Monthly Archives: February 2012

Thanks for the Childhood Memories

Davy Jones of the Monkees has died at age 66.

I was eight years old, a neighbor girl I often played with was nine when we got into a serious fight over which one of us was going to marry Davy Jones when we grew up. We were serious. Kids, huh? Only a few years later I no longer thought he was especially cute and the Monkees were just kid stuff. As young girls always do, I moved on to other pop star crushes.

I never completely outgrew some of the Monkees’ songs. (Pardon the advertisement. Of the available videos I like this one best.)


I suffer from a strange psychiatric disorder that causes me to spontaneously volunteer to make curtains every time someone mentions that they are thinking about buying new curtains, even though I don’t particularly like to make curtains. So now I have to make curtains for the big window in my brother’s living room.

Curtains are very easy to make but they always take longer than I think they should, I always worry that they won’t come out even, and I just generally don’t enjoy it very much. But for some reason, even though I’ve done it before and I know better, before I start it always seems like it will be a fun little project.

Six Eyes

If you call a person who wears glasses “Four Eyes” wouldn’t it make sense to call a person who wears bifocals “Six Eyes”? Umm… anyway…

I’ve been having the worst time with my current eyeglasses. They’re no line bifocals and the reading spot is in the wrong place.* When I am reading a book (or my Kindle or using my phone) I take my glasses off and hold the book (or whatever) closer. That works out well but the computer presents a huge problem. I have my adjustable office chair at its highest position and if I sit up as straight and tall as possible, stretch my neck and tilt my head back a little bit I can see the screen fairly well but it’s quite uncomfortable and I can’t do it for very long.

I think that might be the main reason I can’t come up with much to post here. I can’t surf that much anymore. I check the weather, email and Facebook, look at two or three blogs, do a quick blog post and that’s about all I can handle. After less than an hour at the computer my back, neck and eyes hurt. I’m supposed to have my eye appointment in May but I might not wait that long.

(*This is not my first pair of no line bifocals so I know how they’re supposed to be.)

Yay Buttons!

Referring to last Wednesday’s post about fabric and buttons: I cut out the turquoise flannel Friday afternoon. I haven’t worked on it any yet. The grandson was occupying the spare room this weekend and I didn’t have anywhere to set up the ironing board that wouldn’t be in the way. I rarely sew much on weekends anyway.

I ordered some buttons from Create For Less on Wednesday or Thursday (I forget which) and they came in the mail Saturday. I wasn’t expecting them until late this week. It was a nice surprise. It’s hard to tell what they really look like from the pictures on the website so I ordered several different styles. (including some lovely pink ones for a piece of fabric not in the picture) I know I will eventually use them for something. They’re all very pretty. They’re Dill buttons, a brand I hadn’t heard of before. They have a huge selection and the ones I ordered are so nice, I’m an instant fan.

I think I’ll wait until I sew them onto something before taking pictures. Most of them come in little blister packs so I think it might be hard to get a good picture of them and I don’t want to open the packs until I’m ready to use them.

Sewing Break

I’m stuck. It’s been a while since I finished the last thing and I need to start another sewing project but I don’t know what I want to do next. I have two more pieces of flannel for shirts and I want to make one of those because I would get to wear it right away, and I already have the buttons for both of them, but I’m tired of sewing plaids. I want to do something else.

I have several spring and summer things that I could make even though it might be two months before I get to wear them. I need buttons for the two pieces of fabric I’m most interested in sewing now. Wal-mart does not have any that would do so it’s either drive 40 miles to the nearest fabric store and hope they have buttons I want or look for buttons on the Internet. I’ve been doing the latter but haven’t decided on any yet. The Button Drawer, a site I used to like a lot, shut down and most of the fabric retailers have surprisingly few buttons – kinda like Walmart. But I finally looked at Create For Less. Jackpot! They have lots of buttons. I haven’t found any that make me go, “Oh, those are perfect!” but they have several that would be okay and I will finally decide and order some soon. But, I don’t know… I might force myself to face the plaid before I move on to more interesting things. Probably the turquoise. I’m thinking I’ll save the red-orange heavyweight flannel for next fall.



The latest classic that I’ve read is Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m sure most people know this story – a man stays young while his portrait ages. What’s really fascinating about it, though, is the psychological study of an exceptionally attractive and innocent youth who comes under a bad influence and grows to be a corrupt and despicable person.

The bad influence, Lord Henry, is an interesting character also. He is full of “wise” advice. He speaks in platitudes that actually sound good and very quotable. They have a tempting ring of truth even though they actually represent a perfectly despicable outlook on life. I think that’s what makes this book a work of genius. Wilde made evil sound good and showed us how temptation happens.

Future Meat

Most people would probably say I’ve watched way too many re-runs of Star Trek (not to mention all those sci-fi novels) but I really don’t have a serious problem with this. (I first saw this article on Facebook but I had to search for one that’s a little less “OMG! We’re all gonna die!”) Yeah, it is kind creepy but if we actually thought about where meat comes from and visualized all the steps involved in getting it from the hoof to the grocery store every time we take a bite of a hamburger a lot more people would be vegetarians. Many of those who are already vegetarians would like to see this happen but I’m sorry, I like meat. My ancestors ate meat, I eat meat, and one way or another my descendents many generations hence will eat meat. Put on your big kid pants and deal with it.

There would be actual benefits from artificially grown meat, aside from the high-tech coolness factor. Fewer cow farts = less global warming. And more land would be available for purposes other than cattle farming. Right now producing “test tube meat” is horribly expensive but there’s a possibility that it could someday be made more affordable than the real thing and more meat could be made available to more people. But I fear the professional panic inciters will prevent any of this from happening. The people crying the loudest about global warming, hunger, etc. don’t really want these problems to be solved because then they’d have to find or invent something else to protest against.

Tag, I’m It

This morning I stood in line for an hour to get an ugly picture of myself. (i.e. I got my driver’s license renewed) Here in Oklahoma, independent “Tag Agencies” handle most things car and driving related and it’s usually much faster and more efficient than the typical DMV, but this morning there was an unusual number of people there to renew driver’s licenses. But it was actually not a bad wait. Almost… entertaining.

Oklahoma adds an interesting complication to business like this. There was a man there trying to apply for a title. (It’s a really small place so you can overhear everything that goes on.) For some reason they couldn’t give him a title and the lady behind the counter explained to the guy something like twenty times that he would have to get a Cherokee Nation title but he said that the Cherokee Nation had told him that he would have to get an Oklahoma title. The joys of bureaucracy are not limited to the descendants of Europeans.

Oklahoma now makes people who wear glasses take their glasses off for their drivers license or ID photo. I absolutely do not look like me without my glasses. I did wear makeup today so I wouldn’t look like I don’t have any eyelashes but the photo is hideous anyway. The good thing about it is that on the license it came out so washed out you can barely tell it’s a face. (They show you the photo on a screen before they print the license.) I know everyone’s DL photo is hideous but a a few years ago I actually had one that was pretty decent so now I have higher expectations.

A Great Day In History

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic space flight. Kelly remembers a film that he first saw when he was in elementary school:

A documentary like this would be dismissed today as slavish propaganda, and I suppose, in a way, that it is…but you know what, I just don’t care. Our space program in the 1960s, even though we might wish it was less motivated by a desire to beat the Soviets, was a time of greatness that we achieved because we just plain wanted it. And it saddens me to think that our era of space exploration was so short that a landmark mission, fifty years ago, now seems almost quaint. [Italics in original]

I think it’s sad that we lost interest in space exploration and sad that so many people think patriotism is a bad thing. People have the wrong attitude about these things. In a way I can understand. In the past there was, perhaps, too much, “Good America vs. Bad Other Guys” and “Yay us! We’re better than everyone else,” but that doesn’t mean we should make patriotism a sin. Many people act like patriotism is the same as sports fandom: root for the home team, hate the rival teams. Instead, we should think of America as a family. You love your family, don’t you? You’re happy when your family is successful but that doesn’t mean you hate other families. It’s okay to love your own family and want them to do great things and still like other families and want them to do well also.

Yesterday was also Presidents Day – an excuse for government employees to have a three day weekend. When I was a kid there was no Presidents Day. There was Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday which were myth perpetuating opportunities disguised as educational opportunities. We were taught the story about Washington and the cherry tree and about Lincoln’s childhood growing up in a log cabin but very little about their presidencies. It was a nice break from the routine though. There was usually some kind of art project. I remember one year we cut silhouettes of Washington and Lincoln out of black construction paper and glued them to sheets of white paper. I wonder if kids still do that sort of thing in school.

I think it would be better for the kids, and all of us, if we had John Glenn Day instead of President’s Day and went back to the old-fashioned Washington and Lincoln birthdays.

Quotes From Here and There

At what point did we collectively stick our heads up our own asses, anyway?here

My mind was not just wandering, it was on an extended gadabout with time out for some lollygagging, and was toting a bindlestiff while whistling “King of the Road.”there

According to sources at the party, no one understood what Felonious said, but all the guests declared themselves deeply

After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned.there

This ‘n’ That

Actually… I’ve got nothing. I just typed that title hoping something would occur to me. Kelly Sedinger has been blogging for 10 years now and is still going strong. My own 10 year “blogiversary” is coming up in a couple of months, I think. I forget the exact date.

It seems like for the last several months I’m almost never in the mood for this. Most days I just throw something up here for the sake of keeping it going and sometimes I think maybe it’s time to give it up. But I don’t really want to. I keep thinking one day I’ll have something that I really want to say to the world and I will want to still have this place to say it. And, actually, I do often have things I want to say but I always think, “later, I’m not in the mood right now,” and usually end up changing my mind or just forgetting about it.

After being on Facebook for – how long has it been? Not even a month yet, I don’t think – I have 12 Facebook friends most of whom are family and most of those are not really “into” Facebook. A lot of the activity that goes on is not what I consider socializing; it’s just “sharing” funny pictures and “posters” and such. It seems like most people have forgotten how to really communicate with each other. Of course, I’m guilty too. Just like I often don’t really have anything to say here, I don’t have anything to say on Facebook either. Or Twitter. It’s been months since I have regularly logged on to Twitter. But still, Facebook is kinda fun so far. I wish the site was better organized and worked in a way that made more sense. It seems so cumbersome and illogical to me.

This is interesting: Chihuahuas may have been raised for food in the southeastern US in ancient times. There are all kinds of things I could say about that but very little that wouldn’t get me into some kind of trouble.

And in the So Wrong department: Hello Kitty Kiss. Somehow, I just can’t hate this. In fact. Hello Kitty never looked cuter.

I really, seriously, need to work on the quilt top more and get it done. In the few years since I started quilting, at the beginning of the year I’m always full of ambition and enthusiasm and have visions of finishing as many as four quilts in a year, then it’s “Well, maybe only three” and I actually only manage to get two done. But this year I decided I’m going to take the pressure off myself and only try for one, all year, but so far it’s not even looking very good for that one.

I’m more interested in sewing clothes right now. I feel like starting things but I think what I might do next is some of the altering and re-making I’ve had in mind for a while. I put that off because it’s not as much fun as starting new things but I think it will feel good to get that stuff done.

Random Linkage

Snow Cats – An awesome Flickr gallery. I found it because one of my photos is included.

The Enemy Within original ending – hmmmm… That was never one of my favorite episodes anyway.

The history of the future of Mars

Canine valentine

Entertainment over-analysis – Six theories of the possibly-true-but-who-the-hell-cares variety

Beautiful bookstores – Wow.

High Heeled Cupcakes – Very cute, and they won’t hurt your feet!


UPDATE: Now that I think about it, I think I might have posted or linked to this video before. It’s so WTF you’ve just gotta look again.

Old Style

This is delightful and I have several different thoughts at once. First, inevitably, is, “It’s not fair. So many people these days are living and remaining active into their 90’s and even past the age of 100; why not my mother?” The second thing I think of is that there’s hope for me. I’ve never been stylish and I won’t be when I’m 90 but I’m thinking there’s a good chance I’ll still be here, showing off my own “style”, if you can call it that.

I don’t much care for the outfit that Mrs. Drake is wearing in the photo but I love the way she makes it work for her. And at age 90! Perhaps I should practice walking in high heels so I will be able to do it when I’m that age. I could never have worn that skirt but I’m happy that she is daring to wear it at that age. I’m delighted that there are women out there challenging what old age is supposed to look like.

As I said, I’ve never cared much about being “in style”. I wear what I like and, often, merely what I like to sew. If I find a pattern that’s fun and easy to sew and looks okay I make it over and over again. But I think that as one ages one needs to be careful to not look like one has given up and just doesn’t care to try anymore. That doesn’t mean you have to look like everyone expects you to look. If you can’t be eccentric at 90 then you might as well give up. Not that I ever want to look like that either but frankly I do have an inner Penelope Garcia and it would be a shame if she never, ever, got to come out and play.

In the past year I’ve begun to rethink my clothing strategy a bit. Perhaps wearing long, loose shirts to conceal my ample hips (a.k.a. “my big fat ass”) is not the best way to go. Many of the pants I wear are rather baggy but that’s not entirely on purpose. I have the worst time trying to find a pants pattern that is just right but I did recently find a new one that I’m going to try. (But I’ll have to buy more fabric. Darn. I wasn’t going to buy any more fabric for a while.) I’ll have to add pockets to it. Why all these patterns for pants without pockets? Why on Earth would anyone make pants without pockets?! I suppose I should be happy that I have the ability to sew and alter patterns to make exactly what I want but this makes me crazy. Just once I’d like to find a pattern that is just right as is.

I’m always attracted to bright colors but lately I’ve been thinking brown. My mother once said that I look good in brown. I didn’t have a lot of brown clothes when I was a kid. I only remember two brown dresses during all my childhood. One of them was a brown check dress Mom made for me when I was little and I remember at the time she told me I look good in brown because I have brown eyes. And for some reason that has stuck with me. (And honestly, that’s not the only reason. I do like brown as well as brighter colors.) I know dark green is a good color for me too, and certain shades of dark red, but I’m craving brown right now. I need to really make up some of the fabric I already have though. Not that I really have a lot. I generally don’t let myself get a huge stash but I have enough and I’m currently in penny pinching mode.

Oh yeah… It’s February

It snowed this morning – only about two inches. Getting acclimated to a certain kind of weather or temperature range is an interesting phenomenon. If you’ve been living with below freezing temps for several weeks and it warms up to near 40°F that actually feels nice but if you’ve been living with 60°+ weather for a while that same 40° feels miserably cold. And this past weekend was colder than that. It didn’t get above freezing Saturday and Sunday wasn’t much warmer. Right now it is 32°F and it’s supposed to warm up later in the week so this snow isn’t going to last long.

I had not heard the phrase French Toast Emergency before but I like it. I worked in a grocery store for a couple of years in the ’80’s so I understand that perfectly. You northerners have no idea of the panic that can be caused by one inch of snow that will melt in less than 24 hours. Fortunately people here in Oklahoma are nowhere near as bad as the people in southeast Virginia where we used to live but it’s still a good idea to avoid the stores right before and during a snowfall if you can.

I guess I should also mention that I got one of those “Versatile Blogger Awards” that keep going around. (same post) I do appreciate being noticed but that’s all I’m going to say about it this time. Right now it just seems like too much of a chore to fully participate, passing it on and all the rest.

Fortunately I still have enough mental energy to copy and paste so here’s a fun, seasonal pic:

white trash repairs - Natural Emissions
see more There I Fixed It

Quotes From Here and There

There. I’ve just explained Real Feminism to you. You can throw all those books by second- and third-wave feminists away and quit reading

I think these people should be exposed to toddler snot, then locked in a freezing basement with a bag of ragweed pollen tied over their head until they develop a proper appreciation for the consequences of their policies.there (via)

Among twenty boxes of patterns

The only desired thing

Is that pattern, over there, on the

Legislators and, in many cases, campus bureaucrats need to know that real life and real education often includes “strong language and adult content.”there (Seriously! WTF, Arizona? Come in out of the hot sun already.)


I found this sort of interesting little questionnaire so I thought I’d try answering it even though, as usual, I don’t have good answers for all of the questions. Questions #9 and #19 are outdated so I decided to write my own questions to replace them. Also, I’m adding a “Part B” to #18. So here we go.

1. One of my favorite TV shows recently changed the actors who played two characters. Have you ever been bothered by a TV show or movie series changing actors who play a character you love? This almost always bothers me on TV series but not so much when it’s a comic book based movie series. I guess they change so often I expect it.

2. A coworker recently shared a link to a blog listing the “five things you should know before dating a journalist.” As a journalist, I can honestly say the writer was spot-on. What are some things people should know before spending time with you? 1. I don’t like to be asked a lot of questions, like an interrogation. Tell me something about yourself and I’ll tell you something similar about myself. 2. Don’t talk to me about pop culture. I have no idea who’s on American Idol or the other, similar shows and I don’t want to know. 3. I’m often a little slow to get started but if you are capable of talking about something interesting I can be a good conversationalist.

3. What is something you often do without realizing that you’re doing it? Hmmm… I have no idea. There might be something but I haven’t realized it yet.

4. Who has the capacity to make you angrier than anyone else in your life, and what in particular does he or she do to make you so angry? I don’t know. I do get angry sometimes – everyone does – but I can’t think of one particular person who sets me off more than anyone else.

5. If a fairy waved a magic wand and gave you the house of your dreams, where would it be and what features would it have? It would be right here, on the exact spot where this crummy old house is. It would be a Victorian style house, big but not really huge. Nice big kitchen with lots of cabinets and countertop space. Same color scheme as my current kitchen – yellow and blue with hickory cabinets – but with high end materials. Hardwood floors in the living areas, carpet in the bedrooms. Really nice tiled bathrooms but no “earth tones”. Nothing too over-the-top, just a really nice house.

6. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree? – That Barack Obama is a pretty good president – not one of the greatest, just good. Here in Oklahoma almost everyone disagrees with that.

7. I used to talk in my sleep. In fact, I could carry on a conversation with someone when I was fully asleep, and my mom used this fact when I was a teenager to find out if I did anything wrong and was hiding it from my parents. If you were talking your sleep tonight, what do you think you would say? Something to or about my mother. I’ve been thinking about her almost constantly.

8. The fourth installment of the “Twilight” movie series (“Breaking Dawn Part I”) will be released in theaters soon. Movie theaters started selling advance tickets for midnight showings months ago. Have you ever attended a midnight premiere showing of a movie? Never. I can’t think of any reason why I would ever want to do such a silly thing.

9. You’re on the road, somewhere west of the Mississippi where it’s a long, long way between towns. It’s long after lunchtime and you’re very hungry. Finally you see a shabby little building with gas pumps in front, a faded, painted wooden sign that says “Cafe” and a pink neon sign in the window that says “Eat”. Do you stop there and get something to eat? Certainly. Sometimes old places like that turn out to be pretty cool. You never know what wonderful things you might discover if you don’t take a chance.

10. If a company opened a theme park aimed at adults, what would you name one of the rides? It wouldn’t be a ride; it would be a giant ball pit with a big sign in front of it with the words: They Didn’t Have These When We Were Kids (Although, come to think of it, there are young adults now who did play in them when they were kids. Damn I’m getting old.)

11. Imagine you just moved onto Sesame Street. Which puppet would you want as your new roommate? The obvious, only possible choice would be Kermit.

12. Have you ever had a weird crush on a famous person that didn’t make sense to you? No. Of course I had crushes when I was a teenager but none of them were weird and they all made sense.

13. If you get ten minutes to interview any celebrity of your choice, who would you like it to be? Oooo… tough question. Neal Asher, I guess, but I have no idea what I would ask him.

14. You’ve just won the complete DVD collection of all the movies starring one actor or actress. Which actor/actress would you pick? Another really tough question. Sidney Poitier, I think. The collection would include several old favorite movies and a lot that I haven’t seen.

15. Actor George Clooney recently told People Magazine that he doesn’t use Twitter “because I will drink in the evening and I don’t want anything that I could possibly write at midnight to actually end my career.” What is something you’ve said through social media and then regretted it? I’m always careful not to say anything I might regret but the entire last year I spent hanging out on music message boards was a huge waste of time so I guess I could say I regret everything I said that whole year.

16. VH1 has re-introduced its hit show “Pop-Up Video,” which gives behind-the-scenes facts for popular music videos. What musician would you be most interested in learning behind-the-scenes facts about? Neville Marriner

17. If you stumbled across someone’s personal written journal that was accidentally left in a public place, would you read any of the content? No. If it was someone I know I would be tempted but I would also be afraid I’d learn something I didn’t want to know.

18. A. What is the title of a self-help book that you’d never want to see on a store bookshelf?
I don’t even look at self-help books but I think the worst would probably be something like: How to Escape the Cult of Individuality and Learn to Fit in By Being Just Like Everyone Else Observing people, it seems like that book must really exist and has been read by a lot of people.
B. What is the title of a self-help book that you would like to see?
How to Cure Your Addiction to Self-Help Books

19. If you could change the traditions associated with one holiday what would it be and what would you change? I would change Valentines Day. I would keep the red and pink hearts but if I could change it, Valentines Day would be about all kinds of love and affection – every kind of good feeling one person can have toward another – not just romantic love. It would celebrate the love parents have for their children and children for parents, the love siblings have for each other and the platonic love of close friends and the love that good people have for all mankind. Getting kind of high-minded I suppose but why bother having a holiday if it’s not for something special? UPDATE: It would not be a major gift-giving holiday – just, if anything, cards and small, inexpensive tokens of affection, and little homemade gifts.

20. Should a marriage license have a renewal date or expiration date, like a driver’s license? Absolutely not!