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August 31, 2006

Boston, will I learn to love thee?

J is currently hanging pictures in his new apt. It is small, but homey and, I'd like to think at least, pretty well decorated for a quasi-bachelor pad. I have been knitting a bit, but mostly have been exhausted from driving everywhere and generally trying to get this place set up. Boston is a pretty city, if you can get around the terrifying driving situation. I thought that the jaywalker thing was just an exaggeration for Grumperina's sock pattern, but no: folks darting in and out of traffic as far as the eye can see. The Boston traffic has been pretty comparable to New York traffic (I only realized later that whilst traversing New York we were driving into the thick of US Open traffic... such fun!). Oh, and my car got towed. Great. Here's to throwing away a hundred-odd make that a hundred and fifty bucks I didn't have! Le sigh.

Many thanks to Librarian on Fire for showing us a good time last night. We walked to Boston Common from here (quite a jaunt!) along Newberry Street and J and I returned today for lunching and a bit of shopping. I picked up some Kiehl's stuff and saw a neat custom handbag joint. Pretty exhausted now. Hopefully the caffeine will kick in soon, since we are going to have to walk another three miles to retrieve the car. It wouldn't have been quite so traumatizing (and you had better believe I was in hysterics this morning when I found out) if the woman I called for impound information hadn't been such a horrifying, raging bitch-whore. I do not use these words lightly, friends. She, instead of offering even an ounce of compassion to an upset person in a strange city (which I explained to her) was utterly mean and rude and made me feel pathetic and small before she hung up on me. Is it my fault that I couldn't come up with a word to signify the letter F on such a morning and in such a state?? A modicum of patience was all that was required and instead she was cruel and (perhaps even worse!) utterly unhelpful. So anyhow, she made my already difficult morning much worse and I hope that she gets what is surely coming to her. Humph.

So, Boston. I guess I will be moving here sometime pretty soon and I certainly complain about Minneapolis (mostly the weather) a fair amount. I should be more excited than I am; we got off to a rough start, Boston and I. Hopefully things will warm up between us soon enough.

Also, I can't seem to get over that "pahk the cah" thing. Sounds so silly!

Posted by loyd0008 at 11:47 AM

August 24, 2006

Rollercoaster Vacation of Woe

This is, of course, the Vacation of Woe because I am dropping off my little muffin-brains J in Boston in a few days and making my way back to the Twin Cities by myself. So so sad, is our little Villain.

Oh, Virginia. All fun and games. Also, parental hysteria, but mostly fun and games. We took a little jaunt up to Busch Gardens. Now, I have never really been a rollercoaster kind of girl, but this time I decided I would conquer all of them in the park. It was gut wrenching, but at the end of the second day, I was begging for more. Our favorite of the four coasters in the park was the oldie but goodie, The Loch Ness Monster. Double loops, oh yeah.

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My parents even bought a picture of us on the ride. Hopefully I'll have that up soon. It was crowded, hot, and full of obnoxious people, but I am glad we went. It has been a million years (when I was like 12) since I have visited a park such as this. Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America just doesn't count. I am glad we went, but, like J, I don't think I will need to make such a trip for a long long time to come.

We also ate dinner at one of the Colonial Williamsburg taverns. I know it is totally kitschy and the connection to any kind of intelligent view of history is skewed and tenuous at best, but oh so tasty! Heh. I am sure that any of my Cultural Studies colleagues would cringe and disown me if they ever found out. So let's just keep this between us, shall we?

Most of what I have been doing here on this Vacation of Woe is sewing. I have finished a shirt and a dress. My mom is still plugging away at the matchy dress.

Here is the shirt I made before leaving. I added a couple of snaps to keep the bosoms in check. They don't pull, but gap sometimes when the angle is wrong. I like the pattern a lot and am contemplating a long sleeved version.

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This is the shirt that I made here. J picked out the butterfly fabric and I certainly like it, but was a bit surprised at his choice. It is a bit looser and I can wear a cami comfortably underneath it. I am getting a bit better at attaching sleeves; I'm getting the hang of sleeve-ease. I am not exactly looking forward to going home, but I will be happy to start the shirtdress I have been planning for what seems like forever, but was too intimidated to start with my good fabric.

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Here is the dress. It was like the super-easiest dress of all time until I got the zipper in and realized that the neckline was gaping. Four strategically placed darts took up the space and it seems to be workable now. The idea for this one was that I would be able to wear it more easily for teaching (well, TAing this time) in the fall since it has sleeves and most of my creations are not exactly work-appropriate. I am a bit afraid that it looks like an xmas dress, with all that gold and red. I loved (and still love) the fabric; I just hope that I don't look like I am wearing a kid's holiday dress. I was planning on a sash in red with little twirlies of gold on it, but I that would probably be the nail in the coffin.

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What should I start now??? Only a couple of days left, but I am sure I could whip something up. Is this a compulsion? Signs point to yes...

Posted by loyd0008 at 7:40 PM

August 18, 2006

In Which an Innocent Garden Snake is Slain

I am in Virginia! Currently posting on my laptop in the bedroom whilst J kindly fetches me refreshment. Things are mostly quiet here and involve lots of shopping. This time, it has been for fabric. I found some really great deals on everything from $2.50 jacket material to $1.75 calico and notions in between. And even better, mom has been footing the bill. Score!

Before I left, I finished a cute little 3/4 sleeve shirt in red-on-blue paisley and today I almost finished another, this time in a sweet little Asian print that J picked out (it has butterflies on it?!). All that is left are buttonholes and buttons. My mom has this amazing Bernina that does everything automatically, but we have to get through the superintelligent computer robot with laser eyes in order to do it, so we'll see how far we make it.

I think that I have abandoned Picovoli for now. The size 5 needles were just not working out for me. I am working on a halter top in Soysilk that is SO much faster. Yay for size 8s!! I have actually had to restart it already to make it a bit smaller (to both increase tightness and make sure I have enough yarn to finish the thing!) and, even so, it is still more satisfying than the Fuzzy Nightmare that was Picovoli. I will finish it sometime, just not any time soon.

The trip has been pretty good so far: uneventful driving, lots of treats, good food, except for one little incident involving a snake. My mom is deathly afraid of the wee beasties (though the same day she killed a black widow in the house without batting an eye, go figure!). A Little Slitherer came up through the bathtub drain in the basement and J was called in to slay the creature. *I* was under the impression that we were going to rescue it and turn it loose outdoors, but apparently the implication was that we should kill it. So J presses down a little too hard with the hoe that was supporting it and it starts to bleed. Naturally, I freak out and start to cry. "How could you be so careless??!" "You KILLED him!" I scoop the Little Wriggler onto a paper bag and take him outside where he, appropriately, wriggles away. I am crying rather profusely now and the remainder of the day is filled with accusations that my J is a cruel and vicious Snake Slayer, since I was positive that he actually had a broken back and would be snatched up by the first predator to come along. Who knew that the harming of a little snake could cause me so much distress? I might not be singing this tune if Li'l Scaley had come up whilst I was taking a bath, but as it stood, I wept bitter tears over his wounding. I hope you sleep safely tonight, my Snake-friend!

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:49 PM

August 8, 2006

My Little Minion

After all the blogging I have seen lately about making your own dressmaker's dummy, I figured that I would give it a whirl. Real dressforms are lovely, but oh so costly and they don't really look like curvy Ms. Villain. So, I procured a roll of black duct tape and one of J's old tshirts and we went to work. It was really hot that day, so my timing wasn't exactly the best, but when I want to do something, I am difficult to dissuade. As my mother used to say, "You just want what you want and that's all that you want." Well, exactly! J was very good at figuring out the best way to wrap and it was actually kind of fun. Though I am not sure that I can say that without sounding rather fetishistic. (I had a pic of me wrapped before cutting it off, but it looked a little too creepy to post.) I am not entirely sure how useful it will actually be, since it has to hang on a hanger and sometimes the stuffing falls out, but does look an awful lot like me and it is interesting and disorienting to see the dress on it before on me. So, since every good villain needs minions, here is mine, in my newest dress:

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This is the dress that I am making to match my mom (she hasn't started her's yet... get a move on!!).

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It is a vintage wrap pattern from Ebayland. No zipper! Yay!
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wrap.JPG


I am embarassed to admit that this is the first dress I have ever used a blind hem on. Usually I just sort of whip it around in a straight stitch. I like the look and it holds well... but there is that whole "trying to look professional" thing that I should be working on, so voila! Not the best blind hem in the world, but it is a start. Now I can finally hem those pants that J has had for how many years now? Sheesh.

Also, I dyed my hair. What? You can't tell? Don't worry, me neither. I thought it was supposed to lighten a couple of shades, but it looks like I am still meant to be a dark-brunette for a while...


microrant:
1. American Apparel tshirts are cute, but their customer service is the WORST!
2. Why can't companies (Apple I am looking at YOU) just give you the money off instead of making you mail/fax "rebates" in a bazillion times just so you can actually pay your September rent?!?!?!

ahem.

Posted by loyd0008 at 11:23 AM

August 1, 2006

Elves of Cyberspace

Continuing in the World of Warcraft vein...

J and I were at Hancock yesterday whilst I took advantage of the 99cent McCalls's sale. I found some things that were ok, but nothing that wowed me, so to speak. J picked up Simplicity's Halloween preview catalog and saw "Warriors of Cyberspace" and "Women of Cyberspace" costumes, pictured below. I didn't quite understand the full implication of this heading until I realized that these were not intended to be generic fantasy costumes, but instead to be costumes depicting characters from WoW. Elves of Cyberspace?!?! The ramifications of this are still boggling my mind.

simplicitywow.jpg

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Each gender has a ranger, a priest, and a mage. I wonder if they will have the full gamut of choices in the complete Halloween spread...? lolx2 that priest is such a n00b. i bet she hasn't even done VC, let alone BFD!! i mean, look at that vendor trash she's wearing!

It has, however, been difficult to get into the sewing frame of mind due to the indecently high temperatures and my lack of AC. I have been flipping my pillow over at night when it becomes drenched in sweat. However, the past couple of nights it has still been wet on the opposite side from the latest flip. Ick. Things are cooler today after some heavy rains. Maybe I will be able to do some ironing and finally get started on the dress I am making to match my mom. Maybe not. I do have more incentive, since I scavenged a swanky ironing board that someone threw away yesterday. I saw the same one online for $100!! It has a little antenna to hold your cord and everything. So fancy!

Another thing keeping me from being overly-productive is feeling ill. I think that you gave me whatever it was you had on Sunday, Taryn. I just want to sleep. This is not entirely feasible since J and I are entering a Magic tournament tonight!!

Viva La Nerd!! and wish me luck...

Posted by loyd0008 at 3:00 PM