Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Stitching

I almost feel like a broken record saying this every single week, but this one was pretty rough. Between dealing with a headache on Monday, trying to control a dementia-riddled Grandmother on Tuesday, yet another work road trip on Wednesday, and staying late the rest of the week to make up for spending half a day with my Grandmother, my stitching really suffered. I tried to work on Tartan B while with my Grandmother, but I didn't get very far before I thought I had gotten off line, so I had to put it aside. I left it off here last year:
TartanB-009
Once I got it home for the night, I gridded the fabric and discovered I wasn't off after all, but I didn't pick it up again, so I left off here:
TartanB-010
That's one of the side effects of buying home-made patterns, they don't design them as you would, with clear gridlines and row repeats from page to page. It's a good thing it's a small pattern!

In between dealing with the crap of the week, the thread I ordered for the wording part of Rainy Wedding came in. I swore that I was going to go to a cross stitch store to make sure I got just the right thread because you really can't tell colors online, but considering how far away they are from me, I was putting it off as long as I could. On one of my daily excursions through Etsy, I ran across some thread that was absolutely perfect, so I broke down and took a chance. It came in on Thursday, so I couldn't wait to test it out. I put it against the main piece to see if it matches...you be the judge:
rw2-01
I know, right? I was plain giddy! The true test was on the fabric it's meant to go on:
rw2-02
I wasn't as excited about its match with its intended fabric, but I knew I wouldn't know until I tested it. I spent all Thursday night stitching with it and didn't get very far (I'd forgotten what a pain variegated thread is), but here is how it looks so far:
rw2-04
It's rainbow-like quality scares me a little bit, but I don't think I'm going to know for sure until I get more done. It's a pretty simple pattern, scroll work at the top and bottom with their names and wedding date in the middle. I had a lady on Etsy design it for me (I'm really getting addicted to Etsy), but she was pretty open on the color scheme (per my instructions)...here is it close up:
rw2-05
It took me a lifetime just to get that much done. At first, I had to decided to just settle into it and work on it until it was finished, but when I got home from work Friday, I had Maleficent on the brain. I hadn't been able to touch her all week long and I was feeling pretty guilty. It went so well Friday night, I made an executive decision to forgo my separate weekend project and keep working on her, hopefully making up for the lack of attention. Besides, I totally was NOT feeling A Summer Ball and I just couldn't bring myself to touch it. I left off on Maleficent here last time:
maleficent071
And made it here tonight:
maleficent076
Now the catch is...do I continue on Maleficent and finish the row next week, or do I put her aside and go back to the rotation? As of now, I'm thinking I want to continue on until the row is finished. Baring another horrible week, I could potentially have her finished by next weekend, possibly sooner. If I get her done early, then I could get to work on the Rainy Wedding wording and get that project finished too. It will screw up the rotation briefly, but at least I will finally get Rainy Wedding off my queue list.

I also managed to get my first post at A New Stitchy Start Blog post of my progress with Suteki. You can see it HERE.

As of now, next week is still in planning limbo, but I'm sure I'll know which direction to go in tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

April A to Z Blogging Challenge


Bad me! This week has been CRA-ZY and I almost forgot to sign up for this year's challenge! Luckily, I remembered this afternoon, so at least I got on the list. I'm still tossing around different ideas, and I'm not exactly sure which direction I'm going to be going in...there may be stitching, there may be Disney, and there may even be both. Right now, I'm just not sure, but if you haven't signed up yet, head on over to the signup sheet and give it a go!

For those unaware of what the challenge is, you pick a topic/subject, and every day in April (excluding Sundays) you post, in alphabetical order, your topic. For example, April 1st is "A", the 2nd is "B", etc. I've seen everything from poetry and short stories, photography, crafts, animals (including the one year there was 10 bloggers AtoZ'ing hamsters!), movies, TV shows, etc, etc. You name it, somebody is probably blogging about it! Granted, very few actually finish and it seems like all the good ones stop way too soon, but I still enjoy it.

This will be my fourth year and I've somehow managed to complete the challenge every single year, even on the crazy years I've done two separate themes. I've found some really great blogs along the way (part of the challenge is to also visit all the blogs on the list) and learned some really cool stuff. there are no restrictions on scheduling posts or doing them day-by-day (I've done it both ways), so that helps a lot.

I will admit, it's not an easy thing to do, in fact, it might be the most difficult thing I've ever done because Aspers aren't known for their completion skills (which is why I'm extremely proud of my four finishes). They also preach brevity, but since I'm horrible at it, I don't even try...I just let my weirdo-flag fly high and write whatever I want. I've got links to all my previous year's challenges on my A To Z Page, but please don't waste any time muddling through them unless you just want to see the wrong way to do it or to just get a general idea of what the challenge is.

I don't like the way they kind of push you to "pimp out" your blog...I think they focus too much on gaining new followers versus the actual subject matter. I don't do it to gain new followers and besides, my Asperness tends to send most people running for the hills anyway once normal blogging resumes. But there is also an afterwards "reflections" post and I tend to run this topic into the ground there too (sounds a bit like my cross stitch dithering diatribes, but oh well, welcome to the joy that is 'me').

Guess I'd better decide on a topic and soon. The theme reveal is on March 21st, so it's time to get busy! Head on over and sign up if you want to join in, but I'll warn you now, if I know you and find you've started it, I WILL expect you to finish it! You have been warned!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top 10 Careers You Would Love/Hate To Have

The Suddenly Kate Show

As always, go over to Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's for the week and if you want to join in, just let Kate know!

This week's topic is a very subjective one for me and tends to flip and flop with my moods (which are as ever-changing as the weather), so I'm just going to go for the careers I'd love/hate right now. Ironic that this topic should come on the heels of my 20th anniversary at my current job...huh, wonder if someone is trying to tell me something? Anyhoo, I think I'm also going to split this one up and do five I'd love and five I'd hate, so first up:


LOVES

LOVES #1: ASTRONOMER
Bet you thought the first one would be Disney related, right? I'll get to that in a moment. I could subdivide this one up into planetary science including geology and biology, but I'm just going to leave it in the general Astronomy field for now. My interests do lie pretty much in the planets (and their moons), ours and those of other stars. I know how excited I was with those first views of Pluto, I can only imagine how those who had spent a lifetime studying it felt. I would love to experience something like that with my career.

LOVES #2: HISTORIAN
On the occasions when I find myself wandering over to my local university's webpage, I tend to always look at the history major specs for some reason. I would have been a good museum curator, one that is buried in the basement, studying and cataloging relics incessantly. That ship has long sailed and I have no idea what I would do with a major in history now (especially since I tend to lean towards Medieval History). I would be a horrible teacher and even worse politician, so who knows. But I do so love the topic, that and literature were my best, but again, what can you do with a degree in literature either but teach? Although, I remember how amazing I felt when my high school literature teacher enlightened me to certain authors, part of me would love to share that with someone else. Most of our history teachers were all the team coaches, so not much fond remembrance for them, but I do for the subject matter. The thought of library science always brews in the back of my mind, especially since I could go either with a degree in history or literature, but by the time I finished school and got my masters, actual human librarians will be a thing of the past.

LOVES #3: DISNEY EMPLOYEE
Obviously, with my art background, my first inclination on this subject would be to work for the animation department, but that ship has also sailed. As far as the parks go, I wouldn't be good in the public eye, but rather good behind the scenes, I'm just not sure where. Honestly, I'd rather just visit than work there, but the thought of having access to the Cast Member-only shopping areas truly makes my mouth drool. Can you want to work somewhere just for the shopping opportunities? I would.

LOVES #4: WRITER
OK, so my grammar sucks and I'm not very good at articulating what I am thinking, even in text, but part of me would love to be a writer...maybe put out a book a year and just travel the rest of the time. I'm not even sure what genre I would write (although I have started several books in the past, everything from fantasy to romance). But, I'm not sure if I could do the meet and greets, so I would have to be a reclusive writer. I do really enjoy blogging, I just can't make any money at it with my current so-called "talent" (basically, I'm a sucky writer who needs a heck of a lot of grammar lessons).

LOVES #5: A BETTER I.T. DIRECTOR
Yes, I am an I.T. Director now, but a self-taught one. I grandfathered into my current job and have no education in this field at all. I wish I knew a bit more than I do so that I would have the option of going somewhere else if I wanted to. As it stands now, they have me leashed up in my office and they like it that way. As long as I make enough money to keep a roof over my head, honestly, I like it that way too, but I do have my moments and it would be nice to know I could go somewhere else.

HATES

HATES #1: A BETTER I.T. DIRECTOR
First oxymoron of the list. To be a better I.T. Director would require an education and the thought of having to go to classes for this subject doesn't appeal to me at all. I have tried it, back in the day (after I stopped being an art major), and I hated every moment of it, especially since I was surrounded by freshly educated young people who actually understood what the professors were talking about. No thanks! If I had to get an education in computer science, I would probably lean more towards programming so I can do it at home, alone.

HATES #2: GOVERNMENT WORK
I've been a government employee before. I worked at two separate Housing Authorities and honestly, if I never step foot in a government office again, it will be none too soon. Despite the incredible benefits and the constant holiday days-off, the work is grueling, extremely stressful, for very low pay, and just not worth it.

HATES #3: FACTORY WORK
I've worked in a factory before and I think everyone should at least once in their life because it does teach humility and work ethics, but I hated every single moment of it (and it's where I met my ex-husband, so there you go). I felt like my brain was dying during my tenure there and I didn't like how I ended up feeling when it was all said and done. But, if times get hard, I know I could do it again if I had to.

HATES #4: THE FOOD INDUSTRY
As much as I love eating out, I would be horrible in any food capacity. I would constantly be swiping "samples" and would end up even bigger than I already am. Besides, me and the public would be a horrible combination. But, even having decided against it, part of me would love to own a bakery and go to pastry school...but this isn't the love category, now is it?

HATES #5: EDUCATION
As I mentioned above, I would be horrible at teaching. Are there cases of Asper's truly thriving in an educational environment? Most of our ticks would keep us from being good mentors and educators. Besides, if I'm honest, I don't like kids, so I wouldn't be a good teacher on that premise alone, so there is no need to even mention my total lack of patience when it comes to others. Maybe at the collegiate level I would be OK, but I can't even guarantee that.

Huh, this list ended up more interesting that I thought it was going to be (and a lot easier than previous weeks). I'm kind of excited for February now!

Monday, January 25, 2016

WIPocalypse January 2016


I know I just posted my weekly progress report, but this morning I decided to join up with Measi's WIPocalypse for the year. I've never really done anything like this before so hopefully I won't screw it up!

This month's question is: "Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year"

Most of you guys know me, but for those that don't, I'm a mid-forties Asper who also happens to be a Disney freak with just a mild obsession with stitching ('cough cough). I get a lot of stitching help from my pup (not really, he just likes to snuggle while I'm trying to stitch) and other than work, I don't really do anything else. I'm also not known for my brevity, so I'll apologize now for the length that this post will invariably become.

Right now, I have several WIPs in progress, which is new to me...I've only ever stitched one project a time up until a couple of years ago and this is my first year with so many, especially since I had three new starts in Jaunary. I'm not sure if we're supposed to show where we started January 1 or where we are today, so I'm going with the today option and I'll split each project up with their progress and my goals for them.

#1: HAED - MALEFICENT
28ct Monaco 1x1 full stitches
maleficent000
I'm going to be working on this one this week for the first time this year, so the only progress I have to show is where I left off at the first of December:
maleficent071
My goals for her are to finish the current row plus one more. I managed two and a half last year, but I really only had two projects in rotation last year and now that I have so many, she's going to take longer.

#2: HAED - ALICE AND THE BOUGUEREAU PRINCESSES
28ct Monaco 1x1 full stitches
Alice&theBs000
I worked on these guys last week and I'm now here:
alice100
My goal for them is to finish the row by the end of the year and maybe get started on row four.

#3: HAED - SNOW WHITE
28ct Monaco 1x1 full stitches
Snow White-000
This is a new January start, so she's only gotten one day plus one week's worth of love, but she's now here:
SnowWhite005
My goal is to get her at least halfway finished before the end of the year. It's a big goal, but because she's not filling the entire patterned area, I have high hopes.

#4: HAED - NIGHT WISH
28ct Monaco 1x1 full stitches
Night Wish-000
Another new start, this is fast becoming my absolute favorite. Purple is my color, so I'm hoping it doesn't change how I feel about it. Like Snow, she's had one day and one week's love and is now here at almost the first page finish:
NightWish006
Since this one is a bit larger than Snow, I'm only counting on about two completed rows by the end of the year.

#5: HAED - 2014'S CHRISTMAS CONTEST SUTEKI
28ct Monaco 1x1 full stitches
Christmas Contest Suteki-000
My last January start, this project is being saved for a SAL blog, so I can't post any progress (but those who are interested enough can find the progress on my Flick albums), but my goal is to have her finished by the end of the year. I'm working on her strictly on the weekends, but she's moving pretty fast considering what a pain she is to stitch. But she is a gift for my sister, so I can't stop now!

#6: CINDERELLA CASTLE
18ct Aida 2x1 full stitches
Cinderella Castle-00
This one was a late year start and the second of a set. I finished the Sleeping Beauty Castle one in a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping this one will be as quick. As of now, I'm only here:
cc02
I'm hoping to have this done by early Summer.

#7: TARTAN B
22ct Aida 2x1 full stitches
0416Blair_letter
I'm not sure what the actual name of this pattern is, it was one I bought off of Etsy. I had definite plans when I saw this...it was going to be my first project on linen and I was going to make a pillow out of it. After two start-overs, the linen went buh-bye and I switched to 22ct Aida. I apparently haven't touched this since May, but that could change tomorrow while I'm "babysitting" my Grandmother for the day while my Aunt has surgery.
TartanB-009
This was supposed to be a quicky project, but it's turning into a total pain. I still hope to have it finished by the end of the year though.

Then there are my two "eternal thorns" in my side.

#8: A SUMMER BALL
18ct Aida 2x1 full stitches
summer ball
I hate, hate, hate this one with the fever of a thousand suns. It's a pain to stitch with all the fractionals (HAEDs have spoiled me), the pattern is difficult to read, I hate stitching in the horizontal because I have to use a floor stand instead of a lap one, just everything about it sucks. Once it's finished, it's going to look amazing, but I doubt I'll ever get there with it. Last I left off in March was here:
asb046
My goal is to just finish the page I'm on this year, but I doubt I'll even do that. I've decided that, on the months that have five weekends, this will be the fifth weekend project (to give me a break from Suteki), and since this upcoming weekend is a fifth, this is the weekend it get's attention (I won't say love for obvious reasons).

#9: DISNEY'S 35TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
14ct Aida 2x1 full stitches
35th
This pain in the behind is a pain for a whole other set of reasons, the main one being the navy material. I have to use a light box to stitch it and it's just uncomfortable. Plus, because it's on 14ct Aida, it just seems big and bulky to me. I last touched it in May and left off here:
disney021
Considering Disney World is coming up on it's 45th Anniversary, to say I've had the project laying around for a while is an understatement, but I'm hoping to get a big chunk of it finished this year. We'll see.

#10 RAINY WEDDING FINISH
The only other project I have outstanding is Rainy Wedding, a gift for a co-worker. I've finished the body of the project:
rw031
and my next step is to stitch their names and wedding date on a separate piece of fabric (I had a designer on Etsy design the wording), and then mount it together and get it framed.

POSSIBLE NEW SUMMER START - HAED - SS A STITCH IN TIME MC
I have several Aimee Stewart bookshelves in my stash (all of them super-sized but not all of them max colors), but I have yet to start one. I haven't even bought this pattern yet, but I plan to do a summer stitch along with my good friend Heather, so I will need to start amassing supplies soon, this puppy is going to cost a small fortune to stitch!

And that's it! Oh, if I decide to do stitching for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, there will be another project in there somewhere.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Stitching

Another horrible work week gone by and yet another so-so stitching week (I still contend that the two are related). This week I worked on Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses for the first time since November. Back then, I left off a few stitches past the second row finish:
alice095
And this week I only managed to get to here:
alice100
I've been bummed that I haven't had a page finish during the week and there was a time when that was an easy feat. I just thought maybe I'd lost my mojo, but when I switched to Suteki on Saturday, it kind of dawned on me...I stitch more on the weekend than the entire week put together (since I have no life), and the amount of time during the week plus the weekend time would be well enough to finish a page, but since I'm switching projects for the weekend, I lose that extra edge. I feel a lot better about my progress now considering.

Did you happen to notice my new needle minder?
DSC06157
I am absolutely in love with it!!

Again, I can't show my progress on Suteki just yet because I will be posting it over on the A New Stitchy Start Blog, but yet again another "sign" popped up in the stitching. Before, it was a Mickey head, but this time it was an "A":
suteki006b
This project is for my sister, who's name just happens to be Amber. Yeah, go figure.

As much as I hate working on this project, it's moving along at an alarming rate, but I won't work on it again until February. I decided on five weekend months, I'd spent the extra weekend working on one of my other hated UFO's. Right now, I'm not sure if I'm going to do A Summer Ball or 35th but, whichever I choose, I'm not looking forward to stitching next weekend.

On a positive note though, at least next week's project will make me glad I won't be spending the weekend working on dithering yet again. Any guesses?
DSC06173
Yet another new needle minder I'm totally in love with, but also a hint at what I will be stitching on next week.

Speaking of work though, Monday is my 20th anniversary of being back at the lab. I have mixed feelings about it. Hopefully, I've managed to dissuade the powers-that-be from having a party for me. There will be cake and there will be a gift, but I'm hoping beyond hope that I don't have to go through the customary "awarding" of the gift. The thought of standing in front of everyone while one of the doctors "praises" me is beyond horrifying and I can't guarantee I won't lose it. I haven't had a tantrum in quite some time, I'd hate to do it in front of god and everybody.

Wish me luck and have a good week everybody!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top 10 Expressions You Love To Use

The Suddenly Kate Show

As always, go over to Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's for the week and if you want to join in, just let Kate know!

I'm a big user of expressions, most of which aren't fit for family entertainment, so I actually had to think a bit on this one to keep it relatively clean. I'm bad at word dyslexia, so a lot of the time what I mean to say and what actually comes out of my mouth are two separate things (and have led to some extremely embarrassing situations). I'm also horrible at using movie quotes which no one ever gets, so it just sounds like I'm speaking utter twaddle. Despite my inherent Southerness, I'm not prone to the typical Southern quotations and I tend to get annoyed when people start spouting them at me, especially when it comes to the whole "honey", "sweetie", "darlin", "sugarpie" crap.

#1: BLOODY HELL
There is probably no phrase that comes out of my mouth more than this one. It's my way of cussing without actually cussing. Americans think of it more as a novelty phrase, so they don't take it nearly as seriously as it's meant, especially out of my mouth.

#2: PIDDIES
When someone asks me what they should do with something, instead of asking them to hand it to me, I'm horrible at saying "just put it in my piddies" and NO ONE gets it!! Seriously, has no one ever watched Looney Toons? It was very hard to find a clip, so I had to resort to an old Babbit and Catstello cartoon, but the premise is the same...look for it at about 4:11:


#3: WANDA
When I'm questioning something, I will often say, "I Wanda, I Wendy, I wonder" and again, people just look at me like I'm insane. Granted, there was a time I watched A Fish Called Wanda way more than the average human should have, but that line always stuck out to me and, since I'm so bad at mixing up words, it suits me.

#4: SINGING RESPONSES
I know most Americans have no clue who Miranda Hart is, but she and I are a lot alike (well, other than I have no Tom Ellis in the wings). I am terrible at singing responses to people if they inadvertently quote a song lyric. I try really hard not to do this, but to no avail. Bad thing is, since I'm stuck in a generation, most of the time no one even knows the song I'm singing.


#5: DISNEY CUSSING
As the months start counting down to a Disney trip, I try to curb my natural potty mouth into something a bit less nasty and I tend to replace the bad words with Disney characters...hell becomes Hades, JC becomes Donald Duck, etc. It takes me a couple of months to change the habit and, that way, I can still cuss, but not offend the little kiddies at Disney. Unfortunately, it's not a habit I can continue and I often go back to my old horrible ways once a trip is over with.

#6: ROAST INSERTION
Like I said, I'm horrible at switching words around. One of my more famous instances was when I meant to say, "stick a fork in me, I'm done", but it came out "stick a roast in me, I'm done". Since I said this in front of several co-workers, it's now a popular phrase used around the office. Yea me. It could be worse...one time I couldn't decide if I wanted to stay "pain in the butt" or "pain in the tush" and it came out "pain in the bush". Talk about embarrassing! That's what happens when your brain runs quicker than your mouth.

#7: $2
When I'm trying to get someone to do something for me and they are taking their own sweet time, I'm really bad about saying "I want my two dollars" and again, no one gets it. I still content that Better Off Dead was John Cusack's finest work even if he disagrees:


#8: THE REALIST'S CATCH PHRASE
One of my favorite sayings is one of my own, "expect the worst and you're not disappointed when it happens, but you can be pleasantly surprised when it does". I'm not an pessimist by any means, but I'm not really an optimist either...I tend to fall in the realist category, but I'm also what one would generally categorize as a very unlucky person. I try to look at the bad in the best light I can, but it's not always easy and, considering my luck, it's probably not going to be a good outcome...best be prepared.

#9: THE CAP KNOWS
Ever since The Avengers came out, I have been obsessed with "I understood that reference". The older I get and the further away from popular culture I tend to stray, I totally sympathize with poor Captain America and his antiquated knowledge. At least the kids in the office understand what I mean when I say this.


#10: SELFISHNESS
One of the main issues with Aspers is that we're pretty selfish creatures by nature, probably more so than the average bear. When I do something inherently selfish and I feel like I've insulted someone, I'll quote a little Austen and say "selfishness must always been forgiven you know, because there is no hope for a cure". No one gets the reference, but it makes me smile because I do love Mansfield Park.

I have numerous other quotes and catch phrases that I say all the time, but alas, we are restricted to 10.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Stitching

This week's rotation brought around the first full week of Night Wish...I say full week, but more like a sporadic attempt at stitching thanks to work. I left off here:
NightWish002
And I tried so hard to finish the first page, but I didn't come close.
NightWish006
As per usual, I spent the weekend working on Suteki and it's moving (slowly). I'm hoping that by the end of the month when I post it on the A New Stitchy Start Blog, I'll be close to finishing the first row. I managed to finish the first page and I'm about halfway into the second, but that's not really saying much...it's a regular-sized pattern so there are way too many symbols on each page. Not only is it difficult to read because the symbols are so small, but it takes way longer to get through each page. It will be nice to get back to my usual large-sized pattern. I will admit though, not posting my progress on it has been a bit difficult, but it might be what's driving me...the jury is still out on that one.

I've also decided that next week's rotation piece will be Alice and the B's. Since I haven't touched them since the first of November, I'm a bit excited to work on them again. At least maybe I'll be able to make Cinderella appear just a bit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top 10 Songs With Misheard Lyrics

The Suddenly Kate Show

I'm not having much luck with Top 10 topics lately, but I'm hanging in there! Make sure to check out Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's for the week.

One of the first things I have always done when I bought an album/cassette/CD is open the jacket and read the lyrics. With the digital age and downloadable songs, I just go to one of the myriad of online lyric sites and do the same. It's just part of my process. If the album was important enough for me to buy, then I make it a point to make sure I know the lyrics beforehand. The bands I prefer are all pretty good at enunciating, so I'm not bad about understand lyrics, but rather misinterpreting them.

Most of the music I prefer is pretty cryptic in the first place, so lyrical meaning is open to interpretation and, if the artist isn't clear on what they meant (and most of them can't pinpoint specifics anyway), then the song is open to personal interpretation, or thus is my opinion. So I'm not really going to do a Top 10 of misheard lyrics, but rather a list of songs who's meaning I've either screwed up or the rest of the world has. And warning, it's probably going to be Duran-centric because that's pretty much the only music I ever listen to anyway.

LOVE WILL TEAR US APART - JOY DIVISION
I absolutely love this song, but honestly, can anybody understand the lyrics without intervention? This is one of those rare "can't understand a bloody word" type songs.


THE REFLEX - DURAN DURAN
OK, I was 14 when this song came out and incredibly immature, so I would have never guessed that this song was about Simon's peen, but that's not the first thing that comes to mind with this song. The lyric "I sold the Renoir and the TV set" was my Achilles heel when it came to this song, so much so that I had to ask my mother what a "Renoir" was. She explained that it was a "kind of painting" and I was OK with that answer. This was obviously before my art years really took off, but hey, I'm more of the Monet type anyway.


SUBCULTURE - NEW ORDER
I guess I never really thought too much about it until Justine pointed it out to me, I just thought the one lyric "you'll realize you can't shaft without someone else" was just a throw in and not the whole theme of the song. It has always been a song about the dangers of isolating yourself too much and being lonely to me. The song meaning still hasn't changed for me, but now I find that my eyebrow raises a bit more when I get to that lyric!


BIG THING - DURAN DURAN
Simon Le Bon has this way of making everything sound sexual even when it's not and this song kind of epitomizes that. It's one of their more suggestive tunes but, according to the lyric master himself, it's not a sexual song but rather about the "corporate monster". You be the judge:


THE END OF THE WORLD - REM
Again, like Love Will Tear Us Apart, this is one of those songs where printed lyrical intervention is a necessity. Seriously, have they ever performed this song live and, if so, did Michael just randomly make up new lyrics? I'm not even sure I've seen the lyrics printed the same twice in a row!


MICHAEL, YOU'VE GOT A LOT TO ANSWER FOR - DURAN DURAN
This song was written before Michael Hutchence died, but it became an anthem for him after the fact. Most people don't know that he and Simon Le Bon were best friends, especially in the years leading up to Michael's death, which just adds to the irony of the song for me. I found a very interesting fan video for this song.


JUST LIKE HEAVEN - THE CURE
For some reason, a lot of people don't understand most of the lyrics of this song, although I've never had any trouble with it. Since it's my favorite song ever (in the non-Duran category, of course), then I figured I should include it.


I DON'T WANT YOU LOVE - DURAN DURAN
Since Simon does all the writing, finding out that this song was supposed to be from John Taylor to one of his many exes was a bit of a shocker. Simon was still credited as the lyric writer, but I wonder how the initial lyrical conversation about this song ever started in the first place!


THE UNION OF THE SNAKE - DURAN DURAN
I've read comment after comment by Simon about what this song is actually about, but none of them still make sense. He can wax poetical quite a bit anyway, but this one just defies explanation for me. It's a great video though, so does it really matter?


ELECTION DAY - ARCADIA
Obviously, when Duran temporarily split in 85, I went the way of Simon and preferred Arcadia to The Power Station (and still do to this day because it sounds like goth Duran). One of my favorite songs from the So Red The Rose album was Election Day, but honestly, what does the song mean? I've heard Simon's explanation, but I'm not buying it. But oh well, the video shows my absolute favorite Simon look incarnation, so I don't care that much.

To be honest, I could probably come up with another dozen or so Duran songs, but I'll stop here. I also (yet again), screwed up this week's theme, but I figure it's better that I participate and modify the topic versus not participate at all, right?

Monday, January 11, 2016

January TUSAL 2016

I almost forgot to post my ORT jar pic, so this will be a short post:
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I just ordered a new Captain America needle minder and Cap has been on my mind lately, so I thought this would be a good background for this month's TUSAL post. Not a lot of ORTs yet, but it's still early!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Stitching

It's that time again, but this sure was a short week considering it was the first full work one in three. Any hopes of a better time at work in the new year have already been dashed and, if anything, things have gotten worse. Oh well, c'est la vie. I don't have any marketable skills and I need a roof over my head and food on the table (and a Disney trip at least once a year), so I'm stuck.

Thanks again for everyone's kind comments over my Disneyland pictures! Sorry I dumped so much personal crap into the mix, but it's part of the story, so it had to be told. And, like everything else that happens, it's made me a stronger person (or more closed off, depending on your point of view and the jury is still out on the subject). The pictures remind me of the good stuff, the actual Disney stuff, so I think it's a win-win situation.

But on the home front, I spent the week working on Snow White and the weekend on Suteki. I left off Snow after the first day of stitching here:
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And by Thursday night, I made it here:
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I wasn't expecting the frame to be as confetti-filled as it was, so I didn't get very far at all. I was pretty disappointed in myself by the time I put it back in the stack, but I did decide on a plan. I'm thinking, as of now, I'm going to swap projects every week and work on Suteki on the weekends and every piece gets time and Suteki gets finished quicker. On the months when there are five weekends, I'll stitch on A Summer Ball and 35th Anniversary and that way, I don't have to spend much time on either of those two, but they still get worked on too.

I've also started using waste knots instead of my regular back knotting method. I know it's not kosher to knot thread, but I've done it since day one of my stitching career and I've never had troubles with it, despite the hoopla by the stitcher community over doing it. I'm never going to have a nice and pretty clean back, but I decided I could make more of an effort to try to make it easier to work through when the confetti gets heavy. In all honesty, when it comes to confetti, it really doesn't matter whether I knot on the front side or back side, but it's all a learning process, right?

To further help things along, I signed up for A New Stitchy Start blog, a great SAL blog that will hopefully motivate me more. I knew Suteki wouldn't be easy, but I wasn't expecting the level of difficulty I'm experiencing with it, so I felt like I needed a bit more help than usual. I'll be posting her progress over there instead of here at the end of each month, but there is one thing I couldn't pass up...on Saturday, I hit a hidden Mickey:
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Despite the fact that I seem to be avoiding Disney World in March, apparently the "visions" of Mickey have already begun, although there is one place I'll always see one:
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Notice the tags? My baby gets his Disney love too!

Next week, I'm going to work on Night Wish, followed by either Maleficent or Alice and the B's, I'm not really sure which just yet. Then again, I might be able to get very close to finishing Cinderella Caste in a week, so maybe I'll go there...guess it will be a surprise. As always, I'm still hoping for a better week but, when all else fails, here's to a good stitching week with a bit of pup-snuggling encouragement!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Disneyland in Pictures - Day 7 FINAL DAY!

Well, despite the previous night's "fun", I still woke with a positive attitude because I was going to see my baby puppy before the end of the night! I walked around the hotel for a bit in the morning, taking pictures:
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Our room:
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The Disney "art" in the hallways:
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And the lobby:
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Although the car service wasn't set to get us for a few hours yet, I decided to go ahead and head downstairs, wandering around a bit more, getting breakfast in the gift shop, etc. After a while I got bored and texted the car company to see if they could pick us up a bit early. Not only could they, but they preferred it, and even though we would be getting to LAX 5 hours early, I wasn't too miffed. The only conversation we were having at that point was bile-laced and useless. In my mind though, I was still trying to figure out what I had done to incur such wrath, but I figured I must have done something because we Aspers tend to be mean without realizing it. I barely took any pictures on the return trip, but since we took the exact same route, I didn't see the need, just caught a couple close the airport:
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I wouldn't want to navigate into LAX on my own, that's for sure!
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We made it to our gate with several hours to spare:
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I ended up wandering around LAX a bit by myself. Yes, this Social Anxiety-ridden, Asper with OCD walked around LAX by herself numerous times! Despite all the construction, Delta Terminal 6 really was quite nice:
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I kept wandering around, going in the shops, then coming back. Going to the bathroom, then coming back. Going to get food, then coming back.
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Going to the bathroom again, then coming back. Walking around more, then coming back. Basically, enjoying the airport (if such a thing is possible). It was far better than sitting in silence. At that point, I still thought our friendship was salvageable and I was actively trying to pinpoint what I could have said or done to make him so mad. Granted, he had been pushing every single button I have all week long (and even in the months leading up to the trip), but I was still trying to shoulder the blame at that point. But, in a very non-eventful way, the actual end to it all was an insignificant little action...he let someone else have in my seat while I was gone on my final bathroom trip, and I just went numb. Whether or not it was deliberate was irrelevant at that point.

I can literally shut emotions off dead cold and, once that's done, can never be undone. I am fully aware that that's not a normal reaction to a situation, but knowing it's wrong and actually controlling the behavior are two completely different beasts in my head. It's a defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt...it's crude, yet effective and I have no plans to ever try to fix the issue. Memories (good and bad), don't get erased, just all feeling attached to them stops and thus people become pronouns and that's that. I wish I could explain it in a way that makes "normal" sense, but I think only another Asper will get it, so back to the story at hand.

Luckily, I didn't have to stand up in the terminal like a goober for too long because boarding time had arrived. And thankfully, I was numb enough by that point that my usual airport stresses were pretty easy to navigate and I had no trouble settling into my seat (probably for the first time in forever...don't go there). I was very pleasantly surprised to see that we took off and circled off shore:
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I was SOO happy to see the Queen Mary from the air (and that's about as close as I'd really want to get considering how haunted it is):
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Earlier than I wanted, it got dark and started storming, so I put the camera away and started playing games on my iPad:
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Granted, there was more drama on the way home, but that's neither here nor there. It's all just he said/she said now. I still don't know what set him off, but now, I just don't care, even if it was all my fault (although I still profess my innocence). When it was all said and done, I still had an amazing time in the parks and even plan to go back someday (with my sister, of course). I've never really wanted to go to California (other than Disneyland), but I'm extremely glad I can now say I've been there. I saw amazing vistas along the way, went to places I could have never imagined going (like the Pacific Ocean) and places I never want to go to again (Hollywood Blvd), but most importantly of all, I'VE BEEN TO DISNEYLAND!

I will admit, after doing this series, I ended up deleting photos of him from my Flickr album...I just don't see the need to keep them. I do, however, have a new saying...instead of "you don't really know someone until you travel with them", how about, "you don't really know someone until you travel to Disney with them"! Fits better I think.

This series was a bit more detailed than I was planning, so I guess I don't really need to do individual reviews of specific restaurants or rides...I'll save that for my next Disneyland trip! Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I did taking them! Sorry I ranted so much, there was just that final bit of bile I guess I needed to get out. All done now and on to Disney World in March!!