glasses, trace

Wiscon Room Appeal . . . and ode to spring rain . . . and catch up

Update: I have a room and shall hail all well met on a Thursday late May.

Thank you Rain
Thank you for falling from the sky
Bringing down the invisible floaters that plague me.

Thank you Rain
Thank you for falling to the earth
Watering the plants that brighten and sustain me

It has been fun to splash
To bicycle rain-cape covered
To breathe clear with a hint of mist

I look forward to you
Your fierce deluge and soft caress
Whenever you choose to visit me again

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Thanks to the spring rain washing out the air, the brain fog induced by the heavy take-down by spring allergies that occurred a few weeks ago (a few weeks of rushing home after work/school/outside events to huddle with closed windows and a HEPA filter) is finally lifting. The first rain allowed me enough brain power to complete my taxes ($$Refund), this most recent one prompted me to get a move on for my spring and summer activities.

I am currently taking Intermediate Fashion Design at the same school I took the beginning class at a few years ago, fashion show eta June 7.

I now purchase the philosophy and religion collections for the library I work at (in addition to science fiction), which is fun and a lot more books and funds than the scifi, but don't work more hours, alas (which means I have time but not funds).

I have a single free pass to a public Watson Adventures scavenger hunt that expires mid-may. I won it at a staff event at work, doing the Santa Monica Pier Pressure hunt. Participating in the hunts seems a lot more fun if you to bring your own team, so if anybody is in the Los Angeles area and would like to go on a scavenger hunt with me (i'd be willing to chip in for your ticket), please contact me (otherwise this thing will probably go unused).

My Dad moved to west Seattle a month ago. I am planning to go up and visit him at the end of August (around the weekend of the 26th), and would be happy to visit while I'm up there.

ps: cross posting to plus and wiscon lj blog. I'm not on facebook.
glasses, trace

ironing my handkerchiefs...

Insane packing is in swing.
I try everything on, make sure every item of clothing coordinates with everything else, and that everything for a six day trip (two travel days, four days of pure book convention fun) fits into my under-the-seat sized rolling tote. This includes clothing for five days, plus a fancy dress party outfit, my laptop, the bake sale items for the Tiptree Bake Sale (Mini Earl Grey Meringue Cookies, a very successful blending of a traditional meringue recipe and a frosting recipe I came across in the April issue of the Food Network's magazine. They are delicious and well received everywhere I take them), at least one item for the clothing exchange (because I have great items to get rid of and like to participate), my quart bag of sunscreen, toothpaste, etc. and a few other items of miscellanea such as power cords and those title-mentioned handkerchiefs.  I occasionally break to indulge in thin, warm pancakes wrapped around some rhubarb I prepared the other day (I had to harvest a few stalks whose leaves were shading my pepper plants), as I love pancakes and doubt I will encounter any of the gluten-free kind until I return home again. My rhubarb does not turn red to tell me it is ready for harvest (hasn't ever, that I've seen and I've had it a few years), but the flavor is correct, the combination with pancakes a fabulous blending of flavors and textures, so I am content.
Now to see if I can squeeze in my sparkly flip-flops for around the pool...
glasses, trace

Anual Update!

Hi all,
I'm leaving for Wiscon this Thursday and plan to see many people there. Yay! This will be my first out of town trip since new-years, and my first con since world fantasy, and it feels like its been forever for both, mostly because I've felt unengaged in both the writing and the socializing page. Must fix. When I get back from Wiscon I will be starting summer school, I'm taking a Spanish 1 class (again), hoping that this time, with class every night (four nights a week) for eight weeks, something might stick. Audio recordings and previous once-a-week classes have managed to not stick, mostly because I learn best by interacting with people (this is why I had to get my masters in person instead of taking the less expensive and more convenient mostly online based program that is also offered in my region). I know I should just go live in Mexico (or Ecuador) for a year, but that's not really an option. Of course I took nearly four years of French and have since lost most of it (no, I can't participate in simple conversation). Perhaps if I moved to France, or Tahiti, it would all come back.

As a precursor to Wiscon, I've held my first yard sale ever yesterday. It turned out a bit overcast, very windy, so attendance was lower than I hoped, but I still earned enough for a few days worth of meals. Thank you craigslist for the people who did show. Never have a yard sale without posting! I am planning to try again with the remainder of the stuff (plus more by then as I am still sorting what I am allowing to remain in my own space), near the end of June. Hopefully the endemic June-gloom will have lifted by then. I also plan to have more/better signage, as the wind managed to snafu several of my signs into uselessness by the time I went to collect them. Of the people who did show the 'most items a dollar, and twelve for ten dollars' seemed to be popular, as was the box of twenty-five-cents each jewelry. Some stuff I'll probably have to sell on craigslist individually.

Also by the end of June I plan to have a new computer, a planned purchase for soon after my student ID gets issued and educational pricing kicks in. I know its been two years since my LJ posted goal of getting a new computer in one year, but last year I spent the money on Fashion School tuition, which was totally worth it. This year I must get a computer as failures continue to crop up on my current (lemon year, I'm told) one, so intermediate Fashion Design remains a dream on hold (trousers, knits... sigh). At least I now have a dedicated table large enough for pattern drafting using the skills I have, and a place to set up the sewing machine. Thank you Alley Gods and Yard Sales. I am already looking into software, freeware and shareware to put on my new anticipated unix-core machine, as my mother-board architecture has been obsolete for four years now and hasn't allowed me to keep up with developments. We'll see if I can do anything fun with Drupal. Other suggestions welcome. (vmware? bootcamp? parrallels? office vs open office. . . . To CS5 or not to CS5, that is the question, especially at an educational price).
glasses, trace

evidence of dolphins

I was on the overlook bluff near the Escondido power plant, riding through, when I noticed a woman looking intently out to sea. As I passed, she called out 'there they are!' I, a curious sort, screeched to a gentle halt, rolled my way back to her, and asked what she was looking at. A pod of dolphins she had spotted further up the coast and had raced down to this quiet beach overlook to view had come into sight. I peered down, then took off my riding goggles and replaced them with my prescription lenses and looked some more. Indeed white splashes of non-human wave-jumping action were making their way south hugging the coast. I might even have spotted a fin (though with the birds and the waves, and the distance and the angle, it was hard to tell). I had just bicycled back from far more crowded beaches to the south and wondered what all the surfers and swimmers who were about to become more closely acquainted (if briefly) with wild dolphin would make of the whirlwind migration. It made me kind of envious, but my last memories of being in the waves, in the sea, is that it is confusing, murky, full of action, and the passing of a dolphin (surely good swimmers that would avoid bumping into anyone) might very well be lost among one's own experience of the water.
glasses, trace

fashion show in summary: organized chaos

Of course, that was only backstage. I hear out front all was fine and good, they didn't see the models getting changed, a similar process to making a nascar pit stop, behind the scenes between the gliding three point processions down the runway. A couple of bossy women on hand expressly for that purpose kept everything moving and on schedule once the show began an obligatory ten minutes late. One of the intermediate students who had 12 looks to present on our 7 models ended up literally ripping off one stubbornly zippered garment so that the model could be changed into her next outfit in the few minutes before she had to be on stage again.

The 5 hours before the show were completely filled with rehearsal, hair and makeup, with barely a pause for the subway catered meal (the three vegetarians in our class got to split the one veggie sandwich that had been distributed between the two party-sized plates). The models were amazing (and smart, one of them spent her dinner break studying, she's getting her masters in biochemistry, on her way to a PHD, after which she already knows which direction she's aiming her career in, another is an accountant in the head office of a large national firm, etc... they model because they can, they like it, it/s something different in their lives that can bring a bit of extra income).  They can walk in anything (which IS a skill, just try to walk in a too tight dress with too tall shoes that are possibly the wrong size for your feet), and remember and pull off multiple staging directions (the beginning class (me!), the intermediate, and the returning graduate all had different needs). I will eventually (in a few months, maybe) get to see the show once the video has been processed and the discs pressed. During, I was immersed in the chaos

For now, well, both my parents and the friend who came to see me forgot their cameras. I have an email out to the other students, in case their own family and friends took photos (though it's unlikely they would have chosen my own three minutes of model runway time to document).

Apparel News did post an image of one of my creations in their slide-show of the event, which features one look per participating designer. Others of you will see another (one I can modify so I can fit into it, unlike the one in the news slide-show), at WisCon.

glasses, trace

3 minutes of minor fashion fame, eta 3 days


Some of you already know that I have been taking a beginning fashion design class since last November, bussing to the fashion district in downtown LA three days a week, and generally immersed in the minutia a pattern creation (hence no posts :p). The class has completed, and the fruits of my labor are going to be strutting down the runway this Thursday evening.
 
What: "The art of Fashion" Student Fashion Show by Fashion Careers International
Featuring my own work (first down the runway!--three minutes of about as glamorous as I aspire to create...;)...), that of my fellow beginning students, the intermediate class, plus the latest collection of a former graduate of the school.
 
When: This Thursday evening, reception at 7:00pm, Show at 8:00pm, expected to end by 9:00pm...
 
Where: The Celebrity Center International (church of scientology)
            5930 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, 90028 (corner of Franklin & Bronson)
 
$$: Admission $10
 
It is a fund-raising event for the school, as well as an opportunity to showcase our work. A short video on scientology offsets the very nice venue's reasonable rental rates, which, along with the models from the modeling school, and other contributing behind-the-scenes volunteer professionals in the fashion industry (makeup, camera work, staging, etc.), allow us to have a real fashion experience on a small school budget.
 
So, if you've never been to a runway show, and have always been curious, now is your chance. All are welcome.

Now I have just have to find a pair of gold stilettos for the model wearing that last dress...
 
glasses, trace

epicenter + 1 mile

I heard and felt it at the same time. I watched the walls and heard the old windows shudder in their frames and structural timbers squeeze against each other in a rapid staccato, not quite a beat. I moved with the floorboards under me, quicker than my heart, less regular. I had time to wonder if the shaking would continue, if it would intensify, to stand and walk away from the ceiling fan and light fixture overhead, realizing that there is NO furniture in the entire house suitable to duck under, all of our beds are too low and our tables all come with built in storage. Two steps and it is over. A 3.4, but closer to me than jolts of that magnitude usually are. A mile away, or five if you count the the depth of the earth from which it arose.

And now as I write this, another pulse of the earth jolts through me, a 1.9, from nearly, but not quite the same location as the crow flies, and three times the distance under the crust.

I wonder if this, and the neighboring 3.1 of yesterday, are the prelude to something bigger, or the stress relief that will prevent that something bigger from occurring, at least on the faults nearby.

All that is certain is that the world shakes, and its rhythm will never be human.
glasses, trace

my first political rally

I arrived in New Mexico last night, and this morning it turns out that Obama was visiting the same town I was. Dad and I went to see him. Four hours of waiting (two in a line that wrapped through the neighborhood like a giant serpent, a mile long by the time we got there at the suggested early arrival time, and it continued to grow and wrap more even as we progressed along it, plus another two hours standing inside the area listening to local politicians and music as we waited for Obama's black van to arrive) for a half hour speech. Thats an 8 to 1 ratio of waiting to pay off, considerably less than the ratio associated with popular amusement rides, where an hour wait yields a two minute roller-coaster experience at a waiting to payoff ratio of 30 to 1.  Local news covered it: http://kob.com/article/stories/S584682.shtml, I was to Obama's right (on the left of the screen) less than 30 feet away while he was talking, and about three people deep away from him while he was pressing hands at the end. This is what I get for visiting a swing location in a swing state. Who'd 'a thunk it?

The last presidential level politician I heard speek in person was vp Dan Quayle when he spoke at a rocket facility in Alabama while I was there attending space camp, and based upon both experiences, and everything I watch on screen, I have to say politicians are much more compelling in person, I can see why people regularly brave the insanity of the crowds to get that experience, though it may be another 16 years (and/or fortuitous accident of timing) till it happens to me again.
glasses, trace

Birthday Month is Over

Somehow with my birthday comes a certain sense of entitlement. A feeling of 'I deserve this,' has been running rampant through my life for the past thirty-one days.

Not only did I indulge, but others indulged on my behalf.
Unusual activities included going to the movies (rare, but the mummy called), going to the museum (Terra Cotta Warriors and Gemstones Galore at the Bowers Cultural Museum in Santa Ana, an utterly fantastic birthday), going out to eat with friends several times (to the tune of nearly once every week, over four times my usual average), purchasing fully half of the books currently on my list (I was not fiscally able to go for the whole shebang, nor some for some of the other things on the 'i really want but can't really justify' list). getting New Clothing (okay, so the items were half-off, but they were neuf, not nouveau from a thrift store), getting RAM for my laptop and a new battery for my ipod (both of which were acting dismayingly geriatric, a much cheaper option than getting a new computer and ipod, which activity I am trying to schedule for next year, plus the project also gave me a goodly bicycle ride to Fry's Electronics, a large boost to my lacksidasical approach to exercise), making candy so the people at work could celebrate my birthday with me, and buying a dragon fruit at the farmers' market just so I could try it.

I also now have a new watch, a new bookshelf, a newly arranged room, a new sewing project (over half-way done, gorgeous blue silk that will hopefully soon transform into a fabulous new dress, thank goodness for the adjustable form I picked up from the thrift store, which is part of why the project is so far along), a new rug, a new duvet, a new set of throw pillows, a new alarm clock (nature sounds and light!), a new bell (so I have no idea what I'll use it for, but it has great clarity of sound and it is green!), and a new set of earbuds for my ipod.

It is exhausting just to remember it all.

So today I celebrated the first day of September by staying home, eating food from on-hand ingredients and not buying anything - much.

After such a past month of spending, I am ready to hunker down and save up - so that I can give in to that sense of entitled indulgence that comes with taking a trip, which will happen all too soon at the end of this month during my semi-annual dad visit. Hmmm. Less than a month from now.

This indulgence thing happens with fair frequency. Alas, I can but enjoy it.

glasses, trace

Scibrarians on YouTube! At last.

Several weeks have past, but I got to work today (after sleeping from 3 yesterday till 7 this morning) and found a link to the official video in my inbox. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZAL0bcO_k8

Watch and laugh. We even got reviewed by  Bush League TV , a video game review site (among other things).

Other videos have come out from other sources, some of which show some of the action better, none of which show a good view of the dry ice being activated. Ah well.

The two commentators are Jon Scieszka and Mo Willems, big names in childrens books if you haven't heard of them.  I particularly like Time to Say Please! by Mo Willems, and consider it essential reading for everyone I encounter in the library (and most everyone everywhere else, too). Time to Pee! , part of the same series, is also quite excellent.