Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! (pssst: anyone need some candy?)

Oh, how I love Halloween! The costumes, the candy, the pumpkins, the decorations... it's association with horror films... everything about it. I'll post our pumpkin and decoration pictures tomorrow - we did some amazing pumpkins this year.

Unfortunately, we had hardly any kids - only *19* and only between 6:45pm and 9pm! Compare that to 42 between 6 and 9pm last year. :( We bought more than enough candy for 45 kids and so we have a LOT left over. I'm thinking that the low numbers might be a combination of it being a Friday night, really warm (it was over 15 today), and daylight savings ending later rather than earlier. Daylight savings time switches next weekend for the first time; in previous years it's switched before Halloween and so it's been darkish by 6pm.

At least we got to carve out our pumpkins and decorate the place a little. Of course we only got everything up today so people didn't get to enjoy out pumpkins and whatnot beforehand. We'll keep the pumpkins outside for their viewing pleasure for a few days.

Halloween isn't over for us: we get to dress up for a Halloween party tomorrow. Yippeee!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lazy day at home

 Today I finished a couple of tasks and while I probably could have done a lot more, I count it as a reasonably successful day. That's really all of the "productive" things that I did today. So how did I spend the hours and hours I was awake today?

Watching movies, of course!

I started with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer . It's a "documentary" about a serial killer over the span of just a few months (years?) in his life. You see what he sees through some awesome camera work. The violence is implied and not really overt but in some ways this makes his actions that much more believable. Even though this movie is from the mid-eighties, it's still very unsettling and creepy. I highly recommend it as it's well worth watching.

Later I watched The Hole (starring Thora Birch). It's about a group of teenagers who are trying to not go on a field trip or home to their parents and who decide to spend three days in an old bunker. They end up locked in the bunker and are missing for eighteen days. It turns out that things are not entirely as they seem. This is a really good psychological thriller; the end is sort of but not completely expected and there is an element of realism to the setting that drives home what happened. This is definitely a movie worth seeing, if you get a chance.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The lack of shopping is getting to me

Out of all the possible fallouts from the economic crisis going on in the US and Europe, I never expected that the Canadian dollar would drop against the US dollar. Sigh. Our dollar is below 80cents on one USD which is some kind of crazy low.

Our low dollar is definitely having an effect on me: I'm not shopping as much as I was. In particular, I'm not buying stuff on eBay, and this makes me sad. How else can I buy WAY too many vintage sewing patterns (there are a lot right now from the 1940s, which I love)? Or look longingly at all sorts of fabric?

I know, I know, I already have more fabric and patterns than I know what to do with. Sigh. Every time I want to start some new project, I spread out the patterns I like the most in one spot and fabrics in another and look over both piles. Eventually I put the patterns and the fabric away without choosing any new project. I want to sew each of the patterns and I want each of the fabrics made into a gorgeous outfit. If I could wave a magic wand and transform the patterns and fabric into outfits, I would.

Part of the problem is that most of the patterns I have are for summery clothes and I want to make something more suited to winter. I have the winter fabrics (and summer fabrics, of course) but I worry that I'll waste some if something doesn't turn out. Of course, by not making things out of my fabrics, they're sort of being wasted, aren't they?

Monday, October 27, 2008

What it means for me to not be working

I met up with a friend about an hour's drive away from here for lunch. It was a lot of fun - she's about my age and has bone mets like me. Of course there are differences, but we have some things in common. Both of us are on long-term disability, for example, and both of us struggle with the fact that we're not working.

You'd think that after two and a half years of not working, I'd have reconciled myself to not working again... but I can't. Not yet.

I grew up thinking that work is extremely important and that no matter how I felt - no matter how sick or hungover or tired I was - I would go to work and I would do the best job I could while I was there. This work ethic was very strongly ingrained in me, so much so that the fact that I'm not currently working feels like I'm not living up to my own internal code of ethics. By not working, I also feel like I'm a non-productive member of society. I suppose these feelings are partly rooted in thinking that I don't have anything to offer society except my work. That's silly, though, isn't it? I *know* I'm a valuable person. And yet some days I feel as though my value is wasted by not working, if that makes sense.

Reconciling myself to not working again would mean that I'd have to find a different way to contribute to society, or find a different definition of a contributor. I'd also have to change my definition of work to something more suiting my present conditions (so far, I've been unable to do that). Of course I have no idea how to make those changes and so I'm guessing that it would require some, well, work. :)

As well, reconciling myself to not working again would mean that I'd have to give that idea completely, whereas right now I have hope (misguided or not) that I *could* possibly, maybe, go back to work. I don't know if I'm ready to give that up yet. Part of me still very much wants to be "normal" with my work ethics and my going to work every day. Right now, admitting that I couldn't go back to even that level of normal feels like admitting (succumbing?) to failure - that I couldn't do it, or that maybe I didn't try hard enough. I think I'm not at all ready for that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

(Horror) movie of the day

I managed to finally watch A Nightmare on Elm Street today. It's a pretty good story and there are lots of things about about it that would be good and creepy... except for the music. A creepy movie situation is MUCH less creepy when the cheesy 80s synthesizer music announces how creepy the situation is. Sigh. I'd love to see this one remade - or at least re-scored - with better, creepier music.

I love horror movies so much! But I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be watching a horror movie that has a good story with decent enough acting ... and then to be shocked out of the creepy horror move by stupid, intrusive, loud, cheesy music! Scoring a movie isn't rocket science. Bad music makes a movie much worse while good music - which is unobtrusive and sets the scene without overpowering it - can make a mediocre move much, much better. You'd think that movie producers would understand that the music is such an integral part of a movie, and especially of a horror movie.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Almost too much shopping

We spent almost all day shopping and shopping and shopping in a (mostly) big circle. We started off at one big plaza by getting me a cushy microfiber fleece electric blanket for when I'm cold because, well, I'm tired of being cold and lots of baths aren't really a good option. It works so well, too - I gave it a try tonight and I love it! It heats up quickly and is cushy and warm and snuggly.

Anyways, after that we bought me a short-sleeved cotton argyle sweater. Yes! I found a sweater! I'd tried it on the other day but I wanted to be sure that it was ok, which it is, and we bought it. It looks really nice and will go with tons of stuff.

Moving on, we went to a sports store and I got some good-quality inner layers (like long johns but made for activities) to wear when curling. I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that I'm really, really cold when I'm curling, considering that the sport is played in an arena aka a refrigerator. So I got a top and some legging things both made with a textured polypropylene interior, which wicks sweat away, and a merino wool exterior, to catch the sweat and stay warm. I think they'll make a huuuuge difference in my ability to stay warm while in the curling refrigerator twice a week.

Normally, that would be plenty of shopping, but we weren't done yet. We went over to Best Buy and picked up some horror DVDs (only $9.99 - the cheapest we'll see all year) and Rock Band 2 . We looked for a DVD set of horror movies that had been released but it turns out that they only have some of the individual movies. The collection is available, though, so I expect we might buy that instead of buying each movie individually. I hope the movies are good; they *look* good and scary, and it's a Sam Raimi's production company, so how could they be bad? (I'd like to think that Sam Raimi won't put his name on total crap)

We continued on by going to more different stores in order to scope out and buy parts for Ian's Halloween costume. I won't tell you what it is or where we went, but we did end up going to four stores to get what we needed (and we visited one of those stores twice).

At this point, we were basically done with the shopping adventure so we got some lunch and picked up some Halloween candy over at Shopper's. They have a promotion where you get 20 times the points if you buy $20 or more of Halloween item. We need the candy (for the kids, of course!) anyways and getting the extra points is good.

Then, exhausted, we came home and I crashed into a big nap.

One of the movies we bought today was The Evil Dead. We'd heard that people said it was so bad it was funny, but it's actually a pretty good movie. Some of the effects are a little much, but the story and the things that happen are sort of creepy. And of course there are parts that aren't well-done, like some of the acting and whatnot. But that's ok. The basic story is that a bunch of people go up to a cabin where the manage to awaken some kind of demon which kills and takes over their bodies. If the story were done today in a slightly more technical way without a bunch of big-name stars, I think it would be even better. As it was, it was creepy and intense. Not bad for a 25-year-old movie. :)

Hold the presses! It looks like Sam Raimi (the original Evil Dead director) might be directing a remake of the movie! Wouldn't it be awesome if the movie makes it to the theatres?

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm here and I'm ok

I haven't posted in two days and I'm sure some of you are wondering what the heck is going on here - am I ok? Has something happened?

I'm fine :) Wednesday evening I was very cold and had a bath and went straight to bed without writing anything here. I'd meant to write last night but my back got all woogly again. The woogly back feels like something is plucking at my spinal cord in different places and my back responds by clenching the muscles there. If it's really bad, my whole body clenches and relaxes. It's very uncomfortable and exhausting.

My back gets woogly on occasion but last night was pretty bad. Sometimes the woogles start because I'm tired. Sometimes what happens is that the Fentanyl patches I wear for pain management stop working (they're good for 72 hours which usually means 72 plus or minus a couple of hours) and I start going through narcotic withdrawl. I get shaky, anxious, woogly back, nauseous, and clammy, but the symptoms subside once the new patches go on. If the woogles are bad I'll take Percocet (for breakthrough pain) and/or Ativan.

I love the Fentanyl because it works so much better than the Oxycodone for pain .... but I could definitely do without these withdrawl symptoms. I feel like a junkie looking for a fix when they appear and I don't like that.

So last night I had these woogles - and they were really, really bad - and all I could do after changing the patches and taking Percocet was crawl into bed and try to desensitize myself. It was like every time anything touched my skin (especially my back, hands, or feet), the woogles came back. Eventually I fell asleep. I've still got some light woogles in my back today but they're not too bad.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Coldplay concert

Last night's Coldplay concert was awesome.

First off, the stage and lighting were interesting. Directly behind the stage was a large screen and in front of the stage, at about the halfway point in the arena, were two Jumbotrons parallel to the stage. In front of the Jumbotrons was a sort of bubble underneath a short cylinder (so it looked kind of like an oversized, upside-down, ice-cream cone). The bubble-thing was lit up with different colours and projections during the show. Another five smaller bubble-things appeared and disappeared during the show. The projections on the back screen and Jumbotrons were also projected onto the bubble things which made for an interesting light effect. There were also six or eight direct lights on four movable tracks to add additional light and colour. All of this, coupled with laser lights radiating out from the back of the stage floor, made for an interesting light show.

Unfortunately, it was one we couldn't completely see. We were on one side perpendicular to the Jumbotrons so we and a bunch of more people more to the side of us couldn't see the projections on the Jumbotrons. The bubble things blocked some of the stage as well. Some small improvements in the stage design would have made the stage more viewable from a greater number of seats.

Fortunately, not being able to see everything didn't diminish from the concert too much. The band is very talented - the drummer in particular is brilliant! They played all of the songs that people would know and they played them very well; in fact, the live versions of some of the songs were better than the recorded versions (which doesn't always happen)! The band was also clearly having a good time up on stage.

Chris Martin , the lead singer, was very comfortable with the audience. He joked with us (for example, he thanked everyone for coming even though he knew that many of the boyfriends had been dragged there by their girlfriends) and when people reached their hands out to him, he often shook those hands. Clearly, he  wasn't afraid of his audience. How many times have we seen bands/singers/stars turn away from their fans or treat the audience as though they were a piece of ick stuck on their shoes? I'm quite sure that this is the first arena/stadium concert where the band treated the audience as though we were watching them in a much, much smaller venue.

At one point, the band did a short song off the stage over in one of the sections, and they did another song on a small, lit platform on one side of the stage. Both of these songs were minimally instrumented but were still very good.

The opening band, Stars, was ok. Apparently they're very highly thought-of but the female singer's voice is a little weak and the band isn't good on all of their instruments. The male singer is very good and could probably do quite well in a stronger band. The lyrics to their songs were interesting and sort of delicate.... but different singers and instrument players (like a MUCH better trumpet player) would have made for a better show.
All in all, we enjoyed the concert a lot. If you get a chance to see Coldplay, you should definitely go, even if you're not that fond of the music. It's a show that is well worth seeing.

On  a side note, I have to say that one thing I do love about live concerts is the light show.... in another life, I suspect that I'd have gotten involved in that kind of stage design. Ever since my first live concert, I've spent more time looking at the lights and figuring out how they did the effects than watching the people on-stage. :)

And another thing that I'll mention, just because the concert was in an arena .... I don't have a bucket list, but if I did, going up and wandering around the catwalks of an arena would be on it. I've *always* wanted to go up there! Every time I've been in an arena or similar structure, I look up and try to figure out where all of the catwalks are as well as the possible entrances to them. I don't want a guided tour - I just want to be left to my own devices up there, walking around and around and across and just seeing what's there and what I can see. How cool would that be?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Ottawa

We're seeing Coldplay tomorrow here in Ottawa and so we drove here today. It was a beautiful day for a drive: bright and sunny, with a clear blue sky and changing leaf colours, and almost no traffic.

We're settled in here and are spending the evening quietly, watching tv. Tomorrow Ian is working and I'm hoping to do some shopping and stuff. The malls here are different and I hope to see a couple of fabric stores :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Most people don't sleep like this

Ian woke me up at a reasonable hour this morning so that I could get some stuff done. I guess I was still very, very tired when I got up because as I was sitting on the couch with my coffee, I sloooowly tipped my hand, spilling my coffee and dropping my coffee cup. I don't really remember this happening - it's sort of like I dreamed it, you know?

After the coffee was cleaned up, mostly by Ian, I fell back against the couch and slept for some amount of time. At least an hour, anyways. Again, I don't really remember what happened as it's all dream-fuzzy.

How weird is all that? I've been very tired this week (in addition to have the migraine), but I'm not really sure why that is. I did have an unpleasant experience the other day where I visited my late friend's husband and he tried to kiss me (not in a social way but on the lips) - I pushed him away and left but it freaked me out. I don't know if I've been sleeping so much because I was freaked out or if I'm fighting off some bug or something. We'll see, I guess.

Tomorrow we're on our way to Ottawa as we're seeing Coldplay on Monday night. We spent quite a bit of time this afternoon figuring out where to stay. We wanted to take public transport to the concert because we don't want to fight traffic on the way back (especially since we want to be up and out first thing Tuesday morning). We'll be staying very close to the place I lived during my second co-op term there.

We're leaving tomorrow and then Ian will be working on Monday while I shop and stuff. Although we have friends in Ottawa, I don't know if we'll have time to see everyone this trip. I am looking forward to the concert and to seeing a bit of Ottawa.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Better today

Today was better than yesterday although I wasn't feeling up to curling tonight. The CT scan was uneventful but as I was on my way home the headache started to come back and I started feeling nauseous again. So I decided to stay home tonight and rest and watch tv.

I did manage to get some sewing done this morning, at least.

I wish I'd known earlier that Scream was having a month-long free preview this month! It's got a pretty good selection of scary/gory/interesting movies. I've been watching this channel all evening and I might be able to see myself watching others. Not everything is good - they have to maintain their Canadian content, and not every thriller/horror movie is good - but there are some interesting movies on the channel. I just wish that there were no commercials while showing movies because it spoils the suspense.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So much for plans

I meant to get up early today - say, around 10am - and sew. I have a skirt on the go and I found trim for the dress I'm making and I'm making a pair of overalls for a Halloween costume.

That didn't happen. I woke up around 5pm with a migraine. I had it all: the throbbing headache, the nausea, the sensitivity to light, sound, and smell - all of it.

I was able to fall asleep sitting up with a wet towel around my forehead and on the back of my neck (coincidentally blocking out light and sound). I'm up now and I think I'm feeling better so I'm having some tea and a bite to eat.

I have to be up long before 5pm tomorrow as I have a CT scan of my jaw at 3:40pm so hopefully I'll also get a chance to get some sewing done.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Federal election day

We played some games of a version of Jenga at a housewarming party early this evening. I'd never played the game, but it's quite fun. The game consists of 54 thin blocks from which you make a tower 18 rows high with three blocks in each row. Each rows blocks are crossed over the previous and next row. Each person uses one hand to remove a block from the tower and then to place it on the top of the tower. The person taking their turn when the tower falls loses.

I'm sure lots of people have played it but as I say, I'd never played and it was really fun! The blocks are not all exactly the same size so there are some spots where blocks will easily come out while still maintaining the integrity of the tower. I think that people of all ages would enjoy this one.

When we got home we started watching the election results. So far, the final results have not been called but it looks like it'll be a conservative government again; the only question is whether they will have a majority. It could be a minority government again. If it is, I hope that we get to wait for an election for more than just a couple of years.

Once this election is over, we can all focus on the upcoming US election. People posting in the forums I read have been very vocal and polarized on the candidates to the point of insults and poor behaviour. I very much hope that there is a clear winner in that election and that there is no fiasco like the 2000 election. With the US and global economic crisis, I don't think it would do the US good to have to go through a protracted election count.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you all have had a good Thanksgiving weekend, eating turkey or other yummy food.

We got some beautiful weather today! The blue skies, together with the changing colours of the leaves, is making for some gorgeous scenery. I love being outside looking at all of the fall colours; those colours make this one of my favourite times of the year.

For those of you in Canada, tomorrow is Federal Election Day. If you haven't already voted in an advance poll please be sure to vote tomorrow. Every voice matters and it's important to make sure your voice is heard.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gobble, gobble, gobble!

We got to have a very yummy turkey dinner at Ian's parents today. There was turkey and stuffing and vegetables and - my favourite - pumpkin pie! The entire dinner was yummy and for once I didn't eat too much. I might have had a second piece of pie but no one else had any. This is probably just as well because extra pie isn't going to make me smaller, you know?

Ian and I have been going to the gym regularly since we joined. I don't think I've lost weight but my waist and hip measurements are definitely down from what they were this summer. I'm very happy about this :) I'm hoping to lose about 15 pounds by next summer and I think I've made a good start.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend movie day

It's Saturday and we actually got to go out and see a movie in the theatre! Some of you might be able to guess what we saw, knowing our movie tastes.... and if you guessed Quarantine , you'd be right. It's a movie about  people in a building who are quarantined due to a fast-moving, aggressive illness. Which is trapped in the building with them, of course. The movie is shot by the cameraman from a two-person camera crew who were following the firefighters into the building before the quarantine went down.

It's sort of like Cloverfield in that it's a "shaky-cam" movie shot by one person - the cameraman. This makes the movie more realistic because it limits what we can see; there were several times that I found myself trying to look around something to see better. There are parts that I would have loved to see more clearly because they gave an explanation to what had happened. This kind of shooting-style is also more like a first-person video game, in a way, which is one of the reasons that I think this type of filming is gaining popularity.

We both really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to people. There are a few very gory bits but not as many as in other movies. It's mostly a very suspenseful film.

This evening we went to a friend's place and watched 88 Minutes . It's sort of an interesting movie where after the first 15 minutes or so, the protagonist gets a phone call that says that he's got 88 minutes to live. The rest of the movie is all about the guy trying to figure out who's behind it and at the same time trying to fend off the police, who think he's committed a bunch of murders. It wasn't as great as it could have been - there were a couple of issues with the acting and dialogue - but it was entertaining. There's an alternate ending on the DVD that is a bit better than the actual movie, but it's longer, so I think that's why it was cut.

Yesterday I meant to write here but I ended up with a chill and had a hot bath to warm me up. I start sweating when I'm cold and I can get a chill afterwards, especially if my clothes get wet and it's breezy. Getting a chill isn't just shivering; my hands and feet get extra-cold and numb (I have Raynaud's Syndrome in my hands and feet so the circulation starts to dwindle in them) and my lips go blue.

Apparently what I'm experiencing are cold sweats and they're menopausal side effects. So I guess I'm getting these cold sweats instead of hot flashes .... but I'm not sure it's a fair trade. People understand hot flashes but not everyone has heard of cold sweats.

Anyways, if I can catch it before I get a chill, I dry off and change my clothes, which results in a lot of laundry. With the colder weather over the last few days the chills have been worse and I've found that a hot bath is just about the only thing I can do to get warm again. There have been days lately where I've had two hot baths just because I'm so cold and chilled.

If anyone knows of something I can do to make me warm after I get a chill *other* than a really hot bath, please let me know. I can't always stop the chills from happening, even if I change my clothes. It's like once the chill starts, I have to get overwarm for it to stop. And I'd like to not have to spend the entire winter in the bath, you know?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Still alive but sleepy

Last night I meant to write here and then I went and fell asleep. Not that I have much to say these days - all I've done in the last couple of days is sleep. It was very nice today but I ended up sleeping most of the day away. I've been getting up early for the last couple of days and after doing that for a while, I need to catch up on my sleep.

I'm typing this while enveloped in the smell of the brugmansia flower. We brought our plants in because we had frost here. Since then, the one plant has blossomed twice and the other one (the transplanted one that we thought was dead) has grown new leaves. The smell is quite pretty, if a bit heavy, and it's something that we don't get to smell often.

I started curling today and my new shoes are awesome!!! I can slide so much further on them than I could with my old ones, and they were lighter than my old ones, too. I had an easy time delivering my rocks and sliding forward - it felt sooo much better to be on these shoes! The left foot was slipping a bit on the heel and so I have a blister on that heel. I should have worn both pairs of socks tonight.

In case you thought I wasn't doing anything with my days, I'm still working on sewing things. I traced out a skirt and have made all of its alterations so I can cut it out tomorrow. I've still got the other dress I'm working on - it's on hold while I find the right trim colour between the regular and bias portions. I want to insert something like piping just to make the dress look a little more finished.

Sadly, with the dropping dollar, I don't want to (well, I shouldn't) buy much more in the way of patterns or fabric so I'll have to work with what I have (which is admittedly quite a lot). The only thing I want to buy right now is some gorgeous fabric. The fabric is out of print so it's hard to find but I love it! The thing is, I just can't decide which colourway to buy: the blue or the red. I think I'm leaning to the red (although I do love both!) but buying both isn't/shouldn't really an option. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Surrounded by another person's memories

When I'd seen my late friend last , she told me that she had a bunch of her bellydance stuff that she wanted me to have. Her husband got all of it together, got in touch with me, and I went over there this afternoon to get it. He showed me a picture album of her when she was bellydancing. She was so beautiful! I could tell from the pictures that she knew what she was doing and was very graceful and elegant.

What's more, she taught herself how to bellydance, made all of her own costumes, taught other people, and set up her own business delivering bellygrams!!!! She was a single mother with two kids, working somewhere and doing all of this to try and make ends meet. I looked through the things she left me and I have all of the jewellery she made and bought (the earrings! headpieces! neckpieces! sterling silver!) as well as all of the costumes she made, including the bras, belts, skirts, and veils, and the leftover embellishments. I also have the books she used to teach herself, the books on costume design, *and* all of her music. I was so excited when I looked through it! It was like finding the perfect pair of shoes (some of you have seen that reaction and you know how obvious it is).

Ok, all of this stuff is from the late 70s and early 80s (and the music is on cassettes), but in a way that makes it even more valuable and interesting. It's not just bellydancing costumes  and information passed from one bellydancer to another - it's a piece of history, both hers and the bellydancing community.

I wish I had known how much bellydancing she had done - I knew that she had bellydanced but not that she had done everything else - and I'm sad that I didn't ask more about it. I wish I had told her how much I admired her.

Tonight I went out with a group of people for dinner to celebrate my friend's life. We toasted her and conducted ourselves in the fashion of which she would have approved: lots of laughter, food, wine (for those who drink it), and yummy desserts. At least we could give her this. 

Monday, October 06, 2008

Awash in memories

One of my sisters was given a stuffed animal made of fabric panels when she was very young. That animal was loved to death by her and was a huge fixture of my childhood. Today I found replacement panels! I was so excited because it was like bringing back my childhood to me.

Later on I came across an envelope addressed to me and Ian in my father's printing. As soon as I saw it, I burst into tears. It had contained a gift from my parents and I could just imagine my Dad addressing the envelope, excited (in his own way) about giving the gifts away. He liked to give us gifts.

Seeing my Dad's handwriting brought back another childhood memory. Leading up to one Christmas I was coming to believe that Santa didn't really exist but I wasn't sure of that one way or another. I wasn't sure how to prove it and so on Christmas morning, I compared the handwriting on the packages from Santa and from my Dad. They were the same and right then, I knew that Santa didn't exist.

I miss my Dad so very much. I think about him just about every day but this is the first time I've cried like this in weeks.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fall is here

I've finding that my everyday activities have been changing a bit to deal with the autumn in the air. I get chilled - and hot - really easily and I've started taking baths to warm up. And so after being a shower person my entire life, I think I'm becoming more of a bath person. I make it really hot and read my book and soak in the bath. I never really understood why people would want a hot tub or jacuzzi but I do now. Oh, the luxury!

I've always associated baths with my mom - when I was growing up, she had a bath most evenings. At that time, she was my age and I was at an age where I was really starting to see her as a separate person from me. Now that I'm the age she was then, I sort of feel like I understand her so much better than I did before. And so every time I find myself doing something that she does or did, I feel so much closer to her. I like this.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Adventures in curling shoe shopping

I got new curling shoes today. I'd meant to replace my shoes last year but never got around to it. The shoes had metal eyelets that had shifted and that left scratches on the curling ice, and I'd worn through the heel cup. I wavered between two pairs: the Goldline Regal and the Asham Slam (second from the top). I very much liked the fit of the Slam but the disks on the bottom were weird. As well, the outer part isn't leather and I was worried that they wouldn't last as long as a leather toe. The Regal is leather and it's a shoe that should last a long time - part of the point of buying a good-quality curling shoe is to get something that will last a long time.

I ended up with the Regal but I have to say that the buying process was quite an adventure. The first pair I tried on was my normal size (36.5, or a 5 1/2 in their sizing) but I couldn't get my foot in because the tongue is stitched down to the top at a higher point than most shoes (most likely for stability when delivering). If I can't put the shoes on, I can't curl in them, so that pair didn't work.

Next, I tried on the half-size up and the right foot was fine but the bottom of the tongue dug in strangely on my left foot. I kept saying "ow" and Ian finally told me that it sounded like something was wrong. And that if it hurt now it wouldn't stop hurting later. So that pair didn't work, either.

The sales guy then said that the shoe I was trying on was the *new* version of the Regal and that there was an older version still available in the back. He went back, searched around for a bit, and brought me out a pair to try on. It fit just fine on my right foot but it was a bit loose in the heel on my left. This isn't unusual - my left foot is about a half-size smaller than my right foot - but I don't want to buy a shoe that didn't fit. So that pair didn't work too well, either.

After that I went back and forth, trying on first the Regal and then the Slam and then the Regal and then the Slam, trying to figure out which pair to buy. Another sales guy came by and said that sometimes different pairs of shoes in the same brand and size can fit differently. He also said that as long as I bought a right and a left shoe in the same size and version, he'd be fine if I got the two shoes from two different pairs. So he went in back, searched around for a bit, and found another pair of the same size in the old Regal version. He brought them out to me and the left shoe fit perfectly! The pair I got was a combination of the first right shoe I tried on and the last left shoe I tried. Crazy, huh?

This whole process took quite a bit of time and the help of two different salespeople. I am very pleased with the result and I'm grateful for all of the help I got. I'm also grateful for Ian's patience - he was there the whole time and encouraged me to be absolutely sure that I was happy with the shoes. Hopefully we won't have to go through this process again for a while.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A new vintage pattern

I bought this vintage pattern off of etsy - the top is very similar to one I used to have, with princess lines and lots of buttons. It was black and I remember replacing all of the original flat buttons with little round buttons (there were 16 or 17 of them, if I remember rightly) and it looked so awesome. I don't know what happened to that top - it either fell apart or I got too big for it.

Anyways, I bought the pattern and it arrived today. The listing said that it was in good condition but when I checked it, the collar piece was missing and there were three extra pieces in the pattern. I didn't think that "good" meant "incomplete + extra pieces" and honestly I was a little annoyed. I sent a message to the seller and she's giving me 20% off the purchase price (or a refund, but I'll take the 20% because I can draft a collar), which I appreciate.

I was looking at the pattern and instructions to try and figure out how the buttons and buttonholes are applied. These are the worst pattern instructions I've read, and that includes other vintage pattern instructions which are notoriously scarce. Apparently the dress need not have a collar but can have a sort of sweetheart neckline instead - but there's no picture anywhere of what that pattern would look like. As well, the picture makes it look like the top closes via buttons and loops, not buttons and buttonholes, but the instructions don't say anything about making button closures at all.

So when I get around to making the top, it'll be quite an adventure (and I might make a princess line in front, like in back, so it's more like the top I used to have). Fortunately, I've made tops like this before so I think I'll be ok.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Curling already?

Today was the first night of curling for us. We went to a workshop tonight on improving our delivery in preparation for the actual season which starts next week. The first thing we had to do was deliver without a rock. If you're balanced correctly, it should be possible to go through the entire delivery without actually holding a rock. I think my body forgot how to deliver a rock because I fell while trying to deliver. :) Things got better by the end of the night.

This season Ian is curling three nights per week and I'm curling twice a week. That's all assuming that the Friday night curling goes forward; at the moment, there aren't really enough people to carry a league through the entire season. We'll see. It wouldn't be all that fun if hardly anyone shows up.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My favourite book into a movie

Thanks for your tips on finding argyle sweaters. I looked today and saw a few but they didn't fit right - some were too long and others were too boxy. I also did a search on eBay and there are a few there that I think I like. I'll keep looking.

I think I remember mentioning that Blindness is one of my favourite books ever. There is so much to the book that every time I read it, I get something new out of it. Now, I'm very excited because the book has been made into a movie (shot partly in Toronto)opening this weekend! The movie isn't getting great reviews but I still hope that it will be a movie worth seeing. From what I've seen, I think I'll like it.

I'm watching a show right now on the making of the movie and it seems like the director really worked to capture the anonymity and humanity (or lack thereof) in the book. Before shooting began, apparently all of the actors had to wear blindfolds and be led around, following the sound of a bell. There are special contacts that the actors wore that prevented them from seeing well during critical scenes so that they would act blind.

I am annoyed that the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is calling for a protest of this movie because they feel that the movie discriminates against blind people since it shows people becoming monsters after going blind and being unable to take care of themselves. WTF? It's a post-apocalyptic movie! It's not like newly-blind people automatically know how to take care of themselves, and it's likely that they'd make a mess. Think of the mess in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina - those were sighted people in the dark, and the mess they made and things they did are equivalent to the mess and actions in the movie. And as for monsters - well, people do what they need to survive. If they weren't blind but were in the same sort of situation, they'd still be monsters. I'm thinking that this group hasn't got that much credibility, really, and their protest is a knee-jerk reaction without thinking things through.

Fortunately, no NFB people will be protesting here in Canada. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this movie even though I know that it can't possibly be as fundamentally moving and thought-provoking as the book. Still, I'm interested in seeing how closely the movie follows the book and what, if any, new things the movie brings to the already multi-leveled story.