Halfway-ish Through

Well, here it is. Halfway through the month. I had hoped to have more time to write, but I underestimated the effect working a new job would have on me. I can’t really talk about who I work for, or what I’m doing (for an admittedly limited period of time). But it is a new line of work, and something I don’t have a natural aptitude for doing. So it’ll be interesting. I’m also in a training class of people who have done this all before, some for several years. No pressure.

I did manage to spin a bit for Spinzilla this year. I brought my Bosworth Mini with me to work, complete with a coffin’s full of fiber, and I managed to get a couple hundred yards done during breaks and the “non-people” section of my lunch half-hour. I also spun about 150 yards of llama fiber on my big hummingbird spindle. Our team officially was 14th (out of 74? I think) this year, so that’s their best place yet. Here’s what I spun.
spinzilla2016

No, not a lot. But considering the crazy week I had, I’m happy enough with it. Plus, this weekend I spun some more rug yarn. So there’s that.

I really did enjoy spending time with my spindles. Even though I didn’t have as much time as the last time, I tried to find at least an hour to work on the llama every night. The time spent spindling made the wheel spinning and plying go faster too, I thought.

Last week Baby Goth had her fall break. I’ve never worked a full-time job while she’s been off before. It was a little tough, I have to admit. But Dad Goth was home, and they got to do some things together – they made the annual Spirit run, decorated the house (due to the weather the yard will wait until next weekend), and did various odd and assorted things.

Also: does anybody remember me saying that I was finally off the hook for Halloween costumes for other people this year? Did I? Because it seems that I am not. Having bought a bunch of fabric and a surprisingly expensive pattern, it looks like I’m making a girlie 10th Doctor costume. It’s okay, I think. I don’t have to come up with the entire pattern myself, and the modifications she wants aren’t that taxing. But still.

Lastly, I saw The Host is on Netflix this month. Not a new one, but a great Korean monster movie. I also watched 13th, which is about the American prison system and a horror movie of a very different sort. It’s also time to pull out the old classics next week: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Carnival of Souls (yes, really), Phantasm – things like that. Have a lovely evening, or week, or something.

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HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEN!

Good morning/afternoon/evening, and happy October 1st to you. I’m going to try to write at least a little something every day this month. The posts may look something like Music to Spin By posts, but I’m starting a new job on Monday so time will be at a premium. I hope. Anyway.

I love autumn. That’s not much of a secret. Some of it goes back to my First Day of School fetish; I always loved school, the other people in the building were a little dicey with a few exceptions, but school itself was good. Some of it is Birthday Month (which was last month, but okay). A lot of it is Halloween. A LOT.

Today, we’re celebrating Halloween 1st by waiting for Baby Goth to get home from marching band practice. Then we’re going for a visit with her other family. I’m hoping to stop by the Halloween store on the way home this afternoon, but that might have to wait until tomorrow. We need some more makeup – I’m looking for some good stage blood, if anybody has any brands they’d like to share that are edible, speak up below – and I’d like to see about some more glasses for the kitchen. Other than that, it’ll be getting ready for next week. Plus next week is Spinzilla, and I’d like to get a little something to take with me for spinning during breaks/lunch as well as what I’ll be working on with my wheel.

I’d like to end today with my new favorite holiday song, by Panic! at the Disco. Enjoy.

Halloween Prep Month

This is Halloween Prep Month for procrastinators. I, myself, am a terrible procrastinator. The proof is every single Xmas gift recipient I have ever made something out of fiber. Every. Single. One.

The worst part is that usually, Halloween prep = costumes. I have been planning a particular costume for years and years now. At last, this year Baby Goth will be putting something together for herself. She did mumble something or other about a “Victorian outfit” or something, but I’m sure she’ll come up with something that I don’t have to sew. I feel good about this.

Baby Goth and her girl gang are going out trick-or-treating again this year. There aren’t any definite plans, but I would have heard by now if they weren’t. Every year for the past couple of years, I’ve made a pitch for dressing up to hand out candy, turning the lights out “early”, and watching monster movies at home for the rest of the evening. Nope.

I still want to do Zombie Marie Curie this year. The skirt was drafted, cut and sewn last year. Now I need a shirtwaist, a long wig to put up, and to get my good boots cleaned. I already have test tubes, makeup and glow sticks, so except for the blouse it’s almost done.

The other thing I’ve been thinking of is based on one of the DC Bombshell characters. Wonder Woman has always been dear to my heart, ever since I found her at the candy store on my walk home from school. I never got to read every month, but I treasured the copies I had. For pretty obvious reasons I will have to modify the outfit a bit, but the hardest part will be finding boots that aren’t my red Doc Martens. Of course, there’s always next year.

Someday I would like to buy an actual good skeleton for the front porch, but that may not be this year. Not sure what else we’re going to do, but we’ll see what happens.

How is your Halloween prep going?

September

Today is the first of September, the second best month of the year. I love autumn, even though in the place I now call home autumn is unpredictable and can easily be mistaken for winter. Roughly 20 miles “up the hill”, it’s snowing hard enough to close a major tourist attraction permanently for the season. Autumn is bright yellow and scarlet leaves when the snow hasn’t fallen, cold nights and relatively warm days (not the 90F of last week, for example), acorn squash and pumpkins, giant sweaters, and Halloween.

It’s also a good time to start knitting, crocheting and other things for December. Or at least thinking about it. Let’s be honest – the actual making won’t happen for at least another month, amirite? Probably the rest of the world is far more organized and together than me when it comes to Giftmas. Anyway, Halloween comes first.

Baby Goth has decided to put together her own Halloween costume again this year, which is awesome. She’ll probably be coordinating with her friends again, which is fine, and yes, they do go trick-or-treating. To quote one of her friends, “I’m going out for candy till I’m 90! Try and stop me!” Hard not to like that kind of focus and determination.

I have started making presents already, though. There’s another of these
wearehappy2serveyou
that needs to be felted, embroidered and packed up to send to the Frozen Wastelands where part of our family lives. I’m still working on the Weasley Sweater for Baby Goth, and am putting something together for Dad Goth and myself. Maybe it’ll look like a hockey jersey. Maybe not.

I’m also working on a pillow/sampler/something for my parents. My Mom and Dad are both retired chemists; Dad was a college professor, Mom was a medical lab technician. So I’m hoping they’ll like this. I don’t think I want to use Aida cloth, but it’s far cheaper than what I’d like to use, so we’ll see.

This weekend, it’ll be time to put everything out for Halloween. Frankly, I think I’ve restrained myself from not leaving things out all year. But some might consider it a little early. I’d rather not wait till the snow hits.

The Circus is Back (Thank Goodness it’s not Here)

This is the week of the Republican Party’s National Convention in the US. When I was younger, politics was like a game. A weird, sometimes hilariously funny, mysterious game where the winner and loser didn’t really matter, because the world still went on.

Then Donald Trump decided he was going to run. For President. Now it’s not so much of a game anymore.

8 years ago, Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, won the election for President of the US. Some people said it was the end of racism in our country, because we finally had a Black President. As it turned out, not so much. There were questions about where he was born, because if he had a Kenyan father, he couldn’t possibly be One of Us. There were questions about whether or not he was a Socialist. (On a personal note, it is a dream of your blogmistress to actually have a socialist president. But I don’t think our country is ready for that today.) He had more threats to his person and his family than any president in my living memory who hadn’t actually been assassinated. But he kept going, no matter what horrific racist garbage was tossed his way. The Democratic National Convention was held not far from us and it was amazing. Even with police roughing up protestors and keeping the press at arm’s length whenever possible, it was amazing. I don’t remember where the Republican convention was that year, but it was pretty entertaining.

And 8 years later, we’re getting political party conventions again. The Republican convention is, from my personal perspective, a horror show. I cannot describe it in any other way. It was so bad that the Colorado delegation walked off the convention floor em masse on the first day.

Let me say that a little slower. A. Delegation of elected delegates. Walked. Off. The convention. Floor.

The cover story was that “they were going to dinner”. At 4 in the afternoon. Of course.

The next day, when the official verbal vote count went out, the results told the true story. Out of Colorado’s 37 electoral votes, 31 votes went to Ted Cruz, later amended to 33. 2 delegates abstained. The other 4 voted for Trump, now the official Republican party nominee for President.

That’s not even mentioning the blatant racism, sexism, and homophobia proudly on display over the past few days. Like the dinosaurs howling their last after the cataclysmic event that brought their demise, the vast majority of party speakers can’t seem to stop being the party of Proud White People.

As of today, I’ve spent the entire RNConvention writing this post. Last night was the big speech in front of the Reichstagacceptance speech for the Republican nomination. Apparently, clocking in at 74+ minutes, the longest speech in the history of nominee acceptance speeches. I was busy recovering from our trip to the Fancy Amusement Park with Baby Goth and her BFF and wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to watch last night. This morning, between Twitter and our local news, I’ve managed to make up for that. My goodness, that looks truly frightening.

So, now that the convention is over, register to vote in November. Do it today. If you live in a state that offers mail-in ballots, please please take advantage of that. I can assure you it’s worth whatever hoops you have to jump through, especially if you live in a state where the weather is unpredictable in November. Register today. This is no longer a joke. This is our new reality. If we don’t want it to be our reality for the next 4 years, please vote in November. If you’re not bothered by that, I’m not certain you’re reading the right blog for you.

I’ll write more spinning-related posts this weekend. Promise.

Music to Spin By: Cocteau Twins

I should start out by mentioning how much I love Cocteau Twins. And their other iterations: This Mortal Coil and the album The Moon and the Melodies, a collaboration between the Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd. That album also happens to be just the thing for a restless baby/toddler when it’s naptime. Ah, memories.

The band was made up of Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde. They began in the 1980s and recorded their last work together in 1998, after having recorded 9 albums as the Cocteau Twins. A good introduction, in my mind at least, would be Lullabies to Violane, a collection of singles and B-sides which also has a couple of Christmas songs as well.

They are known for their dreamy sound, which got more dreamy and sweet-sounding with every album, and their nearly indecipherable lyrics. They’re also good to listen to during a plying session or spinning fine singles. Some of my favorites are:


For some reason, “Carolyn’s Fingers” makes me think of summer.


A great song from “Treasure”.


Last but definitely not least, a little something from This Mortal Coil. A cover of a Tim Buckley song, it’s one of the best covers of anything ever. You could make an argument for something else, but you would be wrong.

Happy weekend.

BatFit 2016: My Goals, Again

I knew I’d have to be making my goals again for BatFit after making them on Nov. 1. Something happens to me between Thanksgiving and Xmas every year. This year, it’s been worse. BabyGoth has discovered baking. Whoo. So, we’ve had lots of sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, and cupcakes. The sugar cookies, mercifully, have gone to her teachers and school buddies. That still leaves enough to cause some trouble.

Here, then, are my goals for 2016. They’re pretty much the same as they were here, with one major exception:
6. Be nicer to myself. You have no idea how difficult this is going to be. A big part of being “nicer to myself” is being able to say no. No is a big one. It was something I had been working on several years ago, and it hasn’t gotten much better.

Normally I will say “sure” to something and figure out a way to flake out of whatever it is I’m not keen on doing. It’s not conscious, not really, but it certainly is a thing. If I could say no and not feel bad, and not offer an explanation, that would be a good thing for me and a lot of other people as well. So it’s a thing I will be working on this year.

And a new thing relating to my “getting stronger” goal is the Eowyn Challenge. Hiking from Bag End in the Shire to Rivendell is a hefty goal – I’ll be doing the route in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not the Hobbit; just check the site, it’ll make more sense – but if I give myself a year… And I should be ready to do some real hiking in the mountains by next summer, which would be nice.

So, that’s about it. I’ve already started by making myself a decent breakfast this morning; no cinnamon rolls, but a couple of eggs and some rice with my coffee. So we’ll see about the rest of it tomorrow. Happy New Year. I hope 2016 treats us all more kindly.