Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In Which My Sister Gains Even More Fame...

Check it out! Navan made it into The Irish American News. The story is under Features, under Raised on Songs and Stories. Sheila becomes more and more famous! Meanwhile, I studiously avoid working on the kids' science fiction story I'm writing. Instead, spare moments are taken up with reading a near bodice-ripper (not really my genre) and messing about on the web. I should really be sewing. I have 8 pairs of lounge pants to make for Christmas gifts, and more goodies, too. I have already sewn things I need to list on the Amity's Market Board. I have jewelry to make. Yikes! Life is busy!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Kicking men, Shipping News and possibly more...

OK, so I haven't updated in a while and here's why. I was busy:

1) fighting with men

2) sewing like a madwoman

3) reading The Shipping News

And here's how all that went...

OK, fighting with men. Yep, physical fighting, but with protective gear and judges. You guessed it - it was my first Tae Kwon Do tournament. :o) There were only 4 of us adults and 3 of us were from the same school, and 2 of us were married to each other. I was the only woman. Yes, I had to fight my husband. And then another guy from our school. I won one and lost one and so took second place.

Let me just say how very different it is to spar at a tournament. Wow. I just can't express that enough. I think when I have more experience that will change (at least I sure hope so) but for my first one I foud that I really reverted to my early sparring days. My focus dropped down from the shoulders to the scoring spots on the hogu (ugh!) and my stomach was in knots and my wind - can I just say that though my endurance has improved a lot over this last year, I still need to work on it a LOT MORE!!!! So I immediately began a jump-roping regimen after that experience. I'm suprised little kids don't drop over dead on the playground from jump-roping. Seriously. And those marathon sessions - how do they DO that??!!? I started off with 2 mins and then, due to tripping a few times and getting the rope tangled on my toes ended up going for a total of 3.5 mins. That seemed like a really good workout, so I've kept up with that over the week, though last night I did a lot better and was able to tack on another 30 seconds after a short break and still feel good. So I guess it's helping already. Our matches are 2 rounds of 1.5 minutes with a 30 second break in between. Seems more like 5 minutes when you're out on the mat. Add to that that we had only free-sparred maybe 4 times EVER and the tournament kicked my butt. Oh and we weren't allowed to kick to the head (I think because it was mixed gender) which stank because that's the strongest part of my game and the weakest for the guys I fought (remember, I know these guys.) I definitely need to work on the lower part of my game. But it was a blast nonetheless. I had a lot of fun with the forms competition, got first place and was able to compete against the other 1st places for the "Grand Champion" trophy, which, to my surprise, I won! :o) The older girls competed as well and had fun and did great. Kacey racked up 2 insane scores (30s and 50s - good grief!) and was going easy on her opponents. She obviously should have been bumped up out of her age group. Molly had a good match. She needs to work on her timing and her speed, but I can appreciate that. Her form was really good!

After the tournament, I had to sew like a madwoman for the bazaar. John made some AWESOME display trees for me - 2 table-standing trees and a floor-standing one. Gotta do the picture thing soon. I sold more than I ever do in one day online, and made more than I'd expected to, though not all that much. (yep - online biz is slow, mainly due to lack of advertising) I have a lot left to put up on my site, which I should have done today, but didn't. Molly manned the table with me and we had a good time talking and knitting and shopping the other booths. (So did I actually bring home any profits? you ask. Um - not sure...) I found out that 1) our tiny town is not really ready for Playsilks, and 2) I should have brought more non-Christmas children's aprons. It was a good experience, though, and I had fun making everything and would like to do it again sometime. I'm not sure I've ever spent such a long time not having to take care of anyone before (since having kids.) So it was very relaxing just sitting there at the booth. OK, I guess I was gone for about that long when we went to the Sarah MacLaughlin concert in October (which was AWSOME, by the way), but that's the only other time.

Now for The Shipping News. Well, this one's a bit complicated. Right. First off, I picked it up free at a library sale after having it recommended to me by my sister, who had not read it and who gave me a very odd and non-related description of it based on what I can only guess was a dream she once had combined with whatever Irish song lyrics she was currently decoding. ;o) OK, so going into the whole thing, I had this vague (and as it turned out, completely wrong) idea of what it might be about. When I started into it, all I could think was "man, this sucks. The writing style is SO obnoxious. HOW did this win a Pulitzer?!" Granted, I do not actually know the criteria for being awarded a Pulitzer, so that thought may or may not have had a leg to stand on. Maybe a Pulitzer is given for the most innovative use of grammar. I should check that out. So anyway, I started complaining about it to my friend and asked if she'd read it. She had, and said that it was really good. So I gritted my teeth and read on. I'm glad. :o) I still can't explain it, but it became a page turner. Maybe it was that picture of Kevin Spacey on the front. I did turn back to that a lot. But seriously, even though I could NEVER make this book sound interesting by describing what happens, I truly wanted to find out what happened. Maybe because I'm a romantic sap and wanted desperately for Quoyle to find his true love, and figured (judging from that cover) that it would happen. I mean, really, you don't put a picture of Kevin Spacey and 2 beautiful women on the cover of a book unless someone's going to fall in love, right?

The thing other than writing style that really bugged me was the handling of that poor Quoyle guy. First off, he was not beautiful (sorry, Kevin- you're too lovely to be a realistic Quoyle.) So Kevin on the cover was a sort of distracting, hovering-in-the-wings guy, because no way was he Quoyle. But I was able to pretty much turn that off while reading. The big thing that got to me was that throughout the first part of the book, he really came off as a sub-intelligent, Of Mice and Men's Lenny sort of character. And then suddenly - maybe a fourth or a third of the way into the book - he had a brain and was a quasi-intelligent human being instead of this pseudo-retarded caricature of a guy. So he never quite jelled for me. It's disconcerting to think you have a character all figured out and then have the rug pulled out from under you like that. But the story - well it was a page turner and I'm glad I pressed on (with glory, hoo rah.) I'm very curious now to see the movie and see how the whole thing was handled. There's a lot going on as thoughts and descriptions that I'm not sure how you could get across in a movie. I'm curious if it even comes off as being the same story. Gotta rent it I guess, or check the library.

And now it's time to go to Tae Kwon Do...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A fun Korean movie :o)

This one is fun for one and all! (adults that is) It's called My Tutor Friend and is so much fun - a love story, a little Tae Kwon Do, showdowns between good guys and bad guys, and a little risquee humour; definitely a keeper. It's 2 hours long, but no one dies, which, for a Korean flick, is pretty amazing. The subtitles are delightfully improper English at times, though not as much as those in Lost in the South.

I got a little inspiration, finally, in the sewing universe. I signed up for a table at a bazzar. I'm sure that whole experience will lead to some interesting blogging and probably notes to self to never do another one. But maybe not. Anyway, the new Ottobre came, so I whipped up a ton of fleece hats. Kacey swiped one for herself (purple fleece with a fussy cut Karate girl on pink fleece for the crown) and Mollusc scored an orca fleece blue hat. Prawn got a sushi hat (how appropriate) from the last of my green microfleece sushi (wah!) and I made it's twin for our TKD Master's 2 year old. I don't know if Gordo wants one or not. I think I want one! I might scarf one of the Hello Kitty ones from myself.

Speaking of scarf, I knitted my first scarf last night. It went REALLY fast on size 19 needles. :o) But don't expect this to turn into a knitting blog, cuz it's not gonna. I mean it.

We tried Bertie Bott's Every Flavour beans today. Whleah! (interpret this how you will) Sardine was overwhelming. And I got one like mold or dirt that I acctually spat out. I also had either spaghetti or vomit but it didn't taste like either, thank goodness. Gordo loved the earthworm flavour. I'm just relieved that they're gone. It was funny to watch Prawn's face, though, while she ate them, since she didn't really understand the whole concept. :oP

Argh! It's 1:16 am, my legs are sore from an extra TKD class and, um, other things, and I have to get up early for the kids' TKD and then have my own class and sparring tomorrow night. Better go to bed. Sorry to rob you of my sparkling humour. Mayhap I will grace you with it again soon.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Luke Skywalker's Head Fell Off

So that's a bummer. It's my old Luke - probably my first figure. But I guess I have to expect some fallout when I let the kids play with them. And it beats having them sitting around in some old box in a corner of the basement. All those guys are getting plenty of action these days. Like Luke. I'm not sure if Dags pulled his head off cuz she thought he was like a Lego guy, or if he fell off the countertop and lost it that way. It was probably the Evil Emperor in the conservatory with a candlestick. Or blue lightning bolts. I should never have mailed away those points for that guy; he's nothing but trouble.

Sewing has yielded more failure than success lately. I did another pair of pants for Gordy's friend and the waist was still too big. I was very uninspired about doing Gordy's so they're a UFO (UnFinished Object) sitting on the table right now. And I have a 3rd pair cut out waiting to be sewn up for another friend and found something funky with the front and back pieces. Looks like the front waistline is about an inch or more shorter than the back, which means I prolly traced the pattern wrong, but I can't check OR fix it since I lent my book and patt sheet to a friend. Blah. Next, I ripped off one of my Ottobre patterns for a shirt for Kacey. The cross neck shirt from the 3/2004 issue only goes to 110 cm and she needs a 128, so I folded a Kwik Sew sweatshirt patt (couldn't find my long-sleeved T patt if, indeed, I do have one,) traced, modified and re-cut and that worked all right. I made the shirt out of thin stuff with a high lycra content and BOY did the edges on that stuff roll. Very frustrating stuff. Of course the shirt was way too big, so I serged it down a bunch. I lettuced the sleeves and bottom - again very frustrating with that high roll factor - and the sleeves are really long on her. But that's the look these days, right? And it will fit forever.

I'm just uninspired, lately, and that's unusual. Maybe I just need a good fabric fix. Or maybe it's because the kids are doing OK clothing-wise now. I'm signing up for a Jesse Tree ornament swap with some other Amity Sewing Mamas , so maybe that will re-inspire me. The SOAA theme should inspire me, too. Maybe I'll do some cloaks. In fact, now that I'm not NAKing (just got Dags down) I'm crazy to sit here blogging rather than playing with fabric and my machines...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Clowns SUCK!!!

I have always loathed clowns. Always. Not because they are scary, but because they are embarrassing. They have no dignity. How can a human being lower themselves to such a level? Answer: they aren't human. :-O And that makes me uncomfortable. I guess I'm NOT ALONE. Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!

You know that movie, European Road Trip? (or something like that) The best part of that whole movie was when Scotty kicked the French Robot Mime's derriere. :-D Mimes, clowns, there's not a lot of difference. The only one I know of is that clowns are allowed to make noise and are therefore able to add a whole extra level of irritation factor to their schtick. I guess there's the whole costume difference, too, but they both look like idiots so that's basically a push, IMO.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Navan RULES!!!!

Hey, look at that! you can click on your profile and click anything in your profile to see who else likes the same stuff. So Hello, Julia, fellow Navan fan! :) I am obliged to like Navan because my sis is 1/4th of the group, but I'd like it even if she wasn't, really Sheila. Yes I would. Bwa ha ha ha ha!! BTW when are you coming to see me again? I found a new Indian store with some rockin' curries, and Great Land (the Chinese Market) carries some AWESOME roti bread. Go figure. So is that enough to entice you out this way?

Impressive how many Atlas Shrugged fans there are out there! I'm going to have to play with this feature some more.

Why Fairy Anyway?

Well why not? And also because my of my business, The Fairy's Whim

I'm no good at performing under pressure - well not with sewing or making things or writing anyway. Actually, I'm not that bad at it, but I hate doing it; it takes all the enjoyment right out of it. So my biz is strictly what I feel like making when I feel like making it, no custom orders. You know how those custom orders can turn into nightmares when a demon possesses your serger and it eats a hole in the back of your nearly finished shirt and you're all out of that fabric and every place you know that carries it is backordered for 6 weeks? Yeah, that's why. The one time I did a custom order (6 fairy skirts in various sizes) I was so nervous and couldn't put it down 'til it was done. Yeah, I made good $, but it's no good for family life.

Here's something annoying - I made John a really cool Dragon Shirt (I'll link a pic as soon as I figure out how) and everyone was asking where he got it. One guy wanted to know if I had a site. Well, yes, but no Dragon Shirts are on it. Now, if I had figured out that I ought to make a couple to sell before that, it might have been fine. But now that I feel like I "should" make some for the site, well ugh. Isn't that annoying? What a dork I can be. Why is that, Captain Ron? No one knows.

I feel semi-inspired to write more, but the mixer is screaming my name. I think it wants me to make Congo Bars...

The True Meaning of Life 101

Yep, here it is. The long awaited blog. Let go your collective breaths, because I've finally done it. Make sure to tune in frequently, so you don't miss a single, scintillating post. Here you will find all manner of fascinating truths, and possibly fictions as well. Or vice versa.

How does one start a blog, anyway? Simply announce "here I am?" Or is it "Here I am, here I remain?" Fellow Dune geeks will know what I'm talking about.

Well, stay tuned and you'll find out about my sewing successes (and nightmares as well,) current obsessions (Dune Minis, YES!) and everything else I feel like rambling on about. I may also clue you in on which Korean movies to watch and which to avoid (The Quiet Family - ummmm not so much, Lost in the South, Mission: Return Home - or something like that - Yes!) In fact, while I'm on that subject, why is it that Korean movie scripts usually kill someone off? Are they all controlled by Disney or what? If you are clueless as to what I mean by that Disney crack, pick up any Disney movie from the last 12 yrs or so and watch it. Somebody will snuff it in the film, I guarantee it. If they don't snuff it in the film, it's because they're already dead. (a la Lilo and Stitch's parents.)

Oh yeah - the answer is 42...