Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting down to the wire...

A week from now we should have the election results, and if things go like they're looking, the Democrats will be celebrating. In the meantime though, there's plenty of what hits the fan about, and the noise to content ratio is getting pretty high. Ah, for the calm of November 5th!

(Would that be calm, or just a hangover?)

Still working on the verger's robes, and encountering glitches. I'd ordered some twisted cord from Fabric Depot, to finish the lapel edges and around the chevrons on the sleeves. Made the order nearly three months ago and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally Saturday I told them to cancel the order. They called me back Monday to explain what had happened. Apparently Heritage Trims, the company that makes the braid, has merged with another company, and is now working out of China (of course). There's been problems filling orders since this happened, and the guy who called me says that when things come in- if they come in- the quality isn't that great. Fabric Depot is now phasing out that product line, as it's too much trouble. Which doesn't help me much, but it was good to finally find out why the cord was not coming in.

No one else in town seems to have it either, so I'm going with plan B and embroidering the braid myself. It isn't that hard- just time consuming. But it looks good and it's getting done, slowly but surely.

The other glitch has been figuring out the folded section in the lapels. The book with the patterning sketches doesn't come with construction instructions, so I've been doing a lot of fiddling trying to figure out how the pieces work. This slows me down and gives me extra headaches, which I have anyway- working black on black is really hard on the eyes. Gotta get it done though- they need it before the 6th, so I need to finish it up this weekend. Hey- the work keeps me out of trouble, right?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Actually, it's rather anti-climactic...

...since here in Oregon we vote by mail. The ballot comes in the mail- you open it up, mark the little ovals (rather like the scantron forms in college exams) and put it in the envelope provided, sign it, stamp it, and put it back in the mail. Wanda and I both did ours tonight- two votes for Obama for the record. The hardest part is reading all the little tiny type on the sheet that explained all of the ballot measures.

Voting used to be mysterious. I can remember going into the voting booth with my dad once, when he pulled the lever for Richard Nixon. (I'm not certain but I think mom voted for Humphrey.) And the day I turned 18 I went down and registered to vote, at my brothers' elementary school. My first vote was for Ronald Reagan (I'm sorry! I got over it!), down at the fire station in Puyallup. I had Annie in the Snugli when I did it (and she was terribly scarred, I'm sure ;-)

In '88 it was clear from the pulpit who we were supposed to vote for- Bush Sr, of course. But I didn't. I'd been paying attention during the Iran Contra scandal, and was appalled when Bush claimed he hadn't known what was going on. I couldn't vote for him, because either he was lying, or he'd been the stupidest vp ever; either way, I didn't want him in the Oval Office. So I voted for Dukakis. My first 'protest' vote, I suppose...

Voted for Clinton twice, voted for Gore, voted for Kerry. Heck, I even did a little volunteer work for Kerry. Been volunteering for Obama too. Bought the yard sign, so we look like all over the other neighbors. (I love this neighborhood!)

Coloring in the little oval for Obama, I almost felt like some stirring anthem should be playing in the background- if it had been a movie, there would have been dramatic lighting and French horns. Instead it was just my desk lamp and the hum of my computer. But I filled in the ballot and it's stamped and sitting in front of the printer, waiting to go into the mail tomorrow. No band, no purple finger. Just the sense of a job well done. :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ah, my favorite time of year...

The leaves are turning and the nights are getting chilly and I can wear my sweaters again! And soon there will be Thanksgiving! This evening at McMenamin's I had a bowl of 'Steak and Ale Stew' which was much too yummy. And two cups of cocoa. It was just that sort of an evening.

Tonight Larry worked on his coif while I worked on the verger's robes. I got both of the welt pockets in the lining done, and the side pocket in the outer layer. Next I need to do the velvet facings and such. Haven't figured out exactly _how_, however, so I may need to sleep on it. Maybe I'll work it out in my dreams- I usually do.

I found David a coat for his birthday, a nice one at Ross, microfiber suede, very water-repellent and really nice looking. Need to get it into the mail soon, along with Lydia's presents. I don't think that I can afford to head down there on Sunday though. I may just send David some money to take Lydia out for her birthday.

Two weeks left in the campaign. Bleh.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Current status of the ticker...

I got back from the cardiologist's about an hour ago- spent all afternoon being poked and prodded and such, and they did another EKG. Upshot is, that I apparently had an episode of atrial fibrillation. It has passed, and the EKG came out clear today. But they're going to go an echocardiogram next week to get a good look, and then go from there. In the meantime, no marathons. :-)

Been a fairly quiet week, outside of the dr appts. Wanda and I watched the debate Wednesday and spent a lot of time yelling at the tv. Didn't bother with any of the drinking games though- neither of us needed to get that drunk on a weeknight. :-) We had a full house for Project Night- Claire was here, Jen and Mike were here, and Victoria and Christene were here, working on masks for the Masque on Saturday. I got materials this morning for my potluck entry, and I'll probably put that together tonight. James will be up sometime later this evening (I have cleared off his side of the bed, except for a couple of books) and I am really looking forward to seeing him- haven't seen him since July.

18 days to Election Day! Boy, I sure wish it were over with...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

@#$%^&*! Cartridge pleats...

My fingers are sore and no, I can't work with a thimble. And the verger's robes I'm working on have cartridge pleats across the back and over both shoulders. I have the back pleated up:

And the front pattern piece is cut out- not easy, as it's a weird shape:

I'm taking a couple of hours to do other stuff- I'm working from a schematic in an 1895 book on making scholars' and clerical robes, and it is not the clearest source to work from. My brain is tired.

I borrowed a copy of the remake of _Lion in Winter_ from Mike and Jen, and watched it the other night. I didn't care for it. The dialogue didn't work as well- parts were really rushed, and I would have missed several really good lines had I not already known where they were. Patrick Stewart didn't seem to grasp Henry's nature, the quirky, impulsive, unpredictable, manic nature, and so much of the play is driven by that nature, it didn't have the energy it needed to propel it along. The guy that played the Marshal was good. Glenn Close's Eleanor wasn't too bad, but lacking the right Henry to play off of, kind of fell flat. The guys playing the boys... at times I liked their Richard, but mostly didn't. (Same with Alys.) Geoffery was ok. John was horrible. Not even close. And Phillip lacked the strength to make him really work.

Of course, matching or superceding Hepburn and O'Toole is next to impossible...

I see Dr Becher tomorrow morning, and maybe we'll know more about the pre-authorizations for the cardiologist, etc. I'm glad to have any coverage at all, but man, the hoops to jump through are a real annoyance!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well Bobs and Bobbettes, here's the latest news: I'm sick.

Yeah, yeah, I know that's kind of a given, but this is new and different and kinda scary. Starts out with my not feeling good since Saturday- and not the normal 'not feeling well'. I feel like I've had WAAAAAAAAAAAYYY too much caffeine, but I haven't had any since breakfast Saturday. Hammering heart, basically, enough that my neck is pounding too. And not episodic- continuous- since Saturday. This morning I decided that Something is Wrong and called the doctor. Dr Becher wasn't in today, but when I used the H word they fit me in with someone else. So I saw Dr. Henriques. Anyway, the EKG came out abnormal- atrial fibrillation with slow ventricular response (that's right from the sheet, which I kept). They took a bunch of labs to check blood chemistry, etc. Dr said that my heart is not beating too fast, but irregularly. They sent me for a chest x-ray, and when they can get authorization through I'm supposed to go for an echocardiogram and to see a cardiologist. In the meantime, there's not much I can do, other than avoid caffeine etc. And I feel like crap and then slightest movement leaves me really winded (yesterday in the pool was less than fun. I'm going tomorrow anyway).

Bother, said Pooh.

Other interesting stuff this week: I was down at the Democratic Party office on Wednesday, and had a surprise. Leaning over tho get something out of the bottom shelves, I heard a RIIIIIIPPP!! Yes indeedy, it was my jeans. A sudden catastrophic fabric failure, in the back between the pocket and the center seam. Not a thin spot or a stress point- it just blew out. An 8" split. I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting down, alternately wanting to crawl under a rock somewhere and laughing my a$$ off. It really was pretty funny...

Went to an event Saturday, small local event here put on by the Barony's incipient Canton, Kaldor. It was in a teeny grange hall on Sauvie Island. Very nice and relaxing, terrific potluck (two words that don't normally go together) . I finished resetting the sleeves on the brown linen gown and watched Ilonka knit on teeeeeny knitting needles, and visited and generally passed a nice afternoon and evening.

Tonight is the second debate- Go Obama! Widen that lead!