Sunday, August 31, 2008

More staying home with more sewing

I ended up doing more sewing today. I could have gone to our friend's cottage with Ian this afternoon but I wasn't really up for going anywhere. I feel pretty good, overall, but I'm still a bit tired. I am feeling stronger each day, at least.

After all my talk about leaving the side darts alone on my dress, I did wind up moving the the dart point 1/4" down. It looks so much better than it did before! I probably could have moved it down a little bit more but it's fine the way it is. I mostly worked on the collar pieces. It fits the neck quite well but it's not quite big enough at the bottom. I need to open up the collar at those pivot points to make sure that it fits better. At least I didn't try to sew the collar on with the actual collar fabric :)

I don't know what we're going to do tomorrow. It's not a special day for me, really, because I'm home all the time - but Ian is home because tomorrow is a holiday for him (and almost everyone out there!) I think it's supposed to be nice tomorrow, at least.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A full sewing day

I actually got up at a decent hour and managed to get some sewing done. I've drafted the armhole facings and attached them; they look good! I'm finally pleased with the armholes; they're the area that I've had the most trouble with on this pattern. I also managed to draft the neck facings and re-draft the collar but I haven't attached them yet.

Of course I'll baste a trial collar on first because I don't have much of that contrast fabric. The collar is basically traced off of the neckline but it's not a direct trace; there are two pivot points on each of the front and back neck (and at the shoulder) where the collar is turned. This means that the collar neckline is shaped a bit differently even though the neck measurements are the same as the dress. This is probably so that the collar will drape properly over the shoulder. Anyways, I made sure that my collar also had those pivot points in approximately the same locations.

The only thing I might have changed on this dress is that the side bust dart is a little high. I would like the point to be about 1/4 or 3/8" lower, although I'm not sure that many other people will notice this. I'm not going to go back and change this now.

The pattern calls for taffeta interfacing and I actually managed to pick some up in a gorgeous blush colour; it is 60" wide and it was 75% off. Yeah, it's polyester, but that's ok. The dress is cotton, after all; it's not like I'm making a couture gown out of rare materials, after all. I usually use fusible interfacing for my projects but it almost always bubbles up after a few washes, even though I pretreat it. So this time, I thought I would go with a sew-in interfacing. I couldn't really find anything else cheap that had the same weight and drape as the taffeta, so I went with the taffeta. If I had silk organza I'd use that but I don't have any (yet).

I'm kind of hoping to finish the dress this weekend. I've pre-washed all my fall fabrics and I'm itching to make stuff with them :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dare I say that I'm better?

I think I'm finally feeling better because I'm hardly coughing at all. I did manage to get some sewing done today - yay! The dress I've been working on for forever is really almost done. Really! :) I've actually sewn - and serged - the major seams! Now I just need to trace new facings and a new collar piece and put the buttons and buttonholes on and it'll be done. I'm very much looking forward to finishing this project so that I can start the next one.

I've bought a lovely selection of menwear-type plaids and fabric and I really want to make some more fall-type dresses in preparation for the cooler weather. Of course it's been a cool summer and so the dress I've been working on (which is sleeveless) might not even be worn for a while. Anyways, I looked over my patterns and fabrics and am trying to figure out what to make. Doesn't this sound like a fun way to spend a long weekend?

We just finished watching Damages in a marathon viewing of fourteen episodes over three days. We loved the show in part because there was a lot of puzzle-solving and whatnot; the story was multi-faceted and unfolded in pieces. The only trouble was that our recordings missed the last couple of minutes on every episode so some things weren't totally clear. And now we're arguing over who tried to kill Ellen - I remember one thing and Ian remembers another but we don't have the recordings anymore. We might just have to buy the DVD. And you should, too, because it is a great, suspenseful show. Apparently they've committed to two more seasons and I'm very much looking forward to watching it going forward.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sleep, sleep, sleep all day

Yes, really. All I did today was sleep; I woke up when Ian called to let me know that he was coming home from work. :) I'm still quite tired and will sleep well tonight. I'm glad that I got all that sleep because I think I might be feeling a bit better, maybe. We'll see.

I tell you, I'm looking forward to being awake for more normal hours.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not quite better yet

I slept most of the day and thought I was feeling better so I went to the store. It's only a five minute walk away and I needed milk but really I thought I should get out of the house. By the time I got back I was panting and breathing heavily as though I'd just run a marathon. And then I started coughing and coughing and coughing.

So I'm not all better - but the coughing wasn't as bad as it has been, and I'm hoping that the cough will go away completely sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I'll keep watching endless movies on TCM and reading magazines. It's Tony Curtis day today on TCM - Some Like it Hot was just on, and Marilyn Monroe was definitely sexy in it... but she might have been less sexy if she had been wearing different clothes. The clothes she wore in the movies, especially while performing in front of the band, would be scandalous today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still sick

I'm still feeling like crap but at least I'm getting lots of sleep :) Mostly I've been sitting around doing nothing much of anything. You know, like watching nameless movies on tv and surfing the internet.

I have got the September fashion magazines and am going through them to figure out the fall trends. I'm hoping to have something for you all in the next few days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visit with my oncologist

I saw my oncologist today. My tumour markers are hanging out at 38 - just above normal :) None of my bloodwork was abnormal or remarkable. That's all good news!

So I talked to my oncologist about my fall and subsequent concussion and she feels that I should have a CT scan done of my head. That's scheduled for September 4. She also feels that I should be having regular mammograms again so I have one scheduled for September 5.

My oncologist did a physical exam on me today and as part of the exam, she listened to me breathe. You all know that I've been sick lately and you might know that I'm not completely better. After listening to the lower right lobe and then listened to me cough (oh yes, I'm still coughing, and I'm still coughing stuff up), she told me that I almost certainly have walking pneumonia. Apparently the difference between pneumonia and walking pneumonia is that with the latter, the person can walk around and doesn't need to be hospitalized. I guess that's the "walking" part. :)

She's put me back on azithromycin and had me get a chest xray done to confirm that I do have walking pneumonia. The area she identified as being a problem is one that I've noticed because it has been feeling funny.

I tell you, I'm pretty sick and tired of being sick and, well, tired. I would love to not be tired and to not feel like crap... and wouldn't it be awesome if I could have my summer back? At this point, I'll settle for being able to enjoy my autumn.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Olympics are over

The Olympic closing ceremonies were quite spectacular. There were tons of fireworks - I wish we could have some of those awesome shapes! - and lots of movement and colour. It was very splashy and slightly more casual than the opening ceremonies. It was almost over the top, in a way. There was a hand-off to Great Britain, who are holding the 2012 summer games, and that stuff was... even more over the top. The double decker bus in the film turned into a *real* double decker bus! And it transformed into a sound stage! With dancers! It was something else, all right.

With the Olympics over, I'm not completely sure what we'll do with all of our free time. I did manage to get to the gym this afternoon. I haven't done that in a while because I've been sick for so long. The gym I go to has been bought by one of the big gym in the region so there are likely to be changes. At the very least, the company I work for used to have an employee price with this big gym and if they still do, then I could get that discount and stuff. I'll need to investigate.

Tomorrow afternoon I see my oncologist. I'm interested in knowing what my white blood counts were - when I had them done two weeks ago I was still sick. I'll also get my tumour marker results but I expect they'll be fine.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fabric shopping

The Fabricland store in nearby Cambridge is closing and all of their fabrics are 60% or 75% off the regular price. I went there today and brought back quite a fabric haul :) I bought three different plaid/menswear-type fabrics and some other great fabrics. Between everything I have, I should have enough for fall/winter clothes. Mostly, anyways :)

I still want this beautiful red poly/rayon/spandex crepe fabric - it looks fantastic and the colour is awesome, but it's $19/m and even at 20% off (which it is this weekend) I can't quite justify buying it. Interestingly, there's also a wool crepe at twice the price, but I don't like the feel, drape, or colour of the wool compared to the other.

I'm also very interested in some fabrics by Robert Kaufman. I love love love the babycord fabrics in the Cool Cords line. There's an apple print that I can find in turquoise and pink; I think I might like the turquoise one a little bit better. There are a number of new patterns in this line due in September and I might see if I can get some then. If I could afford Liberty babycord I'd get that instead :)

I also love the Robert Kaufman GreenStyle Panda prints made of 60% cotton/40% bamboo. I love the white print on black but the green or yellow on white are also beautiful! I'm thinking that I'd love to get some of that and make it up into something. They're hard to resist, aren't they?

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's busker time again!

We popped into the Waterloo Busker Festival today. We had thought about staying longer but it was very crowded and neither of us felt like fighting with the crowds. For some reason, they've reduced the number of stages from six to five and so there isn't an empty stage between performing acts. As well, the parking lot where they used to have the main stage is under construction and inaccessible so they've just put the main stage facing the construction area. These two things mean that certain areas get very, very crowded and very nearly impassable. It would have been better if they'd moved the main stage down the street just a little bit so that the crowd could push back into the cross-street.

We saw Les Walkyries tonight. We'd seen them a few years ago and wanted to know how their act had changed. They take a much more comic approach now and talk quite a bit more; before, they hardly talked at all, filling time with acrobatics. They did some interesting fire things but they didn't do all of the same tricks as they did before. In particular, before they had done something where they each were spinning two poi on each hand but they didn't do that this time.The group was in better sync with their movements this year. The show was entertaining so if you're walking by and performing you could stop and watch them.

On a completely different topic, I'm also thinking about trying to change my photographs on angelstuff again. There's something about the photos that I don't like and I've started playing with aiming the lights differently and using different paper and whatnot. We'll see if it works. I'm also thinking that I'd like to re-section my items out of the colours and into sections like, "Sparkle it up", "Just for fun", "Everyday elegance", and "Inspired by nature". I'm not sure if those will be my final sections but they're what I've got in mind for now.

I'm also sort of thinking about doing some kind of banner and avatar for branding purposes. For that I'm sort of thinking of trying to use the idea of "stuff made by/from/(for?) angels" as a starting point. It's still very early in this process for me but it's something that I'm thinking I want to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are all sports equal?

I read an article that suggests that rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming be dropped from the Olympics because they are sports in which only women compete. Moreover, the article says that they're sports that were added before women were allowed to compete in such "manly" sports as wrestling and weightlifting.

I think that the author has a point here - I don't see why there should be any gender-specific competitions in the Olympics. So yes, either open up these sports to men or else drop them. But what should they do about gymnastics? Men and women only both compete in the vault and the floor, and even then, women perform their floor routines to music and are judged according to artistic ability. The men don't perform their floor routines to music, so why should the women?

The vault and floor aside, the men and women compete on completely different apparatus; the men on the rings, parallel bars, and high bar, and the women on the balance beam and uneven bars. Clearly the men's competition emphasizes strength - the rings and parallel bars are all about strength - whereas the women's again tend to be more artistic.

Could men and women each compete in each other's gymnastic events? Maybe. We don't really know, though, because they don't do that right now at the lower levels.... and until/unless they do, it's unlikely that there will be changes at the Olympics. Still, it would be nice if they started to look at bringing some equality to the sports competitions in the Olympics, and not just for gymnastics or synchronized swimming or rhythmic gymnastics or any of the other sports in which only one gender completes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crazy weather

I don't completely understand why there isn't a closeable roof on the Birds Nest as it's pouring rain there. It looks like it would be difficult to run 100m on a track that is soaking wet even if they do sweep the water off. At least they're not doing any of the field events during the rain today, unlike in beach volleyball, which plays in the rain as long as there is no lightning.

I watched coverage of the men's 200m and of course Usain Bolt won gold, actually looking like he was running at the end instead of jogging. What was interesting is that both the silver and bronze winners were disqualified for stepping on the white line dividing the lanes. The bronze medal winner wasn't even notified right away - and they knew, because the announcers knew - and so he was walking around with his US flag and celebrating. How awkward. Can you imagine being thrilled that you came in fifth overall and then finding out later that you actually win the bronze? What would that be like?

It's amazing to watch Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt compete. Both are the best in their fields and are a joy to watch; there's no wasted effort and both are beautiful in motion. Both have the ideal body types for their sports and both are HUGE - Michael Phelps is 6'4", while Usain Bolt is 6'5" - but they didn't get to where they are just by having the right body type. Both obviously train very hard. I feel privileged to be able to watch athletes of that caliber because there haven't been people who could do what they can do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pamidronate day

I got to have my Pamidronate today. Normally what happens is that I get my Pamidronate hooked up and the chemo nurses faxes the home care nurse the time that my port needs to be de-accessed. Wellll, this time, that didn't really happen. I guess the nurse didn't fax the information over until 50 minutes after the port should have been de-accessed. One of the home care nurses had left a message asking me to call her but when I tried, I got an answering machine. But it turned out that I'd called the wrong number (I thought she said "9" and she said "1"), which didn't matter because she'd stopped working by the time I'd called.

So now I have to call the home care nurses the night before I get Pamidronate along with the estimated time that the Pamidronate will be started so that I'm on their schedule and things won't be so hectic. And they want me to call as I'm leaving the hospital so that they know exactly what time they need to de-access my port. Sigh. I don't mind calling one time so that things don't get all rushed and messed up like they did today, but two times? Well, hopefully I won't have to do that forever.

I'm feeling ever so much better - I almost feel like I'm a new person and all better. This comes just in time to get knocked over by Pamidronate, of course :)

I did a little fabric shopping today and managed to get a lovely grey/black herringbone fabric that has a bit of a vertical stripe to it. I also got it on sale so I'm happy with that. This evening, for the first time in a long time, I made some earrings. It's been a while since I've actually sat down and played with my beads. I actually want to make some necklaces and bracelets, too... we'll see how that plays out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I wish I'd woken up earlier today

I know someone who was going shopping today and I'd wanted to go with them. I wasn't sure what time they wanted to go and I ended up sleeping in until nearly 2pm. It turns out that the appointment was for 4pm and if I'd managed to get up around noon I would have been able to go :( I was just snoozing the alarm, like I do, so it wasn't like I was sleeping deeply or anything... I just wasn't up and out of bed in time. I hope that the shopping was fun anyways.

I am starting to feel just a bit better now, thank goodness. I know that part of the reason I didn't want to get up before noon was because sleep helps me get better. The antibiotics are helping as well I think.

I called the oncologist's office about my Pamidronate tomorrow and they said that I should come in anyways. I guess that since I'm not running a fever, I'm on antibiotics, and I'm not coughing all the time, they figure that I'll be ok. Also, I don't have to be in the chemo suite for that long - first for about 20 minutes to get the blood drawn and then for about 15 minutes to get the Pamidronate hooked up. I'm glad that I called; now I don't have to worry about it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Been to the doctor

I decided that it was probably worth it to go to a walk-in medical clinic this morning. I've still got a cough, one of my ears hurts, and several of my sinuses hurt. I would have liked to see my family doctor but it's hard to get in to see him right away as he's not seeing as many patients per day as he used to. I totally understand that and support him in that because (selfishly) I'd like him to take care of himself so that he's around for a while.

Anyways, I went at the right time this morning because there were only four people ahead of me when I arrived and when I went in about 30 minutes later the waiting room was full. The doctor gave me a prescription for azithromycin; I took two tablets today and I'll take one every day for the next four days. I'm supposed to feel completely better in ten days and if I'm not feeling better by then, I should see a doctor for some follow-up.

The doctor also said that I should use my Rhinaris nasal spray to help clean out my post-nasal drip and I need to use my Symbicort at least twice a day. I've been waking myself up at night when breathing; I breathe in and then I hear an "oooooooooooo" sound from my lungs. It's creepy and weird because I can *feel* the sound as well as hear it. The doctor said that this was most likely because of my asthma and that the inhaler will help to take care of that and open up my airways.

I'm supposed to receive my Pamidronate over at the chemo suite on Tuesday and I asked the doctor whether I should try and go to that. If I wasn't going to the chemo suite I'd go ahead and go but people in the chemo suite almost certainly have compromised immune systems and I don't want to infect anyone while I'm there. The doctor told me to wait until Tuesday morning and then to call them, tell them what I'm taking and how I feel, and see what they say.

I took the two pills as soon as I got home and then fell asleep. I'm still feeling quite sleepy, which is no real surprise since my body will need all of its strength to fight this off. At least I know that I really am sick with something.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Last night's Radiohead concert at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto was awesome. The ampitheatre apparently holds about 16000 and it was definitely packed full for the concert.

The opening band, Grizzly Bear, was ok but they were sort of forgettable, unfortunately. It wasn't that they were bad or anything; they just didn't really stand out. Radiohead definitely stood out. It wasn't just that their music was awesome (it is), but that the stage and lighting were amazing.

The back of the stage was had screens alternating with spots for big hemispherical things hold six or seven lights. So at the bottom, behind the band, was a lighted screen that was either projected or permanent LED lights, then there was a black space, and above that was a projection screen. The hemispherical light things mostly stayed above the upper screen.

In front of the screens above and beside the band, filling most of the stage, were twelve columns of six pole-things each. The poles could be lit from outside or from within. There were camera people on top of the pole structure and in other places filming the band members from different angles. Above the stage was a band of four rows of individual lights. There's an interesting discussion on the lighting and generator system they used here.

While the band played, the film from the camera people was manipulated and projected onto the upper portion of the screen at the back and onto the jumbotrons facing the crowd. Some of the manipulations were cool; for example, one of the band members was wearing a shirt with a cat's head on it, and that image was continually brought down over one of the other bandmates, turning his head into a cat. Sometimes the image was reversed and overlapped. The lower screen usually had some sort of free-flowing wave pattern on it. Everything on the back screen was pretty well monochromatic in reds or yellows or magentas or whatever.

In deference to their latest albums, In Rainbows, a lot of colours were used in the show. These colours didn't necessarily go together :) At one point the poles were cyan or turquoise in colour and the back screen was all magenta. The lights on top sometimes stayed stationary and sometimes moved; their colours varied between the pole and back screen colours. Personally, I think that much of the light show was designed to foil people with cameraphones and portable cameras. Using complementary colours of the same intensity for the poles and back screen with lots of movement in those colours, plus the fact that the band was backlit, made the pictures we saw just big blobs of colour in the centre.

Some of the things they did with the poles were just beautiful; at one point it looked like sparkly bits of light everywhere, and at another, they had a checkerboard effect moving over the poles. It was very sophisticated.

The music was fantastic. It sounded very much like the albums, which I liked. They did a lot of instrument changes in order to play all of the different songs. One of the things that I liked about the image projections was that you could see what each band member was doing (in a way) and that, together with the other lighted stuff going on, meant that the band members didn't really need to "perform". It was clear that each person was just doing what they do as though they were doing it in their own living room; they seemed sort of relaxed and intent on their music at the same time. In this way, there was less pressure on the band to be "on" as it was hard to see them as they were anyways. I'd read that they burned out after their world tour about ten years ago and I think that this technique will help them get through this world tour.

Interestingly, they didn't ever announce the band's name or the band members; in fact, the band barely spoke to the crows at all. I think the lead singer spoke to the crowd twice. They also didn't play some of our favourite older songs like Karma Police, Paranoid Android, Creep, Hail to the Thief, and 2+2=5. They do have 20 years of material to draw on, of course, and there's only so much they can play in two hours.

The band did two encores but the second one was very short. Their final exit from the stage was beautiful. They played Everything In Its Right Place while scrolling the lyrics across the poles. There's a lot of repetition in the song and as each band member set up their repetition, starting with the lead vocalist, they raised their hands to the crowd and exited the stage. Eventually the music wound down and two roadies came on stage to turn the rest off while the light show dimmed and went out. This exit gave the crowd a chance to acknowledge each band member and gave each band member a chance to say goodbye to the crowd. It was very cool.

We both enjoyed the concert very much. If Radiohead does come your way or you do get a chance to see them play live, I'd strongly urge you to go and see them. Their show is well worth the time and cost.

We got very lucky with the seats we had. They were just on the outside of what was covered by the roof and so we hardly got wet when it rained. As well, since there was only an aisle directly in front of us and we were raised above that aisle, I could see the stage quite clearly throughout the concert. Everyone stood for the whole thing so seeing was easy; if we were sitting down, I wouldn't have been able to see because people were standing in the aisle in front of us.

One thing that amazed us was the number of people who were not at all prepared for the weather. It's like they never bothered to check the forecast and so there were some very, very cold people even though they were selling rain ponchos for $4. We both enjoyed looking at all of the people and seeing what they were wearing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Feeling slightly better

I'm starting to feel better - at least my fever is down. I still have a cough but it's a productive wet cough so I guess that's ok. The cough is worse in the mornings as well.

I'm definitely going to the concert tonight :) The forecast is calling for rain/thundershowers this evening so last night we went out and bought a couple of rain ponchos. The last thing I want is to get soaked and have to sit there for another two hours! We're also bringing a variety of layers because the low is fairly low tonight and we don't want to freeze.

I'm watching the women's Canada-US soccer game and it's pouring there! They're in overtime and it's tied 1-1. Of course I want Canada to win because then they'll go to the semi-final and there's hope that we might win a medal.

UPDATE: Canada lost by one goal in the second extra period :( But they did take it through to those two extra periods and played very, very well. The US was ranked first and Canada ninth so the fact that Canada didn't lost by more was amazing. It was a very exciting game.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Olympics

How is it possible that I feel worse today than yesterday? Arrrggh. My low fever appears to be back and I've still got this cough and I feel generally icky. We're supposed to be going to see Radiohead in concert on Friday and I don't want to miss it - we paid a lot for the tickets and I was really looking forward to the concert.

We were watching the Olympics today and one of the segments was on women's epee fencing; unfortunately, Sherraine Schalm, who was representing Canada, lost in the round of 16. I was very unimpressed with her behaviour both after the loss and other times that they showed her. She screamed in triumph after every point in a very unsportsmanlike manner. After she lost, she barely congratulated the other player and claimed that the fault called against her was bad. I also clearly saw her shout "F*ck you all" after she lost. And then she tried to rush past her opponent without shaking her hand; the resulting handshake couldn't, in my mind, even be called perfunctory.

I found Ms. Schalm's behaviour extremely unsportsmanlike and I am embarrassed that she is representing this country at the Olympics. One of the commentators said that she had reason to be unhappy, and that might be true, but there is absolutely no excuse for her to be rude.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Laughter and sleep are good medicines

So I think that I've got some kind of chest cold or something. I'd sort of noticed that my chest was sore last week but nothing came of it and I thought I was fine... until today. Not only did I sleep until 3:30pm, but I had to wake up periodically to cough and clear my lungs. Sigh. I'm supposed to go for dinner on Thursday with some well-fit people and if I'm still coughing like this then I'll have to cancel.

At least I'm getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of hot fluids which will help to make me better.

They do say that laughter is the best medicine and I certainly got a big dose of that medicine today. Ian showed me the Cake Wrecks blog, which shows real cakes that people have paid for that are, well, different. The funniest ones are the ones where there are a) spelling errors or b) the decorator has taken the instructions verbatim. I'd say that you should all go and have a look because just about everyone needs to laugh more :) I've left a link on the side for your viewing pleasure as well.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun at the dentist

I got to see the dentist this morning - lucky me. They were doing their usual check when all of a sudden they said that my old amalgam fillings needed to be replaced. Sigh. I've also managed to lose my teeth whitening trays and so needed them to make new ones for me which they didn't have time to do at my 8:30am appointment.

Fortunately(?) the office had a cancellation at 10:40am so I was able to come back to have my fillings replaced and to get my trays re-done. Two fillings, one on each side of my upper jaw, needed to be replaced and so I ended up quite chipmunk-like from the freezing. I get extra freezing because it doesn't "take" very well in me. A few hours after the appointment was over I was still pretty frozen and needed to eat... let's just say that it's a good thing that no one was here to see that.

At least all that is over now and my whitening trays will be ready next week. My dentist is also getting a pre-approval for a new night mouthguard from my insurance company as my current nightguard is three years old. I asked my dentist how often people replaced theirs and she said that some replace it twice a year or once a year (!). So between that and my new fillings it's probably a good idea to get a new nightguard. Hopefully the insurance won't be a problem.

I also had to have my tumour markers and other bloodwork done today which is scheduled to be done through my port because my veins are so bad. By the time I was done all that at around 2pm, I was feeling very tired and sore so I had a brief nap. I didn't get quite enough sleep and my face was still sore and poufy so I was quite cranky early this evening.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No sewing but lots of Olympics

I thought about sewing today but it's been raining and it's humid and dreary. Since I had the oophorectomy in October, 2006, my body has changed. I sweat more when it's hot and I get warm more easily, which are expected changes, but I also sweat more when it's cold and damp. That was not a change that I expected, but as a result of it, working downstairs in the basement can be unpleasant on days like today. So no sewing for me today.

Instead, I sorted my vintage patterns (while watching Olympics!). It turns out that I have around 90 or 95 vintage patterns which seems like a lot. Most are from the 50s and 60s. If I were to sell them, I think I could easily get about $5-10 for each one and I know I didn't pay that much for them. Some of them are worth much more than that and could get at least $20; others (like the 1950's German Simplicity patterns and British Simplicity pattern) should go for more than that. Once I sort through all of my contemporary patterns I'll be thinking of selling some of them off as well. I don't expect to get much for them but then I bought most of them on sale anyways.

Having made the decision that I will sell a bunch of patterns at some point, I'm thinking about the best way to actually sell them. I could open a second etsy shop (but I don't really want to do that), or I could open a shop somewhere else, or I could sell them on eBay individually or in groups, or I could approach one of the major sellers and sell them the lot.

I don't know what would be easiest for me. Thinking about it, I want to use some of the patterns and so probably wouldn't be able to sell all of them at once, unless I wait to sell them for a while. I could get rid of a bunch at once, though. I'm sort of hesitant to open up a shop somewhere because I don't really want to turn this pattern-selling into a business; it's more like a de-stash for me, and I don't want to have to be buying patterns to try to sell them. So I'm probably going to have to go the eBay (or another auction site) route. Blerg. I've never sold anything on eBay.

Today in Olympic coverage we watched some more water polo, some boxing (the poor Canadian guy was trounced), some judo (we don't understand the scoring system at all), some rowing, the women's road race, the US-China basketball game, and tonight we're watching swimming. I like the rowing quite a lot; in some ways it's similar to dragonboating. I think I'd actually enjoy rowing a lot more than paddling, and even though I'm unlikely to get a chance to really try it, I very much enjoy watching it. I find myself moving in the same sort of rhythm as they are, which is kind of odd :) The women's road race was amazing to watch and not just for the scenery - it rained heavily once they hit the mountains. I can't imagine riding in the weather they had.

One thing that I really do like about the Olympics in Beijing are the buildings they built for the event, especially the Birds Nest Stadium and the Water Cube. I love how both are buildings and have function and all of that but at the same time both are very organic. I like that they're not just boxes, and I think that we're not likely to see that kind of architecture in other places. I do hope that when new venues are needed, the architects will look at incorporating organic elements like these buildings do.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

More Olympics and sewing

Ok, so I'm still working on the great dress with the collar... I'm almost finished adjustments. After making pattern adjustments, I sewed some seams together and basted others and made yet a few more adjustments. It's almost perfect now, except that there's a little bit extra that I need to put into the side dart and I need to change it's point a little bit. I basted that dart and that part of the side seam several times already today :) It really is just about done and then I can retrace the facings and figure out what the collar pattern looks like now, after my new changes.

When this dress is done I think I'm going to use the pattern as sort of a base pattern for some of the other, similar, dresses that I want to make. I'd rather not go through this kind of fitting again :)

We watched more Olympics today. We got to watch men's gymnastics and some of the swimming. Kyle Shewfelt's performance was beautiful, especially given that he had broken both knees last year. And watching Michael Phelps shatter the freestyle 400m world record was amazing! The commentary for the swimming was hilarious - we could swear the guy kept giving the swimmer's heights as 5point6inches and not 5feet6inches. Maybe the events in Beijing are occurring on a much smaller scale than we think they are. After all, doing everything in 10th scale would certainly be cheaper once you figure out how to shrink the competitors and spectators.

We also watched some beach volleyball and a very little bit of equestrian and water polo. We would have watched more water polo if it had been on but equestrian just isn't our sport. This equestrian wasn't even the jumping one and we thought it was much less interesting watching the horses walk (and occasionally canter) around the field. More Olympics tomorrow.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Olympics!

The Olympics started today. I didn't wake up for the very first airing of the opening ceremonies but it was shown quite a few times today. The ceremonies were gorgeous and brilliantly executed. I found myself staring at the tv, absolutely rapt with wonder at a few of the things they did - like when they lifted the rings up, or the dancers in glo-suits, or the dancers on the ball, or any number of other gorgeous displays. I also loved the happy-face fireworks :) If you haven't seen the opening ceremonies up until the parade of nations, then try and watch it. It's definitely worth seeing. I expect we'll be watching as much of the Olympics as possible over the next couple of weeks.

A small note about work - if I were to go back, I would start off as part-time and work my way back to full-time. The company I work for doesn't want permanent part-time employees on its payroll so I couldn't do that forever (or I'd have to find another company to work for - not that I'd necessarily mind that). Unfortunately, I'm not ready even for part-time there just now.

Someone told me that I should stay off work until I'd had 30 good days in a row. For me, a good day is getting up in the morning, doing stuff, and staying awake all day until bedtime, when I go to sleep quickly - even when I'm upset about something or if something bad has happened, although it wouldn't apply if I were sick. I've had lots and lots of those good days but over the last couple of months but definitely not 30 of them and certainly not 30 in a row.

Ian also figures that I'm pretty happy doing the things I do with patterns and whatnot and he's right there. At some point, all of that is going to get pretty boring because it'll stop being a challenge and at that point he figures that I'll be much, much closer to being able to work. This summer is really the first time that I've been able to do reasonably complicated things - where I feel that I have to actually think about stuff. And it's a good idea to get used to thinking critically and doing reasonably complicated tasks before going back to work.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Finally! I think I'm better

The fever broke yesterday and I think that the headache left today. After three days of almost continuous sleeping, I'm finally feeling better. I'm still a bit tired but I think that's ok. A lot of the sleep I've had hasn't been good quality sleep because it's been feverish or headachy and so I'll need to catch up on my good sleep.

This latest illness has got me to thinking about work again. When I'm feeling healthy and together, I love the idea of going back to work. But over the last month I haven't felt healthy and I've been very glad that I haven't been working because I know that I couldn't handle it. I want to think I'd be able to work but I suspect that I'm not quite there yet. So I won't be going back to work in the fall. I do hope to go back eventually but I'm not going to set a deadline for that just yet as I don't want to push myself.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm not feeling good

I developed a low-grade fever last night along with a bad headache/migraine and lightheadedness. I slept all day today and I'm heading back to bed now. Lucky I don't have any plans for this week because I don't think I'll be able to do much for a while.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Babies are not unlike zombies

Babies learning to walk and talk are a lot like zombies. They make funny noises and they don't really have that much control over their movements. Ian and I figure that it would be fun to teach one to say "Braiiiins" so that it could stumble around (preferably after eating something like ketchup) and say braiiins like a zombie :) I guess it's just as well that we're not going to have kids :)

This comes up because we spent the weekend in Ottawa with some friends who had a baby boy in January as well as some other friends. We had a wonderful time visiting and hanging out. It was great fun. The people in that circle have all spread out now and so we don't see each other as much as we used to. We're all growing up and getting lives and if we didn't meet once in a while some could drift away completely. Keeping my friends is much more important to me now than it used to be; while I'm not great at keeping in touch with people, I do try.