August 30, 2006

 unchain my heart


apparently while i was in NYC my neighborhood was busy (busy busy) coming to the aid of chained dogs. the current traffic circle display is not only beautiful, but it's also a political statement.

a group calling themselves the coalition to unchain dogs has organized local meetings to convince the county commission to pass a proposal outlawing dogs-in-chains.

in fact, my neighbors are now so riled up about this that they are contacting animal control each time they see a chained dog, and at the end of each day post to the neighborhood listserv just how many dogs they've helped free. tonight that post simply said "19 down, 31 to go."

here's a close up of the traffic circle, and one particularly touching photo taken by a neighbor of the dog in the rain. notice how far away the water bowl is from him.

I received an email from the neighborhood resident -- a very compassionate soul -- who is coordinating a local effort to get the resolution passed. He says:

The update isn't about the number of dogs released--wish that it were--but is about the number of people who have contacted the county commissioners telling them to support the proposal from the INC and PAC 2 to outlaw keeping dogs on chains. I sent a message to the listserv saying that [I am] very close to the artist and if 50 people would send messages to the commissioners we would try to persuade the artist to unchain Fido. I'm sending an update soon: we have 28 messages sent and 22 to go.

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August 28, 2006

 smell me

So, yes. I went to New York City. I took a bunch of photos, which you can view here if you like.

I'm sure there are many things I didn't manage to photograph, though. There's a good chance that Lisa or Joy covered things I missed.

In short, it was a fantastic trip. Easily the most fun I've had during any of my visits to NYC. Lots of eating, drinking and merriment. And shopping! How could I forget the shopping?? I purchased many skirts, tops, and one cute dress. Lots of boutiques, and one crazed trip to Century 21. (That place is nuts.)

We stayed at the OffSoho Suites Hotel, which was largely perfect. Except for the toilet. It was a great location (near SoHo, Nolita and the Lower East Side), the staff was nice, and the amenities were good. Except that they charged $15 a day for wireless access. We decided instead to just sniff for open networks. We found one or two, but it was a constant struggle.

ANYWAY, for more details, view the photos. The only big thing we didn't photograph was our trip to the Nederlander Theater to see Rent. A Broadway show! We went! To see Rent! And I think we were all surprised by how stupendous the production was. I am still floored by the talent. I can see why people like Broadway musicals now. Duh.

That's all for the time being. I'm tired from walking a zillion miles around town. (Which reminds me, these shoes worked out perfectly!)

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August 20, 2006

 ok, i'm tired

i made two more skirts this weekend, and now i'm tired.

plus, i should have thought ahead... what color blouse does one wear with an orange skirt?



i'll probably take at least one of my homemade creations to NYC with me (we leave tomorrow!) though part of me wonders whether they scream "i'm a cheap bitch and make my own clothes!"

i have this weird "pretty woman" fear running through my head... if i show up in upscale soho boutiques wearing crappy clothes, i suspect i'm going to get treated crappily.

i'll let you know how it goes.

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August 17, 2006

 i don't care if I'm broke or starvin'
as long as i've got a fish named darwin
glued to the trunk lid of my car

i've been talking with lisa about the stress of preparing for a vacation. lists, errands, planning, reservations, cat-sitters, more lists... it all leads to a bit of anxiety and a lack of sleep. stress.

somehow, though, seeing the message on this SUV didn't help:


and neither did this:


i guess i'll have to tell the hotel to add one more person to our reservation.

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August 14, 2006

 a woman obsessed


i cannot stop making skirts. i have a problem.

i'm getting better at it. i think that's what's driving me. soon they will be perfect.

i mean, the fit is thisclose to perfect. but i think i'm doing something to screw up my self-made darts, because now i've got this lovely bunching in the back. are my darts in the wrong place? are my darts poorly sized? what's making this happen? the fit is perfect everywhere else... i can't figure out what's causing this.

i'll definitely wear this one outside the house, though (as i have already done with the previous bright blue skirt), but will choose to wear a long top with it so as to avoid exposing the flaw.

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August 12, 2006

 i finally got it right!

behold! skirt #4!


this is a damn-near perfect fit... because i didn't use *any* of the pattern's darts.

to begin with, i stitched up the whole skirt dartless. when i tried it on it fit pretty well, though just a bit loose in the waist. so i created my own custom darts, putting two small (1-inch) darts on either side of the zipper in the back. and that's it.

i might have been able to take the two darts to 1.5 inches each --the waist is still a tiny bit loose-- but overall the fit is spectacular.

now that i have the hang of it... LOOK OUT! there's no stopping me!


Posted by xta at 11:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2006

 another damn post about shoes

i'm going to NYC in a little over week. i've been to the city several times, and have already done all the touristy stuff. so this is a vacation in which i'm looking forward to *living* in the city. shopping, eating, drinking. shopping. hanging out in sidewalk cafes. maybe some more shopping. and probably lots of walking.

to that end, i've been thinking about shoes again. (i know you're shocked.) past experience has taught me to not rely on one single pair of shoes to get me through a week of hiking around town. 'cause if you get a blister from one pair of shoes, you've got nothing else to put on to relieve that sore area. i'm actually considering bringing 6 or 7 pairs of shoes and rotating to a new pair each day. or maybe a couple times a day. this, to me, seems smart. and hopefully not too obsessive.

however, uncertain that i actually own that many pair of truly comfortable shoes, i've been on a bit of a quest. (must buy more shoes!) in addition to comfort, style is of the utmost concern. this is NYC, after all. :-) so i've been shopping online for cute shoes that can be used to hoof around the city.

these green beaded flip-flops had some potential. they're not as cushy as i'd like though. a padded footbed is as essential as arch support, and this doesn't excel in either arena. they are cute, though.

these cool flip flops excel in the style arena, but were too narrow. and the more i looked at them the more i imagined them fitting in at a tennis club or something. maybe they're too preppy. no matter, they're going back.

these canvas slip-ons were just way too big. and even then they were still a little uncomfortable, so i'm not even going to try them in a smaller size. again, cute (and versatile), but not quite right.

as much as i love orange (and i DO love orange) these just seemed too "old" for me, or something. i can't nail down the exact reason why. they're fine on the comfort rating... not exceptional. i wish i liked them more than i do.

and when i saw these sanndals on zappos i thought "aHA! there they are! the winners!!" they looked a little like "comfort shoes", but were stylish enough that i didn't even doubt that they'd work. but alas, i didn't read the description closely enough... they have velcro closures. i do not do velcro.

so after all of those losers, this pair finally won:


i think they're quite cute. they're a neutral color, which means they'll likely go with any outfit i take with me on vacation. they also don't scream COMFORT! like the velcro shoes do. they have an *extraordinarily* padded footbed (plush, even) and feel super-duper good.

so these i'm keeping. they'll go into rotation with some other comfy shoes and will hopefully make my feet happy whilst traipsing around the big apple.

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August 8, 2006

 skirt #3


i'm crazy with the skirts!

this one was different than the last two. when i was in joann last weekend i found this fabric panel for a simple circle skirt. the fabric was on a bolt like any other, but instead of measuring by the yard you measure by the panel. each panel has fabric for one skirt.

basically, you cut out the huge circle of patterned fabric, then cut out the center circle where your waist would be. stitch the whole thing up, add a waistband and zipper and VOILA! instant skirt.

the shape is a little more full than i'm normally comfortable wearing (i think it makes my hips look HUGE) but i love the pattern so much that i'm sure i'll still wear it. plus, it was only about $5 for the whole thing. (though i think i might need to go hunting for the perfect top to go with the skirt.)

while at joann i bought fabric for 3 more skirts... i'm totally stoked about this new hobby of mine, in case you couldn't tell.

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August 6, 2006

 skirt #2


i made another skirt. this one went MUCH more quickly (maybe 2.5 hours?) though i'm still not entirely thrilled with the outcome. i used the same pattern as my first skirt, but i tried making this one a little bigger. it's still pretty snug, though. maybe all i need to do is eliminate two of the *6* darts. i think that might help. i dunno, though.

also, i used a polyester fabric because i loved the print so much. the fabric itself sucks, though. i don't think i'll wear this.

in fact, i gave both skirts to mary, as she's a size smaller than me and i suspect they will look better on her.

time to try a new pattern, i think. and to buy more cotton fabric.

i think i'm addicted to skirt-making.

Posted by xta at 10:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 4, 2006

 i've had it

the love affair is over.

not only did the pool succumb to algae in mid-july (requiring hours of scrubbing, testing and chemical-measuring to conquer) but now the inflatable ring has developed a wicked and mysterious leak. i'm beyond frustrated.

we pumped up the ring last night, finally admitting this was probably going to be a job we'd have to do every day or two. but i woke up this morning to discover that the ring had become so deflated *overnight* that the pool water had started to escape over the top. we lost hundreds upon hundreds of gallons of water while we slept.

and what's so aggrivating is that we can't find the leak. we've looked. we've been 'round and 'round the pool, straining to spot the smallest flaws in the ring. we've even patched areas we *thought* might be the culprit, to no avail. and really, there's no sense in re-filling the pool until we've located the leak in the inflatable ring, and i'm starting to wonder if that's ever going to happen.

argh! right now i feel like i'm faced with the realization that we might just have to pack it in for the summer. even though i've had some spectacularly relaxing evenings in the pool, it might be time to face facts and give it up.

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