Monday, July 31, 2006

Troy = Luckier than your average Troy

You all may remember that I had mentioned Troy's qwest for an iPod here and in the Geek Girl podcast. Well, Adam Curry*, of the Daily Source Code, has been running a contest to see who could register the most creative URL, with GoDaddy, that says why that person needs an iPod more than Troy. The prize would be a Video iPod, of the type Troy was wanting.

The contest was due to end last Friday, but it was extended a week.

Then, this morning, came the shocker.

You see, Troy** had been receiving hate mail about his iPod fundraising efforts. He had gathered $57.01 as of a few minutes ago. Adam (okay, I just typed Adama by mistake - BSG on the brain!) felt bad that this contest had ended up with hate mail being sent. Soooooo....

Troy's getting a video iPod from Adam!!!! Holy crap!!!!

Anyway, congrats to Troy, and for the rest of us losers without cool iPods, the contest is still valid, and people still have a chance to win a video iPod of their own. Troy is leaving the donation ticker up for awhile, with all proceeds now going to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines.

*: Yes, that is THE Adam Curry, former MTV VJ. Very cool podcast - check it out!
**: Troy, as you may not know, used to work on the Babylon 5 site, among other things, and also has a book out that I have not yet read, although my sister, Nan, is going to... Troy is the most awesomely awesome person - he's even better than Chuck Norris. Yeah, cause Chuck Norris doesn't even know what Babylon 5 is, and isn't playing the Sheriff of Nottingham like Troy is (#43 on that list). Troy, you ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

What number post is this today???

Pictures, as promised. I'll edit in the explanation tomorrow...

Doublet Front

Close up of front

Close up of right front


Second half

The beading is done on the second half! It actually ended up being symetrical to the other side, which I was really worried about. It isn't perfect, but I doubt anyone will be measuring the distance between each bead with a ruler, and if they do, they have a problem. It looks great, and a millimeter here and there isn't really visible anyway.

I am going to baste down the rest of the trim in order to get an idea of what it is going to look like - pictures will follow!!!

95°F: Heat index = 105°F

No let up until maybe Tuesday.

Okay, I think I have this figured out...

I measured and added up the number of inches I need of each type of trim. I ended up over 2 yards short of what I needed for the black 1/2" trim. Rather than gamble that Walmart would get their order of this trim this week, I decided to revise my plans.

I found a 1/4" black trim that is exactly the same as the 1/2". This will go around the tab edges, and around the collar base. I may also have it run down the center front, at the buttonloop edge.

I will still use the other 1/4" black trim around the waist, and have the new scroll trim next to that on the tabs. This scrollwork will also be next to whatever trim is used down the center front, and around the shoulder tabs. I am just going to loosely baste it in place, to see how it looks. This should tie everything together, and make it all look unified. It seems like a lot of trim, until you remember that it is all black, on a black background. It really looks great, and is looking more like an extent garment that a costume piece. I will put up pictures later, but for right now, I want to get my button guide done, so I can add the buttons and button loops.

Another nastily hot day today, with another due tomorrow... Best to stay indoors and sew!

Break for my hands

The worst part about hand sewing is that it isn't possible to sew for long period of time without taking a break. My fingers just get a little achy.

I have most of the trim on one half of the doublet sewn down. I am still looking for the most efficient way to stitch the trim in place, and have mostly settled on a type of zig-zag that goes only through the top layer of fabric. Nearly all of the trim is covering the top stitching I had to do to get the outer fabric to hold the shape correctly.

Which leads me to another problem that is going to become apparant soon.

I bought all they had of the main type of trim from wal-mart, and was only able to get four yards. I really want to carry the trim that goes down the middle of the front, all of the way over the shoulder and to the back. But I also want to use this trim around the base of the collar, and down the front of doublet opening, which will serve to cover the areas where I have to machine sew the button loops. I also want to use it around the waist, and on the tabs. And around the shoulder rolls.

You can see the problem. There is no way that I will have enough of the trim to do this.

For now, I am counting on Wal-mart to reorder the trim. Hobby Lobby and Joann Fabrics have a similar trim, but it is not as nice looking, and there are noticable differences, not the least of which is that the scroll work is not as well done. It looks cheap, and doesn't have the weight to it that the wal-mart trim (I KNOW - BLASPHEMY!!!) has.

I do have about six yards of a narrower scroll trim. I used part of it to set off the inner boundary of the bead work, and will mirror that boundary on the other front part of the doublet. I could use this around the waist, instead of the wider trim, and the repeat that at the top of the tabs. This would give me a double row of trim that would equal the width of the wider trim. I also found an interesting trim at Joann that could be used around the top of the tabs, which would give more textural variety, and look very rich. I wouldn't need much of it, and could repeat it around the shoulders to tie the top and bottom together visually. (oooo.... I'm going to have to go shopping, because this just popped into my head). It's not very expensive at all.

In fact, none of the trim has cost very much. The 1/4 inch trim was about $.35/yard, and the 1/2 inch trim was $1.24/yard. The beads were $1.27 for a 9 gram bag, of which I will use not even half (bought for another project that never got started). The trims are what make an historical piece of clothing feel more accurate.

Well, time to get back to my sewing. I have just about two inches of trim left to sew on the right half of the doublet. I'll add the buttons, and perhaps the button loops. Then it will be time to pin the beading guide to the left side, and make sure it matches up as well as possible. Then I can start beading that half, then quilting, and adding the trims. I should be able to get a ton of work done today, as the only errand I have to do is a trim run to Joann Fabrics...

I love this project!!!! I've learned so much!

I can't wait to apply it to a noble dress for me!!!! (Oh, and my son wants to be a squire now, so that means I may have two projects to work on before the Des Moines Renaissance Faire opens Labor Day weekend...).

The bad thing about insomnia...

is that you end up thinking too much.

It's about 2am, and I can't sleep. I also can't talk to anyone about what is bothering me, because I can't really define it. I know that by tomorrow, everything will be better, but the logical part of my brain is having a hard time convincing the rest of my brain...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Busy Day

My day so far:
Remember, this is in 105°F Heat Index)

1. Up at 8:00 am, after getting home at midnight from the LAN party.
2. Two loads laundry, washed, dried, put away. One load of jeans, washed, not dried, because I am getting FATTER!!!!!!!!!
3. Menus made for the week. Grocery list made. My son refuses to tell me what he wants to eat. Ever. So we're having what I want.
4. Bath. Scrub my face to remove the layers of skin destroyed by drinking regular pepsi, and the damn advair. Hopefully, I can repair the damage...
5. Kim called while I was in the bath, to let me know that she and my nephew would be over in about 30 minutes, to go swimming.
6. Made my son lunch, then got ready to go swimming.
7. Went swimming. The pool was that perfect temperature... so hard to describe, but we had a lot of fun with my nephew in the pool. He is completely fearless in water. We swam for about 40 minutes before he started getting cranky. I can't wait to do this again!
8. Changed, and grabbed my shopping list.
9. I went to three different stores looking for more of the wider trim for the black doublet (Wal-mart did not get more in yet.). I found something similar, but not quite the same at both Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics, but it was not close enough, and it felt cheap. I should have enough to do the main parts, but I was only able to get 4 yards the other day. I don't know how much more I will need to go around the tab edges.
10. Went to the library to pick a DVD we had requested.
11. Went to the grocery store and bought way too many groceries.
12. Came home, ate a little something for a snack, since I missed lunch completely.

Now... I'd like to take a nap, but it is so late that if I do, I won't be able to sleep tonight. Maybe I'll just close my eyes for an hour, and we can just eat dinner later tonight....

It's not the heat, but the humidity

Okay, it's the heat, too. We are supposed to get heat indices around 105°F, today, with worse tomorrow. I am so looking forward to not being able to move out of doors without sweating like a pig. Last night was awful. I gave up on how I looked and threw my hair up in a clip - AROUND OTHER PEOPLE - which shows how hot it was.

I had better get back to work on the laundry. I am trying to get a couple of loads done early, so I can go out and get the grocery shopping done early, too. At least the air conditioning in the house and the car works!!! Knock on wood...

Friday, July 28, 2006

What have I gotten myself into

Yes, I am going to spend the evening playing computer games at a LAN party with my son and a bunch of other kids.

In a room with no air-conditioning.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Inspiration Strikes at the Worst Possible Time

I know that I have to finish the doublet before I can work on anything else, and I am devoting nearly the entire weekend towards that end, but sometimes you see something that takes your breath away, and you are left with only one thought: "I must have that dress."

Click the link, because I do not want to post the image here, as someone else took this picture. This is an actual gown that has survived the centuries, and if I read the email correctly that pointed to it, it was worn by Eleanora of Toledo. I may be wrong about that, but it dates from around that time (1500s). I don't know if there are any paintings of this gown that have survived. I will wait to research this, unless I come across the information accidentally.

So now I have two gowns I want to make! And I haven't even had time to look through my new patterns properly. sigh It's a good thing I'm having fun with the doublet now. And what I learn with it, I can apply elsewhere! :)

Taking a break...

My hands hurt a bit, but I have made pretty good progress tonight on the black doublet. I have a good chunk of one direction of quilting, and should finish it tonight. It looks pretty good so far. If I use this technique again, I think a layer of muslin between the lining and shell would be enough to give a bit more texture to the quilting, but maybe when I get the other diagonal lines quilted, it will have more depth. I still think it looks pretty good, and can't wait to get the rest of it done so I can see the finished piece. :)

In other news, I picked up my son at my sister's house today!!!! I was so happy to see him, and my mother told me that my son missed me quite a bit. I reminded my son that he was the one who wanted to go visit, and he said he didn't think he'd miss me as much as he did, and that he was really glad to be home. We ran a couple of errands, and I let myself be talked into going to Culver's for dinner, as long as he went to JoAnn Fabrics with me and didn't complain. We also went to the library and got a few movies and books. We watched Corpse Bride when we got home, while I worked on the doublet.

Saturday, my sister and I are going swimming with the kids in our pool. It should be pretty fun, as my nephew loves to swim, and would be under water all of the time if his mother would let him, regardless of the fact that he can't breathe it, LOL!

Well, time to get back to work. I think I can get another couple of hours of sewing in before bed. Which movie to watch... hmmm....

Doctor Update

Yippee! The doctor said I can stop taking Advair for awhile, to see if I feel any better without it. I was just having too many of the side effects, and it was making my problem worse. I'll just stick with my albuteral inhaler for now. If that inhaler can't control it, she said we could look at some other options when I see her in three months.

I can't wait to sing again!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oh... not happy...

I think I figured out why my Diet Pepsi has been tasting a little... off lately.

It's because I grabbed the wrong damn 2-liter bottles when I did the shopping last!!!!!! I've been drinking regular Pepsi all week!!!! I want to cry when I think about how many useless calories are now around my middle. I couldn't understand why the scale was where it was, when I really have hardly eaten much of anything this week.

Thousands of calories!!!!

The labels look nearly exactly the same, with the Superman contest stuff on it.

Not happy....


I have the beading tacked down on one side of the doublet! It went pretty fast, and I was able to remove the tracing paper template so I can use it on the other side. It will be a bit of a trick to line it up correctly, but I think I can do it. The next step will be to start quilting the side with the beads, as they are just tacked down, and I want to get them secured quickly. It looks really good. I am going to add a narrow black scroll trim to parts of this, to add more interest and definition to areas that need it. I can't wait to start that, too!

Anyway, here are pictures of the progress I have made so far:

Front of doublet, bead template

Front of doublet, beads tacked down

Close-up of the beading pattern.

Beading has commenced...

I ended up tracing the pattern piece I used for the front center panels on the doublet. I traced out the seam allowances, and drew a one-inch square grid on the diagonal. I cut out the piece, then pinned it to the doublet. I am now just quickly adding the beads, and then I will carefully remove the tracing paper, so I can use it on the other half of the doublet. Then, I will quilt the doublet front, using the beads as my guide. I will secure the beads more carefully as I quilt.

It's going pretty quickly so far. I am going to pop in a movie, and take my sewing to the couch. I hope this works the way I expect it to...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

All is well?

I am tentatively pronouncing my sewing machine as "operational", for the time being. I bought a new type of needle, specifically for knits, and I am just sewing very slowly. So far, the only thing I had to do was increase the tension a bit, and it is doing a decent job so far.

The tabs are attached to the body of the doublet, and I am now starting to baste the lining to it, after pressing the seam allowance of the lining, and pinning it to the doublet. At this point, the instructions call for it to be hand sewn to the doublet, but with the weight of the outer material, it will never stay pressed, so I am top stitching all critical seams, so that it will hold its shape. After this is done, I can start on the trims and, hopefully, decorative stitching on the front (quilting was popular as a way to add interest to areas of clothing). Texture was important.

I dislike the first option in this sample photo - too tacky looking. IRL it looks like I took silver and black rick-rack and sewed it down. Yuck. I love the second option, and am thinking of using a black braid trim in addition to the beading. It reminds me of the doublet worn by the Sherrif of Nottingham in "Men in Tights." Very sexy, and E-VIL. Muahahahaha!

Two Possible Decorations

This is a test to see what this would look like. Sort of. Well, it will look a heck of a lot better in real life. If the Sherrif lets me do this. Why do all fashion drawings look like they are for slouchy, weak men instead of the chest out, shoulders back type of men who swagger around with a tankard in one hand and a sword in the other, while singing drinking songs with the tavern wenches??? Pattern designers: You are designing for Manly Men™ who go to Ren Faires, and joust and sword fight and stuff. Yeah. Turkey Legs. Ale.

Anyway, here it is:

Silver Front pattern


It is seldom that I, the Geek Girl, spend so much time preparing for any one thing. Yes, ten days of preparation have led up to this one moment in time...

A shining moment, at the end of ten long days of remembering to do one tiny thing each day, gently kneading, then on the sixth day, adding and kneading. The tenth day has arrived triumphantly!!!

Did it stay alive? Or would I be left with a batch of sour gunk, to be tossed away like something rank and disgusting?

I squeezed the mix out of the bag, carefully added flour, sugar, and milk and stirred... Scooped out four cups of batter into four waiting ziplock bags (one has YOUR name on it...). Then, I gathered my weapons of choice, to prepare for the next battle...

15 minutes later, I emerged, a floury mess of sugar, and um... flour. Egg shells, vanilla pudding boxes, cinnamon, more sugar littered the counter. I lifted my two victims, and gently placed them in the oven at 325°F, for an hour.

I waited...

Finally, the alarm sounded! Time to retrieve my precious preciousy goop.

Did it? Oh did it...?

Ahhh... I sniffed the air smugly. Mmmmm....

They sat, cooling, tempting me to commit all manner of atrocities with my knife. But wait... wait...

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. I gently removed a knife from the block, and contemplated my first incision. Too small? Too big? Nah... just right. I sliced, breaking through the crust of cinnamon and sugar, carefully prising out my... um... prize.

The first bite, almost against my will, not wanting to spoil the wonderful aroma with a taste that may well end up rotten... Ohhhhh.... Mmmmm....

Ten days?

Worth it.

Voted "Most conspicuous use of car air conditioning"

Yep. i fully admit that I have been reveling in the ability of my car air conditioner to spew out cold air now that it is fixed.

(can you believe I booted up my home computer just to state that fact???)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Fly Lady mission today

The 15-minute mission for today was to go through the master bedroom and get rid of any trash. Set the timer for 15 minutes and just get rid of the trash without thinking about it. (We are turning the master bedroom into a "vacation get-away", a place to be peaceful and restful).

Okay, so I did that, and it took about two minutes, including emptying the little garbage can I have next to my sewing table. So, I picked up some stray socks and threw them into the laundry basket. Then I started cleaning up my room in earnest.

Now, due to the fact that I really, really need a three bedroom apartment, so I can keep my sewing stuff out of my bedroom, and the fact that I had been getting ready for a garage sale, my room was the messiest it has been in well over two years. It was shut-the-door-if-anyone-is-coming-over-messy. I was not taking care of me by having a messy room.

When the 15 minutes was up, I did a no-no. I reset the timer.

At the end of an hour, I had located all of my tools and put them back in the toolbox where they belong. I had gone through my ribbons and trims, and put them neatly in a clear storage container that used to hold stuff that went to the garage sale. I put bias tape in a ziplock, and put trim remnants in another ziplock. I rearranged my tiny white cabinet to hold the storage bin. I found space in the cabinet for my rolls of tracing paper, three-hole punch and old pen cup. I cleaned off the top of the cabinet. I straightened out my box of beads, and my box of snaps/hooks & eyes/lacing rings, etc. I put all of my sewing stuff in the proper places. I cleaned out the drawer in my sewing table, and just dumped the contents into a xerox box. I lined the drawer with paper I had bought when I wanted to get into scrapbooking (I discovered costuming instead, so I never used it), and put my sewing machine manual, and my quilting rulers in it.

I still have a box of CDs to put back in the cd rack (which is behind the cabinet, so it is hidden. I had pulled them out when I was working on the garage sale stuff, and had been too busy to put them back (# cardinal rule: never take out more than you can put back). I also now have that box of junk from the sewing table to go through, and there is a medium storage box with old computer cables and such that I need to go through.

My room is still not exactly where I want it to be, but I am not going to worry about that tonight. My back hurts, I am tired, but I feel like I really got a lot done today.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow's mission is going to be!

Spoke too soon?


Damn sewing machine.

Looks like I'll be shopping for a new sewing machine. I am not happy with the way this one is working, and I can't seem to get it to get over it's fussiness. I am going to think about it tonight, then I may be picking up a new machine tomorrow. I think I can get a decent Singer model for under $100 at Wal-mart or Target. I just wanted to be able to get a nicer machine than that. Maybe I'll check Goodwill to see if anyone donated anything lately that would get me by for awhile... At this point, I have to have a backup machine.


The sewing machine is working, so far. It worked well enough to finish the last tab for the doublet.

And I think the instructions in the sewing machine manual are wrong, as when I load the bobbin the way they say to do it, it snarls beyond comprehension. When I load it the way I have been doing it for the last eight years, it works (now that I have cleaned the lint from the bobbin area...).

Time will tell if this will work correctly...

Don't Panic, Troy!

I think I have the sewing machine problem sorted out! It was a combination of dust bunnies in the machine, and me loading the bobbin in backwards for the last EIGHT YEARS (no idea why it worked the wrong way, but it did).

Anyway, it's sorted out now, and I am going to try to finish up that last tab at lunch.

We'll see how it goes... ;)

Sunday, July 23, 2006



My. Sewing. Machine. Is. Acting. STOOOPID.


:( I am very upset right now, as I was sewing the top stitching on the last of the four tabs for the black doublet. It worked just fine until a bit ago, so I oiled it, ran it to work the oil through, and IT STILL DOES THIS!!!! (click for a close up, and you can see the MESS that it is making... Time to dig out the manual and see if there is anything that could be causing this. I am using good thread, not cheap stuff, and have the correct size bobbin... tension was perfect. Maybe changing the needle would help.

All I know is that this will be the THIRD time I have ripped out a mess like this tonight. sigh I may just cut my losses and go read for a bit.

One, two...

Things accomplished this afternoon:

1. Went to Goodwill in search of interesting jewelry - didn't find anything.
2. Went to JoAnn Fabrics in search of a particular shade of blue satin or silk that I want for a new Elizabethan noble's gown. No luck. I couldn't even find the weight of satin that I wanted, and all of the colors are either too bright or too dull. Bummer. I did buy some black quilting thread, to use on the black doublet.
3. Went to Wal-mart in search of a cheaper diamond quilter's rule, so help cut out the shapes I want to use on the sleeves for the new Elizabethan noble gown. They didn't have any at all, so I guess I'll pay the $5.99 at JoAnn's. Bought more silver ribbon and narrow black braid that may be used on the doublet. Oh, and some Life cereal, a black leather belt that would work great for my pirate garb, and some one gallon ziplock bags for my Margo pattern pieces, once I get them cut and separated.
4. Read comments on my blog, attempted to post a comment and it wasn't working for some reason.
5. Remembered that I had bought Drumsticks this morning, so had to have one.
6. Sewed half of the tabs for the doublet, then got distracted by The Sixth Sense on television. I'll finish them after dinner.
7. Decided to make dinner, even though I am not hungry, and haven't been hungry all day. I am making cheesey potatos, and I have a steak to grill, but I might just forget the steak and just eat the potatos. I also have sweet corn from my granny's garden. But I'd have to clean it, and I am just not that ambitious about food tonight.
8. Oh, and I watched most of Soylent Green earlier... spoiler alert:
"Solyent Green is PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!"

Woo hoo!!!

Soylent Green is on on AMC in 6 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't seen this in years!!!!!!

Awake, sort of

You know how when you get too much sleep, you feel groggy, and worse than you would have felt without that much sleep?

This morning, I woke up at 8:30, because I moved in my sleep and knocked my bedside table over with a crash. Nothing was broken, and I was really glad that I did not have a cup of water or diet pepsi or anything on it like I normally do.

Not the best way to wake up in the morning.

I actually woke up at 5:00 am, the first time, but I did not feel like getting out of bed that early. That's part of the reason why I am feeling crappy and headachy. I should have just gotten up and done something.

I haven't had the TV on or anything today. I have read, I have played GameBoy, I have toyed with the idea of going shopping or to a movie (there are several I'd like to see), but nothing has sounded interesting enough to actually get me out of the house.

I don't want to eat lunch yet, since I ate breakfast late (I did go and get groceries for the week).

I may just have to write a bunch of stuff on a piece of paper, rip it up, and just draw something out of a hat...

Add a nap to that last list...

I swear, I only closed my eyes for a minute! Honest!

I must have been more worn out than I had thought... I fell asleep on the couch around 7:35, and woke up just a bit ago. I am now going to crawl in bed, and sleep until I wake up naturally in the morning. I have got to get rested, so I don't end up napping my "vacation" away...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Now what?

Okay. I'm home. My son is at grandma and grandpa's house. I have money to go do pretty much whatever I want (movie, dinner, shopping). I live in a great town with lots of things to do. So, how am I going to spend the evening?

In my jammies, on the couch, reading "I, Robot," and probably eating something fattening or weird for dinner.

I would like to go do something, but I don't really have any ideas.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Can't go a day without posting!!!


1. I hate asthma
2. We moved around furniture at work today, and I can hardly move my legs.
3. BTWIWWBUT (If you can figure this out, you'll get a prize!)
5. I guess I could have written out the previous two points in binary and let people translate... But I am not going to.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yes, Troy needs an iPod

Help him meet his goal before Allen does!!!!!!!

Bad Asthma

Today has not been a good asthma day. Just thought you all should know.

Anyway, after the bead idea got veto'd (and yes, they are pretty shiny in the photo, but a nice antique silver IRL), I went to wal-mart tonight. I know... wal-mart=evil. They had gotten some pretty nice trims in a couple of months ago, but when I looked again, they only had antique gold - no silver. I found this tiny braid trim, but it was black, so I put it back. Then I found some silver ribbon the same width as the tiny black braid...

So, I bought both, and put the silver ribbon behind the braid to test it out. I am thinking that, with a few tiny beads sewn to it would look good, plus maybe some quilting of the front pieces. I won't know until I try it, though...

Once again realizing that there is too much to do...

So much to do, so little time...

I am trying to get some laundry done, since my son is spending next week at my parents' house. Yes, my mom has a washing machine, but I hate to impose upon her.

My son has been talking about this all week. He actually asked my mom last Saturday if he could go home with her. On his own. His idea completely. I was unprepared, so we decided on this weekend, since I have a wedding shower to go to on Saturday, along with getting the car fixed so that cold air actually blows out of the air conditioner, rather than hovering a couple of inches in front of it.

So you see, Saturday is busy, and I am going to try to get back to town on Saturday sometime, rather than staying over.

The whole week stretches forth with possibility... I can stay out as late as I want, go wherever I want, do whatever I want.

Translation: Will be home by 9 every night, will eat toast or salad for dinner, will fall asleep on the couch watching South Park, while eating ice cream (chocolate chip cookie dough). This will probably be done by myself, and I will be totally and completely bored by about Monday night, with the exception of costume work that should keep me busy.

So, since I am busy tomorrow night, I am getting ready for the weekend tonight. I will pack my son's bag with fresh clothes, and send him off to spend time with grandparents, where my dad will probably show him yet another way to keep the rabbits out of the garden... I am glad he actually likes to go there. Of course, grandpa has fun toys, like remote control cars, power tools, and fishing stuff. I can bet that I will have yet another something unidentifiable made out of nailed together scraps of wood by the end of the week. Maybe he'll even catch a couple of fish if they go fishing (like the 72 bluegills he caught in less than two hours a few years ago).

All I know is that they will have fun. My parents will have fun spoiling him, and he'll have fun being spoiled (although, he really can't be spoiled at this age...).

I'll have fun sewing and cleaning house...

I keep telling myself that.


My patterns arrived!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Evening's end

You know how when you puke, sometimes you end up feeling like something is lodged in your chest, and you can't puke past it?

Really? That's gross...

I have been having awful asthma problems tonight. My chest hurts, I've been coughing all evening, and since I took a near four hour nap this afternoon thanks to a stupid migraine, I really can't sleep.

So, I've been working on the embellishment plan for the doublet.

Front Beading

Shoulder Treatment Close up

I strung the beads normally, but will individually sew each bead to the doublet, then cut the string when I am finished (it will hold things in place and make this tons easier!!!). Now I just need to finish the bottom tabs!!!!

migraine = brick wall

I just woke up.

About 1:30 this afternoon, I started getting a headache. Within ten minutes, I was racing for the bathroom, sick. I managed to get home, get changed, and my head under a pillow. I just slept for close to four hours.

Unfortunately, my stomach still feels very icky. Which I only realized after getting up and sitting here. I am going to go back to bed...

New Podcast Episode! Shock!

Now I can bore you to tears with the sound of my voice!!!!

Geek Girl Switchpod page - Vote for me!!!

Geek Girl - Epsiode 003

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Progress on the doublet was good tonight. I swear this is the hardest piece I've ever sewn, and my fingers ache tonight. All that is left is to fit the doublet, mark where the buttons have to go to make sure it closes, and to figure out how many and what size tabs to sew on the bottom. Then, of course, sew the tabs to the shell, and hand sew the bottom of the lining to the shell.

This is really plain, and I'd take pictures of it except for one small fact. It is all black, and it is a material that swallows up the light. It is really tough to sew on, and I will never sew on it again. It has a nice weight, but there is stretch to it, and it is weird.

Next one will be a Margo, and it will be black linen or lightweight wool. And I have this idea for quilting down the front...

Anyway, since I can progress no further without the person who is going to wear it actually trying it on, I am going to treat myself to a podcast tonight. As in, I am going to finish episode three, and hopefully have it posted before I go to sleep tonight.



Two to Three days until my patterns arrive!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Picking up the pieces...

Or rather, putting them back together.

I finally have one of the armholes done the right way. It's basted together, waiting for the sewing machine tomorrow. Of course, I still have one more to go, and since the person who needs to wear this has not yet had a fitting, this could be interesting...

Overall, this project is about a 8 on the difficulty scale. It should have been easy, but I made changes to the pattern, added things, finished things differently. On the whole that meant that I pretty much couldn't use the instruction set that came with the base pattern. That is the reason for the huge screw up of yesterday evening. The screw up that, in 30 minutes, set me back probably 7 hours. All because I assumed something would be simpler than it actually was. And it was a mistake that I had made before, and only realized after the damage was done. Dumb, dumb, dumb... I blame it on the diet coke rather than diet pepsi. ;)

In any case, by tomorrow night, 7:00 pm, I'll be back where I was on Sunday evening, before I did something illogical and stupid.

BTW, of all colors to work with, black is the worst - the stitches are so hard to see... I can't seem to get enough light to work with...


You know how, when you are working on something, and you enter the home stretch, you get all arrogant and smug with yourself. "Yeah, I could have this doublet finished by tomorrow."

And then when you go to turn the doublet right side out after sewing the lining in, and you realize that you sewed the !@#$in' armholes, which means you are never getting it right-side out.

So you have to remove the stitches, only it takes over THREE HOURS, because the shoulder rolls kept the feed dogs from advancing the fabric the right length per stitch.

Anyway, I broke down this afternoon and bought professional level patterns, complete with detailed sewing manuals, so crap like this won't happen on future projects. It won't save me the grief on this one, but I learned my lesson. I am now pinning under both lining and shell, so I can finish this properly. It looks pretty good so far, and all is not lost.

I did, however, say every swear word I know at some point during the process... Sailors and Seamtresses, you know...


Discovery Lands Safely in Florida

I wonder how much science they were able to do? It seemed like all anyone reported was the inspections and practice repair techniques. Necessary, I know, but it would be great to get back to normal...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ask me how many of my errands I got done this morning, just ask...

I went to Hy-Vee and bought a flowering plant for my sister and her boyfriend, as a thank you for delivering my "new" table, and carrying chairs, the table top, and base up a long flight of stairs on one of the hottest days of the year.

We went to my sister Kim's house to deliver the flowers, and talk for a bit. Kim gave me some Amish Cinnamon Bread starter, and a sheet of instructions. We've decided we're going to pass it back and forth to each other and our friends, so we can always have the bread. There are enough of us girls in the family to do keep this going for a really long time, and still give out plenty to friends.

Then we went home and had lunch, and I am not moving from this house again today. Too hot. Too humid. And it's not that it's hot and humid out, it's the added insanity of the air-conditioner fan in my car not working. Not enough air flow, even with the windows open. And to top it off, the switch on my driver's side power window broke, so it's even hotter in the car. We bake when we have to stop at a stop light. It's not good.

So, the rest of the afternoon is going to be nice and cool, and after dark, I'll go get the groceries. I'm going to pop in a movie and take a nap now. I am still exhausted from the garage sale...

I need to get up and moving this morning.

Too much to do again today.

1. Get ready.
2. Attach the table top to the base. Note to self: The next time someone wants to assemble a table for you - LET HIM DO IT!!!! Urg. Ouchy.
3. Put the leaves in the table until I can figure out how I want it to look. I think I'd like it to be just round for awhile, but I have no idea where I can store the leaves.
4. Go to Kim's to see Kelly and Dave before they leave.
5. Play with Jack!
6. Make sure all of my garage sale junk is out of their garage. I am pretty sure that it is, but I want to double check.
7. Grocery Shopping.
8. Laundry
9. Sew.
10. Nap.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Garage Sale = O=Ver!!!!!

Time the first customers arrived = 6:45 am, as my brother-in-law opened the garage door to leave for work, people were standing there.

I sold tons of stuff, made a nice little bit of money, half of which went to my mom as a payment on the new table and chairs I bought from here. Part of it went for dinner at Hickory Park, which was PACKED with people, since the Iowa Games are in progress. Yummy food! The rest is going towards a backpacker tent that I want to buy.

Everything that didn't sell went to Goodwill, and I was never so happy as when I walked into my door at home, and did not have to see boxes, and was able to throw out my old table and chairs (rickety, K-Mart special, that just didn't hold up to heavy use.).

The new table is in place, but I have to reattach the table top to the base. Dad carefully numbered the screw holes, and the baggies with screws so I would know exactly how to reassemble it. KJ's boyfriend, Dave, used his truck to haul it here, and helped us carry everything in. If my tool box hadn't been buried in the closet, he'd have assembled it, too, if I had let him. And if I hadn't been half asleep this entire afternoon, I would have remembered to buy him a thank you token, but I think I can take care of that tomorrow before I go over to Kim's house. I forgot to ask Kelly what kind of wine he likes.

Anyway, I've had a really, really long day. I doubt we'll do much of anything other than veg in the air conditioner tomorrow, do laundry, and sew. Dangerous heat indexes tomorrow, and the dumb fan on the car is broken, so the cold air just lingers in front of the vents rather than cooling the car. But that's a job for next weekend...

Pamper Mission

Okay, doing a low level format of one of the drives in my 7300/180... So, I decided, since everything else is pretty much done, to take a long bubble bath, and paint my fingernails and toenails.

Oh, what joy, what bliss in doing something so girly!!!!!!!! :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Falling asleep over fast food

It is HOT here today. Hot as in, sweat-dripping-off-the-face hot.

Kim, one of here friends, and I spent a couple of hours this evening setting up stuff for the garage sale. I managed to get everything other than the computer stuff over to her house in one carload. Tomorrow morning ought to be fun. Little sleep tonight, up very early tomorrow, and sitting the hot, hot, hot humid Iowa air... Yeeee-uuck!

Leap of Faith

At the garage sale tomorrow, I am selling both of my tents.

The green tent is being sold because the rain fly is so woefully inadequate that to call it a rain fly is almost taunting it. "Yeah, you're a rain fly! LOL snork, snork" Good for fair weather camping, but I spent a week in it, it rained twice, 'nuff said.

The blue tent is fine, actually, I really like it, but it is heavy, and too big for me to put up by myself. And self-sufficiency is key. I don't mind asking for help, but I feel pretty crappy about it when I ask for help putting up my "luxury" tent, when I am the only one staying in it. Plus, it is hitting the magical age when it may decide to let vast amounts of water in on me while I am sleeping.

Both of these tents would be really good for someone who is camping with family, will only be out a couple of nights, and isn't the type to try to stick it out through a rain storm.

Just not good for me anymore. I've got a month until I need one, which is plenty enough time to shop around. I found a two-person backpacker tent, but while the rain fly on that is large, it also fits too closely to the tent, meaning wind would make the fly hit the tent, meaning leaks... Hmmm...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

LOL <3

New Orleans Lover

... George has been training in the arts of seduction for the last two and a half years at the Sorbonne. Now he's returned to the States and ready to put his skills to the test on actual women.

Dare you let the Lover whisk you away on a whirlwind romance the likes not seen since the time of burly shirtless pirates? If you'd like to be part of the magic, email

I'd be interested in knowing if the billboard approach works for this guy...

Could I get any more tired?


I just spent a marathon 2 and a half hours with my son, going through every storage tub of toys in his room, looking for stuff to get rid of at the garage sale.

I am pleased to say that we have quite a pile of toys to sell, but not quite as much as I had thought. There are two paper boxes to go through yet, and we did find a pile of games and puzzles that he was quite embarrassed to still have in his room.

Now the fun begins - getting the old SE/30s and other computer junk ready to sell. That is my job for the next two hours...

Time to fire up the kettle and make some suiss mocha for a caffeine kick - I can't believe I forgot to get more dt. Pepsi...

Evening Progress

After a stormy start to the evening, I managed to get the lining basted to the shell of the doublet. Now I need to spend some serious time in my son's room, getting around toys for the garage sale.

It's crazy how toys accumulate. I've rarely bought my son anything other than an electronic game for the last two years, and still his room is packed. He should be able to sell quite a bit, netting a tidy bit of money for the Nintendo Revolution that he's been saving for since December (We refuse to call it the "Wii").

In any case, now it is time to sift through the junk and pull out what he no longer needs...


Okay, I managed to get the stuffed animals for the garage sale sorted, and 5 boxes of stuff tagged. About the most expensive thing I am selling is a 35mm film camera, with a total of four lenses (3 close-up). I never could get the hang of it, so I am selling. It's pretty old. I have no idea what to sell it for, so I put $50 on the set, just to see how things go.

Oh, I guess I am selling some computers, which I keep forgetting to set up and get ready to go. Guess I will need to do that tomorrow night...

Time to get something to drink, and get some sleep. Insomnia can sometimes be helpful when you aren't trying to do something that requires a lot of concetration (25-cents, 25-cents, one dollar, etc...).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Things that are best discovered before it's too late...

like say... that the back center lining piece of the doublet is cut to the wrong size... as in, it's an inch and a half too wide at the back, because you did not trim the redrafted pattern piece at the fold line, trusting that you are intelligent enough to know that the line goes at the fold, not the fold at the edge of the paper...


At least it is just the lining. I can trim it, and sew it back together if it ends up being to bunched up at the back.

I knew that things were going too well. I think I will finish pinning the lining to the shell, and then set it aside for tonight. I still have a ton of stuff to get ready for the garage sale. Barely anything is tagged. At least it is still relatively early...

Costume Frustration

I hate it when the pattern makers do weird things.

I wanted to machine sew the shoulder rolls to the doublet, but the cut of the shoulder pieces is weird, and is making it harder. there are these pieces that jut out, for eyelets for the sleeves, and the shoulder "caps" (I'm using rolls), are hand sewn to the doublet after the lining is attached. to me, this would just make them look funny. So, I wanted to baste the rolls to the shell, and then machine stitch the lining and rolls at the same time.

And that would work, except for the stupid jutting out parts, which I don't need thanks to the lacing rings I am using instead.

Don't get me wrong, I love a challenge, and have learned a lot from this piece already. I just think I am going to probably end up cutting off the offending pieces, to make sure that this will work right. I am so close on finishing this. I could have this done except for the buttons and tabs around the bottom, tonight.

If only I can get the shoulder rolls in the right spot...


Okay, I'm getting mail.

Deliver time on three items: sent at 4:30

Two = 7 minutes
one = 13 minutes

urg - gmail

If you are trying to reach me via gmail, things appear to be acting weird. I hadn't received any email to that account after 11 this morning, so I forwarded some margospatterns digests to the account. Still haven't received them, and normally, it's nearly instant.

If it's critical - email my main account please!

"Snakes on a Plane!"

I almost forgot...

While waiting to see Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribbean II, the Snakes on the Plane preview was shown! Half the theatre was dying laughing, while the other half was trying to figure out what the heck the other half found so funny.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sometimes, even the light is too much

I was standing in line at the pharmacy in Hy-Vee when it happened. The pain in the head, the nausea, the shaking. I could hear the pharmacist explaining meds to a man, who was picking them up for his wife. I just stood, clutching the cart handles, not even able to talk.

When it was my turn, I managed to tell the pharmacist my name, and pick up my meds. My son helped me get the last few items we needed, and we finally made it to the checkout line.

In the parking lot, the world was swimming, but I squinted my eyes, bit my inner cheek, and somehow managed to drive us home.

At home, my son helped get the groceries in the house. I even got the groceries put away, telling my son that he had to have cereal or peanut butter sandwich for supper, because I was going to bed. I felt hot all over, sweating in the chill of the air-conditioning. I grabbed a blanket, and sprawled out on the bed, on top of the covers, with a throw pillow over my eyes and ear. Eventually, I crawled under the quilts, I was so cold.

At around 8:30, my cell phone started ringing. There was a meeting I was supposed to go to tonight, but that info had vanished from my head the moment I closed my eyes. After hanging up the phone, I got up, left the bed unmade (for the very first time in two years!!!), and went to find some food to put in my stomach.

I am feeling okay for now, but my hands are still numb, which does not bode well. I am hoping that eating will help. I hate it when this happens. I am so lucky that we were close to home.

Migraine runs in the family, on my dad's side. My aunt Trish used to get them so badly that her husband would have to carry her into the emergency room to get a shot. I get them, my sister, Movie Star, gets them (she had one for two days, starting last Friday night), I think KJ used to get them too. It literally stops you in your tracks. It's like suddenly dropping several stories, and your brain is not quite moving at the speed of the rest of your body. It disrupts everything. I am glad that we had bought food that my son could prepare for himself, and that he is old enough to take care of himself for a but without burning the house down. When he was little, it was a massive fight to stay upright long enough to do what had to be done. I had to work through it, no choice, no one here to help me.

And doctors used to think it was all in our heads...

Update: 10:11 pm - It's back. Damn.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Advair Problem

Remember how I may have said that the Advair was working great?

Well, let's make a list of why this is not so anymore:

1. Coughing up phlegm (eeewwww)
2. Coughing in general
3. My voice is higher and strained, and when I try to speak louder, it is shrill and unpleasent.
4. I still can't flippin' breathe.
5. I feel like I have cold water in my lungs. You know, like when you accidentally inhale pool water. All of the time.
6. Headaches. Daily.
7. Nervousness
8. Insomnia, even when I am very tired.
9. I bruise very easily, and scratches and such are not healing normally.

So, when I see my doctor in a couple of weeks for a check-up on the new meds, this is one that I am giving up. I can handle carrying around an albuteral inhaler, or maybe she can actually do some tests to see if it is really asthma (my dad was joking that it was lung cancer, from all of those cigarettes - I have smoked two cigarettes in my entire life, as he well knows. It's actually a good sign, that he's joking about it - his brother died of lung cancer three years ago).

Yes, I would like to know what is really going on with my lungs. If it's really asthma, then I guess I'll just have to live with it, albeit with a different medication. If it's not, then I'll deal with that, too. I already have a game plan for that situation (two relatives died of insanely bad cancers, less than a year apart, makes you think...).

Tonight, I was wondering how I was ever going to get to do everything that I wanted to do this summer, when I am feeling so crappy and worn down. I look like crap, too. So happy about that.

Oh well, time to quit whining and TRY to get some sleep. 6:30 am is shockingly close...

Costuming update, for those who care

What are the chances of matching up a seam corner perfectly? (four pieces match up, perfect cross)

Now what are the chances of doing it again?

See what is so fun about sewing? Okay, but I managed to hit corners both times I needed to. Looks great! I am adding top stiching to help with the bulk of the seam, as this fabric is extremely bulky, and does not iron well. I am thinking that this doublet will need no trim at all except for the buttons. It is looking good, despite having to rip out nearly every damn seam I sewed tonight. :)

I am quitting while I am ahead. Too tired right now to risk messing up badly.

Lunchtime food for thought...

A comment posted at SlashDot in this topic: School Admins Demand Access to Students' Cellphones

Re:Kids these days...
(Score:5, Insightful)
by mariox19 (632969) on Saturday July 08, @08:05AM (#15682698)
You beat me to it, because I think this is the most important point of the whole issue.

Part of the purpose of school, and in raising kids in general, is to socialize them: meaning, to raise them so that they will be able to live in society. I am not for minors having the full-fledged rights of adults; but, we have to remember that how we raise them will affect what kind of adults they turn out to be. For kids, school is, to a great degree, society. The society we create for them in school is the society they will learn to live with.

When kids have to show ID at every turn, live out their day under the surveillance of security cameras, surrender their personal belongings on the whim of any authority figure, so on and so forth, it is far more likely that the great mass of them will grow up to be the kind of adults that will submit to an overbearing authority that allows them few rights.

It's one thing when this kind of policy is instituted in a private school. I still think it's a bad idea; but, the parents sent the kid there and had a choice as to where to send him. But, if we are talking about a government school (though, the euphamism in the US is "public" school), this presents, in my opinion, a serious threat to our future. Public schools in the US hold a near monopoly in education; and though I am not going to accuse the government of a concious conspiracy to indoctrinate the youth of america with anti-liberal ideas, the results, if such policies become widespread, will be no different.

To my mind, adults act as the custodians for the rights of kids: releasing various rights to kids as they become able to handle them responsibly. I'm all for adults being in charge; but any responsible adult realizes the grave responsibility he has towards the kids with which he has been given charge, and weilds that power in the service of raising kids to be responsible adults jealous of their liberty, rather than cowed wretches with no backbone in the face of authority.

Kids deserve respect above all; and this needs to trump the illiberal policies instituted under the cover of promoting "safe schools."

quiquid id est, timeo puellas et oscula dantes.

When I grew up, the emphasis was on personal rights and liberties. I don't know of any locker searches, or car searches, or personal searches. No metal detectors, I think the only time anyone brought a gun to school, it was in the back of a pick-up truck, and it was accidentally left there because the student had been hunting with his dad that weekend, and had forgotten about it (it was in its case, and the rest of the hunting stuff was there). I don't think he was punished, as it was just an oversight. I think he was just asked to lock it up in the cab.

In addition, we had teachers who were very concerned that we understood our government, our civic duties, and our rights (Hi, Mr. Nelson and Mr. Jepson!!!!!). Very tough teachers. Good teachers who understood that they were preparing up for life outside of school.

But still, people in authority are scary, and it is all too easy to see how students would submit to searches rather than risk punishment.

What a world we live in...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weird dreams, and all that jazz

This morning, as I snuggled more deeply into the wonderful bed that is in my parents' guest room, I had the strangest dream...

I dreamed that I bought a motorcycle, and was riding it around Ames. Only Ames had these crazy hills, where each intersection was at the top of a hugely steep hill, so that driving down the street was a series of crazy ups and downs.

And then I parked the motorcycle in the hallway at St. Thomas, in order to pick up my son from religious ed.


I hate motorcyles, and haven't ridden on one since I was probably six years old. This is probably the least likely thing I would ever do in my entire life... besides certain professions that cannot be listed on a semi-familty blog... ;)

So what does this dream mean??? I guess I'll have to do a little research...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Tragedy Averted


Here I am, at my parents' house, solid as ever around me. My mom is sleeping, my dad is watching TV, Movie Star just went down to her room, and my son is probably watching cartoons he shouldn't see for another couple of years.

This night could have had a very different ending.

When we got here this afternoon, dad was preparing to start grilling for the party tonight. Mom and I made a pasta salad, and meatballs (bbq, with two different sauces). After Kim and Justin got here, we waited for dad to finish grilling the pork loin and chops (Granny didn't think we'd have enough food). Finally, the pork loin was done, so dad put out the coals.

I loaded up the cooler while mom and dad loaded the food in the car. Off we went to my Granny's house.

We had a great time! Tons of good food and fun! I took my share of teasing over something, and we had a great time catching up with my aunt Trish and her two sons (her husband stayed at home this time). Way too much food left over (see, I come by it honestly!).

When we finally got home, Kim and mom put my nephew in the bathtub. After his bath, he escaped, and ran around the house without a diaper while all of us were just dying laughing. He thought it was fun!

Finally, they left. My son started bugging my dad about lighting some of his leftover fireworks. So, the guys went outside to goof off. "Be careful!" I warned my son.

Before I go any further, this story is not about a fireworks accident.

From inside, while talking with my mom as she finished cleaning up the dishes we took to Granny's, I heard a string of firecrackers go off. I decided to go outside and watch, and as I opened the porch door, I heard my dad say, "Oh Shit!"

Again, this is NOT a fireworks accident story.

I stepped out and saw my dad moving the grill out of the way, and noticed something odd.

"Did you guys put firecrackers on the deck???" I was puzzled, and didn't quit get what I was seeing.

"Is it still smoking?" My dad asked my son as he went for the bucket and started the outside faucet.

"No," my son said, "I don't think so."

My dad poured water into the gaping hole in the deck.

The gaping, charred hole that was about 16 inches long, and about three inches at the widest point.

Dad got the hose, and my son sprayed a ton of water under the deck (which only sits about 6 inches off of the ground, as it is a patio). They let the hose run a long time, just to be on the safe side.

Apparently, a coal fell out of the grill, and smoldered the whole time we were gone. Normally, my dad is very paranoid about just such a thing. Tonight, however, we were in a hurry, and he missed it.

Movie Star had debated even going with us, as she had a migraine the night before. She actually had just woken up about 20 minutes before we left. There are no smoke alarms in the garage or laundry room (the room in the house closest to the deck). If a fire had started, when she was the only one there, still sleeping...

Well, none of us even want to think about what could have happened...

I'll take a picture tomorrow, when it is light. We are lucky in so many ways.

30 minutes goes a long way

After fighting with my son about cleaning his room, he finally saw my point about the whole thing. He is twelve. He needs to help out more around the house because of the following reasons:

  • I do the laundry. He seldom has to do more than fold his socks and underware, and put his clothes away.
  • I do nearly all of the cooking. He occassionally helps. I don't force him to help with this because I want him to enjoy it.
  • I make sure he has what he needs.
  • I make sure that he occassionally gets things he wants as well.
  • I spent an entire week at Boy Scout Camp with him, so that the kids were able to go.
  • I agreed to do the Scoutmaster job when it was offered. I still can't believe I did that. We'll see how that goes.
  • I took you to the movies last night. We had to stand in line a long time.

And a whole list of other things that a parent normally does. I ended with this thought:

You are not a baby anymore. You are twelve. You have to pay full price at the movie theatre. You can't eat from the kids' menu any more. You've started puberty. If you want to be treated with the respect due to a person your age, you need to accept responsibility. If you want to be treated like a little kid, then continue to act like you are acting right now. Little kids don't get to use computers, gameboys, gamecubes, fire...

About this time he wised up and started cooperating. We bonded during that 30 minutes of cleanup. That's all it took to go from disaster to decent.

And all it took for a kid to stop feeling sorry for himself, and apologize. :)

Yet another getting motivated post

I have been up since about 7:30, but stayed in bed dozing until about 8:30. A gradual wake-up was needed today, since I am going to be BUSY.

List for today:

1. Sort laundry
2. Start laundry, three loads
3. Fold and put away all laundry
4. Clean up kitchen (wipe counters, clean sink, clean out the refrigerator)
5. Clean bathroom
6. Vacuum living room - wonder of wonders, except for the garage sale boxes, it's clean, No Toys!!!
7. Sew like crazy. Get the upper part of the doublet done, so I can figure out how in the world to make the tabs for the bottom so that they are the right size, and look good. Oh, and don't forget to cut out the second layer of fabric for the collar.
8. Get off of my a$$ and get this crap done so I can have FUN today!!!!!

Cool. Just got off of the phone with my mom, and we can leave later today than I had thought. Yippee!!! More time at home!

Friday, July 07, 2006


Good movie. A little scary. I know one kid who had his hands over his eyes a few times...

The theatre was packed, most shows having sold out. When we got out of the theatre, the line for the next show stretched out of the theatre and nearly to the nearby Subway.

I won't let out any spoilers. Just go see the movie if you like pirates, scary stuff, and funny moments.


Going to get my pirate fix in less than 2 hours...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Holy Crap! Magazine Man = Super Hero!!!

In Which We Review the Butcher's Bill...


Read this, you must.

Giant Bananas - check

I am working on the doublet tonight, and besides the fact that I am really glad that just about everything is cut out, I managed to get the rolled sleeve caps done.

I stuffed the sleeve caps with scraps of the same material, and I had just enough to stuff them fairly decently.

I have to say that I probably won't work with this fabric again, as it is hard on the hand to cut. I had to sharpen my sissors after every cut, just to make it easier. There's a bit more stretch to it than I had anticipated, so we'll see how well this works. I may flatline it to a non-stretchy material if it doesn't hang right.

It's going to be pretty plain,so we'll see if I can come up with some sort of small details that will make it nicer.

My prayers have been answered...

'South Park' That Rips Cruise Nominated For Emmy

This was, indeed, one of the funniest episodes in recent memory, and it is good to see comedic talent recognized. The world is a funnier place thanks to the South Park gang... :)

Okay, THAT didn't go so well....

This post was removed because it is BORING!!!!!

Okay, I have a new installer to download...

This post has been removed because it is BORING!!!!

keyserver - urg

This post has been removed because it is BORING!!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

OMG Knight Rider!

Rutter's Ramblings Podcast - Episode 15. Listen. And if you grew up when I did, you'll have the theme song stuck in your head for awhile...

Small Things

I made dinner tonight, cleaned up afterwards, straightened up my sewing table and surrounding area so I can start a major project. I am trying to figure out how to do part of the project, and I think I am just going to have to get out my scraps and see if I can make it work.

The strange part about my methods of working is that I work better when I have more things to do, and a limited amount of time. For the next week or so, I will work several hours a night on this project, and still somehow manage to put dinner on the table, wash up afterwards, and keep the house moderately neat. I say, "moderately" because I am also trying to get ready for a garage sale, and have a pile of boxes near the front door that are bugging me beyond all belief. In the midst of all of this is the neverending pile of laundry that somehow manages to spawn when my back is turned. Honest, every last piece of clothing was washed before camp, but I am still trying to catch up from camp, and regular life. I did nothing that could be considered work yesterday. Cooking = fun, so that doesn't really count, since it is nearly almost always for my son and I.

Well, my timer went off. I was writing this on the tail end of the 15 minute cleaning session (done a bit early). I am now going to sit and play Mario and Luigi Partners in Time for another 15 minutes, as I have been on my feet for a solid hour with dinner and clean up.

Then I get to work on the doublet that I am making!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Battlestar Galactica - DENIED!!!

So I was all excited! I was checking out some posts on the Ren Costuming forum (home away from ren home), and my son told me he wanted to watch a movie with me, while waiting to go to the fireworks. We were going to watch the Battlestar Galactica miniseries.

So, I finish up what I was doing, and get out to the living room. What do my wondering eyes behold, but my son, calmly playing the game that we rented this afternoon (bribery, to get him to actually go into Hancock Fabrics, and the Thrift Store, which is not very thrifty IMHO).

"What happened to the movie?" I asked.

"Oh, I decided to play the game instead." (Star Wars Bounty Hunter).


Great Day and Not-so-great Day

Great Day:

Went on picnic after all, saw gorgeous Gray's Lake, stood on the spot where the old hotel used to stand, ate good food, talked with great people, and got a slight sunburn. Then proceeded to get lost in Des Moines, due to the confusing construction signs for 235. Finally made it back to East 14th, after following fruitless signs to the East 235 exit, which never materialized. Since East 14th is highway 69, we followed that back to Ankeny, where I discovered that Hancock Fabrics had Simplicity Patterns for 99 cents, limit five. I found two for my son, and two for me (I bought two sizes of one pattern, as they usually run big, but I didn't want to take that chance). One is a Princess Leia costume from "A New Hope." Halloween costume, anyone? I bought a Pirates of the Carribean pattern for my son, maybe for next year... They also had buttons on sale, so I bought more buttons for the sherrif's doublet, because I wanted more.

Good times, definitely.

Now for the bad news:

North Korea Test-Launches Two Missiles
TOKYO -- The U.S. State Department says North Korea has launched a long-range missile, but that it failed 35 seconds after lifting off.
Experts believe a Taepodong Two could reach the United States with a light payload.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government is confirming that North Korea test-launched three missiles into the Sea of Japan. The confirmation follows reports by Japanese media that as many as four missiles may have been launched.

Welcome to the new Cold War, same as the Old. I kind of got used to living without the fear of total annihilation, what about the rest of you Cold War kids?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pushing the limits...

My neighbors, or at least someone in my neighborhood, is shooting off fireworks. Firecrackers, and some larger stuff. We have 29 minutes until it's legal for the day.

But seriously, I want to go to bed soon, and it is gorgeously cool outside. I want to leave my window open, but the fireworks... erg.

Hey.... where's my Classic?

For a good long time, I had my Mac Classic set up in my room, on a printer table. Last summer, when I purged my room of the overly large computer desk, the Classic went into storage in my closet.

Except when I pulled the computer equipment that I am going to sell at a garage sale, the stack did not include my Classic. I don't recall seeing it at all since clearing out my room last summer. That's kind of a pain, since I wanted to reformat the others and set things up the way I had set up that Classic. There were some very old freeware games on it that would work on the SE/30s, too. Hmm... maybe I put it on that storage bin, the one that is now hidden by my son's unrolled sleeping bag, my rollerblades, and that gift bag full of old VHS tapes...

Yep. That's exactly where it was...

To picnic or not to picnic

Regardless, we are grilling marinated chicken breast for lunch tomorrow, and will be snacking on a variety of healthy foods for our 4th of July "party". I say party in the loosest terms, as I don't know if two people can be considered a party. We will try our bestest.

Everyone we know is working or has plans for tomorrow. We may end up staying home and hanging out around the pool. It is not quite so fun for us to go out on a picnic if one person is tending the fire, and the other is wandering around looking for someone to play with. Been there, done that.

Fireworks are a definite plan, however. We have a set place we like to sit, but with the National Special Olympics in town, that's probably not going to be available. We'll leave early, and bring a blanket and extra fireworks to share with other kids (a standing tradition), along with a couple of snacks. Then, after fighting our way out of the parking lot, we'll get home really late, and do more fireworks in our parking lot. Traditions count, even if the family only numbers two.

Okay, so I can't breathe again today.

The advair worked quite nicely last week, but I missed it last night, due to falling asleep on the couch. I was fine until I came back from lunch. Now I can't breathe very easily. Ug.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


1. I have problems verbalizing what I want. I have always been afraid to ask for things, for fear of rejection. Sometimes I can work through that fear, other times I just clam up.

2. Because of this, it seems like I am pushing people away. I don't call my sisters as much as I want to, because I know that they are busy, and I am afraid to bug them while they are in the middle of something. Like they wouldn't just ask me to call back, but would instead be mad. This is why I don't use the phone much. I used to call my mom every other evening, but now I have barely talked to her since she started her new job, and she is always on the speakerphone, in the middle of doing something else.

3. I am still kind of shy (don't laugh). I sometimes stop talking around groups of people, get overwhelmed, etc. Too many people talking at once makes me want to cover my ears, especially if they are all talking to me at once.

4. I tend to need to concentrate on one thing at a time in order to understand it. Distraction is horrible to me, as it makes it impossible to get things done correctly. It is worse when I can't use music to shut out the other distractions. Hence the pile of web site updates that need to be done that are still on my list of things to do at work. And tutorials to write - I used to be able to write a tutorial every couple of days, but it's been months since I have written anything that wasn't in response to a problem, rather than a proactive tutorial. Need to work on that.

Shaun of the Dead just walked into my room... Stinker twelve-year-old... :)

5. I am addicted to email. I email waaayyy more than I talk on the phone.

6. Kids are great. They can make up a game out of nothing more than some caution tape. They can turn clearing out a brush pile into a game. Kids remind you that anything is possible, and that not having anything is not the end of the world. But remembering the frisbee is probably more important to them than remembering the bug spray... :)

Okay, I am going to go over to the corner and try to stop feeling sorry for myself. Then I am going to check my email a few billion more times to make myself feel better...

I'll never learn, will I?

Don't take a twelve-year-old shopping. Even if he says he wants to go.

Tiny Surprise

After getting home from camp yesterday, I weighed myself. I was about a pound less than when I left. I weighed myself around 11 am, but I normally weigh in right when I wake up.

This morning, I discovered that I actually lost more than just a pound. I lost three! Yay! I wasn't even dieting, really, just not eating as much, walking A LOT, but also eating candy and chips (dining hall less than stellar this year).

I have only eleven pounds left to go to reach my goal!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Still trying to adjust

Tonight, for the first night in a week, we had a hot meal on the table. And it was good.

And later, I am going to eat Doritos and salsa, just because it sounds really, really good for some reason.

Normally, after a week at camp, I gain a couple of pounds. This year, despite eating candy and ice cream, and pringles to supplement the dining hall, I lost a pound.

More camp highlights later, after I clean up more of the living room. The bags are all unpacked and back in the closet, but I haven't unpacked my bedding bag (pillows, blanket, sleeping bag liner, camp mat). And the garage sale stuff is still in the living room. I don't know if I can stand having it there for another two weeks...

I finished cleaning my room, so I will have plenty of space to sew like crazy tomorrow on the sheriff's doublet. It needs to be done sooner rather than later, and my fingers have been itching to sew for weeks now.

Anyway, I had better get back to cleaning up the living room. Everything is chaotic, and my son has toys scattered around the living room, legos, Bionicles, and other toys that were having a gigantic space battle, apparantly. Time to prevail upon his sense of duty to clean up the mess, battle in progress or not...


1. Bubble Bath - check
2. Lunch - check
3. Laundry sorted - check
4. Catch up on blogs - check
5. Catch up on news - really don't care anymore, except for the space shuttle
6. Nap - t-minus 10 minutes

Did you miss me?

From the "Holy-crap-I'm-finally-home-I-wanna-take-a-bath" department.

We just got back from camp!!!! An entire week of "roughing it," at beautiful Camp M. I am still waiting for my turn in the bathroom, as my son is trying to wash off several layers of dirt (and yes, my son did not shower the entire time, unless you count swimming pool showers - no soap).

Oh God, I want an hour long bubble bath...

And then I have to tackle the laundry. Oh God, the laundry...