Monthly Archives: November 2012

Seasonal Randomness

I did not gain any weight in the last two weeks. It’s probably strange to brag about nothing but, hey… Thanksgiving… no weight gain. Not only that but I made pies. We went to my brother-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving, which was nice. The weekend after, because we didn’t have any Thanksgiving leftovers of our own, I made two pies – apple and sweet potato. It turned out that my husband and I were the only ones who wanted any. Everyone else had already had plenty of pie elsewhere. So I’ve been eating pie all week. Didn’t gain any weight. How did I do that? I have no idea. I wish I knew so I could do it again and maybe even improve on it by actually losing a pound or two.

I finally did a little bit of Christmas shopping but I still have a lot more to do. As much time as I spent browsing online stores yesterday you would think I’d have it all done but I started out with very few ideas and didn’t get any new ideas during all that browsing. If I don’t order some more stuff in the next few days I’m going to have to go to the real world stores, which is okay. I do like old-fashioned shopping, though online shopping is so convenient and there’s so much more stuff to choose from.

Here’s a wonderful Thanksgiving article. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, if I had to pick just one. It’s all about getting together and spending time with family and that’s the best thing about any holiday. That and pie. Mustn’t forget the pie.

Busy

Oops. You were expecting to see something new here today, weren’t you? I’ve been busy shopping. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything I want to buy and time is running out. So, for now, why not listen to some nice music and talk among yourselves. I’ll be around.

Random Linkage

I’ve always liked British actors. They’re so… uh… dignified.

These pigs do fly – Well… not really but for pigs, I would say diving is pretty close.

Advanced Style and Idiosyncratic Fashionistas – Elder and eccentric fashion blogs, both via American Age Fashion

Chand Baori – a very interesting structure

The Worst Things for Sale – Great site. Whether these things are really “the worst” is a matter of opinion of course but this blogger states his opinion rather entertainingly.

If we are actually living in a computer simulation I want to have a face-to-face talk with the programmer.

I want one. – A real, life-sized one would be even better.

1910′s America in Color – Early 20th century color photos. Wonderful!

Obituaries for Stuff – Yeah… I can relate.

Candle Powered Candle

50 Insane Facts About Australia – Just when you think you know how weird the place is someone posts something like this. Cube shaped poop? Really? Really?!

The Jetsons at 50 – Wait… 50? That show can’t be 50 years old because I remember watching it when it was new, when I was a kid… Oh. Dammit.

Women of a Certain Age

Leeann writes about what it’s like to be our age. My main old-age hang-up – aside from the scary forgetting what I was thinking about five seconds ago that everyone gets – is feeling like things I’ve done and been into most of my life are now “old lady things” and that people will see them as evidence that I am over the hill. Like sensible shoes. I have worn high heels but mostly I have always worn flats or low, wedge heels. Always. Even when I was in my 20′s. That’s always made me feel a wee bit superior because I was smart enough to be kind to my feet instead of being a slave to fashion. Now I’m just like the rest of the old ladies.

I sew on a 100+/- year old treadle sewing machine. Who does that? Grannies, that’s who. I’ve always thought it was cool because hardly anyone else uses one, and certainly no young people were using them. Lots of people have them and they just sit in the corner, folded up, holding a bouquet of flowers or something. I actually use mine and that’s cool because it’s unique and because I’ve been “green” since green was nothing but a color. But now I’m getting to the age when people are going to think, “Poor old thing can’t handle a modern, electric sewing machine.”

And hot tea. Lots of people drink tea but when you live in the U.S. and you get to a certain age, tea is an old lady thing. And classical music. Only old people listen to that, right? And pink slacks. I wouldn’t even have thought of that one but my husband told me that only old ladies wear pink slacks. (Thanks, dear.) It seems like more than half the stuff I like is now “old lady stuff” and I want to tell everyone, “Hey, I’ve always done this and when I was in my 20′s and 30′s it was cool because nobody else was doing it. I was a hipster before they even invented the word.” But I never get the chance and it doesn’t matter anyway. Nothing an old person does is cool and telling people you used to be cool is really not cool.

But wait! Let me tell you about my smart phone.

What Kind of Day?

There is a commercial (for a credit card, I think) in which the very perky checkout girl at a toy store tells the customer, “Have a super sparkly day.” The customer says, “Okay,” in a tone that strongly suggests that she does not appreciate the sentiment. You know what? I don’t think I would have any problem with someone telling me to “Have a super sparkly day.” I might think it was odd and silly but I would be more likely to laugh than to have any reaction similar to the woman in the commercial. And I would much prefer it to “Have a blessed day,” which seems to be increasingly popular around here.

You know, maybe I’m a bad person. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with wishing someone a “blessed day”. In the minds of the people who say this it’s the best kind of day for a person to have. They are only wishing me the kind of day that they would like to have themselves. But, I’m sorry, it sort of creeps me out a little bit. It gives me that inner skin crawly feeling. I really blame those people who complain about the traditional, “Have a nice day.” How many people would have ever thought of saying anything else if someone hadn’t tried to make them feel bad about telling people to have a nice day?

That commercial has me thinking though. What other alternatives to “Have a nice day,” could we think of? Maybe I should start telling people, “Have a shiny day.”

Random Linkage

Coffee With an Architect

Women’s Magazines Then and Now – Interesting comparison. Women’s magazines bore me.

Bring back Twinkies – Hah! Finally a cause we can all believe in. (Or not. I actually don’t like Twinkies.)

Portraits of Flowers – Beautiful

News oops – Seriously, why do we even need the mainstream media anymore?

Belly Button Biodiversity – Scientific navel gazing?

Christmas: Cats’ point of view – Heh.

Archival Tendency – Beautiful and interesting images

Cherpumple – Hmmmm… I can’t decide if that looks heavenly or gross. I’m leaning toward the former, unfortunately.

Adidas vs. Puma – Interesting. (By the way, isn’t it funny that an old-fashioned word meaning shoemaker is also the name of a kind of dessert?)

Quotes From Here and There

Well, they’re only naked in the sense that they don’t have any clothes on. (I’ve used this excuse myself, in fact.)here

Lost in Space was the first science fiction TV show I ever got obsessed with as a kid and I especially remember being obsessed with the third season of the series. In retrospect, it is hard to see why.there

They would not settle for saying that the distinctive quality of literature, what separates it from all other kinds of human discourse, was ineffable. They wanted to effing name it.here

Just Another Cat Pic

This is my brother’s cat. He has had him for a few months but he always hides under the bed when I’m there. (the cat, not my brother) I saw the gorgeous little guy (the cat, not my brother) for the first time yesterday. I took this picture with my phone.

My brother's cat

My Week So Far

I’ve been busy, busy. Monday, I… that’s funny, I can’t remember what I did Monday. Oh, I remember now… nothing. So why does it feel like I’ve been busy all week? Tuesday I went to see my brother for his birthday. Oh yeah! That’s what I did Monday. I scanned a bunch of old photos and printed out copies. That takes a lot longer than one would think because a lot of time is spent waiting on the scanner/printer to do its thing.

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby to buy some buttons and of course you can’t go to Hobby Lobby and just buy buttons; you have to look around for a while. Then I went to Walmart to finally get the things I didn’t get when I went to Walmart on Friday because someone told me that there was going to be a parade in town in less than an hour so I rushed to get just a few essential things so I wouldn’t end up behind the parade.

All that took up a huge chunk of my day yesterday, mainly because of the driving time, and tomorrow I have to go to Walmart again to get stuff for the Weekend, so today I am staying home. I almost said “no matter what” but if I said that something would come up that would absolutely require me to go somewhere so I didn’t say that.

So today I have plenty of time for some good blogging. Um… well… I’m drawing a blank. Other than this nonsense that you just read I don’t have anything right now that I want to say. There might be a cat picture later.

Another Social Networking Thing to Neglect

It’s been a long time since I have regularly visited Twitter. After not going there for months I decided to try it again but that lasted only a few days. I did like Twitter but for some reason I can’t seem to get back into it.

I signed up for Facebook because I had hoped I could re-connect with and keep in touch with cousins I haven’t seen since we were kids but it turns out all my cousins are computer-phobic. So right now I have 14 or 15 Friends and to be honest there are two or three of them I’d like to unfriend but I’m worried about the social awkwardness of doing that.

I guess Facebook is exactly what I knew it would be, or should have known, but I was hoping it would be a lot more of “This is what I’ve been doing,” and “This is what I’m thinking about,” and “Here are these pictures of my kids, grandkids, pets, house and garden,” and a lot less “Share this if you love your mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, Jesus or puppies”. After a few of those I decided that I will not share anything that says “Share this if…” It just seems so manipulative to me – like they’re saying “you have to share this.” So I don’t.

Oh, and the games… I tried Words With Friends once. It takes the game ten minutes to load (literally 10 minutes) you play your word and then come back later and wait 10 minutes for it to load so you can play your next word. I’m done. No more Facebook games. I’m not abandoning Facebook yet though. There are a couple of people who post stuff I actually do want to see and it has helped me keep in touch with a couple of geographically distant relatives (in-laws actually)

And then along came Google Circles. I got a couple of notifications that someone had added me to a Circle and at first I ignored them but I finally gave in. I think I might like Google Circles better than Facebook but it’s hard to tell with only three people in my Circles, two of whom never post anything. But I’d really like to give it more of a try before I give up on it so I’m looking for more people to add to my circles. I have one named “Internet Friends” (or Online Friends; I forget exactly) for all you lovely people who comment here. My gmail address is strngwoodlndcreature[at]gmail.com

This ‘n’ That, Sewing Edition

I hate when I see something I want to comment on and then I can’t find it again. One of the sewing bloggers wrote about polka dots and asked something about personal style and fabric choices, and I did comment over there but I wanted to link to it. I looked at every sewing blog on my list and couldn’t find it again. Oh well.

I think I do have a personal style when it comes to pattern choices but with fabric I’m all over the place. I like quilting cotton because it comes in so many pretty and interesting prints. I’ve mentioned before that I’m very attracted to bright colors but I also like brown and subdued antique-like colors. I think one reason I tend to choose more bright colors is a sort of rebellion or a desire to be different. It seems like most people are turned off by bright colors, or even if they don’t actually dislike them, they’re afraid to wear bright colors. On the other hand, most of the patterns I buy are simple or classic styles. And I have a habit of using a few patterns over and over again.

I almost finished another blouse this weekend. I need to get some buttons for it. I’m planning to wear it to my husband’s company Christmas party so I have plenty of time but I wanted to go ahead and make it early. It’s not a Christmas print but it seems a bit festive – a green and teal sort of paisley-like print with a bit of gold metallic. I am going to make just a few things for Christmas so I guess I’ll start one of those projects next. And I am still slowly slogging away at the quilt. It’s not going to be done by December like I had hoped. I lost my enthusiasm for it months ago. I hate when that happens.

I keep finding more sewing blogs, mostly in the comments at Pretty Grievances, which you really should read even if you don’t sew, because it is so very entertaining.

Ooobop – Love that name and what a bright, pretty blog! I like her style. And she does quilting too. I love those two blocks, especially the first one.

Poppykettle – another seamstress with a blog name and a style that I like – the two most recent dresses, at least. I haven’t looked at older posts yet.

Bimble and Pimble – So many cute blog names. Oooo… she likes novelty prints.

Camilia Crinoline – Some lovely vintage stuff. I really need to take the plunge and try a vintage style.

By the way, if any of you sewing people are stopping by for the first time you can click on the Craftiness category, on the right, to see some of my stuff. And please come back again sometime. I’ll be showing off again soon, I hope.

Quotes From Here and There

I have always been a big advocate of RTFM. However, there are entirely too many instances of TM not being worth an Fhere

There are times when I think we should just appreciate what’s there and not try to analyze it to death.there (I don’t usually do two from one source but I could not resist either of these two truisms.)

…you’re supposed to read Ayn Rand as a kid, go through a brief delusional phase, and then get over it.here (Sometimes I think I should read Ayn Rand just to see what all the noise is about.)

Whatever it is, something lights up in the orbitofrontal region of the prefrontal cortex of my brain. And the brain calls it “beauty”.there

Book Quote

I was going to do one of these every week but it hasn’t worked out that way. Anyway, today’s quote is from Excession by Iain M. Banks.

I think a little explanation might be required for those not familiar with Banks’ Culture novels or especially for those not very familiar with science fiction in general. In this series of novels space ships, space stations, and a lot of other technological things are intelligent, sentient, and have feelings. The following paragraph describes some of the thoughts and feelings of one of the ships in the story. (Italics in original)

It was a warship, after all. It was built, designed to glory in destruction, when it was considered appropriate. It found, as it was rightly and properly supposed to, an awful beauty in both the weaponry of war and the violence and devastation which that weaponry was capable of inflicting, and yet it knew that attractiveness stemmed from a kind of insecurity, a sort of childishness. It could see that – by some criteria – a warship, just by the perfectly articulated purity of its purpose, was the most beautiful single artifact the Culture was capable of producing, and at the same time understand the paucity of moral vision such a judgement implied. To fully appreciate the beauty of the weapon was to admit to a kind of shortsightedness close to blindness, to confess to a sort of stupidity. The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy.

A Picture and Conversation

I don’t have anything particularly interesting of my own this week so I decided to explore other people’s photos and found this from the excellent Rural Decay Pool on Flickr

Wednesday

So, old buildings – Picturesque when seen in photos or while out driving around; eyesore if you live next door to it. True? Or do all old barns have a certain charm even if we see them every day?

Sewing Linkage

Pointy collar tutorial – This is great! I needed this!

Dinosaur Girl – a very nice sewing blog I just now discovered, thanks to Adventures in Dressmaking

Material Lady – another recently discovered sewing blog

Vicki Kate Makes – and another; I love these old-fashioned illustrations

Thread matters – a discussion about various brands of thread; As I mentioned in the comments over there I am still lamenting the inability to find Molnlyke thread.

Spring Sewing – It’s spring Down Under. That is such a cute little dress I’m tempted to whip up an adult version for myself.

The problem with winter – Yes! Exactly! Not directly sewing related but clothing related.

A Tip for the Ladies

I always hesitate to post anything that looks like an advertisement or an endorsement but really I just want to share a great find. Ladies, if you wear dresses in the wintertime you need these cotton spandex tights. Cotton tights are rather hard to find, which, to me, is surprising and disappointing. Cotton is warmer and more comfortable than nylon and they don’t build up static.

These are 85% cotton, 15%nylon, and 5% spandex. That’s enough spandex to keep them from being saggy but not enough that it’s a workout to get into them. I’ve worn a pair twice so far and they’re very comfortable. They’re warm and more opaque than nylon but not too thick for dress shoes. They have a shaped foot, not just a straight tube. There’s a nice selection of colors. (though, personally, I always want more colors) I machine washed and dried them (cold water/low dryer) and they did not shrink at all. There are several more reviews at the site.

Be Counted

I live in the reddest state in America. My vote in the presidential election won’t count. But I’m voting anyway. It’s my statement – a tiny, insignificant statement, it’s true, but still my statement. I am proud to be one of the 34.35%. (Interesting they have the colors backward in this graphic)

Think about what that number means. It means that in a state that prides itself on being conservative, a little over one third of voters disagree with the majority. Each of our votes is a tiny, personal statement but together they make a larger statement. Not enough of a statement to change Oklahoma’s seven electoral votes but still an important statement – a statement to my fellow Oklahomans that their beloved conservatism is not nearly as universal as they would like to believe.

And what if everyone who is planning to stay home because their vote “won’t count anyway” decided to vote tomorrow? There is still no chance it would be enough to turn Oklahoma blue but maybe that 34+% might go up to 35% or even 37%. Dare we dream of 38%? That’s starting to look a bit more significant isn’t it? We’re more than just a handful of weirdos. Will the majority pay any more attention to us? No, they won’t. But the higher that number goes the harder it will be to deny that we exist. And maybe someday… who knows?

So anyway, whether you’re a blue person in a red state or a red person in a blue state, go out and make your statement tomorrow.

Quotes From Here and There

Oh how I hate wet days. My preciouses were soaked!here

This summer, I went to Mars (it’s possible that it was actually Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula and Fogo Island, I can’t remember)there

We keep getting calls from the oddest people.here

The mag asked four experts — curiously all men, given that Redbook was and is a magazine aimed at women — about what the world may look like fifty years hence.there

I hate parties where you have nowhere to set your drink.here

Sizes In Our Minds

About half a month ago Ruth wrote about the preference for young thin people “even when we are old and not so thin!” She notes that sewing blogs written by women who are young and size 4-10 are more popular than those by older women who are size 14-18. (Okay, there’s my excuse. I’m not popular because I’m too old and too fat.)

First of all, I don’t think anyone should be judged by their size but we all do it. We all have our opinions about what looks good and mostly the people who look good to us are young and thin. I don’t think most people who complain about “skinny models” are judging people who are naturally thin but rather, they are protesting what they see as impossible standards presented to us by the fashion industry. The problem is that those standards have become so firmly fixed in our minds that even as we protest against them, deep down we still want to look like that ourselves. What the fashion industry is really selling us is a fantasy because that’s what we want. No matter how much we say we want reality they will keep selling the fantasy as long as we keep buying it. And we will keep insisting that we have no choice, which is at least partly true.

I’m not sure about the relative popularity of thin vs. average size sewing bloggers though. I read several sewing blogs by average or larger women and they do get a lot of comments, which, to me, indicates popularity. As with any other category of blogger, personality is the main thing that attracts readers. Personally, I appreciate seeing clothes on women who are near my size. I hesitated for months before buying New Look 6093 because I was afraid it wouldn’t look good on me. I thought it was such a cute pattern but it looked like a young thin person style. When you’re looking at a size 6 model, or one of those impossibly proportioned drawings, it’s hard to imagine what it will look like in a size 16. We hope it will make us look that good but experience tells us we are likely to be disappointed.

Random Linkage

Atlas title pages – I love these, the fancy lettering and the illustrations. [sigh] Why don’t they do title pages like that anymore? Our modern era is so boring, artistically.

Vivian Maier – Maier took hundreds of photographs of Chicago from 1950 to the 1990′s while making her living as a nanny. She did not even develop most of them but now, after her death in 2009, she has been discovered. (Oh please, someone discover me before I die.)

Shuker Nature – a nature and cryptozoology blog. (Really, Firefox? Was your spellchecker created by 8-year-olds?)

Colossal – an art blog Wow

At the end of the night… – Haha. Ya see? That’s the way Halloween is supposed to be.

A spooky discovery, thanks to Hurricane Sandy

Comic Sans – Haha!

Boxes – Great picture!

What is it? – I have no idea but it looks pretty cool.

Fanicures – Geek nail designs. Painting my nails at all – just the normal, one color job – seems like so much of a bother to me, although I love nail polish. It’s all the time spent waiting for them to dry that I hate. Even when I use one of the “fast dry” products I find that I still have to be very careful with my nails for at least an hour. They dry “to the touch” but only to a very light touch not to normal everyday living touches. Anyway… the fanicures are awesome. I especially like the Lord of the Rings nails.

The Morning After

No trick-or-treaters here, as usual. We don’t live in a trick-or-treat area; we live in more of a teenagers-driving-around-egging-cars-and-smashing-mailboxes area. Especially smashing mailboxes. (I’m not worried about that myself though. We have a stealth mailbox.) And our house is so far off the road we probably wouldn’t get any little ghouls and goblins anyway but I always buy candy “just in case”. Yes, really. It’s for the kids. Just in case. Wouldn’t want to be caught without any candy on Halloween.

This year I bought way less than I normally do. The husband and I have been (mostly) trying to be “good”. We’ve been exercising and “eating right” or at least eating less wrong and it’s really hard making such huge sacrifices for so little apparent benefit. Yes, I know, the long term benefits are what’s important but in the short term I still want premium ice cream. And Halloween candy.

I only bought a small bag of assorted Hershey’s minis and a really small bag of candy corn. My inner kid is disappointed. It was Halloween, darn it! Where’s all the candy?