Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It seems the deal on the house we (sort of) bought might fall through due to the dreaded foundation cracks. I've realized that the past few weeks have actually had a fundamental effect on my outlook, in the sense that I don't really believe in nice things anymore. That sounds terrible, but I booked our third-choice wedding venue yesterday (after the first two canceled on us) and realized that I don't even actually expect to have my wedding there. I just assumed it wouldn't work out, even though she put my name in her computer system. The other people have put my name in their computer systems, or the paper equivalent of their computer systems, and it has made no apparent difference. And I bought more cardstock, to re-print the 65 invitations I already pritned (by hand, with a stamp) but without any sense that I would actually be making more invitations. And the house thing is the same. Reading the home inspector's report I felt the familiar sinking feeling in my stomach, but also a kind of apathy that must result from lowered expectations.

Although, to avoid thinking about my foundation (or lack thereof), I've been looking for rescue dogs on the Internet. Maybe instead of getting married and buying a house, I'll just get a dog, and the dog can come and live in my condo, and I can keep dating my man friend from across the river, and that would be fine. Because I'm tired of this thick, discouraged feeling that is radiating out from somewhere behind my sternum. I never sleep, I never swim, my head hurts all the time, and there is eventually going to come a point when I am just going to flip out at whatever realtor or structural engineer or facilities booker happens to be standing nearby.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Round up one: links

I have so many tasty tasty links for you today, Internet.

Where the Wild Things Aren't - a photographic tour of an abandoned zoo in Detroit.

Яolcats - English Translations of Eastern Bloc Lolcats. It's pretty hard for me to express how much I love this. At right: The men I’ve sent to death weigh heavily on my mind; but this burden is but a fist of straw compared to the strain of the republic. I can has post-Soviet irony in meme format?

Sorry I Missed Your Party - Another one of these surreal found photo blogs, this one featuring photos of other people's parties from flickr.

Do not read, unless you love hilarious fake World of Warcraft Achievements


We ran a weird, unbalanced, shorthanded--yet overpowered!--group through Drak'Tharon Keep. Two paladins (one holy, one prot), two priests (one shadow, one holy/discipline). Wack. And yet! We rocked it. I'm at level 79 1/3 -- meaning that I need to get my act together and get to 80.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A few Things

I know I claimed I was no longer committed to Thing-A-Day, which is true, and I shall not apologize for missed Things. However these things are done in their own right, so I might as well post them.

feb 16 - coral necklace
Feb 16th - I made some jewelry, including this simple necklace with some red coral. Hopefully it is not endangered.

feb 17/18 - planning
Feb 17th - Planning my book.

feb19 - completed

feb19 - completed

Today - My book is done. It did not turn out awesome, although I will probably still use it. Now that I have made one I know how to make them better. The assembly was hard--figuring out what order things needed to go together in--and I overdid it on the vinyl, which caused much complaining and snapped thread from my sewing machine. It was a trooper though, or possibly a trouper--I'm not sure which. Also, I'm sad that I kind of wasted this fabric which I only had a fat quarter of to start with, and now I think I might have to buy more because I love it so much.

I was inspired by this chequebook cover in Amy Butler's book In Stitches, although what I ended up with came out quite different. Maybe the next iteration will have a zipper.

Everything I make matches my blog. Hmmm.

Guilt; confusion; sensitive co-workers.

I have this reusable Whole Foods bag that a friend bought in Vegas, which somehow made its way home with me and has continued to make its way to and from work, and the grocery store, with me. On the side, it says, "I love my home... planet earth," but the way the words are arranged is artfully uneven, and every time I see it this is what goes through my mind: "I love my home planet... earth." Huh. That's weird because no one has a home planet other than earth. Every. Single. Time. My brain is not capable of remembering what it actually says on this bag, or even that my predictable wrong response is, well, wrong. I kind of want to get rid of the bag just because it's a reminder of how my mind is hard-wired for certain kinds of failure.

I think people know how tired and stressed I am, and everyone at my work is walking on eggshells around me. It's actually kind of nice. This is what I imagine it would be like to be an invalid. I'm like an invalid, but the kind that has a job. And I've actually had a really productive afternoon, having recycled a bunch of tiny notes with tiny reminders written on them after performing the tiny tasks they signified, and also emptying out my outlook inbox. I found a tiny error on the website and instead of notifying the person who should fix it, I just fixed it myself, because my desire to not have to communicate with others overwhelmed by desire to not have to do things myself.

I think I have petered out on Thing-A-Day. I'm sad about that because I love the idea, but when I committed to do it I absolutely did not anticipate that this was going to be one of the busiest and most stressful months of my life. I have been spending a little bit of time almost every day making something, but I haven't summoned the commitment necessary to actually document and post these things, which to me is kind of the point. So. Fail.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From Damn Interesting: Living in the Moment, an interesting short article about a man who had anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new long-term memories. (You know, like Dory or the guy from Memento.) The man discussed in the article actually just passed away, after participating in hundreds of psychological and neurological studies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

in fact i wish this blog had a little pocket for a flask

Thanks to my inside people at the university, I might have scored an old card catalogue (again). This time I'm going to keep calling the Supply Management guy (nicely!) until he agrees to sell it to me for some reasonable amount of money, say, $40. I'm too nice, and this is how I lost out on the last one. Anyone who claims they got an old card catalogue by being nice is lying. (Also, I don't know if I mentioned this but... I have a house now, so I'm going to need even more wacky furniture and even more posters and even more vintage kitchenware from Etsy to fill it up. Oh, and James's stuff too apparently.) (Also, is the plural of "kitchenware" still "kitchenware?" or "kitchenwares"? Hmm.)

Since I finished school and started working, I've managed to jettison my paper "daytimer," as the grown-up types say, and depend on my trusty brain and 30 Boxes. This hybrid brain/technology solution was working for me until recently, when I have suddenly needed to keep track of house details and wedding details in addition to all the other normal life details. (Also, this might seem pathetic, but while I was in grad school/freelancing I never had much health coverage. Now that I have a health plan, and have to get my hair cut on a regular basis also, I suddenly have a whole extra set of appointments to keep track of.) I've been freaking out a lot lately, often at 4:30 am, often as a result of remembering something I need to do and then realizing I'm sure to forget it again 3 minutes later, so today I developed a plan to build myself a new daytimer-type book for keeping notes, business cards, my chequebook (which I also require ALL THE TIME in my new life as a grown-up, even if I do still have Muppet cheques) and the pen I stole from the MGM Grand. Convenient side-effect: I can use the new vinyl foot for my sewing machine, which I got for Christmas. Who is the guy I'm supposed to call from the realtor's office who will meet the home inspector and let him in? The book will know! What is the name of my optometrist, who I need to call to arrange a crazy dilation test for my sub-par eyes? The book will know! Or at least that's the theory. And maybe I'll sleep through the night at least once before July. Whenever I enter this kind of hyper, detail-obsessed planning mode, the only thing that will make me feel better is to make the obsessing more efficient. Or maybe to drink. I should make a little pocket in my binder for a flask.

Monday, February 16, 2009

i'm also cooking a real meal tonight, with asparagus

I suddenly, magically became a responsible homeowner type on Friday (when we decided to put an offer on a house). Since then I have kept my kitchen very clean, as a demonstration of my suitability for this role. 72 hours of cleanliness! It's been grand so far.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

oh boy.

i've been falling down on the job. I have sort of been doing my Things, but haven't had time to take any pictures. I finished my wedding invitations (right before the hall we'd booked called to tell us we'd been double-booked, because our wedding is DOOMED, but I don't really want to think about that any more), made a pair of decorations for Meghan's bridesmaid shoes, and today I made a box for my socks with missing mates.

More importantly, James and I bought a house! We are homeowners, or we will be if we can come up with some money. It has what real-estate listings call "charming built-ins," including an ironing board that folds down out of a cupboard, and--perhaps most excitingly--it has a little window in the back porch, through which you can access the clothesline. WHICH CAN BE USED TO SEND SECRET MESSAGES TO THE GARAGE. (Sample secret message: "We will be paying for this until we retire.") We're pretty excited. I'm going to have a place for my sewing machine that isn't my kitchen table. It's going to be GREAT.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

plus it's orange

recovered magnet board recovered magnet board

Second project for the day--this was actually supposed to be yesterday's, but I didn't get home until 10:30 last night so it had to wait until today. I had a metal "BITS" board from IKEA which I hadn't used for awhile, so I decided to cover it with some pretty wrapping paper. Then I made little magnets to match. I might get some clear contact paper to cover the paper since it's still a little flimsy.

I'll use it as an "inspiration board," or I would if I was the kind of person who could utter the words "inspiration board" without grimacing.

Daily thing: Invitations again


Daily thing: invitations again. I did another set of stamps and put in grommets. The front half is done now. There's a second page with a map and RSVP information which I will print tomorrow at work, and then the two pages will be tied together with string.

I blacked out the location because there's going to be an open bar, and I don't want the whole Internet crashing :) UNLESS YOU BRING A PRESENT.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Observation I, from an expert Observer of roman numerals

I. It might have been overambitious to think I could buy a house, plan my own wedding, be a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends, wrap up a big contract project, and do Thing-A-Day in one month. (In addition to normal work and dishes, although I never do dishes.) Perhaps the stress and tiredness I am feeling now is a result of that.

[James and I found a really splendid house yesterday, and he was going back today with a list of practical things we didn't notice the first time like "How big are the closets? Is there a washing machine?" and a mental preparedness to make an offer on it as long as none of these practical things had absurd answers, such as "not only is there no washing machine but THERE IS NO RUNNING WATER," and then our realtor called to tell us it had been sold. Falling in love and then having the thing you've fallen in love with taken away from you is tiring.]

II. Or maybe it's just because I don't have any candy in my desk.

[After I wrote that, I had to reboot my computer because it was acting strangely, and as it was restarting I thought, hmm, I should double-check if i actually have any candy in my desk. And I DID. So. We are left with only option Roman Numeral I.]

Monday, February 9, 2009

Daily Thing: Feb 9th

feb 9 - invitation-making sweatshop

Daily thing: Printed all 60-odd wedding invitations. This is just the first step. I'll post more detailed pictures when they're done. Suffice it to say that my printing hands are inky and sore.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a jacket, some craft

feb8 - mending

feb8 - canvas

That's right, TWO PROJECTS. I got so ambitious. The first is hardly a project though; Meghan snagged her jacket on something so I fixed it for her. The second is an 8 1/2 x 11 picture frame from ikea, with some appliqued fabric attached. The appliqued pieces are cut from fabric designed by Tina Givens. It's hard to tell from the photo but the background is brown, not black, and the other pieces are co-ordinating scraps from my stash. This is the second of three pieces I had planned. The third will be hand-quilted and will take longer. This one was actually all cut out, and only took one episode of Freaks and Geeks, and one glue-gun related injury, to finish.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

La chose du jour!

thing a day - feb 7

Today's project: a quick 'n' dirty laundry bag. This fabric has been sitting around in my apartment for weeks. I bought it by accident out of the remnants bin--wrapped up in such a way that it looked like plain, offwhite cotton. Then I unwrapped it to find--surprise!--multicoloured squares. I find the pattern kind of cute actually, but the fabric isn't in great shape and the print is not very clean up-close, so I used it for something I've been meaning to make for awhile: a laundry bag for traveling. I have enough fabric for 3 more of these, which I might still complete just to use for storing linens, washing delicates, etc., but I had only one toggle in my bag-o-notions, so the others will have to wait for another day.

Also it kind of matches the Thing-A-Day banner... hmmmm.

Today is Courtney's bachelorette-event. As one of the organizers, I had a role in deciding the number of novelty penis-shaped items (none). Hopefully no one will be too put-out. I'm still very sick, so it will be an early night, at least for me.

My waiting-and-refreshing routine paid off this morning as I scored Flight of the Conchords tickets! Seattle in May. There is a David Macauley exhibition there as well, at the Tacoma Art Museum. Plus I've heard they have the ocean there. It's going to be GREAT, INTERNET!

thing a day feb 6: shoes thing a day feb 6: shoes

For my project yesterday I added these little embellishments to a pair of shoes. I'm a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding at the end of the month, and our dresses are blue, so I wanted to add a little blue flourish to the brown shoes I'll be wearing. These are just a piece of blue ribbon folded a few times, and held in place with two vintage buttons from my stash. They were sewn in place over the existing ribbon, so I can just take them off after the wedding.

My posting was delayed by the fact that my camera batteries died, and then I couldn't find my charger.... because it was buried under three cubic metres of laundry. Does laundry count as a Thing-A-Day?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2 questions

1. I bought new glasses last week, and if I'm not mistaken they told me i was paying extra to have the lenses Scotchguarded. 1a. Did the person who invented this process, or at least this term, become a millionaire? 1b. If we Scotchguarded the whole world, would all spilled liquids hover uncertainly, half an inch above the ground?

2. Who thought of the idea of selling delivered pizzas with dipping sauces? This idea is so great and yet so bad for you. The dips are like little packets of heart attack. But at the same time, I sort of admire that mentality. Like, how do we incorporate more cheeze in pizza? (failed answers: make crust out of cheese, make all other toppings out of cheese, make the box out of cheese so people can eat the box after they've eaten the pizza)

it rhymes with delicious


I'm still sick. On the plus side, I have a sexy, growly voice now. On the minus side, I feel horrible, I keep freaking out about absolutely nothing, and I have no time to do my daily Thing. So. Another cop-out: a picture of a bottle of Aranciata on my desk, just moments before it got in my belly. I will buy almost anything that comes in a brightly coloured orange bottle. Also visible is my to-read pile, which shames me deeply (especially since it is actually only one of three in my apartment). I took a moment away from the monster spreadsheet I'm building to look for something beautiful, and took this photo, so I believe it is in the spirit of Thing-A-Day, even if it simultaneously betrays all the people who felted, sketched, or programmed today. And moments later my camera battery died, and I can't find my charger (scary thought: I haven't seen it since Vegas, before Christmas) and my favourite headphones broke today on the airport shuttle (don't ask) and... oh yeah. Everything.

Everything. Crap!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No daily Thing today. My first attempt at block-printing wedding invitations went very awry, so I'm discouraged--in addition to the exhausted and sick I was already. My immune system is really screwing with me this year. I would be filled with rage if I could more easily move my head.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daily Thing: Smokers' Triangulation

feb 3- smokers' triangulation

This drawing demonstrates something that drives me crazy: when smokers at the bus-stop stand kind of equally spaced apart so that people who don't want to smell the smoke have nowhere safe to go. Why can't they stand close together? They could make friends! They could talk about being smokers!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feb. 2

thingaday 2: pool

thingaday 2: pool

thingaday 2: pool

This is the pool in the basement of my building, where I swim laps. I love its 1970s-ness. It's actually quite a beautiful space, not as dingy as these photos make it look--it has nice light, and the stillness of the water when I first arrive in the mornings is why I tolerate the exercise.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thing a Day: Feb 1

thing a day: feb 1

a necklace. i didn't even make the pendant, just tied it on with
some wire. whatever, i had to work today. what am i, modigliani?