Sunday, September 30, 2007

A very fun day

I spent the afternoon at a "Crock-a-doodle" party. They supply the ceramic piece and paints and you paint it. They take it away and fire it and you get the finished piece. I chose to do the cookie jar and, just as with the mandala, I had to fill in all of the whitespace. The design I ended up with is not exactly the same as I'd had in my head (I imagined something sparse and got a very full picture), but I think it looks ok anyways. I'll take a few pictures when it comes back to me for you.

I had a great time at the party - I met a number of people I hadn't met and saw some people I haven't seen in a long time. It was a lot of fun catching up. I also liked seeing what everyone else was making - they all looked so much better than mine! I'm really glad I went this afternoon :)

Ian bought some software that will help us keep track of our caloric intake and exercise so that we can honestly record what we're eating. Both of us are about 15-20 pounds over what we're supposed to be and the weight just won't come off by doing nothing (our current approach). We set things up so that we want to lose the weight over a year and it figured out what our daily caloric intake should be. It also allows us to "bank" calories to be used within a certain period of time, like a month, for special occasions.

The program allows us to keep track of our measurements, weight, or BMI - whichever we prefer. It seems to be a robust program, and hopefully we'll continue to use it. It works with our recipe software, too, which is cool :).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A good shopping day

I went to the Oasis bead show today. I didn't buy very much: an 8" strand of aquamarine faceted hearts in graduating sizes (only $35 - that sort of thing usually runs about $100), two 16" strands of freshwater pearls in silver or grey, an 8" strand of tiny blue sandstone dice, and an 8" strand of snow quartz cubes. I really don't need that much because I have quite a lot of beads, and I didn't want to spend that much. I'm very pleased with my purchases. I especially love the aquamarine; it's my birthstone and I'll have to make something for me out of those beautiful stones :) I'd be happy to make something for someone else, too, of course - let me know :)

After that I went shopping for a dress. We're going to a wedding in a couple of weeks and I always like to have something new to wear to those sorts of things :) I ended up buying this dress in red. Even though that link says this dress is casual, it's really pretty and I think it'll be fine for the wedding (especially with a cute black jacket over it, which I already have, and a red hat, which I have).

The colour is gorgeous! The dress has a swingy skirt and a cute top. It isn't all that well made - the cute swingy skirt has parts that need to be re-sewn with elastic. I also need to shorten the top bit and I'll do that by taking it up at the shoulders. However, overall I'm very pleased with this dress and think it looks really nice on me.

I already have shoes that I can wear with it. I have my tall red patent sling-backs that match it and some red suede flats that match it. I also have some black shoes that would work, and some nude-coloured flats that would work. So sadly, I don't need to buy new shoes for the wedding.

Friday, September 28, 2007

When support groups go bad

Thank you for all of your suggestions - I appreciate everyone taking the time to think about a solution and send it/post it. We tried the heat-shrink tubing on a D-ring that I have and it could still have been cut open with the strap. It also didn't prevent the ring from deforming more :( The owner of the bag doesn't have a soldering iron, so she couldn't do that.

What I ended up doing was buying a "quick-link", used for repairing chains, and sending that so that the owner can replace the D-ring with it. It's an oval shape with a twist-lock and it should hold the straps together without going undone. I've sent the quick-link out to the owner and hopefully she'll be able to put it in to make the bag work.

I had a Skills for Healing workshop today and I'm afraid that it didn't go well. During the sharing circle (a time where everyone shares something, usually personal, that is completely confidential), someone was writing down what people were saying. I noticed this and when it came to my time to speak, I asked her to not write things down. She claimed that she wasn't writing down anything about the participants and their names weren't there, but finally agreed to not write anything that I said.

Later on, the subject came up again and another participant turned to me and said "What makes you so insecure?" I replied by saying that I didn't think I had to answer that, and the person who'd been writing stuff down leapt to my defense. The facilitator didn't say anything.

Even though names aren't associated with the notes this person was making, she was summing up what each person said. She was the facilitator for a group that I've since left and our paths cross regularly. This is the second time I've had to ask someone to not write what I'm saying. Honestly, I thought there would be a rule against this, but there wasn't.

I think that if something is confidential and no one is supposed to talk about what's going on outside of that sharing, then no one should be writing down what people say. I feel violated by this - is that something weird to me, or what? I also felt attacked by that other person, who as far as I know was never told that saying that sort of thing isn't appropriate :( . I left the group quite upset and am thinking that I don't want to go back to this particular group. I did speak to the Program Director about this - maybe things will change.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Help with a project

Help!!!! Remember the bag that I made? I'd used a D-ring to connect the strap to the bag. I anchored the curved part of the ring to a strap that was sewn onto the side. The straight side of the D has a small gap which I knew about but thought would be ok because the gap was 1/8" and the strap was 2" wide.

It turns out that there is a flaw in my design and the strap is slipping out of the D :( :( :( I'm so embarrassed at the thought of having sent out a bad design :( I don't know what to do. Obviously it needs to be fixed but I'm not sure how to go about this. I'd like to be able to send the owner something that she could then use to fix it, but if that's not possible she'll have to ship it back and I'll have to fix it myself. Ian suggested having the owner apply hockey tape to the flat part of the D. Does anyone have any other ideas how to fix this? Any thoughts would be appreciated - I'm really stuck, here, and I know many of you sew and design things. I'll go with the hockey tape solution if there are no better ideas. Thanks in advance.

I spent the day shopping with another friend. This time, we ended up at Square One. We didn't really see much until we got to H&M. I ended up buying four tops and my friend bought one. I'm very pleased with my new tops :) I tried on quite a few dresses there, too, and there's one that I loved but that didn't come in my size - I think it would have been good for a wedding that we're going to. I may try and find it at another store.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shopping with a friend

I was very flattered when a friend asked me to help her shop for some items to help update her wardrobe. I'm touched that she thought that highly of my taste and opinion.... or maybe it's just that I'm the most available :)

We did most of the shopping today in the Fairview mall area. First we went to the Bay. I specifically suggested that mall because that Bay has the best selection in the area. There is quite a bit on sale right now and we snagged a gorgeous pencil skirt and blazer. After a brief lunch, we found the perfect pair of pants at Laura. I'm quite a fan of Laura; their petite store is very well-stocked :)

Since we'd had such luck with the main pieces and my friend wanted some new tops, we decided to brave Winners. I know what you're thinking: Winners? Well, yes. It's possible to not like shopping much and to brave Winners. If you don't like shopping that much and you're going to Winners, then follow these guidelines and you'll hopefully find it more bearable:
  1. Shop during the day on a weekday. If you must shop at other times, shop in the evening early in the week.
  2. Look for only one type of item, like tops; if you can, narrow that further to blouses or sweaters. Don't look for tops and shirts or tops and dresses on the same day if you can help it.
  3. Get a cart and walk ONLY down the aisles that contain the types of things you want. It's better if you leave the cart at the end of each aisle so as not to block things, but not everyone does this.
  4. Pick up everything in your size that you might like and put them in your cart.
  5. Go to the fitting rooms and try on everything in your cart, 6 pieces at a time (that's the maximum you're allowed to take in). Make decisions quickly; a lot of what you picked up probably won't work. That's ok.
  6. And then pay for the items that do work :).
I know that trying on a lot of things seems weird and exhausting. But if you restrict yourself to only one type of clothing article like tops and have some sort of idea about what you like, it won't take that long. I find it a good idea to try on new styles at the beginning of the season to get an idea of what those styles look like on me.

Anyways - back to the subject. My friend bought four tops at Winners!!! I have to say that she looks amazing in everything she bought. All the clothes fit her like they were made for her and so she looks beautiful, stylish, and sexy in them. I'm very proud of her for shopping for as long as we did and for trying my approach to shopping :). It was a lot of fun; I know I enjoyed myself, and I hope she did, too.

ps - I'm almost always up for shopping if anyone would like company and/or my help or opinions. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I'm home a lot these days and I can be very lazy so I spend quite a bit of time surfing the internet. I sell things on etsy and so read the forums there pretty regularly. Recent events there have left me feeling a bit frustrated with etsy admin these days.

Five sellers were recently banned from participating in the etsy forums, and of those five, two had received no warning about "bad" behaviours before (note: these people did tend to bully other sellers in the forums.... but then, so did quite a few of their friends who have not been banned). Etsy admin had previously said that there was a process to be followed when dealing with people who misbehave in the forums, but now they're saying that there's no such process and that everything is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Really. A case-by-case basis. There are hundreds of thousands of users on etsy. I don't understand how they expect to make things work by dealing with bad forum behaviour on a case-by-case basis. So they can ban "Billy" without warning but they'll let "Jane", who continually disrespects people, makes fun of them, calls them names, and worse, stay there. Sigh. This makes me sad.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Swimming lessons

I had my first swimming lesson today. We practiced putting our faces in the water, blowing all the air out of our lungs underwater, flutter-kicking, and some front- and back-crawl things. There was only one other person there today (there were supposed to be two) and the other person hadn't been in the water as much as I had. Therefore, I ended up doing more actual swimming than she did. That's ok. At the end of the class we worked on treading water. I'm very excited to be really learning to swim.

Afterwards I was pretty tired - I'm not a strong swimmer at all, and swimming across the short end of the pool (ok, half-way across the short end) multiple times was tiring. The instructor said that it would get better over the next few weeks.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A new week

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm really, really tired these days. Ian got me up at 10:30 (after a half-hour of trying). After breakfast, I... fell over... and slept for another hour or so. Then later this afternoon I slept for another two hours. I guess I'm still recovering from the late nights I did working on the bag a week ago.

Still, I'm walking around feeling like I've been run over by a truck. More than once over the last few days I've just fallen over and gone to sleep. How weird is that? I hope I get back to normal soon; bellydancing and swimming lessons both start this week. Yes, I'll be taking swimming lessons as I am not a good swimmer at all. The lessons will help, I hope :)

For those of you in Ontario and who will be voting in the upcoming provincial election (and of course I encourage you to vote), there is information about the referendum at A lot of the website is very high-level, but you can get a more detailed file outlining the proposal here (careful, it's a 3.75Mb pdf file).


Sorry, folks, I got the link wrong to my mandala in my original post. The correct link is here (and I've fixed it in the original).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mandala workshop

I forgot to mention yesterday that I got a call from the insurance company. You might remember that they were calling every three months to check up on me. I've got a new case manager, and she's not going to call me anymore. Every year, she'll send out a form that I fill out and that'll be enough to maintain my disabled status. I could have had my doctor fill out a form once or twice a year for a couple of years and then I fill out the form myself, but we decided that that would be a lot of hassle. I came away very happy from that conversation.

Today I went to a mandala workshop. We meditated on our third eye chakra (between the eyes) and asked the question "where will I be in five years" and "who am I". We drew a circle on paper with a dinner plate and then used pastels and/or acrylic paints to draw. Oh, and we used our non-dominant hands to do the mandala, so I used my left hand :) Mine is here. It expresses who I am, I guess.

The interpretation the facilitator gave for mine is that the drawing brings you very strongly to the center, or soul, of the mandala. The outside is my "self", and there is a connection between my soul and self. She said that my soul needs to express itself very strongly and that as I go forward in self-improvement, it will find wisdom and discernment (two characteristics of the third eye chakra).

I guess if I were to do this again, I would draw a different mandala. It would be sort of interesting to see what I would do each time, huh?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More on the upcoming election

I watched the Ontario leader's debate tonight. I must say that I'm not impressed with the Conservative campaign, which is all about how the Liberals have "broken their promises". During the open debate periods, John Tory (the Conservative leader) continually interrupted Dalton McGuinty (the Liberal incumbent) with shouts about promises and whatnot. Sigh. I really wish the Conservatives had a positive campaign that outlined their stance on various issues as opposed to just pointing out negatives.

After the debate, I had a nap. Yes, I know the debate was in the evening, but watching it tired me out :) I'm looking forward to getting some good sleep soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shopping, shopping, shopping

Ian and I went shopping today and we each got quite a number of good items. I bought a pair of jeans, a pair of khakis, and a pair of grey dress pants. The other day I bought a pair of black dress pants and a pair of black fine-wale cords. I also purchased a black pencil skirt. Everything I bought today was on sale or reduced in price :) I bought the pants at Mark's Work Wearhouse and I got $10 off because I tried on some pants in their new fits.

I have many of these articles in a smaller size, but they don't fit anymore :( I thought it was important to get replacements to fit the size I am. Besides, I can't wander around all winter wearing stretchy workout pants or a skirt every day! The bottoms should cover casual to dressy situations and a black pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple as it can be dressed up or down. I think I have a good selection of blouses and sweaters, although I expect that I'll buy one or two pieces to replace worn-out things (like my faded turtlenecks) before winter.

Ian set out to buy a new belt. He actually bought a belt, another belt, some pants, and some shirts. He spent more on clothes today than I have in a few weeks :)

Oh!!!! Our local Sears is bringing in Lands End stock. Lands End used to be available only by catalogue or online; many of their items are practical and stylish. I've heard good things about their fit, too. They were setting up today so I hope they'll have everything by the weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More on me

You know, for all that I don't like to be interrupted on the phone, if you have something really important and urgent to tell me, then you should definitely call me. Although my first reaction will sometimes be somewhat brusque, that'll turn around in a hurry if something is happening. Similarly, if you're calling to talk to Ian, that's ok by me - you're not interrupting me then :)

However, if you're calling just to say hello and to chat, well, if I'm not expecting your call or I'm busy, then I'm not necessarily going to react well.

Onto another topic, I don't know what's up with me today. I'm so very tired and I've been sleeping most of the day. I had set an alarm to wake me at about 10:30am... I remember half-waking up and thinking that someone's alarm was going off. I didn't wake fully up, though, and I didn't get up until after noon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lots of flowers

I'm typing this while smelling the beautiful smell of our brugmansia - we brought them in to prevent them from getting frost. One plant has 6!!! flowers and the other has 4!!!; they're so pretty. Our brugmansia flowers are green at the stem and then fade to white, with dark pink upturned edges. I think (although I am not certain) that we have the Isabella variety. At least the flowers in the picture look almost exactly like ours.

I watched The Birds tonight. That is one freaky movie, all right. I find that it's still a scary movie even though it's almost 45 years old. That one scene where our heroine is waiting for the girl at school and smoking while perched on a fence makes me shudder. First there are a couple of birds, then a few, and in the course of 5 minutes every surface is covered in birds. Scary. The end scene where they're leaving the farm and trying to not disturb the birds that are everywhere is also scary. I was curled up on the couch all tense in case they made a noise and the birds attacked them.

Watching birds peck away at people in the movie reminds me too much of some of my dreams. I often dream that animals (usually very big dogs or wolves) are eating me. Most often the animals are after my hands, but they have eaten other parts of me as well. I do feel a great deal of pain in my dreams at the sites that are being eaten. I generally try and get the animals away from me but I don't try very hard and ultimately I open my hands to them.

There was a comment in my blog about being very sensitive to touch. I am, too. Ian doesn't understand why I cut the tags out of EVERYTHING. They itch and poke and hurt my skin. I am itchy a lot of the time too. My ears are extremely sensitive - I can hear a tv half a house away behind closed doors - and yet the sounds of a crowd overwhelm me. It's funny how some of these traits are so common, especially in my family, huh? :)

Oh! I got confirmation that I do not test positive for any of the known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. This means that my sisters and mom don't need to do any extra-special monitoring aside from yearly mammograms. Yay!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A movie Sunday

Today we relaxed by watching a few movies.

First we went out to see The Bourne Ultimatum. We liked this movie and would recommend it to you. It is different than the other Bourne movies; this one is darker and moodier than the previous movies. The cinematography makes you feel like you are the characters; you feel like you are running, or angry, or hunting someone. If you get a chance, you should see it.

Later on, we watched The Number 23. It was pretty good, although the twist at the end wasn't quite as interesting as I'd hoped it would be. Still, it was worth watching. If you get a chance and it's free, you should see it.

Tonight we're watching the Primetime Emmys. I expect that tomorrow night's Colbert Report will be quite funny since Stephen Colbert lost twice - and the second was to Tony Bennett (you may recall that he lost last year to Barry Manilow). :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

How weird am I?

There was a link in the forums on etsy the other day to an online quiz that would tell you what your Autism Spectrum Quotient was. I scored 30 which is at the very high end of normal. I scored 32 on this one which is the low end of Autism around Asperger's Syndrome. Some information on Asperger's is here.

So does it seem strange to you that I scored that high on these tests? Wellll......

I'll tell you a secret: I don't know how to behave in new situations. I don't know the right things to say or do and so I watch other people to get clues on what I should be doing. I'm withdrawn until I "learn" the behaviour. After that, I come across as having known how to behave all my life. One thing that is helping me get over this is pretending that I'm someone else who's good at behaving in a given situaiton.

I tend to take things very literally. Whatever a person says, that's what they mean. I also don't get jokes, and often don't know when someone is being teased - I take things like that very literally. I think I know when people are bored, but I don't always understand facial expressions. I remember being in my teens and asking someone why movies showed such close-ups of people when they were looking at others - I couldn't tell what those people were feeling. I can now tell when people I know are happy or unhappy, but I'm still not very good at figuring out what people are thinking or feeling.

I don't know how rigid I am or how devoted to routines I actually am, but I can say that I really dislike being interrupted. I am not one of those people who has an open-door policy at work. Really, I want a door so that I can shut people out! I very much dislike being interrupted at home, too. If I'm watching tv or working on beads or reading a magazine and someone calls, I'm not going to want to take the phone. Some of you may have noticed that when you call, I seem uninterested in talking on the phone or that I'm somewhat abrupt with you. It's not that I don't want to talk, but it's that I prefer not to be interrupted (I hope that makes sense). For that reason, I encourage people to contact me by email (or for me make the phone call so that I'm doing the interrupting :) ).

I also have a hard time when people stay with me. There's no way that someone else in the house won't interrupt me in my daily routines, because even talking to me when I'm accustomed to things being quiet in my own house is an interruption to me. I love seeing people but I need my own space, too, where I can be me. That's one of the reasons that I don't have many people stay with me.

Of course I relax my own routine and work to be less sensitive when I'm staying in someone's house. : ) It can be tiring to do this for a long time, though, so I generally don't try to do this at home.

I can also handle more interruptions when I'm not tired - when I'm feeling good and when I'm not exhausted, I can better handle things. I get MUCH more rigid when I'm tired.... and I'm much more tired these days than I was a year or two ago.

Someone posted a question asking whether people who scored high on this test had sensory integration issues as well, which I do - I'm highly sensitive to certain loud noises. We had budgies when I was growing up and they would chirp and I would have done almost anything to make them stop because the noise hurt my ears. More recently, I remember covering my ears and screaming because I couldn't stand the sound of people drilling through concrete. I also have problems with the sound of a fork scraping against china.

So do I have Asperger's? Probably not, but I am not exactly what people would consider "normal", either :)

Oh - we went to see our old dragonboat team, the Silvermasters, in their last event in Stratford today. It was cold and windy and we were happy to not be paddling (although we were asked several times to paddle). The team came in 18th out of 59 which is a pretty good showing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This and that

Because I stayed up really, really late to finish the bag, I have quite a sleep deficit now. I ended up sleeping a LOT today; 14 hours last night and then another 2 today. We're going to bed now and I expect to sleep 12-14 hours tonight as well.

I found out today that I was approved for CPP disability. Sigh. I'd kind of hoped to be not approved, you know? I can't even say why - although the fact that it's taxable and my LTD payments (which will be lessened by the amount of the CPP) isn't is certainly a factor. In many ways, being on CPP disability seems so final because the government is involved. Now it's like the whole disability thing takes on gigantic proportions, and I'd rather just tuck my illness away, thank you.

This afternoon I went to a Qi-Gong class over at Hopespring. It was interesting. We'd done Qi Gong during the retreat in June and I found it relaxing. At the end of the class I had to leave and the instructor made her way over to me to give me a big long hug. I thought that that was kind of strange. Do I look like someone who needs a ginormous hug like that from someone I've only known for 90 minutes? :)

Tomorrow we plan to go and watch the Silvermasters (our old dragonboat team) paddle in their hometown Stratford event. It's the last race they do in the season and we'd like to watch them and hang out there for a bit.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The bag is done!

I finally finished the bag today - yay! I'm very, very tired now and expect to sleep for a few days. I'm quite proud of the bag itself, though, as I feel that I've done a really good job. It is an awesome bag, if I do say so myself. I hope the recipient likes it, too.

I have learned quite a bit from doing this bag. First, I need to actually start making the thing right away - I waited a few days before starting and I paid for that at the end. Second, I should have put the padding in later. I had the most problems with the parts of the bag that I sewed around the padding after it was put in. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I'd waited to put it in.

You can see pictures of the bag here:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Some sleep required

The bag is not yet done but I'll be going to sleep very soon anyways. I have a zippered pocket left to insert into the bag, which is something that requires only two seams. After that I have to make a shoulder padding thing and get the straps all together. The bag looks very, very good. It's quite sturdy and attractive and I don't think it's too big.

It's been hard to work on this bag because I've fused a stiff buckram to a lot of pieces, making them very stiff and not at all pliable. Add in all this padding and, well, you've got a difficult thing to sew. I'll be glad to be finished. I hope its owner will be at least as pleased with it as I am.

But for now, sleep.

This is the bag that never ends

I haven't been posting much because I've been working on the messenger bag, which is supposed to ship today. I'm not quite done :( It's taken me a lot longer to make than I thought it would because I underestimated the impact of the laptop padding on the rest of the construction. I have developed an interesting technique where I wrestle with the padding, subdue it with a headlock, and force the nearby seam through the machine.

Anyways, more later. I may sleep a lot when this is over as this is not the first late night I've worked on this project but I will find time to write here.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

More on the upcoming election

Even though I have a subscription to the local paper, I don't read the news every day. I also rarely watch it on tv, read it on the internet, or listen to it on the radio. That's why I didn't know about the referendum on the election ballot until yesterday. I expect that coverage of the referendum will increase as the election date nears.

I do see some advantages to proportional representation; it means that some of the smaller parties like the NDP are likely to get more seats, and it'll help prevent the conservatives getting a majority because people split the left vote between the NDP and Liberals.

However, I also see that there might be some issues with proportional representation. The biggest one is lack of geographic representation. It's highly likely that many of the people appointed by their party to fill the proportional representation seats will come from Toronto (or Southern Ontario, which is only marginally better). Right now, Northern Ontario has 11 electoral districts out of 107 or about 10% of the seats in Legislature. Even if they keep all 11 districts when the elected seats drop to 90, they'll only be guaranteed 11 seats out of 129, or about 8.5% of the seats in the Legislature. Some say that the 401 belt gets all the attention anyways, and restructuring like this won't help divert attention and resources to Northern Ontario. I don't know whether this issue is addressed under the current proposal.

Another drawback to proportional representation could be minority governments requiring a lot of coalitions. I know that many great reforms were made under a minority government, but minority governments can't make a lot of quick decisions. There's also a fair bit of compromise required to get things passed. Some compromises make bills stronger, but others make them weaker. I don't know if compromises will help things like environmental bills.

So I can see both advantages and disadvantages to this new system, but I'm not yet totally certain that it will bring significant benefit to politics in Ontario. Thoughts?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

An election is coming

Apparently there is a provincial election coming up in Ontario on October 10 or 11. The parties themselves aren't campaigning yet, but there are a number of lobby groups whose ads are all over the tv and radio. These ads are driving me crazy. I'm not trying to be negative here, but these ads are all about how things were bad and now they're starting to get better - so be sure to not let them get bad again!

Without having the parties respond to these statements with their own statements, I feel like these lobby groups are very out of place. It's like they're jumping the gun and trying to force issues that I'm not sure exist. Even if they do exist, I don't think things are worth this kind of barrage this early in the game. Sigh. I can tell you that these lobby groups are not winning points with me; they're annoying me and I feel like they're applying too much pressure too soon.

I guess we're also going to be voting in a referendum. Apparently there's a motion put forward to provide some sort of proportional representation. If approved, the number of seats in Ontario would rise from 106 to 129, and 90 of those would be elected as usual (the party with the most votes in that electoral district would get the seat). Each ballot will have a side on which people vote for their favourite overall party, and the remaining 39 seats are allocated based on the percentage of the party vote they received.

This makes sense to me at a federal level, as a way to reduce the power of Ontario and Quebec. I'm not sure it makes sense on a provincial level. Thoughts?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Feeling better

I'm starting to feel a lot better after having had a really long sleep last night - I went to bed around 8pm. Of course I'm staying up later tonight to work on the custom bag that I'm doing. I realized that I need one or two things and I'll have to go out and get them tomorrow. I'm hoping that since I've basically made the rest of the bag before, it won't take as long to make as the first one did. Whenever I make something new I always need to sew each seam two or three times before it's right. I'm very good at ripping out all kinds of seams these days.

So I was watching this tv show where this high school kid was expelled from high school (he brought a gun to school for a fight) and his mother didn't want him to not have a high school diploma, so she wrote the online tests for him. I couldn't believe this. In what world is it appropriate for anyone, let alone your mother, to cheat on a bunch of tests so that you can have a high school diploma? What is this world coming to?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fall fashion trends

I've gone through a ridiculous number of fashion magazines (Elle, Elle Canada, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Fashion, W, and Flare) this fall. You might remember that I love looking at the fall magazines because they're so big - they have a lot of ads in them and lots and lots of new clothes and styles. :) It's an activity that I look forward to every year :) Here is my list of the fall trends for women:

  • Lots of pleating and ruching to create interesting shapes
  • Black, grays in every shade, and silver
  • Red
  • Other bright colours like purple and royal blue? The editors say they're in.... but almost every ad was dark and had dark clothes so I don't know if this is true. Maybe for evening dresses it is but not so much for everyday wear.
  • The waist is the focus. Empire waists are on their way out (but can be updated with a belt). Low-rise pants are definitely on their way out. Yay!
  • Lots of 40s-inspired shapes, styles, and colours
  • Patent leather is everywhere
  • Trapeze dresses, especially if worn with a belt
  • Dresses, especially shirtdresses
  • 3/4 and 7/8 length sleeves
  • Tunic tops
  • Very wide-legged jeans
  • Skinny jeans
  • Menswear-inspired clothes: trousers, jackets, shirts, and patterns
  • Pleated pants are on their way back
  • Pencil skirts with new seaming and that are fuller on top or at the bottom.
  • Plaid, plaid, plaid!!!
  • Glen plaid, flannel - the types of fabrics mens trousers or suits might be made of
  • Aran sweater patterns in other colours like blue, green, and red
  • Stiletto heels. Chunky heels are around, but heels are pretty thin and light these days. Wedges are on their way out. Yay!
  • Platforms are getting lower.
  • Flat boots
  • Round toes
  • Small peep toes
  • "Booties" - lace-up brogue, wingtip, or oxford shoes as a stiletto. Example here. Personally, I think these are hideous. They're worn with skirts. I don't think this will stay long because it just isn't attractive on most people.
  • Ankle boots (differentiated from booties by the fabric that goes over the ankle on the front and back of the leg on ankle boots) with a medium to high heel
  • Hats. The structured kinds, like cloches
  • Belts of all sizes
  • Big clutch bags
  • Smaller handbags; ginormous bags are out
  • Lots of hardware, studs, and chains. Bags are to be noticed
  • Jewellery is getting smaller and more elegant or not used at all. An outfit with a lot of ruching or interesting folds can't take a big, chunky necklace.
Hair and makeup
  • 40s-style wavy hair. Think Veronica Lake.
  • Red, red lips
  • Smoky eyes. Not with red lips.
  • Gray or bright coloured eyeshadows. Also not with red lips.
  • Black liquid eyeliner extended past the eye (sort of a 60s Mod look), but not with gray or bright coloured eyeshadows. Do this with natural colours only. And not red lips.
  • A matte face. In past seasons the face has been dewy (ie just this side of shiny). Now we're looking at a matte face - not with too much powder, though. Use powder really only in the T-zone across the forehead and down the nose and cheeks.
  • Short, dark nails. Like black or midnight blue nailpolish on nails that don't extend past the end of the finger.

Whew! That's a lot of stuff. I guess there aren't that many trends, but when broken down into each of these sections, it seems like a lot.

Flare has given themselves a new look. Personally, I don't like it. I find their pages disconnected with not enough information about fall fashion. They had pages featuring what certain people like. The fact that no one has heard of these people is irrelevant, I guess. The magazine simply didn't do enough to show the trends. Their fashion shoot photos were awful and uninspired. I'm quite tired of seeing models in that "put your hands on your hips with fingers pointing to the bellybutton, push your stomach back and your shoulders forward and your elbows out". I mean, we see that everywhere. Sigh. I don't recommend Flare and I won't buy it again. I will be writing to tell them my opinion, but I'm not sure it'll matter because I don't think I'm in their target market.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More sleep, please

In my travels yesterday I received the pneumonia vaccine. What with Ian's dad's and my cancer situations, it's better that I receive as many immunizations as I can. My immune system isn't exactly compromised but then it isn't exactly running in tip-top form, either.

I've been completely exhausted today. I feel like I've been run over by a truck - I can barely keep my eyes open. Ian woke me at 9am and I got up at 9:45am... only to fall asleep again until noon. I wasn't certain that I would go to Well-fit today because I was so tired but I did manage to go. Since then I've been very, very tired. I'm pretty well assuming that my overwhelming fatigue is a result of the shot yesterday... I hope it ends soon. I have things to do, you know :)

I spent the evening reading fall fashion magazines. Is it just me or are there more of them than in previous years? I'm hoping to provide you with a fall fashion trends report tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tumour marker results and doctor's appointment

I got my tumour marker results today. In June, they were 41.3, having gone up 1.8 over the previous result three months prior. At the end of August, they were 46.2, so they've gone up an additional 4.9. On October 13 last year, before the oophorectomy, my tumour markers were 48.0... so they're almost the same now as they were before. They're going in the wrong direction. They're supposed to go down or stay the same. I'm a little worried about this but not overly so.

I know, the markers haven't gone up all that much. I'm going to call tomorrow and request that tumour markers be done again before I see my Oncologist on October 22. If the markers climb a third time, well, that's an indication that the treatment may not be holding the cancer back very well and that it might be time for a change. We may need to do some tests to figure out where the cancer is growing at that time.

I had my appointment with the gastroenterologist today because my family doctor felt that I should see a specialist. The doctor today said that I probably have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and that he can give me some pills that might work. He recommended that I use Milk of Magnesia instead of dulcolax or senokot as a laxative (needed to counteract side effects of the narcotics) because it's better for me. I guess I'll make the switch.

He also said that the chances of my having colon cancer are extremely small but that my situation is far out of the statistical norm already what with having breast cancer and all. Apparently people with breast cancer (and some other cancers) have a slightly higher risk of colon cancer as well. He gave me the choice of just treating the IBS with the drugs or doing a colonoscopy to be sure about what I have. Some people who see a lot of doctors don't like to be poked and prodded any more than necessary and so don't want the colonoscopy. On the other hand, some people who see a lot of doctors like to have peace of mind about possible medical conditions and so would choose the colonoscopy. You might have guess that I've decided to do the colonoscopy to give me peace of mind :) It's scheduled for November 22.

He said that the worst part of that procedure (for him) will be getting the sedative and painkillers right because of the amount of oxycontin that I take. The worst part for me... well, you can guess. :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

No sewing today

We're in Mississauga and so I didn't do any sewing today. I'd planned to; I asked Ian to wake me and 9am and I was going to get up, have breakfast, and sew until it was time to get ready. That didn't work out. Ian woke me at 9am, I had breakfast, and then I slept until 11am. Sigh. I'm still quite tired and I hope I sleep well tonight. Last night's dream was quite upsetting (although the transportation system was very cool).

My sale is still on.... I'd love for some of the items in my shop to go to a good home :) 25% off everything there (except custom orders) makes for some very reasonably-priced items. Happy shopping!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Just a lazy Sunday

I didn't sleep all that well last night - I had pain issues that woke me around 1am. My sternum was hurting pretty bad for some reason. They did just change my program at Well-fit and I know that I have more pain when I open my chest wide, so it's possible that one of the new exercises is contributing to increased pain. I'd have expected the pain to come on Thursday or Friday, though. And yes, I know that I had been trying to decrease my pain meds but they've been up to normal the last few days. I'll talk to the Well-fit people on Wednesday.

I also had some nightmares last night which didn't help my sleep. I don't know where these dreams come from, but they're certainly interesting. In one earlier this week, I dreamt that I was showing people through this house that I've seen quite a lot in my dreams. It's a nice house, most of the time. Sometimes it's scary. Anyways, as I walked through and saw all the changes that had been made to the house, I told the people I was with that I used to live in this house but I don't anymore; that I'd moved on and these people had taken it over and fixed it up. I'm sure there's deep psychological meaning to this but to me it's like a movie that plays just for me at night.

I did spend some time cutting out the fabric for the custom bag I'm making. Tomorrow we're going to Mississauga and so I won't spend as much time sewing as I'd thought. That's ok, though; I'll do some before we go.

I also spent some time looking at all my beads. Yes, I made some earrings, but the majority of my time was spent just looking at the beads I have. While doing this, we watched two movies on tv from the 80s - Weird Science and Class. Oh, the memories :) It was a lovely way to pass the time.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cleaning up

My sale is still on! I've even added new stock and expect to add a few more pieces over the next few days. Happy shopping!

I was thinking tonight that it was eight years ago this weekend that I moved here to Waterloo. I have such vivid memories of that time. I remember being so excited about school; I was really looking forward to starting over. Not that things were that bad before.... but the person I was before I went to UW is very, very different from the person I am now. In many ways I did start over by going to school, and while it was very hard, it was definitely a good choice.

I spent most of today organizing things. I finally re-organized all of my beads and put all of my purchases away. Finally. We also bought some small shelving units on sale for $5 (regular $15) and I'm able to keep my beads there when I'm not using them. My beads, craft show, and shipping paraphernalia take up much, much less space than they did before. The living room is quite a bit tidier :)