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I fail spectacularly at journal titles...
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17th-Jan-2017 11:08 am - Fail
Monkey kisses
With all the crafting, some of it is bound to turn out kind of...not how I'd want it to.

I did a Frida Kahlo and it turned out like this:
20170117_034858
Now, part of the issue is that there's a shadow under her brow from the way it's lit.
But...there's something not right about it. And it's in the face. I think the jaw is too rounded, maybe, too.

I'm disappointed in it. It's especially disappointing because the flower embroidery took for-ev-er. It sucks to work a long time on something and have it not turn out as you'd hoped.

(It's based on this picture.)
15th-Jan-2017 10:38 pm - Fin
Monkey kisses
Show over. So tired.

We had big plans to go out to a nice dinner and get a drink or two. Because BOY HOWDY has this been a hell of a show.
But we got done at 2:30ish and after a little lunch:

Me, at 4:12: (Emoticons of drinks) tonight?
Boss, at 4:58: YES!
Me, at 6:22: I fell asleep.
Boss, at 7:26: Me too.
Me, at 8:30: I think we missed our shot.

We're across the street from a great steakhouse, but since it's Sunday night, everything closes at 9. It's deeply unfair after such a long, arduous week.

Room service again if I'm hungry, I guess.

The room service here is good, but I was getting tired of paying $70 per meal. (That's...without any alcoholic beverage.)
8th-Jan-2017 12:50 pm - Flakes
Monkey kisses
Because my clients are complete flakes, they neglected to tell us that--despite what was contracted--they were unavailable for rehearsals on Wednesday, the day before the show.

So we have to rehearse Tuesday.
We were scheduled to get in Tuesday evening.

This has been, as one might predict, problematic.

So I leave tomorrow morning instead. Time to do all the things tonight.

This show. Um. Man. Let's hope I get out of it sane.
4th-Jan-2017 01:25 pm - Hobby-heavy
Monkey kisses
I get consumed by things.

I get ideas and I actually do them and then I REALLY do them. It doesn't matter if they're insignificant or big or somewhere in between. Scanning pictures, making things, cleaning...re-organizing...whatever. I generally follow through.

So I started an Etsy Shop with the patterns for some of the felt crafts I've been making. And I've added to it.

I've designed more patterns--stuff that I want to see or think is cool.

Then I started a blog to detail some of the patterns/techniques/etc.

Because I have SO MUCH TIME, right? (I do not. I don't know where I'm getting the time save for never sleeping. When I get on a tear about something...I really just want to do it. Sleep is for those without projects, and I love having a project.)

And even though it's all very slapped together and quick and dirty...I did a thing. Boy-howdy. It's a good thing I never got into drugs, man. When I do a thing, I DO it.

I might be insane.

Oh, and I have two big shows this month.

Definitely insane.
15th-Dec-2016 04:47 pm - Lfl
Monkey kisses
I really want to put up a little free library. It would be a great thing in my neighborhood.

I was driving by some earlier this week. There are often progressive, inclusive yard signs in LFL house yards too.

Come to think of it...I've never seen a LFL in the same yard as a Trump sign.

Funny, that.
13th-Dec-2016 12:38 pm - Crafter's Quandary
Monkey kisses
I've been making a lot of felt ornaments/finger puppets/etc., lately.

This is because:
• It's something concrete I can focus on. I like stuff that I actually physically make with my own hands.
• It's zen, for me. And a total indulgence in time. Sure, I go to bed at 3 a.m., but I'm ALONE in the quiet house watching whatever tv I want (or nothing at all).
• I enjoy the challenge of creating the patterns and then executing them; deciding how to layer everything for effect, etc.
• I'm actually pretty good at it. That increases the satisfaction level.
• People are impressed by it, generally (even if they think I'm a little off my rocker) and I enjoy people being impressed by me. Narcissistic, maybe, but true.
• The damned supplies are already all over. (As long as they're out I think that I might as well keep going. Because if I clean them up nicely and put them away...it's going to be a long time before I revisit them again.)

Some, I've given away as gifts. Some I'm going to keep. But every time I post them I get mentions of selling them. (Which are honestly the best intentioned and very flattering--so I'm not complaining in the least.)

The thing is...it's really a labor of love.

I made this ornament most recently:

15541643_10108751765269180_6726879839467292222_n

(It's Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)

It took...oh...just under 3 hours to make? Probably a little less if I hadn't been interrupted occasionally by friend chats or whatnot. It was 3 episodes of Doctor Who.

So what would I sell this for? The materials are fairly cheap (~30-50 cents a page for felt, 30 cents for embroidery floss, etc.), but designing the pattern, cutting out the pattern pieces, cutting out the felt, doing stitching detail (that collar tho!), etc. is time consuming.

A felt ornament, in a store, would go for $2-5, maybe. Something fancy might be up to $10.
That's a totally fair price for a felt ornament. I don't know that people would pay more. But it's not worth the time for me for $10.

Hence the crafter's quandary. People are used to paying $50 for a really nice blanket and would balk at paying $250 for a handmade quilt--even though that would (maybe!) be only cost-recovery on materials and time.

Why pay $500+ for an original painting when you can get a nice looking print for $15 (framed and ready to go for under $50)?

Handmade things cost more, but a lot of people don't have the luxury of paying more when cheap, readily-available goods are everywhere. And, for the most part, these aren't items one *needs*.

Plus, well, we're not talking perfection here. My stitches could be improved (I made some mistakes on the collar that wouldn't happen in a second iteration), I would change hair color, I would fix the lip-technique and eyes. If I had an embroidery machine it would go much more quickly (but I also don't like the machine-embroidered look as much).

So I'd feel bad charging more. I'm not sure what the "worth it" price would be to me, honestly. Or what the market would bear (I wouldn't want to over-charge, either).

So I think I'm just going to create pattern instructions to go with the patterns and sell them for $1-2 a pop. Something that you'd feel okay impulse-buying and you'd even feel okay knowing that your ambition might outstrip your execution and you'd have an unused pattern lying around forever (the TNG busy book pattern I bought was $10...I figured if I never actually got around to it it was no huge loss).
1st-Dec-2016 08:24 am - Psa
Wild Thing
"They're real and they're spectacular" *still* gets a huge laugh at corporate events. Thanks Seinfeld (which I haven't actually seen, but I know the line).

Believe me. No one is as shocked as me.

The reason is because it's just a teensy bit naughty while also being completely clean. (The original line referred to breasts.) That goes over big with executives.

It's also why 50 Shades of Grey is the gift that keeps on giving. It's so mainstream that it's totally safe...yet everyone knows it's a naughty reference.

I wonder what the next everlasting naughty-safe bit will be.
15th-Nov-2016 02:08 pm - Cannot
Gay sex for god.
I just cannot fucking believe that this country elected Donald fucking Trump to be the president.

It's a week later. I still can't believe it.

And then he was like: Haaay, how about I start fillin' up my staff positions with white supremacists!

Me: . . . Fuck.

I've been saying that a lot lately.
19th-Oct-2016 11:29 am - Dissassociative.
Monkey kisses
Traveling frequently makes for weird brain-compartments where cities are concerned. Anywhere in Florida is always "going to Florida".

Someone mentioned I was going to Maryland next week and I had to think about it for a moment. Baltimore has such a strong name recognition that I forget it's Maryland. (I mean, I KNOW that it is, but that's not immediately what I associate it with.) The same is true for Boston. Boston is its own world. But yeah...it's Massachusetts. Maybe it's this way with the East-Coast "legacy" cities more than the newer, younger cities that aren't so imprinted on my history brain. I never "forget" that Billings is in Montana or Dallas is in Texas.
5th-Oct-2016 04:12 pm - Talk me down
Monkey kisses
On the flight to Phoenix I sat next to two legit Trump supporters. I never would have guessed. They looked just like normal people. You know, only older and white.

They were parroting the talking points. Trump has created millions of jobs and Obama said you didn't build anything yourself! Hillary compromises national security with BENGHAZI! They don't know how women can vote for her (one was a woman, but older) the way she talked about her husband's mistresses!

Fuck, you guys. Talk me down. Someone convince me through stats or otherwise that it's not actually possible that Trump is going to win this thing. I keep finding pockets of unassuming Trump voters who, when confronted with their own, open their mouths and let the racism just fall out (these two were talking about the large Somali population in MN and how that was SO FUCKING HORRIBLE THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO SOMALIA THOSE TERRORISTS!). I kid you not. It was like a parody of Trump people...coming from normal people. It was horrifying.

TALK ME DOWN. GIVE ME STATS.
25th-Aug-2016 11:44 am - :o
Monkey kisses
I totally just saw Cameron Esposito at the airport. (Comic. Hilarious. Watch her.)

I'm a huge fan, but I'm not actually the type to approach someone in this kind of situation.

So this is all we get. Saw her. Recognized her. Did kind of a shocked double take recognition thing.

I'm so awkward. Damn.
8th-Aug-2016 12:03 pm - In which I make a thing
Modern Times
Oh hey. I made a thing.

I bought a pattern for a Star Trek busy book (or "quiet book") here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/83142930/star-trek-inspired-quiet-book-pattern

And then I finally got around to making it.
Pictures are HERE: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10107912851339420.1073741832.13953311&type=1&l=18939c0ce0

The album should be public. It was the easiest way to keep posting photos as I make new pages. I shared it on Facebook because, well...it took a lot of work and it's cool and I kind of wanted more than just D and N to see it.

When I get on a tear about something, I can really become absorbed. So I designed my own pages for TOS and more for TNG. I added more (mostly female) characters. Making-with-hands projects like this are super soothing and relaxing for me. The problem is time-time-time. I get absorbed in doing this and everything else falls away. Or, rather, everything else that could go in that little slot of spare time between when the baby goes to bed and when *I* must go to bed. If I had full days, or even a few full afternoons, the job would go much more expediently.

It's pretty cool though. There are two discrete books: TNG and TOS. I'll post pictures when they're all done-done and bound and such (TNG is almost to this state).

And I might have started designing a Monty Python book, too.

Whoops.
27th-Jun-2016 03:51 pm - Car Searching
Monkey kisses
Have (somewhat) narrowed down the car search.

Requirements: AWD, wagon, reliable, newer (not brand-new)
Almost-requirements: Heated seats (you would think this would be a non-issue in newer cars, but I'm looking at YOU, economy Subarus), not an awful color (I'm looking at you 90's Subaru Outback Teal)

Looking at:
Volvo XC70
Subaru Outback or Forester
Mercedes e320

Volvo: This has rock-solid ratings and a great interior. The problem is that unless I buy very-new, the next available model years seem to be 2008. Mileage creeps way up if at all newer. Because people drive these for-ev-er. It's a good sign, but it makes it tough to find at a reasonable price.

Subaru: Solid. Reliable. Great to drive in the snow. These are popular for a reason. People drive them forever. My issue is that the ride is sort of tinny and the cars have a very cheap interior feel. It's not a dealbreaker, of course, but it gives me slight pause. There's also this weird crossover where they started making the Outbacks more like mini-suvs...and I really don't want a mini-suv.

Mercedes: This was my old wagon. I loved my old wagon SO MUCH. The issue here is that these are becoming incredibly scarce, what's available generally is old and has high mileage, and there is a known issue with body rust. I wouldn't get the c-class again (my last car) but the e-class was amazing to drive. SO solid in the snow. So awesome to handle. Third row seats are also a plus.

I have pretty much eliminated the Audis (they're cheap and available, but their reliability ratings are crap), the Cadiallac SRX (too big...why was D showing me this car?!).

I'm open to looking at other wagons, but there really aren't a lot of them out there.
23rd-Jun-2016 10:37 am - State of Cars
Oh hell
My old mini-van: Oil filter failure caused engine to seize on the freeway.
My 320 Benz Wagon: Totaled by a semi in 2014 (not my fault)
My 280 Benz Wagon: Totaled by a minivan in 2015 (not my fault)
My father in law's Chrysler 300: Quits in stop and go traffic, or at stop lights, or at stop signs, or when not actively accelerating. Not all the time. Just sometimes. SURPRISE.
Derrick's Blazer: I just had to have towed after it stopped shifting. (It would shift into first but nothing past that...the RPM was insane.) You cannot drive on the freeway in the low gears. Also it made this really unpleasant thumping/jumping.

The tow truck driver had to put the extra wheels on it because he couldn't get it to shift into gear for towing.

So D is driving his motorcycle and I'm...without a car at the moment. Which accelerates the car shopping timeline (we had been laaaazy about this. I hate car shopping and it's hard to actually visit lots and such with a toddler).

D and I are not on the same page, right now. Right now, I'm willing to pay a little more for a newer car that WILL NOT HAVE SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT RIGHT AWAY.

Maybe it's just the PTSD from having cars randomly quit on the freeway in traffic talking.

He wanted a budget that accounted for potential repairs to the potential new vehicle. NO.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want a huge car payment either. But we have a good chunk that we can put toward a downpayment. I just want something that isn't going to die on me.

Again.

Also I slept oddly and my neck is sore as fuck.
10th-Apr-2016 09:34 pm - Little things
Bourdain Monster
This resort is a lot of very nice things, executed not so wonderfully.

For instance, there is an in-room keurig coffee maker...and they only gave me decaf coffee.

Oddly, none of the devices in my room were plugged in--no lamps, no clocks, no phones. The clock has no cord to plug it in. It just sits there, inert, on the bedside table.

There is a rain-shower.

Let me tell you. There is a reason why we don't all march out and stand in the rain to bathe ourselves. If I wanted water trickling feebly over my body I'd bathe in the tears of those crying over the lack of water pressure.

They are the first-worldiest of first world problems. It's true.
19th-Mar-2016 02:19 pm - On the plane
Monkey kisses
Overheard:
Passenger 1: "So do you think Trump is gon' be president?"
Passenger 2: "Gosh, I sure hope so."
P2: "Yeah, I reckon."

Who are you people?!

Oh. That's right. I'm in Texas.
24th-Feb-2016 09:55 am - Smooth
Shirley Temple--whoa
I'm trying to limit my caffeine intake just to see if I can.
An exercise in control.
One cup of coffee creeps up to two, too often.
I'm done with the first cup this morning, already.
And it went down so fast. So fast and so smooth.
It was coffee of the subconscious. As automatic as breathing. As comforting as home after a long journey (for what is wakefulness but the end of the journey of the night).
So now, cup two.
I have no control.
I give in.
15th-Feb-2016 09:24 am - Overly Complicated
Coppertone Girl
On a whim I started looking at swimsuits again. I'm not sure why, save that the two I have are ill-fitting and very old--respectively. It's not like I'm in imminent danger of needing a swimsuit, but it's unpleasant to not have one and need one. I figure I should cover my bases and an ad popped up on Facebook, so.

But dude. Someone is WAY overthinking swimwear.

This woman looks so smug because she just stole her toddler's swimsuit.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.06.40 AM

Sometimes your boobs might just need some dust ruffle action.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.03.40 AM

Why are there so many straps and what the heck is that little tiny underboob peep hole? WHY. ANSWER FOR YOUR SWIM CRIMES.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.04.19 AM

This is just weird. Even the model is shielding herself from the glare of its awkwardness. She looks horribly embarrassed. "I'm sorry I spent all of college getting a liberal arts degree, mom. Can I take off the bikini of shame now?"
It says it's crocheted, too. Because that's what you need. Crochet swimsuits.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.04.29 AM

This one isn't so bad aside from being ugly. But lots of the suits have extra strappage and fabric. Like: You know what would be awesome? If I had to wrap my swimsuit around me a bunch of times like embalming linens. Also: Stupid and impractical tan lines.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.04.47 AM

This is kind of cute. If very minimal and prone to making your breasts look like twin Eiffel towers.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.05.02 AM

...But how does it...stay...on...? Frank Lloyd Wright, your swimwear design extension was not the best use of your brand.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.05.08 AM

Your boobs have a terrible cold. You've put kleenex under them to keep them from dripping snot everywhere.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.05.40 AM

Palate cleanser. I actually like this one:
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.04.02 AM

For when your boobs are fighting with each other. Two boobs enter ONLY ONE CAN WIN:
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.05.57 AM

What the shit. It's really not a swimsuit top so much as bondage. I cannot envision you'd ever need to raise your arms while swimming or anything, so this is probably a really great design:
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.06.06 AM
YOU ARE A HUMAN CENSOR BAR.

...maybe I should just wait until the one I have totally falls apart. Or continue falling out of the other one.
13th-Feb-2016 11:44 am - Hell
Monkey kisses
Derrick found some really great ukulele tutorials on YouTube. For the instrument, they're fantastic. But the guy in the videos insists on singing along and he's so, so bad.

This is what I imagine hell is like; something you need inextricably linked with something that makes you want to shoot yourself.
9th-Feb-2016 03:04 pm - Blah blah.
Bourdain Monster
Me: [Asking client informed questions about retinal pathologies so I can write them into the script, credibly.]
Boss (post-call): Wow. I'm super impressed by your knowledge of those things! You make us sound really good.
Me: Um. I read the document they gave us?
Boss: But you used all the terms correctly! And knew how they were connected or not connected!
Me: Um. She sent us a document outlining all of this.
Boss: Yes! But you synthesized the information! And spit it back out in a way that shows you understood it!
Me: Um. She sent us a document. Did you not see the document?

I can read! Go me!

This happens a lot. I don't know why people are impressed by the ability to just *read* the damned material. But apparently they are. Or maybe it's the understanding that's impressive. I don't know. It's not that hard. I may not know a thing, but I can learn a thing very quickly.

This is also what I like about my job; I get to learn an incredibly wide variety of things. Not necessarily with the greatest depth, but enough to explain them to a broader audience.
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