Sunday, December 29, 2013

oh, hi!

i have been bad about blogging.  which is okay.  i think it's like any hobby, with peaks and valleys.  i wanted to make sure i caught up on some stuff though, before the new year begins.
 i got a new sewing machine for my birthday! hooray!  i've been making little zippered pouches and practicing my quilting on oven mitts.  although to be honest, i have yet to make an oven mitt that has worked.  all the mistakes have been pretty illuminating, though, and at some point i will make an oven mitt that is both cute and useful.  someday.  sigh.

the boys are now a little over eight months old. not quite grown up cats, but still pretty kitten-ish.  they are GIANT.  here is vince in a tote bag.  that face! they both love hiding in bags, boxes, and on top of clean laundry.  what cat doesn't?
i made some tie-dyed tote bags for xmas presents this year.  i love tie-dye.  the hippie part of me is still very active, i guess. 

i was talking the other day of creating a place to store and display my ever-growing collection of tote bags.  my thought was to put it right behind the door of my bedroom, but D said it would be pretty cool in the space by the entryway.  we live in a split-level, so when you walk in, there's a lot of wall space right there.  currently i've been adding photos to one area, which has filled a small area.  the tote bags would look great there, though, and fill the area better.  i'm excited about working on that project.

i think 2014 will see a lot more home improvement projects around here.  we had an issue with a broken pipe out in the driveway (which we were lucky enough to be able to fix ourselves!), which made us think about what we have saved up, what things needs to be done around the house, and make a plan.  first we need a new oven (boooooo), so that will go on layaway at sears.  then i want to finish our bedroom (paint it and lower the bed a bit, maybe make a headboard), and work on the entryway.  we have an honest-to-goodness spare bedroom now too, and we're going to try our hand at laying down laminate and put up some bookshelves.  we've decided it will be a good room to practice in.  when it's done, it will be a room full of books and where we can do yoga and meditate. a nice, quiet spot, as well as a good place for guests to stay. 

the holidays were great, the kids are doing well, and i'm trying to spend less time on the internet and more time doing other stuff.  which makes for boring blogging!  i put a lot of random things over on tumblr, though, if you want to check that out.  i hope your holiday was great, and that 2014 treats you well! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

all bowls should be made of bread

the boys in their basket
yesterday my big plan was to lay around the house and read, and take naps.  pretty ambitious for a saturday, i admit, but i was feeling pretty good about it.  then my mom called and invited the girlchild and i out to lunch with my aunt and nephew! so i got dressed, we went to anacortes, and had a lovely lunch at anthony's.  not to put too fine a point on it: but i don't know of any better way to eat clam chowder than out of a sourdough bread bowl.  my nephew ate his body weight in tartar sauce, and we all had a lovely time. 

today i'm feeling a little more motivated, and might do laundry and some sewing.  i also got a new bike! i want to take her out for a spin as well.  the boychik has a friend who is moving, and was selling her bike.  he bought it, thinking he would clean it up and sell it on craigslist, but it fit me and i talked him out of it.  hooray!  it's red, it has gears (i haven't had a bike with gears since high school, and even then i had no idea what to do with them), and is just the right size.  since my bike was stolen a few years ago, i've missed riding around after work.  i might even take to riding to work a day or two a week, to save on gas and such. (although to be honest, that makes me kind of anxious because i have to cross a busy highway and am convinced that i will get smooshed.) 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

knee jerk response

this is my senior homecoming, 1994 that dress was $7
 ever since the boychik got me all worked up into a frenzy, he's been an absolute doll.  aaaargh.  D thinks that maybe he's picking fights with me so that i won't ask him "real" questions about him moving out or his new girlfriend, or whatever.  i told him that i'm going to choose to think that he's pushing my buttons because i'm his parent and he loves me.  "kids do that, right?" i asked, "it's like a thing they do to see where your boundaries are?" in short; he's treating me like a parent, so i'm going to focus on that.

the girlchild got asked to homecoming.  i don't know why i wasn't prepared for it; she's really, honestly a lovely girl. getting taller and prettier by the day, much to her father's chagrin.  no, that's not quite true. we're both digging watching her grow into her face, and agree that she's more than just pretty, she's also very down-to-earth and funny and kind.  i should have been anticipating that she would be asked, because she's not a 14 year old girl who is afraid of boys.  having spent most of her life with her brother and dad only, she understands boys. there's no mystery, no angst or anxiety about hanging out with them.  she tends to bowl all the boys over with her mix of adorableness and fart jokes.

she got into the truck friday afternoon with a pink rose.  i asked her where she got it and she told me she'd been asked.  i won't lie, i squealed a little.  she said, "yeah, i guess i have to go now." i said, "no you don't, you go if you want to, not because you think you have to. don't do something just because a boy wants you to." she gave me a sidelong glance and giggled and said, "you know i want to go, i'm just giving you a hard time."  i told her that i was excited for her, but still full of feminist agenda.  "i know, amanda."  

we went dress shopping this weekend, and for all my feminist agenda, i had a few knee jerk reactions to the dresses she tried on.  too short! too tight! oh my god, you have a butt hiding under there! no, no, something more shapeless!  none of these things i said out loud, however.  i don't want her to be ashamed or feel weird about her body, and i don't think it's her job to be all prim and proper so boys won't get ideas, as i could put her in a burlap sack and they'd get ideas.  she ended up with a stretchy black dress with one strap, no sequins ("they itch!"), and when she puts it on and pulls her hair up it's kind of audrey hepburn.  all long neck, legs and arms.  she looks 16 when she puts it on, not 24, thank god.  it gave D a heart attack, but who can blame him?  that's his baby.

i'm glad she wanted to go dress shopping with me, though. she made me a little crazy at first, but i realized later it's because we both hate malls (THANK GOD) and she was anxious because she didn't know what size she was, what to expect of the dresses, etc.  we talked about the boy she's going with (he runs cross country with her, he's a sophomore, "really nice"), who else was going, what people have been saying about the dance.  she's obviously excited. i always had fun at proms and homecomings, so i'm excited for her too.  i told her i'd pull out some old photos so i could show her my ridiculous dresses. like the one above; bought for $7 at the thrift store, all velvet and 1970's.  that was my friend jonathan, who i probably should have made out with, but i didn't think he liked me.  we had a great time that night; jonathan was totally into wearing something 1970s (down to the buster browns!), we went to the city for the day and then stayed up all night. i think i got home at 6 in the morning.  we had a lot of fun.  i hope she does too (but i'll probably ask her to come home sooner).

Thursday, October 03, 2013

in which i rage against the teenaged machine

aaaargh, i'm all frothy and full of rage right now because the boychik and i were talking about his job and how they might go on strike and he was like, "whatever, if they do that i'll just see if my boss will bump me up and i'll take so-and-so's job."

i was stunned.  i said, "seriously? you'd be a scab?" and he shrugged and repeated his "whatever." "you know, these are people you work with. when the strike is over, they get to come back to work. then they'll work with you and know you're a scab who doesn't give a shit about them."  again, nothing but a shrug. 

i kind of lost my cool.  which i guess happens, but the end of our conversation was me saying, "it must be nice to not give a shit about anyone else. you're an asshole." 

i hate this part of youth. this i-know-everything attitude and the idea that the very earth revolves around you.  he's worried about not working for a few days, and he's got over $5,000.00 in the bank.  he's moving into a house where he'll have to spend $200 a month in rent.  he's got fucking amazing health insurance because I PAY FOR IT.  he doesn't do chores, he doesn't tell us where he is, he spend as much as he can criticizing us and eating our food, and yet...i'm torn between knowing i'll miss the fucker when he moves and glad i won't have to hear him skulking around. 

he really just had no idea or regard for anyone else.  he's a happy white kid who's just charming enough to be dangerous, and handsome to boot.  why should he give a fuck about anyone else? the middle aged women he works with who have families and debt and no one else to look out for them.  the grown-up working at a grocery store to take care of their kids, who want a fair wage and health insurance that isn't shit.  i want to cry when i think about his blase attitude.  yeah, his mom is a fucking mess who bailed, and there were parts of his childhood that were less than ideal, but the world doesn't owe him anything. 

i know i shouldn't let it bother me, and i'm sure my therapist would have some tips for not thinking about this, or some words of wisdom about letting him learn his own hard lessons, but i feel so terrible.  this is a kid i'm at least somewhat responsible for, that i love, that i'm unleashing into the world with a chip on his shoulder and an alarming lack of care for anyone but himself. he's a selfish jerk. and i'm an asshole for pointing it out.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

is it just me?

or do other people feel guilty when they come home, eat dinner, goof off on the computer/tv/netflix and then go to bed? i struggle with wanting to just relax when i get home, sometimes do nothing, but feel guilty if i'm not "working" on something.

i always put "working" in quotes when i talk about being at home and working on projects.  knitting, sewing, quilting, painting, drawing, whatever; it's "work." it's what i actually really like doing, not my job.  i call it work because it's important to me, even though it does not pay the bills.

at the same time, i spend huge amounts daily devoted to thinking and working at my job, and so why shouldn't i just chill out after work? or on the weekends? yesterday i did nothing but read and watch tv and it felt great, but i felt guilty at the same time.  where does this guilt come from? i was a terrible catholic, so i don't get it.  my therapist says that i need to try to be nicer to myself, and also more honest about my feelings.  it's a drag, but it is kind of helping. 

there just isn't enough time, and i think at the heart of it all is that i feel bad not trying to do all of the things i love, every day.  thinking and working at my job are one thing, but coming home and  "working," making something from nothing, creating, is what actually makes me feel good. i need my paycheck, but i'd probably go nuts just coming home and having nothing else to do.

today i started and actually finished a quilt top.  getting set up for the sewing and doing the cutting and pressing always takes the most time. it looks like i'm just poking around for hours, then suddenly! boom! quilt top! 

as usual, i did not use a pattern, just kind of made it up as i went along.  i might try pinning it all together tonight, or doing that later this week.  we'll see!  normally i try not to make baby quilts too pink or blue, but this flowered fabric has been staring at me for years, and a friend of mine just had a baby girl.  i think it will be perfect for her. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

this might sum things up nicely

today at work we had this kind of awkward impromptu pot-luck thrown for us because we built this web tool that people use at work.  the food was good, but it was a bunch of people who usually sit alone at their desks during lunch trying to talk to each other for over half an hour. 

at one point i made some joke about how my sister is a pop-tart connoisseur, and how i can always count on her to point me in the direction of awesome toaster pastries.  the peanut butter pop-tart is truly sublime.  then i mention if she's good at pop-tarts, i am good at hot dogs. then i say, "i keep thinking getting a hot dog tattoo sounds fun."

three people waste no time at all telling me what a terrible idea this is.  i tell them i've made worse decisions, and it's not like i'd get it tattooed on my FOREHEAD.  i just like hot dogs. they have happy memories for me.  a tiny hot dog tattoo some place on my body would crack me up. 

sometimes though i realize that everyone is so fucking serious and i just don't care as much. everyone spent all lunch talking about how that cheesecake looked amazing but was soooo bad for you.  yeah, sure.  BORING. cheesecake is delicious.  eating something terrible for you won't kill you.  sometimes food is pleasure and fun and some of us are fat and happy and who the fuck cares if cheesecake is fatty? is this really what we all want to talk about? how many calories are in a food? ugh. 

the long and the short of it is this: people are dumb and food is good and if you want to get a unicorn tattooed on your ass, i'll pitch in five bucks.  life is short. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

how about happy knitting update

progress on my wooly shawl!  i added some bright blue wool yarn i've had forever (about 7 years?), and am almost done with it.  it's thick and pretty, and will be very warm when it's done.  it will also secure my grandma status.  whoo!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

how did it go?

my new therapist is a lovely, older hippie lady.  complete with moccasins and a suede leather vest, long white hair, cute round glasses.  it felt good to talk to her.  i cried, like i thought i would, and she thinks that the medication i've taken for the past 14 or so years just needs to be increased a bit. (i'm actually still on the starter dose of paxil, which isn't a lot, so she doubled it).  i was worried about that, because part of me always thinks that if i increase the dose, getting off of it is going to be impossible.

the thing is, the withdrawal from the small amount i take now was hellish.  is it going to be worse if i ever have to go off a higher does? probably.  i don't think i'm going to get to go off my medication, though.  that thought makes me sad, but it is likely that i will have to take some sort of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medication from here on out.

we talked about how guilty i feel about being anxious, and how that's maybe not the most useful of emotions.  we talked about my dad.  we talked about the kids and D and work, and the therapist thinks that essentially i have anxiety with some depression, and unresolved grief issues.  i tend to agree.

in two weeks i'll go back to see her, and we'll start working through things.  right now i'm adjusting to the new dose of medication (hello, sleepyhead), trying to figure out a way of asking my boss for an hour off every two weeks for a while, and trying to feel more normal.  lately i feel highly emotional, which i don't enjoy, but i think part of the reason i tend to get to these bad spots is because i am so reticent to talk about things.  which is a funny thing to say from a woman who keeps a very public blog.  i would rather brush things off or make a terrible joke about it or stew about it privately than have an honest conversation about my emotions.

i also keep having these very intense, angry dreams.  in them, someone slights me in some way; either they say something mean about me, to me, or about my loved ones, and i go ballistic.  i push, i yell, i threaten violence in very explicit language, i try to punch and slap and fight but my limbs are leaden and all i can do is shove people around.  i wake up agitated and sore in the jaw from clenching.  hello, subconscious.  what are you trying to tell me?  ugh.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

on finding a doctor

this post is  just me talking about finding a new doctor and about being nervous. some of it is a repeat of stuff i've written about before.

(and it is also a re-post from tumblr.  yes, i have a tumblr. i'm too old for tumblr and do not give a fuck!)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

on restraint

i have been enforcing weird little time-outs on things lately.  not doing something for a week or longer, to kind of evaluate how it affects me.  this pay period i'm not buying anything on the internet.  i realized that i buy a lot of weird, random items while on-line, and i probably don't need all of them.  i thought, "i'll not do it for two weeks and see what happens."  thus far i have resisted buying some books, music, tshirts, and craft items.  this means i am reading books i have around the house (of which there are a billion), working on projects i've already started, and wearing clothes i already own.  surprise, surprise: my bank account is happier.  twenty dollars here or there seems like nothing, but taken all together, it ends up being a chunk of cash.

i also brought my lunch to work every day this week.  even if you only spend $5 a day on a sandwich, that is also money that adds up quickly.  being financially prudent isn't exactly fun, but my bank account is happy.  
i bought the pattern for this shawl over a month ago and haven't touched it because it looked hard.  for real.  i'm a baby.  the girlchild had a sleepover the other evening, and i started it then, because i was hiding out in my room to give them space and full reign over the tv.  (i can't stomach that new 90210, it's sooooo tawdry and terrible!) it takes a lot of concentration and patience, and i'm actually really enjoying it.  it's full of short rows and stripes, and it's using up all the bits of worsted yarn i have in my stash. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


it's cliche, i know, to say "the summer has gone by so quickly," but it really has.  suddenly it's almost the middle of august!  what have we done this summer?
i've been doing a lot of knitting with cotton, making dishcloths.  or washcloths.  depends on where you use them, i guess.  the ones above are a double strand garter stitch version; nothing fancy, but they look pretty and are extra thick.  working with cotton yarn so much usually makes my hands ache, but either i'm doing it right or my  hands are getting tougher; i've made a billion things and my hands feel fine (knock on wood). i say "hands," but what i mean is my left hand, with the cyst.  that is the one that gets achey and goes numb.  in any case, i can't possibly keep all the cotton dishcloths i'm making, so a fair amount will become presents.  i have friends having babies, and making smaller cloths for babies is too fun.  the lovely thing about cotton is how soft it gets after being washed, and you can make a bunch of little ones quickly; that way parents aren't stuck with a giant handful of washcloth when giving baby a bath, and because i can make a billion, you don't feel like you have to re-use it. you can clean up baby with a new one each time so you don't run into stinky washcloths!
they boys keep getting bigger and bigger!  we took them to the vet for the first time last week; they were both crazy well-behaved sweethearts and everyone who met them adored them.  tali is a bit bigger than vince at 2.9 lbs, vince is 2.6.  they got their first rounds of shots, tested negative for feline leukemia, and got some flea drops.  in two weeks they go back for boosters and we make the appointment for their fixing.  their distinct personalities are definitely also becoming more apparent.  vince is bit needier than tali; he wants more of your attention, more of the time.  tali is very playful and a bit more outgoing when he meets new people.  they still pal around together all the time, which is nice.  i like that they have each other. i don't like litter boxes, though, or making kids clean them.  i clean them too, don't get me wrong, but i don't think i should be the only one doing it.  why does every domestic chore immediately default to that?! even in my hippie family, when something is dirty or needs to be tidied, the onus falls to me to work on it.  if i were a quieter woman, i guess i'd go with it, but i feel okay saying, "no, it's not all my responsibility."  most of the time, anyway.   

Thursday, August 01, 2013

thursday at 21 vs. thursday at 35

when i was in college, thursday nights in bellingham were all about going out.  friday and saturday were busy, don't get me wrong, but thursday was the big night because one bar did $1 pitchers, one bar did .50¢ well drinks (for only an hour, but what an hour it was!), and at another bar it was 80s night.  honestly, for $10 you could get drunk, dance your pants off, and find some nice boy to make out in a corner with.  my friends and i used to go out pretty much every thursday, sometimes getting burritos first to make sure no one drank liquor on an empty stomach.  i made out with cute boys and boys were only cute because i was full of cheap beer.  it sounds tawdry, but it was really a lot more like spin the bottle than the jersey shore.  i remember it being a little wild, very funny, but beyond some kissing not too many made it to second base or beyond.

thursday nights lately have meant a house all to myself.  D and the girlchild work on thursday nights (she babysits for one of his co-workers), the boychik is usually working or out and about (19 year old boys are an elusive group), and i get to do whatever i like.  that usually involves watching a movie no one else would enjoy, having something random for dinner, like toast, and maybe painting my nails.  it's not quite the screaming hilarity of my youth, but alone time is so rare when you are a grown-up with a family.  it feels a shame to waste it on dishes or laundry, or going out.

i will admit, though, sometimes i miss drinking those lukewarm pitchers of beer and flirting with boys and making an ass of myself on the dance floor. maybe tonight i'll put on a greatest hit of the 80s cd and dance around my house. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


i hate cleaning my room.  hate it! as a grown-up, i've done pretty much everything i can to avoid having to clean it.  at the same time, a clean room feels nice.  some tidiness makes all the difference; things can be found, stuff i don't use or want can be thrown away or donated, and the very act, while loathsome, does make me feel productive. 

to that end, i've spent some time today listening to podcasts while cleaning.  i love the unfuck your habitat tumblr (it's really great!), and one of the tips on there is so easy; work for about twenty minutes, then take ten off.  all the welcome to night vale podcasts are about twenty minutes long, so that's the soundtrack to tonight.  have you heard the night vale podcast?!  it's hilarious and smart and cheeky and i love it.  i can't believe i'd never heard of it before.  i'm slowly catching up, throwing things away, and putting clothes (gasp!) on hangers in my closet.  it's wild over here. 


 the boys are three months old now!  they are bigger every day, i swear.  all they do is eat, poop, wrestle and sleep.  i love them.  everyone loves them!  it's amazing how two adorable cats make everyone so happy and how we all dote on them. 
tali has been a bit sick lately (he either ate something funky or has worms), and his brother has spent a lot of time grooming him and cuddling him.  next week i take them to the vet for their first shots and stuff, and then sometime soon they need to get fixed.  i'm not looking forward to that, because i hate the idea of my boys feeling bad, but i also don't want them running loose in the neighborhood, leaving babies in their wake.  although let's be honest: their babies would be adorable.  sorry boys, enjoy your nuts while you can! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 every summer, anacortes has a festival they call shipwreck.  it used to be two days long, but lately has been just one.  it's a big garage sale/slash/art fest, and i love it.  when i was younger i used to go for all the bands (one of the founders of K records, calvin johnson, lives in anacortes, because hello?! have you been there? it's gorgeous), but now i go with the girlchild and we buy tshirts and local artists wares.  sometimes weirdo toys too, because by now you know how i feel about toys.  above are cards by jill bliss, who is currently living on whidbey island, near where i grew up in coupeville.  i had a lovely conversation with her at shipwreck, only to discover when i got home (via her blog) that she's living in my hometown.  i kind of want to email her and say, "hey! i know that town! let's have a beer and let me tell you all about the reserve."  yes, it's slightly creepy, and no, i'm not a stalker, but i think she would enjoy my whidbey island tales. 
 one of the main reason i go to shipwreck is because slow loris is there, selling  random, one-off or slightly off-printed t shirts for $10.  i am not opposed to paying full price for one of her shirts, but i love not knowing what you'll get at shipwreck, and it feels great to buy a billion of her shirts at once.  normally the girlchild and i get one, but this year D wanted one too.  he got this lovely ouroboros, on the softest green jersey. i could literally buy every shirt slow loris makes and be a happy woman.  the prints are also always amazing.  i have one needing to be framed right now, and seeing the slow loris crew makes me want to get it up on the walls.  
i can't crochet.  you know that.  i could once, in my late teens, but have since lost the knack.  the creator of the amazing super vagina made these, and i took all of three seconds to realize they had to be mine.  i should have bought more of them!  i showed them to the girlchild and she said, "of course! i knew you would love them." i showed them to D and he said, "you really have an eye for...something?" but he loves them and is not sad they are going to be hung up.  i'm not sure where yet, because they are so great.  why can't they be all over the house?! if i could crochet, there would be five miles of them wrapped all over the house.

in all, it was a great day.  my mom and aunt came out, i ran into some friends, i ate a delicious hot dog, and got exactly enough sun.  i always miss anacortes a bit after a fun day like shipwreck, but then i come home and remember that i love my little house in the skagit valley.  with its kittens and garden and my little family.  i took a long weekend (four whole days!) and have enjoyed just being home, goofing off, cleaning and spending time with my favorite people.  i love my job, but it's demanding, and a few days to relax was called for. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


i went out today to thin the dill, because HOLY SHIT the dill is getting out of control, and look at all the awesome stuff that was ready to be picked!  i thinned out the kale and carrots, so i have baby versions of those, i found a garlic some jackass animal dug up then abandoned, and in my compost bin i thing was growing so i pulled it up and what do you know?! baby red potatoes.  i'm sure my husband knew what was growing in there, and i wonder if he was waiting for them to mature a bit, but oops, i already yanked them out.  hooray! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


one of the women i work with is having a night out on the town tonight in honor of her birthday.  i have bought a new dress, a ridiculous hot pink pair of tights, and made a necklace to go with the whole thing.  i so rarely get dolled up, that on occasions like this it's fun to spend the day just preparing.  you know, hair in rag curlers, nails done, lipsticks considered (and always vetoed in favor of a lip stain because i won't wear it off as quickly), naps taken and big glasses of water ingested. just in case.  i don't plan on getting silly, but you never know.  in any case, i'm looking forward to the glam part of tonight, which i think stems from the fact that lately i've been watching a lot of videos of drags queens.  jinkx monsoon, in particular, i am in love with.  she's so thoughtful and articulate and lovely, and then she opens her mouth and sings!  i find myself totally smitten.  in honor of her ability to go from adorable boy to glamorous woman, i will put on eyeliner tonight, i will push the girls up in a good bra, and i will enjoy putting on a hyper-feminine costume.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

i'm that crazy cat lady

except i'm totally not, i swear!  the boys keep getting bigger and bigger.  we've had them for just a few days over a week now, and this is how big they've gotten.  so fast! they spent a few days checking things out, learning about litter boxes, and they've been off and running ever since.
it's hard to get a clear photo of them when they are doing anything but napping, but this one comes close.  the one on the bottom is tali (like tally), and the one on top is vincent, but we call him vince.  they are incredibly fun, needless to say.  my husband at first i think was a bit gun shy about getting two cats, but they have so much fun together! watching them careen throughout the house, knocking each other over, playing, then curling into a little ball of kitten fur is endlessly amusing.   plus, they honestly seem to like each other.  i mean, they tussle like tiny MMA fighters, but if you've found one, the other is right around the corner.
they are also both very sweet and loving.  when i get up in the morning, i come out to the downstairs den and they pop out from wherever they were hiding (right now it's under the couch, but soon they'll be too big for that), purring loudly and peeping, rubbing up against me for pets and loves.

it's not all kitten fun times around here, though.  school is winding down for the girlchild, and there's a more than good chance summer school is in her future.  i have a lot of anxiety about her starting high school in the fall, but i can only focus on now, so i try to keep the worry to a minimum.  as if trying to do that ever works.  the boychik has a job, and i think a new girl he's hanging out with.  he tried to convince me he went to see a will/jaden smith movie by himself this afternoon.  do i look retarded?! some plants died in my garden (i planted them too early) but luckily it's only really getting warm now so i can just plant some more.  new job and life stress is making my eczema just blossom (hoo-fucking-ray!), but i figure itchy is okay.  i can handle itchy.  overall, things are good but busy, and it will be awesome when these boys figure out pooping outside.  litter boxes: making rooms smell like pee since forever.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

boys boys boys

they loved the girlchild right away
 well, we did it!  my dream of kittens has finally come true.  they were picked out of a litter of five; all the others were lovely grey kittens, two of them with tiger stripes.  these two, though, were already pals and well bonded to each other.  when talking about getting a new cat, we all agreed that we have the space for two, and we wanted them to have a playmate and friend.  it's even better that they're brothers! 
 we have their names kind of tentatively picked out. i've always liked the name vincent for a black cat because he can be named after vince noir and vincent price that way.  and we can call him "vincey princey."the girlchild likes the name tali, and the kitten with the curly tail will likely be named that.  it's hard to pick out the right cat name!  so we're taking our time.  their names may change, we'll see. 
it's been hard to leave the house this weekend, because when they aren't busy being sleepy dolls, they are busy tearing around the house, making tiny meows, head booping us and climbing everyone like mountains.  i already love these little stinkers, even if i have to clean up poop! 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

hey look!

 i made this quilt for the newest baby in our family, eugene.  eugene!  i love his name, it reminds me of many great eugene's, like eugene hutz, of gogol bordello fame, and eugene mirman, who is funnier than shit.  let us not also forget eugene, oregon, home to hippies.  dear diary, i don't know why, but i fucking love hippies.  i married one, i love nutritional yeast, and just this week i made my own eczema cream out of organic shea butter.  the baby, by the way, looks amazing in tie-dye.  so we were meant to be!
this was a project i really wanted to be secret, so not mentioning this thing anywhere was torturous.  especially because i was just so fond of it.  i'm glad i worked on all the quilts i did before this one; the pinwheels, clowns and finished asian quilt top got me back in fighting shape, so to speak.  i'm still not great at bindings, which i consider to be a necessary evil, but the rest of this came out so beautifully.  i loved the fabric, i loved just cutting things out and winging it, and the whole time i was thinking of a cute baby boy in illinois with chubby cheeks.  i'm proud of how this turned out, and it made me so happy to think of the new family getting it.  i know, that's mushy, but oh well.  i can't be a nihilist all the time, i guess. 

today i signed the girlchild and i up for a continuing education class at the local community college.  it's a month long, monday night class, basic drawing and sketching.  i needed a refresher, and she's never taken a community ed class.  when i was her age, i was taking a ton of them.  nerdy amanda liked to take classes about short story writing, and subjected a host of patient grown-ups to a lot of anguished prose about my latest crush.  i'm sure i was insufferable.  in any case, she's excited to take a class at college, and hearing her excited! about! a! class! was worth the money it cost.  i'm also looking forward to brushing up my skills. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013


i came home last night to find this hanging up in my living room.  i was sharing my glass of water with my plants, when i caught a glimpse of it, and it both scared the shit out of me and delighted me.  we all know i'm kind of afraid of clowns, but the last few years have seen my turn this fear into a morbid obsession.  my sister and i make up clown names for everyone, we look up creepy clown dolls on ebay and then send each other the links, i even made our sweet baby boy a clown-y quilt. yet...they still scare me a bit.  in that watching-a-scary-movie sort of way. a slight frisson of fear in my spine when i encounter one i wasn't ready for.  the boychik and a friend of his snuck it into the house while i was out, and then just waited for me to find it.  i love them.  

yesterday i got exactly nothing done.  the day before, i totally finished an awesome project that i will show you after i get it in the mail and it gets to where it is going.  i'm proud of it, but i do honestly want it to be a surprise.

today i plan on the following,
  • taking my sewing machine in for a tune up.  it hasn't had a proper tune up in years, has been moved across states and sat in storage once for a long time.  it needs some TLC.
  • going through all my in-progress projects and figuring out which ones will be finished, which ones will be frogged, and which ones are WTF worthy.
  • laundry.  i think i used up my last pair of comfortable clean underpants yesterday.  meaning today is bound to be slightly uncomfortable.
  • grocery shopping.  condiments are great, but they are even better with food to put them on.
i got through a whole week at my new desk, and there was no crying or gnashing of teeth. i totally had some deer-in-the-headlights moments, though, and i hope i'm smart enough to keep up.  i also worked on power point for the first time in my life on friday, and that thing sucks.  it seems so terribly redundant! i missed that phase of microsoft office in college, and never had to learn it since.  i wish it could have stayed that way!  otherwise, i have no complaints.  i'm so happy to be in a new place, learning new things, and going to the bathroom whenever i please.  whoo!

*also, this is post 1500! crazy talk.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

two days in

i now have two days of my new position at work under my belt. i realize it's entirely too early to make any grand, sweeping STATEMENTS or DECLARATIONS, but i can tell you this: so far it's going really well.

there are a few reasons for this, one of them being that the new group of people i work with are honestly nice.  there's one woman doing my "on-boarding," which is just the way they describe training.  she's gone over some of the new tools i'll be using (hello microsoft one note!), and the very basics of what i'll be doing.  i spent all day with her yesterday, and a big chunk of today with her, but i also had some alone time practice.  when i have questions, there's two or three people willing and happy to help, every time.  my new boss checks in often, but doesn't hover.  (i miss my old boss, i have to say.  she really is the sweetest woman on earth, and without her i don't think i would have been so prepared and motivated to apply for this job.)  i have a bit of that old-fashioned deer-in-the-headlights feeling often, but i feel good about what i'm bringing to the job.  i've mentioned this before, but this new position puts me in contact with a billion other departments, and it is truly fascinating to see the behind the scene stuff.

and!  i finished this blanket for my nephew calvin.  it's not a real quilt, more of a panel and a quilted backside.  even then, i didn't quilt the whole thing.  my machine really isn't big enough to do much quilting (the fabric and batting gets all smooshed under the "arm" of my machine), and i'm not very good at that part.  the piecing, the putting it all together, i'm good at, but i can only master free-form quilting, and more than anything with calvin's quilt i just wanted to stabilize the batting.   

my sister and i were going through a clown phase when we bought this fabric; we were busy giving everyone clown names (mine is always Mumbles the Clown), and i was doing a lot of clown drawings, and so when we found this fabric it seemed appropriate.  she was 6 months pregnant, and the little dude is almost 9 months, so it only took me a year.  oops!  bad sister.  although in my defense, my nook wasn't really set up for sewing for a while. 
i bought two of the front panels in case i royally messed up the front, and i ended up fucking up the first back i made instead!  of course.  so when i re-did it, and knew it was good, i cut one of the clowns out of the other panel and put him on the back.  he's the bonus clown!  ha. i hope calvin doesn't end up with weird clown phobias like me.  for years i couldn't stand the sight of them. now my interest in them is kind of morbid.  like a kid who learns to love scary movies, you know?  i still won't let one touch me, or be in the same room as one if i can help it (or within a hundred yard), but i can appreciate their weirdness. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


 the quilt is done!  i used a fold-over binding, thanks to this handy tool, which was easier than doing a traditional binding.  however, on a quilt this size, it probably didn't matter.  working with a piece this large in any machine, for any reason, is a pain in the ass.  true story. 
it's big enough to nap under, and nice and long.  i'm happy with the way it came out, and think it's a very solid, functional quilt.  i haven't made a quilt in so long that more than anything, this was a fun project to work on color, piecing, cutting, and basic quilting skills.  it was a super low pressure project too, and i don't know if i just got more patient and/or better at sewing, but i feel like it went together quickly.  the whole time i worked on it i looked forward to coming home from work and pulling it out.

i'm trying hard not to wish the week away, because we all know i really want to be in my new job NOW.  three more days, and then i'll probably be here complaining about how hard and overwhelming everything is.  i'm trying to just relax and go with the flow.  i'm just excited! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

five more days!

then i move to my new cubicle.  whoo!

i had my first meeting with my new team yesterday.  of course my bladder did not cooperate and i had to sneak out at one point to use the restroom.  by "sneak out" i mean, i had to cross in front of the projector so everyone could see me, which was embarrassing.  my bladder, she does not wait, though, and i had entirely too much coffee and tea yesterday.  totally my fault.  i felt sheepish, but my new boss was totally cool about it.

today i'm going to try to finish a quilt.  or two.  it's rainy and awful out, and i have been listening to a lot of pandora lately, which i am loving.  although they think i like the strokes a lot more than i actually do. 
and this is the silly sheet that's going to back the pinwheel quilt.  i remember when i bought these sheets in college, they were a little out of my price range (they were like 25 dollars) but when they went on sale, i snatched them up.  they were so cheerful and ridiculous!  i'm excited that it's going to get a new life as a quilt backing. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

progress report

 check out these cute birdie ornaments!  they are wooden and i love them and maybe some will go on the tree next winter, but for now they are cheering up my nook. 
 not that the nook needs cheering.  man, i love that little room. i love to sit and listen to music and podcasts and make stuff.  also, i'm loving this old school thread holder.  i had a plastic one, one of those giant square boxes that the lid never quite fits right on, and finally i was like, "i hate this thing. i'm going to buy a new one." genius!
this quilt is almost done!  i have some brown i need to sew along the sides to tie it all together, and it might actually be one strip too long.  i'm not sure.  i have a great old sheet to back it with, and after i get the sides on, i'm going to tie it so mom can lend me her fancy binding tool and i can finish it this weekend.  i don't know if i'm just getting more patient or better at sewing, but i have never in my life made progress like this.  these projects feel like they are flying by, and happily so.  this might not be the most modern or stylish quilt, but it makes me so happy to see the little bits of fabric with history.  the triangles of skull fabric anne bought me, the bits from the bunting we made for the wedding, the funny red "wood" fabric i made my first pair of pajama pants out of, it's all there! 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

it's so rare

for me to think to myself, "i need to clean this thing."  i mean, i'll do laundry, and my fridge is better than it has been ever (in my life), and the toilet gets scrubbed and no one comes over to my house and gets the plague, but still.  tonight i actually hauled the vacuum down to my room and used it in the nook.  when i trim threads off stuff when sewing, i just throw them on the floor.  probably that's one of the least-adorable habits i have, besides nose-picking.  (shut up, i know you pick your nose too!)   i actually do it when i embroider too.  in fact, whenever i trim a piece of thread, or yarn, or embroidery floss, or snip of fabric, i just throw it down.  i only litter threads, though, i swear.

ahem, this story doesn't need to be this long.  i just looked in my nook and thought, "yeah, this needs a hoover-ing."  i also moved some stuff around and threw out some trash and sorted all my bobbins for my sewing machine and hung up some cute birdie ornaments i got for xmas.  they are too cute for a tree, they are now strung on a line and hang above a doorway in a happy row.  now i'm going to try to put things back in place and get my bed ready for sleeping, since it's covered in fabric. 

i had a meeting with my new boss today, because i have only 8 more days on the phones (squeeeeee!) and HOLY SHIT i am excited about this new gig.  the main reason being: everyone who works in this department is excited about working there.  they are full of ideas and ideals, they want to make health insurance better for customers and they love spreadsheets and research.  i was shown something today called a "config" file that was essentially a gorgeous spreadsheet of information, easily searchable and data driven, and i swooned.  it's nerd-vana over there.

(also, thanks so much for reading my long and self-pitying post about the kid's bio-mom.  i try not to be a bummer, but parenting is new to me!)

Sunday, April 07, 2013

the nook is getting a workout

 this really is the year of my sewing machine.  i've gotten all my pinwheel blocks pressed and in strips, and now i'm adding the brown in between.  the funny thing about this quilt is how random and old-fashioned it is.  i'm going to back it with some old nick and nora sheets i have that don't fit our bed.  they're my old-school pink kitten sheets.  i'm sure D will love having a crazy old quilt around the house! 
 this quilt is one i picked out with my sister before my nephew was born. she really liked the big circus panel, and i couldn't say no.  it's been nicely washed and sitting in the nook forever! today was as a good a day as any to start putting it together.
 of course, i couldn't stay home all day sewing.  i always think that i can, and will, but at some point i need to get out of the house.  D and i went to home depot, where i got this handy pegboard.  i used to have one of these for sewing, and it i like how it makes organizing stuff in a visual, easy to access way.  space in the nook is always at a premium, and this is handy and uses space that would ordinarily be ignored.
 don't touch me!  no, you can, i took the needles out.  this is what i look like as i shuffle in and out of the nook, from the sewing machine to the ironing board.  i have two pincushions i use, but sometimes i move one and then i'm sitting there, with nothing to put my pins in.  except my shirt.  i'm also going to use this space here to talk about how D and i got into a huge fight on friday, and now i feel kind of delicate and sad, and am not getting hugged anyway, so i may as well put pins in my shirt.  fighting with him is my least favorite thing to do, and what bothers me the most is how he pushes all my buttons, makes me cry, and then won't just say he's sorry for hurting my feelings.  i'm not asking for a liver, i just want a "sorry, that was maybe a little mean."  we're still wary around each other, and i can't tell  if he's still being kind of a jerk or if now i'm just sensitive to it.  either way, arguing with your spouse is bullshit.  we can all agree on that. 
the baby of the baby quilt is just simple stripes.  i didn't want to make it too fussy, and to be honest, my mom is such a better quilter/sewer than i am and has already made calvin a few quilts. the kid's going to be plenty warm, for a long time.  thanks to mom's amazing abilities, no one really expects much from me! 

after i get this one done, i have another panel coming in the mail that i'm going to use to make a quilt for my niece's new baby boy.  i found this really pretty, modern design, that i think will make a great blanket.  i'm going to try to be good, though, and finish up these projects first.  cross your fingers!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

this one is kind of long. sorry.

for those of you that don't know this, my kid's bio-mom isn't in the picture.  not because of anything heinous i did, not because of anything heinous anyone did, as far as i can tell.  she was young when the boychik was born, about 17, and only just 21 when the girlchild was born.  my husband was older (probably too much older, he'll be the first to admit), although neither of them were exactly grown-ups when the kids came along.  about 12 years ago, she decided that she didn't want to be a mom or girlfriend anymore, and she and D split up.  for a bit they worked on co-parenting, but that fell apart quickly.  there were drugs and parties involved, but it's probably not entirely fair to blame the falling apart on that alone.  i think, more than anything, that she resented having so much responsibility, and wanted a life of her own instead.  when i was 21, i had very little responsibility.  i had a part time cat, a share of the rent to pay, some homework to do, and many parties to attend and bars to go to.  it was wonderful, and i'm glad i had that time for myself.  unlike the bio-mom, though, at 17 i had also graduated from high school, came from an intact family and wasn't in a big rush to be an adult.  when she was 17, she was a high school dropout who had essentially run away from home and gotten pregnant for the first time.  she's only a year older than me, but our lives are pretty different. 

for ten years she was completely absent from the kid's lives. no child support, no birthday cards, no calls on the phone.  she practically dropped off the face of the earth.  the boychik took it harder than the girlchild, because he remembered her, had grown up with her.  the girlchild remembers nothing of her parents being together.  two years ago, right about the time D and i were getting ready to get married, she friended the kids on facebook.  i guess if you're going to parent long-distance, with as little effort as possible, hitting the "like" button is as good a place as any to start.  her sudden reappearance caused shock waves both big and small, and we all had to adjust to knowing she was around.  unlike a lot of stepmoms, i had never had to deal with the mother of my kids.  there wasn't a lot of memory about her either to compete with, no "wrong" way of making mac and cheese, no struggle to assert that i was actually doing parenting, or to fit in and/or complement a style already in place.  the kids already had a parent who was a bit outside the norm, and they made a place for me as easily as you would put down another plate at dinner.  i've always understood how lucky i am to have had an easy, good relationship with them.  it didn't take me long to fall as in love with them as i did their dad, and to be frank, marriage to me meant primarily solidifying our family.  i always referred to it as "our" wedding, because it was about the four of us.

at the back of my mind, though, has always been the fear that she's going to want more of a relationship with the kids.  that facebook isn't going to be enough, that soon the phone calls will start, and the awkward visits will commence.  (after two years of nothing but random facebook messages between her and both kids, this anxiety should be lessened, but anxiety not being related to logic or reality, is still just as strong to me.)  being an official stepmom is great and all, but as much as i love the kids, as much as i consider them my own, she's the wildcard.  bio-moms have precedence, you know?  bio-moms are THE important mom, stepmom's are never "real" moms, and there's this prevailing idea that the love and connection a woman feels for the children she's carried is the most noble, enduring, deepest bond two people can have.  which means that even though she walked out, she loves them more than i do or could, and secretly pines for them to return to her loving bosom.  or something.   

the point of all this is this: a year ago the bio-mom had another baby.  she told the girlchild about it last week.  she's never told the boychik, but he figured it out a few months ago after a lot of photos of her with a baby showed up on facebook.  D figured it out doing a google search a few months ago as well. ( i was the last to know.)  my initial emotions were all about the kids; how did they feel, were they worried, was it strange for them, did they want to meet their new brother, would this make the bio mom more involved?  the girlchild at first was shocked and excited, and wanted to know about the baby and meet him.  she's since settled into a more cautious interest, probably in solidarity to her brother.  the boychik said he didn't care, that he doesn't know or have a relationship with his bio-mom, and that he doesn't know the baby and just because they share a parent doesn't mean they're siblings to him.  "it takes more than some shared DNA to make us family, you know?"  i admitted that it freaked me out, but that my experience with my mom is pretty different than theirs is as well.  if my mom had done something like this, i'd be heartbroken, but i grew up with my mom.  i know her.  they don't.  i was also furious at the casual way she brought it up with the girlchild, and couldn't believe that this was how she chose to act. 

after all that, after the kids had gone to bed, i was swept by other, more selfish emotions.  anger that she would treat the kids like mere acquaintances who hadn't needed or been important enough to be informed she was pregnant, or that they had a new brother.  more upsetting to me was the overwhelming grief i felt.  marrying D meant no bio-kids of my own.  i had a choice; i could have him and the kids, or a theoretical baby with someone else.  i knew him and the kids, i loved them, and i don't regret my decision; but i was a woman who thought she would have children in a more conventional sense.  which is hilarious when you consider i wasn't so sure about marriage.  knowing that she can just have babies when she feels like it, that she gets to be THE MOM no matter what, that she was reveling in new motherhood while i get to deal with parent-teacher conferences and arguing over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom and all the tedious parts of parenthood that sitcoms are written of, made me break down and weep.  it's so easy for her to get to be a mom, and no matter what i do, i'll always have come later, and i'll never have that easy assurance that i'm a parent.  i never get to say, "just do it because i'm your mom and i asked you to." 

and while all that's true, it's also all bullshit too.  family isn't just DNA and inborn emotional connections.  you don't parent your kids because you have to, obviously.  our biological imperative doesn't automatically make us good people.  just because you make a person, or are related to a person doesn't mean you have anything in common with them or even like them.  our veneration of mothers isn't always honest or accurate.  i might not be a real mom, but i am a real parent, i do have children that i love and would do anything for.  unlike their bio-mom, i can't imagine severing ties with them, for any reason.  if D and i were break up tomorrow, i'd still feel like the kids were mine, i'd still want to live with them and care for them, and cajole them into taking out the trash.  i miss them when i'm away for just a day.  i can be sad and cry about the kids i didn't have, i think that's fair. i can be upset that she can make babies when she wants to, i have that right.  more than that, though, i have a family right here and right now, who i love and am grateful for.  my theoretical bio-baby would have been cute and chubby and had a ridiculous name, but i wouldn't trade the kids i have for the kid that might have been.  i hope their new brother has a mom that sticks around, and i hope someday the kids have some sort of relationship with him.  i think he'll like them. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

too much?

thank you for all your kind replies to my last post!  i was positively giddy at work today, and even though i have to wait almost a whole month (boo!) to move into my new cubicle, it feels good to know that i'm not doomed to answer phones forever.  hooray!

to celebrate, i just booked a slightly fancy hotel for D and i this saturday night.  i can't recall the last time we had a grown-up, romantic date night, and now just seemed like the time.  we have something to celebrate, it's before the real tourist season makes everything in town crazy expensive, and a night to ourselves just sounds like fun.  in the other house, when i was working at the hospital, we were spoiled with more afternoon alone time.  i forget that being just alone with him is a good time, and i'm not just talking sexy-time.  honest! the hotel is in downtown anacortes, where we can walk around for dinner and spend sunday goofing off.  i've always been a huge fan of anacortes (remember when i lived there?), and while i've lived in the area most of my life, i've never stayed at the majestic, so that will be fun. 

needless to say, i'm feeling pretty good about stuff right now. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

i got it!

i found out today i got the new position i applied for a few weeks ago!  more than anything, i'm glad that interview didn't just feel good but went well.  there's also the not-so-small fact that i will be making considerably more money, and get to do a lot more of the parts of my job i really enjoy, with less phone call answering.  to me, that is a bonus.  there are a few parts of my job that i seriously dig, which involve researching issues and crafting emails, and i will be doing a lot more of that. 

i also feel good to have made this kind of move up in the ranks.  i don't think i would have been this motivated or encouraged to do more at work if i didn't have a few people at home pushing me gently.  the support i get at home has really changed the way i view work.  i still feel weird thinking of anything as a "career" but from the very beginning i thought of this job as a great opportunity to do more.  i just took it seriously in a way i haven't taken anything in a while. i'm so glad i did. some of it was small things, like making sure i dressed up every day, and trying to learn as much as i could all about the different parts of my company, and some of it was definitely attitude based. i honestly think of this job as valuable, in that i have a real, direct effect on people's lives, often in a positive way.  i'll be in my current position for another month while i make the transition and tie up my own loose ends, and then! i get to move to a bigger and better cubicle, and listen to music while i work, and not have to log out of the phone when i have to pee.  delightful!

Friday, March 15, 2013

keeping up with the jones'

i had the greatest conversation today with my across-the-street neighbor.  she's an older lady, with kids my age up through D's age, and a grandkid about the girlchild's age as well.  she's super nice, and i always see and her husband out working on stuff in the yard and being generally adorable.  today i ran into her when i got home, and we started talking about all the lovely weather, and i showed her what we're working on in the garden, and she was super surprised to know that i sew and knit and all that stuff.  i told her that i had my own little nook for it, and that there was pretty much always something going on over here.  she seemed super excited to hear that.  she also told me about her luck with blueberries and how she and her husband had a bumper crop last year so now i want to make my own hedgerow of blueberry bushes!  it was such a nice talk, i'm so glad she stopped to say hi today.  i really love this neighborhood.

there was also a chance i'd hear about the job as soon as today, but alas, it was not to be.  so i guess i have a few more days to worry about it!  although right now i'm trying to stay perky, and remind myself at least i didn't for sure not get it, right?  i'm still in the running for all i know!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

more sewing

remember how i said a while ago i thought D wouldn't be stoked with all the sewing going on?  i was totally wrong. he's even talked about putting up a table in our bedroom just for fabric cutting, so i don't have to do it on the iron.  i mean, the ironing board is an okay place to cut small pieces, but it's a bit wibbly-wobbly and sometimes the lines aren't as straight as i'd like. i thought it was really nice of him to accommodate me like that, and he said he just likes how happy i am when i'm sewing.  plus, he thinks i'm good at it.  i love that man.  moreover, i love living in a home where this kid of stuff, making things, is so appreciated and encouraged.  we're our own arts and crafts studio over here.  i need to have people over more for making stuff! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


a position opened up at work that sounded super interesting, so i applied for it.  like every job at work, i had to take a test after the application (to show off my awesome typing skills and researching abilities) and for a week i worried about passing it.  when i was taking it, i felt okay, but then i started worrying about being dumb and maybe it felt easy because i wasn't getting the questions, etc.  my brain is a real asshole sometimes.  in any case, i passed the test and they scheduled the interview for this week.  i had it this morning, and thought it went really well.  i felt fortunate that one of the interviewers was part of my original hire interview, so i kind of already knew how she asked questions.  i won't know until next week if i got the job, but even if i don't , i'm pretty sure i didn't totally embarrass myself.  working in this new department would be a lot of fun; it's a lot more research and written communication, the pay is a bit better, and i'd be on the phones a lot less.  if you feel like crossing fingers for me, i won't be offended! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


well hello, totally adorable way to use up fabric scraps.  i played around with some bits of leftover fabric and my machine this afternoon, and after a few false starts i finally figured out how to make some cute coasters.  i wanted one for work, because i use a big stainless cup that leaves terrible marks all over my desk. also, for catching drips, of course.  i want to make a billion of them now, though, so if you end up getting some for xmas, please pretend to be surprised. 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

ugh, selfies

 i got new glasses!  again!  my health insurance is pretty good about glasses; i get $250 a year for hardware, so i use it.  i've said this before, and i'll say it again: when you wear glasses every day, and are a girl who likes to accessorize, then you will end up owning a lot of pairs of glasses.  there is nothing wrong with this.  these ones are ridiculous and i love them.  they were on sale at paris miki, so the frames were only $40.  for that kind of money, i can afford to look like a hipster doofus.  D calls them my "shop glasses," and he's right; if they had the bits on the side to keep splinters from flying into my eyes, they would good for wood working.  he's not a huge fan of them, but he likes my face, so he's learning to adjust.
these are the fancy, name brand pair i bought.  ray-bans! i love them because they're two tone, kind of cat's eye shaped, and a bit larger in the lens area.  i've been liking that in glasses lately.  i've worn about a billion pairs of smaller glasses, and they are cute, but sometimes it's nice to have a gigantic field of vision.  these are the ones that D actually likes, of course. 

still reading tons of comics from the convention, along with dune.  i've never actually read that, and it's come to my attention that i really should.  being at the convention also got me kind of hyped up to make more comics, so i've been trying to do more of that.  honestly, though, i have so many things going on!  the sewing/quilting, the reading, the drawing, and the hangover i am currently nursing.  someone thought vodka sounded delightful last night.  i have a pizza on the way, i'm going to watch a movie, and then maybe take a nap.  hooray!

Monday, March 04, 2013

johnny boo!

yes, look at johnny boo, the cutest ghost on earth.  this is one of the comics i bought this weekend, mainly for my niece, but you know i read it too!  it's a sweet little story, about johnny and his pet ghost squiggle, and eating ice cream and a monster they think is mean but who really isn't.  the colors are bright and the images undeniably adorable, and at 7 i think maggie will be able to read most of it herself.  i bought all of the johnny boo books they had there, which was everything but the halloween one.  she's getting one today, and the rest throughout the year.  added bonus: if she digs them, she'll read them to calvin and he'll get into comics and my mission to innoculate all my nieces and nephews will be complete!

i love comics for kids because it encourages them to read for fun.  i think once that becomes a habit, they read more and more for pleasure, not just because they "have" to.  it's true that i'm biased about comics, though.  i never realized how reading them as a kid was so influential later.  i mainly read archie comics (superhero comics in the 80s were really very macho), and then about 12 i discovered mad magazine, which was disgusting and wonderful.  to this day i think lying down on the floor with a comic book is about the best way to spend an afternoon.  kids who get to read comics like to draw, and learn about the interplay between visual and verbal communication, and spend time engaged in important imaginative thought.  they are also just a good time.  they can be art or they can be just big dumb fun, like anything.  what's more fun than spending a happy afternoon with a kid and a comic book, though? not much. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013


 these two handsome young men and i went to the emerald city comicon this year!  we went for all three days, and i will admit, it was both amazing and exhausting and holy shit i'm glad to be home. 
 i didn't take nearly as many photos as i normally do.  in fact, the entire three days i took 19 pictures.  which is crazy.  when we have an outing during the day here i can come home with upwards of a hundred!  it was just really packed with people, all the time, and visually overwhelming for me.  there wasn't an inch of space that didn't have something cool on it, in it, walking through, you get the the idea. 
this is maybe a third of the stuff i bought.  part of me thinks "oh my god amanda!" and part of me is happy i can support comic book artists and writers.  while i bought some stuff from artists i knew, i also picked up a fair amount of of things from people i had never even heard of.  seriously talented, nice, wonderful people.  that was probably my favorite thing about the con; getting to talk to the person who made the book you're looking at.  asking them questions, talking about things they're into, learning about books/writers/stuff that is brand new to you.  i met so many great people making cool stuff it was ridiculous.  i feel all inspired to do and make and create things now, and to hunt down some more of the new artists i was lucky enough to meet.

one of the highlights of the weekend for me was meeting kc green, of gunshow the webcomic.  i love this guy's work SO MUCH.  i couldn't find him the first day, but the boychik and his friend knew where he was so they brought me right to him the next day.  he signed my books and did sketches for me, and one of the things that that really made it awesome for me was when i asked him to make the sketches "extra satanic."  he came through, as you can see.

honestly, spending three days with a huge mass of people who are into the same kinds of comics, movies, music and art that i love felt good.  being able to go to back to our tiny hotel room at night and watch cartoons and read comics and order pizza with the boys was even more awesome.  it was a great vacation.  i can't wait to do it again next year!