Sunday, November 30, 2008

These are interesting times

Normally federal Canadian politics are pretty boring compared to politics around the country. There aren't that many controversies or scandals, and things that happen during the Parliamentary sessions are unremarkable.

You might remember that we had an election about six or eight weeks ago and another election about two years ago, and that both elections resulted in minority governments. This means that no one party holds power and so in order to pass new bills, lots of compromise needs to be made with other parties to get them to vote for the proposals. This can be good because it brings balance to new bills and has apparently wrought some of the best legislation ever passed. A minority government is inherently unstable because no one holds all the power.

Right now, the Conservative party headed by Stephen Harper forms the minority government, and that's almost certainly going to change one way or another. The other parties that have seats in the House -  the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois - have hammered out a deal where they will form a coalition government (well, the Bloc will support this government but not be part of it) for the next thirty months if a non-confidence vote in the Conservative government next Monday is passed *and* the Governor General approves.

This is so exciting!! Only one event , 80 years ago, comes close to this proposal. And there's no guarantee that this crazy proposal will go through - the Governor General can decide to hold yet another election if a House vote shows non-confidence in the Conservatives. Nevermind the fact that the last two elections resulted in minority governments and another election would probably do the same thing. Not to mention that elections are expensive and why, in these times, would we spend money on that - the Governor General could make this call.

Apparently there's a third possible outcome, and that's is if the Prime Minister suspends but does not dissolve Parliament (prorogues it). A non-confidence vote could then not take place - but then, neither could any other business. I suspect that this option would delay the inevitable non-confidence vote, but I'm not sure.

This is all very exciting and will definitely be an historic event no matter how it plays out. The non-confidence vote is set for December 8. I don't know what the long-term implications are for any of these options, so I expect to be doing some research over the next week. And glued to the tv/internet next Monday :)

What do you all think? Do any of these options appeal to you? Which do you think would be best for the country in the current economic climate (they're saying we're in a recession and the Big 3 automakers aren't doing well, which will have huge impacts on Ontario)?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fun and games

Our fun today started with seeing Bolt , a Disney movie that came out about a week ago. It's an animated movie (available in 3D, in some places) about a dog who thinks that he really is the star he plays in a tv show. Thinking his person is in danger, he tries to help her and ends up on quite a journey. Sound sappy? It isn't. In fact, this is a GREAT movie!!!!!!! I was bouncing up and down in my seat because parts of it were so awesome (Ian said that it was fun to watch me watching the movie), and in some parts I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

Yes, this movie has a PG rating and so if you see it in the theatre, you'll share the space with kids, but there isn't that much downtime in it so the kids don't talk too much. The animation is spectacular and there isn't much gratuitous 3D imagery (you know, like where they show an object coming at you from the screen for no particular reason).

We strongly recommend this movie - go see it! This is a movie that I could definitely see again and again.... In fact, I'd love to see it with my family - we're similar in some ways and I can see us really enjoying watching this movie with each other.

After the movie, we played Rockband 2. I didn't really notice much in the way instrument upgrades (I sing when we play) but I really like the songs available for it. It has songs from bands that friends and I used to sing along to, including Duran Duran, Journey, Billy Idol, and more - see the setlist. It's awesome singing along to those old pop classics! Sure, I like the rock songs but I definitely liked the lighter stuff, too.
The increased variety of included songs in Rockband 2 over Rockband means that there's something for almost everyone, so it would be an even better game to play with a diverse group of people.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday shopping

Today is "Black Friday " in the US - the Friday after Thanksgiving, where US retailers have huge sales and expect to get into the black for the year. Every year there are stories about the sales and the huge numbers of people that vie for the best bargains. In addition to those stories, there's a much more serious one out there.

A Wal-Mart employee was trampled today after a huge crowd of people broke down the doors to get in and shop. Four other people (including a pregnant woman) were also hurt in the stampede. Photos show that huge numbers of people were massed up against the doors in an obviously uncontrollable mob.

I'm shocked and appalled at this news. I know that people like bargains, but is rushing in and trampling someone to get a bargain worth it? Of course it's not just the people seeking bargains that are at fault here. If Wal-Mart had controlled the situation better at a much earlier stage, that man might not have died. Why were people allowed to just gather in a mob behind the doors, pressing against them before they even opened? Why weren't some of the extra security people outside forcing the people into some kind of line? What the hell was Wal-Mart thinking?

I'm not usually one for litigation, but I very much hope that Wal-Mart gets their butts sued off over this. There's no excuse for this tragedy. Wal-Mart should be held responsible for failing to have adequate measures in place to control this type of situation. They should be held responsible for failing to protect their employees. I very much hope that the unions finally gain a foothold in Wal-Mart as a result of this incident. I'm not normally a huge fan of unions, but I think that the Wal-Mart workers need a safe place to work. And I don't think that Wal-Mart can be trusted to provide one.

I don't know why this particular incident bothers me so much, but it does. Maybe it's because it's Wal-Mart (I don't like them), or maybe because this death could have been avoided with a little forethought, or maybe it's because the person died because people were in such a rush to buy stuff and get good bargains. Ugh.

Happy US Thanksgiving, everyone.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

There's more day when I'm awake for it

I can get so much more done when I get up early - well, early for me, which is about 10am. I was able to get some more sewing done and to feel like I was a real person. I felt like I had time for everything and that I could do as much or as little as I wanted, but I didn't feel lethargic or tired. It was a refreshing change from the last few days.

I did get the waistband attached to the pants (although I haven't attached the waistband facing to the top of the pants) and tried them on, and I think they look good. They seem to fit really well and I think I'll be happy with them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I love it when pants come together

The fly zipper on the pants I'm making turned out to be not too hard. It's the first fly zipper I've ever done; fortunately, the instructions were fairly easy to follow and I didn't have to rip any seams out. There was a lot of basting but I'm learning that basting is a good thing :)

There's a wide, contoured waistband on these pants that is supposed to be cut so that the straight grain is horizontal in center front and back. You might remember that I'm using a herringbone fabric with several different gray warp fibers, giving the fabric a subtle stripe. I had actually cut the waistband out with the grain as designed but then I realized that this wouldn't be all that flattering. I've made that mistake before: the horizontal stripe in front goes downward at the sides and makes my belly look bigger. I don't need my clothes helping my belly look bigger :)

So I recut the outer waistband on the bias (adding a seam in center back) which will look soooooo much better. I can still use the previously-cut lining pieces because the grain of the lining isn't so important; as well, the straight grain (and interfacing on the outer fabric) will help to stabilize the outer waistband. Hopefully I'll finish the pants tomorrow, if I'm up early enough. I think (hope) that they're going to look good.

Of course I'm still making pattern grading adjustments to another dress (a kimono-sleeved empire waist with a full-ish gored skirt) and I want to start work on grading up a top or two. So much sewing, so little time! I wish I was faster at all this ... then again, if I actually spent a few hours in the sewing room each day instead of once in a while, I'd get so much more done.

I appreciate all of the support you've given me since I've been feeling down. It might be time for a new antidepressant, or it could be the time of year (it is gray out there with all of the snow, and there's less light). One thing that's definitely contributing is the uptick in pain I've been experiencing in the mets in my sternum. The pain isn't so bad that I need to take breakthrough painkillers (although even extra Tylenol helps) but it's now this constant, low-level ache with occasional extra twinges of pain. Add to this the pain in my leg and I've got a recipe for depression.

I know I should see a doctor about the pain and I will, eventually. I'd expect my family doctor to increase my pain meds, but if I don't quite need breakthrough medications, it's hard to increase the fentanyl. The mets pain could be from the Pamidronate, I guess, or I could be developing a tolerance to the fentanyl, maybe. I see my oncologist in early February and I'll definitely talk to her about this then. I don't understand how I can have pain in the sternal mets if the mets themselves are stable and not growing - unless the pain is because the bone is growing over the mets. Anyways, if the pain gets a lot worse  I'll call my family doctor.

Heck, maybe changing my antidepressants will make the pain go away :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I knew the hospital was bad...

After what a friend told me about our local hospital, there's no way that I would want to go there if I was really sick. I don't want to give away too many details, but she was on chemo and very sick and they told her that there was nothing they could do - but they didn't do any scans or try and find out why she was so sick. If she hadn't gone to another hospital over an hour away, she would have died.

I knew that my local hospital - especially the emergency room - wasn't that good, but honestly, I had no idea that they were that bad. If I ever get really sick, please remind me that I want to go somewhere else.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Grey days

Maybe it's because I'd been sleeping so much, or because there's snow on the ground, or because I've been doing nothing at all, but I've been feeling a bit down lately. It's nothing major - I'm still on antidepressants and all - but I've been feeling fat, lethargic, and like the days are endless without meaning. Everything is looking sort of grey and colourless and I haven't felt really happy for the last couple of days.

I did feel a bit better today once I got up and did some pattern work - I finished some new-to-me alterations and need to test them. Hopefully I'll continue to feel better as I do stuff over the next few days.

One thing that brightened my day was that my wallet came back to me. The money was gone, of course, but everything else was still there. Including the earrings I thought I'd lost - there were three pairs in my wallet: the first pair of earrings I'd ever made, a pair with the first set of earwires I'd ever made, and a crystal pair that Ian and I had bought. Yeah, I was worried about the ID, but I was most distraught about losing the earrings. Silly, huh? But there it is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Almost normal again

Ok, I got up at noon today and I think I've finally caught up on my sleep. This means that I can start getting up at a normal time - yay!

I forgot to tell you one thing that I learned at the physiotherapist; the pain I have in my lower back is NOT at the L5-S1 degeneration site. The pain is lower and goes along the edge of the pelvic bone (when the physiotherapist  checked that edge, it hurt like crazy). And here all this time I thought I knew why it hurt so much there; I was wrong.

Oh, and one other thing: the physiotherapist also said that it's possible that the pain in my leg could be a circulatory problem. I'm not thinking about that - my dad died after having surgery for his circulation problems, and while I know that if I've got circulation problems they're not that bad, I don't want to have the same thing wrong with me that killed my dad. You know?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Once again, it's not all in my head

Apparently I really do have pain in my leg. I saw a physiotherapist yesterday and she was able to see the area that hurts - it's red and swollen. She thinks that I might have pulled my hamstring ages ago - like two years ago - and the muscle has never fully healed. She said that my meds might have slowed the healing process.

I must say, it's comforting to know that the pain isn't all in my head. She wants me to wear a compression garment (either a stocking or shorts) and to heat and rest the muscle. I could ice it, too, but it doesn't like the cold. I'm also to cut down on the amount of exercising I do to no more than 10 minutes per session.

If after two weeks of treating it gently it doesn't get better, she said that we're going to be mean to it by stretching it. I already know that stretching hurts - it feels like it needs to be stretched but when I try and do it, it hurts like crazy - but I can see that I might have to suck it up and get it stretched anyways. And of course she'd give me exercises to do.

I don't know what's going on with me these days, but I'm exhausted and my mets are twitchy. I'm sleeping pretty well all the time right now. I'm hoping that this ends soon because sleeping all night, all morning, all afternoon, and most of the early evening isn't much of a life, you know?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Westport trip

Friday night in Westport was pretty low-key; once all of us had arrived, we decided to go out to dinner. I chose Mexican because we don't have any good Mexican restaurants in Waterloo. We ended up driving around in circles for a while because the person driving wasn't able to get her bearings. The food was exceptionally good although the restaurant was full of really, really drunk people so the atmosphere left something to be desired.

Everyone who was going to be there was there on Saturday. Most of us got together for breakfast (it was included in the hotel price), after which I decided I'd walk down to the drugstore. I thought it was really close but it turned out to be about a mile and a half away. I saw a TD bank on my way there, which surprised me - later, someone said that they'd just taken over another bank. At least I was able to stop at the bookstore on the way back :) I bought a book I'd been interested in before: Books of Blood (Volumes 1-3) by Clive Barker. I'll have to get the volumes 4-6 as well - I looove the stories. I hadn't expected to go on such a big walk and slept while others went down to the beach.

That night, the person who knew the area best suggested we go to an Italian restaurant. She called the owner who said that he could fit us in as long as we showed up by 6pm as he had a reservation for 15 at 7:30pm. We're a group of 13 at this point, and if any of you are familiar with groups of this size, you'll know that getting the entire group together at the same time is like herding cats.

We were supposed to all meet at 5:45pm to figure out car assignments. Everyone finally showed up by 6:05pm and we all made it to the restaurant by 6:30pm. Remember our reservations were for 6pm? Yep, we were late. The owner was in a tizzy because he had this huge group coming in at 7:30pm but he assured us that he could serve us all within 15 minutes. Ha ha.

The meal was delicious and finished around 8pm. I don't know of any restaurant that can serve 13 people in 15 minutes :) We all met afterward in one person's room for some chatting, italian desserts, and fun. There was a lot of laughter (much of it inappropriate) and good times.

On Sunday, the person who knew the area arranged for us all to go to dinner at The Dressing Room , which is the restaurant that Paul Newman part-owned (apparently she knew the family). The restaurant serves only organic food. The food was *delicious*. For dessert I had angel food cake lightly pan-fried and then drizzled in honey, served with vanilla ice cream. It was soooooo gooooood. And it's something that we could make at home :)

I ate a little too much at dinner and my painkiller patches expired during dinner so I ended up feeling like crap afterwards. A lot of people got together that night but there was no way I could have done that - once I got my patches changed, I went to bed.

We all did a little bit of shopping on Monday at Anthropologie and Balducci's . I fell in love with a coat at Anthropologie but they didn't have it in my size, which is just as well - it was $328USD. I fell in love with many of the clothes there because they have such beautiful detailing on all of their clothes. I can make clothes and I want to put detailing on them, but I don't really know what would look good without looking homemade. I signed up to receive their catalogs as inspiration.

Balducci's carries a lot of organic foods and whatnot. After that shopping, some people went downtown and I went to bed, where I stayed until Tuesday morning. I kid you not - I slept through dinner and everything. I've been exhausted since then, as you know.

All in all, it was a fantastic visit. I'm so very glad that I went, even though I was nervous and anxious. I met some great people that I hope to see again. I hope that I gave everyone as much as I felt I got - there were so many wise, wonderful women there that I feel indebted to them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home again

Yep, I'm back! I'm still very tired so I'll give you all of the details tomorrow - for now, I'll say that I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting everyone and had quite a few laughs and a lot of food. I'm so glad to have met everyone and I hope to see everyone again.

The only dark spot on the whole trip is that when I boarded my last plane to come home 15 minutes before it took off, I realized that I didn't have my wallet. I got off the plane and looked for it but it was gone. I've already canceled my credit cards and whatnot. I guess it would have been a lot better if I hadn't had my birth certificate and SIN card in there. Yes, I know that this was stupid on my part.

Still, if someone fashions a new identity out of my stuff, I hope I end up young and glamorous and rich. You know, like they show in the commercials.

UPDATE: Someone just called me from the airport (at 11:30pm!) to tell me that they've got the wallet and it's still got the credit cards. Yippee! I have to make arrangements to get it here but at least there's a possibility that I'll get it and the important things back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow I'm off to Westport, CT to spend a few days with some of the women from the Young Survival Coalition bulletin board who have mets. I'm excited about the trip and a little nervous, too. Of course I need reading material for my trip but I didn't want to have to buy it all in the airport as it costs a lot there.

I read a lot, you know - I mean a LOT. I read mostly fiction with a focus on science fiction, fantasy, and horror (of course). I've always loved reading and have a number of favourites that I read over and over again. However, buying books can be expensive and it's hard to try new authors if I have to pay for the books.

So after having lived in Waterloo continuously for more than five years now, today I finally went out and got myself a library card. I took out three books to read on the trip (I have a couple of layovers in the airports) and I'm very much looking forward to using the library.

I don't expect to be posting in my blog much while I'm away, so please don't be surprised if there's nothing new for a few days. I'll do what I can to keep you all updated, of course. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An answer to a Bird's Nest question

While watching the Olympics, I'd wondered why the Bird's Nest didn't have a retractable roof as it was raining down on the competitors and they were getting soaked.

Tonight, I finally got an answer while watching a National Geographic Megastructures show. The original plans did call for a less-open roof and a retractable roof. After the collapse in the Charles de Gaulle airport , construction on the Bird's Nest was suspended for five months while investigations took place. Apparently there were some similarities in construction between the two structures and no one wanted the same thing to happen again.

After the consultations, the design was changed and the retractable roof was scrapped. Now I know why the competitors were rained on. :)

From conception to construction, this was a unique, one-of-a-kind building. Even the steel they used was newly developed especially for the structure so that it would be strong and flexible, both able to withstand earthquakes and be flexible enough to bend and twist over the curves of the building. It's an amazing achievement. I think I'd like to see it someday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not have been the best idea, maybe

The Pamidronate infusion and de-access went well on Monday. Whew! I've been pretty tired since I got it but that's normal.

I had the chance to get the flu shot today and I took it. I'm supposed to get it each year anyways and getting it earlier is better. Of course the flu shot isn't without side effects - it leaves me tired and physically sore for a few days afterward.

So, umm, I guess it shouldn't have surprised me that this morning's flu shot, on top of Monday's Pamidronate, knocked me out all afternoon.

There's a part of me that wishes I'd been able to have more time between the Pamidronate and the flu shot. The fact that I was knocked out for the entire afternoon - and I'm still tired, feeling a little nauseous, and starting to feel a bit achy - tells me that the next couple of days are going to be less than productive. I'd kind of hoped to get some sewing or pattern work or jewelry done (yes, I have an idea or two about new pieces that I'd like to make) but I think I'm going to have to adjust my expectations.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If I could go anywhere, where would it be?

You know, I don't think of the things that I want to do someday as a "bucket list" but I guess that's what they are. One thing that I'd love to be able to do is travel. I'd like to see some of Europe, and Australia, and all of that.

But what I *really* ache to do is travel to the Arctic or the Antarctic. There are cruises that will take a person there, believe it or not. Personally, I think that being able to see those places would be just about the most awesome thing in the world. I admit that it's a little strange for the woman who gets cold to want to go to the coldest places on the planet, but I have my reasons. :)

One reason I want to see those places in particular is because they are so pristine and virtually untouched by people. They're an example of the raw, harsh splendour of the planet and of Mother Nature. To me, going those places would be the ultimate in being one with nature. I'd love to go into space, too (oh! to travel to other planets! My heart cries at the thought that I'll never do that), but since that's out of the question, our polar regions are just about the next best thing. There are hardly any people there; they're places where a person can be almost completely alone.

I'm also in awe of the people who discovered those regions and I want to see what they saw. Those places have changed but in many ways they're timeless; it's not like the areas were discovered and then overrun with people or tourists.

I suppose that these types of trips are another way of walking away and leaving everything behind because my current life wouldn't fit there. I wonder if going to these places would quench that desire? Or would it awaken it further?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More sewing fun

You might remember that I've started sewing some pants out of the fabulous grey fabric I bought. I think the pants are going to look great when I finish them (the skirt I made out of the fabric looks awesome!). I knew when I started making the pants that there might be some tricky things to do as it's a Vogue pattern.

The pattern has welt pockets just below the waistband. I've dealt with welt pockets in jackets and whatnot, but never in this particular location. Oh my goodness, getting them exactly right was a challenge! Both of them were supposed to be 4 1/4" wide and one of them was only 4 1/8" wide - I know that no one would notice but me, but I would notice, and so I had to add both single stitches I was missing on each side.

I'd sort of tacked one of the welts in by hand when I discovered that the top of welt pocket was in the seam allowance of the waistband. I looked at it at first and I couldn't figure out how I was going to sew the waistband with the pocket in the way.... and then I realized that I'd been approaching this the wrong way. It turns out that the parts that I thought were tricky weren't that hard at all - instead of matching some circles, I just had to match some cutlines and make sure the top of the pocket was just below the seam allowance for the waistband.

The next hardest part will be putting in the zipper - I avoid fly fronts but it works with this pant. After that, the pants should be dead easy to finish.

My Pamidronate is starting up again tomorrow - I have to be at the hospital at the crazy hour of 8am(!!). When the infusion is done, home care is supposed to come and de-access the port. I called them Thursday to tell the team and got a call back from one person confirming it and telling me that it would be scheduled. Then another nurse (the one who will be doing the de-accessing tomorrow) called today to ask whether I was getting the Pamidronate tomorrow because she wasn't sure what was going on and she didn't know I was going to be on the schedule.

Sigh. Can you tell I'm annoyed? I'd expect that the home care office could manage their own schedule without having to get in touch with the patient a second time. Grrr. I find the Pamidronate procedure stressful enough that when anything else goes wrong I feel extra-annoyed. I hope that things do go smoothly tomorrow.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday night movie

We finally watched Night of the Living Dead. It is an amazing movie, not just because it's about zombies, but because it's a realistic portrayal of how people forced into a deadly situation act and react. I didn't much like many of the characters because I thought that they were acting irrationally and endangering themselves and others. Then again, those people were behaving as you might expect them to: the "big fish" becomes a coward when a "bigger fish" comes along; the woman who couldn't leave during the last major disaster overreacts; and the catatonic woman is catatonic with a textile fixation. These could all be real, annoying, random people you might get stuck with during an emergency.

We watched the non-colourized 30th anniversary edition which has a new score and some added scenes. I hadn't heard the original score so I don't know how the new one compares, but I thought it was ok. I didn't notice it most of the time which is the mark of a decent soundtrack to me.

The new scenes are at the very beginning and the very end and I really didn't like them. In fact, I think that these scenes detracted from the movie. One of the reasons that the movie is so good is that you start right in with the dead and finish with the cleanup in the end - the scenario goes from bad to worse as the movie progresses. The new scenes bracket the movie by adding a badly-acted religious component that references no other part of the movie. This new, unsupported message doesn't fit with the existing movie.

I'm doing some reading (that link is worth reading if you don't mind a little outrage and profanity), and it looks like other original footage has been taken out in addition to adding these terrible scenes. Apparently some of the important backstory is missing as are some zombies. What was John Russo thinking when he changed the movie?

Hmmm. I'm thinking that while I like the 30th anniversary edition of Night of the Living Dead, I'll love the original much, much more.

My cups runneth over

You know how I've had problems with patterns being too big in center front and center back, at least at my current weight, and so I thought that my shoulders were too narrow? I think I finally understand what's going on, and it isn't that my shoulders are narrow - it's that my bust is big.

There are two bust area measurements that can be taken: the bust itself, where the tape measure goes over the fullest part of the bust and stays parallel to the floor all around; and the high bust, where the tape measure is in the same place as the bust in the back but is raised in front to go above the bust fullness. A bust measurement no more than 3" larger than the high bust indicates a B cup while a bust measurement more than 3" larger than the high bust indicates a C or larger cup.

Most people can use the bust as a guide in choosing the pattern size because most people will be about a B cup. If someone has a C or larger cup and chooses a top or dress pattern according to the bust size, the bust will fit properly but the shoulders and armholes will be way too big. So the solution for those with a C or larger cup is to choose the top or dress pattern size based on the high bust measurement and then make a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) for the bust. This means that the shoulders, chest, and bust will all fit properly. I should mention here that making an FBA is way easier than grading the shoulder area down :).

Note: I suspect, although I'm not sure, that if the bust and high bust measurements differ by less than about 1" this indicates an A or smaller cup. Those with an A or smaller cup could use either measurement to choose the top or dress pattern and then make a Small Bust Adjustment (SBA) to fit the pattern to them.

Anyways..... it turns out that right now, my high bust measurement is about 4" smaller than my bust measurement. I guess I'm not the B cup I thought I was :) I've been choosing my pattern size by my bust measurement when I should be using the high bust measurement! No wonder I was having fit issues through the shoulder and armscye.

I'm pretty sure that I knew about all of this - I definitely remember reading about how to select a different pattern size based on the high bust measurement and all that - but I never thought that it applied to me. I guess the difference between my bust and high bust is more pronounced right now because I'm carrying some extra pounds.

Speaking of extra weight, the other day I told my oncologist that I wanted to lose some of it. She said, "Why? What's wrong with your weight now?" I could have kissed her - who doesn't want a license to be chubby? :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The fantasy of walking away and starting over

We were watching a tv show where the main character just walks away from his life. He meets a girl and travels with her without telling anyone where he is or where he's going.

Part of me would love to live that kind of life, moving from place to place whenever I felt like it and never really having responsibilities. I always used to say that I wanted someone to pay me just to sit in a room and be me and do what I like - giving everything up to live a paid, no strings nomadic life would definitely fall into that life (so does being on long-term disability, come to think of it). I could definitely get used to freely moving from one place to another.

At different times in my life, I've also very much wanted to just walk away and start over. Not that I've ever wanted to leave my family or loved ones, but there's something appealing about being able to go somewhere else where no one knows me and reinvent myself. Intellectually, I know that this wouldn't work, because wherever you go, there you are - in other words, you can never escape yourself so you're likely to make the same kinds of mistakes that you made before. That said, there's something about the idea that a person could just walk away and start over and have a good life.

Don't get me wrong - I love the person I am and the life I have..... but who doesn't love the idea of a little irresponsibility and reinvention sometimes?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Too sleepy for my own good

I'd run out of Aerius, the allergy drug I take, for a few days and so wound up not taking any for a few days. That turned out to be a HUUUGGGEEEE mistake.

The red blister things have re-appeared under my fentanyl patches and are itchy as crazy. So not only is my back kind of ugly due to overlapping patch areas, it's ugly AND itchy due to the allergic reaction. Blah.

To counteract the allergy effect, I took some Benadryl which acts as an antihistamine. I then tried to watch a movie. Ha ha ha - it's funny because I fell asleep during the movie (Benadryl is known to make people sleepy) and woke up watching only the movie menu. That's a bit of a waste of a movie, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Normal, sort of

The endodontist I saw today thinks that my tooth hurts because I either cracked it in the fall I had or the new filling put in is bothering me. He's taking a conservative approach to treatment and putting in a zoe which has anaesthetic properties. If the pain is still there after six months, then we'll either do a root canal or extract the tooth.

Let's hope that my tooth just doesn't like the new filling, huh?

If we do have to proceed further, then my oncologist wants to stop the Pamidronate for two months both before and after the procedure. I figure that if the pain is still there in five months, we can stop the Pamidronate, and do whatever procedure we need to do in seven months.

The reason I say that I will stop the Pamidronate is that my oncologist, who I also saw today, is putting me back on it. She doesn't have the jaw CT results but since no one has told me anything, we figure that the scan is clear. My oncologist is also going to start seeing me every three months instead of two because my condition is stable and I'm doing so well.

In great news, my tumour markers went down to 35.8 which is normal. Yippeee!

On a side note, we're looking at the US election results and so far they're calling Obama for the win. I hope that this actually happens - I didn't want to see McCain in power, and I think/hope that Obama will do great things for the US. In my opinion, he's a great leader and the world needs that right now.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Clearly, I don't know everything

I was able to get some sewing done today. I finished the skirt except for hemming it and got the pants ready to sew.

I've discovered that I've learned a thing or two about sewing over the years. In particular, I think I've finally figured out how to use fusible interfacing. I used to avoid using the stuff because it would always go lumpy after it was washed. Well, I've discovered that I wasn't fusing the interfacing properly - I was using a steam iron. I did some tests and it turns out that it fuses better with heat, pressure, and lack of steam. As well, I realized that the interfacing looks different once its fused to the fabric so it's easy to tell when it's fused properly.

Who knew all of these things? It's like no matter how much I know, there's still room for more.

Tomorrow is US election day - finally! It'll be a fun evening of watching election results; hopefully there will be a decision tomorrow.

I've also got a couple of appointments tomorrow: I see a root canal specialist (in case the pain in my jaw and face is due to common teeth problems) first thing and and then my oncologist in the afternoon. Hopefully it'll all go well.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A new sewing project

I'd bought a lot (five-ish meters) of some gorgeous dark gray herringbone fabric a while ago as part of my winter fabric shopping spree. It was super-cheap, which is one reason I bought so much - the other is that I love it, of course! It has a number of different gray warp thread colours, giving it an irregular striped effect that I love. The herringbone weave itself is so fine that it's hardly noticeable but it makes the fabric drape beautifully. Not only that, but the herringbone weave gives the fabric some stretch to it. I tell you, what's not to love about this fabric?

Since the fabric is gorgeous, drapes really well, has a bit of weight to it, and has some stretch, it's perfect for skirts and pants (and some tops and dresses, I think). Today I finally pulled the fabric out and cut out a skirt and a pair of pants. I can't wait to sew them! I've made the skirt pattern before and it looks awesome but this will be the first try for the pants.

Now, normally when I wear skirts or dresses in the winter, I wear tights with them because otherwise my legs get cold. Usually I wear black tights because most of my winter things are black, but since I'm working with these gray fabrics, I decided that I needed some non-black tights. I was thinking that gray, charcoal, or off-black tights would be perfect. I figured that it couldn't be that hard to find a pair of tights in one of these colours.

Well, it's exactly that hard. I spent two hours looking at tights today trying to find the perfect gray pair. I ended up buying three different pairs because I wasn't sure which ones would look and fit the best. Each one has slightly different colour, composition, texture, and opacity, and even though I tried to figure out what each pair would look like, it's impossible to know that until I put them on. Fortunately, none of them cost all that much and I think I'll get wear out of all of them.

I also bought a pair of black sweater tights - they're so soft, cushy, comfortable and warm that I just couldn't resist buying them. I have a lot of black tights but none like this pair; when I tried them on at home it felt like I was wearing a soft, warm hug on my legs. They're not that cheap but they are that nice - I highly recommend them!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween weekend pictures

I know you've all been waiting anxiously for our pictures, so here they are! This post is quite picture-heavy; blogger and I have had quite a time getting this post up.

Ian's Jack pumpkin that he carved at work in 10 minutes:

Ian's Cybermen pumpkin (from the new Doctor Who series):

My Dalek pumpkin (also from the Doctor Who series):

Our house from the outside. Not quite as many decorations as in previous years but still nice.

The candy and Spooky Town table. Pretty :)

Tonight we went to a Halloween party and we got to dress up!!! Here are pictures of our costumes :)

Braaiiiiins! I'm a zombie!:

A close-up of my zombie face. Ian thought my make-up looked pretty good. I think so, too :) I really like the fake gel blood I had which makes the bloody parts that much more realistic. I hope it comes off easily. The shirt is an old one I had that we cut up and spread blood around on (it doesn't have to come clean).

Ian is Rorschach from Watchmen. This is what we spent so much time getting together the other weekend: the pants and trenchcoat came from Goodwill and I made the mask. I'm quite happy with how the mask turned out.

Finally, a picture of both of us:

Whew! What a lot of pictures and fun this weekend has been.I'm looking forward to sleeping and having a restful sewing day tomorrow.