One of the more fun things this weekend was finding out that Amanda enjoys the music of James, one of my favorite bands. Listening to their “final” album a couple times this weekend, Pleased to Meet You (which is happily not final anymore since they’re back together) and its little brother, Millionaires, Amanda danced along in her car seat to several of the albums’ upbeat tracks. I’m always amazed at this because she seems to pick songs that, while catchy, may not always be what one would assume someone her age would like. Stranger still is how upset she gets about the Fray’s “How to Save a Life” – something she picked up from Alissa who is a fan of the band. When driving in her car, Amanda exclaims “piano drums!” and she means this song (because it is piano and drum-driven,) and once the song title has been mentioned, she says “I sabe a life!” And you really want to play that song for her – failure to do so results in a meltdown.
A quick plug for MediaMonkey is necessary here. I downloaded this the other day to help getting mp3s tagged with their cover art. Itunes will not do this correctly – something I am very upset about after some 35,000 songs – as it instead sticks the damned art in a folder that the files reference. The mp3 format allows for artwork to be embedded inside the file and dammit I want it done this way! MediaMonkey does this, but aside from that, it’s just a very cool Itunes alternative. So if you hate Itunes, and I know some do (I basically don’t, aside from this one minor problem,) and even if you don’t, this is a very cool program to check out.
An exhausting weekend, or nearly so, anyway. Up early yesterday, off to have my oil changed and my tires rotated in my Honda Ridgeline, which, at just under 47,000 miles, nears it’s two year birthday. Scary.
In the meantime, around the area doing a bunch of chores – we got Alissa’s car washed, which was Alissa’s first time seeing Amanda at a carwash, and that really is something to see because she gets very excited watching from the windows in the waiting room as the water and foam spray over the vehicles that make their way through the wash. “There’s a soap all over the car!”
Then to a new branch of our credit union to deposit a check. They were having a grand opening celebration this weekend. I’ve never quite understood the point of these things. To normal people, there’s little excitement in most businesses opening. To most businesses, there’s little excitement for the people who work there in opening a new location. So who exactly is the target of all the excitement and, in this case, bottled water (apparently the only item with which one could celebrate this momentous event)?
Alissa dropped her glasses off at Eyemasters/Lenscrafter/Eye-crafting Lensmasters for replacement lenses, which basically cost about the same amount as new glasses, which are perpetually on sale at these places. Sounds insane, but, really, when you’ve got some frame style that works, why mess with it? The stress and annoyance of finding new frames is hardly worth it for the few hours a day she actually wears them. Unlike me, she wears contacts – I’m still back in the dark ages of eye care, apparently. Hey, I prefer to think that some people just look right in glasses – which is why I bought a much-needed replacement pair this morning at Costco, going for a frameless set that had very thin wires for the arms. I may think I look okay in glasses, but that doesn’t mean I want it to look obvious that I’m wearing them.
Yesterday afternoon we were off to meet Alissa’s family for her sister’s birthday at Olive Garden. Since the Italian restaurant that we used to go to closed, we’ve had to settle for OG, and believe me, it’s settling. I must say, however, that before it closed, it had seriously taken a nosedive from the great family Italian it had been known for (it had been a “best of Phoenix” winner several times.) That was a very sad development, or devolvement, if there is such a term (Firefox’s spellcheck tells me “no, there isn’t.” There is now!)
Today has been weird. An extremely windy day – so windy that it woke us all up early, sometime around 4:30, and then Amanda got upset because her pacifier fell out, which Alissa got up to take care of. I tried, but never really fell back asleep. I’ve been off since then. As mentioned above, I got out this morning to hit Costco for glasses, plus took back some of the worst recordable CDs and DVDs that I’ve ever bought – Kodak “brand.” Come to find out, after a half-dozen bad burns, that Kodak doesn’t make CDRs and DVDRs anymore – they sold off that division years ago, so any discs using that name are suspect, at best. So back to Staples they went where I picked up a couple of spindles of Memorex that are working just fine.
Came back, went to work on some more of the train-track project for Amanda, and found that I’d made a stupendously dumb error last week when putting it together. Plywood sheet, four pieces of 1″ x .5″ wood for a frame, right? Sounds simple – just put one corner together, measure where the 2′ x 3′ plywood came to on the frame, and cut. Basically, I failed to compensate for the width of the other side of the frame when making my cuts and therefore only built it so that the wood fit width-wise but not length-wise (you have no idea how I’m having to resist typing “that’s what she said.”) Pissed, I was – such a dumb mistake. I’m no wood-working expert, but I’m certainly better than this! Back to Lowe’s for one stupid piece of wood, but while I was there I grabbed a quart of paint I would need next weekend. This simple project is taking far longer than it should have. This is par for the course for me – I either hastily throw things together, then regret it because I know it could have been better, or take my time to make sure I do a good job and make things painfully slow. Luckily, Amanda is too young to realize what’s going on, so there is little pressure. I’m putting enough of that on myself.