Halloween candy!

I absolutely love the Halloween creme pumpkins, the ones similar to candy corn and often sold in the “harvest mix” bags of Halloween-specific orange-colored candies.  Tomorrow I will buy a few bags to hoard over the coming months.  I will refrain from eating them all at once, because my objective of buying and eating creme pumpkins for half-price runs contradictory to my objective of trimming down just little bit more (just a few pounds, no need for anyone to worry) and there must be a way to combine these goals without ruining anything.

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October 31, 2006. Words. 2 comments.

Great Success!

I finished the tester purse today and I am pleased with the result although there are a few changes I need to make on the next, actual purse.  The top flap does not line up correctly with the body of the purse because I did not mark the seam allowance lines and apparently sewed them at different widths.  Using Corn Flakes box cardboard worked well rather than chipboard, whatever that is, to give it structure, and the button size is perfect with the frog closure.  It took several hours to make, and I expect the next one to be quicker and smoother, especially if I enlist the help of Boyfriend for the menial tasks like cutting out fabric and ironing on fusible interfacing.  I took the clutch with me to Jason’s Deli for dinner and it looked great, especially from a distance, and not at all like something that an unskilled person threw together in crafts class at summer camp as I had feared.

Great success!

October 30, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

So…many…raspberries….!

I went shopping today with Boyfriend as we do almost every Sunday on the way home from the gym.  Fresh raspberries were on sale for $1 per 6 oz. package (usual price: $4) so I bought six containers of them.  I have eaten three of them already and it turns out that raspberries are kinda acidic after awhile.  My tummy burns and yet I keep eating them.  Because they are delicious.

We see pretty much the same few cashiers every time we go to the store and when we got to the cash register the clerk said, “Ooh, let’s see who’s going to pay more today?”  We split up our food so that I pay for what I’m going to eat, like the raspberries, and he pays for what he wants, and we split the shared items.  Most of the time it’s pretty even – today I paid only $7 more.  If we were married I would want us to have third, shared bank account that we would use for shared expenses like food, rent, utility bills, etc.  Just like Suze Orman, the resident financial expert for O magazine, recommends, we would each contribute to the shared account so that we each paid for mutual expenses in proportion to our income.  For example, if I made 65% of our combined monthly income, I would contribute 65% of the money in the shared account.  I’m happy with our current 50/50 method of splitting up expenses, although our incomes are relatively comparable so it wouldn’t be much of an issue anyway.

October 29, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

Makes me laugh every time!

I really enjoy www.foundmagazine.com.  Every couple months I browse through the offerings.  My favorites so far tonight:

http://www.foundmagazine.com/find/479

 http://www.foundmagazine.com/find/1031

http://www.foundmagazine.com/find/472

 http://www.foundmagazine.com/find/425

 

 

October 27, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

10 feet = 3 1/3 yards!

So I went back to Joann Fabrics after work today and bought two and a half yards of the ruby and black brocade material that I was craving yesterday.  It was on sale for 40% off and I really wanted it.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with it though – 2.5 yards is probably not enough to make a long fancy dress, and it’s way too much for a simple handbag.  Maybe a corset type top, or a sleek skirt, or perhaps just a pillow or two?  I’ve been told that one can never have too many decorative pillows. 

Two young men approached the cutting counter with a bolt of ivory muslin and asked for 10 feet of the material.  The employee appeared startled and then muttered “ten feet, ten feet….” while alternating between staring in concentration at the yardstick and looking around with a lost expression.  “Three and a third,” I suggested helpfully, before instantly feeling like a nosy know-it-all.  “I wish I had showed up,” she said, although whether she meant to math class or mentally to work this evening wasn’t clear, and didn’t lessen my feelings of sheepishness.  That’s the line I don’t seem very good at walking: being smart vs smartypants, and knowing a lot vs being a know-it-all. 

Just today two people at work were having a discussion as I walked by and one said, “Let’s ask her!  She knows a lot of things”, to which I replied “I know things!  Ask me!”  Again, probably need some work on the social etiquette right about there.  I was in fact able to help them with their question, at least: what is the difference between an ipod and an mp3 player?

Today’s lesson for you, dear reader (to quote Miss Manners): it is customary to request your lengths of fabric using yards as the unit of measurument, not feet.

October 26, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

Let’s talk about purses!

Someone I know said recently that she’s not a “typical girl” because,  among many other things, she does not enjoy talking about purses.  I tried to conjure up a time that I had talked about purses to see if I am or am not typical girl.  It seemed like a rather silly thing to discuss, really, and I ridicule even the idea of “wearing a handbag”.  I might read some shopping and fashion magazines that use such terminology but I will never say that I would “wear that handbag” with any outfit to really make the colors pop (more fashion speak). Purses, clutches, and bags are carried, held, used, but never worn.  I would be insulted if you suggested I do such a thing or discuss the pros and cons of “wearing” any particular purse.  But oh my gosh I am so excited about these two evening handbags I am going to make!!!

 I made an apron with skull fabric a few months ago (see http://www.rabbitstylenews.com/coolest-apron-in-the-world) and I have quite a bit of leftover material.  I haven’t been able to get the idea of my head to make a fancy purse with it because the juxtaposition of dark skull fabric and elegant lady handbag would amuse me.  Finally, this evening after work, I went to Joann Fabrics and gave myself up to the joy that is a fabric store.  Bolts upon bolts of colorful fabrics in so many different materials, lined up in rows to touch and look at and fantasize about and enjoy.  In high school I had my two prom dresses made for me by a wonderful seamstress (is there a more gender-neutral, less-loaded term I could use?) and every time I go into a fabric store, caressing all the satin and silk and crepe and taffeta and tulle and brocade and more satin makes me want to get to design dresses for myself again, except instead of prom I would be going to affairs like charity galas and high-powered awards shows and opening night parties.

I sat myself down at the pattern-perusing table and looked through this season’s books from McCalls and Butterwicks’ and Simplicity and Vogue Patterns to find the patterns for handbags that would best suit my needs.  Once in awhile I would catch on a sleek backless gown or an officey pencil skirt and start to wonder if I could really make that for myself and I would have to focus again at the objective at hand: a simple evening purse to give to a friend whose recent birthday came and went with nothing more from me than a “happy two days after your birthday” text message.  After I had chosen the patterns came the time of a real design crisis.  What colors, which textures, should I go with the beautiful brocade or buy the clearance pretty crinkle satin that is half-price?  (Oh crimson and black brocade, I will be back for you…..)  Will there be ribbons or buttons or zippers or hook & eye closures or hook & loop closures, and what is a hook & loop closure compared to a hook & eye closure?  What exactly is interfacing and is it going to be a problem that I have never used it before? 

I was in the store for over an hour and I came away with the supples for what I think will be two amazing purses, assuming the cotton skull fabric will provide enough structural support.  If not, turns out that’s what a double layer of interfacing is for.  I came home all a-flutter and eagerly displayed the pattern photos and each piece of material to Boyfriend, who said “What’s the crap hanging down off there?”, pointing at the layers of tulle on one of the designs.

Where’s a “typical girl” when I need one…

October 25, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

Imitrex is great!

I get 1-2 migraines a month and my prescription medicine for it, Imitrex, is wonderful.  They used to be less frequent, only once every few months, and over the past couple years they have been increasing.  I’m not sure what I would do now without the prescription, especially on days when I choose to remain at work while dealing with it.  It stops the pain within an hour or so and often subdues the other symptoms as well, such as the nausea, light sensitivy, and visual auras and floaters.  It didn’t get the job done soon enough this morning, however.

I ended up coming home at 10:30 a.m. because the work volume was really low and sometimes people can volunteer to go home if they want to use their PTO hours for it (paid time off – we don’t have “sick days” and “vacation days” but general paid time off that is to be used for all the reasons employees choose not to be at work).  Just before leaving work I threw up a little in the bathroom, and then vomited forcefully and voluminously when I got home.  I felt much better afterwards, also because by that time the Imitrex had killed most of the pain.  Then I slept for 3 1/2 hours.

I get stupider when I have migraines, from the day before it arrives full-blown through the 12 hours afterwards.  I struggle to remember words, such as calling the office “the business room” and referring to the kitchen as “the food and cooking place”.  I sometimes have difficulty understanding people when they talk because it’s hard to parse the sounds into sentences and concepts and it all sounds like mumbling.  This morning I was trying to refill a prescription through Osco’s automatic system but ran into trouble when the numbers I entered as the last four digits of my phone number weren’t correct, or even close.  (If the last four in yours are 3738, let me know, because I don’t even know where that number came from.  Oh wait, it just now at this very moment became clear!  Those are four digits in my social security number!  What a weird transposition.)

 After throwing up and sleeping, I spent the rest of the day watching the first five episodes of season one of “Battlestar Galactica”.  Now I will go lie down in the shower with all the lights off – my go-to migraine plan before I got Imitrex – before going to bed.

October 24, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

My favorite parts of the day! #1

  • Eating a club sandwich from U.S. Egg that had fried egg instead of meat.  It included lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, and mayo.  I like lots of mayo.  I dipped the fries in honey – salty and sweet, and just the right about of mushy.  I prefer mushy fries to crunchy.
  • Taking my Microsoft Access class during the downtime at work.  I’m up to Proficient User (ok, the ones I’m taking only come in Fundamentals, Proficient, and Expert) and am looking forward to creating my first database
  • Having my manager laugh out loud a hearty, genuine laugh at something I said, and then laughing again when she explained it to somebody else.  She and I have had several episodes of uncontrollable laughter – the kind that makes your eyes water and your stomach hurt as you gasp for air – over the past several months and I always feel happier afterwards, even if it does draw slightly confused, disapproving stares from the rest of the office.

October 23, 2006. Words. Leave a comment.

I like organizational systems!

My life is built around systems and routine.  All through college I had a notebook and folder for every class, and each course had a specific color depending on the department.  For example, my sociology classes for four years had a blue notebook and a blue folder to hold loose papers.  My economics classes came in purple or black.  The Spanish courses were red.  It made sense the first semester to have a different color for each class so I could grab the correct notebook without having to open it, and then I kept up the same color scheme through the next seven semesters because changing my system would have made me feel, well, I guess a good way to describe it is that I would have felt on edge.  My tank tops hang in my closet in rainbow order.  In middle school my socks were neatly lined up in rainbow order in the sock drawer, which drew well-deserved mockery from friends not only because I arranged them in rainbow order but also because who owns so many brightly colored socks?  I park in the same spot at the gym under a tree at the edge of a row and feel genuinely ill at ease when that spot is already taken.  I do everything in the same order when I shower.  I open all the windows on my computer at work in the same order each morning because I like everything to be lined up the same way on the task bar at the right of the screen.  (One way to spot a geek: their taskbar is vertical rather than horizontal on their computer screen.)  I drive the same route to and from work.  My spices are arranged alphabetically.  The five shelves in the pantry are organized by category: baking, snacking & beverage, entrees & savory staples, extras & backup, and non-food items.  The large bathroom cupboard has a similar organizational structure based on use.  Any cash in my purse is faced and ordered. 

A good friend and housemate in college once took the cash from the smallest pocket of my backpack and unsorted in and crumpled it up a little before shoving the money back in the pocket when I wasn’t around.  She didn’t tell me for days, and in the meantime I had gotten something out of my backpack, was surprised to see that I had put the bills away in such a slipshod fashion, and immediately fixed the problem while only noting in passing that “perhaps that had happened when I was grabbing for something in the pocket and somehow crumpled the bills while rooting around without looking”.  We laughed hysterically when she told me.  She liked to play such simple and brilliant practical jokes.  We often watched “Viva la Bam” together on MTV and she was fond of the jokes he would play on his parents, especially the one where he irons little hamburger pictures onto every single piece of his dad’s clothing, who is seen wearing a hamburger shirt even weeks later.  I once saved up Nutrition Facts stickers from the cheese deliveries at the sandwich place where I worked during summers and college breaks and put them on all the clothing in her closet and dresser, over 60 labels in all.  Months later, she found one on a shirt at the back of her closet and she had somehow overlooked during the sticker removal process experienced a moment of “What the hell is this?” before she remembered.
 

October 22, 2006. Words. 1 comment.

Why didn’t anybody tell me that I’m so white?!

Last night I went to Graham Central Station with friends and had a delightful time. The place is huge! The largest room played mostly country music and featured pool tables, a woman working the bottles bar wearing chaps but no pants a la Christina Aguilera, a mechanical bull, and two large disco balls shaped like saddles. Disco saddles, they’re called. One joke for the evening was that to get onto the dance floor you had to be wearing tight enough jeans with a large enough cowboy hat and/or belt, and it would be like at an amusement park with the measuring stick they make little kids stand next to in order to get on the ride: “belt buckle must this tall to enter”. I don’t think I have ever been to a club with that many middle-aged people, or where cowboy hats are not only allowed but seemingly encouraged. I’m going to take my mother when she visits in a month because she has always said she likes to go country western dancing, and this place seemed like it would have enough people even at 7 p.m. (we arrived at 8:30 p.m.) so she can get in a couple hours’ worth of dancing, if she stays up at least a little past her usual bedtime of 8 o’clock.

Some of the pictures taken in the mostly-dark club worked better than others, depending how much of the harsh flash was reflected off my pale, pale skin. How come nobody told me that I’m so white??  It looks like I wasn’t even there in the first picture and somebody just photoshopped me in.

so white   amy sal danceamy & simon
all four of us amy sean 1st picture    

There was a karaoke room where I saw the same three men sing several different songs throughout the night, only one of whom was any good. One guy was especially terrible, apparently choosing songs he had never heard before, because he didn’t know any of the words and wasn’t so good at reading them from the screen, either, but didn’t temper his volume or enthusiasm accordingly. When he started his awful rendition of some metal song with no melody to speak of we left karaoke and headed to the ‘70s/‘80s room. We also spent significant time in the hip-hop room. I got up in one of the cages to dance for two songs until my quads were burning from dropping it like it’s hot and dropping it until it touches the ground, as the songs instructed. I’m actually a little sore today from all the dancing.

One woman in particular was quite the exhibitionist with her dancing. She and her various partners would simulate acrobatic sex acts, mostly in rhythm with the music. At one point she put her hands on the ground in front of her with her legs more than shoulder-width apart, grinding her hindquarters into the man’s crotch while he gripped her hips and pumped away. During another song a different guy was doing what I knew in elementary school as an innocent maneuver called the “crab-walk”: crouching on his feet, leaning back to rest his hands on the ground to form a table shape. The girl straddled him, over his crotch region of course, and then she gyrated against him amazingly quickly while he thrust as well. The athleticism of maintaining these positions astounded me and the other onlookers.  The woman next to me saw them and immediately tapped her friend on the shoulder to turn around, saying, “You gotta see this!” After a bit of this activity the man moved himself farther down (crab-walking!) so that she was standing over his face rather than his pelvis and pantomimed giving her oral sex for the rest of the song. Just now I got in his table-like position to figure out how I would describe it, and my muscles were shaking after holding it for just a few seconds. How he maintained it for so long, while thrusting no less, or how she was able to keep herself up with her legs so far apart, I don’t know. I am going to include diagrams I made for your viewing pleasure.

 dance 1      

dance 2                    dance 3

 

October 21, 2006. Pictures, Words. 1 comment.

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