26 February 2007

holding out for a ...

I didn't get much done yesterday. I woke up late, re-watched episode one of Heroes (since I hadn't seen it since its first air date).

Then I made a press of coffee and a brie toastie.

And continued to watch Heroes ... I really just watched Heroes all day in my jammies until everyone else got back from the joint degree. By then I was at the latter half of the sixth episode.

Then I went out and sat in the living room in an effort to be social--but I really just felt grimy since I was still in my pajamas and everyone else was nicely dressed from being at the degree and the dinner after.

Somehow I decided that I'd go to the meeting at six, which prompted shower-time and the wearing of actual clothes. But after my shower, I was back in my room watching Heroes again until it was time to leave--because that show has me hooked.

And what did I do after we got back from the meeting? Some jump-ring attaching, the progress of which you can see here:

And more Heroes, of course, until I was completely caught up (it only took me until quarter past midnight to be right up to the point where and I had started watching on Saturday afternoon. So now I've seen all of the first season of Heroes (well, all that's been aired up till now, at least).

I love Mohinder. And Peter. And Isaac. And Hiro (but not romantically--just in the "awwww!so-adorable!" sense). And really, even Sylar is creepylove. The show is just full of ridiculously handsome men.

Then, this morning I finished watching The New Kids, which I had started watching on Saturday night after Mel had dropped me off at home. I'd paused it midway because it was giving me anxiety, and anxiety isn't something you need when you're intending to go to bed some point in the near future.

It's a really stupid movie that only affirms my loathing of small towns. And rednecks. And really, the majority of America. Actually there are a fair few movies out there that have helped this loathing grow--Snake Eater and any of its sequels (scarred, scarred for life, I was), Deliverance, and certain episodes of Highlander, The A-Team, and Renegade (actually, every other episode of Renegade).

What these films and shows teach us is this: "homeland" America is not charming. Andy and Opie are lying to you. Country-folk are retarded, inbred, crazy, and dangerous--and we're all better off avoiding them as much as may be.

I mean, I've heard Pennsyltucky, but this was Floribama. Joe-Bob and Chad-Bob (can we get some more [your name here]-Bob?) and Gideon (of course, "Gid"). And why the hell was James Spader playing a messed up hick? And blond? Why the uber-blond? Bleah.

Short summary: 1985 (that's when it was released, so I'm guessing that's the setting as well), boy and girl lose their parents in a car wreck and move in with their aunt and uncle in Bumfuck, Florida and immediately get harassed by a gang of rednecks (led by James Spader). There are fights, acts of vandalism, shootings, the setting of people on fire, electrocutions, and beheadings.

Where are the parents? It would appear that none of these assholes have parents.

And, in the end, after a super-massacre of the rednecks at the uncle's Santa's Funfair (or whatever the hell that place was called) there's only this little kid left over, and the parting shot is the boy staring creepily after "happy-ending" boy and girl driving off into town. What the hell was that supposed to be? Sequel warning? Like this slop would get a sequel?

What drove me to watch it in the first place? James Spader. And, yes, he's creepy and doesn't disappoint as a crazy villain.

I also received Dare mo shiranai (Nobody Knows) on Saturday, but between Heroes and the freaky hillbilly movie, I never got to it. I'll watch it this evening.


Oh, yeah. It's snowing.

And there was a car accident as I stepped off the T at Babcock. I didn't see it happen, but I heard the resounding *crunch* of the giant white truck smacking the little black sport car sideways. And then watched in amusement as moronic pedestrians still decided to dodge out into traffic during a green light, in spite of the obvious (as demonstrated by said car accident) slick on the road.

Massholes. But I'm not surprised.

Turn the page ...

20 February 2007

weekend in a bottle

John and Rodney came up to Boston from New Jersey for the long weekend; I hadn't seen either of them since ... October (ouch), and it was good to catch up and hang out.

On Friday night, we (Rohnia, Michelle, and Ian) piled into Ian's car and drove to the Atrium mall. Our original intention was to go to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, because it's awesome and Michelle has never been there before, but when we arrived they were very busy. 75-minute-wait busy.

So we went back downstairs to Bertucci's instead--not a bad second choice for food, and no waiting line to speak of.

On Saturday morning I woke up early, as I usually do when company is around--not because the company wakes up early, but really just because I get excited about the possibilities for the day. And it was also sunny, and I don't sleep well in a well-lit room.


I checked my e-mail and found that Arkaidy had updated a fifteenth chapter to her "Across Time" work. So I went there and started reading...

And then did a little dance at my desk, because my blog and I were mentioned in the Author's Note. I'm a motivator! (Well, after telling him about the Author's Note over coffee a little while later, Rodney said that I am, in fact, an "enabler" because he couldn't leave the positive spin on the situation alone.)

Still, I am so happy that--in spite of the pains of life, family, and school--she didn't drop the plot. I really would've sat around forever waiting for a continuation, no matter where that happened to go.

That being said, I really do like where the plot has been going and how it's been narrated. If you put yourself into the main character's shoes, at the beginning of this fifteenth chapter, you're quite certain that she's not crazy, that she really did travel through time. But as the chapter goes along, you start to doubt. And you feel that she starts to doubt herself too.

And right up until the point where Zeus shows up out of nowhere, I was starting to be afraid that it was going to go that way. A silly fear, in retrospect, considering the Interlude of the fourteenth chapter.

"I watched enough cheesy YTV kid's programs to know that a person could be physically in one place and mentally in another."

That particular line made me think of The Odyssey--a show from Canada about a boy in a coma who goes to another reality, and the events in the alternate reality sort of mirror the events of the reality wherein his body is in a coma.

Though, I had also considered the possibility that the main character was bodily in the past, and, when thrown back to the present, fell into a coma that happened to be the same amount of time. Maybe. The time paradox can be so interesting to think about--even when impossibly infuriating.

And the fact that Strife is still godly in the present, but is unaware of it through his amnesia, also helps the case for Vega's being unaware of godliness up to this point. It stands to reason that the gods (in this telling, at least), don't feel anything particular about their godhood--or don't know that they're feeling anything out of the ordinary, at least.

Vega and Strife are both told that they're normal people, and because they don't know to expect anything else, they don't--and have no way of finding out without another god's intervention. Enter Zeus.

... But I do wonder about Strife; his reaction to Vega is complete disbelief in the fifteenth chapter, but I imagine him with that personality type where he'd try to test the limits. Poof something. Then again, if people have been visiting him and lying to his face, it would probably be very easy to dismiss an apparently crazy girl.

Mmm. Can't wait for the next chapter.


Saturday night, we went to India Quality and Cornwall's in Kenmore Square for Michelle's birthday. I'd never been to either one, but they're both pretty fantastic. The food at India Quality is top notch and the staff is very attentive. Cornwall's is pretty low-key; mid scale decor like T's Pub, and a quiet atmosphere like the Dugout (well, when it's not baseball season, at least). I love that they have so many board games available.

Becca, Rodney, and I played Scrabble while the rest of our tables played Chutes and Ladders and Clue. We tried to make it "Adult" Scrabble, but the minute you decide you're going to try to be dirty, the letters aren't going to cooperate with you at all.

Sunday night continued the theme of drinking--but at home. The five of us ordered pizza and played a very long drinking game. Well, the game itself didn't take that long, but we played quite a few rounds. Fun, but very bad for my liver, I feel.

On Monday, we went to First Degree in the band room and then out to lunch with the chapter at Sunset. We also would've gone to Trader Joe's afterward, but the traffic around the market was horrendous, so we just went home instead.

Then, after an afternoon of Stargate and the first episode of Torchwood, the boys gave their farewells and drove back to Highland Park, New Jersey.

I miss them already. Really, I missed them two minutes after they'd gone.

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15 February 2007

I pick things up; I am a collector. And things, well, things--they tend to accumulate.

I should've left earlier than I did yesterday--my own sentiment and Sharon (who generally comes in at the same time I do, and left an hour and a half earlier yesterday afternoon) agrees. Maybe if I had, getting home wouldn't have been such an ordeal.

By 3 o'clock, the trains weren't running between Kenmore and Washington due to electricity problems.

Instead, there were green line shuttle buses carrying sardine-can-squashed passengers from stop to stop in between. I splashed across Comm. Ave. at the last minute--through a foot of sludge--in order to get on one of these shuttles; and, in spite of there being other people behind me who would've liked to get on the bus too, the driver shut the doors and drove away without them.

And when he let us off at Washington to wait for the T to Boston College, the driver parked the bus in front of another slush puddle. Yay.

By the time I got home, my shoes and socks were soaked through and the cuffs of my khakis were filthy and wet. My extremities were basically frozen.

I changed into pajamas right away when I got in the door and spent the rest of the afternoon and into evening thawing.


No. I didn't vacuum.

But I did help Michelle take apart the lego couch and then put it out on the curb for trash-pickers or garbage-men to take away. And then we moved the futon from her room to the living room. So that was something productive for the evening.

--in addition to chibi-Strife's pants.

I didn't work on them during lunch yesterday--I just kept getting distracted by looking out my window at the snow and sleet coming down. So I had to finish sewing the front panels; cut out, pin, and sew the back panels; and then sew the front and back together. actually, I left the upper seams opem to make it easier to fit the waist. I have it safety-pinned on both sides right now, and I basically know what I'm going to do with it.

Getting him into those pants wasn't as difficult as I'd thought it might be. But I didn't over-stuff his legs, so they're pretty squeezable and will fit just about anywhere with careful handling.

I was split between starting his boots or his gloves today, but I think I'm going to go with gloves. After the 12-piece pants, I'm just not ready to deal with the boot/shin-guard-process yet. But then, those gloves are supposed to be kind of patchy too. Maybe I'll just hem the shirt and pant cuffs today.

Blah. I'll decide what I'm doing by lunchtime.

Turn the page ...

13 February 2007

part-time cutter

contemplating Dilbert

Scott knows. I'm not sure why he knows--probably from some horrible experience of his own, but one doesn't usually imagine these kinds of awkward situations between two men. Well, not outside the realm of Steve Martin comedy anyway--if that makes sense. It might not. It's early. I don't have coffee yet.

This strip made me giggle a lot. Most days Scott Adams is a ho-hum experience for me, but the theme of yesterday's strip into today's has struck a chord. (Click the little strip for full disclosure.)


It was probably because of that peculiar man in 99, and then reading about Christina's experience with "Paul who wouldn't go away" and the IRA man in Belfast. And, you know, being reminded of every other time some strange person got too much into my personal space or shared too much information in too short a span of time.

It's like that. And when it happens to me or my friends, it's creepy; but having it happen to Dilbert, and to such an absurd extreme, is hilarious.

Schadenfreude? Vielleicht.


the tax refund and a brief lament for yesterday's coffee

I keep checking my ING account for my direct deposit from Federal and Massachusetts.

Federal says it should get there by the 23 February (though, with a tiny-font post-script that "cannot guarantee the actual date"), but Massachusetts isn't making any promises at all.

Oh, well. I'll keep watching. [Edit 1125: It figures that the State refund would get there before Federal. Not that I'm complaining. It's a good refund. It's just kind of odd that the people giving me no sense of waiting time should get my money to me quickest. End edit.]

I want coffee sooooo bad right now. Hopefully it will be better than my sour-milk experience of yesterday. Ugh, that was horrible.


movies movies movies:

Having had some coffee (yes, a great improvement on yesterday's), I'll now write on upcoming entertainment.

First, this. I'm sorry, what?


John Travolta is NOT Edna Turnblad. At all. Ever. The end!

It's not even so much that they're re-making Hairspray that bothers me. That actually doesn't bother me at all. It's the Divine versus John Travolta thing that irks me.

Divine ... (Let that sink in.) ... Travolta? Eh?

Maybe it's not as ridiculous to somebody who's seen the stage production, but that seems really miscast to me. Other arguments are quite welcome.

So why did I hear about this? Because I've been checking the release calendar on IMDb to see how much the movies are going to set me back this summer. So far I have six must-see movies on my list:

*Harry Potter Part V (which is bumping up against the release of Deathly Hallows)
*Live Free or Die Hard (yes, it's probably going to be awful--and I don't see how they can top Bruce Willis and Sam L. Jackson running around NYC mouthing off at one another--but I'm faithful to this franchise, so I'm going to see it)
*Ocean's 13 (I've really enjoyed the last two, in spite of the fact that I went into them feeling dubious; I'll go into this one just as dubious, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised again)
*Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (Hi. It's Johnny Depp. And Orlando Bloom. And PIRATES. Short of the theatre catching fire, nothing is going to keep me away ... and, in case of fire, I'll be running into the cinema to save the precious reels ... my preciousssss)
*Spiderman 3 (Peter. Parker. The end.)
*Transformers (Hey, it's a remnant of my childhood being made larger than life--I'd probably go see a movie about The Smurfs if they CGI'd it to death)


phone and television technology:

I'll just keep adding things as they come to me rather than creating a whole new entry; that way, people won't have to read any of the extras if they don't want to. Well, not that they have to read the original entry or any of my entries, but there it is.

My phone has now lost the ability to take a charge for more than thirty minutes. If it's not plugged into the wall, it'll die within half an hour. I don't know why. The battery is brand new (since November). My only guess is that the phone is going bad and sucking the power out of the battery at a quicker than normal rate.

It's frustrating. I never know what time it is (yeah, I should just wear a watch; but I never needed [and, so, do not own] a watch when my phone was working).

I think my parents have talked me into sticking with Sprint (it gets us a family rate and, I think, free phone calls between us), but they understand my desire for a new phone and are offering to get me said phone.

They won't tell me what they're considering, so I have no idea what to expect.

My dad is talking about getting a new phone too. Oh, and a new television. They have four televisions, three of them are ridiculously huge and really nice. the fourth is old, but it works. actually, they all work. And that's not including the 19" Sony in "my room" in the Durham house.

He needs an HD television, because "soon anything that isn't HD will be obsolete, and won't be able to receive the cable feed" ... so, what he's basically telling me is that ALL cable companies EVERYWHERE are going to expect ALL their customers to buy a $1000s+ television set.

For some reason, his logic doesn't fly with me. Cable companies and their advertisers want to be able to reach the lowest common denominator in society, because even poor people have television; and whatever little money they can save, you can be sure that big companies will want the chance to take it back through consumer spending--which happens most successfully if and when people are bombarded with advertisements. So I doubt that television is going to become HD-only any time soon; not unless HD becomes more affordable for the masses.

Also, you don't like your current televisions? Would you mind sending one to us? Because we'd LOVE to have a nice television for our living room. Thanks.


chores left unfinished:


And crafting too, but that's hardly a chore, is it? I swear that I'll at least make the effort to not go home and collapse today. I'll do a load of laundry and vacuum the floor by my wardrobe. There. Now I must do it.

Turn the page ...

12 February 2007

chibi-Strife and George the orc?

He has hair, facial features, and basic clothes. I could stop now and be perfectly satisfied with him.

No, that's a lie. I really do want to finish his clothes and other accessories. It's just taking so damn long ...

I was watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King last night, just to watch the part with "George" the orc. No, his real character name is not George but something more fittingly Middle Earth-ish. And his IMDb title is 'Orc Lieutenant 1' ... he's best seen in the extended cut of RotK, but you can find him in the regular release during the scene where the orcs catapult the heads of the Gondor warriors over the wall. He's identifiable by the skull that he wears as a hat.

Yeah. That's Joel Tobeck again. Not that you can really tell it's him under all the orc costume, but it's the thought that counts.

But I fell asleep before that scene, and woke up again when Frodo and Gollum are fighting for the Ring over the fiery chasm and Gollum bites off Frodo's finger. That was a hell of a thing to wake up to.

Turn the page ...

06 February 2007

another photo representation of progress

My last blogspot entry, about a week ago, featured the assembly of a muslin prototype plush person. I've been working on the velour version of that prototype, and this entry features the up-to-date progress of chibi-Strife.

Since I'd already photographed the body assembly with the first version, I didn't bother to do so with this one too. Instead, we jump right to the finished body, 31 January:

The head gave me more grief than with the first version, but I think it turned out better. I also stuffed it from a top-side seam this time around, so the lower region of the face is much smoother than with the muslin rendition.

Two additions to the velour version's body base: his ears, hand-sewn to the head during my lunch break on 1 February.

The first article of clothing I created for chibi-Strife was a simple half-circle cloak, cut and sewn on 2 February:

The pattern for the cloak is extremely basic and may be found here. I merely adjusted the measurements for chibi-Strife's proportions.

On Saturday, after a trip to Michael's for Art Wear iron transfer sheets, I worked on designs for his eyes, chose one that I liked, and fused them to chibi-Strife's head. Very carefully.

Sunday night, I sewed a pair of long underwear from remnants of old black jersey material. Really, very much belonging to the "remnants" category--it involved a lot of seam-ripping and removal of very old elastic (which tends to disintegrate and fall apart in its old age).

The waist-band of the pants is kind of ... iffy. They fall down. He has plumber's crack (except that it's cute on chibi-Strife, rather than horrifying and gross).

But it's okay, because yesterday I made him a tunic that sort of compensates for the tendency of the pants to fall down by being over-long.

And today? Yeah, I don't know yet. We'll see. Maybe he'll get a mouth.


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