Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Exciting news!

I was accepted into this year's Handmade Arcade! I applied last year and didn't get in and decided to try again this year because, you know, why not? And I'm in! Holy moly! This is my first really big big big craft fair, and I'm SUPER excited! 

Now I'm off to go craft! I'm going to be a busy bee until November!

Monday, September 26, 2011

And It's So Quiet

Recently when cleaning out the staff office at my job, I came across this book - And It's So Quiet, by Lynne Glasner and Marilyn Thypin. It's part of a "Vocational Readers" series, and tells an exciting story of a teenage boy with rock and roll dreams...

Until one day, his mom started totally harshing his mellow.

Dubious, Rick ponders how he will balance his dynamic rocker lifestyle with an average joe job.

So, Rick gets a job as a janitor, or a "porter," as it is called in this book. After several days of dutiful instruction under the watchful eye of Teddy, Rick is taught complex tasks such as using a duster...

and a mop! Well heck, maybe this is kind of fun!

They also perform other common custodial tasks, like emptying ashtrays. You know, the ones in the middle of an office. Like you have in your office, right? What do you mean I can't smoke at my desk?

They even encounter some bizarre, room-sized machine called a computer and speculate over its possible uses.

Sure, Teddy, keep tellling yourself that. 

After a seven page spread about how to use a floor waxer, Rick begins to thrive at his job, eventually earning the trust of Teddy enough to use this 400 pound vacuum cleaner unsupervised.

They discover some more confounding technology... Machines, who needs 'em!

And then Rick enjoys a ride home. As his band is not mentioned at all in the last half of the book, one can only assume that he has given up his dreams of rockstardom and has settled on being a janitor.

So there you go, kids. Now shut up and get a job.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Laugh it up, fuzzball.

This week has been weird emotionally because while it was awesome because Eric and I celebrated five fantastic years together, it also marks one year since our cat Chewbacca died.

We had Chewie since the day he was born under my living room couch. His wretched mother, TK-421, was a stray cat that we were attempting to put through a foster program. When we first entered her in, we expressed our concern that she might be pregnant. They said they'd do tests at her first vet appointment... she had the kittens under the couch the night before her appointment.

He was dubbed Chewbacca because 1) he wasn't white like his mother or siblings, and 2) Eric actually had to rescue him from his gross amniotic sack because, well, TK-421 was not a very good mother. So the orange kitten had a life debt to Eric. (In case you were curious, his siblings are named Tauntaun and Wampa.)

Last summer he very suddenly and rapidly got sick due to what we later suspected was FIP. After several incredibly stressful weeks of doing everything we could to try to get him better, it eventually became clear that there wasn't anything we could do.

The day we had him put to sleep was incredibly hard - I had never experienced anything like it before, such an incredible feeling of loss and helplessness in regards to something that I never expected to have such an emotional impact. After stumbling out of the vet's office, we numbly walked into a bar around the corner from our house for a drink to sit and sorrow over.

We belly up to the bar and order a beer and a shot of whiskey each. The bartender, one of the many Yinzer men who look exactly like my dad, looks at us - slouched, with red faces and puffy eyes  - and says, "Okay, I'll give you this one drink, but that's all."

Then we had to explain that, no, we were not in fact completely hammered in the middle of the day...

Godspeed, good buddy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anniversary haiku

Today marks five years

So we went on a picnic

Gosh, he is so cute.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A photo an hour

10:30 AM - What I wake up to every morning - AD staring at me like if I don't get out of bed and feed her she very well may die at any moment. Icebat is less impatient.

11:30 AM - Trying to figure out the fusebox. Why aren't I better at practical things?

12:30 PM - Lunch! Spinach salad with swiss, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette.

1:30 PM - Taking some pictures of kids clothing I've stitched on recently. Not having ready access to a child, I've had to be creative in my models. This is Radar, and I've had him since I was a baby. He's named after Big Bird's bear and was made for me by the same woman who made my wedding dress.

2:30 PM - I took Eric to work at 2, but then he realized he didn't have to be at work for an hour, so we went and had a beer at Brian & Cooper's, which is this super sketchy place in Friendship where you can buy six packs of beer (which is like finding a unicorn in this town). Also, it is apparently both a convenience store and a bar, and by bar, I mean you can stand in this area of weird laminate counters and drink the beers that you get there.

3:30 PM - I forgot to take a picture because I was too busy at Joann Fabrics being completely annoyed that none of the coupons I had been hoarding could be all that useful because everything I needed for Halloween costuming was already on sale but not as good of a sale as it would have been with coupons. Jerks!

4:30 PM - Holy crap, is that a Picasso? (At Goodwill)

5:30 PM - One of my favorite signs ever. Pittsburgh sammich laundromat? Sure, why not?

6:30 PM - Rain.

7:30 PM - Derby practice.

8:30 PM - I would have loved to take a picture of the corn and kale that I wanted to get at Giant Eagle, but since they were out of both, I instead took a picture of this creepy sex-toy-lookin' dude from Yo Gabba Gabba enjoying the giant wine vending machine.

9:30 PM - When I got home, I did nothing interesting except cook a rather uninteresting dinner (that did not involve kale or corn, sadly), and mopped the kitchen floor, so here's a picture of AD to bring everything full circle. Perhaps I should wake her up and demand food.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An aukward post.

Oh, hello there!

Check out this little wall hanging I made!

I've been recently acquiring a lot of hangable hoops from thrift stores and thought I'd try something just as a decoration rather than on clothes. I'm pretty pleased with it, but I think next time I'll try a colored fabric rather than the white. This great auk doesn't seem to mind too much if he's a bit awkward, though, so it's okay.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A quick quilt

So, I finished the quilt top Wednesday morning - I ended up having to add a few more strips because after I pieced the whole thing it shrank a little bit due to seam allowance and such. The top itself is 39" by 42", so it would probably also make an adequate play mat. 

In this quilt I finally used a fabric I have been hoarding for at least five years. I found some strips of this yellow/orange/green apple fabric in a mixed bag of fabric scraps from the thrift store. I have a tendency to horde fabric that I really like and have a hard time actually using it. It's like I'm intimidated to use it and afraid that if I use it then later a better use for it will come up and I'll regret having already used it. Wow hey, that's a normal train of thought, right?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just in case...

In Ohio, where I did all my early drinking, you can buy beer at drive-thrus (and gas stations, grocery stores, kid's birthday parties). Basically a drive through is a  large garage with coolers along the walls, where you pull through, tell the person what sort of beer/snacks/smokes you want and they pass it through the your window. They sell you beer WHILE you are driving.

...and why shouldn't “they.” It is still against the law to drink while drunk and drink while driving.

Upon moving to PA however, I learned all about “the case law”. You have to buy 24 beers at once only from a beer distributor (not state owned). Take out is available at bars, but they can only sell you 196oz (twelve twelve oz brews).  At a HUGE mark up. It is a pain in my ass, I assure you.

The association that represents beer distributors say they would tank if six packs were sold in grocery stores, at gas stations, etc. Will people drink less beer if they have to go out of their way to get it? This all started post prohibition and despite numerous attempts, change is not coming. It is pretty much impossible to find a decently priced six pack from Philly to PGH and because of the LCB forcing brewers to registers SKUs individually, small breweries don't send the rare stuff here all that often.

In other news... my friend Kelsey just turned 21.  It had been a few years since I had been to a 21st birthday party but a blast was had and no one drove home.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Now playing: 09.12.2011

Listening: The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang. Eric and I have been playing this lately as a uke / guitar combo. If you are a Bruce Springsteen fan, you'll probably like The Gaslight Anthem.

Eating (or, soon to be): The evenings are cooler now, which I think obviously calls for the making of soup (not that I need much of an excuse to want to make soup). These guys are going to make some butternut squash soup later... om nom nom.

Crafting: The quilt is now in its planning stages. After a lot of moving around and trying different things, I think this is what I'm going to go with. Now onto the pinning and pressing and sewing and, you know, all the hard stuff...

Drinking: Nothing exciting, just some water with a lemon, but I am enjoying it out of this particularly awesome glass I got from the thrift store a while back. Oh, Overworked Business Man, I feel you. I too would rather be on vacation.

Watching: As with many other shows (Dead Like Me, The Kids in the Hall), as soon as Home Movies got put up on Netflix instant watch, I pretty much immediately devoured the whole series in a few days. I'm actually watching the last episode as I type this - sigh. Now what will watch while I sew?

Napping: I think the potential to nap on the open windowsill with the breeze coming in was enough to actually lure Dodger out of our bedroom, her usual haunt, for a few hours.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A tasting!

 So, the other night our friends Jay & Carly came over and brought a bottle of their wedding beer that Jay and Eric brewed for everyone to enjoy a first tasting.

One year from this first tasting (September 2, 2011), they will be officially one day married. Hooray!

Here goes....

(Note: Facial expressions do not accurately indicate opinions of the beer)

It was quite a success! Fruity and a bit spicy and sweet, but not cloyingly so. Very nice so far, and assumably only to get better as it ages.

This little guy liked it too:

Then we went out to the Hall of Kegasus to play some Super Munchkin...

We like to draw pictures of our Munchkin personas as they develop. Check me out in my Minimum Legal Armor here, armed with a magic wand and an eggbeater. Yowza!

Inevitably, Eric won (like he always does), and the rest of us of course accepted defeat like mature adults.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More embroidered critters

Holy moly, I have been busy busy busy at work lately, and my parents came to town for an evening, so I haven't even had a spare moment for a bloggin'. Sorry! Anyway, here's some of my newest embroidered pieces that I've worked on lately. It's been raining the last few days, so the lighting has been lousy, but whaddya gonna do? (Eric also kept making me laugh during these pictures, so I have some goofy faces going on)

First up is a sleepy little otter on a blue v-neck tee. I have been experimenting a little more with a cartoonish style recently, as seen here and in a couple of the onesies I've made lately. When I stitch on clothes, I always use gently-used clothes from the thrift store, because 1) it helps encourage variety in everything I make, because often times the color or cut will inspire what I embroider, and 2) it seems silly to me to get new things to sew on when there's already so much stuff out there just waiting to be used.

The little singing giraffe cameo makes a reappearance, this time for adults on this fuzzy pink cardigan. For some reason, our roommate's cat is obsessed with this sweater - she has stolen it twice from the middle of piles of things and run off with it. Maybe she just has good taste?

And finally, there's the beluga whale that I posted the early stages of a while ago. Also, just so you know, that beluga whale still loves mariachi bands.