Dear Dear Diary
Did you know that when you add iced tea mix to seltzer water it foams up like when you add ice cream to soda? Wow. What a way to remind yourself of a high calorie treat without actually having a large amount of calories. Unfortunately, this was lemon-lime seltzer and lemon-flavored tea, so it's really sour. But tasty!
There ought to be a word for the nadir of stopping at a light- for that point where you have to stop for the light, which always depends on the traffic flow in front of you and not always on the color of the light. It can be green, and yet, you must come to a complete stop because of the traffic patterns in front of you. Or perhaps the word should also encompass the point where you are done with slowing down and now get to increase the speed because of the light's effect on the traffic pattern.
My left thumb hurts with typing more than it used to. I think this keyboard is not as soft as my previous keyboard. I feel like I have to hammer the keys harder, and therefore the RPS sneaks in faster. I am trying hard to save my hands. They are my livelihood. I'd also be very bored without them.
I think I want to mention Basil and Abner's Knitting for Charity Drive
(there's a collection of pertinent links in the left column if you can't find it immediately). While I don't knit a lot, I find myself reading a couple of knitting blogs regularly (beyond just You Knit What?
which I highly recommend to anyone with a sense of humor). This one was pointed to on Wendy Knits
, because of the drive, and I don't mind spreading it about and encouraging it.
And if you don't want to give to that particular humane society, I'm sure there are plenty of other humane societies in your area that can use your handiwork, if you like making things, or just getting a bulk amount of toys or buy blankets from the Salvation Army and take them to your local cat/dog shelter.
I am distracted by things I don't wish to post for the most part. The SCA is about to have several horrifically busy weekends in a row. I've signed up for a quilt class that I am thoroughly enjoying, even though I'm the youngest by 10 years at minimum, and 30 years by most. It's a portrait quilt class. Everyone but one other person is working on pictures of their grandkids. The other lady is doing her dog, and I'm working on the cat. I have the eyes done, and that's all. Will be doing more laundry and working more this weekend on it. Only a faint perfume pervades the room- so I wear the filter (found it!) and I'm okay.
The double Irish chain is ready for its borders. I have the batting to fit it or the baby quilt. Either way, they are ready and waiting for attention I must give, and haven't made time for.
And the embroidery software finally came for the sewing machine. I have to try to make needle lace, and finally work on my Elizabethan.
But I still have to get demo boards made for two weekends from now, and somehow, it's all going to be done in between manic fits of cleaning. I'm too old to let sleep slide so much.
And tomorrow, in case I haven't stressed myself enough, I am going to take a test for being an RMT which will let me have more fancy letters after my name and hopefully help offer me a little more job security. I can but hope. So I won't sleep tonight, because I'll be too worried about how I'll do. I won't find out for a month or so afterwards.
You know what kind of weekend I had when I tell you the grocery store clerk who sees me every week told me I looked like death warmed over.
but I also escaped by reading, so it wasn't terrible. I do recommend the Charlaine Harris vampire stories. The newest one has Sookie dating a weretiger and finally over her vampire fixation- although she is still very much caught into vamp politics.
I think a lot when I drive by myself. Just me and the road and the car. Sometimes I don't bother with the radio or the CD player and I just play with voices in my head. I think of what I want to write, and then I never make the time to write.
Is it better to say nothing for fear of it being heard wrong, or better to say everything and anything and to hell with the consequences? There must be a happy medium.
Today, I am going to spend in the bosom of my family. I am not looking forward to it, as maybe I ought to. I can't find my air filter. I normally keep it in my purse, but it hasn't been there for weeks. It's a personal air filter that I wear around my neck and it blows ionized air up which allegedly cleans the air below my nose before I breath it. It doesn't help a great deal, but it's better than nothing at all. In conjunction with a veil covering my face and draping over the filter, it works very well indeed- but it is very difficult to take the veil in our culture. I have the panache to carry it off though when I need it, and nowadays it's considered rude to even ask. I wear the veil in whatever way works best for the situation, but it's damn disconcerting for other people who haven't seen me do it before, and muslims have approached me to ask why I wear it *wrong*. It's a crutch though, and I can admit that.
My mom is one of three kids, sort of. I have Uncle Bob, who is her younger brother. I was disturbed the first time I heard someone say "and Bob's your uncle." I reacted with how the heck did you know? My Aunt June is Mom's half sister. My grandfather's first wife did not die in childbirth, but very soon after. Walt then met and married Hilda soon after, and Mom was born 11 months after June was. June did the math. June did not like Gram a whole lot, but Gram raised her and thought of her as her own. So when Gram made her will, she divided it all equally amongst her three hids. The problem is June predeceased her. She died of liver cancer, not terribly long ago- I had to travel with Mom to visit her, and she looked nothing in her last days as I remembered her in my youth. I liked her more in those short visits before her death. I disliked her unreasonably as a child. I found her a frightening woman then, a meek and gentle woman later. She had five children. I don't remember the older boys at all, but my sister does. Cynthia was my age, or near it. At our last meeting, she was brash and I didn't like her as well. She reminded me too much of her mother then. And Stephen was the youngest, who we called Bubba for our last meeting. He was nearer my brother's age, younger than I am. June cut him out of her will, and refused to speak his name.
Today, the four oldest will visit my mom, Cynthia among them. We will talk of Gram, whom I still miss, and of June, and Stephen will be the elephant in the middle of the room that nobody wishes to discuss, and I won't know why. We will share pictures. They will all bring their offspring. My brother will bring his offspring. I'll get meet Arianna, his newest child, for the first time.
And I'll come home with a nagging headache, not enough sleep, and possibly all the symptoms of a cold, like I always do. I have a very real feeling that I'd rather spend the day curled up on the couch in my flannel blanket, several cats, a couple good book, and a large mug of hot chocolate (floating Peep optional). I will instead paint on the happy face, pretend I am having a good time, and moments of the day will surprise me with pleasantness.
I like rainy days. Fewer people are out, and I can't follow people with just my nose because the rain washes the stink away.
Today in Wally World, I saw two women in burkas arguing over fabric. I was very close to approaching one and asking for the pattern. I want the pattern so I can wear my air filter publically and more effectively in certain circumstances. Like if I have to sit for a long time in a movie theater- that can be a private hell if anyone is wearing perfume, because I may not notice until the movie is halfway over, and then I'm getting sick slowly until I have to decide if I want to see the rest of the film or cope with whatever side-effects I'm going to have this time. Spin the Roullette Wheel and see what comes up! Migraine? GI upset? Asthma attack? Or let's go for the grand prize- all three at once!
At the same time I want her burka pattern, I want to know why she is wearing one. I admit it. Part of me is outraged that anyone would do so in our society, why any woman would allow such rigid strictures and what might be perceived as persecution or subjugation- but on the other hand, I know. It's just like why women will wear perfume or makeup or any painful fashion- it's cultural and expected. It's what is considered attractive to those we wish to attract. And maybe that's why I take pride in my rude t-shirts and very comfy pants With Pockets. I dress to please me, and that is fine. But the Hadith that the headscarf and the burka are based on, states roughly that women should not dress to attract attention to themselves. Surely in this culture, a burka catches the eye just as quickly as a hot-pink microskirt. Either way, one stands out from the crowd, and I feel is against the intent of the hadith.
I saw also in the same store a man dressed as either an orthodox jew or an orthodox muslim- his outfit was black and he had on a small black skullcap. I was amused that I could not tell the difference. I actually giggled when I saw he was wearing a headset for his cellphone.
I dropped off some catfood to the shelter where we acquired Tom. I enjoyed chatting with the ladies and they remembered him well and with affection. It's always nice to visit the kitties too. :)
Over on Running Scared, the political group blog with which I am affiliated, both Tata and Ron talk about their fear in very real ways and what we can do about it. I too am afraid. I am afraid of a lot of things. I am afraid that our president will find a way to invalidate the election process either this November if the Democrats take back a majority in either the house or the senate, or next November in 2008 so he doesn't have to step out of power. I worry about the mess he's made of things- about Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have a very real fear that he will gladly try to blow away the country between his two war zones out of convenience. I very much fear that he thinks he is setting the world up for the book of Revelations Second Coming. And I know my tin hat is nice and shiny- for how else could I think such extreme things? But these are no longer extreme ideas. And that scares me even more.
I try to to focus on what I can do to help. Sign petitions. Demonstrate. And I try to help with other projects like the catnip pilows, and there's always more I want to do. I have my own fears and paranoias to deal with as well, from worrying about gas prices and how badly this is going to wwiden the gap between the rich and the poor, and I'm pretty sure I'm on the smaller side of the line, but not as bad I have been. I fear bumping into anyone with strong perfume as much as I crave human interaction, and that just messes me up.
My point is this fear is crippling. It cripples me personally sometimes, and it is crippling us as a country. We have to all get into a place where we aren't allowing our fears to control us. I try very hard to move beyond my fear, but it isn't easy. We have to move beyond the threats of Washington and beyond, and do what we can. Write our senators and representatives and even that asshat in the White House. Demonstrate when we can. But still, get on with living. Smell the flowers. Pet the cats. Play with the dog. And create our own things of beauty while we can.
On a positive note, I made the pattern for the portrait quilt last night. Still have the nagging headache, but my, it'll be lovely. I'll have to post pics when it's done.
What would you do with 8 cups or more of rhubarb?
I have to think of something. This plant is about edible as potatoes and far less popular.
Tomorrow is the first portrait quilt class. I have decided to not do the angel since I can't draw what I want. Maybe I never will. Sometimes, I am dissappointed in never quite reaching the artistic vision I want. But then, if perfection was easy, what would I seek then?
Here's the image I have asked permission to copy via quilt this photo
If I add a little half mustache, it's Colin all over again. This kitten is named Kelvin, and he's adorable. He first caught my eye in this photo
which was posted to kitty pics, and it's adorable.
We shall see how that goes. I hope there is no perfume.
Tonight is the double Irish chain. Last week it was me and one other student. Naturally, she was lightly spiced with exactly the wrong smell. Tonight, I bring the air filter.
Today I am doing my own minor act of bravery. Or stupidity, depending on your perpsective.
The waitress at Friendly's wore exactly the wrong shade of perfume. So I had a minor headache from that. Easily recoverable, when I sit in clean air for a little. I did so- and played the sims and a dictation or two. Then I summoned my courage and tackled the shower/tub. Jeannie, I know, would have tackled it with ammonia and bleach and anything else it struck her to try, making sure it's proper ventilated and she double gloved the latex and rubber gloves. Me, I armed myself with paper towels, cloth towels, a lot of hydrogen peroxide and a screwdriver. I opened the window and set up a fan to blow into the closed area, since we have solid doors that slide instead of a flimsy curtain.
The area has been de-slime molded, and a new soap dish installed where it won't attrach another one. I have removed all of the old grout because it was growing covered in mold and coming away from the wall. Now it's not as gross as I am describing it- we still used it and most folks likely would not know anything was amiss. But *I* knew it was there and it bothered me. So I cleaned it.
And as soon as this headache fades, and I think another 5 minutes or so will do, I'm going to grout. This time, it's anti-mold, anti-bacterial grout- the expensive grout. I have some prior grouting experience- I've puttied windows up at Camp. So I am hoping the skills are similar enough and this should be fairly easy. Otherwise, I'm going to have to do the whole thing all over again next year or so. And that, my friends, would suck.
After that, I expect to have a mother of a headache. I'll probably just go have a well deserved nap after.
For the record, feline canned Science Hill diet z/d food looks and smells just like parvo poop when lightly baked.
I found attempting to bake the treats made out of the canned food more disgusting than when I used to BARF-diet the cats. (BARF being bones and raw food). Yes, I used to feed chicken wings through a meat grinder for my kitties, and if CSI ever needed to examine our kitchen, I think they'd find traces of scrubbed off blood *everywhere*.
I have to find where I hid the food dehydrator or if my parents still have it. I think using that on the porch will be the best way of trying to try it for kitty treats. That stuff is just vile.
/happy dance. Sassy doesn't have squamous cell carcinoma. No skin cancer for fatso! No need to remove half her face and consider if we need to do chemotherapy or other extreme therapies!
She has esophillic granuloma. That's fancy terms for a very extreme allergic reaction. She's been having trouble with the cat food allergies and now we have to move all the kitties off the r/d and onto z/d and hide the Iams. I am happy to just have to buy the expensive cat food versus taking her to Cornell and needing a full body MRI scan or worse. I'd have figured how to pay for it if that was necessary. But if I compare that bill to the food bill, sure! I'm happy to pay the food bill. It's all about perspective.
And there is no question of surviving this- this is just an inconvenience. We'll cope. We've coped with worse. So I'm boyuant right now.
Tom, poor Tom, is sans bottom canines. He's still mad at me for taking him to the vet's. He runs from me. Thank goodness he doesn't need to go anywhere else for a while. He's going to be spoiled back into being happy with me, I hope. Must get more sardines. I closed off the basement- when he first got home, he groggily retreated down there, and my heart was in my throat- I thought he would fall. It's an open stair case - no wall or railing or bars near enough to the steps to keep a cat from falling off the side and onto a wine rack, nor are the stairs backed, so if they stumble back, they can fall *through* the stairs. He should get over the groggy soon- although he is already walking less groggy for the last hour +. I'm being paranoid and I'll open the door again in the morning or just before bed.
I am unconventional. I am this way by choice and not just having it thrust on me by the name Georg and the presence of boobies, plus the "wonderful" handicap of multiple chemical sensitivity. I am probably one of the most liberal minded people that I know. And the more I think about this bear
, the more furious I can become. It's not something I *want* to get worked up about, but it is certainly a symptoms of one of the multitude of things I see wrong in our society, and perhaps it reminds me a lot of what's wrong -or could be perceived as being wrong- with me. I like the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. I've toured the factory. I like how they use recycled plastic for the joints and eyes- the plastic comes direct from the Ben & Jerry's factory and they get their supplies in 5-gallon buckets, so those buckets are melted down and remade into something the VTBC can use. Very environmentally friendly- and the bears are made in Vermont with no illegal immigrants or exploited workers in sight. It's a good company.
But I admit, the thought of a gestating stuffed animal is just creepy. I remember the first pregnant Barbie that came out- she had a plastic piece that popped off so you could take the baby out of her belly. That was very controversial at the time (late 70s if I remember right). I thought it was creepy then, and I was a kid. Most of the objections were however that children should not learn these things in this manner and certainly not from Barbie. In retrospect, Barbie was such a tramp between her lavish lifestyle with GIJoe and Ken, it's a wonder they never had STD Barbie or Addict Barbie.
This bear is an idealized picture of modern happy baby bulshit. "Bearfoot" is a cute pun for something intended to be cloying, but I don't get a "kick" out of it. This bear obviously has someone besides Uncle Sam taking care of the rent and the cost of fuzzy ice cream and pickles that still look like rotted meat to me. This bear isn't worried about making ends meet or little bear's college tuition in the future- and certainly the price tag is a serious dent in anyone's funds- well okay, it's cheaper than Beautician Bear, and that's just disturbing to me. The other disturbing bears are Bingo Bear and Casino Mom Bear (complete with pink track suit). This bear is so republican family values that I find it nauseating.
But I'm not going to be one to revel in being pregnant or dependant on someone else for my pickles and ice cream. I don't do a tremendous amount of "cute." I don't buy into marriage as the only way procreation happens, nor did I marry for the joy of same. I don't view my marriage as being dependant on my spouse, I'd be insulted if anyone hinted at that. I am a partner. I have a partner. We share in our duties, trials, and our joys. I did not marry to waddle around eating bon-bons. Nor did I marry to be a subservient to my master.
I don't hate kids or babies. Or pregnant women. I just choose not to be pregnant nor have babies or kids. and this rubs my nose in it, making me feel like society wants me to want those things, and that I ought to feel guilty for not trying harder to make them happen. Maybe I do feel a little guilty. But truly, if I wanted it, I'd have had it. And if that means I am walking an unusual path, then so be it. I'd just like a little less guff and pressure to conform sometimes.
My legs don't want to cooperate today, but I'm making them behave. I think it's the lilacs blooming, because occasionally I sneeze violently too.
Sassy might have squamous cell carcinoma, which is a really nasty form of skin cancer. She's never been an outdoors cat, despite her wishes, so I have to wonder how much the medical community really has a clue about "how long people ought to hang out in sunlight" anyway. The awful part is I'm not sure how much surgery she'll need if the biopsy comes back positive for the SCC. It's right above one of her eyelids and I am not sure how much skin they can remove in that location without needing a graft from elsewhere, and she may end up whiskerless on the top on that side. I don't want to put her down that will only be an option if we find it has metastasized elsewhere and will be inoperable. Because removal is the best option for treatment of SCC, even in humans, and the odds of changing and growing elsewhere are not good- and I don't know what it's like for cats.
And Tom goes in for part two of his dental surgery on Thursday. He needs his other bottom canine seen to. It's in danger of splitting off now, and it may need as much as a root canal. Given my own panic attacks for my own dental trauma, I really feel horrible about inflicting this on the cat, but certainly some of the alternatives would be worse. He has enough trouble with crunchy foods. I've never actually tried brushing the feline teeth, and I'm still not completely sure I want to try with a cat that doesn't like to be handled too much to begin with.
My first quilt class ever is tonight. As always, I hope there is a corner I can sit in and there is no one there with overwhelming perfume. I get apprehensive and jittiery when I think about it, but I want to do this. The building is fairly recently remodelled, so there will be a little new-building smell, but I ought to be okay as long as no one spray bastes. Since we are only making the tops, that should not be an issue. This class should be easy- it's only a double Irish Chain, and that ought to be simple. I have the fabric- it' more green oriented than I originally thought I would try. When I think Irish Chain, I think Blue on White. For some reason a purple jumped into my arms, and only greens wanted to go with it. I hope it turns out okay. The room it is going into is Yellow, so it will match better that way.
And if I survive this class okay, then I should be okay for the class I really want to take- which is an art quilt class taught by this lady: Marilyn Belford
. And yes, she's really good. I've seen several of her pieces in the cloth, so to speak, and I look forward to the class. Being ill for it would royally suck.
Hooray! Blogger let me use the slashie thing! And it's letting me use apostrophes. :)
Bet it crashes while I post this. Because, I am by nature an optimist. No really! I expect everything to go wrong, and plan accordingly. That way I know not *everything* can go wrong, so I'll be pleaseantly surprised. And how can anyone not be happy when they are always pleasantly surprised?
I picked out fabric today for the Irish Chain quilt I want to make for the spare room. It's a couple of colors I don't normally like, but they jumped up and down and said they would be lovely with this purple green and lovely in the yellow room and I have khaki thread that would work very well with it- and if I run out of that, the yellow will do.
Yes, this quilt will probably push off time to make the cat quilts, and some of the other projects I am thinking of, but that's okay, I think. I like how my job keeps me too busy to want to spend money on things to do. lol. I'm planning only one event in May. That'll help with getting stuff done, I think. We'll see.
Better mood already this week. Actually slept mot of last night. That helps.
Bah. This thing is arguing with me again and doing stuff I dont want it to do. Namely allowing slash marks or apostophes, and that is highly annoying.
I survived the weekend. Apparently it all went rather well. It felt good to have Axes & Ales end on a upswing, as it began. But it is still very sad to end it, and if the site fees are as bad as I think they will be to rent the hall again next year, we will not be able to have it there. Public parks rarely allow archery or lobbing of pointy things. Other sites are also difficult to aquire at the rate we had this hall for. So.
I have nurtured a thing for 8 years, and it is sad to let such a thing go. But there is always one constant in life and that is things change.
I am very pleased that Jazz has taken up movie making. In my own mind I think of ideas for movies too, but I know I lack the drive and interest to see them through to completion, and the confidence to enter. He not only enters- he expects to win. And I am proud of what he creates. We shall see to where this path leads.
I did sign up for a class that will help me create the quilted image of the Angel. It starts Wednesday the 17th. The quilt artist is reknown and has won several awards. I have seen about four of her pieces in the cloth, and another two or three in books about modern quilting. I always have to specfy modern quilting- I am still exploring quilt history.
Did I mention that the 1390 Quilt I made has been accepted to a quilt show in Italy? I still think that is very very cool and I almost wish we could afford to go see it, and one of the originals inspired by it.