The Litter Box

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Thursday, 25 February 2010
...a few things bugging me...
Mood:  silly
Topic: grumble grumble

I have a complaint or two: One thing I will not miss when the Olympics are over- That highly annoying "i believe" song that they play over and over and over, before commercial breaks, after commercial breaks, as the segue between events, in the background as a new graphic pops up....SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP!!!!  They play it every five minutes and it is driving me crazy!!!

So I now have the non-beta of the new blog editor. I had the beta edition one day, and sort of liked it.  Now i'm not so sure. The main panel is a sort of a weird green rounded edge web 2.0 table that's jammed far to the left margin leaving a large 30% black space on the left margin.  The background colour of the page is a jaundiced liver bile green.  The text edit window has shrunk.  On the plus side: It is worlds better than the old HTML notepad where you had enter all your own tags. I think I'll send a comment about all the wasted space on the right margin side.

I finally had a chance to check out the new relocated Vincenzo's Italian market in the New Bauer Lofts building. There's a map of the new place. It's much larger than the little corridor they had on Belmont and they have a larger selection of everything, including dried mushrooms.  I got a package of black Morels, a package of boletes, some Black Trumpets, Wood Ears, and a package labeled "forest mushrooms" that included oysters, chantrelles, and a few others. I picked up a package of fresh shiitakes to accent the dried shrooms.  I also got real Arborio rice from Italy and I made some smokey forest mushroom and Spinach risotto. The flavor was deep, smokey, earthy and rich.  To go with it I made some fresh battered haddock with lemon.  Fish can be a bit bland, so I always pair it with something flavorful.  Dave thought it was food worthy of a five star restaurant. All I know is that it was delicious.

The Bauer Lofts is quite the urban hipster hang out.  There's a couple home decor shops, a bistro, a card and gift shoppe, a very large tea shop, a "holistic nutrition wellness center" an art gallery, and a few stores yet to open. Vincenzo's has an expanded Cafe/Bistro area and lots of table for eating in store.  All of Waterloo is going from Hippy to hipster. An American Apparel is opening soon, either in the lofts or beside Waterloo Square. More Hipster stuff!  

In sewing news...I am working on a denim jacket with leather trim.  The shoulder yokes will be patch-worked leather, all seams will be piped with leather trim, and there will be some leather corset lacing detailing on several seams.  There' will also be bold copper rivets on the yoke and several other places.  The jacket is supposed to look rugged, with the corset lacing being a witty, feminine accent.  it's supposed to go with the denim and leather pencil skirt and the high waisted corset-detailed wide leg jeans. 

I was having trouble with the yoke, trying to figure out how to do it, how to keep it from being bulky...I fell asleep thinking about it and ended up dream about sewing leather ALL NIGHT! Almost everyone I have ever known in my life affered up advice, a first grade teacher, people who are now dead, Dave Sim had a few word to offer saying I tend to get stuck on small details...which of course he's right...he said that about one of my paintings I was working on many years ago...for the most part their advice had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish.  I think nine tenths of the advice we get in our lives is quite useless, but the one tenth that is worthwhile more than makes up for the nonsense.  Looking back it's amazing how much useless advice came from kindergarten to grade six teachers.

So I watched American Idol online...and thie show is now so far over the shark it's gone right inot the whale tank.  or some tank.  This is the worst bunch ever, not one can sing anything.  They should have cancelled after last year.  Ther's no one even trying to be so bad their good, like Bird Girl Meagan last year.  I can't see Queen wanting to share the stage with any of these losers. 

Someone e-mailed methis picture of a necklace that they found on one of the crafter's marketplace websites.  It's a zipper and some plastic beads.  It's sort of cute, not overly original and HOLY HELL it's being sold for $110. there's an identical black one going for 130$ and it's made with gold plated resin beads.  That's double speak for gold plated PLASTIC! There are bunches of crap made with dime store jewelry findings and metal zippers. The seller lists it as a "statement piece"  yeah, the statement is "I like to spend 100$ on stuff made with 5$ worth of supplies from Len's Mill Store!"

And now not a grumble: Maybelline's new Lash Stilletto Voluptuous Mascara.  It's good, as good as the late lamented and discontinued Sky High Curves.   The original lash Stiletto had a weird plastic smell and made lashes look spiky and unnatural, the newest incarnation looks much nicer.  And the waterproof is almost as good as the washable version.  As a bonus, it's far less expensive than DiorShow Iconic -which is the gold standard for mascaras.

And that's all my mild complaining for today. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a sketch of the jacket i am making. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 25 February 2010 11:43 AM EST
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Thursday, 29 January 2009
CSS is the Tool by Which the Devil Will Ensnare Us All.
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: the sounds of frustration
Topic: grumble grumble
Working on my home index page today and working on all my other pages too.  Everything is a mess, for several different reasons.  This will keep me busy for a while because I need to update my html skills while I update the pages.  I've forgotten how much I have forgotten about tags and things.  Now I have to re-learn much of what i have forgotten.  I also have to get rid of some background gifs, get rid of dead links, replace them with new links and somehow organize my pictures and things.  The meaning of the title of todays note?  I hate CSS, it's nothing like html, which is so simple anyone can learn it.  There are only a few hundred ways to screw up a web page using html, while CSS presents us with several millions of ways to screw up its code.  Aliens could take over earth and we wouldn't notice because we would be too busy trying to find the missing float command and that unclosed borer tag which work together to make our pages ∞ pixels wide by ten pixels high! Later!

Posted by lincatz at 9:47 AM EST
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Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Mood:  don't ask
Topic: grumble grumble

Hello.  Not much to say.  I felt like crap most of the weekend.  Between my monthly visitor and my shoulder finally giving out from all the shoveling, by Sunday I felt rotten.  It's not like I plan these things, and really the world and everything going on in it can get along quite well without me for a couple days, especially when I really am not good company --so there isn't any reason for me to torture myself and put of a brave but pained face and go through the motions...and possibly be a total downer to everyone else.  Like I said, it's not like I do this on purpose, and I do enough other junk that I think I deserve a bit of leeway when I feel like crap.  Unless everyone loves me so much that they would rather have a crappy time with me than a good time without me...seriously, that's the choice, people.  And I am allowed to feel like crap and I am allowed to keep my crap feeling from spreading to the rest of the world,. If you think it's downer without me...imagine what kind of bummer it would be with me!  So the whole world needs to just deal and get over it and stop thinking that I'm   --I dunno --feeling like crap just to be mean to everyone?  Others change my plans on me and I don't bitch too much.  So if I feel rotten and I cut out of something, there's no malice on my part, it's only because I don't want to spread how crappy I feel.

End of rant.

I'm working on a dress in that plum crepe gabardine.  It's a nice style, sort of vintage, a mock wrap bodice and simple straight skirt.  I'll post the picture when I have it ready to be scanned.  The bodice is a bit of a pain as the pleats need to line up with both the neckline and the bust point.  I'm doing something that normally a bad idea, combining draping and drafting in one piece.  I'll draft the bodice and fine tune the drapery by draping, so hopefully it will look nice.  I'm starting to get into a groove with some of the conceptual sketches I've been doing.  I'm not posting those for a while.  The plum will be accented by some gold thread scrolling and a few more gold nail-heads. 

As much as i usually despise gimmick challenges, last night hershey's challenge on Project Runway was quite fun.  The only question was, how could so many take something so bright and happy and childlike turn it into such dreary clothes? The ones in the top all remembered they were working with candy and channeled that spirit into their creations.  Christian's reese's wrapper dress was nice but looked a bit too much like Michael's coffee filter dress from the past.  I like Gillian's twizzler dress best, even though she was close to a nervous breakdown near the end.  And Elisa, quirky little birkenstock wearing hippy chick Elisa...sad to see you go, but your brown dress was a bit too bland. 

What's next week?  Prom dresses?  The judges have a major miss in the prom dress challenge, the winning dress is almost identical t a previous PR challenge winner and almost a copy of one on the front page a popular prom dress web site,  OOps!

So that's all for today.  I need to take Ben to the dentist. I also need to take both the boys to get their eyes checked.  I should get my eyes checked. Now that my thyroid has calmed down my eyes are no longer bulging so that means once again I have astigmatism.  Let's see...grave's disease or glasses...I guess I'll take the glasses!.

Posted by lincatz at 11:58 AM EST
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Thursday, 3 May 2007

Mood:  don't ask
Topic: grumble grumble

I have a headache.  Not as bad as when I post George Costanza as a dark jedi headache, but one makes me feel pissed off at the world.  I'll try not to be too negative. 

I was trying to pull a sewing book out of my bookshelf yesterday when all the books came falling out.  Time to clean up the shelf!  Books should all be standing upright and not at contradictory angles, or so I've heard.  I have quite a few books, some new, many from the many old book stores downtown Kitchener.  Some of the old ones at the Book Exchange are hardly old at all.  So I went through all my books, arranged them into categories: sewing reference basic, sewing reference advanced, design idea source books, fashion history, pattern making, knitting, beading and jewelery design, and general crafts. I put aside a few books that I want to take to the book exchange.  

I then noticed there were some cookbook in the shelf.  I went through these also, tossing out a few.  Seriously, if i haven't made anything from the book in the twenty years I've had it...I'm not now.  And one book got tossed because the pages were all stuck together.  It was one of my older favourites, it had plenty of very thrifty recipes that were made for young children in the preschool and toddler age group.  I had a few old books, none quite so bad that they belonged in the gallery of regrettable food, but none with anything I'd want to make.  The worst recipe combined two types of Heinz relishes into a coating for baking fish, recommended for people who don't like the fishy taste of fish, cause the taste of sugar and vinegar is sooo much more appealing! (I accidentally typed "appalling"!)

In the end, four cookbooks were trashed and four sewing books will be going to the exchange.  two of the books are quilting books because at one time i though about making a quilt, then thought that it was a totally bad idea.  I prefer making clothes.  I don't even like making pillows or curtains, I prefer clothing.

ANd that's all for today.  I need more coffee, then I'm going to find a cool dark place and hide for the rest of the day, or at least until my headache is gone.  And i'll answer the sewing questions tomorrow.  Not here, over there. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:59 AM EDT
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Friday, 9 March 2007

Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Arcade Fire. Then Bryan Ferry
Topic: grumble grumble

Hey whoever you are from the far eat!  Yes, i do have a few tips for making underwear from pleather, PVC and vinyl.  My question is first...why?  or maybe i don't want to know.  First pick a pleather with a knit backing for comfort and stretch.  Cut with no ease.  Seams don't need finishing as they don't unravel.  Place the center front zipper under the pleather, right side to wrong side, stitch around the zipper and carefully trim away the fabric so the zipper's exposed.  Cut the elastic for the waist so it's three quarters of the waist measure make a casing and insert the elastic.  the casing should begin and end at the zipper tape. The legs can be done the same, only with narrow elastic.

And that's all i'm saying as this is totally creeping me out.

When I got this morning it was the first morning in weeks where I didn't have a stuffed up nose. Wow.  Maybe that danged cold really is gone! 

So yesterday my son lays a whole bunch of heavy stuff on me...and then when I say I've got heavy things on my own mind, deciding to go full time into a business is some heavy head work you know...and then he acts oblivious!  He's like, "oh...I didn't know that what you were thinking..."  like DUH!  I'm thinking about going into a business that has a huge failure rate...I'm actually more likely to fall flat on my face than to succeed...and face's not like I'm going out to cure cancer or something...and it really takes nerves and balls of steel to even consider turning this into a full time job...but apparently I'm not much fun anymore and I''ve become inflexible and prickly and not as spontaneous...and him and his girlfriend are inder a lot of stress and don't need ME adding to it...but he had no idea I was thinking of working full time (In other words, whose going to clean up my mess after i make dinner for me and my girlfriend?)

My sewing machines understand me.  My fabric understands me.  My hubby understands me.  (Dave added, that my new puppy dog steve understands me) the kids, however, are self centered and only understand how things relate to them and how much it inconveniences them personally.  Now Dan and his girlfriend want to have a heart to heart...sigh...when half the problem is they are both so wrapped up in their school stuff that they have lost perspective.  It's not about them, it's about me.  For once.  Sigh.  So that last thing I'm in the mood for is a heart to heart with two kids in the middle of mid term exams who are both sleep deprived and stressed out beyond the limit and who think that I'm mad at them, when I'm not even thinking about them!

Sigh.  Bitch Bitch Bitch.  Ben's got his march break week starting a day early.  I'm leaving him alone part of the day to pay a few bills and things.  Later we're going to the mall, The one that doesn't have a sewing store or an adorable puppy dog working in said sewing store.

I talked to my mom for over an hour on the phone (earlier I talked with my sis in law for almost two hours.  With five kids she needs someone to listen while she vents. I always have an available ear)  My mom is really getting hyped about making a small wardrobe for her trip out west.  She wants to go look for fabric next week.  i still like the idea of fabric that's not too bulky but with some textural interest.  I would also like to get her into one thing that sheer and colourful with strong vertical lines and a bit of pizazz, something fun that can dress up plain pants and a top or be the extra touch that turns an ordinary dress into something WOW.  She want me to teach her to sew.  That's funny and mom wants me to teach her how to sew.   I gave her a few tips on measuring and how to find the pattern pieces on the burda pattern sheet and how to ignore all the other lines that she doesn't need. 

Hey, bald guy from New Jersey...Did ya see this article yet?  Apparently there's a special salon for bald guys and they sell a special sunscreen for guys like you so you don't have to suffer from what you told me was the "true heartbreak of male pattern baldness, the sun-burnt scalp."  I feel for you.  I really do.  I feel like laughing.  And you stop laughing at my adult children.   Head wipes?!  Bald styling cream?  Do you guys actually spend money on this stuff?   So do you think as I do, that its' so sad that britney has made bald suddenly un-sexy?  Is it enough to make you want to grow hair to rip it out again?

Speaking of odd hair...remember Mr T and his strange hair?  And his gold chains?  And his catchy buzzphrases?  And who didn't want a talking Mr T doll?  There is no real Mr T doll with  pull string...but there is an internet virtual MrT doll. And he's found here!  pull his string and you'll hear one of Mr T's pithy catch phrases. 

What did we do before the internet and the world weird web? Huh?  How di we survive?  Now I need to pay some bills and go to city hall then to the hydro office then to Vincenzo's and then home to shower and then get ready to go to the mall and then....

Posted by lincatz at 10:37 AM EST
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