Quilting

July 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

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A few months ago, a friend from grad school invited Alli and I over to her place to rummage through her fabric. Alli was going to look for some cool bookcloth ideas, and I, well, I just like not having to pay for stuff.

Turns out that Carolanne is a quilting goddess. I wish I had pictures to post here, but I don’t, so suffice it to say that both Alli and myself were blown away by the beauties that our friend had created. Combine that with 3 bottles of wine, a plate of cheese and fruit, and the most adorable apartment on earth, and it was a magical afternoon.

Of course, I walked away with a bag of fabric, mostly batiks, that will one day (hopefully) metamorphosize into a quilt. For now, I’m working on a batch of what I think are called charm squares. These guys are 40 little 5″x5″ squares, 20 patterns in coordinating shades of brown and blue. I looooove brown and blue together and took to those squares like flies to shit.

Carolanne taught me how to do the most basic of hand-sewing stitches, hooked me up with some muslin and sent me on my way. There was a moment there when I thought I’d lost the Omnigrid ruler of awesomeness that she lent me and was preparing myself to buy two, one for me and one for her, but then it turned out that it was in a dark green bag on a piece of dark brown cloth on the floor. After neglecting my quilt squares for a while, I’m back with a vengeance, baby. They’re pretty basic — I just sew two straight lines .25″ away from either side of the diagonal when a piece of muslin and a piece of patterned fabric are held together, then I cut along the diagonal and I have two squares, half muslin and half patterned fabric. Still, I am super excited for this quilt, mainly because it so far consists of only straight lines, and I figure it’s relatively difficult to screw up straight lines. (Knitting has been relegated to the back of the craft house for now, for such reasons as: it hates me.)

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None the wiser

July 22, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Posted in sloppy drunk | Leave a comment

I guess there’s a moment for most people when they realize that they’re getting older. For some, it’s a first grey hair or wrinkle; for others, it’s the slowing down of their metabolism and the sudden ability to pack on weight like never before. I figure that it’s mostly a physical thing. When something goes “wrong” with our bodies, we’re usually pretty quick to notice it.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to drink. I’ve been doing it since I was 14. I quickly learned my limit and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve thrown up from drinking since 9th grade, as it’s very rare that I disrespect that limit. Fortunately, and handily, I’ve also been blessed with the ability to drink a fair amount before I have to stop. Thanks, English/Irish/Scottish/German genes! Also, over the years I’ve built up what I thought was a failsafe hangover plan. I get hangovers just by looking at alcohol, and since I usually do a lot more than just look at it, I’ve sort of devised a ritual for myself, consisting of food, a shitload of water, and a multivitamin right before going to bed after a night of drinking.

Lately, however, my tolerance just hasn’t been the same. This started in the winter, after I’d gone out one night, without eating, and had four pints. That’s it. Four pints of beer. I didn’t eat anything while I was out, and just sort of poured myself into bed without implementing any of the hangover plan. The next day, I was convinced that I was going to die. This was no ordinary hangover — for me, a hangover is usually a pretty bad headache, the inability to sleep in, and that boozy feeling that stays with me all day. No, this was certain death. Death by raging headache; death by queasy, churning stomach; death by the shame of a mere four pints. I tried to drink water and couldn’t keep it down. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat: all i could do was lay in bed, surely dying. My head was pounding with the force of a thousand hammers and I had no pain reliever in the house. I ended up calling my friend Heather to bring over some ibuprofen.

Since then, this has happened twice more, most recently on Friday night/Saturday morning. Apparently, 3+ bottles of wine between three people is more than enough alcohol. I staggered home from the party, my steps unsteady. I picked up Lebanese takeout to eat before bed. Let me just say that while Lebanese food is delicious going down, it’s not as tasty coming up. Eight hours later.

Is this my getting older wake-up call? Is this my body telling me to chill the fuck out, pace myself, and drink responsibly? For some reason this disappoints me. I mean, I knew that I wasn’t 21 any more; that’s been obvious by my apparent inability to be productive past 11 on a weeknight and my lack of interest in staying out all night every weekend. But this? Why does it have to be drinking that’s taken away from me? I’d been looking forward to a long and productive drinking career, but I guess I’m just not 14 any more, damn it.

I don’t care if you ARE bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

July 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm | Posted in garden | 1 Comment

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I hate these little bastards.

It’s unfortunate, because I am an animal lover — nay, an animal freak. I like animals the way other people like people. When I was a kid, I would jump into the pool to save drowning insects, for Christ’s sake. But now that I have a garden, I hate — HATE — squirrels.

Reason # 1: They love to dig. I don’t know if they’re burying nuts or just digging for digging’s sake, but they love to dig in my containers. At least once, sometimes twice, a week, I find that the dirt in my sweetpeas’ containers has been disturbed by clever little squirrel paws. It’s not such a big deal now that everyone is grown up and has strong roots and stems, but when my plants were just seedlings, it infuriated me. I took the lobelias indoors for a while to save them.

Reason #2: Even more than digging, they love picking my tomatoes. Do they eat them? No. They nibble at them, ripening ones and green ones alike, and then leave the gnawed-on carcasses all over the place: on the floorboards of the deck, on the railing, in the containers. I’ve been picking the toms as soon as I can and letting them ripen indoors — NOT ideal.

Reason #3: They have no remorse and no fear. You know with dogs and even sometimes with cats, when you catch them doing something they know is wrong, they look at you guiltily? Or, at the very least, they stop what they’re doing? Well, squirrels are NOT like that. Those bastards just do not care what you catch them doing. Even when you throw stuff at them. Furthermore, they taunt. They will sit on the railing and sort of chatter at me while I’m going about my garden business.

There is at least one squirrel — and when there’s one isn’t it, like, there’s 10 more in the walls? Oh wait. That’s roaches. Whatever, same diff — living in the roof of my apartment. S/he slips under the shingles and into the space between the ceiling and the roof and I’m pretty sure s/he’s the root of my squirrel problem. Who chewed up the hammock last year? Mr./Mrs./Ms. Squirrel could not resist such convenient bedding materials, I would imagine. Who “eats” my tomatoes? Same bastard that spies on me from its dark home in the roof when I’m on the deck.

I think I need a gun. Someone else suggested a crossbow. Note: I generally do not advocate violence and weapons, but in this case I’m willing to entertain the suggestion. My favorite solution to the problem? Lasso them, catch them, swing them around by their tails, and whip them off the deck. Of course, that is the solution in my dreams, not in reality.

My solution in reality is to mutter curses at them and blog about them. And it surprises me that I lose more and more tomatoes every day?

Oh my God! I actually finished something!

July 12, 2007 at 11:12 pm | Posted in sewing | 4 Comments

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I just finished this skirt. I love the colors cause they’re spring/summer-y and I love full flowy skirts cause, well, I have an ass. Pencil skirts are my worst nightmare so whenever I make skirts they are, at the very least, A-line.

Here’s another view:

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Rainy day garden

July 9, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Posted in garden | 2 Comments

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They’re blurry, I know. Apparently I like to get really close to things when I take their picture; it’s times like these that I actually consider investing in a *decent* digital camera.

Timeline of a (reluctant) love affair

July 9, 2007 at 12:43 am | Posted in random | Leave a comment

Birth to the end of high school
I must admit, when I was a child I was afraid of computers — in 2nd grade, when we went to the computer lab to play Oregon Trail and Word Munchers, I always tried to get out of it because I was afraid I would break the machines. Plus, I mean, I’m just not a big game person (except for Tetris and Super Mario and Snood). And for the longest time, my family didn’t even have a normal computer. We had a computer, but it had those big old floppy-floppy disks and I’m pretty sure it only did word processing. That was in, like, 1997. Swear to God. Eventually, we caught up with the late-’90s and got a real computer, one with an actual internet connection (AOL dial-up, what’s up?). I sure did love receiving emails, but I wouldn’t say I was completely hooked yet.

1999 to 2004
And then I went to college in 1999. I got my own computer. It had a CD burner (!!). It was fast. It was also MASSIVE — it was a desktop from Gateway and after I lugged that thing around, like, five times during all of my moves, I vowed to get a laptop the next time I got a computer. But still, I loved it. I figured out how to convert mp3s to wav files or vice versa (whatever, I don’t really remember) in Winamp to burn CDs. I used AIM. I’m pretty sure I downloaded porn. I know I downloaded pretty much my weight in mp3s (I’d like to give a freshman-year shout out to Napster). Eventually, however, things went south. The internet connection at one of the houses I lived in was sporadic and there were five of us trying to use it at all times. My then-current boyfriend spent approximately a million hours playing stupid Alpha Centauri on it while I was trying to write my thesis and he was taking the semester off school. I didn’t even bother to unpack it at the last place I lived at in Portland. When I moved, I gladly gave it to my friend Eric.

February 2005
I was living at home when my parents’ computer crapped out on them. My mom was going through a rebellious phase (it happens every now and again. When I was like 16 she wanted us to get matching Tinkerbell tattoos) and went out and bought a sweet iMac (she also bought me an iPod mini, which I loved dearly until I callously upgraded it for a video iPod). Dude. That was maybe a turning point in my life. We were in the Mac store in The Falls mall in craptastic Miami and everything was just so…sleek. Sleek and white and black and punctuated with bursts of metallic blue, green, and pink. I was charmed. I fell in love. To this day, I adore my mom’s computer, to the point that I would consider visiting Miami just to be able to play with it a little bit. She doesn’t even use it. My next major goal in life is to somehow convince her to give it to me without having to give up my laptop.

September 2005-present
I purchased my laptop (iBook G4) when I started grad school. I believe this coincided with the Internet going from pretty awesome to mind-blowing. Gmail and gmail chat (if I ever win any kind of work-related award, I am going to have to thank gmail chat for getting me through every single work day). Blogs. (I’m going to pause for a moment here, to reflect upon my love of blogs. I mean, oh my God. Celebrity gossip blogs, knitting/crafty blogs, single-girl-in-the-city-ruminating-on-the-lack-of-good-men-out-there blogs, random bitchy-people blogs. And those are only the ones I read. Think of all the actual, important-things blogs — blogs that discuss politics and world events and culture.) Podcasts. (Hello, Savage Love! Nothing says Monday morning at work like weird feeder fetishes and anal sex. Also, This American Life is fairly fantastic. And the best thing? You can download them for free on iTunes. Love it.) For the crafty, DIY-er like myself, the Internet is a treasure trove of freakin’ awesome information and ideas: Craftster, BurdaStyle, and You Grow Girl are my current favorites.

All I ask of you, Internet, is that you keep up the good work. Or get more awesome. Unpossible? Perhaps.

The bike boys think I’m an idiot

July 4, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

So, there’s this bike store pretty close to my house. I’ve lived here for going on two years, and I’d never been in it until a few weeks ago, when I got the bicycle itch and had to scratch it. Actually, I was going in to see if they sold used bikes, but I ended up getting sucked into a cute boy vortex, and walked out with a brand-new bike. I like to think of myself as sensible, but clearly I’m not. Just show me a bunch of sweaty, scruffy, 20-something males and I’ll just hand over my debit card, no questions asked. But seriously, every single one of the boys who works there is adorable. It’s sick. It’s, like, designed to trap susceptible young women.

Anyway, I was told to bring my bike back after a couple weeks so that they could tighten the cables. In the meantime, I’ve put fenders and a bike basket on the bike. Myself. And by myself, I mean that I put on the front fender and made my dad help me with the back one. I’m an independent woman, damn it. (But I did put the basket on myself.)

So, I walked into the store today with my bike. The first guy I saw, I explained to him why I was there. You know how sometimes, people — and I find that this is usually girls, but whatever — will give you the once over? They’ll look you up and down, from head to toe, to determine whether or not you’re worthy of their time. (I’m usually not found worthy, but that’s neither here nor there.) Well, this guy was giving my bike the once-over. He said, “Uh, did we put that basket on your bike?” I said no, that I had done it myself. He sort of looked at me with this knowing smirk and said, “Oh. Well, that’s totally the wrong basket for that kind of bike. You have suspension forks, so the distance between the handlebars and the wheel is constantly changing, and the basket rods are going to warp.” It made perfect sense once he’d explained it to me, but really, I never would’ve thought of that on my own. He went to go get someone to check out the cables, and as he did, the guy who’d been sitting at the counter turned around.

He’s the guy who originally sold me the bike, the one who led me into the boy vortex, and I said hi. He said hi back, glanced at my bike, and said, “Oh. Uh, did we put that basket on your bike?”

Strike two. They’re never going to love me, are they?

Canada Day

July 2, 2007 at 9:00 pm | Posted in events | 2 Comments

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This weekend, Alli and I made the trek to Ottawa for Canada Day. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how much you enjoy looking at pictures of drunk people), I only have photos from the fireworks downtown, but we did a lot more stuff. We drove to Quebec on Saturday afternoon to get cheap 2-4s. We got fairly hammered on Saturday, after an insanely filling dinner at Red Lobster, and didn’t get back to Steve’s apartment (where we were staying; he generously loaned us his place for the weekend) until 6:30 am, after an impromptu poker game and, um, another activity. We went to a BBQ, where I had my first beer chicken. We went to Parliament Hill and missed catching Feist’s show by a few minutes. However, we still got to see the fireworks behind the Parliament buildings:

Fireworks on Parliament Hill, Ottawa

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I freakin’ love Canada.

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