Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a little rain

The last couple of days I've been dearly needed, and I've dearly needed too. I've been helped by friends, turned around and returned the favor. Life is circling so fast. It's kind of unbelievable.

Thank God for friends, is all I can say. Friends and loved ones.

I can't do my own party post right now, but it's Natalie and Ellen to the rescue.

Monday, September 29, 2008

i went to a garden party

Yesterday Natalie and her hubby Joe hosted a wonderful send-off party for me, complete with red and white sangria (who knew there was a white? I've got to start drinking more), and grilled pizza made completely from scratch, right down to the dough -- thanks, Giuseppe! Everyone brought fabulous side dishes and we had the best time. I'll post more about the party when I get some pics from people, since I didn't take many.

The gang from either end. Check out Giuseppe on the grill.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

bangs, bangs, bangs

Oh, you all.

Let me be clearer, when I said the Internet keeps making my life better, I said it in the context of being able to work online, but I was thinking about that, and about you guys. It's strange the warmth and friendship and support that can come through an electronic machine! But it does. Once in a while I get the pleasure of going from machine to in-the-flesh (Hi, Lilia! Rangsiwan, one of these days!), and it's ever so wonderful, but live or virtual, my life is enhanced and enriched from having you all around. Thank you for taking the time to pop in and help me make big life decisions, lol. I thank you, and so does my hair.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

hair affair

I'm obsessed with the election and the economy (really?), and there's so much grab 'n go material about both on the Internet that it makes speed posting a breeze. Truly, this is the most outlandish, fascinating, history-making climate I can recall having lived through. I was born in the 1960s, but when that decade ended I was only three and a half, so I wasn't in on the good stuff. There's no way I can resist posting about what's going on, but once I move and get settled in, I'll be finishing some crafty business and putting the Purly back in Purly Victorious. At least as much as I can under the current political and economic circumstances. ;)

Today I have a bit of time. I'm working on a big project for my job, which means I'm procrastinating. That's where the time is coming from. Oh yeah. My job. I'm keeping it, full-time, even though I'll be living in Houston. That's about as fabulous as things get, and am I ecstatic about it? You bet. I'll be teaching my classes online, and developing materials for our online program that other grammar instructors can use. This arrangement has freed me to live wherever I want in Houston without having to consider commuting, for which I have very low tolerance.

Whom should I kiss? Al Gore? Bill Gates? JCR Licklider, for his name alone? I need to kiss somebody for this Internet thing. It keeps making my life better and better.

On another note, I've been having hair issues. I once read that in about 2000 years humans won't have any hair at all. Apparently we're evolving out of it, but for now it sure is of paramount importance. Isn't it? I guess I'm letting mine grow, and it's starting to get to the point between short 'n sassy and just hanging on my head like a wooly mop. I love the wooly part. The mop part not so much. Plus the gray. Oh, the gray. If the price of Miss Clairol's stock is down, I'm buying some, because I'm destined to single-handedly raise it.

Anyways, I needed to take this:

Somewhere, anywhere else. (This picture features bedhead, but still.)

Inspired by my friend Camille's hair, I'm going to try to have patience in growing it out, but in the meantime something needed to be done. For years, years, I've thought about bangs. A few months ago I decided I'd do them. I cut my own hair unless I want a major cut, then I call in The Bubs. I don't know the first thing about cutting hair, but if I jack mine up there's nobody to complain. It's taken me all this time to stand in the mirror, redirect a few locks to the front, and trim them.

I've decided two things: 1) hair is itchy, and 2) bangs are great for covering gray at the hairline.

Natalie got bangs not too long ago, and she looks all kinds of cute. Plus I saw a woman with hair just like mine in the 99 Cent store; she had bangs, and I loved the look on her. On me, I kinda have to get used to it, but I think I might be on to something.

Can I get a second opinion?

where do they go?

Friday, September 26, 2008

big. we like big.

Kind of gives you pause about trying to understand what's going on with the economy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

bring on the badass chicks

There are heroes raising their voices in this din of madness. People doing radical digging, coming to conclusions that we can't afford not to consider.

Naomi Klein is one of them. I heard her yesterday on "Democracy Now." She's the cure for apathy, the clarion call for action. One bad beeotch doing the work to get behind the subterfuge.

At the very least, read her brief article, "Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine," here. If you're wondering what's really going on, you'll be glad you did. Additionally, listen to/watch her call-in interview on "Democracy Now" (her segment starts at 23:40; you can also read the transcript on the site). It's enlightening, and damn she's smart. I've added her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, to my reading list. (When Bush came on TV to rouse us into fearful support of the bailout plan last night, I saw exactly what Klein illustrates in action.)

Stay with the "Democracy Now" piece to hear what longtime children's rights advocate and president of the Children's Defense Fund Marion Wright Edelman has to say about poverty in America (we now have the widest gap between the rich and the poor that we've ever had, and the widest of any of the industrialized nations), and what we must do to set this right. I have long admired Ms. Wright Edelman. She inspires me to wake the hell up and be a better human being.

Driving along, listening to these two women yesterday, I wanted to cry. The Sarah Palin thing is absolutely infuriating. There are so many brilliant, dazzling women writing, speaking, leading, legistlating, and this is the one up for vice president? I ain't no Republican, duh, but if I was I would be outraged that every serious woman in my party was passed over. There have to be some. In fact, I'll try to find ya some and I'll bring 'em to ya!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

do you love it this much?

I have to post this link that Heather left in yesterday's comments.

Heather, I have no words! I mean, wow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

has button nose lost her ever lovin' mind?

Maybe so, but hubby Charlie knows what time it is.

Monday, September 22, 2008

really? i'm leaving?

Who told me to move? Why?

I'm up for fun & fascinatin' posts but am lost in the whorl of getting ready to go. There is good stuff up the road. Tonight, though, let us think of this tidbit on Houston not as filler, but as inspirational content.

If you aren't here yet, come smell the gardenias, invent a job, and play with us. It's still socially, economically, and creatively wide open.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sounds good to me

Yeesh. Where'd the day go? How about a Houston quote?

Houston doesn't just preach diversity. It practices it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

they kill roaches, don't they?

A little while ago I was sitting on the front stoop, reading a book. I had a thought about race, because the guy who lives across the hall came home with two friends trailing him. He and his friends are white; his girlfriend, with whom he lives, is black. The other day I saw them walk out of the building hand in hand. In June, they threw a going away barbecue for a friend who was moving back to Chicago. Most of the block came, and they held court, like the queen and king of the neighborhood. Sitting on the stoop, I thought about how comfortable this neighborhood is for them, and the long way we've come in America for places like this to exist.

I went back to my book, and before long an old white man approached. He walked with a cane, but he was spry. I saw him coming on the periphery, but I didn't look up. To get my attention, he began to sing, "Oh-oh-oh," while looking in my direction, but not at me. He got louder when he knew I was listening. He sang:

the roaches are there
Everywhere you go
the roaches are there

He sang until he passed me, then fell silent and kept up his clip.

I came inside and read this.

Friday, September 19, 2008

planet money

Planet Money is a new financial blog and podcast on NPR. It's the result of "The Giant Pool of Money"'s popularity. Cool? Right? I've subscribed and am going to start listening to it today, while the federal government forms its massive bailout plan for the financial sector.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG are only the beginning. Bush came out of his cuckoo clock for about 5 seconds yesterday to "reassure" the American public that everything's going to be fine, but it's clear as a bell that it'll be a long day in hell before that's really the case. Where is the government going to get a trillion dollars to provide what Traveller's Yarn has aptly dubbed welfare for corporations? Public education is already a sham. Our infrastructure is already crumbling. Social services are becoming more and more a thing of the past. On Ravelry, I'm reading sad posts by people who have lost their entire retirement savings. It's madness, I'm telling you.

Does it mean government jobs for the masses?

Oh, and if you don't live in America and you're thinking maybe we see more of Bush than you do in your neck of the woods, we don't.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a little knowledge

I've got my nose waaay deep into the current financial crisis. There are scores of experts having trouble explaining what went wrong, and no one can say exactly how to set things right or when they will be set right. So far be it for me to make predictions or act like I know stuff. I'm fascinated, though, and convinced that it's a great time to go on ahead and wake up to how money flows in this country, and throughout the world. Toward that end, I'm reading, watching, and listening to everything I can, especially anything that puts the goings on in layman's terms. Here are a few resources that I'm finding very useful:

The "Giant Pool of Money" is TAL's all-time most popular broadcast/podcast. I've listened to it about 10 times since it aired. It offers a wealth of information and an excellent foundation from which to understand the current crisis. If you heard McCain talk about naked short selling yesterday, or if the phrase intrigues you, "Now You SEC Me, Now You Don't" will be illuminating.

More links to helpful info to come.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

fo' cho

More B-town tomorrow. The Bubs is here hogging the Internet so I only have time for a link. I'm making it a good one, to the sage words of Margaret Cho. She does work blue, just so's you know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

so like i was saying, bakersfield

Aw. Guys, thanks for the sisterhood on la periodica.

Getting back to Saturday's trip to Bakersfield, I always have a good time with Schmin. That is, as long as I keep my nose out of his personal business unless I'm asked or unless I just can't help myself. ;)

I'd never been to Bakersfield, and had only two tidbits knocking around in my brain about it: Our wedding photographer grew up there, but chose not to stay; it's known for its liberalism, but only when it comes to locking people up. "Come on vacation. Leave on probation" is a slogan I once read about it. Hell, when Schmin announced he was moving there, I kept thinking he was talking about Barstow. I'm not from here, and I got the Bs mixed up. I was like, Well, hey, at least it's where Sheryl Crow likes to pick up her crossroad truckers. I try to be optimistic, ya know.

Eenyways, Bakersfield isn't a bad place to visit, and I have to thank Ellen for opening my eyes to the possibilities for fun that exist there. Whenever I mentioned Bakersfield, people kept using words like "armpit" to describe it, except Ellen. It's not my kind of place to settle, and I doubt it will be Schmin's for long. I mean, the Panorama Bluffs, very nice, but judging from the number of times I heard them mentioned, they must be the only vision of loveliness in town. Besides, I'll have it going on so tough in Houston that Schmin will visit me there and not want to leave. Then I'll club Mister Stevens and drag him down there and my diabolical plan to relocate the people I love will have begun! HAR!


So, yeah. Wouldn't live there, but I have to give Bakersfield props because the Bluffs are lovely, especially at night, and because it has the world's 2nd greatest thrift store.

The only reason it doesn't beat St. Vincent dePaul is because I didn't grow up with it. This place, In Your Wildest Dreams, is sensational. Three huge floors of vintage and 2nd hand goodness. A well-organized wonderland. The staff is friendly and fun. See the guy in the red shirt for proof, and note, we didn't put him up to this.

I was minding my own business in the store, having found this beautiful red vintage slip to wear under the Inauguration Day Dress I'm making in my sewing class, and a vintage scale to replace the digital crapola one I bought at Target.

Twenty bucks and I was out the door, until the woman behind the counter said to me, Have you been to the linen room? Um. Wha-what "linen room"? We have a linen room downstairs, she said, and it's got all kinds of buttons and quilts and sewing--

I was already downstairs by the time she got the word "machines" out of her mouth. Indeed, it was a room, a nice sized one, filled with all kinds of sewing and home sweet home fabulosity. I hate to be crass, really I do, but it gave me a boner.

I looked around, dazed and hardly believing my lucky lucky eyes, until my attention landed on a Singer case.

You're like, um, kidding me. Right?

Sixty-five dollars worth of 1950s Singer heavy metal love, baby. I saw the case and knew there was something good inside. I opened it, checked the model number on the machine, flipped open the notebook I carry with notes on vintage sewing machine models, and saw that this one, the 403, is a honeypot. Like the 404, it's one of Singer's best, but it's not as known as the 401. Here's the deal: All three are Slant-o-matics, meaning they feature a slanted needle position to better view the fabric as it's being sewed; the 404 only does straight stitches; the 403 zigzags and makes pattern stitches, but requires cams to do so (like so, clipped from eBay); and the 401 does everything the 403 does and then some, without (and with) cams. Check out the prices of these machines in 1959. They're from the salesman's book of one of the old sewing machine guys in a Yahoo group I belong to:

404 269.50
403 359.50
401 419.50

They did come in cabinets, but still, these bad boys had to be top of the line in '59. (I made a rhyme.)

Take a gander at the price of this one on the Bay. Your eyes do not deceive you. In good condition, they go for that much. Sometimes more around the holidays. Not a bad resale value for 50-year-old machines.

When I first opened the case I didn't see any accessories, so I thought I was off the hook. Schmin and I tried to open the bottom of the machine, thinking there might've been treasures hidden inside. Schmin decided it was empty, so I hit the case an lo! secured inside was a box of cams, feet, accessories, everything a gal needs for happy sewing. The thing about buying a 403 is that you do NOT want it if it doesn't at least have the 0 cam, because that's the one that makes the machine do a basic zigzag.

The machine, which will become the new Rilla because I'm going to sell the original one (sniff), is in great condition. It just needs cleaning, oiling, and a bit of TLC to sew like a champeen.

Tomorrow: Eating Bakersfield. And, What's that tiny cat up to?

Monday, September 15, 2008

a day of whine and losses

Remember this? Let's just say it's as relevant today as it was the day I made it. Ugh. I'm going to bed.

When I wake up, maybe my pains will be gone, and as a bonus, the American economy will have put itself back together. I'm dreaming before I even go to sleep.

And, my god, did anyone see Oprah today? I'm glad I did, but I wish I hadn't.

And what about Washington Mutual? Should I switch my direct deposit to a shoebox in my closet?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

retail therapy

More on Bakersfield tomorrow, as work dictates brevity tonight.

I'm finally getting around to sending out these baby sweaters. They've been languishing in my sewing basket, waiting for me to carry out my big dreams of sewing pieces to go with them.

For the blue sweater, I dreamed up two dresses, one in a solid pique cotton for fall, and one in a lightweight printed cotton for spring. And then I woke up.

Babies don't wait for schedules to clear. They grow. Fast. A couple of days ago I looked at the sweaters in the basket and a voice said to me, Go north, young lady. That's where the closest Target is.

It is undoubtedly my ego that drives me to make over-the-top sewing and knitting commitments. (When people talk about boosting their egos, I cringe. I'd rather diminish mine, because it tries to run me ragged.) The sweaters alone are enough. The pink one even has matching booties, for cryin' out loud. I did need something to go with it, though. That set is a gift to friends commissioned by another friend, which meant I hadn't made them anything from me. It hadn't occurred to me until The Voice said Target that I should buy them something, because in agreeing to make the set from my friend, I was essentially shooting my wad.

Anyways. Ya gots to love Tar-zhay. Twenty minutes of shopping and I've crossed three sewing projects off my list.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

schmin's on the gee-tar

Went to Bakersfield to see this dude today.

He's teaching himself to play guitar, and damn if isn't sounding pretty good. So good, in fact, that I was moved to make up lyrics while he played. They went like this:

We need peace
No more war

What are we
fight-ing for

Bob Dylan, eat your heart out.

Schmin likes Bakersfield a lot, and we had a wonderful time together. Froggy was there too. And so was you know who, who acts like we never met.

Tomorrow I'll post about the trip, which yielded unexpected delights. One of which I had no business participating in. (Not that delightful. Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Since writing for the stage is one of my thangs, I'm rather found of this quote about Houston:

It has the second biggest theater district in the US.

Friday, September 12, 2008

words of wisdom

Before presenting today's Houston quote, I give you my father's take on the hurricane situation:

It's a good thing you ain't going down there 'til next month, cause Ike getting ready to whoop Houston like he whooped Tina.

Thanks, Dad.
Houston is a city of self-made millionaires and billionaires,
and none of them came here with a dime.

told you we made something

Here is the fruit of that best day ever a few weeks ago. Terry was sweet enough to send me pictures. (Thanks, Terry!)

I don't know which I like better, the bag itself or the fun we had making it.

It can't say exactly how long it took to make. Had we been in Home Ec class, we would've gotten kicked out for laughing, goofing around, having friends hang out and goof around with us, eating, playing with a baby cat, and making very off-color remarks about feminine products. We got the bag done in the course of the day, but you, my dear sewer, could likely get it done in a few hours.

Project Notes
Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing, "Yoga Mat Tote." The unfavorable Amazon reviews of the book capture the problem with it perfectly, particularly one titled "Not for the spatially challenged," and another, which notes that the instructions are "a bit too BRIEF." The latter reviewer says she's been sewing for 30 years. So, with all our funnin', you can guess that Terry and I wanted good instructions. We didn't have time for independent thinking. In the end, though, that's what it came down to. I had to abandon Lotta's meager drawings and just do the damn thing. I now say beware any "beginning" sewing book that has hand-drawn instructions. (Bend-the-Rules Sewing not withstanding.) Photographs are subjective, no doubt, but drawings really force you inside someone else's head and limit you to trying to think the way he or she does.

Fabric: Terry searched (the contemptible) Jo-Ann's and found nothing; so she allowed me to pick the fabric at Michael Levine's right before our sewing session. It's corduroy with a bit of stretch. When I found it, Natalie said the swirls are yogic, and the colors send good vibes; so it was obviously "the one." Best of all, Terry loved it too.

A good time was had by all? You bet your arse.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

it's not about me

I only had two seconds of thinking, Damn, now that I'm going someplace I'm excited about, it's about to be blown off the map. Just two seconds. Okay maybe five. But I've been exchanging text messages with the only friend I have in Houston, and even though I saw his very neighborhood flashing red and orange on my TV, he said he's staying home, and that he's more sleepy tonight than worried about the weather.

Heartening, but I'm saying a tiny prayer just in case.

I almost forgot, here's today's bit of Houston boosterism:

It's one of the best cities in the whole US if you appreciate massive amounts of culture/diversity, "can do" attitudes, and friendly, down-to-earth people.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


What am I doing? Besides going to Disneyland and taking sewing classes? And weeping over tiny cats?

I've found a place to live in Houston. A temporary place, month-to-month, so that I can get to know the city before deciding where to settle. It's too frustrating searching for a living space in a city you know nothing about, and from a distance. My plan is to give myself a few months, then get a fabulous place of my own. In my adult life, I've never lived alone. There was always Schmin, then Schmin and Mister Stevens, then Schmin and Bubs, then Bubs. There were also a few roommates peppered in, when I moved to NYC and before Mister Stevens joined me there. I can't say if I'll keep on living alone, but I'm excited about it for the time being. Just me and my 50,000 sewing machines.

Is packing anybody's favorite thing? It really makes you reckon with yourself, doesn't it? It shows your level of sentimentality, how comfortable (or not) you are with the idea of lack. Sometimes I want to sweep everything I own into the trash and see how I do without it all. I suspect I'd immediately set about the business of acquiring new things, because, let's face it, looking around at things that have your name on them imparts a sense of safety. I'll keep what I keep and dump what I dump and be on my way.

I am very, very excited about moving to Houston. I've hated Los Angeles with the fire of a thousand suns most of the time I've lived here. I don't feel that way anymore. I haven't for the last couple of years, since I met Natalie and found my Stitch 'n Bitch friends. A full-time job helped, too, because by the time I got it it didn't have to be the ultimate job of jobs. I had other creative outlets. Knitting and later sewing changed my life here. Before, it was all about the desire to "make it" as a writer, even while realizing that there wasn't a such thing as "making it" anywhere. Ask anyone who has so-called arrived. Making things is a lovely detour. Sometimes it's the main road, and that's good too.

LA looks different to me now. I've known for a long time that I was just passing through. These days the scenery is bright; the stops along the way surprising and beautiful. I am leaving here in my favorite way to leave a place: to embrace someplace new, rather than to reject where I've already been. This time I've got some experience under my belt. I've left home, and I've left my beloved New York City. I know now that one makes new friends, finds new things to love, becomes new from within all the time. And still, the people and places and spaces that came before are never lost. There is room for them in the new experience too.

So then, it's time for another leg of my journey. It's time to open another small gift inside this enormous gift of life. I only know gratitude.

Maybe somebody reading this is looking for a new place. I don't know everywhere, of course, but I am happy to share the places I do know, and it's my pleasure to take you along to Houston. My ears are open to hear great things (what's the point of anything else?), so I have a collection of quotes about the city. Every time I read them, I ride a wave of possibility for prosperity, community, and fun. Each day until I arrive there, I'll share one or two with you. Here's today's:

Where else can you live like a Saudi Prince for $50K a year?

I love that one. I sure do.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

everything under the sun

The pain of separating from Mira on Friday was eased by a trip to Disneyland on Saturday.

I'd never been to either of the Disney parks, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything because a) I've always preferred Warner Brothers' cartoon characters, and b) I think what Disney has done to American copyright law is greedy and ridiculous -- see the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Plus, nearly every summer of my childhood I went to Cedar Point, which is quite a good amusement park (now that I've been to Disneyland I can confirm this); so for a person who doesn't like roller coasters, or any rides that are, as Natalie calls them, "barfy," or waiting in line for said barfy rides, or walking around in wet drawers, I figure I've done my time in amusementland, and I'm cool with that.

Oh, FREE, did you say? I can go to Disneyland for free? With people I adore? Mickey Mouse here I come! My girl Darcy gets a schweet discount because she works for Disney. So schweet, in fact, that entrance to the park (along with its sister park, California Adventure), is free for her and three guests whenever she wants to go. Saturday found me, Darcy, Natalie, and Lori packing off to greet the mouse. We had fun in the sun, eating totally tasty crap, walking our feets off, riding rides -- barfy and otherwise -- shopping, and watching fireworks.

Oddly, we didn't see any characters. No Mickey, no Minnie. Not even a Pluto or a Goofy. There was a parade, during which we were inside a restaurant, stuffing our hungry faces. I'm thinking all the characters laid low until it was time to march.

My favorite attractions were the Enchanted Tiki Room, and stunning, magnificent Soarin' Over California.

Rides that aren't likely to see my old ass again: Star Tours, Space Mountain, California Screamin'. Here we are being tortured on the last two.

Ya gotta love Lori's peep show in the first shot, heh heh. The second shows my roller coaster strategy, which is to distract myself by screaming my head off.

And here are some more shots of the day. I love the one of our flashing Mickey-as-a-pumpkin rings, which Darcy bought us so we wouldn't get lost from each other when it got dark. :)

Sunday I was too exhausted to even fix a decent meal, so for breakfast and lunch I tore Mickey a new a-hole.

We think this Disneyland shot is pretty clever, seeing as we all met at a Farmer's Market.

Darcy and Natalie, you made excellent guides for us Disneyland virgins, Lori and me. To all you girls, Thanks, Sugarlips!

Monday, September 08, 2008

this is probably how it actually went

There's some wicked campaign humor going around the Internet, so much that it's a task to single out the cream of the crop, but I swear on my ovaries, this here is some funny shit.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

the community organizes

I didn't watch the Republican National Convention, but I have been reading round-ups and summaries and watching clips around the Internet. Same for the Democratic National Convention, except I subscribed via iTunes and downloaded all the major speeches. I must've watched Michelle Obama's five times so far.

I've read about the "community organizer" remarks that came from the RNC, and am noticing the backlash, which as far as I can tell, has turned into a smackdown. I don't think I have to say whose side of the smackdown I'm on -- Who wants to be getting smacked!? -- and, thanks to Ravelry (the images I'm about to link to are spreading like wildfire over there), I found these wonderful community organizer icons that are available to everyone. They were created by a LiveJournal member. I'm happy to say the list includes many lesser-known people, so it's inspiration to dust off those high school history books and read up on folks you can feel good about sharing the planet with. (Okay, to Google them and read about them on Wikipedia. Hush.)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

over a cat

I feel like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, when it's time to give back Simon's dog. He holds the dog up, looks at it, and starts to cry when he realizes how close he and the dog have become. After a moment, he catches himself and says, "Over a dog. Over an ugly dog!"

Only I didn't catch myself and pretty much bawled when Schmin came for Mira yesterday. I didn't want to make him feel bad; she is his cat. But it was really, really hard to see her go. When I get settled in Houston, Schmin says she can come and stay with me, but right now, while I'm in the process of moving, it isn't the best idea for me to keep her. And anyway he wanted his cat back.

When Schmin was little and had something I wanted, I'd ask him for it, and if he said no, which he rarely did, I'd just sadly say Okay, well, nevermind, and he'd change his mind and give it to me, not wanting to see me suffer. Thinking about this, I'm reminded that when he was a child I was a child too. I did my very best not to recreate this early scenario yesterday. I saw that I was starting to guilt him a little, and I pulled back. The tears, though, the tears I couldn't help. When he got her home, Schmin called to tell me that he'll bring her back next week, and I can keep her for another week, but I don't think I will. I told him I'll see her when I visit, that he's doing a great job with her, and that I'll be fine.

And then I hung up and cried some more.

Friday, September 05, 2008

sew and vac and back

Yesterday was quite a day. First our trip to Frank's. Then fish tacos at Marie Callendar's. Then Natalie and I went to a new sewing class. (I know there's lots of Natalie around here lately, lol, but I will miss my friend when I leave for Houston. So I'm having a Nat-a-rama-ding-dong, and I don't care. She's my Natalie and I'll cry if I want to!)

There's more to the story of how we wound up at this place, and I'll share that at a later date, but our class was at a great sewing/repair shop called Tanner's Sew and Vac. Let me wander over here to this: Is there anyone out there who can tell me how or why sewing machines and vacuum cleaners formed a business? I mean, why not sew 'n toasters? Or sew 'n TV sets? Or sew 'n carburetors? Why sew 'n vacs? Anyway, there's a great teacher there named Capril, and the first time we met her she was so cool and knowledgeable that we had to go back for classes. Natalie bought the multi-class pack. I'm paying for a class at a time, for obvious reasons.

Last night, learning from Capril, I realized I could take sewing lessons for the rest of my life. There's sooo much to learn; something always new. What I learned in our first sewing class has taken me a long way; now it's time to up the skill set.

Natalie and I want to get serious about producing well-made dresses that actually fit our bodies, and we're in good hands with Capril. I've said before that marking isn't my friend, but Capril showed me a faster, simpler way of marking that's freed me from my shackles.

This is the pattern I'm working on:

View C. No giant sash, because I think it looks very, um, retarted.

That's Capril seated at the sewing machine.

Natalie is making Vogue 8232 in a beautiful polkadot Moda cotton. I'm using what I am told is a satin-y lightweight denim (denim + me = no surprise there). Capril says because of its sheen, it might have some Lurex thread in it. My favorite thing about it is that it cost 3 bucks a yard. Welcome to the under 9 dollar dress.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

a frankghan, plus one

We, the people of West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch, have been working on a top secret project that can finally be revealed.

Mary Jo, me, Natalie, and Ellen

When Frank was diagnosed with cancer, we wanted to do something, and Natalie, whom Ellen affectionately calls our cruise director, came up with the idea that we should knit/crochet squares for an afghan for him.

Ellen is the queen of crochet, so she was in charge of collecting and joining all the squares and making the blanket uniform. One Sunday, a few of us went over to Ellen's to help with the joining. Each of us had to join a certain number of squares before Ellen would allow us to eat lunch. She runs a tight ship!

Even though we WeHo SnB folk are a talkative, blogging bunch, no one leaked our doings to Frank. When Natalie and I presented him with the gift today, it was touching and lovely to witness his surprise. (Frank, I wish you a thousand more kindnesses.)

The response to make squares for Frank had been so overwhelming that we wound up with enough leftover to make a blanket for Oliver, Frank's baby, too. Remember Oliver? When we saw him today, our jaws dropped over how much he's grown. He's full of energy, and so adorable you want to eat him up. He also likes to kiss, which pretty much amounts to him opening his mouth and mushing it into your face. Natalie said she hadn't had a kiss that good in years.

I think Oliver likes his blankie, and he was very hospitable to me and Natalie.

This is my favorite shot of the day:

Frank said that of the five senses, Oliver is a fool for taste. He tries to put everything into his mouth. True to form, after his daddy said it, Oliver got himself a good sampling of the door handle.

These are the squares I contributed.