Monthly Archives: May 2010

Some new posessions (*not by demons)

I haven’t worn a watch regularly in a decade, but I’ve wanted a Phosphor E-Ink watch since they first came out, and finally got one, their new black-on-black model. It’s got really clean lines, and that elegance of design extends into the display in a way that would be difficult to achieve with any other technology.

new-watch

After school Nefarious and I went to High Park along with a school friend of hers. I can’t play like I used to, but the good news is that as she gets older her demands on me are shifting toward the mental more than the purely physical, so the timing is such that the disease does less damage than it would if it had started to express itself a few years earlier. It’s actually really nice going to the park because it means that they can get exercise running around, and I can (speaking of e-ink) bring along my Kindle and read — the Kindle is a purchase that I continue to be happy with, and while I still do buy print books, I look for them first in an electronic format because my taste has quickly evolved to me preferring to read on the Kindle.

On the way home from the park we stopped for some groceries, and also picked up Monopoly. Nefarious is always asking to play, but until now she only had the Junior/Disney-Princess versions, which are completely mind-numbing to play because they are so simplified and dumbed down. Not that “adult” Monopoly is a great game of skill, but it’s a ton more fun to play in this version.

new-game-1

new-game-2

This game will actually be a multi-day epic, as we played until about 8:45, and then made milkshakes and drank them while we read more of The Order of the Phoenix, which we’ve now consumed over six hundred pages of, bringing us to the beginning of Dolores Umbridge’s reign as Hogwarts Headmaster, so it’s quite exciting and Nefarious is always begging for another page when bedtime finally arrives. I’ve started doing a new bedtime experiment where she is allowed to read if she’s not tired — and since every kid says “but I’m not tired!” every single night, I figure this was an easy way of avoiding this debate — and so far it’s working really well and not being abused (I feel like I would have abused this right as a kid). She reads for about ten minutes and then turns out the light, so that’s about perfect. Yesterday afternoon she sat and read a book that a friend gave her at her birthday party for about two hours — it’s such a joy to see this, both because of parental pride, and because it brings back fragments of my own childhood memories of spending days reading.

Driving to school (and back from it) is going to be no fun, starting today, because they’re ripping up the exact section of Bloor street that I need to drive four times a day (ie. there and back twice), reducing traffic speed to a trickle. It didn’t help that today I woke up at 7AM with my alarm, took my medicine, and then immediately fell back asleep and didn’t wake up again until 8:11… Eleven minutes after I’d normally be out the door. Somehow, miraculously, we still managed to make and eat breakfast, prepare her lunch, and got her to school on time. She’s made me promise though to get her there as early as possible tomorrow morning because the kids that get there early get to play chess before classes start.

Other than that, tomorrow is Caitlin‘s birthday. Woo woo!

All parents can relate

I can’t count how many time I have had to shake Nefarious down from a tree.

Pantless

Tonight Nefarious and I watched Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door while we ate supper and I assume she enjoyed it a lot because after the movie she spent a while running around doing spinning kicks at furniture and yelling about being a secret agent. Then I printed out a list of Toronto radio stations with her and while we were going through the stations I stopped at one and asked her if she “liked this Michael Jackson song”, thinking that she might know it from school or something… “Oh, I know him — like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, right?” Nonetheless, even after discovering that he was no son of Zeus, the station was still added to her favorites.

The girls that live here always bring me smiles.

I also got my new Cold Steel cane in the mail today. I really wanted to get a sword cane, but they’re illegal to carry in public in Canada (but legal other than that). This one just has a heavy duty fiberglass shaft, but I could still do some serious skull on skull damage. I also love my new shirt, which is, or at least appears to be many portraits of me. Gosh, I should not have looked up that link, every time I browse Threadless I end up adding a few bookmarks to my “wish list” folder.

Other than that I am pantless due to an embarrassing tear.

hairwolves

Edit: I forgot to mention it so let me add it while I remember. A few days ago while driving Nefarious to school, I saw a fox dash across the road in front of me with a squirrel in his mouth that he’d just caught. This was on a side street just north of High Park. I’ve seen quite a few foxes in that neighborhood, so I imagine that there’s a solid population of them in the park.

Little Green Buddy

So my Maya 3D modeling and animation instructor is back after both illness and being unexpectedly trapped in Europe by the volcano, so I have some schoolwork waiting to be completed. However, that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to keep filling spare moments with 2D hand animation. This one, “Little Green Buddy” for lack of a real title, was actually just drawn over top of an inflatable toy boxing glove (basically a small beach ball) being tossed.

Edit: Caitlin just pointed out to me that you can see the blue/red glove in a couple of the frames (I didn’t bother editing it out, but it would be easy to do so in Photoshop), once falling behind her since in real life it didn’t chomp her on the head, and then later behind her on the ground.

It’s a lot of fun starting to build up a portfolio in animation, and learning new skills has been exhilarating. However, there are aspects of my condition/disease/whatever that make even the small (about a hundred frames) animation above a monumental struggle that’s frustrating in ways that I find very hard to confront. Thankfully at least the weather has been decent, but it’s starting to get quite hot, stepping solidly into summer after a strange and mostly nonexistent winter (with what, a total of less than five days with snow on the ground). Today we had the last of April’s showers, and hot rain came down on us in brief bursts that ignored the mugginess and refreshed us instead. This will soon become a stifling humid heat though so I’ve got to get on having the A/C in this place repaired (recharged) before we’re too far into that torture.

greenrain-600

Speaking of repair, as you can see I finally got my Saab back after a month of a motley assortment of repairs, the leaky gas tank being the last to get checked off the list. I don’t think any of it was particularly difficult or time-consuming (especially given that the front clip of the car was removed, as was the tiny little engine — it really is hilariously miniature), but because forty year old limited-run cars from Sweden can take some time to get parts for… It took me a minute (and one embarrassing stall) to get used to the new and improved clutch — and wow, is this ever different from driving Caitlin’s car, probably as “opposite” as it could be — but it was a real pleasure to be behind the wheel again.

And now begins the other good part of my day, as I watch the Ultimate Fighter and eat pie. I got a small half price cherry pie, and I hope that the gluttony guilt of eating the whole thing is minimized by the “best before May 5” sticker. That makes eating it all the law, right?

Right!