AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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Tennessee is green in spring (if we can make it until then)

Yeah, so 23°F.  I could be planning, working, doing all sorts of things.  Or I could crawl under many blankets and watch episodes of 30 Rock on my laptop and fantasize about having Liz Lemon‘s wardrobe. Like this dress.  She has it in a couple colors.  And man, do I need one.  Of course I immediately think I should just make one: find, modify or draft my own pattern.  Get some cotton jersey, maybe in green (but probably in purple). And get too it.  Especially if I’m going to be up late at night, I should at least be practicing sewing with knits.  And yet, it’s so damn cold, all I am doing is huddling under blankets  and thinking about Liz Lemon’s wardrobe.  Yes, winter is a sad, sad time for me.

Actually it’s not as bad as all that.  I’m dressed and Libelle and I are going to go outside and find food (warm restaurant food, not like foraging in the woods or anything).  We might even run errands or *gasp* walk a little. And then of course it’s back to blankets and TV watching.  I don’t actually feel guilty about hibernating.  I”ll get stuff done later in the week when it’s tolerably warm and I feel functional.

Picture is what my porch will be like when the warm weather returns.

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Let’s get this party started quickly

Libelle and I saw Avatar last night.  It was gorgeous and entirely worth the 3-D experience and price for the visuals. The story lacks, it’s your standard Hero’s Journey with added male-dominated society and offensive Noble Savage (or do I mean Romantic Primativism?) notes.  And yet it was very moving and enjoyable.

Ranking of winter movies I’ve seen, in order of story quality (by my own personal not described standards):
1. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. Up in the Air
3. Sherlock Holmes
4. Avatar

Ranking of winter movies I’ve seen, in order of emotional effect on me:
1. Up in the Air
2. Avatar
3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
4. Sherlock Holmes

When I got home last night I wrote out this long post about the new year and my resolutions. Of course I left it on on open Notepad doc, didn’t save it and closed my computer and now it’s gone gone gone.  You’d think after years of computer use I wouldn’t continuously do things like this.  (It’s also possible that somewhere between when I took the Nyquil last night and when I actually went to bed that I typed over it.)  I’ll try and recreate it here.

Taking as page from a friend of mine (thanks, SH!), I’d like to go into this new decade and say that I am not a writer, not a project manager, a librarian, a waitress or a web developer.  I do not want to tie my identity to my work or to my projects and ventures. I simply want to be and do.  By which I mean I’d like to continue to create and plan and work until I land on what I will be seriously committing myself to for the forseeable future.  So I can be identified, for the sake of clarity as a sewist, or a reviewer, or a waitress, but I will let go of self identification as any of these things and simply do the work I need to get done.

I have in the coming year, approximately 26,000 hours of projects I’d like to complete about about 3,000 hours of time to devote to to those projects.  I am going to have to plan and pick and choose my projects carefully if I want to get anything done at all.  By eliminating self identification I’m hoping to make this process easier. That is to say, if I don’t primarily identify as a writer then I’m not saying to myself, “Well as a writer I must prioritize all writing projects and sideline sewing projects.”

I’m not 100% sure I’m explaining this well.  It might be too abstract, too much my own internal thought process, for public consumption, but I felt the need to put it here for reference in the future.  Overall, I guess my problem is that my focus is so wide that I feel scattered and am not managing to finish individual projects.  I know I need to narrow my focus and buckle down. Rather than say “I’m sewist, I will complete sewing projects.” I am going to let go of what I am and list my individual projects and focus on ones that I can reasonably complete and finish those, rather than tie myself up in the idea of the larger projects.  Hmm, I might be getting more vague the longer I type.  I wonder how often things make perfect sense in my head and I’m still not able to translate them into written words.  Is this a fault of language and communication or have I simply not clarified to myself well enough what my ideas are?  I can say for sure that the lost post I started writing last night was more clear and succinct that what I’ve ended up with here today.

Also I have been trying to include a picture with every post I make here, just for added interest.  This year I am going to try and include a picture I took with every post.  It won’t necessarrily be related to the post, nor have been taken recently.  I just realized I have hundred of pictures on file that I rarely look at and don’t do anything with, so I’ll try and share them here.  Today’s picture was taken in my backyard in Feb 2007.  It isn’t snowy here now, but it’s damned cold and this picture reminds me of how bleak winter is in Tennessee.


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Thinky thoughts

I am freaking exhausted.  Staying up until 4 am pretending to be a cool rock chick will do that, I guess. Fun night, better day (despite the hangover) showing the PNW boys Nashberg.

Fall still seems to be raining it’s way in.  I’ve gotten pretty used to Indian summers here. I guess it’s still possible.  It’s just been so overwhelmingly grey and insanely wet for the last week.  The air tastes like despair.  I have been here, in the sun, for so long now that apparently it takes only a week of grey for SAD to set in.  Luckily a good day of bright Southern sunlight can knock it out.  Now if only the sun would come out.

Libelle and I went shopping yesterday and I got an amazing wool coat, Italian, with the tags still on at the new Goodwill for $15.  I am smitten with it. It’s purple, but not too purple.  I like autumn all right, though I lament the loss of summer.  The coat is so wonderful that I think I might actually make it through winter.  I will try to take pictures tomorrow.

I lost my evening reading random personal blogs that Google Reader recommended me.  Usually it recs me sewing blogs or something clearly related to other blogs I read (like music or local news) but I got these two random ones.  One a girl who seems lonely and sad, but maybe doesn’t realize how pathetic she comes across (lots of writing about the boyfriend she misses, even though they broke up a year ago and she hasn’t spoken to him in seven months, ugh, so sad).  And another is a sort of hipstery dude in Brooklyn, but he posts kind of interesting art, and these hilarious (possibly unintentionally so) one line movie reviews, so I might follow him for a while.

Then I was thinking about how these blogs are nothing but weird windows into people’s lives so I went back and read my own entries from the last three Septembers.  And I guess since this blog is sort of about nothing, it is also a weird little window into my life.  I was reminded that I get really homesick every September, so it is excellent that I am going out to visit this week (omg, I need to pack).  And there’s odd little entries like this one that make my life seem interesting.  I guess my life is interesting.

I was contemplating some meme where you put all your past addresses into Google Earth and post the pictures of them, but then it seemed oddly morbid. Still, here is the house I grew up in.  It is part of what makes me interesting.  This pictures makes me happy.  Maybe it is because it seems so sunny.

The Placebo version of this song was on the premiere of Vampire Diaries (which so far doesn’t suck) and reminded me of how much I love it.  I have probably listened to it six times tonight.  It makes me feel lonely and happy at the same time.  This video is clearly dated though still incredibly lovely.

This live performance is also dated, but the emotion in it is fantastic.

I am covered in mosquito bites from walking around Spring Hill cemetery this morning.  I hate the word “upcycle.”  I am tired and achy.  I should be in bed.  Instead I am scrunched up on the love seat eating a sandwich consists of wheat bread (the cheap, crappy kind that is like brown white bread), tartar sauce (better than mayo on sandwiches) and havarti.  It is kind of trashy and incredibly delicious.


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Marking as mine

I’ve been considering labels for the inside of clothing that I make.  I started searching online last night just to get an idea of how much they would cost.  While searching I found this tutorial.  And hey!  I already had twill tape and iron-on transfer paper laying around the house.

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Labels!

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I tested a couple and they seemed to wash just fine.  Of course since they just say my name, it seems almost silly to put them in clothes that I will be wearing.  Like I’m gearing up for summer camp or something, but I don’t care.  I’m so excited I’m going to sew them into everything I make!

Also considering getting a stamp made of the one I like the best.  Then I can just stamp them with fabric ink, or directly into the garment in some cases.    I can’t decide which I like best though.

I got my permanent bridge put in today.  It was relatively painless, though it feels really weird in my mouth.  Pictures when it’s all healed. Still eating soft foods.  Still very bored with them.  Bleh.

I should be making to-do lists.  And maybe doing something productive.  Instead I am making Libelle watch True Blood with me.  Much more satisfying than anything resembling work.


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too many things. and vampires.

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Libelle is still out of town and I am being kind of lazy on this Sunday.  Ha!  Of course even if Libelle was here, chances are I’d still be sitting around in my pajamas.  But since she is out of town, I am waiting and waiting to watch the last two episodes of Being Human.  Even though I am dying to find out what happens.

Because I needed something to watch I am watching True Blood. I am only on episode 2 of season 1.  I have clearly not at all been paying attention to mainstream media since I had no idea that this was based on the Sookie Stackhouse books. I read the first three books when they came out and in general I like vampire things (which seem really, really popular lately, is that Twilight fall out or something else?) so it seems like someone would have told me I should be watching this show.

As with any adaption it has it’s problems.  And of course the original stories themselves require a lot of suspension of disbelief (and I don’t mean just believing in vampires, but more the weird secrecy about part of it and how the rest of the world would respond to the existence of vampires).  Still it is well enough made TV to be cracky cracktastic crack.  I just wish the guy who played Bill was hotter.  Alas, they don’t yet let me cast all the TV I watch to my own specifications.  I do actually really like Sam.  And Tara.  And oddly enough, Jason.  Sookie is the epitome of a Mary-Sue, which is oddly likeable in this instance.   But maybe the thing I like best about the show so far is the credits.  They are subtly creepy and promise great things for the show.  The images are disturbing but somehow home-like as well.

Huh.  That’s a lot of words about TV.

So as I watch I have been slowly and carefully continuing to strip down my possessions.  I’ve talked about this a little here before.  I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.  Some of it is a Zen thing, some of it is just feeling sort of burdened by everything I own.  It’s not like I need to pack up and go at any moment.  No, it’s more like a few years ago I started looking at some of my stuff and feeling like I didn’t know who it belonged too.  And then, it feels weird to say, but there is such thing as too many shoes and too much clothing.  And then there’s the stuff that’s just stuff.  I have spent a good part of my weekend sorting through the tons of stuff I have just in case I need it.  And you know, some of this stuff I have literally been packing up and moving around for YEARS and still haven’t ever used any of it.  And so it goes away.  Hopefully to someone who will use it.

Of course some of the things I have way too many of are because I can’t find the right one.  Hand bags for instance, I buy one that seems good, use it for a bit and then shelve it in favor of one that might be better.  I did once find the perfect bag, but alas, when I got mugged last year it was one of the things I lost and I have not been able to find another one like it.  When my sister was here about a month ago I saw this bag and swooned over it.  It perfectly fits all my criteria.  I didn’t buy it though.  And I’ve been kind of obsessing it over it ever since.  So I guess I’ll smartly save my pennies for a few weeks and buy it. In purple.  Which is less practical, I guess than brown or black, but more me, non?  And hopefully this one wil prove to be a great as the one that got away.  Otherwise I’ll have to keep acquiring handbags.

Heh, the fact that I am sitting around in my pajamas contemplating vampires and handbags is probably a sign that I need to get out more.  Maybe I’ll go make dinner.  And then watch some more vampires…

The picture on this post is a conversation between my mom and one of my cousins.  It just cracks me up so much I had to share it with everyone.


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stiches, grapes, cakes and frogs

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The black dress is finished.  I put the pictures up on Flickr a couple days ago, but I forgot to post here.  I’m very happy with how it fits and how comfortable it is.  I’d like to make another in a print.  I’m thinking something like this:

lemons!
Maybe it’s too much?  Or maybe I just don’t like that black background.  I wish I could find something like it with a brown or muted blue background.  I think two of that dress, basically in black, would be too much.  The lovely burgundy muslin is probably unwearable for me.  I swear I preshrunk the fabric, but after I washed it it’s about four inches shorter.  Still a great dress, I just need to give it to someone shorter than me (unlikely) or someone who is comfortable wearing things shorter than I  wear them (likely).  So maybe I could just make a second dress in a color?  Though I really like the idea of a pattern.  Hmmmm.  I like the idea of a border print too, but those seem to be hard to come by.

My Colorado Rebecca (as distinguished from my other Rebeccas) has a new blog about her adventures with wine.  No, no, not in a drunken shenanigans kind of way.  More of a ‘follow along as I learn about this’ kind of way.  She’s at Adventures of a Wine Noob.  Go check her out.

For the last two days my hair has looked fantastic.  This is because I haven’t been out of the house or seen anyone.  Tomorrow it will surely go back to frizzy madness before it’s time to go to work.

I am recovering okay from the dentist stuff.  I had a rough morning.  And an afternoon trip back to the dentist to get a tiny bit more patching up.  An evening with  painkillers on the couch watching old standbys has helped a lot.  My chin hurts.  I won’t be surprised if it comes up bruised.  My gums are bruised and my lips.  My teeth don’t hurt so much any more.  Am certainly on the mend.  I kind of want to go run around tomorrow (the couch gets old after a while), but I will refrain so I can be good for work tomorrow night and healthy for the weekend.  So instead of errands and work, my choices for tomorrow are watching the most recent Bond movie or catching up on Mad Men (I haven’t even watched season 2 yet, ack!  3 is about to start).

I’ve posted before about the rainbow cupcakes.  Every time I think about making this it’s usually too late at night to get the ingredients I’d need.  Some day though, there will be rainbow cupcakes.  And now I have a new obsession: cake pops.    (Also go here and scroll down and see all the many delightfully decorated cake pops.)

Libelle just went outside to scare away the very loud frog that was on the porch.  Or maybe it was a bird.  Mostly likely a frog. Or some sort of alien hybrid frogbird.  In any case it was loud and annoying and seems to be gone now.  Oh, wait, I spoke too soon.  Stupid rain.  Stupid frogs!!  You stay in the gully.  Don’t come on the porch!


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take the bad with the good

toothache

I got my temporary bridge put on today.  It hurts like a %$*&@%$(#&er.  I guess I should have expected this, since they ground down the surrounding teeth.  Which now, even with Lortabs and Advil, leaves me feeling like my teeth were hit with a hammer.  My mouth is jacked up: rough, dry, blistered and very bruised.  But hey!!  Teeth!  Even the temporary ones look fantastic, so that’s something.

Libelle brought me foods and drinks because she is the bestest friend ever.  She let me show her the bruises in the inside of my mouth and didn’t kick me in the knee for being gross.  Now I have eaten and I feel a little better.

I had some other actually fun stuff to talk about but maybe I’ll save it for another post.

(The picture is toothache man from Wells Cathedral, which has my favorite staircase in the whole world.)