Wednesday, October 24

Just Put it Out There

When we were at OCFF, I was part of a conversation about putting your needs out there and somehow the universe will pick it up.  Call it prayer, call it fate, whatever, we were calling it the universe.

The specific example was about instruments.  All three are involved in a youth music program.  One of the musicians had a contact that offered guitars but things fell through.  But this actually raised the question if the youth even wanted to play guitars.  Maybe they really needed harmonicas or drums or mandolins.  Each had an example of a time where they either needed something, or when they could provide something for someone.  Maybe they just needed to put the word out there that there was need and the universe would deliver.

The universe just looked out for me.

I have a presentation to give tomorrow, more of a training session than presentation.  I am scheduled from 9-12 with a fire drill in the middle giving us a break so I have to be a little flexible on how long that break is.

I don't know this client, I haven't really worked on their categories even.  So for all of the examples, I had to create data, not just borrow stuff I had and learn about their brands so I don't stick my foot in my mouth.

I was trying to figure out the handout situation.  It is too big to print every page and why kill a tree for heading slides?  So I saved as and started trimming down to what I thought would make a good hand out of the best oh, 20 slides.  I could have just hidden them, but no, it's a new file, I'll delete.

You know what I didn't do?

Save the damn file before I saved as. 

So the version I have saved?  It was about 3 hours old. 



I realize this at 4:45.  I email Mr. Lina.  I am not sure if I'm going to cry or puke or what but it sure wasn't feeling good.

And then at 4:51, 1 minute after hitting send on that email to Mr. Lina, they email to cancel.

I should not be happy that someone is in the hospital, but I am.  I so am. 

I am going to go home and appreciate every second of time I am not spending on recreating that presentation.  I'll have to do that at some point, but not right now.

Tuesday, October 23

Oh boy!

We're off to Orlando on Friday.  The Post Lifers is airing at a film festival so we're going to take in that festival on Saturday and stay until Wednesday for some additional vacation.

You know what's in Orlando?

Disney.

I've never been to Disney and honestly never had a real drive to go.  Last time I was in Florida I was 5.  I remember parts of the trip.
  1. My Winnie the Pooh colouring book I had on the plane.  It had stickers and I thought this was like some magical book that I could not only colour but place stickers - scratch and sniff stickers at that.
  2. The spiral stair case at my grandparents apartment.  I seem to remember having a hissy fit when my parents just wanted to pop up to Nana and Papa's unit quickly and I wanted to take the fun staircase not the boring one that was closer to their unit.
  3. Vague memories of the beach because my dad buried my brother in the sand and I thought it was funny.  But that might be a different beach and my mind is merging two trips.
Pretty Grievances has talked about going to Disney for a Halloween event and I thought that was super cool but never connected that it might still be going on.  We're going with the writer/director of the film (and his mom) and the three of us were planning the trip on Saturday and he brought up Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween.  Well now I'm stoked to go.

But what to dress up as?  We're leaving on Friday, I have a house concert on Thursday, we're seeing New Order tonight, that's not a lot of time to pack and make a costume.

Last night, we went to a few places to get some inspiration.  I have a cloak I made a few years ago that I would like to use, the black outside and red lining could make a good Evil Queen from Snow White if I could find a purple dress.
Source
Well, all the costumes either seemed to be the wrong colour, too slutty for Disney or it was just a tube of stretchy fabric. 

Not quite the look I'm going for but you can buy it here.


I can sew a tube, maybe add a godet.  It's going to be hot, I am okay skipping the long bell sleeves.   I have purple crushed stretch velvet at home... 

Stash to the rescue!

The problem is, there wasn't as much purple fabric as I thought.  I know I cut a pair of panties out of it but I must have cut something else out as well.  I had enough to do the front of a dress and around a bit to the sides, but not the back.  The cloak will hide the fact the back isn't purple but I am trying to keep it looking interesting in case I do need to take the cloak off.

Either way, it made me clean off my cutting table, dig through the stash and sew.  It has been so long since I've actually done something, I think I lost sight of the fun and just saw the big pile of stuff blocking my way.  I really don't care all that much about this costume so it's crazy slapdash styling, but I had a great time, sewing past my "witching hour" which resulted in some time with my seam ripper.  I got so slapdash I even just cut part of the seam out rather than ripping it.  Sad but true.  I have to go to Fabricland at lunch for my mom (another hunting expedition but this time last season's Christmas fabric) which gives me the opportunity to look for a gold braid to make the belt and see if they have more purple fabric at a good price.  I'd cut that back off again if I could have it all purple.

There is still some work to do on it, a bit of fitting, figuring out what to do for straps/neckline, but it's about 80% there.  The house is in okay shape, I think I can do what needs doing for the house concert and still have time to finish up the dress on Wednesday.  Maybe.

Update:  I went to Fabricland and they had the same crushed velvet on sale for $5/m, so it's going to be an all purple dress.  Yay!

Friday, October 19

TGIF

Last week was a 3 day week and it felt like a full week.  I think I slept through this week and it feels surprising that Friday is here.  Not that I mind the weekend starting, but I don't feel like I did 5 days worth of stuff.  Time is fascinating in that it is specific and constant but our perception is so varied that it becomes illusive.

  • My ankle is finally showing some real improvement.  It's still sore when I poke at it and I still have a bit of a limp but going down the stairs was more fluid this morning.  Up until now it felt like it healed about 70% and stopped.  Not so painful as to need Advil, but enough to be awkward.
  • I'm sure none of you are surprised to hear Mr. Lina likes horror movies, well it's October and become "Educating Sera" month.  In the Mouth of Madness was the pick on Monday night.  If you want to understand how HP Lovecraft continues to influence modern (okay, mid 90's) horror and suspense, watch that.
  • Don't watch it if you don't like being scared.  I actually asked if this was going to be too much for me about 20 minutes in.  But I stuck with it.
  • Those of you from the Greater Toronto Area, keep an eye out for landmarks.  It was filmed in Toronto, Markham, Unionville and Stratford/KW.
  • I spent most of the week in a fog from lack of sleep at OCFF.  5am bed times are not as easy to recover from as they used to be.
  • I'm off to help my mom at a craft show tomorrow morning.  Should be a good time, a public school in Caledon. 
  • Sunday we're going to see Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna.  I've seen one other Cirque show, I'm looking forward to it.
  • Just reading up on it and one costume has 65 yards of fabric. 
Amaluna - The White Dress Source

  • That's a whole lot of fabric.
  • You know maybe it's not, I'm sure I have far more than that in my stash.
  • Although I'm not trying to wear all of my stash in one go.
  • And then dance in it.
  • Yeah, that's still a lot of fabric.
Ever watched a television series on DVD/NetFlix and get into the "just one more" syndrome?  I know I have, watching Castle past my bed time, Once Upon a Time was another series I had a hard time putting down.  At almost 10 minutes, this is a little long, but I laughed so hard, it's worth it if you can spare the time.  I really could be that couple, particularly seasons 1 and 2 of BSG.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 14

Lingerie Shop Along - My Results

As a trigger happy participant of the Lingerie Shop Along, I bought 5 bras from www.brastop.com.  Overall, I'd say this was successful in buying bras but also figuring out I was one of the 80% of women not wearing the right size. 

I did take pictures of myself, but I have to say they suck.  It was apparently rather chilly in the room and some of the bras are a bit sheer for public consumption.  So let's split this up into the three groups.

The Good

Sophia by Freya
Lucy by Flirtelle

 
Let's start with what I'm keeping.  Lucy is the best fit out of all of my purchases, in part because I bought a larger cup size.  Sophia isn't a perfect fit but it's good enough it took some time to really feel the poking of the underwire on the right (larger) side.  I really should go up a cup size but I wore it long enough that it's mine for now.  It's not bad, it's just not great.

The sports bra is something I am comfortable sharing here.  Comments in the bra reviews suggested the fit was snug so I stayed with what had been my band size and I'm glad I did, this is freaking snug.  With my ankle being sprained, I haven't had a chance to take it for a test run (literally) but based on single leg hops and the feel, I could bungee jump and they wouldn't move.  I am pleased on a functional level, but I can't figure out how the hell you're suppose to do this bra up on your own.  See how there are two black bars across the top and bottom of the open circle?  Both are hooks and eyes.  They are too wide to hook both from the front and swish it around, the bottom I can do up on my own, but my arms do not reach that high and still have the angle to do up hooks and eyes.  Maybe I'll figure it out with practice, but Mr. Lina had to help me out.



And talk about compression.  There is a reason I can buy bras from these sites specializing in larger cups.  Does this look like a large cup to you?



The Bad

I have known for a bit that I need to cup up so to speak.  I've made bras in a larger size only for them to be too big.  In the past, my bras have been 38 D.  I'm 35" at the band so I wasn't adding quite 4" (or the 5" they would have suggested) but I thought I'd try some 36" bands because I liked how tight my last self made bra was.  I also knew to go up a cup size.  So the sports bra is a 38D, the other 3 are 36DD and the Lucy is 36E. 

Monet Plunge by Freya

 
The problem with Monet is the 3rd and 4th breast that I get.  There is a seam line that is pushing into my breast.  Although the Sophia bra is a little small but not too bad, this is clearly too small on first glance.  Sadly, they are sold out on the 36E.  But it is really pretty, if you wear a 32DD or 32F, you may be luck.

Which leads us to...

The Ugly

Oh dear, this bra was not made for me. 

Vivienne Tshirt bra by Bestform

First, I don't mean the bra is ugly.  It's quite lovely, the detail at the band and straps is really pretty.  The molded cup is not thick enough to hide the fact that it was cold but it would provide a nice seamless look under a snug shirt.  The problem is fit and shape and well, everything.  My breasts don't really do that nice cleavagy thing where you'd measure the high bust.  It's like I'm flat and suddenly there is breast tissue.  So when this bra won't change shape and wants to do whatever engineering pushes it up, this is what happens:

 

See how I end up with this shelf of breast within the bra?  It just goes flat and the bra sits higher than my armpit.  It's just hundreds of ways wrong.  Even Mr. Lina was raising an eyebrow and saying things like "that looks weird".  It's just not for me.

In all, 3 bras to keep, two to return and a lot learned as to what suits and what doesn't.  I'm pretty sure Freya would be a good fit in a 36E.  I'd try that brand again.  

Thursday, October 11

Just call me Hopalong

Mr. Lina and I are off to OCFF this weekend.  Yes, we joined the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals so we can go to their conference.  Starting tonight until Sunday morning, it's going to be a fantastic mix of music, workshops, and meeting people - both new to us and reconnecting with people we've hosted.  As such, I have tomorrow booked off of work and today is like a Friday to me.  Somehow as a 3 day week, this has been long enough.

My doctor says that I sprained my ankle.  3 of the ligaments specifically, although he did point out that I did not hurt my foot, the inside ankle nor the bones.  I wasn't all that worried about any of that myself because none of them hurt, but I suppose it's good to know.  So for now, you can call me Hopalong Cassidy.

Wikipedia

Rest, ice, support and time (2-3 weeks) will heal my ankle.  I need to wear flat shoes (figured that out already) and use a tensor bandage/brace to give it support if I'm going to be walking much. 

Three weeks in flat shoes means I needed new shoes.  I have been wearing my crappy summer ballet flats this week but the only good thing about them is they are flat and red.  I have some running shoes that are good for supporting my foot but they aren't work appropriate and my winter boots are too warm.  I have realized I do not like flat shoes.  I mean visually, I never look at flats and say "oooh look at the pretty shoe".  Never.  It was really hard to keep my eyes off the pretty shoes and look only at the boring shoes.  And at that, I wanted flats with some kind of arch support and grippy sole.  I also didn't want to spend much time walking to get them.

It's like being told you can go and buy fabric and since you need this for a specific project and you need it today, price is not the dominant factor in your purchase.  And you see lovely velvets and laces, linen and silk, but you know that's not suited to the project.  You have to go to the back of the store for the polar fleece and broadcloth.  Not to knock broadcloth nor polar fleece, both have some perfectly practical uses, but would you call it pretty?  Would you wear it to a dinner party or a wedding?  Cinderella was not dressed up in polar fleece.

After going to a shoe store with too many pretty shoes and the only functional flat shoes were not my size, I thought of checking out Mark's Work Wearhouse (added benefit of being the next store over).  I have bought practical black heels from them and even their dressy shoes have a "Tarantula" anti slip sole that is pretty handy on winter shoes and should keep me sure-footed while my ankle heals.  I purchased these:
Source
I cannot believe I'm wearing shoes that have velcro.  What is wrong with buckles?  But it was those, or these:
Source
 
I know it goes higher and might support my ankle more, but I just couldn't do that shoe in a skirt.  If this is the shoe I'm wearing for the majority of the next three weeks, I need skirts.  At least the Mary Janes I can wear with either pants or a skirt and look a practical version of cute.  I tried them on with a tensor bandage on so I knew I could fit that if need more support.  Seriously I do not think I've gone 3 weeks wearing nothing but flat shoes since I finished university, this is a real adjustment for me.  
  

Wednesday, October 10

Dear Anonymous

I am thrilled that you love my blog.  I love having new readers and getting comments just tickles me pink.  It is wonderful to have suddenly gained such a frequent contributor to my blog.  I don't have many people who leave 4 or 6 comments to a single posting.  Those posts must resonate with you.

Sadly, my finger slipped and I deleted quite a few of your comments, but I'd like to address a few of that are still in my spam inbox.
  • I don't believe I need assistance to run solo ads correctly.  I'll have to give your course a pass.
  • I am afraid I will not be helpful in your quest for information on internet dating.  I met Mr. Lina the old fashioned way - drunk at a bar.
  • I am glad you are into talking about girls.  I suppose I do write from a female point of view and generally about women's clothing because I don't sew much for the men in my life.
  • Perhaps you need to visit more blogs as I certainly would not cover your interest in beat making software.
  • You must be a writer.  I understand you have a guide to seduction and must be working on volume two because you are also looking for seduction tips.  I will consider this as a possible future topic, but given that Mr. Lina reads this from time to time, I don't want to tip my hand. 
  • Thank you for the compliments on the information I shared.  I'm not quite sure what it is that you found so valuable but I suspect it did not relate to grammar.  I will try my best to "stay us informed like this".
  • You must have such varied interests.  So often your comments and web site do not seem related at all.
  • No, I do not share your interest in a 21 day sugar detox.
  • Your offer to cross promote and guest post confuses me.  I don't think we cover the same topics as your web site seems to be about heartburn.  I'm flattered, but I really don't know much about heartburn.
  • There is a comment that starts with "It's an amazing paragraph", I'm sorry, what is the amazing paragraph?  I understand it is designed for "all the internet peoples", and perhaps I am considered one of them, but I still don't know what paragraph you are talking about.
Well, Anonymous, I don't know what brought my blog to your attention lately, but thanks for providing so many varied comments. 

Sera

Tuesday, October 9

Thanksgiving

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.  It is not the big deal that it is in the US, at least, not in my house.  It is an opportunity to eat turkey, see some family/friends, have a day off and be a little thoughtful. 

We all have things to be thankful for.  Really.  Even if things look horrible, there is always something good.  If you have food, if you are warm, if your basic needs are easily met, in the grand scheme of things, you should be thankful.  But it's so easy to loose sight of that.  So easy to feel the "yeah, but" that goes with that.  Sometimes, we need to think of the big picture.

I don't know if fall is just a hard time for me, but I feel a bit of sadness.  I stepped out to run an errand at lunch and found my thoughts all negative and circling around to babies I don't have.  Maybe a list of what I should appreciate will help.
  • Mr. Lina.  Our marriage is far from perfect, but people seem to think it is from the outside looking in.  When friends comment on our relationship as one they look up to, I find myself at a loss of words besides thanks.  I found the right partner in life with Mr. Lina.  We have been through a lot of challenges together and I still want to have him by my side to face the next scary thing we encounter.
  • Finances.  We both have jobs that pay enough to have most of what we want in life.  We still make some choices, I can't have everything, but again, in the grand scheme of things, things that are important to us are feasible, food is plentiful, our house is warm and welcoming, I can buy fabric when I want to.  I know what it felt like to be paying student loans, making very little and not sure that I could share in the rent with Mr. Lina.  Or paying for university and trying to eek through April when all of my summer money had run out and I had enough for bus fair to my parents until my next pay arrived for 8 hours of work.  I may fuss occasionally about the cost of things, but that's part of how I grew up rather than really not being able to afford it.
  • Skills.  I have skills to do some pretty cool things.  I can make maps, I can talk about consumer behaviour, I can sew a bra, I can bake soft pretzels, I can make appetizers for a party of 30 without breaking much of a sweat (the house cleaning for the guests is the source of the sweat).  I am a very capable person.
  • Family.  I may not have children, but I do have both of my parents and in laws, I have 2 brothers, a brother in law and 2 sister in laws who care about me.  One set of grandparents were important to me as I grew up and had an impact on how I see the world now.  Mr. Lina still has one grandmother to spoil us with cinnamon buns.  So maybe I don't have kids, but I sure do have family.
  • Health.  Okay so my immune system is a bit ah, sensitive, reacting to things it shouldn't (like carrots and babies), and my ankle still hurts (bowling may not have been a wise choice).  But I don't have as many migraines as I used to, I didn't get bronchitis this fall (really ragweed wasn't too bad at all), I haven't had a really bad run of hives in a long time.  Sure there are quirks to my body, but they are my quirks and they aren't debilitating.
  • Strength.  I'm not feeling all that strong today, but it really is something I should appreciate.  I firmly believe that every single one of us is capable of doing more than we think we can, surviving more than we think we could.  Infertility has left a mark on who I am, but I'm still here, internal strength of just getting through it is part of that.
  • "The Blog."  We are all part of a really neat community.  It's lovely to be a part of it.  I've had a custom pants blocker courtesy of The Consultative Dressmaker, I've recently won an issue of Burda from Aft AgleyElleC had a giveaway a bit ago with a "pile of orange" (kind of faltered on the pattern that was part of that, my lapped zipper is not going in well).  I find myself talking about blogs I read like friends.  You know, my friend who is an expert in bras and tipped me off to online pretty bras.  Or how about those friends who are raising children they adopted, I've had more than a few conversations with Mr. Lina that were sparked by her experiences.  Quite often posts that resonate roll around in my head for a few days and they leave an impact on my life.
So tomorrow will bring a new day.  I'll get my ankle checked out with my family doctor.  I'm home from bowling and my bras have arrived.  I think I have a pretty good batting average but we'll discuss when I'm more organized.

Wednesday, October 3

Ouch that hurt.

Life chez Lina has been slow moving this week.  Mr. Lina and I went running on Monday evening, stepping up to the next level in the couch to 5k program and 5 minutes of running sucks but I was up to it.  The pattern for this week is:
  • 5 min walking
  • 3 min running
  • 90 seconds walking
  • 5 minutes running
  • 2.5 minutes walking
  • turn around
  • then repeat the 3min/90sec/5min/walk home
Near the end of the second 3 minutes of running, my ankle started to hurt.  Like hurt hurt, not like all my other muscles that complain but will push on.  I'm pretty sure Mr. Lina thought I was wimping out when I told him to run ahead on that last 5 minutes.  I tried to run a couple of times in part because it was dark and I wasn't dressed for walking, I really wanted to get home.  It became clear when I did get home, this wasn't just me being wimpy as going down the stairs was pretty painful and indeed, it's still hurting me now.  Granted, it's a whole lot better now and my limp isn't so visible, but I'm still taking stairs one at a time going down unless there is a hand rail to lean on.  I believe I will be up to walking tomorrow night but not running.

When you encounter a new blog, what do you usually do?  Do you read the post that caught your eye?  Do you start from that day and read going forward?  Do you go back to day 1 and start from there?  I often read a few posts to get a bit of context on what they are writing about and a sense of their writing style.  If I'm really and truly hooked, I go back to the beginning.  If it's a more life-driven blog, I usually go to the beginning because I want to know where they came from.  Again, it's about context.  K-Line has a great shop along series for bras and she's recommended a few companies to shop with.  (I ended up buying um...  more than a few bras on Sunday morning.  Apparently I don't understand window shopping when the sale ends today!!!  (like there wouldn't be another sale or something else on sale, I've already titled a post Weak Willed and Easily Led).  I'll write about that when they arrive.)  Yesterday I started reading the blog at Butterfly Collection.  Now maybe I have a bit of lazy-mental-health-slacker going on or maybe breasts and bras are truly that facinating, but it really is a great blog.  I've ended up reading all of her posts between yesterday and today.  All of them. 

Now I want my new bras so I can have happy breasts again. 

Mr. Lina & Autumn in August.  They were both rather sleepy and I love this picture.
Today is Mr. Lina's birthday.  Somehow in buying gifts for him I've ended up spending more on me.  Granted I did need what I bought, having one pair of pants to run in really isn't working so well.  And it might rain one of these days when we're running.  I couldn't show him the new purchases without telling him why I was there in the first place so I'm leaking out a little new clothing excitement here.  Dinner will be prime rib, which means I really should leave to get that in the oven...