Category Archives: my weird sense of humor

I Can’t Get Enough *Something* In My Life

Take a good look at this, folks:

The dratted laundry room

Remember when I told you that I came home and the garage was raining, because the washing machine had broken? Today, we had the disaster recovery people in to assess the flood damage. That entire room, plus the older kids closet (on your right, behind that wall) and the linen closet (to the left) have to be ripped out. The whole area has to be dried with giant fans — whee! — for three days, then put back together with glue and thumbtacks. Ok, maybe not with glue and thumbtacks but I’m a little worried. We’re talking major construction here, most of which I HOPE will be covered by insurance but I am not optimistic. The older boys will not be able to sleep in their room until the whole process is finished, and the cats will have to be locked up in our bedroom for a lot of the construction period.

On the plus side….there is no plus side. We will end up replacing all of the upstairs carpet, but only because it looks effing stupid to replace a rectangle of good carpet next to the pile of putrefaction that is our current carpet. Necessary, and something I’ll be grateful for later (probably), but it’s going to cost a buttload of money we don’t really have. ARGH. Not to mention moving all the furniture and other stuff. DOUBLE ARGH.

I don’t know how much sewing I’ll be able to get done. Between the fact that I’ll have no laundry room for a week or three, and the construction and the dust….well, I might actually be driven to sewing “cheap and cheerful” if I run out of clothing, but I’m hoping it won’t go to that extreme. I do plan to continue blogging, but it’ll be light on the sewing projects.

My MIL came over today to make her famous Seafood Salad for dinner, to cheer us up. The ensuing overfeeding on top of a stressful day led to several ridiculous conversations, like this one:

Me: I really don’t get enough crab in my life.

Hubs: WHAT!?!  (I repeated myself)  Oh, I thought you said you didn’t get enough crap in your life and I was gonna say, if two weeks of construction isn’t enough crap…

Trust me, darlings, it’s enough crap. Crap I have in abundance.

I Can’t Get My Sh*t Together

Really, it’s bad. This is what happens when I don’t have a routine. I get up in the morning, go to the gym, then lay around until lunchtime. After lunch, I make sure to do something enriching with the kids (mostly drive them around to various appointments or drag them to the pool while I read). Then I come home, have Happy Hour and watch TV. Except, I’m 3/4 of the way through Season 3 of Babylon 5 and I have fallen in love so desperately with the characters that I’m putting off watching. Have you ever done that — dragged out the process of  finishing a book or movie or TV series because you love it so much? It’s a sickness.

Basically, I’m watching a lot of Rambo. I don’t really know how to explain that except that Rambo is on TV ad nauseum this summer. So far I’ve seen First Blood, Rambo, and First Blood II. I am not attracted to Stallone and I had my fill of Vietnam vet movies from growing up in the late 80s/early 90s but I seem to be unable to handle anything else. Rambo is the only person, I mean mammal, not annoying me right now and I’m including this one:

Lila, sleeping in hedgehog pose.

Yes, I know, isn’t she adorable? I want to snorgle her every time she does that (snorgle = kiss and cuddle while inhaling into her fur). Except, this isn’t my most frequent view of her. THIS is what I get treated to, every time I sit down:

*sigh* CATS.

And yes, I am totally surfing the net and watching TV at the same time. I am multitalented.

I have no motivation to sew anything, or to start any new projects. It might be the heat. I have some material set aside for more panties, so that might get done but otherwise I am out of mojo. To be fair, I did buy a pair of jeans from the local thrift, planning to cut them off into shorts…but then I came home and our garage was raining.

Because the washing machine broke. My kids were brilliant, and called their grandma. They’ve already figured out that Dad isn’t coming home for a domestic crisis and Mom is more likely to lose her mind than anything else. My MIL drove over and called the plumber, which is just as well since she tends to attract capable people. The Hubs and I tend to attract idiots. I don’t know what that is about either, but at any rate, we need a new washing machine. Fortunately, the kids made tie-dye shirts at camp and they were sent home with instructions to “wash separately!” so the only thing in the machine was Oldest’s tie-dye shirt. I just wrung it out and hung it up. It could have been towels…*shudder*

I was going to tell you about the zit on my chin, but then I came to my senses and realized this post was boring enough. Also, I want to take a vacation to Florida and spend the rest of the summer in my bathing suit and cut off jean shorts. I’m blaming Magic Mike, global warming and my FUBAR washing machine for all of this.

Skivvies!

I made underwear! And here they are:

Ignore my toe at the bottom and the pattern weights in the upper right corner. I completely failed to frame this photo correctly.

I actually took some pictures of the underwear on me, but decided the internet was not ready for a photo of me in my underthings. Or maybe I’m not ready to post a photo of me in my underthings. Yeah, that’s probably it. The pattern I used for the panties was Kwik Sew 3554, here:

The front of the pattern only shows two chemise styles, but there is a pair of bikini panties included. Sadly, this seems to be out of print on the Kwik Sew website.

I originally tried to make the panties in the medium size with picot elastic, according to the instructions and they came out like this:

Unfortunately, the pattern called for 30″ of elastic around the waist and that wound up being far too big.

So, since I wanted to use fold over elastic (FOE) for the panties, I traced off the pattern again and took 1/4″ off the seam allowance at the waist and the legs. I also attached the leg elastic while the panties were flat (rather than in the round as the instructions would have you do) and then sewed up one side and attached the waistband elastic while flat. I stretched the waistband elastic as I sewed it and it wound up fitting perfectly at 27″ rather than 30″. I am actually amazed at how well these panties fit with only a waist elastic adjustment — no pulling at the legs or butt, no creeping up and the waistband is where I like it.

For the undershirt, I used Zoe’s free pdf pattern available here at “So, Zo…” She calls it a vest because she’s British, but I think of it as a camisole or cami. It’s a pretty easy pattern, but I forgot to turn off scaling (pay attention to those print instructions, people!) so it printed too small. I decided that because I was in a hurry, I would just cut it out in the largest size, which is 16. That turned out ok, but I think I want to reprint it in the correct size. It does feel a bit tight in the underarm area, but there is a good possibility that the sizing is less to blame than my wide-set ribs and large shoulders. Anyhow, the pattern is well-drafted enough and cute enough in it’s current fit to try again. I would have preferred to match the FOE on the tank and bottoms, but unfortunately I only had two-yard lengths and both the panties and vest require about two yards each. I plan to get more elastic off the internet, since even the stuff available in the Fabric District in LA is quite expensive when you need four yards. I should also say that the FOE on the cami is a closer match to the print than it appears to be in the photo. That kind of dark purple is indistinguishable from navy or black to my camera.

By the way, the word “skivvies” refers specifically to an undershirt/underpants combination. It was originally (and still is) used to refer to the underwear worn by men under their military uniforms. Nobody really knows where the word originated before that or how it came to refer to underwear. Fascinating, huh?

Film Review — Magic Mike

Sorry for my absence, y’all! WordPress went hokey on Friday and wouldn’t let me post pictures, so I had to abandon the post I’d planned for that day.

Anyhow, I did something rather silly yesterday. I went to see Magic Mike in the theater, by myself, out of sheer curiosity.

(movie still from justjared.com)

Let me say up front, I am not a fan of male strippers. Something about a guy wriggling around in a g-string while screaming women stuff dollar bills in the elastic makes me acutely embarrassed for everyone involved. However, I did enjoy the movie and can give it a cautious thumbs-up. Will it win any awards? No. Will it make you feel better about the world? Eh, no, but I consider that an advantage. I expected a traditional feel-good movie ending, and Magic Mike doesn’t really deliver on that front. What it does is portray the world these people live in as much more nuanced (and hard to escape) than you would expect. From what I’ve heard, Channing Tatum wrote the script based on his experiences in a male show so a lot of the characters and story lines ring true.

The good:

1) Channing Tatum. The boy can dance, and I’m starting to have some serious appreciation for his acting skills as well. He has excellent comic timing and no self-consciousness — watch him launch himself into a fistfight while nearly naked, and you’ll be cringing at the potential damage.

2) Matthew McConaughey. He was pretty much born to play this role, and he revels in it.

3) The movie avoids a number of traditional boy-girl cliches. Mike’s friend-with-benefits Joanna is a well-rounded character, the Kid’s sister (played by Cody Horn, daughter of former Warner president Alan Horn) isn’t a fan of stripping and never does accept it, there is no blame or condescension for anyone’s sexuality. There ARE some creeptastic moments from a sexual perspective, but nearly all of them are due to recreational drug use which Magic Mike roundly condemns. By the way, some reviews accuse Horn of ruining the movie but I think her understated performance works for the character, who actually does spend much of the movie being confused, exasperated or disgusted.

4) Gabriel Iglesias, Joe Manganiello, and Adam Rodriguez turn in excellent side performances.

The bad:

1) Alex Pettyfer. He’s been accused in the press of being a diva on set, but I can’t tell how much of my distaste for him is actually due to the character he plays.

2) Matt Bomer. I continue to be mystified at people who call Matt Bomer an actor. He can show up and look pretty, but I have yet to see him act in anything and in this movie, he concentrates so hard during the dance scenes that he looks like he’s trying to perform brain surgery.

3) Kevin Nash, who plays Tarzan. To be fair to Mr. Nash, his appearance and behavior are much more typical of my experiences with male stripping than the pretty guys in Magic Mike. However, I’m not sure he can dance and after the first few minutes, his character barely speaks or interacts with the other guys. Also, I mistook him for Mickey Rourke until I saw the final credits at the end.

So…if you’ve got a couple free hours, you could do worse than watching Magic Mike.

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

This morning, we dropped Oldest and Middlest off at the pier for their first day of camp. Yes, I said the pier — this year’s camp is on an island, with a two-hour boat ride over. Cue lots of Bonine for a very worried Middlest who is prone to motion sickness. They won’t be back until Sunday, and I am sorely missing them already. Oldest has had plenty of Scout camp experience (as did Middlest during his Cub years), but this is the first time we’ve sent them off to a non-Scout, mixed gender camp. I hope they get to have the camp experience I remember from my childhood — fun and annoying counselors, questionable meals, crushes and feuds.

Which means the last week has been full of this:

Picture two more stacks of clothes. Now picture fitting all that in two duffel bags. YEAH.

Lots of laundry and counting items, and yesterday’s late night dash to Walmart when I realized they did NOT have enough underwear between them. I sent them off with self-addressed, stamped envelopes…is it too much to expect they’ll write? Yes, probably.

On top of that:

1) It’s hot. I promise not to whine overmuch about it because we are coastal and I KNOW it’s nothing here compared to many parts of the country. Still, I don’t normally see this kind of dead, white, spend-a-few-minutes-in-the-sun-and-get-burnt heat until late August. I already have a sunburn, and we’ve only spent one day at the pool. This is not a good sign.

2) I sewed a skirt. I will model it later. It is absurdly simple and the wrong color for my palette. I should have made the pattern in black knit. I should buy black knit, but I never do because I’m an idiot who forgets about basics. I’m telling myself it’s a wearable muslin.

3) I’m trying out a new DENTIST tomorrow and oh boy….not looking forward to it. I decided to fire my dentist after having him tell me for the millionth time that my tooth pain was due to an uneven bite. When he knows that I’m prone to getting cavities under my fillings and every time I have him yank a filling, I’m right about the decay. He also tried the “uneven” bite nonsense on the Hubs who broke that tooth (due to untreated decay) three weeks later. Hmph. Anyway, I have two teeth that need work and this ain’t gonna be pretty.

4) All three kids did their summer toy purge last week. This was the damage:

I swear, I don’t know how they end up with so much crap. Some of the stuff in that paper bag actually needs to go into the garbage.

5) I am still reading a lot of trash, except I tried to switch it up with Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Yikes. You want to talk trash? I had to stick it in the bathroom for the last 100 pages because the only way I could tolerate the overblown prose any further was in two-minute increments on the toilet. That’s a good way to get through questionable books, by the way — save them for your bathroom reading. Have just finished Woolf, am in fact quite possibly permanently done with her oeuvre (I did read Mrs. Dalloway in college as well and found it strangely unmemorable), and am considering putting my other unread classics in the bathroom.

So tell me about yourselves, chickadees. Are you sweltering? Suffering under the burden of terrible writing? Sewing anything worthwhile? Any fond memories of summer camp?

Dear Romance Writers…

I love your stuff. I really, really do — so much so that I neglected all my sci fi this week to read your heavy breathing instead. Yay, sexytimes! HOWEVER, I do have a bone to pick with y’all:

Funny Reminders Ecard: The only thing more torturous than the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey is the writing in Fifty Shades of Grey.

1) For the love of all that is holy, your character’s interest is not “peeked.” It is not even “peaked.” The word is “piqued” and I will hit you over the head with a “pike” until you get it right.

2) DO NOT name your female character Brie. I will laugh and point at you. The only exception would be if Brie is a pale-faced girl whose tough exterior conceals a soft heart torn in two by her love for Camembert and Gouda. I’d read that.

3) “Too thin” is not a flaw. Neither is being feisty, spunky, or outspoken. Neither is having too large a chest (is that even a thing? Now I want to read a romance about those freakish triple HHH porn stars). If you want to make me interested in your characters, give them real challenges to overcome. Make them disabled, older, overweight, cranky. Give them acne, addictions and dental problems. Perfect people are boring.

4) There are enough cowboys in Romancelandia. Also, enough firefighters, cops, club owners and self-made gazillionaires. Just once, I want to read about a bike messenger or a cat breeder. Heck, I’ll take a good plumber. God knows they’re hard enough to find in real life.

5) Beautiful, virginal college students are like honest, faithful politicians. Nobody has ever seen one, but they always exist in someone’s misty watercolored memories. Ugly, promiscuous college students are way more interesting to write about anyway.

6) NO MORE ELVES, DAMMIT. Unless they’re the blood-drinking, crack your bones open and eat the marrow type — then ok.

7) Vampires do not sparkle, and they need to be at least somewhat dangerous to be appealing. Ditto were-animals. We’re not talking live-action throw rugs here.

8) Stockholm Syndrome is the exception, not the rule. People generally do NOT fall in love with their captors, hence the word “syndrome.” Otherwise, it would just be called “that thing that happens to prisoners.”

9) There’s a thin line between “Alpha” and “asshole”. Try not to confuse the two.

10) Stop describing women as having curves and men as angular. We all have curves, otherwise we’d poke each other with a bunch of corners if we got too close. You don’t want to know the mental picture I get when the main character is pressed up against the “hard planes” of a guy’s chest.  I mean, OW.

Just a few suggestions, ya know….so I don’t throw my books across the room.

Doing ALL THE THINGS

The Hubs is on a business trip this week. For some weird reason, business trips make me feel like a teenager whose parents are away for the weekend. PARTY, MY PLACE, 10 PM. I’m never going to sleep again! I can sew all day and night! I can stay up late and read books! I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS.

This usually lasts for about 24 hours, or however long it takes me to fall over from fatigue.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Simplicity 1887, View E

I wore this skirt today, and it’s pretty comfortable. The fabric is a soft stretch woven that I might call poplin, but it doesn’t seem nearly crisp enough. This pattern does call for softer materials, so the weight is fine as far as that goes. I was a bit worried at first that it might cling to my legs while walking but that hasn’t happened. The design is far too busy to pick out any of the waistband/pocket details, but I think this is a nice pattern for folks who like the flat front/elastic back waistband treatment. The longer version of the skirt is knee-length at 21″ so that would probably work better for most people but I like to live dangerously.

I also made this epic fail:

RUN! It’s McCall’s 6566!

It may be partly the color, but I can honestly say the last time I wore anything that looked like this, I was in the hospital. I made McCall 6566, View D a while ago and blogged about how badly it turned out. This attempt was View B, which I made in an XS because the Small was too big last time. Yes, the pattern went straight into the circular file after that. In my own defense, I did the neckline EXACTLY the way they described even though it made absolutely no sense. Note to self: when instructions make no sense, don’t follow them. Someone screwed up, and that someone usually isn’t you. Also, HOLY SHOULDERS BATMAN. I look like I have a set of pads on under there.

Other things I’ve done while not sleeping:

— Looked up twatwaffle on Pinterest. There are not nearly enough twatwaffle pins. GET ON IT, PEOPLE.

— Plucked a silver dollar-sized patch of hair out of my shin. Not for any good reason, just because I like plucking hair and didn’t want to remove my eyebrows.

— Looked up everybody in Babylon 5 on IMDB. Did you know Richard Biggs died young? OMG, TRAGIC.

— Drank two White Russians (on two different days, I’m not a complete lush).

— Made another skirt, which I will attempt to wear tomorrow. I used my coverstitch machine for the second time, with much better results. I AM A ROCK STAR.

— Bookmarked instructions on how to cut, bleach and dye my own hair. It costs over $100 to get my hair done, people. Even a hair cut alone is $60 with tip, and  I need that money for fabric. I may end up bald but I will be WELL DRESSED.

I could list more things, but for some weird reason I can’t stop yawning…

Be A Duck

Actual conversation in my house last night, while I was running around barking contradictory orders at the kids:

The Hubs: Be. A. Duck.

Me: Uh–what?

TH: Like how water rolls off a ducks back? You should try that. Be a duck; they’re always calm, paddling around and quacking.

Me: How would you know? Ducks don’t have a lot of capacity for facial expression. Maybe they’re actually freaking out.

TH: Yeah, maybe that’s what it’s like to be a duck. The universe is against me and I can’t move my face!

Me: EXACTLY.

Alright, so I can still move my face and I’m not a duck but I’m pretty sure the universe is against me anyway. And I didn’t do Me-Made-May today because I had to show up at school for an awards thing, and I was trying to find the least violent outfit in my closet (I wore my Zombies in Wonderland t-shirt so….I’m pretty sure I failed at THAT but I also wore a feminine skirt, so I’m just going to argue they cancelled each other out). Here’s what I threw on yesterday for MMM, Day 21:

Top: Refashioned band tee + Kohls juniors tee

Skirt: Me-made, New Look 6083, blogged about two posts ago

Socks: Gold Toe black crew

Shoes: Doc Martens 1460 8-eye boots

Yes, that’s my laundry room and that’s me feeling put-upon.

McCall 6566 Fail, and a Me-Made-May Catch Up!

Yes, I have been sewing and not just playing the model! However, this is not a success:

McCall 6566, View D

It doesn’t look so bad from the front, but the back has a wrap opening that gapes if I move my shoulders an iota out of turn. You can see it here:

It really is that deep of a V in the back.

I made the small (8-10) since I’m in between a 10 and 12 in the bust and I knew the top had extra ease. However, I’m pretty sure I could easily fit into an extra small.  On the other hand, the back detailing would probably drive me crazy one way or another, so  I can honestly say don’t bother with View D. I may or may not try again with one of the other views.

Me-Made-May, Day 12

I had to take a Saturday photo, so I could get my 5 days in last week.

Top: David and Goliath

Bottoms: Bird Sh*t Skirt, New Look 6873 blogged about here

Socks: Hanes ankle

Shoes: Converse All-Star low with girly skulls

Me-Made-May, Day 14

By our front door, you can see the storage unit with part of our impressive Nerf arsenal.

Top: Threadless (www.threadless.com)

Bottoms: Me-made black shorts, McCall 6328 View F, blogged here

Socks: Hanes ankle

Shoes: Converse All-Star double tongue with studs

Me-Made-May, Day 15

In the hall between our dining room and family room. Those French doors open onto an utterly useless cement patio.

Top: Plaid shirt is Target Mossimo, white t-shirt is H & M

Bottom: Me-made stewardess skirt, frankensteined from two different patterns, blogged here

Socks: Hanes crew

Shoes: Doc Martens 1460 8-eye boots

This was one of my “Oh crap, I have to get dressed,” outfits. I literally just threw it on this morning because it was cold, then hot then cold again. Typical May weather around here.

I haven’t done any Sci Fi Sunday/Monday reviews in a while because I’ve been catching up on other reading and watching. So far, I am on the second disc of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and I think I’m going to have to stop. I can deal with the violence, but the completely unrealistic blood spatter — hello, nobody loses that much blood and lives. Especially back then. Idiots. And there’s the really bad sex…as in, you’re painfully aware the actors are not actually having sex because the angle is all wrong and they’re moving too fast (am I the only person who complains about unrealistic sex in non-porn scenarios? Probably). I’m pretty sure Roman gladiators were not familiar with the expression, “bang him like a screen door in a hurricane,” but it seems unfortunately apt. Even so, I could probably handle all of that if not for  THE ANGST. OMFG, THE ANGST. Everything is so intense that I think I might have a heart attack just from watching. I always finish an episode and want to lie down because I’m EXHAUSTED. I’m all for good quality drama, but some folks need to tone it down a bit.

So, what’s new with you, my chickadees?

Who the Heck is Christopher Webb?

I ran into the thrift today to drop off a bag of clothes, and came out with these jeans:

The back label says Christopher Webb, CW Jeans.

I had never heard of Christopher Webb, so I did what any sensible person does — I hit Google.

And Google failed me. It gave me Christopher Webb, filmmaker (not a likely crossover). A few regular schmoes and a lot of mug shots (apparently, if you want your child to be a law-abiding citizen then Christopher Webb is a poor name choice). Oh, and a headstone.

I’m pretty sure THIS guy has no connection to the denim industry.

Whoever CW is, though, he makes some pretty soft jeans. I was looking for jeans because one of my workhorse pairs started scratching me in the hip every time I wore them. The rivet had broken and I couldn’t figure out where in the fabric layers the thing was hidden. I finally found it and pulled it off today:

That looks even more painful than it felt.

So, I have a slight hole there but now I can patch it. I don’t REALLY need your jeans, Mr. Christopher Webb, whoever you are.

I’ve been working on a skirt that has been giving me kittens (metaphorically, that is — actual kittens would be much cuter and less frustrating) so I spent today pre-washing and sorting fabric. Including this black twill:

O HAI, I HELP U FOLD.

Crystal insists on rolling around on any fabric I lay out for cutting. She’s magically attracted to dark fibers and snag-prone weaves. It’s a good thing she’s cute.

Speaking of cute, crush of the week:

Silas Weir Mitchell, from the TV show, “Grimm.” He plays a werewolf. What? Personally, I prefer furry to fangs.

I missed my 200th blog post on Sunday so I’ll be doing some kind of celebration over the next few days! THERE WILL BE SHENANIGANS. Oh, yes, there will.