19 April 2009 @ 04:54 am
New compy is a lot of work. I cannot even explain the amount of crazy-stupid time I have spent sitting in front of my computer, just clicking buttons. Yes, install this. No, don't install that. No, do not make this program launch on start. No, I don't need to install a toolbar in Firefox. Maddening.

Unrelated sidenote: Gus has become too fat to jump up on the windowsill in my room. Admittedly I am using it as a bookshelf and there's a potted plant as a bookend, but he really ought to be able to hop up there. So in order to get up on the bookshelf, he stretches up and pats it with his paw, and then looks at me, like I'm supposed to do something to solve the problem. I do, of course, and lift him up on the windowsill, where he sits and watches birds in the front yard. Darn birds! They taunt him.

By the way, thanks to everyone who commented on my kitty's adorability on my entry about Gus and fabric. He is a very handsome cat. Pretty much evil, but very charming in physical character.

I also seem to have lost my discs for MS Word. :( We'll see if I can run it from the old hard drive once I get that situation sorted. Meanwhile, I'm trialing free word processor programs to see if I can just replace Word altogether. Right now I'm downloading Jarte, and we'll see how I like that. The free version doesn't feature background spell checking (red squiggly lines while you type) or autocorrect, so if that drives me too crazy, I think I'll try Open Office next.

I went to garage sales on Friday and scored a major haul. I'd tell you, but I want to keep it a secret until I have photos. I've taken some, but I need to install Photoshop so I can edit them. It might be a couple days or more. But trust me. It was an amazing shopping adventure, if only because of the other people. But more on them at a later date.

I will tell you that I bought enough Spinnerin Frostlon Petite (67% mohair, 33% Orlon acrylic) in pale yellow to make a short-sleeved cardigan or pullove. Six skeins? For FIFTY CENTS? Damn right I snapped that up. Apparently the mother of the woman who was running that garage sale used to do square dancing, because there were tons of square dancing dress patterns and entire Rubbermaid tubs filled with nothing but yards and yards of ruffled lace. It was like it was harvest time and the petticoats were in season.

Anyway, the reason I'm so excited about the Frostlon Petite is that I have an entire book of Bernat knitting patterns from the early 60s, which includes a variety of horrifying bucket hats. Maybe a horrifying bucket hat is in my future? Maybe! Although, I do have the urge to go 1950s with my Frostlon Petite (oh, god, you just do not get yarn names like that anymore!). How cute would a little puffed sleeve sweater with a pencil skirt be? Of course, there is the torpedo boob issue, which is a serious consideration, as it would be a shame if I blind someone or myself.
28 March 2009 @ 04:52 pm
I'm in such a bad mood, folks. My computer problems continue. I was all set to buy a new power supply, which would be the cheapest solution, only now my CD tray no longer works, one of the USB ports isn't working, and I'm kind of waiting to see what else stops working.

I've been pricing new computers, and I can't find anything that's just the tower. I have a very nice monitor, nice speakers and a printer already. I do not need a completely new system. Just a tower! (Admittedly, I haven't looked for very long, because my computer overheats and then I have to wait an hour before I can start again.)

On top of that, I really don't want to upgrade to Vista, because I have a bunch of software that's not compatible with it. My Sims! My Photoshop! How am I supposed to live without The Sims 2 and Photoshop?

This is so frustrating. I sent two patterns today that people bought earlier this week, because today was the first day that my computer stayed cool enough long enough to upload the PDFs to Gmail. And I can't listen to music at all, because it heats my computer up too quickly.

I'm also cutting a wisdom tooth, which hurts like a son of a bitch. No wonder babies are so cranky when they're teething. I'm this close to chewing on a bag full of ice.

Does anyone have any experience with refurbished computers from They have just towers and it looks like they might have computers that have XP and not Vista. I also need something that I can put a dial-up modem in.

Ugh. Looks like I'll be needing to send my Uncle Donnie, computer guru, an e-mail.

ETA: But wait! There's more! It's snowing like crazy and it's sticking. Chores are going to miserable tonight. So cold, so cold.

Bright side of all of this fail: I ordered some roving from Etsy, and I've been drop spindling. It's . . . um, what I'm making is woefully inconsistent. Laceweight in some spots, chunky in others, worsted, DK, sport. I think I've hit every yarn weight there is. But I'm making yarn! It's pretty cool. I also finished a shawl and I've got a couple of mitt designs in the works, both of which I like a lot. And today I deep cleaned my room, which needed it. My little bookcase is so tidy; it's amazing. Now I've just got the dresser and the desk and the other bookcase and the closet to clean. Ha!
20 July 2008 @ 04:53 pm
OK, so I just did a search on "boot jack" on Google, because I need to know more about tightly fitted riding boots for my own purposes, and this video was the first thing to pop up.

Canadians. Who knew they were so weird?
30 June 2008 @ 08:40 pm
Ah, man. I want a tambour stand. A hoop with legs. Eighty bucks? This one's only $28, but still. It's a wooden hoop with legs.

I've got find some popsicle sticks so I can rig up one of my own. Or something like that.

I need a hobby that's free. Reading doesn't count. And neither does cursing the weather.
Current Music: Don't Fix It -- Squirrel Nut Zippers
I was going to make a post today about how my cat hasn't been able to go out and roll in the dirt lately because it's been so wet, and he's all grumpy because we won't let him out to frolic in the mud puddles. I was also going to make a post about the weird ominous weather lately, and how looking at the sky scares me sometimes, because it looks like we're three seconds away from a tornado touching down. Further, I was going to make a post about the river that has sprung up in our front yard because of all the rain, and how we haven't been able to mow the lawn for over a week because of it, and we sort of look like we're living just above a slough. Also, I'm having an ethical dilemma over LJ icons, which I'm sure you would all love to read about.

But first I'm going to all invite you to look at images from Lake Delton. Holy shit! The flood waters drained the lake and washed away five homes on the shore. One lady on the news whose home washed away said that she didn't have flood insurance because the developers told her and her husband that the lake had never flooded and never would. Ho ho! I guess ol' Ma Nature showed them!

How absolutely awful for the families who have lost their homes. It's not just their homes that are gone -- the land they were sitting on is gone too. They've lost the property itself. It's not like they can rebuild without anything to build on, although a part of me wants to say that you should probably not build your house directly on a lake shore to start with. On the other hand, oh these poor people!

So, yeah. Exciting year for weather in Wisconsin, considering the tornadoes earlier in the spring, and the flooding, and the fact that yesterday, our county was under a tornado warning/watch, a flash flood warning, and a severe thunderstorm warning. All at once! All day. It was awesome. As I told Mom, if the floods don't get us, the twisters will. So far, it's been neither, but I figure it's only a matter of time.

More stuff later. I need to go look at my garden.
Current Music: Hide and Seek -- Imogen Heap
01 June 2008 @ 03:07 pm
Does everyone remember seeing the picture of me after my first SCA event? No? Here it is. (I still need to make a partlet for my Venetian, too. Maybe I'll get on that before the weekend is over.) See also the strange yellow color that my tan is. Instead of looking tanned like normal people, I look jaundiced.

My sunburn right now is exactly that shade of red. The only difference is that it starts a handswidth down from my shoulder and extends to nearly my wrist. And my forehead and nose are also a more pinkish red. I'd show you a picture, but it hurts to bend my arms that much. At least I can wear a shirt and bra with this one.

Never, ever listen to your dad when he says, "Oh, come on. It won't take long. We'll be done in no time at all." My dad is a big fat liar. We were out there from about 12:30 to five o'clock, with a twenty minute break around 2:30. This is bad, especially when you are a moron and forget to put on sunblock. This is why I can't be a farmer -- they'd have to cut my ears off by the time I was 45 because of the skin cancer. I guess that means that professional golf is also out as a career.

I used to play outside all day when I was little in limited amounts of clothing. Why the hell can't I make it through a day in the sun anymore? Admittedly, I only get blistering burns when I spend a day on the water, but this scalding nonsense isn't very enjoyable either.

Farmer's Tan 2008 is off to a rousing start, at least.
Current Music: Procreation Chick -- Splashdown
30 May 2008 @ 02:22 pm
Last night, for no reason that I can really appreciate, I put on my old glasses before I went to bed. Why? Because I was messing with my hair and trying on lipsticks . . . don't look at me like that. Other people have to put on lipstick before bed to see how it looks with the slightly 1940s hair they've got going on and also because their vintage hat collection was sitting there on the dresser and needed to be put on.

Ahem. Anyway, I slapped the old oval wonders on and it was a blast from the past. Not because I had an appealing 1930s librarian thing happening, but because it was high school all over again.

Proof )

Unfortunately, I cannot find the picture from sophomore year where I have my hair the same way. You'll have to settle for my senior picture.
Current Music: Survivor -- Pretty Balanced
13 May 2008 @ 04:27 pm
I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am not listening to Phil Collins. I am especially not listening to Phil Collins songs written for Disney movies.

If I say it enough times, it will be true.

I am not being impressed by Donny Osmond's singing. I am not being impressed by Donny Osmond's singing. I'm not . . .

Oh, shit.
Current Music: I'll Make a Man Out of You -- Donny Osmond (Mulan soundtrack)
12 May 2008 @ 10:32 pm
I think my mom is trying to kill me with laughter. I went into the kitchen to ask her why Dan is so weird, because he's such a weird kid, and she started doing an impersonation of Harry Carey in the tradition Will Ferrell on SNL.

"Hey, Sarah. Do you like hot dogs? I ate 16 hot dogs once."

"Join us tomorrow night when our guest will be Albert Einstein. What? He's dead? We'll try to get him anyway."

Then she started laughing like Pete Puma, which had me bent over with giggles.

My family is so strange. I LOVE IT.
Current Music: Loving Wife/Adoring Mistress -- Matson Jones
10 May 2008 @ 01:07 pm
I think I've discovered something about the flute. When I play it, I expect my nice, full clarinet tone to come out. Unfortunately, not being a clarinet, that's not going to happen. So, flute noise comes out of a flute, brain! Clarinet noise out of a clarinet! Get it straight.

Also, I really need to stop buying pants a size too big in the waist. My hips fit in there, but I probably shouldn't be able to pull them down without undoing the fly. If only pants that are supposed to hit the natural waist didn't hit me an inch above that, which is my rib cage and not my waist. That makes me look sort of short and squashed, instead of just short.
Current Music: Dirt Sea -- Matson Jones
10 May 2008 @ 02:42 am
So, having just tried to play a C-major scale on my flute after blowing a bucket full of snot out of myself, I now have the hiccups. Stupid diaphragm! This is uncalled for.

I don't even know what I did, since I've never gotten the bunny burps from playing the clarinet before, and I'm pretty sure my breathing wasn't all that different than what I always do.
Current Music: Fado do ciúme -- Amália
27 April 2008 @ 07:06 pm
I could annihilate a bag of sea salt and vinegar kettle chips right now. Annihilate. Why did I have to be all sensible and only buy stuff I actually needed at the store this afternoon? Glucose tablets? I should have bought potato chips!

Mom and I started buying all the seeds for the vegetable garden today. We're starting out with leaf lettuces and radishes. We snagged a packet of these really cool radishes, which are called watermelon radishes because the inside is red and the outside is green. That page says that they do best in cool conditions, so I guess we should plant them soon, because it's going to be hot by the middle of June.

We also got some garlic, shallot and onion sets, along with some red potatoes. We looked for rutabaga seeds, since we both love those, but there were none to be found. Plenty of turnips, which taste like vomit, but not a single rutabaga seed. We're going to try Farm'n'Fleet and Menards before we give up, though. I suppose if we ordered some online right now, they'd be here in time to plant, since you're supposed to get them in the ground by mid-May.

We need to figure out what else we're going to plant. I was in favor of buying one of everything, but Mom nixed that idea. We're definitely going with:

swiss chard
squash (at least zucchini and summer squash, but I'd like some acorn and maybe spaghetti squash)
green beans of some sort
tomatoes (definitely not starting from seed)

Here's what we have already )

Huge garden this year!

I'd like to try some cantaloupe as well, but I don't think our garden is big enough for all that. I also don't know whether or not we're starting any flower beds this year or the herb garden. Mom was not in favor of planting catnip. Something about the cat being crazy enough all on his own.

Has anyone else noticed a massive increase in garden seed prices lately? I swear last year they were only 75 cents a package, but this year everything was more than a dollar per package.

In sweater news, I only have to set the second sleeve and I am done. Done done done! I should be wearing it by Tuesday, because all that ribbing definitely needs to be blocked.
Current Music: You're the Only One -- Maria Mena
25 April 2008 @ 07:54 pm
What am I eating for dinner? Four cups of air-popped popcorn and two tablespoons of butter. Eaten in conjunction with each other, of course. I'm not alternating handfuls of popcorn with little licks of butter.
Current Music: My Mind is a Box -- Pretty Balanced
16 April 2008 @ 09:45 pm
Is it necessary that 99.9-percent of all cotton velvet and velveteen has Lycra in it? Is it really? It wouldn't be so bad if approximately 90-percent of that .1-percent wasn't tan. Fabric people, get your Lycra out of my cotton velvet!

Yeah, I just looked at the cotton velvet selection on Fashion Fabrics Club. Yeah, I'm ready to have kittens.
Current Music: Spring Fever -- Matson Jones
13 April 2008 @ 09:51 pm
I just had the strangest urge to eat flan. Like right now. That's not exactly a convenience dessert. It's not like I can take two cups of a milk, a packet of instant flan mix, and come up with caramelized deliciousness in under ten minutes.

What's wrong with my brain?

"Sarah, you need some flan! C'mon, it'd be really good!"

Yeah, brain, it would be awesomely good, but where I am going to get flan at ten o'clock on a Sunday night in rural Wisconsin?
Current Music: Human Hands -- Sondre Lerche & The Faces Down Quartet
05 April 2008 @ 07:18 pm
Lately, I've been in a frame of mind to embrace myself as nature made me: hair, pimples, blemishes, bruises and all. So what if I've got a little upper lip hair? For centuries women didn't rip off every strand of hair from the eyebrows down, and they were beautiful, all the same. Having body hair is part of being an adult female, and damned if I'm going to wash down the drain proof that I've made it through puberty. Hear me proclaim my hirsute femininity!

Yeah, yeah. That would all be great if I didn't have skin the color of notebook paper and hair that is just short of being black. Hirsute femininity is for blondes. Guys, I currently have the sort of moustache that would incite envy in a 14-year-old boy.

I know they say the Pelt Belt stretches from India into the Mediterranean, but I'm convinced that it has pockets in the area of Germany formerly known as Prussia. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Germans? Yeah, right! My ancestors were downright swarthy, my friends. And the swarthiness came with a penchant for girls of the Black Irish persuasion, resulting in super-pale, easily sunburnt, green-eyed, dark-haired me. And, dammit, I'm hairy.

So I shaved my legs this morning for the first time in . . . let's just say a long time. Winter in Wisconsin is enough of a pain with the dryness and all that I don't need to be scraping my legs with sharp metal three times a week. But today was the first truly spring-like day this year, so off with pants and off with leg hair!

But back to that moustache thing. I bought a waxing kit today, and I'm about to plunge into a world of pain. I've used those pre-waxed strips before, and those took off skin but no hair. So I still had the upper lip hair, but also had a big patch of irritated, red skin underneath it. I'm hoping that Sally Hansen Honey Wax Hair Remover for Face will be a better experience than the Sally Hansen Strips of Pure Pain were.

Wish me luck! If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it's because I no longer have an upper lip.
Current Music: Ophelia -- Natalie Merchant
31 March 2008 @ 01:02 pm
For some reason, this morning when I got in from chores I was absolutely ravenous. I could have eaten a horse, and I'm not talking about a snack-size pony treat, either. I actually ate a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice when I woke up around 6:30, but by the time I got in the house at 9:30 or so, I was hungry again.

My response to this was to make myself a Hot Pocket, because they were in the freezer, screaming at me: "Eat us! We're delicious and full of cheese!" So I ate one. And it was delicious and full of cheese.

And then half an hour later, I was starving again. So I fried myself not one, but two eggs and ate them with toast. I only held off on the bacon because it was frozen. I don't think I'll be hungry again until tomorrow.

Mmm, cholesterol.

And now I'm unable to access anything but Livejournal. The Dope is down for me, Ravelry is down, I can't read any of my e-mail, and Google is tossing back half my searches. So I'm going to go clean or something. Maybe eat some dark, leafy greens.
Current Music: Full of Grace -- Sarah McLachlan
26 March 2008 @ 01:07 am
Does anyone know why [ profile] vintage_hair was deleted? I caved into the need to have big 18th century hair tonight, and was looking for a tutorial when, lo and behold, the community was gone! What made that happen? It always seemed pretty much drama free, compared to [ profile] knitting.
Current Music: Musa Venit Carmine -- Mediaeval Baebes
18 March 2008 @ 11:23 pm
As I might have mentioned here and again on my journal, my biggest fear is the apocalypse. Not brimstone and hellfire raining down from the skies, but a dreadful and unalterable change to human life as we know it. Whether that's a nuclear war, as in On the Beach by Neville Shute, or something more biological, like that one Stephen King novel with the super-flu, or something weather based, like in The Day After Tomorrow, it upsets me unduly.

I realize this is a pretty ridiculous thing to trigger the sort of fear where your heart pounds, you get queasy, and just want to be not there. Despite that fear, I love, love, love post-apocalyptic fiction. Parable of the Sower? Bring it! That S.M. Stirling series that had me confined to my bedroom for three straight weekends last spring? Ooh, baby, I can't wait for the most recent book to come out in paperback. The guilty pleasure of The Tribe? My teenage years involved way too many hours of watching that show. (I'd watch it now if it was still on air.) And Lord of the Flies? That's a damn fine book.

What brings on this confession is that my dad is currently watching I Am Legend in the living room and I can hear things happening in it and it's freaking me out. Spoilers beneath cut )

In general, I don't like movies/literature where people's entire families are killed or people are massacred or there are plagues or whatever. I can study it academically -- I wrote a couple papers on the Black Plague in high school -- but the moment a human element enters the story, I lose it. With the example of The Day After Tomorrow*, there's this one point where they show the spread sub-zero temperatures/blizzard across North America, and they say something to the effect that all the humans and animals north of like central Illinois had perished, because they couldn't evacuated in time. OH MY GOD, the tears I wept. That would be everyone I know or have ever known. I was really upset at the idea of all our cows being summarily wiped out like that. While they are occasionally pains in the ass and can be dangerous, for the most part they're sweet and stupid and don't deserve that.

I think it's an understatement to say that I don't like harm being done to either man nor beast. I'm a big pussy, people, and while I like to temper that with being a realist (id est, I know world peace isn't going to happen any time soon), I'd really prefer it if people in general hadn't been outrageous bastards to each other pretty much throughout history. I don't really see how violence serves anyone's purpose. I have a hell of a temper, and while I understand how tempting the urge to bash someone in the head is, I do try to avoid it.

To layer a little hypocrisy on this, I'm totally cool with verbal threats, as long as you don't carry them out. Yell and scream at each other all you want, just don't go looking for your machete.

This is a large part of why I don't like "scary" movies like Saw or Hostel or pretty much any variety of zombie movie. That sort of casual violence really doesn't please me. I'm empathetic to the point where something psychological like The Others is scary enough for me.

*This isn't a great movie, so I feel no compunctions about spoiling it. Sorry, guys!
Current Music: Stand -- R.E.M.
17 March 2008 @ 01:29 am
Dear friends who read romance and young adult fiction:

The Smart Bitches, in coalition with some other blogs about books, are sponsoring a March Madness tourney for books. This is awesome! This is a tourney I actually know something about -- not so for wrestling or basketball.

The person whose tourney most closely matches the results (determined through weekly voting), will win copies of the top 8 books, a $50 gift certificate from, and a six-month subscription to Paperspine, which is Netflix for books. (I had not heard of this before, and I think it sounds pretty awesome.

The deadline is March 19, at 7 AM.

My top picks? Agnes and the Hitman and Thirteen Reasons Why, which is the only book I've actually read. It was pretty good.
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Current Music: Kilmeny -- Mediaeval Baebes