Archive for August 2006


Errands with Henry

August 24th, 2006 — 8:59pm

This morning I cleaned the fridge, since there was barely any food in it anyway, and re-arranged the shelves a little bit. Then Henry and I went Out on Errands. First to the bookstore. Henry is into a series called The Deltora Quest, and had enough allowance money saved up to buy the next book in the series. But our local B&N didn’t have #6! The nice clerk called the Encinitas branch, which had it and set it aside for him. So we headed down that way, first stopping for ribbon to lace up my Petit Chou (whch fits perfectly, by the way). We’ve been buying quite a lot of books lately, to keep up with Henry’s newly voracious reading appetite, so I decided to spring for the B&N member card — and since he saved 10 percent, Henry had enough allowance to buy #6 and #7! Yay!

So then we headed back to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on groceries. Also picked up a week’s worth of bills and junk mail from the mailbox place. Bah. Henry carried everything upstairs for me when we got home and I put it all away, checked on librivox, and then it was time for some World of Warcraft! Henry’s highest character, Zinny (lvl 48 Night Elf Hunter), led my lvl 45 druid, Animala, through the Burning Steppes and into the Searing Gorge, where we picked up several of our favorite type of quests – “kill x number of x creatures”. Great for parties, since everyone gets credit for every kill. Heh.

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NY Times?

August 23rd, 2006 — 4:24pm

It is later and, as promised, here is more.

A few weeks back, you may remember, a freelance writer, Craig Silverman, called me for a phone interview about LibriVox. He planned to pitch his article to the NY Times. Last night, in the middle of the night, when we had finally reached the US and it no longer cost a dollar a minute to check my voice mail, I found a couple of frantic messages from a woman at the Times who wanted to know if she could set up a photo-shoot so they could get some pictures of me and Henry for the article. The article, it seems, is scheduled to be printed on Friday!

After I’d woken up a bit this morning I called her back and found that it was not too late, if they could get photos TODAY. So a really lovely photographer showed up this afternoon and took pictures of H and me outdoors, under the tree. She had Henry swing on his rope swing part of the time. I know they also took photos of Hugh today, and I think they’ll only need one and he’s the logical one to show — it’s his thing, after all — so we might not be in the paper after all. But we might! Check the NY Times on Friday…

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Home

August 23rd, 2006 — 3:29pm

Boy, we were only traveling for, um, 14 hours or something but it felt like much more. I hate being in airplanes SO MUCH. Hate, Hate, Hate. Hate the cramped seats, hate the dry air that’s always either too hot or too cold, hate the tiny little cups of water they dole out like they’re worth their weight in gold. D’ya think maybe Evian or someone could get some publicity by providing us beverage-deprived travellers with a whole bottle of water EACH or something? By the time we got to San Diego I felt like I would scream if I didn’t get out and move around soon. All folded up in that tiny seat with hardly room to breathe, ugh. All in all, though, the journey went quite smoothly. We had some unfortunate delays but did, eventually, arrive home in the wee hours of the morning.

Yawn. So tired today. Dan and Henry helped me clean the disgusting house, oh the dog-hair buildup you would not believe. Ugh. And one of the mousetraps that I forgot to disable caught a mouse in the kitchen candles-and-matches drawer at some time in the past week. I’ll let you consider that for a few moments. Yes, a dead mouse in a drawer for several days. In summer. It was SPECIAL. Dan dumped the drawer in the garbage and hosed out the maggots.
He also vacuumed and de-cluttered our room. Henry did some vacuuming and redistribution of items, I did vacuuming and mopping and dusting. Now I think I can stand to live here again.

Gotta teach piano students now, more later maybe.

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Going Home

August 22nd, 2006 — 1:29pm

Today we leave Montreal. Sigh. It’s such a beautiful city and we had the best vacation ever, mostly because Hugh and Christine were here but also because we just love Montreal. Can hardly wait to come back again someday soon. Slept rather late, since we were up so late last night. Did computer stuff with Hugh, geekifying his macbook pro (quicksilver! menumeters!), and admired Christine’s knitting progress — she’s learned so fast! Packed, called a taxi for 2pm. Sigh.

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Recording with Hugh

August 21st, 2006 — 11:11pm

Nice lazy day. Dan and I went down to Steve’s Music to return the rented guitar, and then over to a liquor store, Saq, for fancy Scotch. The liquor store was right next to the Basilica so there were a lot of touristy shops. We stopped in one for water and found nice t-shirts to take home to Henry and Sal. Also bought some much-needed candy. It was cooler today and very pleasant.

In the evening, Hugh cooked a fantasic dinner. Oh my goodness that man can cook. He made beans with onions and tomatoes, fresh salsa, and chicken, and wrapped everything up with sour cream in tortillas. And there was salad of course. YUM. Nice friend Mike came over for dinner too, so that was fun. He whipped up an interesting dessert of strawberries and custard and something. After dinner Christine left for her shift at the hospital, and we set up Hugh’s new recording equipment and the three of us recorded chapter 10 of Ulysses. We stayed up wayyyyy too late :)

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Nice and Rainy

August 20th, 2006 — 7:28pm

It started raining last night and rained all day, too! Woohoo! Since we had three rather busy days in a row, we decided to just loaf for our remaining vacation time. Christine had the day off today and she hoped I’d teach her to knit, so in the afternoon we went on a Yarn Store Pilgrimage through the rain. It was much easier for me to walk a long distance, today, in the cool rainy weather. Tried three different yarn stores – the first one looked great through the window but was closed on Sundays until September. The second one looked not-so-good and was also closed. The third one didn’t seem to exist! The address was number 80 on some street or other. We found 78, and next door was 82. But no 80! *hums Twilight Zone theme* So we decided to give up and head home, but we walked past a dollar store and checked to see if they had any cheap-ass acrylic yarn — and they did! So I built Christine some needles from my 15-year-old Boye Needlemaster kit and got her started. She learned so fast, and has knit quite a long swatch already with sections of garter, stockinette, and various ribbings. Yay Christine!

Dan and I vegged this evening with delivered Italian food, two episodes of Survivor and one new Mighty Boosh.

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Stewart and Ramazey

August 19th, 2006 — 9:49am

Today was the last day of our 3-day museum passes. We went to the Stewart first. It was really hot and humid today and it was kind of a longish walk from the metro station, but it was well worth it! Lots of fascinating historical objects. Dan especially enjoyed the interactive miniature model of old Montreal! After we’d gone through the whole museum, we lay on the grass for a bit and thought about what to do next. I had planned on going to the botanical gardens today but it was just too hot, so we decided to head to the Chalet Ramazey, since it sounded like fun and was also very close to a metro station, heheh. Also a very enjoyable and educational experience! We haven’t been disappointed in any of Montreal’s tourist attractions :)

After that, we were worn out. Got home, ate a cheap but tasty pizza from the corner pizza stand. Hugh got home from his rugby game, also worn out. We rented and watched Peter Jackson’s King Kong, which was hilariously bad. As Hugh said, it was not so much a movie as a collection of things that happened. Lol. I had my knitting to amuse me during the half-hour gorilla/dinosaur battles. Oh my, it was bad bad bad.

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Italian Design

August 18th, 2006 — 9:23pm

Dan and Hugh went off to Hugh’s office so they could work on Collectik and Librivox stuff, so I took myself to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I really wanted to see the exhibition of “Italian Design and Avant-Garde in the 20th Century”! I had a few small annoying panic attacks on the way, but I forced myself to calm down and managed to get there ok. The museum was wonderful! I went through the Italian exhibit first. I loved it. There were paintings and sculptures, of course, but my favorites were the beautifully-designed everyday items. Olivetti typewriters from the early 30s, a little 1957 Fiat, an early-50s taffeta gown, silverware, advertising posters. After that exhibit I went though the Monet to Renior gallery. Also wonderful. The museum is huge, far too much to see in one visit, and by then I was very tired so I headed home.

In the evening, Hugh and Christine had some friends over, very nice friends, but I was completely exhausted so I just stayed up in our room and read and knitted.

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Great Museums, Great Metro

August 17th, 2006 — 5:31pm

After breakfast etc this morning, Dan and I walked a few blocks to the nearest Metro station. Easy to find, clean, bright, airy. Took the metro to the old part of Montreal, got off, walked downhill to the Science Center. The Science Center sold us a couple of Montreal Museum Passes, which will let us ride unlimited public transportation and visit 32 different museums, for three days. Neat! We’ll probably not get quite $40 worth of use out of them, but the convenience of being able to hop on and off the Metro at will, without worrying about fares, is really nice. We spent a long time at the Science Center, then took the Metro to the Olympic Park and went through the Biodome. I’d heard some slightly negative things about the Biodome, but I enjoyed it a lot! It took about an hour to go through. If you’re expecting the San Diego Zoo you might be disappointed, but take it for what it is and it’s lovely. Like walking through a giant terrarium.

Then we took the metro home again. I’m tired. I’ve been lying down for a couple of hours now and I don’t plan to do anything more today :)

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We’re in Montreal!

August 17th, 2006 — 8:26am

Hey look at that, blogger.com is working and I can make a post. Chalk one up on the “drawbacks of blogger” side. This is the first time in two days I’ve been able to access my blog. Could have something to do with the slow internet, of course. But anyway here I am and here we are in beautiful Montreal!

Tuesday was our flight. Uneventful, long and tiring. Note: you MUST have a birth certificate or passport to travel from the US to Canada. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Lucky for us, we brought our birth certificates or it would have been a non-existant vacation. We were at the airport three hours early, and breezed through the security checkpoint. They double-checked Dan’s eyedrops but let him keep them. We watched two or three episodes of Survivor on Dan’s laptop on the flight from SD to Chicago, which passed the time nicely. In Chicago we had about 1 hour between flight. By the time we found our gate and ate a pretty-good sandwich, it was time to board. We were pretty sleepy by then (got up at 5am). I put my head down on the tray and listened to Martin’s recording of Crome Yellow. He’s got a very soothing voice and I think I slept a tiny bit.

Going through customs in Montreal was easy, though a bit stressful at the time. Then we found a taxi and got to Hugh and Christine’s house, which is narrow and beautiful, on an old and interesting street. They have a spare bedroom just for us, far nicer and more comfortable than any hotel.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we slept late, then walked around the neighborhood in search of batteries and food. It was quite intimidating at first, not knowing who spoke only French and who could help us in English, but we managed. Every sucessful transaction felt like a triumph! Then we hung around and ate our sandwiches and a wonderful apple tart on Hugh’s back patio. Then we took a long walk to a Steve’s Music Store to rent an acoustic guitar for Dan to fiddle with. And then we just relaxed the rest of the day.

Today (Thursday) we were up a bit earlier and walked out to find breakfast food for Dan. Went to Fruit Folie, yumyumyum, then a leisurely walk through the neighborhood and home. Soon we’ll go out and go to some museums!

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Margaritas

August 14th, 2006 — 9:34pm

Henry and I did a lot of erands this morning. Bank, library, bookstore, music store. The bookstore was, of course, the most fun! Henry is reading a new paperback fantasy series and needed book two, and I needed something to read on the plane. I got “The History of the World in Six Glasses” in paperback, and also a book about the seamy underside of the Victorian Age, can’t remember the title and it’s packed already. Looks goood though!

In the afternoon I read 5 more chapters of By the Great Horn Spoon to Henry. Such a marvelously enjoyable book!

Dinner at Chili’s (yech, but Dan loves it there. I must admit the Margaritas are very good).

Bed early, Canada tomorrow!

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Sewing and Settlers

August 13th, 2006 — 7:57pm

I had a sewing festival today. As I mentioned before, yesterday I cut out three pairs of underwear (blue cotton velour) and one pair of pants (green striped cotton). This morning I cut out a pair of shorts for Henry (same brown/tan stripes as my other pair of pants, had leftover cloth) and then I had a sewing marathon. Listened to three and a half episodes of loveline (Eric Balfour, just Drew, Danny Bonaduce, Carson Daly) and had a fine time. Ran out of elastic but luckily there’s a JoAnne’s practically around the corner. I actually completed all five garments! Woohoo! Having everything cut out ahead of time and ready to stitch together in an assembly line was a real time-saver.

After dinner, Dan and Henry and I played Settlers of Catan — Henry’s first time playing for real, instead of the 2-man version we sometime play. Dan won! Fun :)

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Sunday Morning

August 13th, 2006 — 8:42am

Forgot to mention that while I was watching Wives and Daughters yesterday, I cut out three pairs of underwear and one pair of pants. So I think I’ll go sew them all together now!

But first: I’ve just made an excerpt from the librivox anniversary show — the bloopers! The mp3 is about 3 minutes long. Enjoy :)

http://kayray.org/audiobooks/librivox/librivox_bloopers.mp3

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4 hours of sleep

August 12th, 2006 — 10:09pm

Couldn’t get to sleep last night until about 2am. No idea why, I usually listen to a Loveline episode on my iPod, set for a 15-minute sleep timer, and drop right off. And then I woke up around 6am for no reason. So I felt pretty crappy all day. Took Fargo home, dropped Henry off at his dad’s, came home, did some Librivox administration, and watched Wives and Daughters all afternoon.

Did I link to the amazing LibriVox 1-year Anniversary Special yet? I think not. So here it is:
http://librivox.org/librivox-anniversary-2006

Amazing. I heard it Thursday for the first time, proof-listening it, and it blew me away. So creative, so well put together. Please listen. If interviews bore you, start at about 15 minutes from the end and listen to the blooper reel, the poem, and the sampler!

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1000 errands

August 11th, 2006 — 11:11pm

Haircut in the morning, new stylist ’cause Dee quit. But it turned out ok! New stylist (Esmerelda) did a good job. My hair is short and straight and tidy now. Wish it would STAY straight and tidy, but it’ll puff up again after I wash it. I just don’t have the patience to spend a half-hour restraightening it very often.

Then to fabric store, looking for fabric for one more pair of comfy pants for myself like the ones I made yesterday so I have something comfortable yet un-ragged to wear on vacation. Got some good green cotton striped stuff. Thought about a linen/rayon blend but they only had solid colors. Stripes will camouflage the inevitable tiny stain better. Also found ONE bolt of mostly-cotton velour, picked up half-yard for a couple more pairs of underwear.

Then to Fry’s for an external hard drive and a headphone splitter/booster.

Then to Guitar Center (bleargh) for Hugh’s mic and mixer. Ernie cut me quite a deal, since they didn’t have exactly what I was looking for. Hideous store. It seems designed for maximum discomfort.

Then to the Barnes and Noble in Escondido for a moleskine notebook (graph-paper style!), and French phrase book, a Montreal guidebook, and a map of Montreal. I’d never been to that store before so I printed out directions from maps.google.com. But for the first time ever, as far as I can remember, google failed me. They suggested a bizarre circuitous route with non-existant streets. Eventually I gave up and found the place by instinct alone. Going home, I found that had I only switched freeways and gone one exit further, I would have landed in the parking-lot. Well, now I know.

Then home, finally.

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The Magic of Fed-Ex and Indiana

August 10th, 2006 — 8:28pm

On Monday I read some .gov webpage somewhere that said that travelers re-entering the US from Canada will have to show proof of citizenship, and that a driver’s license is not good enough.  (Sorry, forgot to mention, we’re going to Canada next week.)  Anyway.  The .gov said a birth certificate is good.  Dan has his, but mine was lost long ago.  So on Tuesday morning early I called the Health Department in the state where I was born (Indiana), and they said I’d have to order a replacement through the mail.  This was exactly one week before our departure date.  So I overnight Fed-Exed my form and my check, and enclosed a return overnight Fed-Ex envelope and crossed my fingers.  Best case scenario, it would get to Indiana on Wednesday, they’d ship it back the same day, and I’d get it Thursday (today).  I figured only a minor miracle would allow that to happen, but that I’d still have Friday and Monday as buffer days before our trip.

Imagine my shock when a Fed-Ex envelope showed up today!!  And the good people of Indiana enclosed not only my certified birth certificate (a certified certificate??) but also a smaller one in a plastic cover, also certified and embossed and all.  Small enough to fit in my wallet when we travel.

So that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about anymore.

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Nasty Comments

August 10th, 2006 — 2:55pm

Well, I’ve just had my first Nasty Comment, about one of the sites I link to.  Delorted.  If this happens often, I’ll turn on comment moderation and vet comments before they post.  Which will be obnoxious.  So cut it out.  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.  I’m not interested in flamewars and this is not a democracy :)  kayray.org is my happy little spot on the internet. If your comment is mean, I’ll delete it.

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yawn.

August 10th, 2006 — 8:14am

Good morning. I’ve just created a feedburner feed for this blog, so you can subscribe that way if you wish. Hit the square orange icon on the right. I don’t actually use a feedreader, so let me know if it doesn’t work or something :)

I’ve been doing LibriVox work in bed all morning, since I woke up at about 6:45am . I had two or three recordings submitted so I had to download and organize those. Also had to read through most of the new forum posts and make sure everything was going well. Checked on a reporting of a corrupted file, which must have been user/download error, sounds fine to me. Answered an emailed question from a listener who couldn’t figure out how to download our mp3s. Made a Happy Birthday LibriVox blog post. Yes, LibriVox is officially 1 year old today! I didn’t discover Hugh until September, and that’s when we created the forum and the podcast and things really took off.

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Later…

August 9th, 2006 — 9:41pm

I changed the link colors. Dark green for visited links and orange for unvisited, same as the mouseover color. And I added a bunch of links on the side, and my pretty chicklets.

Ok, maybe it’s time to stop fiddling with the layout. Good enough. So here’s some actual blogging.

I finished reading Dragonsinger to Henry a few days ago. He loved it as much as, if not more than, Dragonsong! I checked out Dragondrums for him to read to himself (I’m not crazy about that one. Piemur is not as appealing to me as Menolly is.) and we started By The Great Horn Spoon for bedtime a few days ago. (Note: I can’t decide which cover art is the worst on those four books. Lord.) I loved this book and read it several times when I was a child, and I was delighted to find that it’s still just as enjoyable! And the chapters are just the right length for a bedtime story. We read chapter five tonight.

I was very tired again today and I promised Dan I’d try not to work too hard. So I went out early for groceries and to mail the Nautiloid to Wastrel. Henry carried everything in for me (including all the water I bought yesterday) and, after I put everything away, I settled in on the couch to do nothing. I watched Henry play The Hobbit and worked on knitty’s petit chou (more about that tomorrow, probably), which, now that I’ve charted it out and started over for the third time, has stopped being frustrating and started being extremely fun!

Hey I haven’t tried linking a picture yet. Here’s the Nautiloid:

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fooling with template

August 9th, 2006 — 7:30pm

I found a template that looked pretty good. The really plain one, obviously. I just changed the link colors from a lavender and blue scheme to the same green and blue as my former blog. And I changed the font from serif to sans-serif. (Kept the orange mouseovers, I kinda like them!) And I got rid of most of the forced uppercase. And now it’s looking pretty good! Oh, it was really really white so I just changed the background to a pale green. Let me know if it’s hard to see.

I must say… it is nice to be able to post without ssh’ing into the server. Although I want to hit esc : wq when I’m done writing.

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