Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now Playing: Pity Party!

If my life were a series of movies, the top-grossing, star-studded adventure this week would be...

Week One: The Reckoning

Now I realize, I brought this on myself. Me and my need for pieces paper saying I has the smarts.

And you know I'm exaggerating.

As predicted, after the first week (was that really just one week?) I am feeling much more calm about the whole thing. Work is going along well so far, I got a compliment from my writing teacher (I'm a leader in the Discussions-capital-D... a LEADER dammit!), and it's been fun chatting back and forth with my fellow attendees. Some of them are very young, some are inexperienced but earnest, some are old farts like I am. The point is they're all really participating, and though this makes for a f!!!load of emails (pardon the swear - Lily Allen is running around in my brain today) to check every day, it also makes me feel better because I'm not alone, and I know it. If I really needed math help, I could ask for it.

I'm just too stubborn.

Another cinematic offering?

A Tale Of Parental Worry Gone Awry

So this Derby thing is stressing me out, and in turn The Kid. I really try to be hands-off, I DO, but it's so hard to watch the coaches keep having to pull her aside. I don't care if she's tops, I really don't, I just want her to keep up! I think she thought this would be an easy sport and honestly, so did I... not easy as in "it won't make you sweat or work hard" but easy as in "learn it, do it, play it". And she is having such a hard time learning these last few things for the skills test, which she has to pass or she can't be on the team.

She is trying, I know that (and told her so - also that I'm proud of her because I sure as hell couldn't do what she does). I just really hate seeing her be left out. She's so good when they're in-game, but the skills test is keeping her back.

I know on the surface it must seem like "Chill, girl, it's only a game!", but it's like watching her fall behind, watching her have such a hard time and be left behind, brings back all the helpless feelings of "how can I help her" that I felt when she was struggling in school. I couldn't afford tutors then, and I can't afford better skates/more time now. It makes me feel like a failure as a parent somehow, which yes I know is WAY overdramatic... but I have a feeling some of you parents know what I mean.

I've been dropping her off at practice, then picking her up afterward, because I'm stressing her out and we both know it, but then I get the stink eye from the coaches, and I missed her getting to be lead jammer - and scoring! - twice now... this of course makes me mad because her coaches are telling her she's not doing things right... so then how did she make lead jammer twice then?! Is she good at this or isn't she?

I can't even have her practice more, at least not reasonably. Do I consign more of my limited time to driving her down to the nearest skate rink, which is 25 miles away? I guess I'll have to, I mean how else can she practice? But she'll be practicing alone because everyone else lives down in Denver and goes to Littleton. I'm not driving to Littleton, I'm sorry... that's 46 miles away.

But of course, having said that, I got her into it, so doesn't that mean I'd better commit to doing whatever is necessary?


It's supposed to be fun, but it's devolving. What do I do? How can I help her without being overbearing?

Should I help her, or should I leave her be? I tried asking her coaches what they suggested, and their only answer was "she needs to skate more".

I am carrying all this guilt... I was the one who suggested this whole thing, and got her all excited. What happens if she can't pass the skills test? What happens if she never gets to do more than go to practice and watch all the other girls get to be part of the team?

What if she fails at this?

Sometimes I think I am not cut out to be a parent.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Um, Wow.

So yeah, it's been a long week.

Things I've discovered:
  • Algebra is as awful now as it was in high school, only now I have to pay for it.
  • Community College is just as hard as any "regular" college - any prejudices you might have about that should be officially throw out the window right.... NOW.
  • I really love writing with a pen, on paper.
One of the classes I'm taking uses a book called "The Curious Writer". The title is, admittedly, slightly eyeroll worthy, but truthfully I'm really enjoying it!

A technique the author pushes right off the bat is "fastwriting", which means keeping the pen moving, and giving yourself permission to write badly, poor grammar and spelling be damned. It's an idea-generation process, and it really works!

One of the first exercises was to spend 10 minutes fastwriting about a room in which you spent vast amounts of time as a child. Mine was about *my* room specifically, although it was an amalgam of the many rooms I occupied growing up. Writing that way brought back smells, sounds, and extremely vivid visuals which makes me sound like I licked a toad first but honestly it was just really evocative!

So that's a good class.


Well, I shouldn't complain. I got very lucky with this teacher and her book choice. It's pretty cool, actually, the whole book is not only hard-backed but also accessible online. While doing homework online, if you get stuck on a problem, you can do one of several things, including seeing an example, looking at the actual chapter in the book in a clear, color digital format, or in some cases seeing a video of someone working the problem out and explaining as they go.

So while math does, in fact, appear to still be a convoluted mess of extraneous information (unless you're an engineer, in which case I solute your perseverance in that venture), at least the teaching methods have evolved from just "memorize this" to "memorize this, but here let me explain why".

I still hate fractions though. I can't help it.

The Child's high school experience is going fairly well. She's going through a few things I knew she would, like separation from closer grade school friends. Her friend M doesn't even share lunch with her, much less any other class or a locker nearby, and as a result they don't do much more than text now and again. Of course it's only been a week, but you know that's just an eon in teen-years.

M is also a social butterfly, so her calendar is pretty full, all the time. She also, over the past summer, experienced her first obsessive friendship. You remember those, don't you? The friends you absolutely worshiped and would move heaven and earth to see? It wasn't romantic, it was just really focused. M found that kind of involvement with a brother & sister team, and although they aren't in the same school as she is, it makes it all the more painful for her, and all extracurricular time is dedicated to them.

It doesn't leave much room for other friends.

It's tough to watch The Kid deal with this, but I am pleased to report she's making new friends of her own, and getting into stuff at school. Yesterday she went to the Fall play meeting (well, it's more musical theater, but same diff). She's not interested in being on stage, but rather being part of the crew! She'll be doing lighting, which is amusing only because my old friend Quinn did the same thing during our high school time together. She even made a career out of it!

She's also working hard on Roller Derby still, and even worked her way into being Lead Jammer again last Sunday!

She's definitely working on her own life.

It doesn't make those inevitable changes, those changes to tradition, any easier.

Oh and here's something scary...

Next Spring?



Well this weekend should be fairly calm, though filled with lots of hither-and-yonning. Tonight might include an appearance of Miss M mentioned above, though I'm not holding my breath for obvious reasons. Either way I'll be doing some serious math homework.

Tomorrow, more of the same, hopefully with a little time for sewing fit in - I really want to make these tank tops I've been aiming to make for the Florida trip! They shouldn't take too long, but that still means finding the time.

In the evening we'll be headed up to Fabulous Greeley to hang with the fam there and get The Kid's hair dyed a little bit... only the ends, Mom, I swear! I successfully talked her out of dying the whole thing, because in order to dye her hair at all it will involve bleach. Bleach the whole head and you ruin your hair completely. Just the ends though? Eh. That can get cut off.

Sunday, it's Roller Punks again, and I'll be going to check in on TR's cats, who are lonely and need some company! It'll be a struggle having to cuddle with 2 cats I adore for an hour or so, but I'm sure I'll muddle through.

Happy Friday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

And we're off!

Well it's certainly a week for adventure, isn't it?

TR's headed out to the desert today - two whole weeks working and having fun and hopefully not getting too sunburned. At the very *very* least he is going to be the coolest cat there, with his robe (no, I don't have a picture DON'T JUDGE ME) and his fuzzy purple boots and Purple Robe of Cairo and so on and so forth. I had so much fun making stuff for him, and I'm already half-planning next year's selection because I have the Kraft Krazy as we all know.

There will be sheepskin!

Anyway so he's off on his journey, and today I start my very first official college classes! I don't really count that Accounting 101 course I took about a million years ago, though given the price of admission I wonder if I shouldn't look into that... think 18 year old credits from out-of-state schools count? Yeah me either.

Being the over-achiever that I am, I even already posted my first assignment for my writing class. It's a course aimed at "writing for the reader"... that means my blog posts will be even more awesome than they already are, right?



I think I may be in over my head here, kids... or I'm projecting. I know this shocks many of you, the idea of me freaking out over something.

Anyway, as promised, I will be sharing with you any amusing posts, and maybe even the responses (with names changed to protect the innocent of course, and assuming it's okay with the teacher).

Here's the first one.

The assignment was to write a brief paragraph describing how you got your name, in 250-300 words. It's meant as a tester, so that the instructor can tell you how you *would* have been graded if she was grading. I think that's absolutely fabulous... what better way to help you understand her expectations!

Okay here goes. Don't laugh.

"Each family, it seems, has stories of how poor Elspeth got saddled with her moniker, or why Grant Milford Plankton Hallingsford-Wattersworth (The Third - Gitzi for short) need all those names.

My name isn't nearly as exciting, though it's certainly added color to my life over the years (literally - I used to see it in rainbow colors, though I blame Punky Brewster for that). My father wanted to call me Mary, but my mom won out... "Jaime" called to her from the cover of a TV Guide, the enchanting name of some soap star or other.

The name has had its pitfalls over the years! It gets misspelled as Jamie, Jayme, even Jaimiey (not sure how that one happened). It gets misheard and mispronounced... you have no idea how much mail I get for Mr. Jaime, in Spanish, for various mens magazines and products! Spanish is a beautiful language, but I can't read it and I don't need a subscription to GQ. And in grade school, I got put in the boys gym class no less than 3 times... not as fun as it sounds, trust me.

My last name gets the same treatment of course... can you guess how to pronounce it the first time out? (Don't worry, nobody gets it right the first time.) I think it's the only argument for Mary having been the preferable choice - only one name to mangle!

Of course I do get one or two claims to fame... Jaime Sommers was the Bionic Woman, and Jaime Pressley of "My Name Is Earl" fame has no doubt suffered as I have.

In the end, though it took years to get there, I'm quite proud of my name. I can guarantee nobody else in the world shares it!"

Yeah. It's 8AM. I'm only freaking out a little bit. What have I gotten myself into!?

Happy Monday... I'm going to go locate a paper bag to breathe into.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

*tap tap tap* Is This Thing On?

I'm not even going to bring up how I was all "I'm going to post daily!".

Obviously my life is way too busy at the moment to get that done successfully, which a) isn't surprising given the amount of stuff I've been attempting lately and b) is kind of a good thing since being bored is bad for you.

So what has been going on, you ask?

Well I'm probably going to forget some stuff, so I'll just start writing and we'll see where we go.

First off, the weekend was full of crafting!

I finished the copper-colored Experimental Space Cowboy vesty-dustery thing, which actually came out pretty well! The Kid was running around in it, making it flare out dramatically and humming the Imperial Death March, which was funny considering it looks more like a Jedi robe than a Sith Lord's getup, but I guess when you think about it, Anakin Skywalker did start out a proper Jedi, right?

Insert nerd cough here. You know the one.... coughnerd!cough

Anyway, assuming you don't look too closely at the seaming, it looks fabulous, and I think out in the desert sun it will really look shiny! And if you know what I mean by that, you get 10 internets and a plastic pony.

Also completed was the satiny/silky Purple Robe of Cairo which is actually more of an indigo, but purple works with my title so let's go with that shall we?

After much pinning...

If you want a nice sleeve you have to work for it!

... and sewing and using the seam-ripper and swearing (only a little bit on those last two), it was done!

This is the robe you were looking for.

Ain't he cute though?

I'd call it a huge success.

Once we'd squared that away, we moved on to the next bit of business...

The fur.

Fake fur can often feel so rough as to be off-putting, but this?

All I can tell you is that it's taking longer than it might normally to bring this second robe into creation, not because of any problems with the fabric but rather because I've carefully scheduled time into the creative process to cuddle with it.

Though easy to work with (surprisingly so), it was seriously messy to cut.

Ever cut fake fur? We had to resort to doing it outside, and it looked like it was snowing! We were smart enough to stand up-wind, but my neighbors were probably wondering what the hell was all over their lawn the next day. I'm exaggerating (SHOCKER) but not that much!
TR & I both inhaled a fair quantity of tiny fur bits despite our best efforts - I'm sure they'll come out eventually, but at the very least we have the most luxuriant lungs ever.

We took a break and had some lovely AJUUA!!!!! (now with extra exclamation points) for dinner with Nova, who came down to visit. I have yet to have a bad meal there, and this was no exception. I even got a margarita out of it (thanks Nov)! Good thing TR was driving because that sucker was STRONG.

Sunday I got back in the groove and lined the pieces of the coat/robe with a super-soft white jersey-knit cotton which, combined with the incredible softness of the fur itself, makes for a weighty, delicious piece of comfort and joy. The Kid and I keep feeling it up, and I actually fell asleep under it Monday night after finishing the lining on the back piece (the biggest part).

As of this very day I have managed to do all the lining and get it to the point of attaching the collar, which runs from one bottom corner to the other. It's pinned and ready to go, but I had to get to sleep at a decent hour last night since this morning started our new routine of getting up at 5:30 (give or take).

It required coffee.

In other, non-crafty news, last night I picked up my school books!

2 books, to be specific. Guess how much they cost!

C'mon, guess. I'll give you a minute. While you think about it, here's a video of a corgi jumping into water because there is nothing like a flying potato dog.

Give up? Well, for the same cost I could contain a Corgi of my very own, power an RV, or buy some awesome shoes.

I can't believe how much these things cost! What a racket.

But you know what? I love my new books (I always loved new books and school supplies) and I can't wait to get started, and anyway I had a grant so it's all good.

Remind me I said that when I'm bitching about how I have no time for anything, mmkay?

So yeah.

I've been busy. I even managed to squeeze in some house-hunting help for TR, not that I've been much help. My advice is more based on my feelings about maintenance than anything else... yard work makes me tremble and a saggy floor makes me nervous. Me, I want to move into a house and only make improvements if I *want* to... not because I have to.

Unfortunately most of those types of homes are unbelievably dull, and he's looking for something a little more interesting than that.

One of the houses fit the bill... older home, nicely kept, fantastic floors, beautiful view, mature fruit trees, gorgeous kitchen (I of course was selfishly imagining myself baking stuff with fresh fruit in that kitchen - this is why I'm no help at all), but it definitely had some what-ifs, in particular a bit of a poo smell in the basement, which makes me think it might sewer backup issues.

Ha! Sewer backup issues... use that word with its other, craftier pronunciation, and it sounds like me about 2 weeks before Christmas!

This is how my brain works. My apologies.

Tonight, after a first-day-of-school photo of my Kid, I'm going to finish up the collar and set in the sleeves and finish the sides and bottom of the robe, plus doing 15 minutes of my new exercise routine and making a nice chicken dinner.

I'm so ambitious... let's take a bet on how much of that actually happens.

Tomorrow... purple furry boots! Hopefully. We were going to line them with leftover soft white jersey but...

I ran out.

6 yards of this stuff and I ran out. HOW?! I have no idea, but I suspect that the "60 inch" width description was a big fat lie.

Instead I think I'll be raiding my old t-shirts and lining with that instead. It won't be seen and should provide a good solid barrier against the rough backing of the purple fur.

At least we know in advance...


Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Blame Television

When Allie Brosh posts I just want to bask in her awesomeness, re-reading her posts and giggling madly all the while feeling a disturbing similarity between us like some kind of obsessed stalker.

Today she posted about how her expectations of herself often don't match up with her actual abilities.

I blame the media! But then I often do.

The perfectly executed easy grace we see on TV and in the movies rarely illustrates real life - it is, after all, a series of scenes written by people who wish those scenes to be so - but even knowing that doesn't keep us from hoping that will be how our attempts at greatness turn out.

Dancing, singing in public, heck even losing weight are presented to us as simple tasks any fool can perform!

I'm aware of this to the point where it's almost a handicap... I don't try many new things, or even suggest ideas, because I'm fairly convinced I will look like a dork, over-extend myself to point of deep failure, fall on my ass, and quite possibly offend others.

I can picture myself mambo-ing flawlessly to my favorite Bob Schneider song at a show, but in reality I know I'd just look silly, so I'll probably be standing off the side, or worse... chair dancing.

Me too, Allie. Me too.

I can absolutely see myself getting up on stage at Kick-Ass Karaoke night, belting out some Sheryl Crow, garnering applause and adoration from the audience, but I know that I would probably forget half the lyrics, sound like a dork, and end up slinking back to my table, hoping nobody remembers it EVER.

These are natural fears of inadequacy, of course, and nothing of which I'm ashamed, though I do wish I could practice what I preach and stop thinking everyone's judging me, because it would cause me less anxiety in social situations.

The problem comes when there's *so* much anxiety about not being able to accomplish a task you've set out to do that you start second-guessing things you absolutely know you will be able to pull off with ease.

Like, say...


I mean, it's math and writing. I do both daily. What's to fear?


So last night I got almost all the way done with the blue robe, and totally finished the copper experimental garment, which The Kid declared "very space-cowboy" so that's a win in my book.

As long as nobody looks too closely at the seams.

The blue robe is really coming along! I thought I could finish last night but the collar took some doing. It was totally worth it because it looks completely fantastic and professional! I had to give in and go to bed after I started the sleeves, though. I hate doing sleeves! It's just so impossible to get them just right, because there's supposed to be ease and there are curves and so on and so forth... it just takes ages.

And you have to do it TWICE! This is exactly why I fear sock-knitting. I think if I ever manage to take that up I'm going to have to just jump straight into the two-at-a-time circular needle method because otherwise I'm going to have a lot of really expensive, time-consuming cat toy fodder as a result.

Thankfully the Simplicity people seem to know that after all that folding and hemming and lining and arranging, you're going to want to end on easy notes, so the arm and side seams are left for last, as well as the bottom hem. These are basically just long straight bits of stitching, no utching required, and you end up on a very positive note instead of "OMG that was horrible I never want to do this again".

I look forward to doing this with the fur, and the sheepskin too, because although it will take longer, the mistakes will be nearly invisible. I'm vain, I know, but I want the reaction to be "Wow, she MADE that?! You are so lucky to have a ladyfriend of such talent and hotness. I seethe with jealousy at your obviously charmed life." and not "Oh... wow... uh, I know a good store where you can buy something that won't look like a horde of armed monkeys was let loose in a fabric store, but you are so brave and loyal to wear that anyway... at least she's cute and has big boobs!".

It's not that much to ask, is it? :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I feel really accomplished!

Last night I managed to get all the pattern pieces cut for the robe, not only from the pattern itself (you sewing folks will know what I mean by that - it can be absolutely back breaking) but from the fabric as well! I even ironed the pattern pieces like you're supposed to. (I often skip this part - don't tell my mom.)

And I finished the hem on the copper experiment! Not the arm holes, though I did get them half-pinned... I just ran out of steam. That'll be done tonight, and hopefully so will most of the robe! It's not the neatest job in the world, but it hides the raw edges so there ya go.

The fabric looks absolutely fantastic, and I think TR will really dig the final result.

Yay for Kraft Krazy!

I have to tell you about my lunch yesterday, though. Our department went out to Braisserie Ten Ten, an absolutely delicious French (well, French-inspired) restaurant in Boulder which I love, just as a pre-Fall kickoff sort of thing.

I had been there once before several years ago with my friend Christine. Working at the University, I see a lot of receipts from professors for places I wouldn't have even thought to try but where they tend to eat on a regular basis, and this was one of those winners!

The food there is unbelievable... and reasonably priced (the most expensive lunch entree was 14.00) which appeals to me greatly of course! I had the Brique Poulet. The menu describes it as "salt and terragon crusted Petaluma Farms chicken" but it is not just roast chicken, trust me.

And the fried fresh green beans we had as an appetizer... oh my friends, you need these in your life! They were a special yesterday, but they really need to be on the menu as long as the beans are in season, in my humble opinion. They were lightly fried in tempura batter with a little bit of pepper. (They were also gone quickly!)

I would have taken pictures, but...

I was eating!

If you're ever in Boulder, I really can't recommend it enough.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Cushy

I mentioned Friday that we'd be scattering the ashes of Colorado Alternadad's wife on Saturday morning, which we did. It was a beautiful day, her daughters were grateful and I...

I had a bad reaction.

I'm not sure if it was the lingering result of holding someone's ashy remains in your hands (and, in fact, getting some on your shoe due to a hole in the plastic bag), or just all the memories of her rapid decline getting stirred up, but I was very down-in-the-dumpy Saturday night. I couldn't sleep... I just kept picturing her pacing back and forth, and later how she looked in the nursing home. The thing that stuck out...

Her dirty hair.

She was such a neat person when she was lucid, and seeing her with dirty hair, not filthy but definitely with that particular smell of being unwashed, kind of made it hit home that she was no longer herself anymore.

Saturday was the last, final, good-and-all end to that misery-laden period, and I'm happy for her and it was a positive thing (she now has a lovely natural rock outcropping out on a hillside in the mountains, her picture laminated and tucked away inside), but at the same time I think I exorcised the last of my sadness for her afterward, and it affected me more than I was expecting it to.

I take comfort knowing she's now a part of this:

Click to see it bigger... it's hard to believe it's a cell phone photo!

That's the view from her memorial. She would love it.

Thankfully I had plenty of distraction Saturday afternoon and evening to help keep my mind off things, although as I have discovered...

I am not a seamstress.

Well, I do alright but I have discovered that while others may be able to wing it, I definitely need a pattern if I'm going to end up with something that passes for not-sewn-by-a-monkey.

This weekend (amongst other things) I made my own pattern, basing it on TR's awesome black wool coat that I love.

"Easy!" thought I. "It's just a bunch of straight lines!"


The end result isn't *that* bad, but I definitely zigged when I should have zagged in a few spots. I used a large bit of fabric that had been lurking in my fabric stash, one of those shimmery dual-color satiny bits where when it moves it changes color - pretty cool stuff actually. This particular swath is coppery orange with a green undertone, and reminds me of what copper looks like with a light patina.

The shell itself was fairly easy, just a few pieces that I modified slightly to give a more flared effect on the bottom edge. I managed to get one sleeve on before going to meet TR on Sunday for some textile shopping (and can I just tell you it delights me to no end that he likes playing fabric with me?). It fit just okay, but he actually preferred the sleeveless side.

Thank GOD. I so did not want to sew on that other sleeve!

And so now I'm just tweaking it, finishing the raw edges as well as I can, adding a collar that isn't too weird looking... but really I think the color will distract everyone who sees it from the poor hemming job. It's like fashion camouflage!

I also give myself a bit of credit for creating a pattern based on a coat that was already put together... deconstructing a garment to make a pattern is easy, but doing it while it's still constructed?! That takes some...

Well I'd say skill, but I think I'll call it luck.

Sunday was not as productive in the sewing department, since I hadn't slept much Saturday night between the sewing and the ruminating.

The Kid was feeling pretty gross - headache, fatigue, etc. - so she skipped derby practice, but I still had an appointment with Denver Fabrics to attend to with TR, so I headed down to Denver and let her sleep.

We found some absolutely awesome faux fur that is so soft I just want to wrap up in it - it will be a robe - and some equally fantastic faux silk (or who knows - it could be real!) in a deep magenta, it's backing satin a rich blue that will actually be the outside of the other robe I'm making. Flowy and/or warm clothing is nice to have at Burning Man, and I volunteered to get TR set with a couple of pieces for this year.

Next year will be sheepskin. We're going to have to start in January though, I think, because it's going to take AGES! The good news is that The Internet Provides, and I have found many tips and tricks for working with sheepskin that will save me lots of Craft Angst later on.

After picking up an ungodly amount of fabric and notions, we headed to Ted's for an absolutely delicious dinner... a full turkey dinner for me (with all the trimmings) and a fantastic burger for him, plus coke with crushed ice which, as TR put it, was like summer in a glass.


After dinner we drove around to spy on some houses TR's been eyeballing online. Anyone who's bought a house knows that the pictures on the listings often don't show the true nature of the home or its surroundings, like the adorable 1920's house I was so enamored of until I saw a train track literally runs right down the middle of the street, or the flawless Craftsman home TR found which is right next to a 7-Eleven on a ridiculously busy street.

This was never more true than with the fantastic mid-century modern gem he found... which is surrounded by a deeply horrible neighborhood full of meth labs (one can only assume). One's first home experience shouldn't be fraught with danger and ATF agents.

Not a big fat lie, however, were the couple of houses he found in Arapahoe Acres, an historic district full of houses built between 1949 and 1957. They are all beautiful, and the one he likes could be an unbelievable deal if it's not hiding some sort of fatal flaw.

We watched a lovely sunset while driving around, and discovered another neighborhood that's definitely worth looking into. He's really got a pretty clear idea of what he wants, but the question remains... where to find it?

Back home, The Kid seemed to be feeling better after some food and additional sleep. In fact she slept all night, despite having slept all day! There was no fever, no nausea, nothing at all to demonstrate illness, which means...



Happy Monday/Tuesday Amalgam! :)

Tonight it's me and some satiny blue material and the sewing machine.

Wish me luck with that! I want it to look fantastic.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I just re-read my post from yesterday, and...

"Wow" just really doesn't accurately describe my insanity.

I do ramble on when I'm brainless!

The good news is, I successfully wore myself out writing that sucker (and sending an unbelievably involved list of info to TR about his coat-to-be), and only had enough sense left to realize that I should not, in fact, be making an hour-long drive to Arvada (and the subsequent return trip).

I barely made it home from work!

So no trivia last night, which was fine - we were the Invisible Bastards!

Given my total exhaustion, I didn't get much else done last night, though I had intended to start working up a pattern for the coat mock-up I'm planning. Given the cost of sheepskin, I don't want to experiment on it, but would rather spend the extra time making multiple sample versions of cheaper material. They won't be wasted efforts, of course; because I'm me, I'm going to make the mock-up as cool as possible!

Anyway, that didn't happen last night. I was sleeping.

Today, The Kid is at her grampa's practicing her skating downstairs, though I hope she'll remember to not practice her baseball slides, but rather stick with practicing her upright skills - that concrete is wreaking havoc on her skates!

Her grampa's two step-daughters are coming in today. Some of you may remember me mentioning that his wife Tanya passed a few months back. It was a blessing! She had suffered with Alzheimer's and serious dementia for over 10 years, and the last couple had been nothing more than her body continuing to breathe and beat its heart. Her mind was long gone, and when she passed we all felt nothing but joy for her, that she was finally free of all that sickness.

We are going to at last put her ashes to rest tomorrow. She loved, in her last lucid years, to go to this one spot up in the mountains - it was the only time I saw her smile and laugh the last few years - and we'll be trekking up there to let her hang out there on a more permanent basis.

It'll be nice to see her daughters, too... they weren't the best at communication while their mom was alive, and I'm unfortunately pretty sure that once this is done we won't hear from them much anymore. I'm glad to have known them, however briefly, and wish them the best in the future! There's no bitterness - as we all know, relationships with parents aren't always what we wish they were, and these girls deserve to move on.

Well, I'm not one to leave you on a downer note (though I really do believe it will be a joyous thing), so here's a video to take you into the weekend... it's about the cutest thing I've seen all week!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I am soooo wiped out today.

I'm totally fine with it (sometimes being tired is just a price you have to pay for brainstorming and hanging out with your night-owl fella), but because I'm so out of it, you get a lame post!

That's the price *you* have to pay.

I am going to drag myself to trivia tonight. I promised, and our team is short since two of them are on vacation in Fabulous Detroit. Besides, The Kid wants to come with, and she's only got a couple more opportunities to do so before....


Dropping her off yesterday for the retreat, we sat in contemplation of the mammoth beast which is her school in less than 2 weeks.

She's pretty nervous.

I reminded her that she's going with friends, she'll know a whole lot of the Sophomores and Juniors on top of that, and assured her that most of the school is gym (so true - it takes up half the building) so really it won't be *that* confusing, and also reminded her that they give the Freshman a whole day to try their schedules out.

I also told her that I know once she gets into the routine it'll become exactly that, and she'll wonder what she was so nervous about.

Of course I said all that because I'm a supportive mom, but also because...

I'm anxious enough for both of us.

She's really showing her duality - that easily-flipped switch between My Kid and Teenager. Though she had just been having a heart-to-heart in the car, once I handed over the check to the nice lady at the sign-in desk and The Kid spied one of her friends, it was "Bye, Mom" with barely a glance.

I was smiling as I walked away...

Because I know when I pick her up my big, bad, Derby-girl high-schooler is going to squeal like an 8-year-old when I tell her we're going to Arvada for trivia...which is next door to the candy shop.

She may be a BBD-GHSer (that's a mouthful!) but she's still my baby.

After dropping her off yesterday, I took myself home and, rather than be productive and make a shirt, I painted my toenails dark blue, read a book, and watched a really weird (but good!) movie called "Teeth". Click that link right there, but don't say I didn't warn you...


TR came by after finishing up his day, and we spent a nice evening coming up with ways to make him look like a polar bear caveman.

The sheepskin coat I'm going to concoct is going to take quite awhile, and so won't be ready for this year's Burn, but I think some of our other ideas are totally do-able on a fast track!

Purple furry boots perhaps - practice for sheepskin later - and I think a silky duster-like coat made to really fan out on the bottom (like Morpheus from The Matrix, but with less despair and misery). He's going to look AWESOME!


He already does, but you know what I mean.

Okay that was corny. I told you, I'm exhausted! I can't be responsible for the things my brain comes up with when I'm running on empty.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday's My Day Off, Don't Hassle Me

Even when I *was* posting daily before, I regularly skipped Tuesday most of the time since last November I designated it Tome Tuesday and that didn't really work out and... and... yeah!

It's still daily, it just might be a length of time more suited to a day on Saturn.

Not Jupiter though. Jupiter freaks me out. It has no solid surface!! It's like a cosmic jellyfish.

I know, I'm the only one berating myself for my nonconsistency (so not a word), but it keeps me motivated.


So TR is house hunting.

He has a pretty clear idea of what he wants in a house (namely no granite counter tops or cherry cabinets), and since he's got some time to do this it's proving really difficult to choose! It sucks to be in a time crunch, like I was, but it does have the upside of lessening the options.

The upside of options... shopping partners!

In hopes of getting some outside opinions (very smart - I mean I can barely buy pants without a second opinion), he sent the short-listed and B-listed groups to a couple of people, including me, which means I got to house-hunt vicariously, which I do sometimes anyway but not with the aid of an actual realtor sending listings! You know the stuff you find online is never a complete list... the realtors keep those good ones for their clients. Sneaky!

I found a few favorites (one with a 50's diner pre-installed, one with a stunning garden, and a Craftsman bungalow all had me wishing for a lotto win, as did this Frank Lloyd Wright number in Iowa - the location being its only downfall despite the flood damage from which it's still emerging), but tried to be helpful and commenty about the rest as well.

There were a lot and I'm not sure I was all that helpful since I had a lot of the same opinions he did, but I at least gave him some other stuff to consider, like sprinkler systems for big back yards.

Last night The Kid and I went to the Boulder County Fair for a little while to eat some unhealthy carnival food and visit all the animals. Today, of course, I'm suffering the after-affects of all that animal hair and hay, but it was worth it because of the baby bunnies and one-month-old foals.

I love the county fair! The food wasn't too bad, actually (well, except for the funnel cake)... smoked turkey legs, grilled corn on the cob... we skipped the fried Twinkies, though we were sorely tempted just for curiosity's sake.

There were lots of vendors there, naturally, and one caught our eye. Open Range is a locally-based internet provider that offers cheaper service than Qwest, and I likes to savings the money so I decided to give it a go!



Good thing it was a free trial, because it's running at probably half the speed of Qwest. I called them this morning to cancel my order, but they convinced me that given the free month, I should give them a chance to figure out the issue first.

Fair enough, but it better be damned amazing!

Last but not least (I say that a lot, huh?)... this was on the Craft:blog yesterday.

Yarn Bombing!

I'm not new to the non-destructive graffiti joy that is yarn bombing, but this is my favorite yet. I really need to start doing some of this!

Tonight The Kid is doing the sleepover retreat for her leadership academy thing, and I'll be working up my new clothing project and figuring out even newer ones with TR.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Home Sweet Home

There is nothing quite like your own bed.

With the exception of a Marriott bed. Ever slept in one? Oh my goodness. But I digress.

Spending the last week and a half shuttling back and forth, and moreover sleeping elsewhere, really took its toll on me, especially since the dogs are on such a strict schedule, and the cat is a whiny bastard who pees in shoes. (True! I had a little present waiting for me last Wednesday morning. Good thing I wear Crocs.) Friday night was our last night at the other house, and I barely slept! Honestly as much as I love dogs, I think if I ever have any of my own they will have a doggy door, and an afternoon feeding time. I will happily do a weekly poop patrol rather than have to be woken up every morning to let them out. It's like having a baby in the house!

Sunday, after an extended lie-in (I didn't get up until 10:30!), The Kid and I did some house-cleaning and then it was off to drop her at derby practice. I didn't stay this time, but rather headed to the other end of town to view The Only Slightly Inappropriate Bar, which I guess was worse before, but now is just a lot of nudity and pinups... a spicy collage that will be well-received wherever it goes. The bar itself is amazing, tricked out with electrical and everything!

My favorite part...

The picture of Kathy Griffin's head on a naked man's upper body. She would LOVE that!

Also on hand was this incredibly wooden structure, a pyramid-shaped frame from which will swing a lyra hoop, but which Sunday featured a porch swing. It was simple, and really beautiful, and kind of nerve wracking to watch come down at first until the clean design really showed all it had. Gorgeous!

This week is going to be slightly hectic, but not too bad. The Kid is leaving for her overnight Leadership Academy retreat Wednesday afternoon, and although I was going to go back to work (TR being up to his eyeballs in Burning Man prep means he won't be available until the later evening) I think I'll go home and do some sewing. I got a new pattern for tank tops that I'd like to try out, and I want to get my machine all prepped for my next big project...

A kilt!

Sort of!

A real kilt, of course, is a huge undertaking (9 yards of fabric!! NINE!), though the more I see of the how-to's, the more I know my little OCD heart is going to love making one. Even hems! Pleats of precise measurement! Crisp seams and edges! This will have all of that, but I won't have to get all crazy matching plaids. It's more for fun than for regimental perfection.

I'll also be working up something cool with some amusing and soft purple fake fur that I've had forever and bequeathed to TR for Burn purposes - not sure what form it will take just yet, but no doubt I'll be covered in purple furry bits in no time flat! I couldn't resist it - $2 a yard for this stuff was a steal and a half - but the 2 yards I got have been sitting in my closet for about 5 years now. It's time it got used.

Last but not least, here's something weird I found on Vimeo (naturally). It amused me though, and I hope it tickles you too!

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty from Darragh O'Connell on Vimeo.

Happy Monday... here's hoping for a calm week wherever you are. Somebody should have one!