Mastodon 2009 May —

Archive for May 2009

the little quilt is done!

May 28th, 2009 — 10:03am

I stared a little lap quilt last summer, if you remember. When I was planning my entries for the Fair this year, I thought I might as well finish the quilt and enter it. It’s a sweet little thing. The dates for delivering Home and Hobby entries to the fair were yesterday and today, so the last three or four days I’ve been working non-stop on the little quilt, hoping to get it done in time, and last night I finally finished it! WOOHOO! I pieced it by machine but all the rest was done my hand. My fingers are really sore. I use a thimble on the right middle finger to help shove the needle through the cloth, but the left middle finger gets stabbed a little bit with every single stitch. Yow. My left hand cramped up while I was finishing the edging last night, too.




So in an hour or so I’ll leave for Del Mar to deliver the quilt, the Girasole Blanket, the Alyssum Socks, and the Andean Chullo Hat. Wish me luck :) (Thanks, Mom, for lending me your blanket and your hat. Don’t forget to look for them at the fair! ;-)

5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 12

May 25th, 2009 — 7:33am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

12 Some Letters for Ginger – 00:18:56

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

freaky dreams

May 20th, 2009 — 10:27am

I’ve been having more than my share of freaky dreams lately.

Monday night, I had a Lileks dream. I dreamt I had gone to visit him in Minnesota so we could watch the new Star Trek movie together. He and his little girl showed me around their house, which was a crazy enormous eccentric mansion. There was a room with green flocked wallpaper which matched the green velvet furniture, and a similar yellow room. The kitchen was immense and overlooked the ocean. During the dream, it occurred to me that it might be difficult to get back home to San Diego, but then I realized that if it were a dream, it wouldn’t matter, and if it were real, I could get back home the same way I got to Minnesota. Heh. Never did get to the Star Trek showing — the dream ended after I looked out at the ocean from the kitchen.

Last night I dreamt that Henry was singing in an opera along with his friend Joseph. When I went to the performance, I was asked if I’d like to sing in the chorus. I was taken aback but said, well, ok, if you need another alto. I sat in my seat for a while, then realized that the last thing I wanted was to be in the performance so I went backstage to try to bow out, but the costume lady was already constructing a costume for me, and the vocal coach was ready to run my parts. But I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open, so I lay down on a slanty bit of floor for a rest. And then the alarm went off.

1 comment » | Blog

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 11

May 18th, 2009 — 8:30am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

11 Sally Runs Away – 00:17:23

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

More Star Trek

May 12th, 2009 — 10:55am

Sorry about writing another Star Trek-related post but I can’t stop thinking about how much gosh darn fun that movie was. Henry and I are hoping to see it again on Friday, and if Dan wants to see it on Saturday I’ll go again! Perhaps on the second viewing I’ll be able to avoid weeping at the opening sequence. Probably not :)

Forgot to mention that McCoy looked strangely familiar… someone said something yesterday about someone from LotR being in Star Trek and I suddenly put all the pieces together — he was Eomer! My god, he made a good McCoy.

James Lileks wrote an excellent review yesterday:

Some choice excerpts:

Chekov: Can we bring back Wesley Crusher and not make you hate him? Yes We Can! A very endearing take on a character who was, let’s admit, a Beatle-Commie. Or maybe a Monkee-Commie. Chekov was always the guy who waved his hands at what he saw on the console and couldn’t figure it out, and that was the end of it, keptin; this Chevok looks at the readouts and figures it out, his mind racing ahead of itself. (Note to starship designers: for GOD’S SAKE, figure out a way to transfer transporter control to the bridge. TRUST ME. It will come up again.)

Uhuru: Oh my. Ditch Ms. Nichol’s velvety star-stenographer routine, dress her up fine – these boots were made for establishing a subspace channel, and that’s not all they’ll do – and give her a hint of romance that really turned canon upside down and said HA HA to the purists. Loved her.

Bottom line: Loved it. Loved it, loved it. O I loved it….The opening was just a big shovel of chocolate for the fans – been a while since you saw something with NCC on the hull fire phasers and get hit with torpedoes and generally blow the hell up, eh? Here. On the house. And it’s emotional, too – thus was Odysseus born!

It wrapped up fast, which was welcome. I hate movies that drag the final cataclysm on and on, but when this was done, it was done. Then it was one final piece of chocolate for the fans – Pike, in a wheelchair! Yes! – before curtain call. All the characters in place, everyone stepping into the shades of their predecessors, staring into a bright new future that you can be damned sure will have a sequel, possibly going up against Iron Man 3 or maybe an X-Men Origins tale, but, really, Cyclops? Who the hell cares about him? Jerk.

Then the voice over; then the theme, and it’s like they emptied an entire can of Reddi-Whip on the entire cake. You’re ten again, and you can’t possibly be happier.

Oh yes, yes it was. Actually, it was like being 7, and watching Star Trek re-runs with my big brother in 1976, and then taking a walk down our dirt road and pretending we were an away party. (California foothills have the same terrain as most class-M planets, oddly enough.)

And it was like being 11 and planning my life so I could sit in front of our tiny B&W tv all weekend for a Star Trek marathon, watching every single episode through the snowy reception.

And it was like sitting with my little sister in front of the TV every afternoon, waiting for Star Trek to come on at 3:30, and hoping it wouldn’t be “The Enemy Within” again. (Why did it seem like they played “The Enemy Within” twice a week?)

One more thing: MINISKIRTS! No more creepy clingy stretch polyester bootcut jumpsuit monstrosities!


2 comments » | Blog, Reviews

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 10

May 11th, 2009 — 8:29am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

10 Sally in the Shadows – 00:44:47

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

No-win situation

May 10th, 2009 — 1:55pm

One more Star Trek thought. During the movie, Kirk and his classmates undergo a training simulation that is theoretically a no-win situation.

It occurred to me that the filmmakers were in a similar no-win situation when they set out to make the new movie. If they stuck verbatim to Star Trek lore, they’d box themselves in and be unable to make anything new happen because it would conflict. If they just up and changed things for no reason, they’d anger us True Fans. So, like Kirk, they cheated — isn’t time travel and altering the course of the future the ultimate cheat? But it worked, so who cares?

Everybody hum the Star Trek theme song along with me! Da DAAAAAAA, da da da da daaaaaaaaaa….

Comment » | Blog

Kung Fu and Star Trek!!!

May 10th, 2009 — 10:56am

Yesterday was Henry’s Kung Fu tournament! There are oh, six or eight branches of his school and the tournament includes everyone, so there are always hundreds of competitors. Henry was in the 13-and-up division this year. He did great and I could tell he was trying his very best. He’s improved so much over the last year or so, it’s amazing. No medals this year, but he was in a close competition for third place in sparring, and had to spar with his good friend for the medal. The friend won but was super-gracious about it, very sweet and encouraging. We were there from 9:30 in the morning tilI after 3, and then Henry went home with his dad for the weekend. I’m very proud of that boy!

Forgot good camera, so here’s a crappy iPhone shot. Henry’s there, somewhere. Go to the flickr page for a hint.


After I got home Dan and I ate tons of Mexican food and then lay around in a coma for a while, and then we went up to the movie theater to see if we could get in to the 5:15 showing of Star Trek. To our surprise there was plenty of parking and we were able to walk right in to a nearly empty theater and get our favorite seats! So that’s the time to see a wildly popular movie, I guess.

That theater has changed hands again and is now a Reading Theater, whatever that means. The commercials seemed better than average and less annoying than usual. They no longer play those stupid trivia questions, thank goodness. There was a pleasant enough car commercial where the car drove around in paint and made a big modern painting, there was a nice ad with a drummer kid to tell us that LG was helping put music back into schools, and there was one of those nice Honda Insight commercials where the people and cars keep appearing from behind each other.

The preview for the movie with Jack Black and Michael Cera made me laugh!

Ok, on to STAR TREK! I don’t want to give any spoilers here so I won’t say much, but I loved it and so did Dan. In my opinion The Original Series, as they call it, is the real Star Trek, and everything else that came after, Next Gen, Voyager, etc., is just… something else that’s kinda Star Trekky. I know most people will disagree, but there you go. Star Trek means Kirk and Spock and the gang, and unlikely coincidences and fistfights and crazy aliens with a grudge and adventure, without a lot of soul-searching or tedious alien mysticism. Yeah, Klingons, I’m talking to you.

Anyway, the new movie really felt like Star Trek, like a big bold exciting brand-new genuine Star Trek episode. The casting was great. Chris Pine made a believable Kirk. He didn’t imitate Shatner’s, um, Shatnerness, but there were just a few lines here and there which he delivered with the faintest Shatneresquitude that made me smile. Zachary Quinto was a wonderful Spock. I really found myself thinking of him as Spock, not “young Spock” or “new Spock” or whatever. Karl Urban as McCoy was very strong, and everyone else was just fine. Simon Pegg was a darling Scotty.

Sets, music, costuming — all great and deliciously Star Trekky. The Enterprise uniforms even seemed slightly ill-fitting. :)

It’s not perfect — there were some odd moments, and a definite “WTF?” when two crew members do something inexplicable on the transporter pad… but oh well, I can live with that.

Trying not to give anything away, here, but because someone fiddles with the past, some big things happen that are, hmm, things we know didn’t happen. Dan and I were both expecting them to fix the things by the end of the film, but they didn’t, and Dan pointed out that the filmmakers have very cleverly created a new version of reality in which they can, we hope, make more movies without having to worry about conflicting with Star Trek history and what “really happened” because the future has now been irrevocably altered. If you see what I mean. Time travel makes my head asplode.

All in all, an extremely enjoyable movie that I might even want to (*gasp*) go see AGAIN!

2 comments » | Blog, Reviews

pleasant things

May 8th, 2009 — 11:11pm

Pleasant things I did today:

  • Cooked several meals for my sweet family
  • Watched Airport — a wonderfully entertaining disaster movie, with a surprisingly strong cast and interesting, relatively believable plotlines
  • Worked on a knitting project and the little quilt – have to get the little quilt done in time to deliver it to the fairgrounds in a couple of weeks
  • Watched an incredibly awesome documentary about the making of Dark Side of the Moon with Henry (watched it last night with Dan, too)
  • Helped Henry with a math lesson
  • Took a nice little walk in the morning while Henry skateboarded along with me
  • Planted a few more nasturtium seeds by the front door
  • Sat in the front yard and watched Henry practice his skateboarding moves
  • Watched an episode of Star Trek (Arena)with Henry during dinner

Comment » | Blog


May 4th, 2009 — 2:51pm

I’ve been taking a 4/5 mile walk nearly every day for almost two weeks. There’s a hill to the south of my house, but to the north it’s flat so I go that way to the end of the street, and then turn around. If I don’t feel so energetic, I cut it short by a block, and if I feel a little more energetic than usual I make a loop around one block, adding a little distance. Henry usually comes with me if he’s home!

Sometimes he walks, sometimes he rides his scooter:


And sometimes he rides his skateboard:


We live on a nice quiet street. Every house looks different, and there’s a nice mix of the fancy, well-kept lawns and the more interesting shabby, overgrown ones. Here’s what one small part looks like:


Comment » | Blog

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 9

May 4th, 2009 — 8:28am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

09 Ginger Becomes a Right-Hand Man – 00:16:46

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Back to top