Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I got TWO packages last week and being the terrible person that I am, didn't blog either of them. So here they are, a package from my Cheap Ass Secret Pal (who likes Target) and one from my Summer Fling Secret Pal (who also likes Target). Oh and CASP, the reason there's only three bags of M&Ms in the pic is that we tore into one as soon as we opened the package.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Problem solved

They invented this thing called "talking" and that combined with this concept called "compromise" seems like it's going to do the trick. Who knew?


Monday, July 17, 2006


Ah, the ultimatum. You toss them out with such gravitas and then the day comes when you have to own what you said. I'm good with the clever ultimatum. The one that really hurts. Sadly, they usually punish me as much as whoever I try to use them against but I think that's what makes them so effective, the fact that I'm willing to suffer just to make someone else suffer usually gets my point across.

Almost a year ago I issued one to Red Todd Kidd that involved me shaving my head if I cought him in a certain lie ever again. The time has come for me to decide whether it's worth it to carry through on it. Part of me says, yes I should absolutely do it because then he'll know that I mean business. Part of me says that I'm just being vindictive. I keep going back and forth on it, will it really make a point now that I've cut all my hair off anyway? Am I waffling because of my own vanity? If I do it will he get it or will he continue to do this same thing over and over again making the gesture worthless.

Ugh. I don't know what to do. I'm over the stage where I'd be doing it in just plain anger. I'm calm and cool now, believe it or not.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Memorium

I've always said that if someone I knew got cancer I'd shave my head when they went through chemotherapy. I wasn't there to show my solidarity for Jennifer so I decided to do the next best thing. Donate my hair to Wigs for Kids so that somewhere some little kid going through chemo or that has severe burns or alopecia can have it.

I chose Wigs for kids instead of Locks of Love because though highly puublicized, Locks of Love doesn't actually use the donated hair they recieve to make wigs. They sell it and then use the funds to aquire wigs for children. Wigs for Kids uses as many of the donations of hair as they can (not all can be used as some are unsuitable). I don't know, the more research I did on Locks of Love the shadier they seemed. So Wigs for Kids gets the hair.

So there you have it, 14" of length in those ponytails waiting to be mailed. That's about 3-4 years worth of growth and care. I can't say I'm entirely sorry to see it go. I'm happy that I did something for someone else and to honor Jennifer's memory. Also, it's really hot.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


There was an old wood planked fence separating our yard from the neighbors but it didn’t take long for us to notice there was a girl my age living next door. It took even less time for us (my sister and I) to make friends with her and to start talking over the fence for hours everyday. By the time that fence had to be replaced the planks where we stood, in between two trees, had been worn smooth by our hands grabbing them to pull ourselves up on the cross plank below to see over and on the other side there was a bench that had served the same purpose so sunken into the ground that it had to be dug up.

The girl on the other side of the fence was called Jennifer and she was absolutely stunning, my mother commented on it often, but more than that, she was also energetic and fun.

Oh, she was fun. I don’t know what we’d have spent our summers doing if she hadn’t been next door but I do know my sister and I would have spent a lot more time arguing. Instead the three of us walked to 7-11 for candy to play poker. Danya would eat all the Atomic fireballs, I’d eat all the Tootsie Rolls, and Jennifer would eat the Laffy Taffy, telling us the lame jokes under the wrappers as the candy dwindled and the game got boring.

When we didn’t have change for candy we’d sit around playing Go Fish with a regular deck of cards in our version you had to collect all four cards before you could put them down as a set. It was an infuriating way to play and more often then not instead of a simple “Go Fish,” Jennifer would say, “Go Fish in a lake and drown,” which would then escalate into a contest to see who could come up with the worst way you could possibly die while fishing.

Then there was the summer we goofed around with divination; Ouija boards, tarot cards, and ridiculous séances held in Jennifer’s garage. More than once they were interrupted by the garage door opening and us almost being run over by someone returning home.

I got all my best clothes from Jennifer’s hand me downs. My favorite shirt is still the red plaid thrift store find that’s so threadbare it’s nearly unwearable. It had a cigarette burn in it to begin with and now it has two missing buttons, and is spotted with paint from when we painted her room. I always think of her when I pull it out of the closet, it reminds me of all the afternoons we spent lying on the shag carpet in her room while she forced me to listen to The Cure as if the constancy of it would suddenly endear it to me.

Ah, the music. I can’t think of her without thinking of all the bands she introduced me to, some good and some not my taste no matter how hard I tried. She was the first one to play me a Sex Pistols disk and for that I’ll be grateful forever. She also opened my eyes to The Ramones, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dead Kennedys, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can’t say I loved it all but I can say I was more prepared to find my own niche in the music world because of Jennifer’s fervor. I held my own in the punk scene because of the solid background I got from her.

I remember her distinctive walk, her weird phrases, her odd style, her super short bangs, her talent for painting, her stint in The Starving Artists Club, and how the other Jennifer around the corner was banned from hanging out with us because we were a bad influence. I remember her swearing me to secrecy that she like d No Doubt. I remember her taking up smoking those ridiculous Virginia Slims Ultra Luxury Lights, the air in LA has more of a kick than those things. I remember her working at PetSmart and bringing home a houseful of pets (not the least of which was the eel she named after Sid Vicious who promptly ate the other fish and threw itself out of the tank repeatedly until it finally succeeded at committing suicide). What I remember most is just her standing there on the other side of the fence laughing and talking, about everything and nothing for all those years.

When we moved we tried to stay in touch with her but her life was just starting to take off and she was hard to get a hold of. When she moved out her dad wouldn’t give me her phone number and I lost track of her. My sister and I inquired about her when we saw people who knew her but never got a real solid answer. We always assumed we’d eventually run into her again. We didn’t know she had moved back to Texas, we didn’t know she got sick, we didn’t know that she had passed away until a few days ago when I ran into another old high school friend. It was so shocking that I didn’t believe it until I saw the MySpace page with the pictures of her.

I’m so sorry that I didn’t try harder to find her. I’m sorry that I missed the last years of her life. I’m sorry that she’s gone. I’ve missed her and now, I’ll always miss her. She was very dear, very special, and very loved.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Cut that shit out!

I'm almost done with the cutting. Each diaper needs: 1 cover (denim or other heavy fabric), 2 inner layers (t-shirt), 1 6-layer soaker pad (t-shirt), and optional (which I didn't know until after I had really gotten going) liner which is 1 layer of polar fleece and another 6 layer soaker pad called a doubler. All I have left to cut are the doublers and I have to cut eleventy billion yards of strips for the binding. That will be a blast. At least I still have my mat, fancy ruler, and rotary cutter from my short-lived (is that supposed to be hyphenated?) attempt at quilting. Let's not discuss that, suffice to say it was so bad it was very nearly epic. It's a good thing it's the thought that counts.

I still have a bunch of clothes hanging around here too. I'm not sure what to do about that. I don't really have anymore fabric for covers, I went through all the pants and a curtain already. If I make ones that don't have the heavy duty covers I'll need wool soakers until she's got the potty thing down. I don't really want to spend my knitting time on that. Ugh. I do so enjoy making myself insane.

I haven't even told you about the special needle yet have I? Oh man, I can't believe I didn't go into this yesterday. Okay so this project requires a type of sewing machine needle I've never even seen before. It's a twin needle which is one shaft that becomes two seperate needles in this case 4mm apart. You have to thread the machine with two threads. Okay, I'm sure that's not anything special to those who know what they're doing but I had to spend a good 20 minutes with my manual just to see if my machine could actually use one of those needles since I have (by request, mind you) the sewing machine that does the absolute least. Can you imagine me with one of those fancy machines? I'd have to try to use all its crazy functions! It a mercy that my MIL listened and bought the machine that doesn't do anything but sew. As it turns out it can, the question is, can I? The answer reamins to be seen but I'll bet it won't come without a good deal of cursing.

I just spent the last 20 minutes talking to my neighbor (artist not dealer) and he is such a nice guy. He just had a show last night and he was nervous about how he came off, he's kind of a regular guy not an artiste. To prove that point he was coming over to put our trashcans back in the yard after the trash truck came because he thought we were all out of town. Anyway, we were discussing our various projects and mishaps and as it turns out, he once tried to make shoes too! Okay, actually he just tried to resole his shoes but it was still an illfated and illadvised project involving shoes. He also thinks that sewing is hard. Much harder than it seems anyway. I can agree with that.

Time to go, I have MORE cutting to do. Meh.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

My nightmare

Last night I dreamed about sewing. I may have mentioned buying a sewing pattern a while back. It took three weeks to get here but it finally arrived. I started cutting out the GAZILLION pieces yesterday. As I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, I even dreamed about it last night. I'm sure you know why: I HATE sewing. And yet, once again I've been compelled to embark on some large scale, disasterous, project involving skills I don't have (and in this case tools I've never even seen) because I'm a cheap bastard.

I know, I know, the knitty Fru-Gal ladies of Cheapass SP would say that this insanity is a beneficial quality. Some crafters would say that handmade stuff is better because it's made with love. You readers would say that you love it when I decide to do crazy crap like make shoes because my fury amuses you. All of those things are fine I suppose but I just wonder why I feel compelled to spend rediculous amounts of time on doing things myself when I could have purchased what I needed for not much more than I ended up spending on materials. I'm just glad I'm using recycled fabric, if I had bought new I'd be in the mire so deep I couldn't see the sun. I thought knitting was expensive but hot damn! And I didn't even buy the expensive velcro stuff nor did I get any PUL.

So what am I making, you ask? Cloth diapers. I know, at this point you're saying, "WHY!? Your smallest kid is two! You really have lost it, lady," but you'd be wrong. And no I'm not knocked up, thanks so much for wondering. The reason I'm doing this is because my two year old is about ready to use the potty and anyone who has tried to potty train (or "assist in potty learning" for the granola moms out there, a category which Red Todd Kidd is continually insisting I belong to) a kid in the last 10 years knows that super absorbant disposable diapers and ESPECIALLY Pull-Ups (or Easy-Ups, or whatever) impede the learning process drastically. With my son it wasn't until I took them away entirely that he even thought about using the potty. I'm not doing that again.

The problem is that you can't get decent training pants anymore. Gerber makes some pretty flimsy ones that are good once the kid is pretty well done learning but what the hell are you supposed to do in the mean time? Let the kid pee on the sofa? I had a cat thast did that I'm not doing that again either. So I decided to make something. Something out of cloth so she can tell when she's wet and won't like it much but that will hold in the pee so I don't have to buy a bottle of that "Urine Gone" they advertise on tv at 3am. Sounds like a cloth diaper to me, how about you?

Figuring this out I started pricing them and came across a site that sold "recycled diapers" made from old jeans and t-shirts. I was totally sold. I ordered the pattern and even started dreaming of buying the cottege industry licensing because, as you may know, I'm a psychotic masochist who feels the need to do as much sewing as possible because I hate it and don't know what I'm doing.

Then I asked everyone I know to clean out their closets because this takes a LOT of t-shirts. I ended up with two laundry baskets AND a big bag full of old clothes that I had to cut up before I could cut them up. I'd also like to mention that the person who wrote the pattern doesn't know how to get the most from her fabric. I was only supposed to get like four liners out of each polar fleece sweatshirt but I managed five each. Though I didn't get as many covers out of the jeans since I'm doing the largest size and my pant legs weren't always big enough.But I digress, the point I was trying to make is that I spent about five hours cutting shit out and still have about five hours of cutting shit out to go. I assure you this is not my favorite part especially since the thumb numbing craft scissors incedint back in May, which by the way the sensation still hasn't fully come back in my thumb but I have been assured it will eventually.

Where the hell was I going with all of this? I don't remember so I'll just sum up: I'm cheap, sewing is bad, potty training is hard, Pull-Ups are bad, cutting stuff out sucks, I still have a crap ton of work to do, the end.

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