Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

Sometimes your mind can be so open that your brain falls out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Faux Infrared Experiment

This past weekend, I tried shooting infrared-style photographs at our campout (you can't do true infrarred with digital without permamnetly modifying your camera, which I am not willing to do.)

To be honest, most of my pictures just turned odd shades of pink and/or blue. Those magically turned into black and whites with a sweep of my (Photoshop) magic wand. However, there were several that worked and gave me the white foliage look I was going for. I have a few ideas as to why those worked more than others, but mostly I'm still in the dark. Eh, it was worth a try, and I'll give it another shot some other time.

Bored? Check em out here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mirror Image

Damn, vacations can be fun. Last weekend, the family and I went to a group campout near the Ranch. The campground was a nice place with a pool, too. The crowd was good; lots of scantily-clad folks with smiling faces walking past on the paths. There wasn't much going on; lots of sitting around, which was fine by me. I did some reading.

The one thing it did have that I didn't care for were the jellowjackets. Wish I could've avoided them. They were particularly agressive, and would sting you just for the hell of it (or so it seemed.) And stung I got. Fuck!

Everytime I got stung I'd march over to the medical tent, grumbling about the random unfairness of it all. The topical ointment the medics would give me some out of a teensy vial basically stopped the hurt before it began. I felt silly asking for help, like I was being a big baby over nothing. How could it be a big deal if I couldn't even feel it? The stinger wasn't even in my body anymore!

Just as we were free to leave for home, I got stung again, and this time the medics had already gone. No big deal, I thought; it never hurt before. But this time it did. The sharp, stinging pain built and built until I was miserable. We couldn't drive to town fast enought to get me the ointment I needed.

I'd been clueless as to how well the medication had been working.


I'd been clueless as to how well the medication had been working.

The 24 hours until I could take my steroids again could not past fast enough. The headache, throbbing and weakness had built and built until I was laid out miserably on the couch. No big deal, I'd thought; I'd missed doses in the past and hadn't been sick before. But this time it did. The meds had all finally gone from my system, just when I'd started to feel I was home free.

The tumor isn't even in my body anymore! Guess I still forget that it's still a big deal even though I can't feel it. I often feel silly, like I'm being a big baby over nothing when I make a doctor's appointment. I take the teensy pills out of the orange vial the doctors gave me which usually stop the crappy, crashing sensations before they begin. The random unfairness of it all still makes me cry everytime I have a setback and I have to visit the hospital again.

Fuck! I got a shot! I'm not here for the hell of it, you know; could you be a little less agrresive? That's one thing I could live without; being around all of these people in white jackets.

I did some reading, which was fine by me. There wasnot much else going on; mostly just sitting around and waiting. Lots of scantily-clad patients with drawn faces walked the hallways; the crowds seemed quiet. The Hospital is nice and has a reflecting pool, too. Next weekend I'm hoping the family and I can hang out together near the house. I can't wait to not go anywhere and have some quiet time. Damn.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Now *That's* a Small Market

Apparently I have found my niche in life, and that is sewing wedding dresses....for extremely short women. I met with the new woman about working on her wedding dress, and I swear to god, I think she only reaches my armpit. No, really. When I kneel, I am at bust level with her -- while she is wearing 3" heels. I never thought I'd have to screen potential sewing clients for height, y'know? "I'm sorry, but I don't sew for women over 5'3" ." Maybe I should print my work phone number on my belt --you know, so that my clients would see it.

I feel sort of obscenely hulking and large around Nikki, although she is extremely friendly and pleasant and not only knows what she wants her dress to look like, but has a mostly assembled muslin/mock up already made for me to fit her in and has purchased all of her fabric already. It doesn't hurt that I really like her tastes, either. I think this dress is gonna rock.

Seriously though, about finding my niche? I'm not really looking to get into wedding dresses. I'm happy to do them, I like getting paid to sew, I like having people ooh and ahh over what I make, but its not something I've dreamed about doing when I grew up. Granted, two dresses does not a career make, but the idea that I may accidentally fall into this as a possible career has crossed my mind. Stranger things have happened (I'm still in Cali! I'm married! I bore a child! I'm still in #@! school!) so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Offspring Story of the Day

Mags: Ha ha ha! You are a chicken booty head!

(2 minutes later)

Mags: I was talking with Dad about outer space. Pluto is the farthest planet. Its not a star or a gas giant, its a planet; but actually its not a planet anymore. Stars are made of dust. And star gas. Do you want to talk about asteroids?

(2 minutes later)

Mags: Ha ha ha! Goodnight, chicken booty head!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blinded By the White

Stumbled across this while doing an image search for wedding dresses. Really wish I hadn't. Really.

Best part? This is a 1965 design by Yves St. Laurent. Which surprised me, because my first thought was 'Huh! Kotex is really branching out!'

Weddings and Dresses

Mags and I are off to MKE in about two weeks for my cousin's wedding (this would also be the cousin who's mother, my aunt, is giving me the silent treatment about the dress, although I've pretty much just let that go. Or at least resigned myself to occasionally mentally flipping her off.) I am of course loking forward to seeing my cousin get hitched, and it'll be nice to see my family again. Mags, on the other hand, is starting to vibrate out of her skin because she will finally get to wear the fancy 'princess' dress that's been kept out of her reach in the closet for months. Yes, Mags is going to be the flower girl and she is STOKED, albeit still kind of unclear on what's going on in the bigger picture.

Unlike my daughter, I am still in need of a dress. I had bought a dress to wear to Red's wedding back in May, and while nice, I found that it was just a teeensy bit to short for doing anything except sitting. In a non-windy area. So I'll have to get on that.

In a similar vein, a woman I don't know posted an email to a chat list Husband and I are both on frequent saying she needed a dressmaker. Initially I just deleted it - she wouldn't possibly pick me out of all of the people on this list who sew and are probably calling her as we speak! - but then Husband forwarded the email to me as well to make sure I'd seen it. He didn't say or do anything more than that, but it was enough to make me realize I was letting my fear stop me again. So, not expecting much, I sent her an email with my price and some pix from Red's dress, and kind of forgot about it.

Looks like I'm gonna be busy for the next 6 weeks making her wedding dress. :)

Ironically enough, the reason she's looking for a dressmaker is because her mom is no loger able to do it for her. You see, her mom lives out of state, and they'd not been able to get enough done while she'd visited her mom the last time, and it would've been too difficult to try and do long distance fittings and finish the dress from afar. Gee, where have I heard that before?

Thank you, Universe, for closing the circle on that one.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Learn Something Every Day

Kindergarten: The e-pit-o-me of being a Big Kid!! And in just a years time, Mags will be joining the ranks of those who have graduated from Preschool and gone onto a better place.

Husband and I have discussed it, and come next year, Mags will be off to one of the RWC public schools. This will be in part because, while there is always room for improvement, it sounds like the public schools here are pretty good. This will also be in part because private school/daycare has to date completely drained us of pretty much any excess cash we've had since the day she was BORN.

Mags is guaranteed a slot in our local school, but if we choose we can enter a lottery for a different school(s) of our choice and see if we get in there. So I've been looking at the different options and looking to see if any of them sounded better/more attractive than others. But in all my research, something eluded me and I was getting more and more confused. Why couldn't I find this information? It seems like an obvious enough thing, and I like to think of myself as pretty goddamned savvy with the interwebs....

Luckily I ran into Whizz one day. She should know; her son has been in grade school for, what, two years now?

"Hey Whizz," I asked, "Can you tell me where to find the tuition information for the RWC school district? I've been looking all over for it and scoured their website, and for the life of me, I just can-NOT find it. I feel kind of foolish; can you help me?"

Whizz kind of stopped and peered over her glasses at me with an arched brow. "Umm, MamaPajama, its public school. There is no tuition."

"There's WHAT??"

"There's no tuition. Free. Public. Like, taxes. You know."

"NO TUITION?!? Are you shitting me? Like, we don't have to pay for school ANY MORE?!?" I fell back in my chair with mouth literally agape. I dared not close it in case she had any more bean bags of information to throw into my person. No more tuition?!? You mean, we could...we could... put that mooey in savings?!? (thud)

How could this be?? And more importantly, how had I managed to go 34 years without knowing this? Man, talk about feeling foolish. But then I looked back, and realized I have never crossed paths with any public school system. For my entire life, through preschool, grade school, high school, flight school and college, I have attended private school. Well, what about taxes and voting and propositions and the like, you ask? Well, apparently I have also spent my entire life thinking that all of that money went towards extra funding at schools above and beyond the tuition. Like: Hey school, the state will help you expand on your computer/reading/math/underwater basketweaving class in exchange for them being able to tell you how to use the money, not: Hey school, we get to tell you how to do everything because we're footing the whole bill. Wow. Well, shit, I might have to revisit some of my opinions now...

34 years and I had absolutely no clue. Maybe private schools aren't so good after all?