Daily Archives: January 18, 2010

Weekend Roundup, Capricornucopia Edition: Sunday

Previously on the Weekend Roundup, Capricornucopia Edition: Friday and Saturday!

Together with t! and Jan, we figured out that we’d have to get up around 7:30 and start making breakfast at 8:00 in order for the rest of the day to run on time. As it was, we all kind of lingered in bed and got up around 8:00, but we only ended up running about fifteen minutes late (Although we got a bit later each time we had to pick someone up, which always happens; I just didn’t account for it in my schedule). We had waffles and sausages for breakfast, and then Jan and I picked up Daphne and Ceri and headed out to Karine’s place for our monthly Random Colour crafting meeting. Four of us even finished projects: Karine started and finished a birthday necklace for Daphne, Jan finished her socks, Ceri finished her mitten, and I finished Mum’s silk scarf at last! After a lunch of soup, salad, and brownies, I dropped people off at their respective homes and got back to hand the car off to HRH, who went and collected the boy from his grandparents’ house. The boy was overexcited and evidently really enjoyed his overnight. They set up a really quiet movie to watch, as it was a no-nap day, and I packed up my cello and music and drove to my monthly group lesson. It was the first one of the new year, and I love getting new music. We’re doing a lovely quartet arrangement of The Entertainer, a trio arrangement of Ashokan Farewell, and a quintet arrangement of a Corelli theme, and the sight-reading went pretty well in general. We finished by sight-reading some quartet and trio arrangements of some of the Suzuki material, trying them out to help our teacher decide what to programme.

And then after dinner, I had the incredible experience of actually scoring a Phat Fiber box on my very first try at one. It’s a monthly sample box coordinated by the Phat Fiber project, which showcases samples from indie dyers and sellers. There are three kinds of boxes: Fluff (mainly spinning fibre), Stitches (mainly yarn, patterns, and little accessories for knitters), and Mix (which is a selection from both). There’s only about fifty boxes per month, and competition for them is crazy. They go on sale in the Phat Fiber Etsy shop at a very specific time, and sell out within a minute. The only reason I remembered is because I checked my Ravelry forums late in the afternoon and saw the latest thread about the January box going on sale that day. I thought I’d missed it, but then realised that there’s a separate morning drop and afternoon drop for the boxes so as to make it fair for people in different time zones. So I sat here at 6:55 & reloaded till they came up at 7:00, and was absolutely stunned that I managed to get through the entire checkout process without losing the box from my cart to someone else with a faster Internet connection. My box is a Fluff box, of course, and I’m thrilled to be able to sample all sorts of different kinds of fibre in batts and roving braids and locks, lots of them blended with angelina or firestar for sparkle. The best thing is that every month has a different theme, and this month’s theme was For the Love of Books, so every sample will be inspired by a different book. This is the video preview of the January box, and I am so looking forward to getting the box in the mail and sorting through all the wonderful stuff inside! It’s a terrific way to try things out without committing to a large purchase form someone you don’t know, or to try something new you might not otherwise would have tried. And the best thing is that it’s only the price of a hardcover book. This was total beginner’s luck, and I’m still on the high of winning it.

Today: Finishing the cello manual layout and sending it off for approval; blocking Mum’s scarf; and that will take up the rest of my day, thank you very much. I’ve already handled a chunk of correspondence.

Weekend Roundup, Capricornucopia Edition: Friday and Saturday

This was a heavily scheduled weekend! It made for a long post, so I’m breaking it into two parts: this one (Friday and Saturday), and Sunday.

Going back into last week a bit, the layout of the cello manual is going very well, and it’s looking more and more like a real book. Today I get to finish photo sizing, adjusting placement, and adding captions, and then I have to look at the ordering of sections to maximize the use of the space available so that people don’t have to turn pages in the middle of an exercise or to compare the before/after kinds of photos.

The landlord is currently here, patching holes made by the plumber who had to come in to handle a leak last week. We averted disaster by moving things in the basement and setting up buckets and giant Tupperware storage containers underneath the buckling ceiling, because it was coming down at some point; the only question was when. Fortunately HRH got home in time to take a drill to the bending gyprock and drain it safely, and only our bathroom sink was out of commission (a pipe rusted through between the sink and the main drainpipe, so when the sink drained it flowed out a no-longer-existent join and poured right down inside the wall; fun).

We upgraded our ISP plan last week too, because we’re really being dinged for bandwidth use. We were looking at alternative to Sympatico, because my Sympatico address doesn’t work and hasn’t for a year; they claim it’s all right on their end and all the fixes we’ve tried on our own and via customer service have been useless. I’ve phased use of the address out, but there’s a SMTP issue as well that doesn’t allow me to use Sympatico server to send my domain e-mail since I switched to the Mac, but I’m phasing a lot of those out as well, so it’s less of an issue. We were more concerned about being charged a fee for change of service in the first year with a new company, as we’ll be moving to the south shore at some point, so when Sympatico confirmed that an upgrade wouldn’t be considered a new plan, we decided it was easier. The new wireless modem we ordered to go with it arrived on Friday but I haven’t set it up yet, figuring that if something goes wrong I’ll want it to happen after I’ve finished the layout on the cello manual and sent it to Emily for approval today. So the modem switch currently scheduled for tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to being able to use my laptop in bed, and the Touch anywhere in the house.

And last but not least, also on Friday we got the appointment to register the boy in kindergarten at the school right around the corner from his current preschool, and if the stars align his teacher may very well be one of the educators who was doing a stage in his preschool last year. I’ve tracked down all the papers we need, and the appointment also covers applyign for the certificate of eligibility for English instruction (bless my mother who has lept every single report card I have ever gotten, from elementary through high school; not only that but my parents had my own certificate of eligibilty in their safety deposit box, so I’ll bring that to the appointment as well). We were all misty-eyed; he cannot possibly be old enough to get on a school bus without us and go to school already. We were concerned about the living here and registering in a school in another zone under another school board entirely, but they didn’t bat an eyelash and said that if we hadn’t moved by the time school begins, we’d just have to be responsible for getting him there and taking him home every day. As this is essentially what we do every day as it is, there isn’t an issue.

Saturday morning I had my weekly cello lesson, where we worked on musicality, using the Lully Gavotte as the focus. I learned a tonne of stuff about using the weight of my bow arm and staying in the string, which was really nice considering I hadn’t worked on my lesson stuff at all during the week. (There was lots of work, and orchestra, and I looked at the orchestra stuff and not the lesson stuff, okay?) We looked at the Boccherini minuet, which I’m starting next, and talked about my solo for the spring recital; I think I’m going to do the Bach Gavotte in C minor. HRH dropped me off at my lesson and while I was there he took the boy to get his hair cut, then picked up birthday presents for a party happening next weekend. They came back to get me and we dropped a snowsuit off in Pointe-Claire for a little boy coming over from England next month (half an hour early, argh, but my lesson didn’t go twenty minutes overtime the way it usually does), drove home to drop off the cello, and then we went to get groceries. Back home we did a whirlwind cleaning session, had lunch, then the boy napped; under duress, but he did, thank goodness. When he woke up we took him over to the local grandparents’ place for his very first sleepover ever, which was very exciting. Back home I made a scallop gratin with extra butter and garlic, and spooned the extra sauce over pasta for a very nice and easy supper. Then I started getting ready to go out to Capricornucopia, the annual January cooperative playwriting and -staging extravaganza hosted by various friends born in January, with audience participation.

While I was getting ready my cell phone beeped, telling me that I had a text message. I don’t get many of those, so I went to check it out, and when I read it I laughed and laughed. During the week a friend had asked if I’d be interested in recording a message to be used in a game he was running on the weekend, in which key information and plot points would be delivered to the players. I agreed, he sent me a script, and we discussed different ways of recording it. The Mac mini has proved recalcitrant in recording till now, refusing to recognise my microphones or pickups, but I had the idea of using the MiniDisc in record mode as a sort of preamp while running GarageBand, and it actually worked. I sent the first message to him in mp3 format, and it had worked so well that he had the idea of recording a longer sequel message to be accessed by the players if they got to that point in the game and needed the next set of information. Well, evidently they did, because the text message I received Saturday evening was from one of the players, sent in character, thanking me for the tip. And since the point of the first message was to maintain cell phone silence so they couldn’t be traced, I texted back that I’d told them not to use cell phones, which the GM tells me got a good laugh from the players. It was a lot of fun to do, and I’m told that the players not only didn’t recognise my voice (which boggles my mind, as many of them know me, but pleases me as well) but thought the recording quality comparable to a video game tutorial or something. I am terribly chuffed. I am also glad that we did this only a couple of days before the actual game, because I don’t think the GM or I would have been able to keep the secret much longer than that.

We then headed out to Capricornucopia, which was wonderful because we got to see people we don’t see often enough, as well as people we see often but always enjoy seeing more of. This year’s play was a Choose Your Own Adventure style, where the playwrights had chosen key points at which the audience voted, and the actors were given different scenes to follow according to the audience’s vote. It was ambitious, and hilarious, and featured on the spot singing, dance numbers, and jazz hands (because jazz hands make everything better).

Afterward t! and Jan came home with us and slept over.

More! Go on to Weekend Roundup, Capricornucopia Edition: Sunday