Journal Entry: March 10, 2009

I left off last Thursday with a tale of woe concerning our garage door opener. Thursday afternoon when I got home, I immediately set to work on that. I climbed up in the attic to figure out where the mounting bolts actually came through the ceiling, and it turned out they’re actually driven into studs. That gives me a little more hope for the one that I replace. I went back down, got out the ratchet, and tightened it down until it wouldn’t budge (something I’d been afraid to do when I thought it was only anchored in drywall).

After that I put some weight on it, and the bolt held. I’ve also got the line now to put in two more bolts on each bracket, so it should be well and truly secured soon.

I also mentioned that the button was broken. Seems like that was actually because of the bolt giving — the (very old, very thin) wire connecting the opener to the button by the door runs down from the ceiling, and it was pretty much taught. When the bolt gave and the opener fell, it tore the wire free.

Once I figured that out, it was a simple enough matter to scavenge some electrical wire and splice it together to get the button powered again (and add a little slack to line, in the process).

Later in the evening D– brought us some supper from Buffalo Wild Wings. I’d requested the Blazing sauce (their hottest) to try for the first time. It is, indeed, hot.

Then we all watched some TV and the night sort of disappeared.

Friday night I had a mandate. And as soon as you read that, you’re probably thinking, “man-date,” because you’re so juvenile, but no. I mean a mandate: a purpose, a quest, a compulsion to do something of personal and moral significance. In this case, my mandate was to go see The Watchmen, a screen adaptation of what is widely considered the best graphic novel on the market. The story is powerful evocative, and the adaptation was incredibly well done. It’s probably the most meaningful movie that I’ve actually enjoyed since watching Stranger than Fiction (and if I had to eliminate comedies, it’s probably the only really meaningful movie I’ve ever enjoyed, but I haven’t put a ton of thought into that evaluation, so don’t hold me to it).

Okay, and as it happens, yes, I did go to the movie with D–. But that’s beside the point.

Before that, T– and AB and D– and I had dinner at Belle Isle at 50 Penn Place (yeah, I was just there a week ago — you’ve got a great memory). I stated my intention of ordering the same steak again, but T– pointed out that my leftovers from the last time were still in the fridge, so I had a Theta Burger instead. Phenomenal.

Then the movie, as I said, and that took the rest of the night.

Saturday I slept late, and spent much of the afternoon programming. I’m sure there was something else, but I don’t really remember it.

In the evening, T– went to scrapbook with her friend Rebecca, so I watched AB. D– came over to help out, and we ended up taking AB to McDonalds for dinner. There’s one nearby with a big indoor playground area, that we’d gone to visit last time Mom and Dad were in town, so I took AB up there to let her play. She made friends with the other two little girls who were there, and spent a long time climbing up, going down the slide, then shouting “Again!” and doing it again.

At one point, she’d come running over to the table to eat two fries before rushing back, and she wasn’t looking, and she smashed the side of her face into a table. She was over it a minute later, too caught up in having fun, but she had an angry red line drawn down her cheek for the rest of the night.

Later, she was trying to climb up the slide, on hands and knees, and her hands went out from under her. When that happened, her face smacked down into the slide, and she busted her lip open. I could barely get her to sit still long enough for her lip to start bleeding before she rushed back into the fray.

Last time we went, she was scared of the big slide. I’m not sure it’s the slide itself, but there’s a lot of climbing around in high-up, enclosed spaces, and she didn’t have the same zeal for that as some of the older kids. I was surprised she was so excited to do it this time. Then, when I was ready to go, I watched her climb up and then I crouched down just inside the bottom of the slide so I could catch her when she came down.

I could hear her climbing above me, then sitting down at the top of the twisty slide (so out of sight), and then nothing for a moment. I waited, and then I heard a tiny voice saying very definitely, “Careful. Be careful. Be careful.” She was psyching herself up. A few seconds later she finally came zipping down, and laughed in delight when she saw me waiting for her.

I put her to bed around nine, and a little bit later T– showed up and reminded us that it was Daylight Savings Time, so we’d just lost an hour on our sleep. A little after that she headed to bed, but D– and I stayed up watching I Heart Huckabees (and him reading, and me programming), and then afterward we talked existentialism and purpose until two or three in the morning (depending how you want to count it).

So I woke up late on Sunday, but made it to church before they’d finished the first song. The sermon was on Fasting, and a pretty good one. Oh, and N– and K– were there! It was fun to see them, if only briefly, but I’d told T– I would take AB home for a quick lunch and an early nap right after services, so I didn’t hang around.

I grabbed her some food, then ran up to P. F. Chang’s for some take out. AB was able to eat her quick lunch while we were in the car, so by the time I got home, she was ready for her nap.

I worked on some fileserver stuff while AB napped. Then T– got home and started getting ready for their afternoon. Shortly after AB woke up, Diana got to the house and then the three of them went to see Sesame Street Live (T– has it documented on her blog).

While they were out, I worked. Mostly I’m getting my media files sorted out so that we can watch them on the HTPC. I’ve also got a handful of little projects I’m working on, and I’m constantly spending five minutes here and ten minutes there, making gradual progress.

D– called around 5:00 to ask about supper plans, and I told him we’d be eating whenever T– got home, and he was welcome to come over. T– ended up making some chicken parmesan for us, and it was awesome.

We watched a movie, and then the new SNL, and while that was on K– caught me on GMail chat and asked if I could take a look at the HTML parser for our current XBMC project. I opened that up, and ended up working on it for hours. I stayed up after the show ended, and T– went to bed, and D– left, and it was probably midnight before I got to bed. But I got the parser rewritten, and it’s a lot more powerful now. So that’s something.

Then last night T– brought home the stuff for me to make chili, and then she ended up making the chili (because I was distracted with one of my little projects, and she was hungry). It was fantastic, though, so I can’t feel too bad about my laziness. It paid off in the end.

We watched The Big Bounce, which we’d been excited about but then never saw because of the terrible reviews. Turns out…it’s not that bad. It’s slow (especially for a heist flick), but the characters are strong and the story is good. Maybe it’s just a good one to have on in the background, because neither of us was paying full attention to it. There were some laughs, though.

After that AB got to watch a movie while we ate dinner, and after she went to bed we started on the Monday night TV shows. We watched Heroes and Chuck before we gave up and went to bed. Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement are all still waiting for us.

How did people watch TV before TiVo? Seriously.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.