed silver 4g iPod Mini at powermax, which arrived last Wednesday while she was out of town. I ordered her a purple iSkin case to go with it.) Then, uh, housework and librivox work and students and dinner and more housework etc… Got Black Beauty cataloged finally! And we started reading Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang for Henry’s bedtime story. Very entertaining and as good as I remember! I think I had my very own copy when I was little and read it over and over.

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