Buy Nothing Day

Just remember, y’all … it’s my favorite holiday of the year … Buy Nothing Day 2009!  And thus I’ll treat you to the one and only time that this particular animated hate-droid (whose name I can’t be bothered to type) will ever grace my page. My favorite Christian: Rev. Billy.


Thank You

Yeah, you. Thanks for being you.

A nice low-key Thanksgiving here: a not-too-fancy dinner. Pumpkin pie.  A movie, a pint of cider for me.  A steady rain all day and quiet time with my little family.  However you spent yours, I hope it too was enjoyable.

As If You Needed Reminding

I guess it’s the smell of Sarah Palin in the air these days … it just brings back memories.  Precious watercolor memories, of why this left/right, progressive/liberal/conservative thing MATTERS.

Really, the name says it all:

But it’s not updated as frequently as

Politics is how we put our morals and our beliefs into action in the world.  Or something like that, right?  We run the world according to what we believe to be right just as much as what we know to be true. Or we try, playing by one set of rules or another, in competition with others.  And that’s politics.  So what you’ve got to know, before you can take a political stance: What is my moral imperative?

Mine is simple: I am outraged by the abuse of the powerless. That’s it, in a nutshell; why child abuse, animal abuse, sexual abuse are the crimes which truly horrify me.  Why the rape of the Earth, the oppression of the poor, racism, sexism, homophobia, the whole structure of capitalism are the issues I will never tire of taking on.  There is a common theme in all: the weak are abused by the strong. That is the thing I find unbearable. It’s not the mere existence of suffering, it’s not injustice, per se.  Oh, those things suck, but you know, they come with the package of being alive at all: you gots no choice, there.

And that, I think, makes me a lefty.  Call it what you will – I kind of like “progressive,” maybe “radical,” maybe even “idealistic” (because, yes! I actually believe in human potential!).  You could use “liberal,” if you like, though it strikes me as too corporate for my tastes.  But I prefer the old-fashioned heft of “lefty.”  It gets to the simple moral center of the core value that makes me who I am.  Add to that my personal twist — I prefer reality-based EVERYTHING; I believe facts exist, independent of opinion and faith, and that facts matter. Pretty unpopular at the moment, sure, but there it is.

Knowing that about myself, I have to ask: What does the right believe?  What’s their moral center, their moral engine, that everything else springs from? And when I ask, I think not of abstractions, but of people I know and love and who confound me by their voting patterns.  I don’t think about this flippantly, in other words, or theoretically.

What I keep coming up with is something like this: The right’s moral obsession is: Me first. Something like that.  Don’t take my money in taxes: I never asked to be part of your stinking society.  Don’t ask me to share.  Don’t ask me not to pollute.  Don’t tell me what I can or can’t drive, or do, or say.  If other people are getting hurt, don’t tell me: it might make me feel bad.  In fact, I will do what I can NOT to feel bad: I will choose not to think about animals/children/racial minorities/sexual minorities/other nationalitites/anyone else as actually having feelings. “Me first” is so much easier when I’m the only thinking, feeling, REAL person in the universe.

But you know where that leads you … you want to fuck … oh, let’s be coy. Let’s just say, someone or something that does not want to be fucked by you. But, hey, you’re the only real person in the equation.  Me First … and there we go: another entry on (You know, that list has been around a long time, and there have been many, many attempts to come up with a “” equivalent.  But there just isn’t anything to fill such a website with.)

And you know where else that leads you: if anyone transgresses against you: KILL THEM.  In a war or on death row; by malnutrition or environmental disaster. If they offend, if they annoy.  If they get in the way of Me First.

And what boggles my mind, really, is that so many of the working class have embraced this thinking.  They pay and pay and pay for those with true power to keep it: they pay with their bodies, with cancers and infertility and ADD and migraines and asthmas from living in a world filled with the chemicals, preservatives, electrical fields, hormones, antibiotics, wastes and poisons of the TRULY powerful, those whose “Me First” actually pays off.  They pay with addictions to the garbage drugs, from meth to oxycontin to Adderall, that give them an illusion that they are, somehow, First. They pay by working like drudges in an endless cycle with ever-diminishing returns.  Because “Me First” satisfies them, somehow; they aren’t first, but they like hearing that they are.  Or maybe, kicking some ass now and then – metaphorically or otherwise – feels “Me First” enough.  Or maybe, because of their own endless suffering, they just can’t be bothered to hear about anyone else’s.

Or maybe they’re just plain bastards.

Which bring me back, I guess, to Sarah Palin.  The pure id, the utter personification of the “They’re just plain bastards” version of the Me-First doctrine.  Her heartlessness, her coldness, her manipulativeness, her flat-out meanness goes head-to-head with her incompetence.  Forgive me, gentle readers, forgive me, God or Gods: I pray for Palin 2012.  I said more than a year ago, “Palin is the guarantee that McCain will lose,” and Palin 2012 is the guarantee that the self-destruction of the Republican party will be complete.

(And if you’re wondering: My conference this weekend (ORTESOL) went rather well.  First presentation, OK, but started a bit late and my Powerpoint was missing a few images; nothing fatal, but not the best ever.  Second presentation — well, I am my own harshest critic, and I was quite happy.  Yeah, actually very happy.  SO that’s that for a while.  One or both of these presentations might turn into something bigger, as in actual papers.  And the struggle continues …)

Trashion Week

Junk to Funk happened this week, and I was THERE, baby!  So inspiring, I can almost forgive the misplaced apostrophe on their splash page. Almost.


Loved the styrofoam stage set, and Echo was into it. Iphone pics, by the way … click on any to see full-size.

These were 3 of the best. Styling on the model wearing the construction-fence dress was amazing – can you make out tht “Kiss of the Spider Woman” hairstyle? – the center model was gloriously pregnant, and the anime-inspired far right had the most decided LOOK of the evening.  And also, I thought, the most well-crafted.

Here are 3 MUCH better pics taken by my friend Marnie, who invited us to this shindig in the first place.  Thank you so much, Marnie!  We had a blast!

These were 3 more I personally love, love, loved. Far left: yup, coffee filters, used.  Gorgeous, subtle color. Center: all netting, mostly from bags o’ taters and onions, but also strawberry baskets and the occasional scrubber (lookit that hat carefully). Right side, Echo’s fave!  The “Seagull Saver.” (Which I initially misheard as “Seagull Saviour” – which I like marginally better.) You can just catch a glimpse of what looked like a seagull wing on the far side of her head.

So, thanks again, Marnie: here’s Echo’s portrait of you … because whose life ever, really, has enough Hello Kittyness?

Hello Kitty Marnie

and here’s Gecko’s first turn on the catwalk.  She really came around after her first reaction (turning to me after the model clad in the inner-tube hoodie strutted past and hissing, “You said these would be FANCY clothes!”)Echo on the catwalk

Project a Week, the Weasel Version (7)

Heh, heh, heh …

Sewing Circle Flier

Week of 11/08 – 11/14. Am I a weasel, oh yes I am.  Am I an overworked mama, oh that too.  And did I have a number of social engagements this week, well, roger that.

This is my latest foray into pimpin’ out my Ladies Sewing Club. (Official name: The Portland Sewing Circle.)  Which is not for ladies, necessarily, and is taking up increasing amounts of my oh-so-precious time.  But it’s fun. Unfortunately I never think to bring a camera to our meetings, but one-a these days …

This qualifies as a sewing project, ’cause it’s stitched, see?  The letters are photocopies of fabric but they’re actually stitched in place, along with the tear-offs.  It took a while but I feel it’s time well spent — best foot forward, and all like that.  I put out feelers at each place I pinned one o’ these beauties up for sponsorships.  If I can rake in a few bucks, donated space, or some swag each month, I can do a few things:

  • Stop losing money on this project (Dare to dream!)
  • Lower the price for meetings (A good thing)
  • Raffle off goodies to attendees (And lure more into showing)

So, this is one of my quixotic projects that may or may not develop into something.  Good to have backup plans, no?  It’s a fun thing in any case.

Project a Week – 6!

So here’s why I don’t blog often enough … WordPress crashed Firefox, predictably.  Firefox freaks out when multiple photos are uploaded to WordPress.  Wordpress on Firefox is unable to comprehend “replace highlighted text with new text.”  Combine this persnickety stuff with our slow connection, and there you have it … a crashed browser two times out of five is bad enough odds to take a lot of the pleasure out of doing this.

OK, rant over.  But SERIOUSLY WordPress … Snow Leopard is new but it’s not THAT freakin’ new.  Sort this out.  It’s been like this for the 3 months I’ve had this computer and it’s decidedly annoying.

So back to sewing stuff … For the week of 11/01 – 11/07 we have linen trousers.

Pants from Above

Burda WTF WOF 2005-07, 112B.  Magazine pic here.

Reasons to like: Wide contoured waistband; low(ish) waist; darts in the right places.
Reasons to dislike: No pockets; however, you can see I amended this oversight.

One reason it’s taken so freakin’ long to do this post was the insane notion that I could maybe, possibly, get a pic of ME actually IN the pants.  Hahahahha.  Silly me. When you leave the house in the dark and come home in the dark and immediately start cooking and bathing tots and catching up  on scrubbing toilets and oh, let’s not forget GRADING pound after pound of essays … and fall asleep at midnight with the alarm set for 5 the next morning … in this context, fashion shoots are difficult to stage.  So, perhaps my point here is, it’s an F’IN MIRACLE I get to do this at all, ever.

Also perhaps my point is, never you mind  the wrinkles.  They fit well, accommodate the junk in the trunk, have pockets and the color is good.

So am I grouchy tonight?  Well. Yeah.  But I *know* you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.

Project a Week 5

well, yeah, it was done enough to be worn to a costume party on the 24th, but the tail wasn’t added until the morning of the 31, so this is the official Project for the Week of 10/25-10/31.

Kitty Costume

This was based on an illustration in a favorite book – a book I’ve spent the last 30 minutes fruitlessly searching for.  Yeah, I wanted to share with you the way I captured the essence of the blue neck bow.  The original inspiration was NOT polka-dotted, FWIW, but in the store the tyke went for dots – so dots it is.

The pattern is an ancient dinosaur pattern from Butterick.  Basically, a one-piece pajama pattern.  As always with costume patterns, it was horridly drafted — big enough around for multiple children, nasty dropped-shoulder kimono type sleeves.  I cut a size 2 around and lengthened arms and legs to match Echo’s measurements.  Oh, and I drafted the ears and sandwiched 2 layers of vinyl into each ear, making a slightly 3-D wedge, to keep them proudly upright.  Very happy with this one overall!  Most importantly, it kept Chicklet warm all through her rudely abbreviated Halloween night.