Monday, July 28, 2008

Missing Comic-Con

We didn't make it to Comic-Con this year--DH's family planned a trip to Yosemite for that week, and by the time everyone started backing out of the trip, it was too late to get tickets. I guess this gives us an extra year to think about what to wear to the next con...

Since we weren't enjoying the sunshine in San Diego last weekend, we got some work done around the yard. Last year, when I discovered how many rocks there were in the ground, I decided to dump them all on a patch of dead grass in the back yard and call it a rock garden. The rocks are still coming out of the ground wherever I dig, and the rock garden isn't full yet. It does look a little neater now--yesterday DH and I dug a trench around the area and put in some edging, so that the rocks stay put. (The dog and tortoise were dragging them all over the place.)

The lilies I planted in the front yard have finally bloomed:

Stargazer Lily

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun in SF

Today we took a day off from work for a mini-vacation. We started off the morning at the DeYoung Museum, where there's a special Dale Chihuly exhibition. I've always loved glass art: once upon a time, when we lived in San Diego, I even tried taking glassblowing classes at UCSD. I don't think it's the right artform for me--I'm a person who likes to think about each step before taking it, and molten glass is too fluid to allow time for contemplation.

I thought all of my photos were going to be blurry, since they don't allow flash photography, but a couple turned out pretty well:

Dale Chihuly Boats at DeYoung Museum
Dale Chihuly Mille Fiori at DeYoung Museum
Dale Chihuly at DeYoung Museum

The second half of our mini-vacation was our anniversary dinner, delayed from Monday night. Well, actually we had an anniversary lunch today: dim sum at Yank Sing. Very tasty, as always!

Amazingly enough, all four of us enjoyed the day. Both kids loved the museum (B had been there before on a field trip), which surprised me. I expected that getting the kids up early during summer vacation to go to an art museum would cause some complaints. I'm happy that I was wrong :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Eighteen Years

DH and I have been married 18 years today. According to Wikipedia, the traditional gift for the 18th anniversary is bismuth. Do you know where to buy a gift made of bismuth? I certainly don't! I followed the Wikipedia link, and discovered that "[b]ismuth compounds are used in cosmetics and in medical procedures." Sounds very romantic :-) I think I'd prefer the modern gift, which is porcelain!

Yesterday, our family played Dungeons and Dragons together. We've played off and on through the years, but DH and I haven't had the time in recent years to do anything on a regular basis. M, though, has really gotten excited about D&D this summer, and he ran his very first adventure yesterday as DM (Dungeon Master). It was very good for a first attempt, once we convinced him to stop micro-managing the players. He's already hard at work on our next adventure.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Current mental soundtrack: theme from SpongeBob SquarePants (guess what M is watching right now)

One of my projects this summer is to go through eight years of photos that somehow haven't made it into albums yet. I'm trying to put dates on all of them, so we can at least box them in chronological order (DH bought a bunch of archival photo boxes, since he wasn't feeling optimistic about me getting them into albums). It's been fun going back through the years. Most of the photos from 1999 and earlier are already in albums, although I just found a pile last night of miscellaneous ones from 1992-1997.

One of the problems with this project is that I keep getting sidetracked by LOOKING at the photos! I found some absolutely adorable ones, and if I can get DH to get the scanner down for me (he keeps it on the top shelf of an upstairs cabinet, instead of on the desk where I can use it), I'll scan some of the older ones.

In addition to pictures of my adorable kids, I've come across a bunch of photos from a previous job. I used to work for a music workshop called International Workshops. During the year, it was part-time work from home, but for three weeks every summer, I went overseas and worked on-site. It was work, from early morning to late in the evening, but I got to spend time with a bunch of good friends, eat in nice restaurants, and sleep in a hotel room (where someone ELSE got to wash the sheets and towels and clean up).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

White Picket Fence

This weekend we caught up on some yard work. I added some more flowers to the strip in front of our fence:

flowers by white picket fence
When we had our front sprinklers redone a couple of weeks ago (right before our vacation), I asked them to add a drip line in front of the fence, so I wouldn't have to water these by hand. The flowers seem to appreciate the more consistent watering--some of the plants were noticeably bigger when we returned.

It's a work in progress right now. I plan to add more perennials, along with some bulbs for early spring.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today is Wednesday

8:20 pm: 87° outside, 89° inside. The windows are all open. B is still at the swim club, watching her friends race.
Current mental soundtrack: "Salve Regina" by Josef Rheinberger.

4:00 pm: 101°. Not as bad as yesterday.
1:30 pm: 100°. B is off to a birthday party (a good day for a pool party). I'm going to work a little longer, then go out to the local nursery and buy a couple more flowers. My front flower bed hasn't had anything in bloom for the last month (I'm still waiting for the lilies), and there is still a large empty space in front of the fence.
11:40 am: 94°. B has been x-rayed and been introduced to that lovely goop they use to make impressions. (I can still mentally taste the stuff, and it's been years since I've tasted it!) We stopped by Berkeley Bowl (the best produce store ever) and picked up some fruit and veggies.
9:40 am: 82°. Off to get B's teeth x-rayed at the orthodontist

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Power Outage

Current mental soundtrack: "Farewell Song" from the Sound of Music

Today was another scorcher: 108° at our house. We spent the afternoon running errands: orthodontist for B & M, toy store for B (going to a birthday party tomorrow), drugstore to get ibuprofen for M (since they put a much stronger wire on his braces today), fencing class for M, UPS Customer Service center to pick up the XBox. (RRoD update: the box has returned, but we haven't plugged it in yet).

We got home around 5:20, and discovered that the power was out. We threw on swimsuits and headed to the swim club for an hour or so, where DH joined us. After our swim, the power was still out, and the recorded message at PG&E said it would be out until 8:00-10:00 pm. Of course, this was a day when I had planned ahead, knowing I would be coming home late and not wanting to cook in the heat, so I had three-bean chili sitting in the crockpot, not cooking. We decided to go out to dinner at Chow's. After a brief visit to the Apple Store, we came home to brave the darkness. As we drove home, we saw exactly where the edge of the power outage was--one block east of the kids' school. No lights to the west.

I've decided that I can live without lights for a while, but worrying about the food in the freezer (all that Costco stuff) and being cut off from the Internet was much more annoying :-)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pool Closed

Current mental soundtrack: "Amarilli, Mia Bella" from 24 Italian Songs and Arias, Medium Low Voice (I think I just saw a picture of an amaryllis somewhere, which started this soundtrack)

It's over 100 degrees here, so I packed up the kids and headed for the swim club. They were in the water for a grand total of five minutes before everyone was ordered out of the pool. Some kid had an accident, so the pool's closed until tomorrow.

Maybe we should have bought the house DH wanted--the one with the pool. (We didn't buy it because I thought it was too expensive and didn't have enough lawn in the back yard for the tortoise and dog.)

RRoD update: UPS called, and said they couldn't find the package in time to get it on the delivery van for this morning. They offered to deliver it tomorrow afternoon, but we already have two orthodontist appointments and fencing class scheduled. However, it turns out the UPS center is near the fencing school, and they're open in the afternoons, so it looks like I'll be able to pick up the XBox tomorrow.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Seven Habits

Current mental soundtrack: "King Tut", by Steve Martin

(Tagged by Anna Banana)

A. List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
B. Tag seven people to do the same.
C. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag "whoever wants to do it."

1. I have a perpetual mental soundtrack (usually alto parts to obscure choral works), so I rarely listen to music.
2. My towels have to be folded a certain way--if some visitor (usually Mom) helps me with my laundry, I refold after she leaves.
3. I like to order chicken feet when we have dim sum.
4. Reading in the car makes me carsick
5. My favorite fruits are cherries and apricots (but you already knew that, if you're reading this blog)
6. I love reading on the beach.
7. I always have a Diet Coke with my lunch.

I don't think I have a lot of readers! The only three whose identities I'm certain of are Anna Banana (who tagged me), mundungus42 (who inspired Anna Banana), and DH (who doesn't blog). Anyone else out there, please consider yourself tagged!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sunny San Diego

RRoD update: Did you know that UPS can't reschedule delivery of a package until after they've tried to deliver it? Micro$oft sent me a notice last week that M's XBox is on its way back to us. Unfortunately, they scheduled delivery for this week, when we're all in San Diego. Even though I had the tracking number, I had to wait for them to try to deliver it (twice, because they tried a day earlier than the scheduled delivery date) before they would consent to reschedule it. They kept asking me for the InfoNotice number they had left on my front door, even though I kept telling them I wasn't home to get their notice. Of course, now I won't be able to leave the house on Monday until they deliver that box!

We are having a whirlwind vacation week in San Diego. First couple of days were spent with DH's parents, who only have dial-up Internet (in case you've been wondering where I am). We went to the beach (Oceanside), Mulligan's (an amusement park in Temecula), and the San Diego County Fair. We are now at my parents' house (with decent Internet access). We've been with them to the San Diego Zoo, and are going to the beach (Del Mar) tomorrow.

Today was the day of eating. On the way to the airport to pick up my sister, we stopped at Tommy's for lunch. Knowing what was coming up, I "only" had chili fries and water--no burger. Next stop (midafternoon) was DH's uncle & aunt's for a barbeque. I had a sliver of B's burger, some baked beans, and some fruit. Unfortunately for me, three desserts showed up after that, and I HAD to try all three. Two ice cream cakes, and a homemade cake. Last, but not least, my parents treated us all to Peking duck and crab at Emerald Chinese Seafood Restaurant. Whenever we go there with my parents, DH, kids, and my sister, we always order two Peking ducks (because we REALLY like Peking duck). Every time, the wait staff is astounded by this display of gluttony. I can understand enough Mandarin to translate what they're saying to my parents as they place the order. It's usually something along the lines of "TWO Peking ducks? Are you sure? That's a lot of meat!"

Oh, and we went to my favorite fireworks-watching spot this evening, La Jolla Shores. They have a nice fireworks display at La Jolla Cove, plus on a clear night you can see a bunch of other shows up and down the coast. Tonight was rather hazy, so we only saw one other show over the hills (and there was a tree in the way of my view), and heard a couple of explosions from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. We, and a lot of other people, forgot to check the tide charts before setting up our chairs, so a lot of people ended up jammed up against the sea wall as the tide came in.

[Anna Banana, I'll work on your meme tomorrow!]