sabine: (Default)
Headspace tells me that meditation leads to making better choices. Would it be wrong of me to comment on certain YouTube videos that they should really try some meditation?
sabine: (Default)
Burda: Here's our new pattern collection for this week! Yoga Retreat!

Me: I get the sense that Burda's thrown in the towel on 2015. The palazzo pants are basic and comfortable but the rest just...why?

T: "Hold still while I throw jersey fabric on you!"

A: What is with the no-pants options (the dress while carrying yoga mat, for example)!?  Are people doing yoga without pants of any kind!?  Yikes.

Me: Breathe into your core. Bend into downward dog. Don't worry about your dress falling over your head. Breathe into the movement. Let your lady garden breathe with you.

A: NOOOOOOoooo!!!!

I love my friends.

small joys

Nov. 17th, 2015 11:58 am
sabine: (Default)
One of my small joys in life is when I get an email from Burda patterns with their new "style book". It's generally around 10 patterns, all on a theme. They have photos of the garments and the line drawings.

They make...questionable decisions. These can range from "what were they thinking?" styles to "why, gods, why?" fabric choices.

Why is this a joy in life? Because I look at the pictures, form an opinion, and then forward the email to People Who Understand (but may not want to be named). They respond with their opinions. The snark will flow.

Small joys in life, I tell you.
sabine: (Default)
Filling out the forms to get my passport renewed. It's been expired for more than 5 years, so I have to apply (and pay for) a brand new one. Joy. Also had to set up an appointment with a Post Office to go through the renewal. Their appointment hours are generally 1-3, in the town halfway between work and home. Luckily, he had an opening on Saturday and took the time to review all the things I need to have with me.


But it'll be good for 10 years, so I won't have to think about it again for a while.

It was actually surprisingly easy to navigate the government website. I'm still a little chilled by that.


Jun. 4th, 2014 11:09 am
sabine: (Default)

Just got into an argument with a coworker. He maintains that no one EVER spoke Latin. In all history, apparently, Latin was only ever a written language, never a spoken one.

I call bullshit. Dumbass claims to have learned Latin in high school, but I have my doubts.

sabine: (Default)
My lunch is lonely
Sitting next to my elbow
Phone call never ends
sabine: (Fuck)
Downwood has been saying for months that we need a new blender. I've been responding that we use it once a week at most, and that's only when I'm coming home from dance late and want a smoothie for dinner. Real food doesn't sound good, but a smooth blend of fat free plain yogurt, blueberries, bananas, a drizzle of honey, and a couple ice cubes gets rid of the hunger and restores vital potassium. And it's bright purple. Win!

Over the course of the summer, the ice cube crushing and chopping ability of the blender has slowly deteriorated, going from 1 cm diameter round ice to "same size but with rounded edges" ice. The blender also leaks from the bottom a little, so you have to be careful where the bottom is pointing when you're pouring.

...Actually, that strikes me as good advice in general.

But last night's smoothie was what totally convinced me that a new blender is necessary. I put my yogurt, blueberries, and honey in the blender. As a hopeful afterthought, I threw in three ice cubes. I pushed the button and waited for the choppy sounds of ice dying a speedy, splintery death to fade away. After a while, it looked smooth and purple enough to be poured.

The first clue that all had not gone as planned was when a chunk of ice THUNKed into my glass. It was the same size and shape as three ice cubes that were stuck together. Yes, the blender completely failed TO DO A DAMN THING to the ice cubes. I cursed (Downwood laughed in a vindicated manner) and retreated to play some PackRat.

I let the smoothie blended yogurt sit for a while to hopefully get more cold as the ice melted. My bendy straw had a structural malfunction, so I gave up on it. As I got to the bottom of my glass, I realized that I had mutant ice. It didn't go down into the blender blades at all, but was fused with the bottom of my glass. I thought I was going to get a nifty physics paper out of the deal when I saw it. It was next to the ice.

A solitary, perfect, completely untouched by blender blades blueberry.

Not chopping ice well is one thing, but a BLUEBERRY?! Blueberries are squishy! They take almost no effort to smash, mangle, and reduce to component parts! Any blender worth the counter space - and even some that aren't - should be able to handle a freaking blueberry!

I showed it to Downwood. He remarked that the new Farm & Fleet has a nice home appliance section. They even are selling the same model of blender as we already have, but he thinks we should maybe give another manufacturer a try. He tried to play it casual, but I know him pretty well and could see the triumph he was throwing himself in his head.

Stupid blueberry. Should've had it on my Cheerios instead of in the smoothie.

...And Downwood just came in after taking his homemade machete to the huge weeds out back. He's taking it back into the shop tomorrow to discuss edge geometry and design with his mentor.

grr. argh.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 09:25 pm
sabine: (Stitch head->Wall)
Chiffon is evil. It's slippery, doesn't stay pinned, tries to escape from both scissors and iron, and floats all over the room instead of being nice, smooth, and unwrinkled when pattern pieces are being put on it.

On the other hand, this is turning out to be WAY more wenchy than I'd anticipated. I knew the fabric was sheer and see-through, but I didn't realize exactly how see-through. To put it another way, there will be no running into the Quickie Mart to grab Gatorade without having either the bodice or some other cover-up to hide the tiny freckles on my ribs from anyone in a 50 yard radius.

Also, each sleeve has enough fabric to make a skirt/suggestion. That is, it would make a fine skirt if the fabric weren't completely see-through. It's not even worth making a slip out of this stuff.

I got the big seams sewn tonight. As my usual habit, I used French seams everywhere I could. I've come to enjoy not having things fray when I wash them. It's to the point where I'm considering taking my yellow skirt apart so that I can do something to enclose the edges. But I probably will only ever talk about doing that because (1) I'm lazy and (2) I have so many other projects to start that I can't really afford the time to go back and work on already finished stuff.

Seriously, I have enough projects with Stuff Already Bought that I shouldn't be allowed in any sort of craft store until, say, 2019. Maybe 2017 if I get really industrious. Maybe.


Jul. 18th, 2008 11:46 am
sabine: (Angry Kitty)
I've been trying to do a pretty good job of counting my blessings and being aware and appreciative of things that make me happy on a daily basis. This, in general, is a good thing and it helps keep me balanced.

There are a couple of things, though, that are making me want to build a freeze ray and take over the world. I mean, seriously, why the crap are these things happening?

  • A conscience clause that will allow "medical professionals — from ambulance drivers to pharmacists — to refuse to provide care for people who seek services they find religiously objectionable". This proposal would allow anyone in the health care industry to refuse service and be morally and legally exempt from blame.

    Why don't more people see a problem with this?! I mean, if you go into the health care industry, you're going to be forced to interact with people of different faiths than you. Be an adult, suck it up, and HELP THOSE WHO ARE COMING TO YOU FOR HELP!! Pray for them on YOUR time, don't try to force them into following YOUR broken moral compass.

  • US Dept of Health is trying to classify contraceptives as abortion and ban them both.

    A couple of other women on my flist have had some strong things to say about this. I'm in agreement with them and I have this to add: IF YOU AGREE WITH THIS IDIOTIC PROPOSAL, YOU SUCK.

    On a slightly more mature note, go here, fill this out. Also, send letters/faxes/phone calls/emails to this address:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20201
    Telephone: 202-619-0257
    Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

    HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt
    Office Phone: 202-690-7000 or 202-205-4708
    Fax: 202-690-7203
    Correspondence Secretary: 202-690-6392

    Faxes and letters have a bigger impact, but anything helps.

  • Did you know that if you're a 14 year old girl and get drunk that you automatically consent to any and all sexual behavior? That's what the courts say.

    I can't even come up with something suitably snarky and rage-filled to say about that judge. The guy is, of course, an asshole, but the judge is a new form of filth that I estimate is somewhere around slime mold for clear thinking and morality. Bastard.
sabine: (Me have had better days)
  • Review - Book
    Beka Cooper - Tamora Pierce.
    I really liked this book. Beka's not as snarky as Ali, but she's one determined chicky. If you need a fix of fiction where the female lead is anything but a damsel in distress, try out this book (*cough* [ profile] exlibris11235). I'm glad I read it.

  • Review - Mother Nature
    It didn't snow for very long and none of it stuck. This is good for that bipolar bitch. Yesterday was spring, the two days before that were almost summer except for the gale-force winds, and now we're back into cold and rain/snow/bleah. And tomorrow's supposed to be warmer and sunny. They make all sorts of fun pharmaceuticals that can help with the mood swings. Or just get laid. Either way, I don't care - just stop screwing around and make it be Spring, dammit!

  • Review - Dance class
    I get to take class on both Monday and Thursday nights for the summer. This is made of SHEER AWESOME! There was a mention of moving me into the level three class (eeee!), but I don't know if that would be September or January. This does not change my determination to practice practice practice and get as good as my body/brain will let me. It's so awesome to be able to just dance when I hear music and to know that I'm probably not doing too bad of a job. This rocks my world.

  • Review - Book
    Runemarks - Joanne Harris
    Ever wonder what happens after Ragnarok? Harris did and created this story. It's the story of Maddy, who never really fit in but learns to take pride in standing apart. I'd still bet on Tiffany Aching in a cage match, but Maddy wouldn't do too bad. She indulges in "why me?" a little too much, but learns how to act when suddenly the fairy tales and old stories are real.

  • Review - Grocery Store
    Downwood and I are standing in the checkout line yesterday and are perusing the small display of books. I was surprised to see a fantasy novel there (Empress by Karen Miller) that's currently sitting on my To Be Read pile. Downwood casually pointed to a book on the very bottom and said, "Hey, what's that one?"

    I picked it up. I gasped and then bounced up and down. Yes, our small backwater grocery store had a copy of Scourge the Heretic by Sandy Mitchell. Not only is it a Warhammer 40k book, but it's a book about Ordo Hereticus AND it's set in the same system as the Dark Heresy RP book!!

    Of course I purchased it and started reading the second I got home. Sheesh. So far, it's pretty good and I'm digging the convoluted, holy crap did that really just happen, twisted plot.

  • Review - Amazon
    So Amazon has Dance With Dragons up for preorder, to be delivered on 9/30. I don't remember seeing [ profile] grrm post that he'd turned the book over to his editors, so I'm doubting that this is real. If it is real - which would take a minor act of gods - I will be a very, very happy fangirl that day. I'll have BOTH The Graveyard Book AND DWD in my mitts! Deciding would, I'd read Gaiman's book first, since it'll have about a thousand fewer pages.

    But I don't believe this yet. I think this says good things about my grasp of reality.

hell, no

Mar. 19th, 2008 08:01 pm
sabine: (Fuck)
The optimism and good cheer of my previous post notwithstanding, the National Weather Service and Mother Nature can bite my pasty white ass.

I reject their reality and substitute my own. It's Spring, dammit.

(It's also Wisconsin, I've been expecting it, and the sun is back, but I'm really incredibly ready for Winter to die to bring life back into the world.)


Mar. 17th, 2008 08:20 pm
sabine: (*phbbt*)
I aten't dead.

No, really, I'm not. I've done a pretty good impression of it lately, what with the Zombie Effect of Too Much Work and the resultant lack of People Points.* I had Thursday/Friday of last week off and that helped somewhat. I got a lot done, bought myself the next Malazan Tale of the Fallen, got a honey latte for lunch, bought a large box of Gail's chocolates all for me**, bought tickets for the UW Bellydance Spring Show***, and danced my lovely legs into the ground.

I may have overdone the dancing a little, as the ride down to my parents' house Saturday was not so comfortable. We got to hang out for a while, Mom did our taxes (yay refund!), and we went to Mass. After church, we went out to this little dive bar in a town that's not even on the map#, but has the absolute best fried chicken on the planet. I mean, the chicken I fry is better than okay, Grandma's is a huge motivating factor, but this chicken is worth cramming sore legs into a tiny car and bouncing over badly paved roads for twenty minutes each way. It was crowded, the service was slow, and they serve everything in either plastic or styrofoam, but it was delicious, the beer was cold, and I really love my family. They rock!

Staff Meeting today at the Evil Empire was made slightly better by my smuggled-in DS and a new copy of Professor Layton and the Curious Village.## I think I'm in love with this game. I've only had to go to an online help twice and once of those was because I had the right answer but the damn AI didn't recognize it (matchstick moving puzzle of doom). I like the plot, the variety of puzzles, and the game play. I totally recommend it if you like things like:
You need to get the three wolves and the three chickens across the river. The raft only holds two animals at a time and must carry at least one animal to move. If there are ever more wolves than chickens on a side, the wolves will eat the chickens. How many moves does it take to get all the animals across?

(Side note: In case you're wondering, my attention span isn't as good as it could be tonight. In fact, it's pretty abysmal. This is why there are footnotes. I don't feel so bad about all the tangents if I gather them into footnotes.)

I still feel like a lot of the interesting parts of me have evaporated. I'm doing what I can to condense them, but it's not really working yet. I have a sneaking suspicion that my job is stealing bits of my soul and replacing them with distilled bitterness and apathy.*# I'm not pleased by this, but progress is being made on reclaiming my sewing room, projects are moving forward again, and I have both plot surprises and a dinner surprise for game tomorrow night.

There are also two bags of the World's Best Potato Chips sitting on top of my fridge. If anyone feels like coming over and working on Scion characters this week (but not tomorrow night), I'm sure we could break one open. There might even be french onion dip. Maybe.

* - I'm an introvert. It costs me People Points to be around other people. Some people cost more Points than others (Mom, for example, is very expensive) and Downwood is by far the cheapest. But it still costs me something to be around even him for long periods and so we have our Monday night tradition where he goes out and games and I get the house to myself to dance, sing, craft, or just stare at the wall. And he knows better than to surprise me by coming home early.

** - Mwahahahahaha!

*** - The headliner/expert giving the workshop just canceled. I think it was either injury or sickness, but the thing's more than a month away, so it's probably serious. I haven't sent in my registration for the workshop yet, but I probably will as soon as they announce that they have someone to teach the darn thing.

# - Mount Hamill, Iowa. Not on the map. For real.

## - This is a game that was made specifically for me. It's one more piece of evidence that I secretly rule the world. Yus.

*# - In addition, the couple of weeks I spent traveling knocked me back to the mental state I was in the first winter I lived in Madison. Not quite "hospital time" bad but "oh crap...all those times when I've worried I was relapsing? yeah...not a candle to this" bad. The one good thing is that I now have a much better Relapse Baseline. Everything else about it - what it did to me, what it did to Downwood, what it did to us, what it did to my retail therapy bill - was bad. Really bad. I haven't felt that weak of a grip on reality in a very long time. But it's kind of nice to know that I do know how bad it can get inside my head and I know how to take care of myself when it happens. I just don't like the reminder that there's something functionally wrong with my brain that I can't perfectly control. Not cool.
sabine: (Stark)
When I walked the dog this morning, it was 40 degrees! Above freezing! No gloves or hat required! There was slush everywhere, the Snow Piles Of Doom And Not Seeing Around Corners were getting melty, and life was magical and full of joy.

After our walk, I sat down at my laptop to see what might have happened in the world. Lo and behold, there was a Winter Weather Warning from the National Weather Service. The contents could be summed up as this: "While it may be nice outside right now, DO NOT BE FOOLED! Mother Nature is currently PMSing LIEK WHOA and has it in mind to FREEZE OUR COLLECTIVE ASSES OFF! By the time it gets dark, we should have a couple more inches of snow and the ambient temp will be somewhere around NEGATIVE 5 degrees. And, just in case that wasn't going to be fun enough, there's going to be wind. Lots of wind. 25-35 mph wind. So the windchill factor: Fucking Freezing. There. We said it. Fucking. Freezing."

So I ran my errands and went to the gym when it was still nice out. I now have some pumpkin pie thingies cooling on the stove, a delicious mug of hot chocolate, about 7 more episodes in the first season of Bones, and no plans to be anywhere until 10 tomorrow morning.

And, yes, the piercing is healing fine, though going outside in cold is really, really uncomfortable. Damn heat capacity of metal vs skin.
sabine: (Humbug Penguin)
I decided that I needed to wear something happy today. My favorite customer upgrades in 20 minutes and they're all a little stressed out, in addition to the rest of my normal customer stress. Whee fun. So, yes, I needed something cheerful today. My decision was made much easier by my darling sister sending me the Best Shirt Ever. It's a Katamari Damacy shirt that says "This is how I roll". Made of win!

I also decided that I really didn't want a repeat of yesterday's Sock Incident. My recent purchase from Sock Dreams included a couple pairs of Very Long Socks. Yesterday, I tried out a pair of Ribbed M Stockings. They were wonderfully warm, comfortable, and actually stayed up all day!

My brain, however, decided that these socks were going to be a problem.

You know how you can get used to the way certain clothes feel? Like you put on a tight shirt but don't really feel it after a few minutes? Yeah, that functionality was totally lacking yesterday.

For the record, I do not often wear painted-on jeans. I have a pair or two (and I'm sure Downwood would like them to be in the rotation much more often), but I'm not a huge fan of lower body strangulation.

My tight jeans tend to be Very Snug from waist, through ass, but they get a little looser at about mid-thigh. These socks, however, were Very Snug from my ankles to about mid-thigh. I was wearing a looser pair of jeans, which led to this internal discussion for the entire day.

Brain: Pants! Falling off!
Me: You're an idiot.
Brain: Nope! No pants!
Me: Those are socks, not pants. That loose swishyness *is* the pants.
Brain: I don't believe you! That's *obviously your shirt. Your pants? They are gone!
Me: I don't believe this...

All day. Over and over. It was alternately frustrating and amusing.

Today's socks? Are normal, everyday, short socks. My brain? Is totally happy with this.

Dude. Woah

Mar. 16th, 2007 10:46 pm
sabine: (Movie kitty)
So Downwood and I went to see 300 tonight. Like many others on teh intarwebs, I must remark upon the pretty, pretty men and the pretty, pretty fighting. It's a wonder we didn't strut out of the theater with testosterone poisoning. Had we actually made the IMAX showing, it probably would have happened.

However, there is something that I need to point out.

I was blogging about Thermopylae before it was cool. Neener neener.
sabine: (Computer frustration)
  1. Have a customer start asking bizarre questions about functionality.  For example, "Why doesn't it work?" is a good starting point.
  2. Call the developer who wrote it.  Call him often.  Get to be good buddies.
  3. When he quits, call the secondary developer.  Call her often.  Memorize her extension.
  4. When she quits, quietly despair.
  5. At your one-year anniversary, have your TL tell the entire division that you're the expert on this bit of functionality.
  6. Get bombarded by questions.
  7. Have the same customer give you extremely complicated questions about the functionality.  For example, "I want to make a report that says this, but that item doesn't seem to have any data in it.  How do I get to those data?  Also, I'd really like it if the report would leap off the screen and pick up my dry cleaning, but it keeps making a left at Albuquerque instead of a right.  How do I address this?"
  8. Come up with clever solutions to the problems.  Learn to dread the phrase, "It's performing as designed."
  9. Have the coordinator for the Annual Tech Training Instructor Drive show up in your office, asking you about the functionality.
  10. Suddenly realize that they haven't hired any developers to replace the ones who quit.
  11. Without coming right out and saying, "We're all doomed!" agree that you're the only one who vaguely understands this part of the software.
  12. Rewrite the presentation to make sense, throw in the bits that were developed for the newest version, and set up a couple of demo reports in a test environment.  Make sure to fight with VMware the entire time.  Discover a couple of cool new things that you'd never actually seen before but vow to make common knowledge.
  13. Have a cuppa tea.  Squash the pre-presentation jitters with the fact that NOONE else knows the software and will be able to call out any mistake.  Allow some jitters to come back when you realize that if you tell the implementers something wrong, this will make more work for you later.
  14. Use the public speaking and teaching skills acquired in grad school and other places.
  15. Gloat about your success in your LJ before it's actually happened.
sabine: (Mostly apples)
Me: Doo be doo, have to go downstairs. Hm, I've never used the elevator before, let's see what it looks like.
Me: *pushes button*
Elevator: Ding! Here, allow me the pleasure of opening my doors for you, my most valued rider.
Me: Ooh, pretty dark wood paneling and mirrors on BOTH sides?!?!?!
Elevator: Huh?
Me: Never stand between two mirrors! Have you completely lost your mind?! Noooooo!!!!!
Elevator: Ding! We're at the bottom, please leave now.
sabine: (Computer frustration)
Do you work in technical support or customer service? Do you interact with people on a daily basis who make you wonder how they manage to dress themselves or even breathe? If so, we have a fabulous new product in development that will take your daily stressors and totally remove them from your life, leaving you refreshed at the end of the day.

Our objective is to develop a product that will make it possible to send a frozen fish - tuna, mackerel, haddock, whatever you want - through the phone line to either wallop or choke the person on the other end. This can be easily combined with our new computer program that will deliver an automatic electric shock through the keyboard or mouse if a user either does something dumb or trigger a shock on an as-needed basis, such as if they have sent you an overly-bitchy email reiterating the same 3 points they just shouted, whined, and complained about for the previous hour on the phone.

We are taking pre-orders now. A shipping date has not yet been confirmed, so join our mailing list to receive all the latest news and updates!

Thank you.
sabine: (Evil Jenius)
On a fall day, unremarkable by weather or holiday, the Cleric of Darwin set out on a Holy Mission. In preparation for the Mission, she and a colleague (sadly, not one of her brethren, but do not hold that against him, for he is truly a Worthy Individual) made an Arduous Journey from the Land of Cheese to the spiritually desolate Virginia. Though there were many trials and tribulations in the places of transport and temporary lodging, they successfully arrived at their destination.

After a too-brief period of rest, the Cleric, her companion, and several other co-employees of the Evil Empire made their way to the Gates, yea even into the Inner Sanctum, of The Enemy. The Enemy had been long engaged in a futile struggle with the Cleric. Many afternoons and nights had she gnashed her teeth and bemoaned her frustration with them to her Consort, her Brethren, anyone who would remain stationary long enough for her to speak her mind to them.

On this day, this auspicious day, the Enemy met their match in the Cleric. Deep in their stronghold, the Enemy put the Cleric to questioning. Long did they question her and detailed were their questions. Though they used many rhetorical tricks against her, they could not force her to forswear herself or offer a Confession of Inadequacy.

After this questioning, the traveling companion of the Cleric proved his mettle. Skillfully did he defend himself, yea even unto defending the ethos of the entire Evil Empire. He evaded the barbs and traps in the Enemy's conversation and did convince them of his expertise.

This chronicle has not yet completed. Refreshed by a lunch of trypophan-laced turkey and carrot cake, it is not yet clear whether the Cleric and her companion will continue in their bid to successfully escape the lair of the Enemy unscathed. If you have but a moment today, Gentle Reader, please offer a small prayer to the Almighty Darwin so that they may be buoyed by his Grace and use the Verbal Equivalents of the Chainsaw of Natural Selection, rather than the physical implementation of such.



Aug. 25th, 2006 03:29 pm
sabine: (Ant - bookstore)
The "winners" of the 2006 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced.

Q: What is this contest about?
A: How badly can you write while sounding like you're trying to write well.
Q: Where did this contest originate?
A: From the same place Snoopy got his inspiration:
"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."
--Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The winning entry:
Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
Jim Guigli
Carmichael, CA

For more painful hilarity, read the rest of the winning entries.


sabine: (Default)

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