Friday, July 27, 2007

Me and the geek boys

We all got promoted to orange belt last night. Well, six of us went from gold to orange and four others from our beginner class went white to gold. There were ten other promotions among all the adult belt ranks, which they said was the biggest group they've ever had at that location. So those of us in orange will now be in the intermediate class, which is HUGE - the advanced and black belt classes meet at the same time, so there are about 40 people kickin' booty on the mat at the same time - and a lot tougher than beginners.

But before that, the kids' promotions happened - my little, bitty, baby five-year-old DS2 got his junior orange belt. DS1 (7 1/2) will get his in five weeks because he started a five-week cycle after DS2 and I did. The area-wide demo team for the chain of schools came and went all Jackie Chan. The quiet, shy teenage guy who sometimes teaches the kids' classes (and has taught ours a couple of times) got the sword out and impressed the poop out of the little kids with a lot of kii-yas and slashing and jabbing and doing flips and such. Heck, he impressed me. Eeeeeeeek!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A few days later....

I got my copy of HP & tDH at the grocery store Saturday morning while picking up frosting and strawberries and bananas. I couldn't find it, the cashier said she didn't know if they had it. I had left my purse in the car and by the time I had come back in, they had grabbed a copy for me from the customer service/photo desk - a couple of dollars more than at B&N, but I didn't have to drive 10 miles through heavy traffic when I didn't exactly have spare time. I read the first chapter at 10 am, because none of our guess arrived before 10:20, then I had to wait until 1 pm to really flop down and read.

But the birthday party was fun. We didn't have any planned activities, except the general intention of having them play in the wading pool and sprinkler - which they didn't do. Seven kids dividing into various factions, playing with every toy in the house, climbing our one decent climbing tree, and having a good time. One child - one of DS2's buddies - stayed for a bit after everyone else left and THEN they played in the wading pool.

Yesterday, I felt like death, so spent most of the day reading in bed, too. Today, I had to get up and go see the dentist. Just a cleaning and no mention of new cavities, so I'm good for another six months.

They're holding a book I want to read for me at our dinky, little library branch, but it's not open on Monday, so I have to wait. Ooooooh life is hard.

Thoughts of love and condolences to a friend of mine whose father-in-law passed away yesterday morning after a long fight with cancer. He knew that the fight wasn't achieving anything and decided Friday to go with palliative care at home with family for his last days.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What I should be doing right now

Picking up stuff. Sweeping. Mopping. Baking a cake. Rinsing out the wading pool. Cleaning the hall bathroom.

Last weekend was too quick for me to get my act together - after all, it was only a week after his birthday - so DS2's birthday party is tomorrow. 5 kids coming over along with my 2. I told their parents to bring swimsuits and I'm going to set up the new sprinkler and fill the wading pool and let the kids have at it. Probably should mow at least part of the grass back there. Because I need more things on my to-do list.

Not really decided if I'm standing in line tonight or going first thing in the morning to get the HP book. I'm thinking morning, though it'll have to be a quick run for it to be back here and ready for a party at 10 am. But then I won't be able to start reading it until afternoon. At that rate, I might as well have ordered it to be delivered. Life is so hard.

Thanks for the sympathy online and off about my lost chapter. It was all in my head still, so I plugged it all back into the computer. Not quite the same. Maybe better, maybe worse.

ETA #1: Picked up in living/dining room (the boys will have to pick up the front room and in their rooms). Vacuumed. Baked brownies (only mix I had in the cupboard).

ETA #2: Just remembered that I have a book group tonight, so anything I hope to get done, I need to do right now. But someone might be going to a HP party tonight, so maybe I could get someone to pick up a copy for me to start reading as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning. Hmmmm....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gonna cry

Last week I wrote a couple thousand words, the start of an idea I had percolating in the back of my brain. Actually, the back story for the story was a creepy dream I had a couple of months ago that I jotted down and I have written out most of that. Well, twice now, because there was the morning-after typing and then something to bring it more into the context of what I want to do with it, which is drop it in piece by piece.

Anyway, I wrote the first two scenes and now.... I can't find them on my computer. I often type into drafts in email because I am on DH's computer. (Yes, it had OpenOffice, yes I could use the word processor, yes I could email or ftp it across the room to the computer attached to the printer, etc etc etc).

But it's gone now. Absolutely no idea what happened.

Ah well, I was thinking of cutting down the first scene since it wasn't going much of anywhere except getting the heroine out the door and to the Kwik Mart. But I was pretty happy with the Kwik Mart part. Sigh.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Locked my keys in my car today. I was in the Target parking lot and wanted to jot down the blenders recommended by Consumer Reports instead of taking the whole magazine in.

One guy from Midas tried with lock picks, but they were for older cars, apparently. They don't sell jimmy-doohickeys at the auto parts store (or in Target). A good friend of mine loaded her kids in the car and valiantly drove 20+ minutes each way on highway and surface roads that were probably getting tangled in traffic by then to DH's office to get his car key.

What would I do without my friends?

Monday, July 9, 2007

11 days!

And I started Half-Blood Prince last night!

Local paper

A few months ago, they had informed me that the "weekend" service - which had gradually crept up in days and price from Friday - Sunday, then added Monday, then added Thursday - was no longer available (apparently the deliverers got confused about who got what on which day!) and I could get the paper everyday for the same price for a couple of months before it went to full price. I told them I only wanted it on weekends, but they said I couldn't have that.

So fast forward a few months to last week, when I got my bill for the next bit. The newspapers were piling up so high, most with the rubberbands still on them - I just don't read it everyday, especially in the summer with both kids at home. What a waste of money and paper. I called them up and told them I wanted to cancel because I don't read it and they offered me....

Yeah, you got it. Saturday and Sunday delivery.

Which is what I have been trying to get from them for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS.

Which was not mentioned as an option on any of the correspondence that I have received since going to full-week delivery.

Which the nice woman on the phone sounded surprised that I didn't know about.

And there she goes, running screaming into the night.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sewing machine and other freaking out

Well, my machine's a piece of cr**. I got it about a year ago. It joyfully breaks needles when I go too fast - always has, even though one of the features of the machine is supposed to be its speed - so the timing goes out and it doesn't work. The guy who fixed it tends to be really irritating and instead of helpful is really snide about people mistreating their machines. So anyway, I was $40 poorer and pissed off about a month after I first bought it. No desire to pay to be treated like an idiot. So after that, I figure out how to adjust the timing myself. Except now the thing that holds the belt is slipping and I can't get it tight enough, so the timing goes off with just trying to sew and I can't sew at all.

I was swearing at it and griping a whole lot this evening. Then I tripped over the stupid, stinking couch cushions that I had asked, and told, and demanded that my kids pick up several times over the course of the day. Then I just lost it and screamed and yelled for them to pick those up along with any other toys that they had left lying around on the floor that I have told them over and over again to pick up and supervised them picking up and then came back to find a different selection spread across the floor.

Then DH was remaking DS2's bed - he leaked last night and didn't tell us, so DH discovered the wet sheets this evening. I'm supposed to be grateful that he noticed it - in fact, he came to tell me about it instead of just changing it. Oh yes, I am struggling with my machine, I am highly desirous of changing sheets. And for some reason, DH needs personal supervision to find the right sheets. OK, they're not on neatly labeled shelves, but anything you've never seen on our Cal King is going to be single-bed size. Not a complex concept.

So now I am still trying to get my adrenaline down a couple of hours later. We keep getting more storage and it fills up in about 2 minutes and there's still junk and cr** all over the house. I get the top of the book/TV shelf cleared off except for decorative items and the next day there's something else jammed up there. I'd like to take it all outside to start a huge bonfire, if only the woods across the street weren't so dried out.

I think I'll start with the leaning tower of empty cardboard boxes in the corner of this room. One of them is big enough to hold all of the stuffed animals that can't seem to find a place to live. The one from the DVD player (bought about 2 years ago) could be modified to hold sewing patterns upright. The rest can be stomped on and recycled - I mean, do we really need to keep the box that the paper shredder came in? Really? I can also take out about 10 empty cardboard boxes from the closet and the garage. Or else DH can put all the small boxes from various computer components into a bigger box, so at least there might be a bit of room. Then maybe we can get rid of random paper that is piled on every surface. I attacked a couple of stacks today and only half of the stuff was mine, though DH said it was all mine.

Maybe I'll hold off on killing the boxes until we see if all the cr** from the rest of the house needs a box.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Well, that's a relief


Friday? Predicted 104. Saturday 98. Then back into the 100's for the next few days. Whew. Cold front.

Predicted high today was 107. I'm not sure if we made it. 105 right now, according to the weather channel website. 104 by our thermometer (yes, it's in the shade - but it's above the patio, so gets a bit of reflected heat). 113 by the car thermometer after it sat in the sun for bit. I'm thinking of the story in the newspaper last year about the woman who baked cookies on her truck dashboard. I don't remember how hot she said it got in there, but it was approaching 200.

UPDATE: According to, it was 109. Record was 111, so we were miserable and didn't even get to say we set a record.

We've got drought conditions (worse then our usual perma-drought) and risks of more forest and grass fires. It's going to be a wild summer and probably well into the fall, since the rains don't generally start until late October.

Sending vibes and good thoughts to those getting flooded in the UK and the Midwest.

So we're running from one air-conditioned spot to the pool, back to a/c. The biggest problem is getting back in the car and waiting for the a/c to cool it off again. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.

Rumor of possible blackouts. We had a lot of flickering yesterday afternoon at work.
We've got all the blinds and curtains shut and we're hunkering down. Well, not really because we've been in and out all afternoon (friend's pool, library) and are about to go to karate.

DS2's birthday tomorrow. He'll be five!!!! Trying to think if we have enough presents. I mean, that it looks like enough - everything so far is fairly small. He already got the battery-powered train because I gave one to DS1 for his half-birthday and figured they'd be happier if they got them both at once. I need to make him some new shorts (and I have plenty of fabric for them), but I kinda doubt I'll get much done on that before tomorrow. I suppose I should at least try!

What she says

(I haven't watched the Olbermann video because I'm on the computer without sound. I'm just talking about what Ms. Saintcrow wrote)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Not much to report

Well, I've been reading a lot and have just got a box from Amazon with my copy of the Annotated Pride and Prejudice. Just from first skimming, I'm not sure that I need to have all of the definitions and jokes spelled out for me, but there is also information on the books, events, etc that Austen refers to that her contemporaries would understand but that we wouldn't get all the nuances of if at all. I mean, when Mr. Collins reads from Fordyce's Sermons, I though he was just being his obnoxious and pious snotty self. Turns out they're Sermons for Young Ladies and speak out strongly against novels - which is what Lydia wanted Mr. Collins to read to them. Plus, he's reading them with the father present and trying to take over the role of educator and moral compass that Mr. Bennett should have, but doesn't, at least for the younger sisters. It might also be a reference to another novel where the heroine has some over-pious person coming to visit and so she hides her novels and lays Fordyce's Sermons out on the table, open as if she were just studying it. Novels, after all, were considered eeeeeeeevil at the time, and a corrupting influence. Sort of like romance novels these days.

"How much I shall have to tell!" (says Maria, Charlotte Lucas' little sister)
Elizabeth privately added, "And how much I shall have to conceal."

I have a couple of other books to read before they are due this week, plus I am about to start Harry Potter book 3 (Azkaban). Twenty days to go until July 21st and I'm not even to the long books yet.

It seems like the few times I have tried to sew, the kids have followed me in there and wreaked havoc and drove me nuts. Not that I have even tried to do much sewing lately. I need to sew some stars on karate uniforms and to make some shorts for ds2, since most of his are small and stained and falling apart.

Work is... work. I've been on the schedule only once a week the last two weeks. I asked for last Saturday off, so I guess the manager decided I wanted every single Saturday off. 4 hours x minimum wage = not much.