Thursday, 3 August 2017

This dress has killed me

This damned dress.

   It took me ages to muster up the energy to fit everything together once I'd assembled both layers of the dress because hand stitching is death... so I redid a few things I'd made a mess of with an older dress. By hand. I'm stupid that way but refitting the arms by hand seemed easier than doing it by machine, especially since I just got a hang of how to refit them.

   It's not entirely historically correct to fit the layers together like I do with my dresses, but with a little help it is quite simple. All historical sources I've consulted point to there being linen undergarments and then a separate outer layer (and then another one after that), normally of wool with silk lining, except in some cases depending on wool fabric quality, but heeeeeeey! So what. I'm really not that strict on the details. This is more of an experimental hobby and even though the amount of money it costs is sometimes beyond absurd it remains only a hobby to me. I'm letting having fun be my first priority and money-worries my second. And I'm planning on having fun in my outfits. Also, I caught on to the idea to fit the layers together in an effort to have a way of not needing to use my modern bra underneath my medieval dresses (makes for a more historically correct silhouette). But that should obviously be something I solve with my linen underwear. It's much simpler (see: cheaper) to redo a linen garment than a wool one. I've done two dresses this way already but it's not quite working the way I want it to (in other words: I still need to wear a bra).

   Just like the people of the late 14th century I have a thing for buttons, and so I'm making my own buttons for the arms; nineteen on each arm in this case just up to my elbows.

   I took a short course on how to weave edges back in 2015 and have been wanting to try it since which of course is also an excellent excuse for buttons this time around. On the other hand this meant I needed a tape loom, something I don't own as of yet, so some improvising was at hand (it ended with me slaughtering a deck of cards, gluing cards together and then carving appropriate windows and holes in them). The books and history nerds I've consulted says the woven edge should be silk (or wool) so I invested in some real silk thread (I've used polyester thread on my previous dresses and didn't want to use wool this time).

   But before I could get to that I picked up on another project; a buttoned and lined liripipe hood. I don't have one and want one since there's nothing better to protect one's neck from the cold.
   My fingers hurt but as my mantra goes; "it'll look beautiful when it's done". So I picked up some old dresses that needed some loving and switched between projects as to not bore my restless mind with the hand sewing.

   And it did turn out beautiful! The hood looks much better than I expected, which is always a bonus (and deserves a friggin' gold star).

  Right! Back to the cotehardie! Weave edges. Yes. Good. Since I had already tried my simplified little tape loom on the liripipe hood (with worsted yarn) I had some idea of how to do it. I also knew that it was fiddly work but oh so worth it. At first I thought I'd use mixed colours but then decided against it (and regret nothing).

   Next step was to make lacing holes. Again, slow and tedious work, but it's the last piece of the dress I can fiddle together on my own. Just me, my bone needle, needle and silk thread. And then, THEN, turning up the skirt hemline and presto
    - a dress.
And I'm dead. Well, my fingers are.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Three days left...

Three work days left...
   ...and I have to go over references this week and go through the last check points before hiring our new colleague. I am very ready for my vacation.

...and the dress is almost done. Which is good because I'm leaving on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Seven left...

   Seven work days left (three days as the omniscient ruler of the shop) and I'm in the middle of preparing to recruit a new member of staff. I wasn't actually aware that I was going to do this before my boss handed me the info... the day before she left for two weeks of vacation.
    At first I felt anxious, not to mention uneasy with my newly found pool of power, but then I just figured "ok, fuck it, lets jump straight into it then".

   So I have.
   And here's a little piece of advice for you nerds out there applying for jobs right now: if you want to get hired by someone you don't open your interview with telling your prospective boss you just applied for the job because you "had to". It won't win you any points. Nobody's impressed by that. Trust me.
   Do read up on the company with which you're interviewing. Even the tiniest bit would be good, thank you. Don't show up uninformed.
   Also don't mention how much you dislike your current employment if you have one. Will not win you any points either.
   Oh, and don't act like a total jerk if you happen to visit the company with which you're scheduled for an interview. Especially not when the person you'll be interviewed by can hear you being a total jerk. Will not win you any points.

   I suppose I should look at this whole experience as a way of learning more about what not to do when I apply for jobs myself.
   But I'm certainly a sensitive bundle of nerves at the moment and about 110% ready for my upcoming four weeks of doing nothing but whatever I feel like doing.
    Sleeping is something you can do for four weeks straight, right?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

That feeling when...'ve just attended the second funeral for a close relative in two months and know that a third is very much likely to happen within the next two.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Spoilers about DW

   The thirteenth Doctor is a woman! Jodie Whittaker is taking over the mantle from Peter Capaldi and we're finally rid of Moffat!

   Sadly, I can't help but feel like it's too little, too late. Nothing bad said about Capaldi (because I haven't seen a single one of his episodes), but the twelfth Doctor should have been female. Or non-binary. Just to really rock the boat and make whiny "Whovian" pissbabies show their true colours before it was cool to be all "representation actually matters and we've known for ages and ages that Time Lords can become any gender when they regenerate".
   But I will probably be returning to watching Doctor Who again, and that feels good.

Twelve left...

Only twelve workdays left until I leave for a marvellous four weeks of vacation.
   I. Can't. Fucking. Wait.
   My boss is on vacation. And all my other unofficial superiors. I've been left in charge. So obviously everything had to go to shit.
   Nine more workdays of playing boss-woman and then three more workdays and then... then...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

RIP Nelsan Ellis

   Goddammit. How many black men in the prime of their lives and careers are gonna have to die before they pour more money into researching heart failure? TOO MANY is how many.
   Lafayette may be the character I will remember most fondly but his portrayal of Shinwell Johnson in Elementary is going to stick with me for quite a while...

Friday, 7 July 2017

I got distracted

   I've been working on and off with that new dress for The Medieval Week and honestly it's going really well but, as always, I got derailed somewhere along the process and just "had to" finish a few other projects...

   Two surcôtes in dire need of some finishing touches, my new red cotehardie at the right and a new liripipe hood in hand. I'm trying to jump from project to project to keep myself from getting too tired of the hand sewing. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Celebrating Medieval Days

Along the Swedish west coast is Varberg and Varberg Fortress and just recently they had their Medieval Days. Starving for some "medieval" fun I donned my outfit and jumped on a train to meet up with some friends. Before reaching my destination I received more than a few giggling stares and I guess I can understand them... but you know me. "Smile and wave" is the proper way to deal with people. Once I arrived at the fortress I made the most of it.

One month until The Medieval Week.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

I don't wanna adult anymore

NOPE. Don't wanna.

"It's bullshit"

She's a huge fucking cynic but she's amazing. "We're living in this crazy period of superficiality" she says and slams plastic surgery and the world's obsession with youth ("All these bullshit doctors..."). "I'm 88, well I mean, really 87 but I make myself one year older. I don't want to be... look younger or be younger. I like to be one year ahead." Why be scared of ageing?
"I feel beautiful inside."

In other news:
   I had a lovely midsummer with all I hoped for and as good as everything I wished for. Kind words, laughs, hugs and other forms of closeness were to be found in every direction throughout the midsummer weekend. My energy reserves were filled to the brim as I floated home on itty bitty pink clouds. All through this week I've been riding on a tall wave of yummy endorphins. However, I feared it wouldn't last and yesterday I finally crashed in a wicked way and now I'm utterly and totally exhausted. To experience that kind of intense association with beautiful people one day and then go back to my normal lonely existence the next was... not all that good. It only goes to prove once and for all that I need to hang out with people more. Socialise. I need other people. But not just that, I need physical closeness. Not necessarily sexual, mind you (you pervs). Well. Better get on with that then...
   I've been reading Redshirts by John Scalzi. At first I wasn't all that impressed but it's grown on me and n ow it's really amusing.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Hutt Recommends: Revolution

Revolution by Russell Brand
(Politics is cool, yo.)

Let me start by saying that I've never really taken to Russell Brand as a comedian, with the specific exception of when he appears working in tandem with Noel Fielding, but despite my aversion to his stand-ups I have observed that he has on occasion put forth a few thought-provoking sentiments in interviews and that had me curious.
   I stumbled upon Revolution on audio, read by Brand himself, as I anchored in a well-known bay in the depths of the internet. Having listened to a lot of books of varying quality in the last few years I figured that Brand's particular kind of insanity compacted into 9 hours of audio files wouldn't infuriate me more than some of Heinlein's more sexist scifi (of which I haven't bothered to finish a few because of said sexism). Normally, I just listen to books on my way to and from work and I rarely find myself trying to find excuses to go for a walk or take a detour in order to keep listening for "just a few more minutes...".
   I can happily announce to you that with Revolution, I did just this.

   I studied Politics at university and am familiar with most of the ideas Brand brings forth, anarcho-syndicalism seemingly being at the forefront, which certainly makes it easier to take in and understand what basis of ideas Brand works from. This book requires more reading, obviously, as Brand's grand ideas are all snippets of other people's grand ideas. It lacks depth in ideology but as I read it, it's supposed to - you're meant to finish the book and go "hey, here's a great idea to read more about and possibly incorporate in my everyday life". Revolution starts with individuals and ends with societies; it starts with civil disobedience at the face of inequality and ends with the subversion of an unjust system.
   What Brand lacks is what most leftist ideologies lack these days - a grand theory. A utopia and a way of reaching it (but please do tell me when you find a comprehensive handbook to building coherent alternative societies). On the left we cry for equality and justice but have no viable ideas of how we could practically build that kind of society. We say we want to include everyone, but say nothing of how we are to do that or proceed from there. I think this is why right-wing parties have gained so many followers lately - they have an idea of how to hands-on "solve" our societal problems and even though their ideas are terribly short-sighted, fear-mongering and is kicking the wrong people in the face, people can see solutions. Scared and desperate people are easy to manipulate with populist propaganda hiding a more sinister ideology.

   Corporations is who we should be kicking in the face.
   Capitalism is what we should oust from our lives.
   We should be building community instead of undermining it.
   Brand gives us the choice between Capitalism or the Planet, and he's right.

   All in all, yes, Revolution has that Hollywood yoga pants vibe; a celebrity with a history of living it big trying to convince others less fortunate that changing the societies in which we live is as easy as pie even though we might not have the monetary funds that makes it so easy for Brand himself to make his ideas heard.
   However, Brand is in his own way very charming and rather funny and Revolution is well worth a read. If you like that sort of thing.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

You funny little man

Oh, Mr Howard 💚
Russell was amazing (except for a poorly performed fat joke) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Happy about this

Tonight I've gone so far out of my comfort zone it's ridiculous.
   This weekend is Pride weekend in my city and I've taken time off to be a part of it. (I didn't last year and regretted it deeply.)
   Tonight I was at a pub meet with a bi/pan group. After that I went to a party arranged with the dress code = underwear. And I went. I actually went. And I had fun. I didn't know anyone.
   It's a strange time to be alive.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Not happy about this

That feeling when I made a whole pitcher of iced coffee yesterday while it was all warm, sunny and nice just to wake up this morning to windy, cold and rainy. Not amused.