I have a million things I'm going to get done next week (yay for holidays). Well, I think I'm going to get those things done, but the reality is that, most likely, I will get sidetracked. And that's because, for us unorganized people, there's no such thing as "just doing one little thing". So every one little thing turns into a chain of multiple, tangentially related things and pretty soon it's like that game Centipede and you run into your own tail.
For example: one of my big goals is to reclaim my art space on my desk, which is currently covered in a truly impressive mound of detritus. So I just need to clean it off, right? Yeah.
So let's start with the chair to the left, which has a picture on it. It just needs to be hung up. This requires tracking down a hammer, nails/hooks, and probably a step stool (hey, I'm short). By the time I gather up all that, it's silly not to hang up the other pictures I have that need it too, right? But those are in with others that need to be framed, which I should do because, well, I'm already invested and it'll probably change where I hang the other pictures and I don't want to have to do it twice, yes? Clearing one thing off a chair has now led to a multi-hour job that probably required a trip to the store. Go go gadget efficiency!
Now, in front of the desk is a box that needs to go up in the attic. Easy, right? Just pop it up there. Except... I really need to get the Christmas stuff down while I'm up there (or it'll be Christmas eve before everything is up again) and that means digging it out and while I'm here I really, really, really need to clean up/sort through stuff. As long as it's cold and the wasps are gone, and we really need to get the louver off the roof... man, where did the day go?! And should I just set up and decorate the tree while I'm at it? And then stow the box under the pool table... after I vacuum the carpet... and find a place for that black rug... and clean up the plants... crap.
Okay, okay, back on target. Desk. Floor to the right of the desk. The bellydance closet has exploded. I need to contain that, I need to make those bags for the skirts, find another place for the wrapping supplies, and find something to organize it. Okay... move the wrapping supplies to the guest room. I could stop there, I don't need to finish reupholstering the couch and rocking chair... leave it... leave it... and those books in the way, the ones you were going to release on bookcrossing... toss them to the side! Good, good, stow the wrapping stuff and go go go!
...go make those bags for the skirts. That means digging out fabric and sewing machines. And there goes the rest of today. Hopefully only one day, if I don't get sidetracked by all the other things that "while I'm on a roll sewing..."
So next, I have a dresser that might work for organizing... in the other attic. So jockey the cats around, get help getting that down, and hey, presto, organized costume storage! Sort of. I'm sure it won't work out that well, but it'll be a decent start. Maybe enough of one that I have room to clean off my flipping desk, yeah?
Now... what to do with all the crap on my desk?!
"There is something distinctive about the sight and sound of a human body falling from the rainforest canopy. The breathless scream, the wildly gyrating arms and legs pumping thin air, the rush of leaves, snapping branches, and the sickening thud, followed by uneasy silence. Listening to that silence, I reflected on how plant collecting can be an unpleasant activity."
So begins the book, and I think you can see why I picked it up. While most of the rest of the book doesn't quite live up to the opening (there are a few parts that are good) it's still a decent (if infuriating at times) read.
I'm sure my lack of fascination with orchids makes parts of the book a little boring, because, man, is there a lot to orchid collecting and showing! It really is an all-encompassing hobby. But even without that love, the book is still a fascinating read.
Because of CITES.
Yes, I knew government bureaucracy could be ridiculous, but this takes it to a while new level. It's mind-blowingly stupid. To the point that, even though I care nothing about importing orchids, I'm pissed off. It is infuriating to read about. But also fascinating.
Why they thought (well, obviously, they didn't) that the same laws should apply to plants and animals is... staggeringly dumb. Every year, plants produce from dozens to hundreds to (if you're the morning glory or trumpet creepier in my yard, apparently) thousands of viable seeds. Taking a seed pod does not hurt the native population, and can actually help save a species. Digging up a plant before it's bulldozed should not be a crime. It's amazing.
A good book, if you can wade through the (wait for the pun... wait for it...) flowery bits.
Apparently, when you're in the bellydance mafia, you have to watch everything that had to do with bellydance because... the mafia says so? Which is why we had to get together and watch "Just Like a Woman", a movie about a bellydancer and her... well, see, that's the problem, none of us could really determine what the point of the movie was.
Stop reading if you plan on watching it (though I would not recommend it, I've watched a lot of movies this year, and this is in the bottom 5).
Basically, this woman takes a once-a-week bellydance class at a local gym. The instructor is a guy, which is not entirely unheard of, but... odd. Most middle-eastern men who do bellydance do so in a very different style from the ladies. But, okay, gay white male in Chicago teaching bellydance class with one promising student. Except... not really.
Marilyn (the promising student) stops by a market every day on her way to work, run by an Egyptian man, his wife (Mona), and his mother. The mother hates the wife, who hasn't given her grandchildren. The husband kinda hates his mother, but doesn't stick up for his wife in front of her.
So one day Marilyn comes to work too find they've fired her and won't pay her what they owe her. She goes home early to find her borderline abusive, unemployed husband in bed with another woman. She immediately calls her bellydance instructor to tell him that she will go compete in Santa Fe at the big bellydance competition to get into a big touring company (because Santa Fe is the closest place they have those? Really?).
On the other side of town the mean mother-in-law flusters Mona by yelling at her, causing her to drop her pills and... yeah, you see this coming. Mother-in-law dies of an overdose of her heart medication. Mona runs away.
Marilyn drives off, as well, and just happens to run into Mona at a park where her bus has stopped (as they do, who needs a pesky thing like a bus depot?!). They run off together a la Thelma and Louise. Only with less camaraderie - we'll get to that in a moment.
Mr. Bellydance Instructor has set up a string of places for her to perform along the way to make some money. At the first place they make a ridiculous amount, get propositioned by the owner, then threatened, and end up running off. The second place is going well, until Marilyn sees Mona's picture in the paper, wanted for murder.
Oh yes, in less than 24 hours Chicago police had not only done an autopsy on an 82 year old woman who had a heart condition and died off what liked like heart failure, but instituted a full-on manhunt for her. Also, unknown to them, Marilyn's husband reported her missing (to the same set of detectives!) and they make the connection between the two women in mere moments. Amazing work!
Marilyn leaves Mona at a bus station (still in her bellydance costume) and drives off. But had a change of heart and goes back for her. They camp on an Indian reservation, get kicked off and sent to a campground where a woman, her husband, and son are camping and have a big of a run-in that involves some racial slurs and ends up with Marilyn (the blond girl, not the ethnic girl - she was supposed to be Egyptian, but the actress was apparently Indian) getting beaten up. Makes total sense, yes? At this point we don't even care about poor Marilyn, we've hit our pity limit. There's a limit to a believable amount of crap that happens to an ordinary person.
So of course she can't dance, which is probably for the better, because have I mentioned that she is bad? I mean bad. She can kind of do the moves, but it looks like she learned them in a Zumba class. She has zero grace. And kinda dances more like a stripper. Bad.
Mona (who is a decent dancer) takes her place and earns her a spot in the company. She also calls her husband who is not at all upset about his mom dying, says he knows it was a mistake (and delivers the only good line in the movie), and all he wants is her back, they'll run away together. She says no, she loved him but doesn't want him back and she's going to turn herself in. Because... I don't know.
She sends the costume and certificate back to Marilyn, then heads for a train station. Marilyn drives to the train station, crumples up the certificate (admitting they'd never believe it was her that had danced at the audition) and...
No, seriously, that was it. Possibly the most unresolved ending I have ever seen. Spectacularly anticlimactic. No idea what happens to either of them.
So... stupid movie title, pointless plot, bad acting, horrible dancing... absolutely nothing to recommend this movie. Nothing.
...because it's unfair to the workers, please don't turn around and talk about how you plan on driving somewhere instead... because you think those people working at the gas station are less deserving of a day off than a cashier at Target?
And certainly that waitress at the restaurant you go to for Thanksgiving should work, but the stocker at Kohl's should definitely not be forced into work.
And that movie you want to go see? Yeah, that cashier needs to be there for you, but that poor soul at K-Mart should not have to be at work!
...I think I made a similar post last year, when a retail worker whined that having to work in Thanksgiving would mean they couldn't go to the movies with their family. Honestly, I wouldn't care about working on Thanksgiving, I don't do anything really special anyway, and it would be nice to have my days off sometime when I could do something that needs to be done. But I'm sure I'm in the minority there.
I watched about 10 minutes of the show last night, and then took to the internet to see if I could find comments (which, of course, I did).
First, I agree that TLC must now stand for "The Lousy Channel", because their programming sucks these days. I remember back when they had something other that reality/exploitation programs. Ah, the days of things like Pyramids, Mummies, and Tombs (though honestly I don't know what channel that was on).
Secondly, the show seemed so very fake. I caught the part about the guy gloating that he had all these bank accounts with money he hid from his family... because they certainly won't watch the program and see that?! Um... okay... And paying for a meal (that's not a Happy Meal at McDonald's) with change? Just weird and rude to the restaurant, because it's free to go to your bank and deposit/exchange change for bills. WHY wouldn't you do that?
Third, from what I read in the comments, half of what these "cheapskates" do isn't saving money, it's theft. Yes, stealing toilet paper so you don't have to buy it? Theft. Using someone's discarded cup to get free soda refills? Yeah, theft. Dumpster diving is NOT stealing, though, so that part I was mostly okay with... until it came to the food.
Yes, if I were homeless and had no other choice, I'd dig into a dumpster to eat, I'm sure. And I know a lot of perfectly good food gets thrown away. But I also know there are a lot of rats and bugs and other disease-carrying vectors in dumpsters, and feeding dumpster cake to your friend's child... when you are a millionaire... I just don't know. I suppose if the parents were okay with it... but I know at least one of the people fed dumpster food supposedly didn't know (but then, this is from ONTD LJ comments, so...).
I'm sorry, there are a lot of ways I know I could cut my spending. But the $5/month I'd save by only flushing my toilet once a week is NOT worth it. D:
Costume got done (pictures eventually?), show went well (maybe pictures of that, too), I am EXHAUSTED (no pictures needed, though I did fall asleep trying to read the book club book during the football game last night, so... I think that speaks volumes in itself).
I sewed for 14 hours one day, and I never want to do that again (but almost certainly will).
Now looking forward to the holiday shows at the nursing homes, I do a solo with a giant candy cane on my head... and I found this song on Freegal:
I'd also love to learn to juggle "snowballs" as part of my act... in my spare time. Actually, I have wanted to learn to juggle for quite some time, but I highly doubt it will happen.
In the meantime, I need to get my costume together for the zombie walk on Saturday. Wheeeeeee!
Weekend after next is looking good for some down time? Maybe? Or am I forgetting something?
Followed quickly by the thought that "oh my god it's already Wednesday!"
Performance is on the 5th. I have nothing of my costume done. I'm still waffling on ideas. I have an unrealistically cute concept sketch. I keep telling myself I'm going to try to lose weight and yet I just ate a plum and will almost certainly finish off that bag of Doritos tonight.
I also have to help 2-3 other people with their costumes, because of course I'm going to. I don't stay mad, obviously.
I finished one possible raffle skirt, and people seem to like it, but I started on the backup because I didn't feel like thinking on Monday. But tonight... I really need to get my butt in gear.
1) Put the new bra through the wash
2) Cut out L's skirt pieces and my under skirt pieces
3) Find vest pattern, cut out test
4) Test bustle
5) Cover bra with striped fabric
6) Sew together base skirt pieces
What will probably happen...
1) Finish secondary raffle skirt
2) Stare aimlessly at the television
And that is bad, because at last count my costume was going to have 8 pieces. Eeep!
After what is possibly the most work ever to upload a picture from my phone...( here's the concept pictureCollapse )
Doesn't mean I SHOULD. That is my new motto. I broke down and had the plumber come out and fix my toilet, and attach the fixtures in my shower. The bathroom is closer to being done, and it's not as bad looking as I thought it was going to be. Grout makes a lot of difference. Now all I have to do is wipe down the grout, seal it, and do the silicone. And clean the floor. And put up an over the toilet cabinet. And buy a stand alone toilet paper holder. Which will get done... I don't know when.
I have the raffle skirt and my costume to make for the Oct 5th show, a skirt to finish for this Sunday (not mine, but for another troupe member), two swaps that wrap up at the end of September (Little Visitor, eeeep, the scrapbook! And a NaNo swap that I'm half done with), a costume to put together for the car/zombie show thing on the 28th of Sept, and the Nerd Battles stuff (though that can wait, or be dropped, it's low priority).
You know how a lot of people (especially at work) seem to take a perverse pride at being so swamped and so behind? Because being busy makes them more important or something? I've never understood that. I hate it, and being that busy feels like a failure on my part. A failure to use my time effectively, a failure to not over-commit, a failure of efficiency... it's just not good. And that's where I am right now. Don't get me wrong, I like being busy and having things to do, and I'll always have a billion unfinished craft projects, but as long as they don't really have deadlines, I'm okay with that.
And I really need to clean my house...
I can't wait for fall. I know a lot of people "hibernate" in the winter, because it's dark, but summer is my problem time. I hate being hot. I just can't get anything done because I'm hot and sweaty and cranky and it sucks and I get mad and frustrated so easily. The winter, though... cold weather is my friend.
I really shouldn't have applied the grout with my hands... they are so dry now and have that sandpapery feel. See? Can (it won't cause any permanent damage), but shouldn't. :/
I've been trying to make a steampunk bellydance costume, which is way easier than it sounds. Or maybe it would be easier if I weren't the Pillsbury Dough Girl and things draped nicely on me like they do all the stick-thin models. But anyway, I've been sewing my heart out and have three skirts but nothing to show for it. I thought at least some of the other girls might be able to wear at least one of them, but our troupe leader, after first saying "all shades of brown" decided she hated everything* about the first skirt I make and is requiring cream and dark brown (which were my original colors, though I had also added black which she nixed - though I'm going to sneak some in on my costume somewhere!).
I started with some garage sale fabric I already had. I figured I'd test out some patterns and see how they worked. Unfortunately, some of the fabric was heavier than I would have liked, and while that would be very period-appropriate, it just didn't look good on me. The last thing I need is poofy bits added.( Skirt 1 hereCollapse )( Skirt 2! I actually like this one...Collapse )( Skirt 3 - sometimes, you just need to throw things awayCollapse )
But I've learned a lot, even though I've also been hurt and frustrated and really, really tired. I think I'm going to make a tweedy bustle to go with the first skirt, and maybe a vest, and I could have a Sherlock Holmes-esq costume. It's not too bad if you only pull it up a little. And I like the second one, except when am I going to wear brown again?
* I do not expect people to like everything I make, and I know it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't that bad and if you're going to dislike it, at least try to say why in a somewhat tactful way and give me ways to improve it. Also, though I kept saying "this wasn't the fabric I was going to make your skirt out of" she kept flatly saying "I am NOT wearing that". No, no you weren't. So now I'm making my costume, and only my costume. And I promise to never be the one who has ideas** about what I want something to look like, and I'll just do what she says.
** This was my song, and I had a bit of a vision for it, but screw it, if I want something the way I want it, I'll do something on my own. But I'm still adding bits of black to my costume.
Yes, this is dangerously close to vaguebooking, which is why I'm not putting it on Facebook. I can't bring myself to be that passive-aggressive. Because it's really not just one thing or one person, but a bunch of things that all seem to happen at once. And this is the third time through the cycle... yes, yes, fool me once and all that.
I know there are a few people I can count on. And I know people have perfectly good reasons for canceling/bailing/changing plans. That's what makes it so impossible to be angry about, so I'm left feeling depressed. What's worse, a lot of the time I have to ask/remind about things in order to find out I'm getting stood up... maybe that's the most troubling/upsetting part?
I know I said it last time, but I mean it this time. No more plans with people (except my hubby, and S). I'm just too tired of being disappointed (which is pathetic, I even tell myself I'm sure the plans will fall through but it's still sad).
Bah, I've had enough of this week, and I still have tons and tons to do.