Saturday, July 31, 2010

Whoosh

Oh my goodness, so tired. Hey! Because of doing such gigantic exercise-based activities to the point of utter exhaustion! Whoa!

There isn't too much more to tell than that. I'm so tired I have no dithering in my brain to share with you! The troll situation got cured, I mowed so insanely much lawn that I got all glazed and starey, and then today my brother and I kayaked all the way around an enormous island in the Penobscot.

Actually that is a bizarre situation because we paddled in a circle

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Too cold for ice cream? Whoa

It sort of is! But yet I'm eating the frozen yogurt anyway! You guys, this might be the BEST THING EVER. It's just yogurt, plus fruit, plus sugar because of that mysterious thing whereby cold things taste less sweet--how does that work? So weird. Anyway the combination is outrageously amazingly good.

All the ice cream maker does is whip the contents around in a frozen bowl, so that as it freezes, air gets whipped into it. Otherwise you get a solid hard block of inedible ice.

I'm already thinking up delicious combinations. What should I make next? Maple and star fruit? Pumpkin pie? Cold buttered rum? I mean, I could do anything. ANYTHING. Whoa!

Mmmmmmmm.

So I'm all crippled up from mowing the grass, in that usual hilarious way where I'm perfectly fine, walking around and doing stuff, then I sit at the computer to do something for a while, and then fall over when I stand up, because my legs have seized up into pretzel shapes. And not the pretzel sticks, either.

I'm ridiculously proud of how superlatively awesome the mowing went. In other words, proud of myself! Rah rah! I was all woeful and wimpy feeling and figured I'd maybe do the side yard down to the garden then slog back inside all droopy. But no! I did the whole side yard AND the whole back yard! That is half of the yard, dude! Go me!

I also mowed the grass in the garden. It's so lame that I have to mow rather than weed. But it's kind of too big a garden, plus I left room for all those vines that are still two feet long instead of ten. They should be monsters by now! Maybe I need some nice organic fertilizer, aka that handy bear poo. Is that wise? I kind of doubt it. I think you should stick to herbivore poo for manure, personally.

This is why we wash our vegetables, heh heh.

It was so much easier to mow today, I think that my lawn mower miracle is happening. I totally hoped this would happen! Mower breaks down, use push mower, become strong and awesome and fit because of it, and never go back to the motor mower. I definitely like how differently shirts are fitting, though that's the muscles building up. I build muscle fast. My shoulders feel amazing, all stretched out and strong. Ahh! And then I look in the mirror and the pudding abides, but it's definitely in abeyance. Avast, pudding!  

Goodness, it's cold! My toes are cold! Ahh!

I can't really tell if Increased Awesomeness is all coming from the great mower conundrum of 2010 or from the magic pills which don't seem to be doing much if you ask me, or from getting out of solitary confinement, or what. No idea! And it certainly seems to go in predictable waves. Increased Awesomeness day! Do tons of stuff! Mow mow mow! Make food! Put weatherstripping under the front door finally! Apply to Borders! Whatever else! Then two days of being an achy, limpy, useless stationary object.

Except for the writing. The writing abides no matter what. I have another whole ton of it to add into the totals but MAN it's hard to keep track when I'm on three computers all over the place! Gosh! Crap!

But I wrote a fabulous new section for the part I lost and learned all this great stuff and dude it is the pivotal scene in the whole thing. I want to make it miles better because it really can be. But oh! So great already!

Skreek! Shift gears. Sorry.

So here's some bad news. My uncle, the one I've met maybe twice in my life, though actually he's one of my godfathers, is going downhill fast. He's been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for most of this year and last but now he's in ICU with all sorts of dire things wrong, apparently. My other uncle (they live together) is also in terrible shape and not really managing to keep up with the medical situation for either of them. Jeez!

So we're sort of rallying the troops sibling-wise to get down there and help out the mother, who has a large dog, you will recall, and is unsteady on her pins herself, and lives about four hours away from them.

Not sure what exactly happens next though I think my sister's driving down this weekend and might bring the dog back. He may come stay with me. That would be awesome, actually. Practice dog! It would get kitty used to having a dog around again, too. And they are best friends.

So anyway, scary things, and alarm, and upsetting memories of course of hospital beds and things like that.

Well, dangit, I just painted my nails all sparkly and now I'm trapped until they dry. Silly bunnies.

Hey guess what? The Bangor state fair is this weekend! Lllama snuggling! Feeding bunnies! Ridiculous fair food! Waynes! I am SO THERE!!!

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

Oh boy! I'm so happy with the new work space, I cannot even tell you! Also I cannot even tell you! Which is a thing unto itself!

It's perfectly gorgeous outside so I'm all dressed up to mow, but I was staaaaaaarving, arrrrrrrgh, but fortunately, aha, I had stopped at the store to get the foodstuffs I had missed the last time, which was when? Yesterday? Reciting the whole time: flour, yeast, onions, cleanser. Over and over. Actually no, it was: onions, yeast, flour, cleanser, because that's the order they come in in the store.

Robot brain for the win!

I didn't get to write much over lunch due to meeting and talking with another awesome phlebotomist. How come they're all so awesome, huh? I seriously want to know. They're the friendliest of all the medical people I share a lunch room with and they're the nicest and smartest and most down to earthiest. I hope meeting all of them will make my next stick a piece of cake, right? I'll be all relaxed and stuff!

Anyway the awesome phlebotomist convinced me to get off my duff and get sending books out. Like she saw through the whole "it's not ready, blah blah, rewriting" thing right away. She said stuff like, "Is every book perfect when the editor gets it? Then what does the editor do?" And I had no answer. Then she said, "So what's the first step?" and I said about Writers' Market and she looked at me like: THEN GO GET IT. Okay! Gosh!

I totally want to dedicate a book to my phlebotomist buddies. Man, they're good.

Woohoo!

Our new office is interesting because it's sort of moodily lit, with incandescent floor lamps. Of course we have overhead lights but they're turned off. It's infinitely more pleasant to work by incandescent light, but it does make you sort of sleepy and un-on-edge.

Kitties don't like palak paneer. Now we know!

I took an anti-anxiety pill this morning when I realized my hands were shaking, and then another on the way home when going to the store started feeling completely overwhelming. This is all because I had to stand up for myself and ask for a thing and then oppose another thing (they tried it anyway, with much effort, and it was awful, so then they had to undo it with much effort also--I did not say "I told you so") but most of all because I'm still always around the previous problem, which is tense. It's tense-making, is all.

The house keeps making strange and startling noises, which is why I mentioned it. I might take another one. I am a jitterbug basket case today. Like for instance that door knocker noise went again. I open the front door, and it sits there being a door, and then like five minutes later, the knocker goes CLONK. Except I don't see it move. Does it move and I don't see it, or does it just make this CLONK without moving?

See, it kind of wigs me out, because it does it every time. Every time means something is going on, whether it's some metal part of the door changing shape and clonking or who knows what.

And the briar bushes growing up on both sides of the front door, they are now tall enough so that the wind can flip one against the screen, THWAPPPBANGGGGG. And then it sticks and makes scrapy noises because of its velcro leaves. Kitty and I both go through the roof when that happens.

There have also been weird bumping rattling noises in the office. I have no idea. Who knows?

In sum, I believe I'll take tonight's benadryl early and try to chill the heck out. Dreadfully stressful week and a half. Horribly stressful. It takes a while to wind down from that sort of thing.

I have to tell you, naan and palak paneer help a LOT. Some no-preservatives naan leapt out at me as I was walking through the bakery/fancy cheese section! I would never have looked at it except it said NO PRESERVATIVES in big letters, same as the palak paneer. And now I get to have them for lunch tomorrow, too! Yay!

Palak paneer is one of my very favoritest things ever. Yum.

Hey, the platelet people called me tonight, phew! I say phew because none of the people I tried to volunteer with had contacted me and I was getting that paranoid-ignored feeling. Anyway she said they're trying to develop a test for certain antibodies in women who have had children because they can cause a reaction in the recipient. And I was like, "Well, I never had children," but she was somehow not interested in that fact. Isn't that odd? But she did say that A- blood (should have studied harder!) is in demand so keep on donating whole blood and that's a great thing to do.

So I'll do that. Ooh, plus once I get to do the plateletpheresis thing, I can do it right here in Bangor. Awesome! Even easier!

Okay, seriously time to mow, or it's going to get dark. Just lately it's started being noticeable that it's not light all that long after I get home. Especially if I go to the store en route.

In addition to onions, yeast, flour, and cleanser, I got green beans, eggplant, yellow squash, bananas, more Greek yogurt (help me! help me!) and a family size box of Triscuits. How big do you have to be to be a family? I insist I am one.

Yay, naan! It was part of my series of flat circular foods of distinct ethnicities! I did eat rice cakes last week, but I think their ethnicity is hippie. Is that true? That's who I associate them with.

Right! Mow! Wrote a bunch, will write more later. In fact I wrote this awesome scene to replace the one that got lost and then realized how it should have been, which is fine because if I hadn't written it that one way, I'd never have figured out the right way.

One time I am utterly not a control freak in any way whatsoever: when writing. Isn't that interesting? I'm perfectly happy to let the story drive.

Do you think we'll get blackberries on the briars? That would be awesome!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh frabjous day!

A very bad thing went away, hurray! I'm so very very pleased.

Also there was a pie thing that made me ridiculously happy on about sixteen different levels. Oh my!

It's a gorgeous evening. Kitty's lying on the floor listening to me type (with his ears turned back to me but his head the other direction) and there are birds singing and crickets cricketing. And the gunfire has completely stopped! Ahhhh, summer.

Last night all the coyotes started up howling in the little power line cut, the one that runs along the south edge of the property. That's a sound to stop your heart, right there, twenty or thirty coyotes singing together in the quiet dead of night. Fortunately I was only *almost* asleep.

Made me realize that there's going to be a lot of barking when dogsville comes to town. I mean, the dog will bark at the coyotes, and at people walking past, and probably bikes, and every largeish member of wildlife who happens past, from foxes on up.

This morning the office smelled like, well, a dead mouse. Only larger. But by the time I got home, the smell was gone. What does that even mean? Was it not there to begin with? I was cooking meat last night and you know how cooking smells can linger and change. Hmmm. Also I'm pretty sure the creature was a squirrel. And I heard it in the living room wall the day before yesterday, running down between the joists then back up.

I still really want to know how it got inside. I even went and looked at the attic window this morning to see whether the screen was still in place or had holes or anything. No holes. Well, one tiny hole. A mouse could maybe get through there, if it somehow managed to get up two stories of synthetic siding, I guess.

I remember there are sort of rat runs in the attic insulation, though--paths tromped down. But how would a rat get *into* the attic in the first place? I'm stumped, honestly. There just aren't holes, people. Though the chimney occurred to me...but if a creature went down the chimney, it would just end up in the chimney, not in the attic.

I suppose I need to go up there and look around but a) there is something up there that might jump out at me, causing me to leap into the air and whack my head on the roof beams, carpenters; b) there might be something dead up there, which then I'd have to dispose of; c) the thing might be gone, in which case, why do I need to go up there in the first place?

I thought of another option. You'll like this. The garage is far more porous and surely a mouse/rat/chipmunk/small kangaroo could make its way into there. Well, duh, the door between the garage and the house is ALWAYS OPEN. As is the door into the attic stairs, for ventilation purposes--very effective, too. Oy! Am frelling genius! That's surely how it got in.

I'm hoping that's how it also got out. And that it isn't dead in a wall somewhere. Ewwwwwwww! Let us not contemplate such a dreadful thing!

Okay, I find myself thwarted by a ridiculous thing. (If you get that reference, you totally win the prize, I'm serious.) I somehow didn't upload the most recent copy of the current book chapter last night when leaving work. How? Unknown! And then today I moved to a new desk that doesn't have internet yet, so when I left, I couldn't access my documents. Which means I don't have that latest chunk of a thousand or 1500 words.

Now, that should not matter one bit. Soldier on! Hup hup! Go go go! And that's what I keep telling myself. But I'm all furrowed brow and anxiety about not being able to go on from that point.

Idiocy. Must keep going from where I know I left off. Okay. Will do.

But I'm going to bed early tonight, not that I said that in a defensive kind of way or anything. I am, though. Going to bed early. Not defensive. I'm completely exhausted, also got an ear infection on the left side, and you know how cranky that makes us toddlers. (I totally blame baby niece for it, as usual, but it was worth it for how fun it was to play with her last weekend.) So anyway point being I'm going to write as much as humanly possible and then zone out watching Bones reruns and then go to bed at ten. OH YES I WILL.

Did you see that as illustrious a personage as Mo Ryan has the same exact problem I do, being unable to stop watching Bones reruns every day? I love Bones so much! Plus of course I have every episode memorized, so I know to look forward to the moment when the awesome actor playing the defrocked death metal guy tries to be all tough but is breaking up inside and says, "It'll be epic. Legendary." And then across to Gordon Gordon and Sweets looking back at him and there's that shift of focus from one to the other. Oh man! I love that scene! That's one of my favorite moments in all of Bonesdom. And it doesn't even have Brennan or Booth in it!

Season 4, episode 20, Mayhem on a Cross. The actor's name is Michael William Freeman and you should hire him to do acting things, because he knocks that completely out of the park. I find that actors often suck when they're supposed to be saying the one thing but inexpertly hiding that they mean something else, often to a cringeworthy degree, so it's fantastic how well he does that very thing.

Also I admit to a severe weakness for tough guy bravado that you can totally see right through. I mean, on purpose, of course, but also when it's not on purpose. Breaks your heart, in a great way. Isn't that one of the beautiful things about Booth?

Oh oh oh, that episode also has the amazing scene in Sweets' office where Brennan tells him a terrible thing about her childhood and Booth gets upset and Sweets sees how they interact and has the most beautiful smile. Awwww.

Anyway YES I adore Bones and so should you.

Today: a banner day of good things, despite the upgefraktheit. I mean, the good thing is so profoundly more-good-causing in so many all day long kinds of ways. Awesomeness quotient: up! By a huge amount!

Also here's a funny thing for you: I was telling my wonderful office buddy how all this ten-key work is going to make me have this one giant strong right arm. I said, "I'm going to be like...what's his name? Ron Perlman, he's all red, he saws his horns off?" And office buddy, he goes: "Hellboy." Yay! Yay! Yay! HEARTS for office buddy! MY PEOPLE!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh the yum

Yeah, I have to make tortillas more often. Like I might need tortilla POLICY or something. Sure, you might think I'd just remember to make easy and amazing food that I love, ha ha! Hoo.

Like turkey burgers, right?

Yes, I got food at the store! Food! I got carrots, celery, yogurt, ground turkey, ground beef, radishes, and of course garbanzo flour. Like you always get! Now I can make soccas!

They had it right there in the Hannaford, can you believe it? After all my searching and not finding and failing to find the garbanzo flour to make the soccas? Madness!

Those are some praises! Now I have to register some complaints, but I will alternate them with praises so that I am not Princess Negativita from Planet Grumpy Sourpuss!

- My hands are useless flippers today! I can't even hold a spoon! Gaaaah!
+ The lawn looks great, like a golf course.
- The changes in Day Job are making me utterly crazed and wretched.
+ Hey! I have Day Job! So much better than not having Day Job!
- I'm all broke and stuff, like small scale daily broke and of course large scale.
+ Got food. Got a place to live. (As far as I know...27th already and got no lease.) Got kitty. Kitty is awesome. Kitty!
+ Got kayak. Got backup lawn mower. Got a bike to ride! Got Nordictrack.
+ Seriously, come on, people. The car! Quilts! Books! Tv! Shut up!
- Okay so yeah they're almost certainly going to reject me for fostering.
- And I'd sure like a permanent Day Job of non-temporaritude.
- And a frelling lease.
- And okay friends and a dog and like a couch maybe.
- Also did I mention that daily things are making me CRAAAAAZY??? Chomped by the quotidian!
+ I really like quilts. Hee.
+ Also I'm getting a dog and that's not negotiable.
+ The garden is burgeoning and fabulous! Tomatoes! Teeny tiny cucumbers! Squash blossoms!
+ Book is coming along swimmingly.
+ I can make tortillas any day of the week, and let me tell you, homemade corn tortillas are just about the best thing ever.
+ I have the cutest haircut that ever existed in the whole world holy wow! Seriously. So dang cute!

Okay, I feel better now. But BOY was I crabby today about the quotidian, let me tell you. Well I can't elaborate but there's a whole basket of things each of which would individually make me bananacakes, so all of them piled are a bananacakes buffet bonanza.

The workout involved in mowing the grass is such that I'm useless the rest of the day, can't sleep properly the whole night because I'm so sore and because my hands keep going numb and waking me up, and then I feel sick the whole next morning and half the afternoon. I think that's a sign of working out too much. But I didn't even do that much! Argh, huh? I mowed like 1/6 of the lawn yesterday.

Must figure out how to manage all this. I want the exercise and of course I have to mow the lawn. But feeling like dren half the next day is not really okay. However I'm sure this would happen with any sufficiently intense exercise. Harumph. Well, I just have no idea. Stick it out until it gets easier is my best guess. Also, pie!

Hands, man. They still type. I'm clinging to that. With my feet. Whoever's been slamming boulders on all my bones and joints from two inches above the wrist down to my fingertips, cut it the hell out. Frelling OW.

Tortillas: no kneading! Tortilla press! Happiness. Mmmm.

Monday, July 26, 2010

With the! Ah!

Holy frakamole, just a week to get this draft done. I did get about 4K words today, which just proves something something moral of the something! Go go go!

Just got done mowing more than I meant to but less than I hoped of the remaining unmown lawn. You realize I'll have to start at the beginning again soon. Like Thursday at the latest. But today it didn't hurt nearly as much so hurray for getting stronger or whatever happened there. (What else could it be? Someone changed the gravitational constant?)

In fact I need to hit the showers and then find some food (what? what? seriously, what?) and then get back to the salt mines. I'm VERY pleased with what I wrote already today.

See, I went to the bathroom at work this morning and was thinking all, Argh! Must get writing done! What's holding me up? And then I thought: Oh, I'm messing around trying to fix what's there so I can keep going. NO MORE! That is ruination at this stage. Just keep going!

I said out loud, "No more rewriting! Just keep going!" Even though the rewriting has been exceedingly fruitful and awesome and story-building and character-creating and increased the awesomeness quotient no end, I really need to crack down and get a FINISHED DRAFT very very soon.

By this time next week, in fact. Did I mention it was very soon?

So I may not be around much is all.

It was fun to take my super cute new haircut to work. People can't stop smiling at me. Awww! I am not kidding when I say it's ridiculously super cute. But fittingly, if that makes sense. It suits me. Also I seem a lot taller somehow. What's up with that?

I tried to take pictures last night but that's so tricky by yourself. They came out hilarious but don't actually show what it looks like at all. How is that possible? Well, it's true.

However I do have this supremely awesome picture even though I'm all slumped down in the chair all unflatteringly and my face was bright red from the heat and the beer. Oh and from laughing my fool head off. Look! My little niece! She had just had a bath and hadn't had her hair brushed yet, in case you're wondering whether she's some kind of feral wolf child. In fact, no!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thwarted by the elements--whence the doom?

Ah! Thwarted! It's all rainy today too. Today was at least forecasted, unlike yesterday. See, that's why I was going to do all those outdoors things yesterday.

You can totally kayak in the rain. It's just kind of cold and miserable. My way is to wear a lightweight blue poncho. I seem to recall I got totally soaked anyway, as one does when covered in impermeable plastic, but at least you stay warmer that way.

The other down side of course is that you're the highest point on a lake and holding a long metal paddle in your hands. Whoops! Not so good if there's any kind of electrical storm, see?

Anyway I seem to have some sort of food poisoning today, no doubt from that heinous soup from last week. Oy! I think a kayak in the middle of a lake is officially the worst place you can be with food poisoning but now that I've said that, I can think of others. On stage in an orchestra, during a concert, for instance?

Did I mention that in the twenty minutes I was outside yesterday, between rain storms, something bit or stung me on my lower lip? I do not think a giant crusty sore is what they mean by bee-stung lips. Not that it was a bee. It was probably one of those frakking deer flies.

I did manage to whack several of them with a satisfying thunk by waving my shallow stainless steel compost bowl over my head while I was out there. Thunk! Brother says there is this electrified tennis racket thing you can get which fries them when you whack them with it. I would spend a lot of time outdoors if I had that, killing every deer fly I possibly could. I hate those things! They make it impossible to enjoy being outside.

Kitty and I were up late due to some sort of frantic large rodent type creature who seemed to have gotten stuck up a dead end inside one of the office walls. How did it get in there? This has never happened before. I've never seen any mice or anything in here, unless kitty brought them in from the garage. So there have been rare mice, all in the first summer I was here, but never inside the house. I mean, INSIDE the house.

Anyway it seems to be gone now. The frantic scratching and scrabbling and chewing behind the baseboard heater was making both of us (well, all three of us, counting the rodent) very very ANXIOUS. Kitty kept yelling about it. Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow! Until I was at the end of my rope and yelling back, "Yes, I know there's a mouse or something! I got it! Stop yelling at me!"

I get all wrought up when the cat yells at me for seven hours straight. Call me sensitive. MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!

I ended up doing Bridget Jones stichomancy to entertain myself. For instance, you say, "There's a rat or something in the walls. What do I do?" And open the book to the part where Bridget discovers Daniel has a giant American stowed away in his apartment, and instantly breaks up with him, obviously. So what you're saying is, move out! Hmm!

As usual that book restored my sense of proportion and sense of humor about things and I conked out just fine.

I'm waiting out my hour before I'm allowed to eat after taking that pill. Though to be honest I'm pretty frightened of food right now.

Hey, maybe if I pour the evil soup outside, the deer flies will eat it and die horribly! Probably not though. Probably the bear would get it. Nooooooo!

Looking at the housing ads in the paper this morning--no, I am not actually moving, biting flies and rats and bears and whatever notwithstanding, just thinking about The Future--brother was absolutely right about 2-3 bedroom houses being only slightly more expensive than this one. I tremble to think of the heat, though. Heating is very expensive here.

This whole plan is totally doing my head in. Beyond the essential fear of not measuring up in vital ways like friend-having and financial security, which I have to say seem very likely to disqualify me, what about other stuff, like who pays for their health insurance? Is it the state? I assume they're covered by the state since they're wards of the state. Because like the no-couch thing, I can't seem to afford that for myself either.

Though I did see lots of useful and inexpensive furniture in the paper also. I mean, getting things like beds and desks for people would be very reasonable. So that's good. Dressers seem to be rare and expensive, however. But we knew that.

I have a lot of questions. I suppose I should ask them of someone who knows one of these days. But I keep thinking of more, so maybe it's good I'm saving them up, right?

It's a week until the end of the month (and my lease) and I don't have a new lease yet. You know how I am about the fleeing thing. I have escape fantasies all the time, no matter what. Get me out of here! The heinous unmanaged troll situation elsewhere combined with no permanence here is making me VERY VERY ANTSY. I keep casting thoughtful glances at the boxes saved up in the garage.

I still like my haircut though. So there's that. It really flatters the shape of my face in ways the old haircut seriously did not at all. In fact I think it's safe to say the old haircut insulted the shape of my face. Is that the opposite of flatter?

There's a whole bunch of cooking to do today, since the soup turned out to be the enemy. Right now I have essentially...potatoes. In the five minutes to edible category, anyway. I have vague plans for some kind of pot pie and also potato soup. I might break down and go to the store, though. The veg supply is alarmingly low.

Ohhhhh, the doom! Whence the doom, people? I am feeling full of dooooooooom! Is doom a side effect of food poisoning? Or of vicious biting flies stabbing you in the lip? Of large rodents in the walls? Whence the doooooooom?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Boing!

I like the part where I sleep and sleep and sleep, but the part where I wake up and realize it's 1:30 in the afternoon and boing out of bed in a panic is not my favorite. I'm late for Saturday!

I did wake up to go kayaking but it began to pour before I even put a foot on the floor, so I went back to sleep. Can't kayak or mow in the pouring rain! And my alarm clock kitty hides from the rain.

Kitty and I keep discussing how different things will be with a dog. For instance, no more sleeping in. EVER. Dogs get you up. Not only up, but out. Outside, where there's weather, and you have to wear clothes and shoes. Suffice it to say kitty and I are enjoying the late sleeping while we can.

I really, really have to start getting to bed earlier, instead of running up a sleep deficit all week and being zombie by Friday then sleeping half of Saturday. Not a good plan!

Maine produced 88 million pounds of blueberries last year. Did you know that? That's a lot of blueberries. Whoa.

Last night I had a very fun time visiting brother and baby niece, who is certainly not a baby at nearly three and is absurdly articulate and independent and capable. She asks very good questions and understands the answers and is curious about interesting things like earrings and how they attach to your ear. She also told me my sparkly nail polish made me look like a lady, which proves she's been brainwashed by cultural gender stereotypes and all, sigh. (Brother says she puts on a baseball cap and says she looks like a man, too.)

When she went to take a bath I was reading my book (Audrey, Wait! excellent) and sipping my beer, but then realized time was passing and I'd better drink up if I wanted to go home any time soon. I'm extra overly triple super careful about alcohol and driving, is all. I have no tolerance at all anymore and I was super tired, right? So I drank that down, and then little niece came barreling into the room waving Fox in Socks at me and climbed on my lap to have me read it to her.

Then she said, "I smell something," and I said, "Oh, that's beer," and held the bottle so she could sniff. And then she sniffed my breath, sniff sniff sniff, which is exactly what the kitty always does, which made me laugh my head off.

And then! Have you read Fox in Socks lately? Have you read it with benefit of one strong beer and a giggly toddler on your lap? Oh my goodness gracious me. It's all tongue twisters, see. It's all about the poodle bottle beetle paddle battle and fox in socks with bricks and clocks. Phew. Suffice it to say it was one of the funniest things I've ever experienced.

I believe there are pictures, too. Wooooo, boy!

Then junior got sent off to bed and brother and I watched Fellowship of the Ring for the umpteenth time on tv which involved a lot of this sort of thing:

me: Legolas has brown eyes again.
bro: Look how heavy that rock wall looks.
me: This scene is awesome.
bro: I hate elves.
me: Maybe Peter Jackson hates elves.
bro: No, Peter Jackson loves elves.
me: (imitating Haldir) I will condescend to assist you in your hour of need, vile unwashed non-elves.
bro: (imitating Haldir) Even though I'm infinitely superior to you in every --gggggaaaaaaaaggggh. (dies)
me: Lean forward! Phew, that worked.
bro: How come some orcs can climb down walls but not others?
me: Obviously they are a sub-species that evolved to suit their current environment.
bro: Climb up! Climb up! Why didn't he climb up? The whip isn't around his ankle now.
me: Nooooooooo! (pretends not to get all teared up for the umpteenth time)
bro: Is the extended scene supposed to be like Purgatorio or Inferno?
me: Hell in the beginning of Paradise Lost, when Satan falls. It's exactly like it. Exactly.
bro: Gandalf is not Satan.

me: Clearly. But it is like hell.
bro: Give them a moment, for pity's sake.
me: Legolas has blue eyes again.
bro: This scene is amazing.

And so on. Ridiculously fun!

We also discussed prices for renting 2-3 bedroom houses and discovered they are within $200 of my current tiny matchbox house. Which is interesting. But then you have to heat them. That's what costs all the money. Plus furniture. I'm the person with one chair and no couch. I mean, even my desk chair is borrowed. Just thinking about the sheer furniture required makes me blanch. Then I start wondering if I could build a couch and consider design schematics in my head, one of my absolute favorite things to do. My dad always said I should have been an engineer, but then I'd say I can't do math, but then he'd say I could if I put my mind to it. Awww. Denial of utter lack of ability! That is so heart-warming, I mean it! Hearts!

But I don't want to live in town where I can hear all those peeeeoooople all the time making all their racket. Tvs and radios and barbecues and all. I mean sure I loved that in Salem. I loved hearing the kids play and the old lady on the other side out working in her garden with Tom Jones playing on her little portable radio. But that was one thing. Listening to Slayer (or whatever the modern equivalent is) would be something else entirely. And this is a retrograde town. They're still struggling their way out of the 70s. Salem was in the 50s, but then, that was ten years ago.

It sure would be convenient to be close to things, though. Schools and doctors and grocery stores and the Department of Health and Human Services and all.

There's time to think about it, thank goodness, since I apparently need to run EVERY SCENARIO in my head, including teen pregnancy. This is how I think things through, we know this. I have to run every permutation I can think of. It's like active worrying or something. I mean, it's productive, not like plain old worrying, because then I'm like, "Okay, I thought about that--done."

Like, what if the kid has a job and needs to drive to get there? Would I acquire a very inexpensive used car? (They are everywhere.) How much would insurance be, though? Would it be prohibitive? Probably. So it would make much more sense to live in town, where there are buses and things are closer.

And so on.

Maybe I can mow with the grass wet. Maybe not, though. I think the push mower just slides over wet grass, from what I remember. It's not showing any signs of warming up and drying out, out there. Wet!

Maybe it's an indoor cleaning sewing laundry writing day! Hurray! I will get the chores out of the way so I can sit down and type maniacally on my laptop as soon as possible! Yay!

Also I might cut my hair to earlobe length again. I'm not too happy with the latest haircut. It's excellently curly and I really like that, but it's also sort of like this long layered Carol Brady mullet. The bottom two inches curl up as though done in rollers. Which I can assure you they were not. I nearly did it last night until common sense reared its non-mullet-having head and told me not to be ridiculous, when I was completely exhausted.

Anyway it looks great if I just braid back the sides like Legolas. Heh. Though then I saw Aragorn and realized, Oh no, I actually have Aragorn hair, just with bangs. It's true.


EXACTLY like this, same length, same layers, same waviness, same unkempt appearance, only red and with bangs. And without any associated hotness or preordained warrior excellence to make it awesome.

Dear oh dear oh dear.

And I don't even have the excuse of a massive, world-saving quest to justify it. OR DO I?

Maybe I should get dressed, in that case, since it's 2:30. Heh heh. Get going!

Leaps and bounds

I tell you, my little niece gets exponentially more awesome every time I see her. Today she told me my sparkly nail polish made me look like a lady, examined my earrings (sparkly snowflakes), asked me why I picked those today (because it was SO HOT OUT), wanted to know how they attached to my ears, had me demonstrate several times, asked for them, held them for a while, then had me put them back.

And so much more.

The funniest part was the beer, though. I was sipping some kind of amazing German beer I would never, ever buy and reading Audrey, Wait! while she had her bath, and then I realized I needed to drink it quicker if I ever wanted to get home, so when she came racing downstairs in her jammies and grabbed a book for me to read, I was a little bit loopy.

She sat on my lap and said, "I smell something." I said, "Oh, that's beer," and held up the empty bottle for her to sniff. Then she sniffed my breath which made me laugh and laugh, this little face leaning in and sniffing, sniff sniff sniff. Then she had me read Fox in Socks, which if you have not read it recently is all tongue twisters about beetle bottle poodle paddle muddle and how Luke licks lakes and things like that. Which is funny anyway but tonight, woo boy, we kept cracking each other up.

I believe her paternal paparrazo took pictures, which I'll have to post, or possibly not. Heh.

Did I tell you the news? The newest addition is a boy. Little brother for my niece! Little brothers are awesome, of course, at least in my experience they are, so I say hurray!

I finished the first skein of yarn on the blanket tonight. It reminded me of knitting the niecely one for ages and ages out in the back patio of our building in L.A., such that my neighbors accused me of knitting it forever (true) and not making any progress (false.) It's a circle so each row is longer. I mean, you can do the math. Each row takes longer until eventually you reach some kind of eternal stasis event horizon and time stops.

Nephew! I saw some ultrasounds but they wig me out. Do not show me ultrasounds unless they are the nice clear kind where it's totally a human person who just happens to be small. Otherwise it looks like a freaky alien gecko and I'm all freaked out. Blargh! But I'm all excited for the little nephew. More so once he starts talking and stuff, to be perfectly honest. Babies aren't my cup of tea.

Foster parenting people get all excited when you say stuff like, "Yeah, I'm not really into babies, and I'd prefer siblings, maybe older ones." Those are the kids who they can't place, see. But I like them housebroken at the very least. I mean, come on!

I kid. But you know what I mean. Right? (Maybe not. Some people get all googly over babies. More for you!)

Actually today I connected with the person in town who is in charge of mentoring the kids through applying to college and figuring that whole thing out. She sounds very overwhelmed and ecstatic to have someone with my ridiculous qualifications so eager to help out. So that could be utterly awesome. If I have superpowers--and I do--one of them is helping people figure out how to succeed at college when they don't have the background or preparation for it.

Tomorrow: kayaking and then mowing. I was wondering which I should do first then decided that it would be better to hit exhaustion while mowing than kayaking, as I would only be stranded in the middle of the lawn, not the middle of a lake. Excellent choice.

I'm completely ridiculously exhausted right now, of course, oh my golly. There were troll attacks again today, which burns up way too much energy, but also I had these absurd personal goals I wanted to meet and did in fact meet them, but again it really cooked me.

Audrey, Wait! was really great, though it lost me a bit at the end with the big speech that resolved everything. But then you will ALWAYS lose me with a big speech that resolves everything. Because of how that is only a book thing and never, ever, ever happens. It doesn't play a part in the universe of humans. It's rhetorical deus ex machina and as such leaves me bitter and disappointed. And then a GOLDEN UNICORN came down and touched them with its SHINY HORN and everything was PERFECT FOREVER AND EVER. It's exactly like that. So don't do it anymore, writers. I mean it!

Especially when the speech is off the cuff. If the person gets to think up what to say, that's actually fine. I guess. Though I still don't like it as much as, you know, telling a story with events and conversations and character arcs and stuff. Especially when it's all a whole book full of events and conversations and character arcs and shoes and mix cds and school lunches and then BOOM. How about if the deus is a deus ex story development? Like if it develops straight out of what happens in the story and feels like this ultimate inevitable thing that's true to the characters and what came before?

Gosh that sort of thing makes me cranky. Almost as much as when a story goes: humans doing human things and being human and then GIANT DRAMATIC GESTURE IN A PUBLIC FORUM that changes everything! Oh, that's what I just said. It applies to juvenile filmmaking too, by the way--see previous rants. Do not do this!

Thinking back I can come up with at least three examples where I did exactly that in my own writing. Just so you know I'm not innocent or anything.

I love going to the YA section of the library and visiting all my book-friends. I mean books that I am so fond of, I have to touch the spines with one finger as I go by. Thank goodness that's totally normal! Plus the thing where I look at the spot where my own books will go. Everyone does that, right? (I have always done that since I was little.) Which is how I know that Going Bovine is *always* checked out. Yay! But King Dork and Andromeda Klein were on the shelf which made me frown. Of course I was happy to see them, but they should be out! Being read!

Speaking of which, okay, I give up. Who's in Oakland? I must know!

I got hold of the new Audrey Niffenegger book, speaking of Audrey. Am very excited to read it! The Time Traveler's Wife completely knocked me sideways, possibly the best book I've read in a billion years, despite the convenient thing we won't talk about. Love that book!



So many books I want to read right exactly now! And write! Aaaaaaaah! I'm scared to wish for writing time in case I get it the hard way, but I really wish I had more time to write and read! More!

Kayak, then mow. Someone needs to come wash the dishes and vacuum for me as I am clearly far too busy and important these days. Okay, good, that's settled.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bowling for anxieties! Strike!

No no no, I mean they got knocked down, boom!

I called up D. and went, Aaaaagh! Blaggle argle blargh! They're never going to let me foster because of the following ways in which I don't measure up! Except even while telling her I was aware they were not-measuring-up anxieties more so than facts, but I needed logical rebuttals.

Too much debt! Medical bills etc. Her answer: everyone has debt. If they didn't let people with debt into the program, they wouldn't have anyone at all. There are further explanations attached, like how having dependents changes your tax situation for the less heinous, and so on. But point being: Don't worry about that.

I don't own my own home! Her answer: Then that's a lot more debt you don't have.

Jeez, I seriously never thought of it like that. Isn't that awesome?

I kind of forgot my other anxieties in the face of her refreshing logic. We are Spock! Win!

Well, there's the one about no support structure, but I'm vigorously pursuing community engagement. Apparently social isolation doesn't motivate me enough to get out of the house, but the fear of not measuring up to these awesome people does.

I got my packet of info in the mail, including a card that gives me a discount to a lot of museums and bowling. Is anyone else feeling a profound urge to go to museums and bowl? Are you allowed to go bowling alone? Is that a thing? You realize I've played racquetball alone for what, twelve years now? Since I used to play with Hisaaki and Liza-Ann and Lori in grad school. Wait, I did play with some kid at Lock Haven who saw me using the court alone and asked if I wanted to play. There, racquetball socialization. In 2005. Once.

I would enjoy bowling because a) I'm ace at anything that involves a ball, and b) I love things where you do it and then you try to do it better, like darts or shooting or skipping stones or shooting baskets or whatever. Not so much with the competitive.

Okay, I do not need a gym, and I do not need to fix my lawn mower, because I achieved a high degree of awesomeness today and mowed 1/4 to 1/3 of the lawn with that high-effort no-motor aerobic muscle-making push mower, oh my blue furry Lords of Kobol, with the pushing and the huffing and puffing and the ow ow ow. It was HARD.

Reasons I adore the push mower:

1) no getting gas all the time
2) greenness
3) exercise
4) no fumes
5) it doesn't try to kill me when it gets away from me on the hills
6) did I mention exercise? because HOLY CRAP

Now I'm typing this with freshly applied clear nail polish which is guaranteed to get all over the keyboard. Why am I a frictionless surface for nail polish? Why must it flee from me so?

I went for the clear since it won't show as bad when it a) gets all over everything and b) chips off almost immediately.

You know how my nails were ripping off layers and splitting and tearing all the time? Now they are way, way worse. Like this: think of running your hand through your hair. Now imagine your hair catches on every nail. Now imagine each place where the hair has caught TEARS OFF a layer of fingernail. That's how things are right now. So much worse than before!

So it is fascinating to me that after a week on this medication that warns it may cause insomnia and weight loss, I sleep all the time, eat like a foraging forest creature, i.e. lightly and vegetably, except for those turkey burgers, mmm, but heck, there are turkeys in my forest, and have gained weight. Like you're totally supposed to lose weight. The pills actually say: Warning! Do not use for weight loss! Okay! Check! Jeez!

Goodness I'm zombified. That mower! What a workout! I did the front yard and half of the south side yard. I did the north side yard and the back yard, or most of it, before the mower broke down the other day. I REALLY wish I'd gotten the path mowed before it broke. It's going to grow over so fast! And I don't think the push mower can cut it. Not with me at the tiller.

Well, maybe. I didn't ever imagine I could do what I did tonight. Raaaarrr! When I started, my calves went crazy and were screaming bloody murder. The screaming of the calves! Can you hear them, Clarice? Actually they just want their mothers. DO NOT under any circumstances live across the street from an Amish dairy with 49 cows, because at one point every year they separate the cows from their calves and then all of them bellow and moo and raise unholy cow hell for days.

But the calf thing, yes! Exactly like when I used to charge off up Mt. Hollywood after a full day at work and my legs would seize up and I'd be hobbling along! And then I asked D. (who knows all) what that was about and she said my muscles weren't getting enough glycogen or something. The gist of it being: sit down for ten minutes and then you'll be fine. So I did that tonight. And I was fine!

I had to stop at the pharmacy and buy a neoprene knee brace on the way out of work, where D. (not to be confused with D.) joked that I'm in there every day. Which I am, because of work, but also because I'm in there buying things every freaking day. Loratidine for allergies! Benadryl! Bandaids! Getting change for a five for illicit Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Whoops. And then today, my knee brace.

That is because my knee is fooked. It is. A piece of cartilage is loose in there and sometimes gets between the joint and then I hobble like a Weeble (they hobble, but they don't fall down) and shake out that leg every sixth step like some kind of possessed Hokey-Pokey person, trying to unkink that joint. It's more uncomfortable than painful but if I put too much weight on it, it's painful all right.

Plus the nurse on the phone was like, "Is it swollen?" and I had to say, "Well, I don't know, I haven't looked at it." Because I live on the inside of myself, people! Why would you look at your own knee to see if it hurts? Anyway I looked and it was indeed swollen up like a cantaloupe.

D. let me try on the knee brace because she's my buddy (see, foster people? support system!) and it felt so good I just left it on.

Now it's drying in the bathroom because of course I utterly soaked it with sweatings.

But I got through all that hugely effortful mowing even with a fooked knee and that is mighty awesome. Actually now I can even straighten it out without pinching the whatever, so maybe it moved. Maybe the brace unfooked it? Here's hoping.

I'm developing a theory about the thyroid pills. I think they are AWESOMENESS pills. But you have to work up to being able to cope with the increased awesomeness. I mean I fooked my knee by hauling that busted three-legged mower up the hill and then overcoming adversity and mowing the rest of the time with the effortful push-monster. The awesomeness was there, but I was in no shape to live up to it, see what I'm saying?

But A.Q. can be increased with effort and time and lots of rrrraaaaaaarrrrrr. I mean, we vanquished the troll. The troll is down for the count! Most excellent!

Low A.Q. results in major half-assery, which I do not like one bit, but which I have been suffering from or committing or engaging in NON-STOP for a very long time now! Argh! Yuck! Half-sewn things! Unwritten books! Unedited books! Argh! Lack of foods I can take for lunch tomorrow, again!

Actually I might zoom to the hateful Hannaford and get some sushi. Is that so wrong? Will I have a massive allergic reaction and spend the weekend a puffy red-faced benadryl junkie? I do not want that. SIGH. I will make some frakking tuna salad, GOSH.

It's entirely possible that the thyroid medication is distilled out of the brains of overwrought teenagers. Do you think? Or does it just revert you? I told you I was aging backwards.

Now it's time for the SPARKLY clear nail polish on top of the plain! And also beer, though that is to be taken internally. Essential after ginormous exercise, believe me. You sweat away crucial beer vitamins, it's true.

I am reading Robin Benway's book Audrey, Wait! and it is absolutely awesome so far. I'm on page 19!

Comfy

Okay, that answers that: writing in the uncomfy chair, no good! I don't know how it got so uncomfortable, maybe just wearing out, but now it hits me in the backs of the legs such that my legs go numb, unless my feet are up on the sewing stool, which isn't ideal either because then my back hurts. And sitting on the floor leaning back against it totally doesn't work because the hard edge cuts me in the spine. Stupid chair!

However, I reassembled the "couch," not with the inflatable bed but like it was before. Only different. Old giant thick mattress pad folded so it's about five by three and a half feet, then two floor cushions on top of that, with a long body pillow along the length like a couch back. The new innovation is the cushions only covering 2/3 of the "couch," which means my feet are lower down (I sit cross-legged for umpteen hours at a stretch) which means the whole thing is somehow infinitely more comfortable and the pressure is off my lower back.

Fabulous! Hurray! Much writing ensued!

Also, how come you never told me about Google documents? You are keeping things from me! Or okay probably you did, time after time, but how come I didn't listen? Argh! It's so much easier. You know I've been carrying my novel around on a flash drive, right? The kind of thing you can drop in your soup or easily lose?

Of course it's backed up everywhere and I emailed it to myself, but still! The cumbersome! Ness!

The couch or sorry I mean "couch" is such a relief. Sitting in that uncomfy chair, man, I get antsier and antsier and my legs start going crazy and I just can't get anything done. Of course I do tend to keel over and fall asleep on the "couch," but that's to be expected.

Because apparently it's sleep day! Not cooking day! I don't know what I'm going to do about food tomorrow. That soup turned out to have entirely zero flavor. I guess I forgot that part, ha ha. It's full of blended spinach and white beans, and that's what it tastes like. Bland to the umpteenth power. Inedible in fact. I'm sure a bunch of salt and pepper and some cumin or something will fix it right up. Some soy sauce maybe. It's like cream of paper soup right now. With all the words boiled off.

I guess I answered the question about what I'm taking for lunch tomorrow.

Explain to me how I can keep on gaining weight when I did NOT gain any weight on the smoothie/ice cream/extra fat Greek yogurt diet, but on the fresh veg and fruit and only rare carbohydrate diet where I never even make rice, I'm constantly gaining weight. Explain that to me, will you? In plain calories, this is completely impossible. Have the laws of mathematics been suspended? What in short is the what?

Haircut tonight! I had to level off the bangs trim from yesterday, and then started whacking off frizzy edges here and there, and then it turned into a full-scale trim. I'm hoping it didn't swerve into Carol Brady. Only tomorrow's shower will tell! I kept all the length, just rejuvenated the layers. Oh, I sound like a haircutting person. Wait, I'll talk about product next. "You need some product." Really, product? What the frak is product? The entire grocery store is full of products. A tank is a product. Shampoo is a product. Fish is a product. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE MEAN BY PRODUCT?

I don't get along with haircutters. It's because in a previous life, when I was a cranky but benevolent dictator, one day a rebellion arose in the land. But my security was so good, they couldn't get near me. But then they cunningly sent a haircutter to get close to me and get me to lower my guard so he could slice off my head and parade it around town on a stripy pole! But I am way too paranoid for that and palmed one of his haircutter tools from the tray, so when the scissors "slipped" toward my jugular, I filleted the haircutter with his own straight razor. Plus the haircut was terrible. He had it coming, trust me. So instead I had his head paraded around town on a stripy pole and grew my hair down to my ankles and lived to reign long and well in a land full of flowing locks and a bustling hairbrush and barrette trade.

The end. True story!

I say that after every book I read to my little niece. The end. True story! And she says, "True story!"

Last weekend she leaned over the end of the couch and said to me: "These aren't the droids you're looking for." I laughed and laughed and laughed.

The end. True story!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Perfect rainy

It's raining just right! It's cool enough to exist, everything's getting dark outside. It's one of those evenings when no one really drives by. I always wonder whether that's tv related. Big game, or something? Unknown.

Ugh! I'm fighting this really stupid and exhausting battle against someone being nasty and petty and destructive. Now, I've met the internet. I know how to deal with that on the internet. Don't feed the troll! In reality, don't feed the troll gets grabbed by the troll and used by the troll as, "I didn't know!" Sure sure, protestations of innocence. You didn't know something someone told you to your face very clearly with four witnesses. Mm hmm.

I do not really believe trolls are curable, but then I don't have cure the troll, just make it stop bothering ME.

In related news, I am having absolutely delectable fun with the troll character in my book. Horrible people are such fun to write. And she will come to a BAD END, mark my words. Oh yes. But first she's going to do all sorts of terrible sneaky smarmy things. Manipulative, passive-aggressive things. Breaking the law, being mean for the fun of it, amoral things.

Yet another Thursday! Goodness, they just keep on coming.

Today I went to give blood over lunch. It was awesome of course, and prosaic, and full of the usual story highlights, like the phlebotomist looking my arm over and making hmm noises, telling me I have deep veins, marking places with a sharpie, and then coming back with a giant needle and going JAB exactly perfectly right the first time. And then they always get very impressed with how fast I can bleed out a pint. I don't know why I'm such a record-setter, since I have low blood pressure, but hey! I'll take the impressed praise anyway.

I love Red Cross phlebotomists! So very very awesome at what they do!

Apparently there's this new fancy thing you can do called apheresis? Wait, is that the word? I looked it up. Yes, that's it. It's a two hour process where they take blood out and remove the platelets and put the rest back in. I saw a doctor having it done while I was there today. It's cool! I totally want to do it. You can do it 24 times a year! Whoa! And you can still give blood! Isn't that amazing? We are just amazing beings. It's especially used for cancer patients and people who have bone marrow transplants.

The closest place to do it is Portland but I could see driving the couple of hours down for a personal weekend apheresis festival every so often and then playing in the city and seeing the sights. Going to Trader Joe's. Living large! I wouldn't drive down all that way just for larks but heck, if I could justify it with the whole SAVING LIVES thing, man, sign me up. I call that win win win.

Anyway I'll totally fill out the card and mail it in. Okay, I filled it out. Whee! Plus then I get to say plateletpheresis which is a pretty awesome word you must admit, with the Greek and the Romance plate in there amongst it. It reminds me of that river in Argentina and Uruguay called River Plate. Pronounced like the thing you put your dinner on. Because it's wide and flat, just like the Platte river in Nebraska, but how it got the Plate name, I do not know.

It's disconcerting to hear Argentine soccer commentary during a River Plate game because they have that one accent that still makes me swoop my head around and stare with big eyes, which alarmed quite a few Argentine tourists on Mt. Hollywood, I can tell you, in their blue and white jerseys, but also because in amongst the burry voices with the sibilants and gentle rolled Rs there is "River Plate" which sounds like Doug from Ohio is saying it.


SO TOTALLY NOT ANY KIND OF SEGUE THING NUH-UH

Hey, so guess what I learned about foster parenting? They check out you very thoroughly, which I knew, but I did not know they checked on whether you have friends and a support network. Uh-oh! I do not, on either count. Well, you can see why they'd want to know that sort of thing! Kids can make you crazy. I've been having an argument in my head all day (between troll attacks) with an imaginary foster counselor person, where I argue that all the wonderful people I know at work totally count as friends, even though now I don't even see them any more, and we don't have conversations, or even say hi, because I work in this other building. And we've never done anything outside work, not even had lunch. But still, friends, right?

Yeah, I'm not buying it either. I adore many of them, and I have given them my phone number and said, "We should totally do something together! Let's have lunch! Let's go to a movie! Let's go to Target!" But as that does not ever result in actual activity, I'm afraid we aren't friends by any meaningful definition. Friends: they do stuff together. They trade phone numbers. They go over to the other person's house and watch Glee.

Isn't it pathetic to ask people to be your friends all the time and have them just...not? Sad. Good thing I have many robust memories of all those amazing friends elsewhere to remind me that it ain't me.

You can play the next refrain: GOSH I miss L.A., where I had a million awesome friends who wanted to go get pie and talk all day about interesting things! GOSH I should move to Portland (Oregon) where I have a million awesome friends who want to get pie and talk all day about interesting things!

I'm in the wrong milieu, I realize this. There might be a right milieu here somewhere. Remember how Husson so was not it? Ha ha ha. But I feel like there still might be one here somewhere, if I could figure out where and then crack the code to get in.

Well, I read Demon's Covenant again and I'm confirmed in my original read: the plot is confoundingly obscure. Everyone is lying, true, but it's also just utterly unclear what the hell is going on. Who's doing what in the where now? Who's betraying whom? Why does he go with them? What's the point of that whole elaborate double-blind set-up when it didn't matter in the least? So basically the entire book is FOR NOTHING because what happens in the end is what we didn't want to have happen in chapter one. Only worse.

Of course I'm in love with all the characters and I completely I loved all the separate parts to distraction, but it did not add up, I'm sorry to say. C.J. Cherryh's books do that sometimes, including ones that I've read twenty times and completely adore and would list among my top thirty favorite books of all time. Excellent book! Plot does not remotely hang together. But who cares? Awesome characters! Wonderful scenes! I get to the end and think, "Wait just a minute...."

Anyway, Demon's Covenant, yay! Great book. If you're not too picky about the plot making sense. Excellent feisty and redoubtable heroines and of course fabulously hot Nick scenes, which is after all what we're there for. YA begets YA, too. I checked out an awesome batch of books from the YA section of the library today. Can't wait!

How come rainy nights make me feel like I'm doing exactly the right thing in the right way at the right time? I love that! No wonder I was so happy in Oregon. And I never get sick of it! I get sick of wet hair, and wet feet, and wet mail, and wet housepets, but not rainy nights when I'm inside and warm and dry and listening to it pour down.

That, interspersed with moments where I think: "It's the 21st. I still don't have a lease. I could blow this popsicle stand next week. Literally next week! I could pack and just go." If I had the funds to do so, heh heh. Which I don't. I mean I'll have the rent, and I can get through the next few weeks with gas money and produce, but that's it. Vacations! They come at a price. Even when they're involuntary.

But anyway, garden! Dog! Non-friends whom I like! Baby niece! Siblings! In-laws! Out-laws! Ospreys and eagles and turkeys! A whole batch of little baby turkeys flew up the dirt road today, shepherded by their anxious parents and aunts and uncles. Baby turkeys fly very well! When grown-up turkeys fly, they're so huge that it's so loud and disruptive, it scares the hell out of you. The wee ones are so cute!

Oh, day. Another one tomorrow. I have a troll eradication summit and am hoping things will progress well from there. Shall I tackle that half-sewn dress? What say you? Excelsior!

Samosa ingredients diaspora

My, what a long and tiring day! I think my new medication secretly is designed to make me cook and sleep, sleep and cook, cook and sleep and eat and cook. Because all I do, I don't know if you're picking up on this, is SLEEP AND COOK.

And go to work, obviously, but that's a given. Show up! Cheerfully accomplish 10-key miracles all day long! Go home! Time to cook and sleep!

Today I made turkey burgers out of that ground turkey plus finely diced onion, sage, black pepper, and salt. The idea was to combine essential stuffing flavors with the turkey burger, nicht wahr? IT WAS SO GOOD. Am genius! I also cut some French fry shapes out of sweet potatoes and grilled them too, or rather griddled. I mean it's not a grill with holes in it. It's a flat smooth surface. Except for where the tortillas bonded permanently that one time. (Mmmm, tortillas. I am craving them like a madwoman lately.)

And plus! I made spinach! But it was not a fancy food, just: spinach. I LOVE spinach.

Then I washed one million dishes. Then I baked oatmeal cookies. Then I washed those dishes too.

I kept watching Doctor Who episodes, see. If I put a dvd into the laptop in the kitchen, I will keep on doing kitchen things until I run out of episodes. That's what happened Sunday or whenever that was. Jeez, was it only two days ago that I had my last ridiculously over the top excessive cooking and baking bonanza?

I guess it was!

So now I have turkey burgers and a baked sweet potato for tomorrow. I might have to make those yam fries all the time because it entertains me unduly to hold one up to the kitty and say, "Yam fry! Yam fry! Yam fry!" He goes sniff sniff sniff and then looks at me like I'm daft as a brush. Yam fry! Yam fry. Yam fry!

Cook and sleep! Sleep and cook!

Maybe the medications are actually Self-Preservation Pills? Because they are doing a mighty good job, with all this excellent and seriously healthy food. I mean it is all varied and nutritious and fulfilling all those roles as far as vitamins and orange and leafy greens and fruit and lean meat! And nearly zero refined anything! It's pretty awesome. It's like if I said, "Hey, can we turn my cooking and food-based self-care-taking abilities from about a 2 to a 9.6?" And we did. Yay!

I'm still scared all fresh out of bejeebers by those weeping angel things. As absurd as the episode was, it TERRIFIED me. Oy! I love that about Doctor Who. It can be big dopey waddling alien things or some absurd thing and it scares you loopy or makes you cry. Awesome! I really tremendously adore this show.

And corn on the cob! Sorry, I forgot, I had that for dinner too. Oooh, it was such a good dinner. Turkey burgers (no bun, obviously), a sliced up tomato as a nod toward ketchup, yam fries (yam fry! yam fry!), spinach, corn on the cob. It was a feast!

I have this secret plan to make a giant smoothie to drink in the morning, what with how apple pie is leaving me famished and hollow and taking bites out of my desk but 10:00.

Hey! So you know how I can't ignore a ticking clock no matter how long I listen to it, and the ceiling fan downstairs of my old apartment drove me nearly mental, and I had to sleep with earplugs for TWO MORTAL YEARS because of the infernal racket? And of course the mockingbird. Oh my golly the mockingbird.

Well that whole array is called variously sensory integration disorder, sensory integration dysfunction, sensory processing disorder, and so on. (I couldn't remember the name but I remembered the initials, hence the mystifying header.) Specifically sensory modulation disorder. Blah blah blah, it means I can't tune out sounds, and in fact FOCUS on them when they're bothering me, and then it becomes physically distressing all out of proportion to what you might think it would.

It was so great to read that today, as I was practically hysterical because I couldn't NOT hear a radio. I mean it's still an alarming trait to have, but how incredibly comforting to know that this is a recognized thing, not just some tweak in the brainbox, right? I was so glad to learn that. Seriously overreacting is completely part of the package, too. Hurray!

So yes, that is torture to me. Like actual torture. It was funny to read some of the articles and see them mention things like having unpleasant textures or substances on your hands. One of my earliest memories was freaking out over dried mud on my hands. Oh boy, I don't even like thinking about that. Wet mud, perfectly fine! Glorious! Will play in it all day! But dried mud, or dried bread dough, those are pretty intolerable. Or that nasty nasty hand sanitizer gel/alcohol that dries into a sticky tight glove feeling. ACK.

Hi! Yes, just busy being validated and stuff. It's fascinating to read about Asperger's traits like that. Like one of the things they recommend for summery ingredient donuts is to live somewhere quiet and isolated. Ha ha ha! You mean, like a little house in Maine out of earshot or sight of any other human beings? Phew, yes. Good spot!

Anyway when something is driving you to the brink of nutsorama it's so very nice to discover it's a known thing. Again. I'm sure I remember figuring this out before. All you have to do is Google something like Asperger's and ticking clock and there it is.

Once my parents came home from vacation and my dad couldn't find his watch because I'd buried it deep in some drawer to stifle the beeps every quarter of an hour. It was making me frantic! And various friends all around the shop have discovered clocks unplugged or the batteries taken out when I've stayed over. Yeah, can't do that rhythmic cyclical sound thing. Or rather I can't NOT do it. It has to stop.


There's another cool and familiar thing called sensory defensiveness. But enough about my fascinating navel!

Doctor Who, yay! And guess what? I thought I was nearly done with David Tennant's last season, only to discover there is A WHOLE NOTHER ONE!!! Holy crap! That's so fabulous I can't even tell you! I was stretching this one out, dragging it out, really, putting off watching the dvds, and then discovered--whoa, season 4. Who knew?

I mean, besides everyone.

I didn't get to watch tonight's Eureka but I'm very much looking forward to it. I love how they just up and changed reality by going back in time, just like everyone always warns you will but then it never happens. I get the feeling James Callis won't be sticking around long term, but I don't really know. Anyway I'm delighted to know there is a whole hour of cute boys from freaky science Oregon waiting for me on the old DVR. Oh boy!

Whoops, have to get to bed. Is this the insomnia thing finally kicking in? But that to me means you're so tired and go to bed and can't sleep. It's not insomnia if you're having too much fun to go to bed, is it?

Actually I'm drinking water like a dutiful water drinking thing, having neglected my beverages all evening such that I'm utterly parched now. This happens. I get busy!

Has it felt like Thursday all week to anyone else? So very Thursdayish. You've got that Thursday feeling. Wo-oh that Thursday feeling. You've got that Thursday feeling 'cause it's gone, gone, gone. Wait, what?

I think I'm having data hypnosis aphasia. With the Sumatran identity dalliance and all.

No nightmares about stone angels, okay? Okay. I got way too scared by that. Things moving that shouldn't be moving. Brrrrr. But here's a comforting thought: a whole big fez full of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. Oh boy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Four hours ago

Whoops. Do you ever come home from work and change and then just lie down on top of the comforter for a little while? Just to rest a bit before your energetic and strenuous evening of doing many things?

Do you ever fall asleep for four hours when you do that? Ack! Where is Mr. Feline Wake-Up Call when I need him?

If you ever decide to saute some of that defrosted ground turkey in with the onion prior to adding potato and egg for a melange that causes alarming flashbacks to when the former future in-laws kept trying to mold you into some kind of archaic South American elitist ideal of a perfect wife, make sure you break up the ground turkey even in your sleepy flashback alarm state, or it will cook in long bumpy strands that look exactly like mouse entrails.

Still, isn't it good that life no longer features mouse entrails on the bathmat? Or archaic elitist ideals blah blah blah?

It's a sign of Passing Time that I'm no longer chagrined that I apparently failed all their tests (especially the one where they tried to force me to learn to tango) and was rejected from the family because of it, but because I stood up for myself and refused to grant anyone's right to set tests and skills challenges for my right to marry whoever the frak I want. No one has that right. The fact that *he* believed they did is yet another sign that it was doomed from the beginning. Doomed! With doom!

They would have been some cute kids though. Shut up, yes, that's what I think about when I watch the Argentina team play.

So what is that dish called, with the mouse entrails and potatoes and eggs and onions and spices? You're supposed to make it in a frying pan and I think possibly cook it in the oven in the same pan. It's super good, partly because you can't tell the egg is in it. It's so good, I ate the whole thing, even while thinking of judgy former future in-laws AND mouse entrails.

Though to be fair, it's pretty hard to put me off my feed.

Also I was in a stupor. Dang, what is that called?

TORTILLA! I knew it was a word that means something else to me most of the time! That's it, tortilla. Phew.

I mean, it's obvious, the prejudice against looking and culturally being Indian, and toward looking and culturally being Spanish instead. Even though it's totally embarrassing in a post-colonial kind of way and you kind of can't believe people aren't a little more aware of how racist that is. But then of course if your ancestors are from there, or some or all or most of them are, and that's the boss culture, I guess you believe in their supremacy. It's still ooky, like people who are all, "My ancestors came over on the Mayflower," and look proud, and you're like, "Yes, and?"

You didn't go to college with people like that? Who would talk about Plymouth Rock? Or find out their grandfather is the other roommate's corporate attorney for their Fortune 500 company? And them still somehow never have cash for pizza so I had to pay? LUCKY.

Sigh. I can't believe I broke from delicious orange food and accidentally made the oppressive patriarchal judgy cruel family rejectionist food of oppression. Not to mention the traumatic tango memories where I just put my foot down and everyone was all SIGH and SAD and I GUESS THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK OUT. Excuse me?

What's next, paella? (Mmmmm....I got really good at paella. But no, is oppressive and wrong!)

Hi! Did I mention I just slept half a night of nap? I'm looped. The last thing I remember was snuggling with the kitty on the bed and deciding Tallulah was a great name for a dog. So I called out, "TalLUUUUULah!" and the kitty turned his ears to see if she was going to come bounding down the hallway. Yay! Yay! Yay!

Kitty knows a dog call when he hears one. He's going to be wigged at first but he will be so happy to have a dog around, I can't even tell you.

Okay maybe you didn't grow up with that thing where every time you try to express something, like say how you feel at parties, or how this person's behavior bothers you, your mom (and by extension now your siblings) ARGUED with you about it and told you that you were wrong. But I did! Whatever you are feeling, you're doing it wrong. If you're upset about something, you're feeling sorry for yourself. Etc.

So it's been just freaking gloriously awesome lately to go to various people I don't really work with but adore and say, "XYZ! Ack! Blah!" and they say it back to me in their own version, like they go, "I know, like when you're XYZ and then it's all ABC! Like this one time I la la la la la," and it's EXACTLY THE SAME, and they UNDERSTAND and validate and all that stuff! It's amazing! It's awesome!

The arguing thing? Don't do that. Don't ever do that. Don't argue with people's feelings. Maybe you disagree with their take on things and don't even think it's legitimate, but they have a right to their experiences and feelings. Try this instead of arguing or shutting them down: "Wow, that sounds really frustrating." Or this: "I think it's so great how well you're dealing with it."

I mean, basic humanity 101, right?

It's funny because I practically wail, "You understand!" and fall on the floor weeping on their ankles. Practically, I said. Mostly I just wail, "You understand!" and then ask them to adopt me. Heh.

I was too tired and benadrylled up to write at lunch. I mean, I couldn't hardly work out the logistics of food goes in mouth. So I read a couple of chapters of my book, because of that work ethic and whatnot. (A good thing I got from the crazypants brigade.) And as I thought, it's awesome when it sticks to, "This is a mystery, in which our heroine investigates a murder," but it's rambly and kind of sucky when it's all, "This is some historical meandering about, revisiting old locations."

The rambly parts are totally fun, of course! Very very fun! But all throughout are my notes in big red capitals saying, "MAKE IT PAY." It can't just be fun parts. It has to pay off as far as the mystery and our heroine's personal gack cough, sorry, I was about to say "personal journey" but gagged on it. Hyuck, blargh. Let's say ARC. Yes. Arc. Anyway point being all that fun stuff has to pay off both for mystery/plot and for arc or it feels very treading-watery, very "the author is having a fun time writing this and forgot that we are here reading it."

That is oh so bad. Indulgent! Though I'm a big fan of writing out whatever it going on in the story in your head right then and sorting it out later. I don't know really believe you can have editor brain and writer brain at the same time. At least I can't. Editor brain has to read it and think about it and write notes, and then writer brain comes through and goes, "Ah, a note! What does it say? Make this scene about the teapot. Will do!" without worrying about why or how that fits into the rest of the story.

I write very clear notes.

At work I'm always leaving notes that mean absolutely nothing to me when I see them again. I found one today, a yellow post it that said something like this:

5    35476
6    24558

Now what can that possibly mean?

It's a peculiar Jekyll and Hyde feeling, seeing notes in my own handwriting that date to within a week of today (because of the move) without the slightest clue what they could possibly even begin to mean. Not even a clue what realm they might belong to. It happens ALL THE TIME at work. I suppose it seems so blindingly obvious I don't write an explanation, but isn't that even scarier?

Very mysterious.

I JUST REALIZED WHAT THOSE NUMBERS ARE. Chapters and word counts. Yay! No wonder I couldn't figure out what work thing they belonged to!

Don't worry, at least half of chapter 5 is material that's going to get chopped out. I can't chop it out yet or I'll be looking everywhere for it. Wait, where's that scene where they...?

PHEW.

I might actually make tortilla without the mouse entrails one of these days, the proper way, so it's a cake like that (oh, ha ha! tortilla! I get it!) instead of sort of scrambled like mine. Also, dude, I microwave the potatoes first. Because of some rift in the universe, potatoes do not cook in a pan for me. (I assume I'm doing something wrong, but what? They don't cook. They stay raw on the inside long past the rules of physics would imply.) But if you microwave them first, this is all done in an instant.

Guh, did you read those directions? Turn the entire cake over by using a plate over the frying pan, over the sink? That just sounds like a recipe for pure disaster. Flip a hot frying pan full of half-cooked omelet? Are you trying to burn me up?

I'm trying to imagine forcing a potential mate person to learn to cook American ancestral foods of import, like...grilled cheese sandwiches, or macaroni and cheese, or cheeseburgers. Or you know, just cheese. And being all, "SIGH, you are not worthy," if he only learns half of them and won't do the chicken dance, and sending the person on his way.

Dear younger self: tell people like that, even if it's your own parents, to go jump in the lake. No one has the right to judge a person that way. Frak 'em. Sincerely, your future self

Narrowing the suspects

Y'all, I have giant red face again and my left eye is swelling shut. BUT! It's very good in the sense that I'm narrowing the suspects. Yesterday I used this one Neutrogena calming whatever lotion on my hands, but I also used that orangecicle bug spray earlier. I swear it has to be one of those. I think I've caught the hand lotion doing me in before. But I'm suspicious of the bug spray, too.

This is the excellent plus side to being super careful about pure and holy foods, Mother Nature, right? Because I can rule them out! In no way is it possible that any of the pristine ingredients consumed yesterday have set this off! Yay!

It would make me very happy to find out it's not food causing this lately after all. Lock up your chefs!

Want to hear some other good news? Deer fly season seems to be winding down! Hurray! It's hard to remember when you're being swarmed on by bugs that bite as hard as a stapler that it only lasts a month or so.

Truthfully it started last night, so I'm running on a benadryl hangover already, and just took two more. Oh my zombie days. Oh my giddy aunt. Maybe it'll cool down now that I've taken my little pink friends again, right?

Right, panic. That is an effect of the reaction. Breathe! It's going to be okay.

Frauen-Weltmeisterschaft!

Ooh! You can totally be a volunteer for the Women's World Cup next year in Germany! I don't know why I filled out the forms but I did. And then they emailed me in German because you have to know German to do it, obviously!

I love getting email in German. Liebe Margaret, they said, vielen Dank für deine Motivation und Bereitschaft, uns als Volunteer bei der FIFA Frauen-Weltmeisterschaft 2011(TM) zu unterstützen.


Frauen-Weltmeisterschaft 2011! YAY!


It sounds so, I don't know, world-mastership-y when you put it that way! No wonder Germany plays so hard in the World Cup if it's going to make them masters of the world! Ship!


Also, how cool that I unterstützt something without even realizing it. Awesome. I'm totally not even going to go through with the application, though, because 1) someone will call me up on the phone to make sure I really speak German, and I'm all rustig. That's rusty to you. And b) I don't exactly think they're paying airfare and hotel for the duration, see what I'm saying?

Just think, though. How insanely blissed out would I be the whole time?

Consider the traits of the event:

1. soccer
2. women's soccer (which makes for better tournaments--see below)
3. international sports
4. lots of languages
5. volunteering
6. Frauen-Weltmeistershaft! which totally sounds like women rule the world!

Reasons why women's tournaments are so much better than men's:

1. no diving
2. they don't lose heart if they're down a goal--in fact, they fight harder
3. the play is exactly as good if not better
4. there are no prima donnas. you only get that with men's soccer
5. less fouling, and nearly zero of that deliberate vicious fouling
6. the stands are full of little girls who are watching awesome women compete internationally and growing up to think that is totally just how it is, that they are born to the birthright of awesomeness. YAY!

Yes!

Why am I not asleep? Because I had clothes in the dryer and a pie in the oven. The pie is now out! And so are the clothes! The sheets are on and all's right with the world.

Well...nobody vacuumed this weekend. Alas. But I can vacuum tomorrow, can't I? Sure! So quit worrying about it. How come I worry about it much more than I used to? Because now I have dark rugs and a blond cat and that means very visible fur after not too long at all. Oh the fur!

It got down to 50% humidity today, practically bone dry compared to lately. Oh, it felt so good! Things dried out! Well, not the basement, since the washer poured water everywhere, and the dehumidifier was still up here. In fact the few unwrapped pipes were dripping condensation again, first time since the great mold eradication adventure of 2009 that's happened. Note to self: get more pipe wrap.

I devised a workaround for the washer drain issue. Yes! I fixed it. It's inelegant but has the definite advantage that the water goes entirely into the drain pipe and nowhere else, for the first time since...EVER. Also I cleaned the filter thingy a bit and now the water actually flows in like it's supposed to. I think I figured a way to get them out and really clean them.

Also I'm suddenly extremely glad I have the Cylon water filter on the faucet. There's debris in the water. You get this with wells when it pours a whole heck of a lot, I guess? Is that true? Anyway I have a well and I have it, so there we go. Jeepers, though. I didn't really examine it to see what it was. Probably flecks of rust or something, right? Not, I don't know, NEMATODES?

Brrrr, shiver. Thank you, Cylon head! I know your red eye is almost completely across and you need a new filter soon! I will get you one asap! Like maybe tomorrow!

Okay I DID WAY TOO MUCH TODAY. First I slept too much. Then I washed dishes too much. (Though the right amount for the amount of dishes, it was too much in the scheme of today.) Then I cooked too much, while watching too many Doctor Who episodes. There were far too many frelling Daleks. Then I mowed the grass the right amount (well, short, actually) but with far too much effort expended. Then I baked apple pie. Okay, that was the right amount.

I can't even remember what I cooked. The fridge is full of delicious things, though. Like you open it up and go, "Wow, look at all the delicious things! Which one will I eat?" And then you have a choice. I know!

There was that soup I made last night. Mmmmm. Curried chicken salad. Hummus. Apple pie. Pancakes. I think that might be it but that's a lot. Ask my feet. They are screeching in pain. And I even wore shoes half the time.

I have to go to sleep now! Guess what, it's even cool enough that I might not have to have a fan blowing directly on me all night. Whoa!

Tomorrow's a new day, full of many exciting possibilities! And enough 10-key to stun an ox! Have earbuds, will type.

Hope you have a great week, internet!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Duuuuuude

My modern conveniences are all going belly up.

The washer now pours half its water on the floor since the landlord "fixed" it. I am a slightly cynical person so I sort of wonder if that's his response to my complaints that it was pouring a couple of cups of water on the floor with each load of wash. Nawwwww.

It also seems to have clogged water filters or something because it times out when filling. He was going to come back and fix that. (Ahahahaha. Aha. Ha.)

Anyway he's on vacation all week or something. OH yeah he was going to bring the lease over Friday when he came to fix the clogged filters. What's today? The 18th?

Oh! And the wheel fell off the mower while I was cutting the grass. Calamity! Just...fell off! I pushed the mower aside and went to get the non-motor-having antique super-green push mower. You know, the one that takes so much effort! It's like pushing a car! Actually if you looked into the ergs I suspect it would be close.

So I finished this patch of lawn near the house, with much panting and heaving and sweat of my brow and all, but there's still the faraway patch where there may or may not have been a snake that one day.

I suppose it's nice and educational to experience the difference between "tired, don't wanna" and "OH MY GOD MY ARMS ARE GOING TO FALL OFF." Yes.

Also, it's just the pin that held the wheel on, none of the crucial drive components or the motor or anything. A pin! I can probably buy one and replace it myself. I have to disassemble the wheel assembly but that's just a matter of sitting on the garage floor and doing it. Hey! I have motivation! In the form of the very effortful backup push mower!

Man that thing kills my hands.

All other mechanical conveniences are working perfectly, you'll be pleased to know. I might just list them.

dehumidifier
fans (several)
iron
dryer
well pump
water heater
computer
modem
crock pot
food processor
immersion blender

Goodness. That's a lot. That's just from last night and today.

You know there's a scythe with a five foot blade in the rafters of my garage, right? In case I have to go back even further in time in terms of lawn mowing technology. Though I might prefer a flock of sheep. Plus, sweaters! And mutton! And lamb!

Which reminds me of something idiotic. Silence of the Lambs. What was the idea there? That lambs were being slaughtered? Well, that's so dumb. Lamb = sheep up to a year old, not a cute little baby fluffy critter. When people slaughter lambs, that's what they mean. You cannot even tell by looking at them that they're not regular sheep, except they might be a bit skinnier and cleaner. Though probably not. Sheep = dirty mops. That have been mopping poo. And have never been washed.

Anyway. That has always bugged me. I suppose someone heard "slaughtering lambs" and didn't check into the details of what it actually means. I can't remember who set me straight, since obviously I did not grow up on a farm, but it was someone who did and who pointed out that that scene was idiotic.

Though it's kind of fun to imagine Jodi Foster staggering down the road with a 200 lb. lamb on her shoulders, with "Baaaaaaaaaaa" trailing off into the distance.

A-line

I think I have to sew this. Possibly a lot of these.

Oh, here are pictures:




The first one is the simplest stretchy A-line skirt ever. No, simpler would be not to seam it up the center fronts and backs, but that would take more fabric (because you have to lay them out and cut them all on the same orientation).

I just realized how hard that is to explain in words. Sewing and knitting are REALLY hard to spell out in words, actually. Also cake decorating, for that matter. Hand things? What's the common factor? And writing is impossible, so there's that. You can talk about it after you do it but the actual doing of it, I'm not sure I believe it's something that can be communicated. (One way to tell I'm a writing teacher, isn't it?)

Well, picture the fabric having a directional pattern on it, like sock monkeys on bikes. You want all the bikes to be going the same direction. Tour de Sock Monkey! Otherwise the fabric will act weird and hang funky and essentially it Will Not Work. Big manufacturers have fancy ways of laying out pieces and cutting them for maximum use and minimum waste, but if you're just you, you won't have the advantage of volume. So laying out pieces like that could easily waste a lot of fabric.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. If it's stretchy jersey, buy another 1/4 yard and spend what, a dollar? ANYWAY.

Point being, I have to make some of those awesome A-line skirts! I normally make straight skirts with the lamest possible elastic waists because they're super easy look good on me and why not?

Fascinating to think of sewing them out of stretchy material like that. They wouldn't need the elastic. I don't have overlock or serger capability but I've sewed plenty of stretchy things in my time, haven't I? Have I? Surely I have. Hmmm.

Well, I'm not paying $49 for a skirt that doesn't even come in my size, that's for darn sure. I feel certain I can reverse engineer this just from the picture and make awesome skirts I'll wear forever.

Skirts in catalogs: the single greatest source of sewing impetus in the world!

The other thing I have to sew is knee-length shirt-dresses. Yep. I'm not going to put a belt on them, either, so don't even think about it. The trick is to make them not look like nightshirts when you do that, though.

You know what I wear almost all of every weekend? Those dresses I made from cutting the tops off one t-shirt and sewing the resultant skirt to another t-shirt. I'm wearing one right now! Also I woke up with plans circling in my head for sewing some kind of Empire dress to these shelf-having racerback tank tops to make light and comfortable dresses, instead of racerback tank tops I never, ever wear because the lower hem inexorably rolls itself up to my sternum. (I'd get rid of them, but they're BLUE.)

But a dress attached would hold it down. Right? Yeah! Hmmm. I might look like a ballerina hippo in a dress like that but I would be SUCH a happy one! (They always look so happy, come to think of it!) And anyway NO ONE sees what I wear at home! And if they did and didn't like it, I would cheerfully invite them to bite me! Done and done!

Man oh man, there's fabric for all these skirts, but I haven't coped with the essential top problem, which is: I wear black v-neck t-shirts most of the time. It's just not really dressy enough for all my fancy skirts, is all. I'm probably going to lay one out on some fabric and cut out a top that way. The blouse patterns are just doomed not to fit me, alas. The measurements are so far off of mine in every way (small, large, wrong) that the alterations required would produce something else entirely. That would not fit. And wouldn't even get to the point of not fitting because I have no idea how to alter patterns that way. Have you looked at the pieces? It's a big mystery. Alas, alas!

They don't make blouse patterns for people shaped like me, with broad shoulders and all the rest. No, really, they don't. I looked. They think people are shaped another way, no matter what the size. AND I like things loose or I get all panic-attacky, plus I like shirts to be long and keep their distance. Plus I can't make buttonholes.

You can see why my blouse-making endeavors have all ended in tears, or at least thwartedness. I'm just glad I did the math before cutting into any fabric. Well, cutting out and holding up these eensy little pattern pieces was enough to tell me to stop right there. In future I'll read the measurements on the pattern envelope. Wait, no, in future I won't get them at all. Hurray!

In sum, creativity required if I'm going to have any clothes to wear that aren't my (aging AND unsuitable) black v-neck t-shirts. I have to be able to make them not look like scrubs, which is extremely difficult if it's just a v-neck t-shirt shape, especially out of woven cotton, and not look like nightshirts, which is very difficult if it's a long shirt shape. Especially since I tend to wear them with leggings. And slippers. And a red nightcap. And carry a teddy bear.

Skirts, though. Those are easy.