Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Fought and I Conquered...

... my sewing machine.  Which may not seem like a great feat to you, but sewing machines and I are not on good terms.  To give you an idea, the last time I used it, my sewing machine came unthreaded no less than, and probably more than, five times, then tried to eat my fabric.  I had to take my sewing machine apart and cut the fabric out.

I have had a few sewing successes though, notably this.

So I've had this dress since I was probably in elementary school.  The one time I wore it my brother told me it looked like an old lady dress.  And to be honest it's never fit me right.  But I really love the fabric so I just couldn't part with it.  And I finally decided that the easiest thing I could do is make it into a blouse.  (Well the easiest thing that would result in me being able to wear it.  The easiest thing would have been to let it sit for ages and gaze longingly upon it from time to time.)  So I got to work.  I pinned a straight line and stitched it right across.  It was easy.  Too easy.  After trying it on, I realized why.

So yeah, those two sides are supposed to be the same length.  Whoops.
Not ready to throw in the towel, or the dress, I gave it another go.  I pinned, tried it on before stitching, then stitched it once more.  And I succeeded.  And it was easy.  Just easy enough.

Tada!  It's all cute and fitted because there's strings that tie in the back, or in the front.  That's what I call options.
So now I have a bunch of leftover fabric waiting for me to turn it into something, which is pretty exciting.  A sea of infinite possibilities.  Well more like a sink full of finite possibilities, since my sewing skills are at a beginner level.  But this was really exciting because my needle didn't come unthreaded at all and my sewing machine didn't try to eat my fabric!  Maybe it doesn't hate me anymore.  Or maybe it's just trying to give me a false sense of security.

Oh and in case you were wondering, the shirt I'm wearing underneath the blouse is this awesome black tee shirt that I thrifted from Goodwill as a wee freshman in college.  It's got a robot who looks kind of like a fatter shorter Iron Man and he's plucking the petals from a daisy.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Back

Hi guys.  I have still been crazy busy, but I'm finally learning how to say no!  No to staying an extra hour or two after work every day.  Because although the extra money was pretty great, the exhaustion was not.  I am still the only employee at work, but that's not my fault and I don't need to try to take on all of the extra work that isn't getting done.  That's not my responsibility.

So I have been working the regular amount and I even worked up the courage to ask for time off!  I am taking August 30 and September 2 off so I go visit my parents, who I haven't seen since February.  I have almost worked there for a whole year now.  I started Labor Day of last year.

In exciting news, I did some fun stuff while AFK (away from keyboard).  I went to an indie craft fair, an art fair, made flower crowns, and bought some carnivorous plants!  Plus I just went on a little online shopping spree on a pretty great site.  I'll review it and actually let you know what it is once my stuff gets here.  I hope you've all been doing well in my absence, and I'll post a pretty cool post soon.  I promise.  But right now I'm leaving to play Magic the Gathering :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Announcement Time

Hi guys, I just want to let you know that there will be no Blog or Shop of the Month this month.  I am completely worn out from being the only employee at work.  I am still working 4 hours a day but we are still trying to accomplish the same amount of work each day with just two people (the boss and myself) as we did with four people.  So after work I am trying to force myself to do housework and then have fun.  Part of this forced fun is that I have discovered a comic book shop within walking distance of my house and I bought some comics there, and now i am learning to play Magic the Gathering for fun.  Another part of me being worn out is that it is my instinct to withdraw from all unnecessary human contact and just hole up in my room when I'm not at work.  So the comic shop is good for me to get comfortable human interaction with fellow cool geeky people.  I'll write about the comic shop at some point.  The people there, especially the owner, are an incredibly kind and welcoming community and I am grateful to have found them.  Plus forced human interaction has kept me from slipping back into depression.

Another thing that is going on in my life is that I miss my family like crazy.  I haven't seen my parents since February and I was sick then so I don't remember much of my visit.  And I haven't seen my brother who is stationed in Japan for over a year now, which I hate because he's like my best friend and I really want to be able to hang out with him again.  Full disclosure: I laid down in my closet (which serves as my bedroom since it's a big walk-in closet, so basically I just laid down on my bed) and bawled my eyes out for at least a half hour because I'm so frustrated that I can't visit my family.  I can't even take a single day off of work to ride the train down and visit my parents because I'm the only employee at my work.  And I can't go on weekends, because I mostly sleep on weekends to recover from the previous week of work and prepare for the next one.  Also my paycheck is late this week, which isn't a huge problem, since I don't actually need it until the end of the month so I can pay my rent, but it's still suck-ish, because I have been working my butt off.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Food Friday: Caprese Salad

So I hung out with G one night last week.  He wanted to barbecue but it was hot weather and I don't always like to eat hot food when it's hot out.  So we made salad, Caprese salad, which I had never made before, but it was super simple.  I didn't use a recipe, but here is what I did.  (And it's even easier if you don't care about making it look pretty)

Obtain about an equal amount of mozzarella and tomato.  We got two things of mozzarella and two tomatoes that were about the same size as the mozzarella, but only ended up using half.  Obtain fresh basil. (it might be impossible to find at Safeway and then when you go to QFC, you can't find it either so you ask someone and they literally say they "hide it here" when they show you where it is)  Obtain balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  (If you need it to be gluten-free, make absolutely sure that these two things are gluten-free.  The other ingredients should be gluten-free but check the cheese just to be safe.)  Dice up the tomato and mozzarella.  If you want it to pretty, try to cut it all the same size and arrange it in a checkerboard pattern.  If you don't care if it's pretty, just cut it up and put about the same amount of each on the plate.  Chop up some basil and sprinkle it on top.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil on everything, then eat it.  Easy.

I gave G the prettiest looking one and took the one with the triangle pieces, because I am a nice chef.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Brief Summary of my Weekend

  • murder mystery party (lots of people and confusing)
  • kayaking with friends (wore sunscreen but for some reason my face still got sunburned)
  • gluten-free bakery in a cool neighborhood (within walking distance of my work!)
  • baking (Don't substitute for two ingredients when using a three ingredient recipe.)
  • homemade popsicles (strawberries + bananas + almond milk = yum!)
  • Silver Linings Playbook (from Redbox, good movie!)
  • winning at pool (despite not playing, except for one game, since six years ago)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Movie Monday: Accidentally the James Franco Edition

I briefly discussed This is the End in a recent post, but here's a more in-depth review.  First a brief synopsis of my previous "review":
  • falls into my completely-ridiculous-but-I-love-it category
  •  star-studded cast
  •  more laughs than you can shake a stick at
  • If you enjoyed The Hangover, you'll probably like this movie.
The movie begins with a bunch of celebrities at a Hollywood party at James Franco's house (not a spoiler; they show it in the trailer).  They're all friends and Jay Baruchel doesn't really know any of them except Seth Rogen, so it's sort of awkward.  And then things start getting weird and then BAM, Apocalypse (I won't tell you what kind of apocalypse though).  So then everyone's panicking and then they're trying to survive and things get more awkward but it's funny.  Normal apocalypse survival things happen like food rationing and getting annoyed with survival buddies.  Things get consistently crazier and then it's the end of the movie, which I won't give away for obvious reasons.  I felt like it was well-done and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I felt like what happened is probably close to what would actually happen if those celebrities tried to survive an apocalypse together.  It was seriously ridiculous but amazing.  I think that's about all I can say without giving away spoilers.

I got Oz the Great and Powerful from Redbox and watched it with G last night.  We both loved it, so if you're not too serious to enjoy things because you're a grownup and think they're intended for children, you'll probably enjoy it too.  Seriously, IMDB commenters are pretty intent on the fact that only children will like this movie.  For those of you who don't know, this movie is sort of a prequel to The Wizard of Oz which focuses on the origin of The Wizard.  James Franco plays The Wizard and Mila Kunis is one of the witches.  There are some pretty intense action sequences and scary situations which, depending on a child's age and the child, might be too much for children.  The tornado itself is much more realistic than the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, in that there are pieces of dangerous debris flying around.  Adults will enjoy this movie because they'll be able to see parallels between it and The Wizard of Oz, they'll like the action sequences, and they'll appreciate more of the story.  Plus there are some jokes that will whoosh right over children's heads.  There are also many more reasons.  Pretty much, if you're a child at heart and are able to geek over fandoms without feeling self-conscious, you'll like the movie.

For parents of children who are trying to decide if this movie is okay for your child:
Children will enjoy this movie because of the bright colors and cool environments, like the musical environment.  If you have younger children, they might still like this movie, but there are some very intense parts.  The flying monkeys are loud and frightening flying baboons.  There are lots of loud noises, and some of the fighting between witches could be scary for them.  Also there is a part (spoilers, highlight the white part following this to read them) where there is a living china doll whose family got killed by the witch, which may be too emotional for some children.  All in all, I really enjoyed this movie, enough that I would definitely watch it again, and if you're not a wet blanket, you'll probably like it too.  Oh and also, at the beginning of the movie, until after the tornado, the picture is very small and you might think you need to adjust it.  Leave it like that and it will change after the tornado, like how in The Wizard of Oz the movie is in black-and-white until after the tornado.