Wednesday, March 24, 2010

gettin' crafty

Since my last post I have broken out the sewing machine (and subsequently broke it, and fixed it) and bought a whole bag of fabric. I made a stuffed little creature for a special little someone yesterday. Now this is my kind of sewing. No pattern, just play..and the more homemade it looks the more endearing it becomes. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In one of my most favorite secret (imaginary)

lives, I am a fashion designer. Because I just KNOW I'd be awesome at it. If I could sew. At all.  I have made pajama pants and curtains. It involved a lot of cursing and needles being poked through digits. Broken needles flying past my eye. Just looking at those flimsy patterns and their foreign language makes me want to cry in frustration. It's also a language I don't want to learn.

I want to shop for fabric (I'm good at that part), imagine what I want to create (I'm good at that part too), and then through magic skills just rend the fabric into my design (bad at that part).  I'll gladly sacrifice symmetry for improvisation.

It is officially spring here and I'm getting the urge to wear dresses. I am not old, really, but I know my years of dressing as funky and slinky as I wanna are becoming numbered. So I want to learn how to make dresses like these. With minimal education and no patterns. Yeah. Ok, maybe it doesn't have to be those dresses, but a simple slip dress? How hard can it be? Any advice?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

because everyone needs some scatalogial humor from time to time

*color by numbers toilet paper*

Insomniac Dreams

Nearly a month ago, I had two straight weeks of really good sleep. It was wonderful. But I've fallen off the wagon. Spring fever, an angsty mind, projected worry over my husband's upcoming presentation, too many projects on my list.. that could be the reason, or perhaps the good sleep was the aberration. 

Three nights ago I had a bad cold and gave into some medicinal relief. I hate taking medication because, for example, Benadryl can make me near-comatose. I took Tylenol Cold Night, or some such thing and thought nothing was happening, and then I got really drowsy. I don't remember going from couch to bed. I vaguely remember telling Gabe "It is time to sleep, don't you see, stop talking at me".  I showed Gabe a wedding photograph from Facebook the next day, and he said he showed it to me last night. I had conversations I don't recall. BUT I slept 13 hours and woke up feeling great. 

The next night I didn't sleep til 4 a.m.  So I thought last night, for sure, I'm due for good sleep. I even took Valerian root at 9 p.m. but tossed and turned, got up at 3 a.m. to do some yoga, played with the cats, counted sheep. At some point I slept. And as a reward for finally getting to sleep I have this dream:

I walk into a room in an unknown house with an unknown man. A huge wave is  fast approaching the open window. I duck down in front of cabinets, open two and wrap my arms around the post for support. A massive, powerful tsunami wave comes in right over my head and lasts for minutes. Finally it passes and I've survived. I stand and walk to a doorway for support, but realize half the house is missing. I look out and see we are far above the earth, we've gotten pulled upward in an air current. Suddenly it's nighttime and it's NYC. There are so many buildings below us, the house is falling. There are other people in the house with me. We plummet past the Empire State Building - I think briefly about jumping out onto the roof, but it's too late to do that now, and I realize I'm falling to my death. It's a dream, so I think I can pull the house around me to make wings, but it's not possible. Once I realize the inevitable, my dream replays itself over and over, and I'm trying to make that leap to safety but I'm too scared. Over and over. 

Exhausting. Still not as bad as my dream last week where a zombie burned my house and I had zombie babies :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

today my car is happy

Today was 75 & sunny in Carolina. Gorgeous! I still had a bit of a cold, but was determined to be outside and be productive in some way. So I cleaned my car. I mean CLEANED it. When I worked in hospice, I was known to have the clown car, the trunk and back seat piled high with papers, musical instruments, books, art materials, etc. I've been a bit better since then but there were still a number of trips from car to home and car to dumpster. 

Then I vacuumed it. 

The I got an oil change.

Then I freakin got a car wash!

I know this is what normal people do on a regular basis. But I haven't washed my car since I got it (it's a little over three years old).  That's probably bad. But in Boston it was disgusting all winter, so why bother, and so rainy in spring so why bother. I guess why bother in general. 

I got a voucher for the car wash at the gas station, and circled around it twice, totally intimidated. I had no idea what to do. I went and did the oil change, and an hour later was back, determined to figure it out. After a certain undisclosed number of minutes the light turned green, a loud honk was heard, and I sat in a closed up car wondering what comes next. I remember when I was little going through a car wash was like the coolest thing ever. So I was completely unprepared for a mini panic attack. My car moved all by itself, there were loud noises, I couldn't see anything. Eventually everything came to a halt and I creeped out of the little garage, the pride of my shiny car outweighing the residual panic. When I parked and checked it out I realized that some of that off-road rural NC mud must have been really caked on there, because it's still there. So it needs a touch up, and new tires, and I still have to get new insurance, and a license and registration here (yes, I've lived here for seven months).  But my car is still happy to at least be sparkly in the springtime sunshine. 

(Disclaimer: car above is actually not my car.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Farmer's Market & An Impromptu Hike

On a Saturday two weekends ago, we visited the Carrboro Farmer's Market. We've done this many times before but this time some hipster couple actually got married there! At a farmer's market!  Bizarre and sweet.  Gabe's parents bought some porcelain pottery.

When they asked the older gentleman potter with the dreads if he had a business card, he said yep, pulled out an index card and wrote this:

Because we didn't get enough hippie artsy action there, we went to the Folk Art Show at Fearrington Village. These pictures were taken just in the parking lot.

Then we went on a random hike in a place much muddier than we all expected.

Museum of Life and Science

Gabe's parents were here two weekends ago and they took a whirldwind tour of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Pittsboro. We found another reason to love Durham: The Museum of Life and Science. I am sure this is where all the kids go on field trips around here. When I was young it was the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 

But this place was cooler. I can imagine how awesome it'd be if I was young enough to be completely enthralled with astronauts, ants and dinosaurs. They had lots of experiential computer exhibits, like this one, in which Gabe's shadow catches projected, cascading bits of color.

Here is a collection from a famous origami artist. Did you know he was hired to help design cars' first airbags?

The day was beautiful, the best weather since October, so we went outside to see some farm animals. Here are some sheep chillin. Did you know sheep's pupils are horizontal slits? The museum didn't teach me that- Haruki Murakami and his weird novels did.

I wanted to get a picture of the cow, and everyone had wandered far ahead already (I really love farm animals) so I only got to snap one quick photo as it left its stable. Here's what it looked like unedited:

I like it so much I'm going to frame it and hang it up in the bathroom. Then we went to the Butterfly House where so many different butterflies fly around and can land on you. There are some beautiful trees and flowers as well.

Right after that is a big bug room. Like these swarmy things:
And these frogs, caught in the act!

While I had my camera pointed in the frogquarium I couldn't help but snap these pictures. If this is your child, I'm awful sorry.

After the bug room we saw the outdoor zoo (bears, wolves, lemurs) and then did the dinosaur walk with LIFE-SIZE dinosaurs. Pretend you're 8 for a split second, and you'll realize what a great idea that is.


There was also a big outdoor exhibit with the theme 'wind'. Here is Gabe and his parents controlling a mini sailboat. Gabe and his dad spent 45 minutes here, seriously.

We all needed a nap after this day. More pics of other excursions shortly!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

motivation and/or discipline

Sometimes I'm jealous of engineers. There is no ambiguity in their profession. But there's still curiosity and creativity. Unlike accounting or such. (Cue accountant hate mail.) As an engineer you do things and they either work or don't. You can quantify, measure, and write Excel spreadsheets for a great number of purposes.

Which is all to say I've gathered up some motivation for writing again. And no ruler, Excel program or fancy calculator is going to help me. Once it's done I won't even be able to tell if it works or not. I will judge it on usefulness and it will be hard to make its case.

Here comes an excuse, I can feel it. Sometimes I think it'd be easier if I had nearly unsurmountable challenges. Something to push against. But no, poor me, I'm surrounded by a magnificently supportive husband, family and friends rooting for me, a decent amount of time in the day and some latent natural abilities.

It's hard to realize the only thing standing in your way is yourself.

So I need some motivation, some discipline. Be it duct tape in the chair, some ridiculous self-help guru or a prize bag of Skittles for each page done. A promise that if I finish a book I'll find a way to give myself a scuba trip for three weeks in Australia. And if anyone has strategies that work for them please let me know!


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