Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That went well

We met with a financial advisor today. We were pleased to find out that that we can afford the amount of house that we thought we could afford. The advisor thinks that we should hold off on buying a house until the new year because she expects house prices to go down some more. We'll see.

We hope to meet with a realtor when we're back from our vacation at the end of July so that we can start looking at houses. The idea will be to get a sense of what we can get for the money. We have some ideas of what we'd like to buy but we could always change our minds after we see examples. And of course we don't want to rush into buying a house - it's a big commitment, and we want to be sure that we're buying the right house.

Between all of that and the rain and everything, it's been a very long day. I'm soooo tired; even though tomorrow is Canada Day, there's a good chance that I won't be doing much of anything to celebrate the day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I guess it's time to grow up

I think I've mentioned to some of you in passing that we're thinking of buying a house one of these days, after which we'll get a dog. We finally took the first step in getting a house: we have an appointment on Tuesday with Ian's financial advisor.

In preparation for the appointment, we've each sat down and figured out what money has come in... and what goes out. I put this exercise off for as long as possible because I *knew* I spent too much money... and it's true, I do. Over the last 15 months, I'm rather ashamed to say that I've spent 13% of my income on beads, patterns, and fabrics, most from eBay. I knew I spent a lot on these hobbies... but I didn't know I spent quite that much. Eeep. Even worse, I spent almost as much in untracked cash. Gulp. That money would have been better put into savings or something instead of being spent.

If I were to be making a budget - which I guess I will be... buying a house is no small task and requires financial responsibility - I'd say that I need to set a reasonable amount to spend and stick with that. Right now, each win is a separate transaction and it's really easy to just buy and buy and buy. That's going to have to change.

Sigh... this growing up thing is hard. I liked to think of myself as a free-wheeling, happy-go-lucky gypsy girl who could move at the drop of a hat... who could go anywhere, anytime. I know that I haven't been that person for quite a while, but I still sort of think of myself that way (or wish I was like that, maybe). Having a house is scary, not just because of the financial commitment, but because it'll keep me firmly rooted to one place. I guess I'll have to let my inner free-spirit out through travel and hopefully that'll be enough.

As scary and life-changing as the prospect of home ownership is, it's also exciting. I'm looking forward to it (although not the crazy looking for houses part - things sell fast here). And the idea of getting a dog - a pet - is one that I like. I'd like the company during the day, you know? Especially because I won't be able to shop online all day long like I do now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some of my favourite places

As you know, when I'm not watching movies or tv, I spend a lot of time surfing the internet. I spend time on cancer-support boards and a variety of blogs. I thought I'd share two blogs that I recently discovered that I love.

The first is Clothed Minds. Have you ever noticed that sewing pattern art can be..... strange? Yes, the picture illustrates the clothes you can make with the pattern, but sometimes there's so much more to the picture. For example, the expressions on the faces on the cover might be weird weird, or maybe the expressions don't match the clothes. Or the women look like men (or vice versa), or the hands look like lobster claws, or limbs are missing.

In fact, you can make up a whole story based on the picture you see on the envelope... or at the very least, you can make up funny one-line descriptions. That's exactly what you'll find at Clothed Minds: funny one-line descriptions (and the occasional very short story) based on the pattern envelope. The contributors are internet vintage pattern sellers and the patterns usually come from their personal collection.

The second is No Pattern Required. The author is a fan of all things mid-century modern - atomic, I guess you'd say. I love love love atomic stuff from the fifties and this blog has great examples of houses and items from that era.

But that's not why I love that blog. I love it because every Tuesday night, the author picks the craziest recipe from one of her mid-century cookbooks, makes it, photographs the process, and the blogs about it on Wednesday. Some of the recipes work out, and others don't have a hope of working. These entries are hilarious and not just because the recipes can be odd (like a spam, peach, and clove dish, for example). It's the descriptions of how (in)edible the results are that makes those entries laugh-out-loud funny.

I like these blogs because they're not that well-known but they're funny. We can all use some more funny in our lives; there's so much bad stuff around that finding funny things and laughing are even more important. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's up with all the people dying?

What a week! Not for me, so much - although I did get some stuff done - but for so many other people. Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died today.

Farrah Fawcett died of stage IV anal cancer and recently did a TV special about life with her stage IV cancer. I didn't see it; I don't even know if it was on here in Canada. By all accounts it was an honest and forthright account of what it means to live with a stage IV cancer.

Michael Jackson died of apparent heart failure while preparing for an upcoming tour in the UK. He was a ground-breaking artist and performer before he went nuts. I was reading that all of his kids' names include "Michael Jackson" in them. Creepy.

It's not even only that Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson are dead... so are Ed McMahon and Dr. Jerry Nielsen.

I expect you know who Ed McMahon is; he introduced Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show and he was a big entertainment guy. He supposedly did the Publishers Clearing House winner's visits. He died a couple of days ago.

Dr. Jerry Nielsen was the woman who found a lump in her breast while in Antarctica and no one could be brought in or out to do the biopsy so she did it herself. She found out that she did have breast cancer - a particularly aggressive and fast-growing type - and received chemo with the help of non-medical personnel while in Antarctica. Her cancer metastasized in 2005 and she died yesterday.

Dr. Nielsen's death is a bit more difficult for me to deal with because she died of breast cancer... I always have a hard time when I hear of someone dying of it because that'll almost certainly be my cause of death also. When I read or hear about someone else, it feels like something is walking around my grave, showing me where it will be.

The other deaths have hit me, too. One thing that's really brought home the fact that these people are dead is that their Wikipedia pages say that the article is about someone who has recently died. It's weird when people die that you knew when growing up. I guess I sort of expect people that formed part of my experiences to be around forever, you know? It's just more things circling, reminding me that it's going to happen to me, too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lazy, lazy me

Oh am I ever sleepy! I made myself get up around 2pm but I think I could've slept until much later this afternoon. I slept really badly the other night and I might have been catching up on sleep. And it's been really hot and humid here over the last few days.

So how much sewing do you think I've been doing? If you said "none" you'd be right. I've done nothing. I feel like I should be doing so much but at the same time, when I'm tired and hot, it's hard to get stuff done. You know?

I do wonder, though, if the more I did, the more I'd want to do. Or, to put it another way, the lazier I am, the lazier I get. Does that make sense? But getting started just seems so *hard*. I know that if I go anywhere near the sewing room, I might actually get something done... but I just haven't been able to do that. I am going to run out of time to sew if I don't get started right away.

Hopefully I'll be able to make myself actually do something tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taste of Japanese culture

We found out that until July 5, we're getting the Documentary Channel for free. I do love free stuff! And the Documentary Channel is awesome, because they showing movies that happen to be true :)

Tonight they showed a documentary on male hosts in clubs in Japan called The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief. The film interviews both the hosts and their customers to show what the life is like and what it costs. When women go to the club the first time, they pick a guy to spend time with and he becomes their host or companion for the evening. They drink (ridiculous amounts) and talk and spend time in the club. Of course drinks are very expensive and the women can spend thousands of dollars per night ... each... on a guy.

The guys make phenomenal money, but at a cost. It's clear that while the women love them - whatever that means - it's hard on the hosts themselves. All their relationships are superficial because they are all things to all women and they lie so much that they find themselves unable to trust anyone.

And what the women do to have these "relationships" and spend all of this money? It's not much different for them, but their pay is much less.

It's an interesting documentary about a part of life I didn't know existed anywhere, let alone Japan, and it's definitely worth watching.

Speaking of things Japanese, I just finished reading Battle Royale. It's a book set in a near-future socialist pan-Asia where every year, a set number of junior high classes with about 40 students each are chosen to participate in the Program. The Program puts the students in a confined space, preferably an island, give them weapons varying from forks to Uzis, and tell them that they have to kill each other until one person remains.

The book is awesome. Of course I read the English translation as my Japanese is non-existent but I think that the English version is fairly close to the Japanese text. It's sort of slow to read at first because there's a fair bit of character introduction at the beginning. The story and the words are compelling, though and the ending is amazing. Seriously.

The subject matter of the book is not an easy read - 15-year-olds killing each other? with descriptive accounts of the deaths? - but it's a good, thought-provoking read. It's not hard to imagine such a thing taking place, or the characters behaving the way they do.

They made a movie of the book, and a second movie has been made, and there are mangas out there, too. I very much want to get a hold of the two movies, neither of which are widely distributed in the US. I think I should be able to find the movies somewhere - there's a guy on eBay who's got them; if I can confirm that they'll play in Canada (ie they're Region 1), then I'll probably buy those. I very much want to see the book in a visual medium.

And I think I might try and find the mangas as well; I think it would be interested to see this story told in yet a different visual medium. Yes, I find this story *that* compelling.

I think that book could only have come from Japan, though. It's a culture that is so different from ours... such a book might have a hard time being published here due to its content.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Only a little fabric

Believe it or not, I bought hardly any fabric today. Instead of buying each and every fabric that I loved - and there were many - I bought only three fabrics. Many fabrics were on sale, and there were many others that I wanted to buy just because they were so pretty or so soft or so gorgeous... but that I'm not likely to sew anytime in the next year. Or two. Maybe even three.

Does this mean that I've grown up? Become less impulsive?

I doubt that. :) It's more that... I have a ton of fabric already. And I've spent tons of money on patterns - my eBay watch list is long, and my recently bought list is also long. And we are going on vacation (and I should actually try and pay for some part of that, yes?).

I did have a good time couple of hours not buying too much fabric today. I am definitely feeling better today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Restless me

Happy Father's Day to all of you who are or have dads!

I've been feeling out of sorts today; I just haven't wanted to do much of anything but sit and play with the computer or surf the internet. I haven't wanted to go out, or watch tv, or talk to anyone, or anything like that. I'm finding that little things irritate me today when they normally wouldn't.

I figure that part of the problem is that it is Father's Day, and I don't have a dad... which leaves me feeling sad and cranky. That'll pass, I'm sure.

I'm wondering if the bigger problem is more that I haven't done much to leave the house (aside from last night's dinner and show) for a while. So tomorrow I'm taking the car and I'm going to go looking at more fabric and maybe do some other shopping. Mostly I want to look at fabric because I like fabric.

Hopefully just getting out of the house tomorrow will lift me out of this restless, out-of-sorts feeling.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A date!

We went out - actually left the house - for dinner and a show tonight! We do eat out from time to time but we don't often go out to see shows.

Dinner was at The Raintree Cafe, courtesy of Ian's brother and fiance who gave us a gift certificate for the restaurant. The food is very good there, with a unique fusion of ingredients giving lots of flavour. Just about everything is made on the premises from scratch and their food is both vegetarian- and gluten-free-friendly. It's a very comfortable restaurant with good food and reasonable prices. If you're in Waterloo and looking for a place to eat, the Raintree is a good choice.

The show was the last of three comedy shows we'd signed up for. This show was part of the Yuk Yuks road show and had three comedians. They were ok; there was a lot of relationship-type humour that didn't totally apply to us so that was so funny, but the rest of the show was good. I'd see it again. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

My eyes are ok!

I'm pleased to say that there's nothing wrong with my eyes. The flashes of light are just flashes of light. Yay! Even though all of this turned out to be nothing, it's important to get flashes of light checked out because the cause could be very serious.

My optometrist sent me to an opthamologist this afternoon. My eyes were frozen, dilated, and then frozen again. The opthamologist took a good long look at my retinas and at the very end, he had my forehead and chin stay stable and then he put a magnifying thingy on my eyeball, settling it under my eyelids. He'd use that thingy to take a look at part of the retina and then would turn the thingy (while applying pressure) to get a look at another part.

The pressure of the thing on my eyeball creeped me out soooo much that I pulled away halfway through the procedure. I just couldn't bear to have that thing touch my eye; even though I couldn't really feel it except as pressure and coldness, it still bothered me. I'm squeamish that way. If I'd known what was going to happy I'd have brought Ativan with me as I was quite anxious; if there is a next time for this, I'll remember to do that.

I think the guy thought I was a big baby because when I first recoiled from it (before he'd even put it against my eye) he said, "but you wear contacts, right? How can this bother you?" Ummm, yeah. And then after I pulled away he had to guide me back to where my head was supposed to be: "bring your head down... down.... down... forward... forward... down.... forward". Sigh.

I hope I never have to do this - or any kind of eye surgery - again. At least it's over and I can go on to enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Apparently eyes aren't supposed to that

I called my optometrist about the flashes of light and she asked me to come in right away. Apparently arcs of light at the periphery of one's vision can be a posterior vitreous detachment which could lead to retinal detachment, which is a very serious condition.

Fortunately, my optometrist didn't see anything wrong with my retina, but she's still concerned. The arcs I see are on the bottom of my eye which indicates that the problem is at the top.... which means that if the retina starts to detach, it could finish detaching quite quickly. I guess that's due to gravity.

I did ask if there was anything else - like an infection, sinus problem, or a tumour - that could cause the flashes I see. She said no, that the type of flashes I'm seeing could only be caused by a particular chemical reaction between the vitreous solution and the retina or something like that. She did say that it's possible that I might end up with a small tear that stabilizes as a permanent floater. I don't know how that's possible - maybe I misunderstood her.

The best news here is that the flashes aren't continuous and I haven't seen as many today as I did yesterday. I'm going in to see my optometrist again tomorrow, and she might send me to an opthamologist. I think that seeing an opthamologist is the right thing to do here so hopefully that'll happen. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I think I'm getting old

It's been a sleepy sort of day. The last couple of nights have been late and I'm not really used to them anymore. The days of staying out until well after midnight most days of the week are long past... although if I remember rightly, I used to sleep for three or four hours between getting home and going out again, so maybe I haven't changed so much.

For the last little while I've had some white flashes in a semi-circle at the lower part of my vision in my right eye. I've been seeing them off and on for a while but for some reason, I've had a lot of them today. The area around the eye also feels sort of weird (kind of numb and sort of swollen from the inside), so I wonder if it's  some kind of migraine or something. I have had migraine headaches before but I've never seen an aura with them. Then again, this is the side that got hurt when I fell last summer, so maybe things have changed.

Also, when I look a small, bright lights without my glasses on (so that the lights are very blurry and huge), in my left eye, I see a consistent oval of darkness going from the center to the one o'clock position. I assume that this is the tiny cataract that's in that eye because I don't see that when I've got my glasses on. Then again, I don't actually know what this thing is, and it's a new thing.

I guess I should actually try and see my optometrist soonish. I don't think that there's anything seriously wrong with my eyes, but these effects are new and should be looked at.

This getting old thing sucks. I wish I was young again and didn't have to go to the doctor because new stuff kept happening. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Games and movies and fun

Late last night we got together with some of the people that Ian works with and watched Primer. This is a very strange, interesting movie. It's about the dissolution of a friendship, and it's very technical and engineer-like. Time travel is involved which makes the story more difficult to follow... but that definitely make the movie something to talk about. This is a movie that should be seen without knowing too much about it, that needs to be seen more than once, and that should be researched in between viewings. If you like this sort of thing, you'll love love love this movie. Ian and I both loved it, as do the people he works with. In fact, they're viewing it again tonight.

We didn't watch join them because we went over to our friend's house to play games instead. There were 14 - aka tons!!! - of people there! We ended up splitting up into different game-playing groups, and I played Taboo and Bohnanza, which I've played before. Many of the people there were more casual board-game players who prefer to play games like Taboo and Cranium. Those are fun games, all right, but we also like to play more complex, less casual boardgames. It's hard to get so many people wanting to play those games, though. Maybe another time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Local woman exercises today

Waterloo, ON -- A local woman spent an unusual amount of time exercising today. Chantelle James went for two 40min walks around the neighbourhood and then spent 45mins dancing gently around her living room while listening to the self-titled 2006 album by Telescope.

Ms. James usually spends most of her days sitting on the couch or sleeping. While she has been known to walk once around the neighbourhood, a second walk in the same day is definitely an aberration for Ms. James. Ms. James has also not danced around her living room for many years.

When asked what prompted this increased level of activity, Ms. James said that it was nice weather for walking both this morning and this evening, and that Telescope is a pretty good band to dance gently to. Ms. James also reported that she was feeling pretty good, if a bit tired, after all that activity. We expect she will sleep well tonight!

What will this burst of energy mean for Ms. James? Will it continue? Stay tuned and watch this space for updates.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More movies!

Today was another movie day! We watched RocknRolla, a Guy Ritchie film about a bunch of gangsters and a painting. It's quite good; in many ways, it's like a heist movie. Well, it is a movie that contains heists and gangsters from different countries and has lots of funny lines. One thing I especially liked about this movie is that the storylines and characters are played out in parallel and then intersect at the end. The acting was perfect for this movie as well. If you get a chance, it's worth a watch.

This evening we watched Wolf Creek, a movie about three people who are driving through the Australian Outback who, when their car stops working, find themselves in the company of a bushman. Horrors ensue. I think I actually saw this movie in Edmonton a few years ago with a friend of mine. Back then, the fact that this movie was allegedly based on a true story threw me off because I couldn't see how anyone could have known what happened, based on what the movie showed.

If I ignore that little thing, then this is actually a pretty good horror film; it has lots of tension and realistic gore. It *feels* scary in places, and that's something that I haven't always been comfortable feeling.... which may also account for the reasons I didn't love the movie before. Clearly my tastes have become more refined, or else I've seen so many bad horror movies that I've grown to appreciate what a good one has to offer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday movie night

I know a lot of you might have been concerned when we didn't see a movie last Saturday, so I'm sure you'll all be relieved to hear that we're back to Saturday movies. At least for this week :)

We watched Timecrimes, a very good Spanish movie about a guy who ends up in a time machine and travels backwards an hour... after which he tries to change the events that happened. I don't want to give too much away as it's much better to find out what happens for yourself. The movie might feel a bit slow for the first bit but it's worth sticking with; it definitely speeds up and gets more interesting (and more head-spinning) as it goes on. There's hardly any gore in this movie.

We watched this as a dubbed movie with subtitles for signs and stuff only. The dubbing was fine (although a bit stilted, like almost all dubbing) and didn't detract from the movie at all, and the subtitles we saw weren't intrusive. This movie is definitely watchable when it's dubbed and should be easy to watched sub-titled.

The DVD for this movie includes the sub-titled short film/music video 7:35 de la manana, directed by the same fellow as the movie. In this short film, a woman walks into a cafe and strangely, no one talks to her. Then a guy breaks out into song and, with the forced help of the people in the cafe, sings and dances about how he's wanted to approach her. The film is funny and tragic all at the same time. Don't let the sub-titles put you off; each phrase is short and easy to follow. I highly recommend this short film - I even found it for you on YouTube and it's only 8 minutes, so have at it :)

This DVD had lots of trailers for other good movies, and so you can expect that we (or I, at least) will be seeing Splinter, Let the Right One In, and Special at some point. The first two are scary-ish and that last one looks hilarious (a guy thinks he's got super-powers? How can that not be funny?).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep

When Ian left this morning, he said something to me about how he expected that when he got home, I'd still be asleep.

That turned out to be true - I didn't get up until Ian got home around 6:30pm, so today was a lost day.

Ian knew I'd sleep the day because I took Ativan last night to calm my extra-woogly back, and Ativan often makes me sleep a lot the next day. At least the Ativan calmed my back... but sleeping the whole day away isn't something that I'd like to do all the time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You can't make this stuff up.

We'd recorded Dog Day Afternoon a little while ago and we watched it this evening. It's a re-creation of a robbery attempt that turned into a media circus in 1972 with some of the names and other details changed.

The movie is very good - it appears to re-create what actually happened (albeit in a shorter timeframe) and to show how the people developed over the course of the event. It starts out sort of funny just because the situation is so funny, because it's clear that the guys didn't really know what they were doing, robbing a bank, and they definitely had no exit plan when faced with the might of the NY police force.

When the media shows up, Sonny (the guy who "planned" the robbery) manipulates them, and that's funny, too. From then on, the movie is less funny and more sad, and then is just tragic.

The movie isn't just about a bank robbery gone wrong (honestly, if the cops had just waited until they were out of the bank, there would be no movie), but about the media and its power. This is a movie about how media circus and television experience an event, and how much people wanted to be a part of it. This, at a time when 24-hour media didn't exist. It's compelling, and also appalling, and a foreshadow of things to come.

This is definitely a movie worth watching. The story, the lighting, the acting, and the cinematography are all excellent; there's nothing to detract you from this movie. Even the supporting cast are amazing and add to the story.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oprah is not infallible

A lot of people out there are fans of Oprah. Oprah is an amazing woman, having overcome poverty and abuse to become a leader and spokesperson followed by millions. She has a presence in just about every medium and people follow her there, too. If she recommends a book, that book is a sellout. Same with clothing, jewelry, ideas, and medical theories.

I'm not an Oprah fan. There are people out there who follow what she says without thinking and I didn't want to be someone who did that. I've also felt wary about many of her medical and spiritual claims, but there was nothing that I could really put my finger on that bothered me.

Today I read an article that made sense to me and that clarified for me *why* I don't totally trust Oprah: I don't believe that she is necessarily doing good things for her followers. When she has science on her show that's later proven to be questionable, she doesn't go back and take another look at that science; it's left to stand as is in syndicated re-runs forever.

Even though Oprah says that she expects her followers to think for themselves and to seek medical advice, she doesn't necessarily encourage them to do that by not presenting more than one side equally. People who do things by instinct or tarot cards can't possibly know what's best for everyone... and instinct can be wrong. As can tarot cards.

Oprah isn't all bad; her words and images and the power of her followers can do more for good causes than anything else. But if you do want to follow what she says... think about it and definitely get medical advice.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Games night

For the first time in ages, we actually went out to play boardgames. There were tons of people there; it was great to see and talk and hang out with them.

Most of us played Container, a new game that Ian likes and bought a little while ago. It's an economic-based game where players produce, store, ship, and sell containers. As the game goes on, the players actually end up setting up a fine market-based economy and that shared economy can do the things economies can do, like go into inflation or recession; monopolies are also possible. The game seems complicated at first but it's not hard to play. It is a fairly long game; ours clocked in around two and a half or three hours. It was a lot of fun.

In sad news, a friend of mine isn't doing too well and I'm so sad for her. I knew that things weren't going that well because the cancer seems to be everywhere but now things are worse and she can't eat or walk or anything. I'm afraid that the end is near for her and I've been crying off and on all afternoon. I hope that her condition turns around... but if it doesn't, then I hope she doesn't suffer.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Cube Zero

Cube Zero was on tv tonight and so of course I watched it. If you aren't familiar with the movie, it's about people who are trapped in a 3-D maze of identical cubes (some of which are booby-trapped) and the people who watch them. It's not quite as good as the original Cube but it's still quite good in that we get to see some of the people who watch the people in the cube.

I think it's the idea of the cube that I like - that such a structure could be built. In the movies, this type of cube is definitely used for evil purposes instead of anything good - and realistically, what good could come of putting people in a 3-D maze of cubes? Why would someone do that? I can't imagine a rational reason for building such a structure.... but it's still an interesting idea.

Tomorrow is my last meditation class for the summer. I'm going to miss going to the class as I've learned a lot about how to relax and calm down (even if I'm not always good at doing the things I know to do). Stress is easy to find; peace, not so much. So even half-formed meditation skills are useful.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finally, some sewing!

I finally got around to sewing the dress today and I'm quite pleased with the results. The waist is a little tight but that's because my waist is big in proportion to my bust and hips - middle-aged spread, I assume :( . Letting the waist of the dress out will be easy because it has four darts, each with 2" taken in at the waist, plus four seams along which I can make changes.

Aside from that one fitting issue, the dress fits perfectly and looks exactly like the picture. Looking at the dress on me, I decided to make two other small style changes: bring the neckline in a bit as I find it wide for me; and bring the skirt in a bit on the sides as I find it sticks out a bit more than I like. After that I have to test the matching jacket, but I'm fairly confident that the jacket will fit as well as the dress.

Once I'm finished the adjustments on the test garment and the paper pattern, I'll go ahead and draft all of the facings. Then I can pick out a fabric (hopefully from my collection of fabrics, but I'm not adverse to buying new fabric :) ) and sew an actual dress and jacket.

I'm very pleased with my work this time. For the first time, the grading is *perfect*. Not only that, but I sewed the test garment without having to rip out and re-sew any seams! These are both firsts for me, and I'm quite proud of myself, if I do say so myself. It's about time that my grading and sewing went right. :) Yay for me!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A very lazy Saturday

This must be a rare occasion: even though it's Saturday, we didn't watch any movies. Amazing, huh? :)

It's not like we did all that much instead; we got groceries, went for a walk, and Ian played video games while I watched. His latest game is Infamous, a game where a bomb has gone off in a city and somehow the protagonist ended up with electric-based power. The city is a mess of warring factions and the protagonist goes around trying to fix things. The game has lots of side quests and things to do as well as the main quest. The visuals are interesting as is the fact that the guy can climb like a monkey.

I like this game; there's lots of stuff to do and that the game can be played as good or evil. I also like that the main character doesn't have any conventional weapons, but only different things he can do with his power. Ian says that it's a fun game to play, and I think it's fun to watch him play. I don't play video games myself; I'm a back-seat video-game player. It's sort of like watching a longer, more interesting, and more interactive movie :)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Sleep, wake, sleep, watch movie

Believe it or not, I managed to not sleep all day. Not that I did much of anything today - I'd thought of going for a walk but I ended up having a nap instead. Which was just as well, I suppose, as a walk would've tired me out even more.

This evening we watched The Others, a fine Nicole Kidman movie about a woman and her two children living in a house where strange things happen. There's a twist at the end that makes the whole movie much more interesting and worth a second viewing. I'd actually seen it before but I'd say that it was even better the second time.

This is a period piece, set in England in 1945 in the most beautiful house ever. I suppose it was a summer home once upon a time; it's huge with lovely furniture and exquisite parquet floors. The clothes are gorgeous - even thought the movie is realistic and each character has a limited number of outfits - and correct for their time. Period movies that do things right are a joy to watch (especially for someone who likes vintage fashions, like me) because a person can really immerse themselves in the time shown.

Even if you don't like vintage fashion or period movies, the acting from everyone is superb. Nicole Kidman really carries this movie when she's on her own - which is much of the time - and the children steal the scenes when they're in them. Overall, this is an understated but very good movie, and well worth watching if you haven't seen it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pamidronate day

Getting my Pamidronate today went pretty smoothly, except for not being sent to actually receive my Pamidronate early enough. At the reception, they tell me to wait until I'm called, but in the chemo suite, they  always tell me that I'm supposed to go right back, as long as I'm going to be in the back area. The trouble is, I don't know whether or not I'm going to be in the back area. Today I had the bloodwork in the regular area and the Pamidronate in the back area.

So today I finally learned: when I sign in for either the bloodwork or to receive Pamidronate, ask if I should go right to the back. If I'm not going to be back there, then someone will come and get me.

You'd think that I wouldn't have to figure out a procedure like this... that things would just work there. I'd think that, too, but I know that the hospital attached to the cancer center is one of the worst in Ontario, so I've learned not to expect as much as I would anywhere else.

Aside from that, everything went smoothly. In between doing the bloodwork and getting the Pamidronate, I went for a walk. It was a lovely day and I walked around the area just to the west of the hospital. That area is quite nice with houses set back on well-maintained lawns and beautiful gardens. It was a peaceful place to walk and spend time; much better than sitting around in the hospital or cancer center.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Finally, some work on my dress

I cut out and marked my fabric today for my sample dress. For the sample, I'm using a lovely 1/8" periwinkle gingham fabric; it's actually quite a pretty and flattering fabric for me. I doubt that the dress will be perfect right from the get-go, but I'm hoping that it'll fit well enough.

The picture on the front of the pattern isn't quite right because it shows the dress ending somewhere around the knee, but in fact, the dress ends at the mid-calf. I was looking at the main dress pieces and they looked long but I couldn't figure out *why* they were so long. I'd shortened them by the right amounts. But of course I hadn't shortened the dress from a mid-calf to a knee-length dress, which is a separate alteration.

I have Pamidronate tomorrow but I'm hoping to get the dress basted together to see how it fits. Cross your fingers for it to work out. :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Change is inevitable

I meant to make a yummy dinner with spaghetti squash (instead of pasta) and turkey meatballs (instead of the usual meatballs or ground beef). We've had this meal before and it's healthy as well as yummy; spaghetti squash makes a good substitute for real spaghetti pasta.

So I was all ready to make this and had bought what I needed ... and then I slept all afternoon so I didn't have time to bake the squash (it takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours). I was up early for Meditation class and I guess I was tired because... I don't know. I was tired.

There's a huge something going on over at the young survival coalition support board. For quite some time, I've felt uncomfortable posting on the mets board because non-mets people read and post there (sometimes inappopriately). Other people are coming to this realization. We mets people are being seen as "meany metsies" to some people, and when we post on the general, non-mets board, things go bad.

Some of the women with mets are not doing well... their cancer is taking over, and their days are numbered. Naturally, these women are not happy and are not providing the kind of patient support they'd provided before. But it isn't just that some women aren't being as kind, or as supportive; it's that there's much more animosity on the general board. Some of that comes from cancer fakers, and some of that just seems to be the changing landscape of the board.

Support boards change... and this board is *not* changing for the better. It's so tense there, and so hard to post. Some women are considering setting something up somewhere else, and I'd be happy with that.