Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rambling: Rambling


See, I want to blog more often. That's going to result in a fair number of "Er..." posts.


Also, um.

And hmm.

See, my brain is largely empty. It has thoughts of chicken. And it's pushing away thoughts of work, because it's not work time. And again the chicken. Milk too.

Mmm, chicken.

In my head I can hear Leloo from The Fifth Element, making happy noises about the platter of chicken.

That makes me try to think of Great Chicken Moments In Film.

Like the guy in My Cousin Vinnie who stripped the whole chicken drumstick in one motion.

And "four fried chickens and a Coke" in The Blues Brothers, though we never got to actually see any chicken.



Surely there must be more?

I tried searching for more, and instead learned that fried chicken for Christmas is a big tradition in Japan. Who knew?

Again, um.

That may be all.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rambling: Weekend!

Bwa! Ha! Ha! Weekend!

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival season is starting. We just went to the first preview of Much Ado, and it was fabulous. Just, well, fabulous. In all sorts of ways. And it solved The Problem Of Hero. I might explain what I my by that later in the season, but right now it feels like explaining would be a spoiler. But you want to see it. Really you do. It blows the Branagh/Thompson movie version, among others, out of the water.

Tomorrow is Fingersmith. Sunday is Guys and Dolls. By the end of the weekend my brain will be full of new images and characters.

I'll also be dealing with creative jealousy, which really isn't a healthy reaction to witnessing world-class creativity.You'd think that it would inspire me, rather than making me look at my own creations and say "blergh." I'll work on that.

Right now, my creations don't have a lot of creative. I'm still working on getting The Farm ready for next year--covering a lot of square footage with weed barrier, in anticipation of a low-maintenance mostly-food garden with most things planted at a very wide dry farm spacing. Like beans eighteen inches apart in all directions rather than three inches apart in the row.

I'm also planning some fairly prosaic, rather than creative, sewing. Slips and tap pantsesque things from Bemberg rayon. Skirts to replace jeans--two in denim, two in two different types of chambray-like fabric. Pajama pants in cotton voile in gaudy patterns. For those, I already have the fitted patterns; I'm ready to just cut and go.

My next sewing priority is to get a  loose summer top pattern fitted to that same cut and go point. We'll see if that happens.

As usual, I should be writing fiction. As usual, I'm not. Characters are wandering around my head in a satisfying manner, but that doesn't really count. In-head movies don't translate into words in any straightforward process. I've said more than once that I don't like writing fiction, I like having written fiction. But I do love having written it. Even the itty bitty blog bits. So I really need to kick myself and write more.

I remember explaining, somewhere sometime, that I have trouble getting past the expectation that I should be able translate from the movie in my head to words, like taking dictation. And it doesn't work that way. I have a movie in my head, I watch it for a while. I write words that are "inspired by" that movie. The words are a sort of black and white cartoon pencil sketch. Then I push those words around and rearrange them and buff them. Then I come back later and read the words, and the words make a movie in my head. Which may or may not have any resemblance whatsoever to the original movie they were inspired by.

If I analogize it to sewing, it's a little like imagining a velvet beaded cocktail hat and ending up with a corduroy cardigan. But they're both red. And they have pile. So it's the same thing, see?


That seems to be all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rambling: Dinner

White bread.
White cheddar.
Melted butter.
Toasted sesame oil

Build sandwich with cheddar, bread, and chives.

Fry in a puddle of butter and sesame oil.


But I got my keyboard buttery.

That is all. At least until my hands are clean.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rambling: Hah!

They're back! They're back!

The characters wandering around my head, that is. They needed a little nudging, but they finally came out. And acted out plots that might conceivably be worth writing up, though that's not the point. The point is that my brain is no longer uninhabited.

I feel as if I really haven't explained this phenomenon properly, and I probably can't, but in any case: They're back! Cue happy dance.

So what drove them out and what pulled them back? Diet? Weather? Stress? Milk? The migraine that kept stalking me? All of the above?

They're back!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rambling: I want my brain back!

The theater in my mind is still empty. I find this dismaying. The only thing that my mind wants to get absorbed in is worries. I feel as if I ought to be able to reach and flip a channel knob--"Worries", "Fictional Daydreams", "Hobby Daydreams", "Thinking About Fried Poultry." But the knob is stuck.


Do brains need to be absorbed, all busy with sustained spinning thoughts? Even though I perceive the worrying as unpleasant, does a part of my brain seek it out? Is it a craving, like hunger when your blood sugar is low?

That's often been my theory. The fictional daydreams often seem to provide that absorption. Without them, the worries win.

Oh, and that leaves out the migraine stalking me. Aura. Countermeasures of caffeine and darkness. Headache retreats. Three days later, repeat.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rambling: Feelings of Dread in your Basement or Attic

You know that Seasonal Affective Disorder thing? I always assumed I didn't have that problem, because I wasn't depressed in winter. But I've realized this year that I do seem to be increasingly anxious as the winter rolls along. Has his happened every year? Is it SAD? Should I get one of those light therapy things? You know, like Walt in Northern Exposure? Did you ever watch Northern Exposure? Good show.


You can tell that this is one of those "write something!" posts, right? Right. Twenty-odd days since the last post. My verbal creativity seems to be largely nonexistent. And I'm not even daydreaming fiction. I usually daydream fiction. It feels sort of lonely not to have those characters ambling through my head.

Some sewing has been happening, so that's good. I fitted that skirt pattern, in two different lengths, and and made...did I make two? And a slip, with the same pattern. And a divided slip. And I feel like I've blogged all that before, but I don't see it in my past few posts.

I have three more of the skirt planned, one in red wool, one in a nice black and white houndstooth cotton that the bolt called "denim" though it's neither a denim color or a denim weave, and one in a cotton/linen fabric that is a denim color. The chances are respectable that the houndstooth skirt will be done by the end of the weekend.

Oh, and another one in a yellow silk/linen or silk/cotton or silk/something, and yet another one in a sage green rayon. That' skirts? Yep. Will it really happen? My goal--did I mention my goal?--is to eliminate pants from my wardrobe. Pants are Not Flattering on me, in the understatement sense of Not Flattering.

Oh, and I got a length of red silk with yellow-gold polka dots. Bwaha! Not sure yet what I'll do with it. My goal is a bathrobe, but I don't have a robe pattern I'm happy with yet.

I've been doing a surprising amount of hand-sewing on the skirts. Surprising for me. Slipstitching the hem and the inside of the waistband, and pick stitching the zipper. I kind of enjoy it. It's like I'm bonding with the garment.

I still miss all those characters in my head. Sometimes when I'm sewing or gardening or some such thing, I find Columbo wandering up to ask me friendly questions about what I'm doing, like I'm a murder suspect. Wandering up in my head. I don't actually see him. Or hear him. Don't schedule the commitment hearing, please. But he's not talking to me right now. This is sad.

Sometimes it's Quincy instead. Did I ever mention my crush on Jack Klugman? It's also sometimes seen as grounds for that commitment hearing.

Um. That is all.

Firehouse Image: By Phillip Ritz. Wikimedia Commons.
Wanderers Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Columbo Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Quincy Image: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, January 5, 2015

IttyBittyFictionScraps: Bus Stop

(This one was about the difference between summary and scene. This was scene.)

Raining. Of course it had to be raining, on the one day that the car was being serviced. Joe leaned on the post of the bus-stop sign, as if it could provide shelter. And why wasn't there shelter? He'd seen those little glass-walled things in other cities; why not this city? What, the locals weren't worth the money? Probably somebody hadn't filled out the grant application, that was it.

He snatched his phone out of his pocket and made a note: "Complain to City re bus shelters." Rain ran over the phone as he did so. Probably going to ruin it. That would be the city's fault, too.

"Excuse me, sir?"

"What?" Joe turned to glare at--glare down at--the face of the little woman standing next to him. Little woman in a rain coat and a rain hat, little woman looking contented and dry and bleeping friendly. He hated her, just looking at her little contented face and its curls of hair, dry hair, probably warm hair, under the hat. Stupid woman. Didn't she know that she should be angry about bus shelters?

"What do you want? I'm waiting for a bus here."

IttyBittyFictionScraps: Coffee Break

(A tiny sample scrap written elseweb for a discussion of whether you need italics to get into thoughts in third person.)

He sat, thinking, toying with the coffee cup. How to handle this? He could address it with Mom, but Mom was...well, Mom. Mom had that crying jag last Thanksgiving, just because the turkey sat for an extra fifteen minutes. Mom had the brains, but she couldn't handle stress. Sue was the opposite--Sue would have been unfazed by the cooling turkey, but she would have handled it by throwing it in the clothes dryer on High, or something.

It had to be Joe. Dammit.

He shoved the cup to the middle of the table and dumped a handful of change next to it as he stood. Better get the call over with.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rambling: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, folks!

I collapse after evening gluttony, which followed morning gluttony, which followed Christmas eve gluttony. And I write. Maybe.

Except first, failing to say Enough is Enough, I eat a chicken finger with onion dip. And eat a Russian tea cookie. (Without onion dip. My dietary transgressions have limits.)

There are a lot of picture-free posts down below. So I added the feline yawn over to the left. Think of the cat as representing my brain. Complete with yawn and fuzz.

I just set up my sewing machine and my serger. I can leave them up for another week and a half until I get back to work. So I might make several of the six-gore skirt mentioned in the previous post. Or I might just sleep a lot.

I bought a pair of little green boots. These are further motivation for creating the mentioned skirts, because  little boots with a long skirt that hits the boot-top seem less "too young" than little boots with a short skirt.

We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special. The Doctor Who Christmas special seems to be my grown-up festive equivalent of The Grinch or Charlie Brown. Not that I don't still like those.

Lammily arrived. The Barbie substitute with human proportions, that Lammily? There she is, relaxing with her shoes off, communing with my favorite Christmas perfume. (Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale.)  I was going to make her a tiny Santa hat, but I got lazy.  But she does look like she needs some winter clothes. I've been wondering if photocopy-enlarging the little pattern-piece outlines on a pattern envelope might produce a usable pattern.

It does seem a little odd that I want to make doll clothes. I made 'em a lot as a kid for an adventuring Skipper (back when she was flat-chested) who travelled with a dog and an excessively large wardrobe. Lammily reminds me of her. I have a gorgeous piece of corn-yellow silk georgette that I keep imagining making into a doll dress,  even though the lost length would probably make it unusable for a garment for me.

I think that is all.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Second Image: Me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rambling: Time Off and Lazy Brain

So I've been off work for four days and haven't done any writing. What's with that? I thought that at the very least there'd be a blog post every day. Or something.


And, see, even the blog post writing isn't getting very far. I'm not sure if this is a sign that my brain is all frazzled from work and not yet recovered, or if it's a sign that my brain is getting very very relaxed and declining to actually do all that tiresome work of shuttling neurons around.

Wait, the neurons sit still and shuttle signals around, right?

Anyway. Lazy brain.

I was going to go back to the StoryADay stories. But.


Well, I haven't yet.

I was also going to do some sewing and gardening, and some of that has happened.  I started over with the six-gore skirt pattern that I had previously fitted and then re-fitted and didn't like the result of. The last time, I started with the short version of the skirt, lengthened it, and added width at the seam allowances. This time I started with the long version of the skirt, shortened it, and added width at the straight-of-grain lines. I hope that this way the important dimensions--length and the ability to fit over my hips--will be right and the side seams won't have that confusing thing where they don't quite match any more. Except that there was no "lengthen and shorten here" line, so I had to guess.

The goal is to have a bunch of longish washable skirts that I can wear in place of jeans. The flaw with that plan is that the skirts will need to be pressed. I don't like pressing things.


That is all.