gurdymonkey: (bradshaw)


No more crabcakes though. Need to dump some ballast!
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
I needed green thread. And I figured I'd look for linen or a linen blend - the short kosode I wear with my nagabakama is the first piece of Japanese garb I ever made and the collar has issues and dammit, I want a new one for Twelfth Night!  (I also want a handsewing project I can work on at GWW that's not silk!) Discount Fabrics (Ashby & San Pablo in Berkeley) opens at 10 - and they're doing a no-sales-tax promo through the end of September.   Their linen prices have gone up, hell, their cotton prices have gone up, but if one factors in tax and shipping costs I would've spent elsewhere, I did OK on a nice linen rayon blend. Oh, and that heavy silk herringbone I made the white uchigi out of is still there, the better part of a bolt and that's still $9.99/yard, if anyone is interested.

I also had a coupon for DSW rattling around in my purse and it was still early, so what the heck? I hate shoe shopping lately. For one thing, I started with wide feet and have compounded the problem by developing bunions. For another, the current trend for ugly-ass shooties  and stratospherically high heels does not appeal to me in the slightest. Most places carry medium widths, which means I have to size up for a shoe to fit across my instep, and that's the kiss of death for a high heel because it'll be too long for the arch of my foot. Hence I live in sandals, clogs and so forth most of the time.

I didn't expect to find anything, but I figured I'd look anyway. And I found these, for $35.99. The 9 1/2 fit me. (I have bought shoes ranging anywhere from an 8 W to a 9 1/2 M). Perfectly. If they had pointed toes they'd be perfect for tomorrow's 20's themed event, but as they are, they'll also work with some of the 60's styles I want to wear. And they're comfortable. They also had them in brown.

On an unrelated but disappointing note, I decided to see if a swatch of the jinken I used for my uwagi was colorfast. It's been soaking in dye remover all day in the kitchen sink - and it's still color fast. A pity as I still have a good bit of it left. If I want a new karaginu, I'm going to have to make it out of something else.....

Stuff

Aug. 17th, 2011 10:38 pm
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Taiko recital went very well. I know where my mistakes were, but the audience didn', and I can get away with a lot of "I meant to do that!" attitude to cover the occasional brain fart. Got a great turnout and raised $570 in donations for Japan disaster relief. Students and audience alike had a good time. Presumably someone got video and we'll be informed when it gets uploaded somewhere we can have a look at it. Ryan came to cheer us on, still with his arm in a sling and a spectacular scar. Poor guy's got weeks of phyisical therapy yet. I hope he'll be back with us before too long.

Decided to treat myself to a massage at On The Spot today. This time it was a young man who told me his name several times in that I-Want-You-To-Be-A-Regular-I'm-Here-Every-Wednesday kind of day, offered me a dinky little hair clip to put my masses of bushy hair up with (I opted for a hair tie from the linty depths of my purse instead) and announced dramatically it was gonna be like - I shit thee not, O My Readers - a Day At The Spa! So there I was, face buried in the head ring on the massage chair and couldn't see to refuse the double handfuls of lotion headed my way. Worst of all, it was coconut.  A shame, really, because Mr. Remember My Name had thumbs of steel and otherwise managed to deal with the worst knots in my neck and shoulders in a useful fashion. I thanked him - he'd given me 20 minutes at the 15 minute price, threw in an extra couple bucks "lemonade money" just 'cause anyone who has to pummel on my knots has earned it. I walked through to the Feel Good Bakery thinking I might treat myself to a brownie or something for dessert tonight - and all I could smell was vile coconut and the Windexy watermelon (?) mist he periodically spritzed in my general direction (no doubt believing it was refreshing). I gazed at an exquisitely gorgeous slice of lemon tart and wanted to hurl all over the glass case instead. I rode home with the windows down and took a shower when I got in the door. I think I'll try to stick with the lady chiropractor who's there on Thursdays from now on.

Reminds me, I should return that nearly untouched vat of Karma Cream to the Lush store the next time I'm headed toward Emeryville. It hadn't smelled bad when I sampled it in the store, but I discovered it's very heavy on patchouli - another scent I'm not wild about and does not smell very good on me. They're good about giving credit for things and maybe I can get something I like better.
gurdymonkey: (easy)
I am not one of the neonlimespandexroadbikingmutantquadriceps people.  I'm not racing the Tour De Anything. I'm an Old, Slow, Fat Woman riding around a smallish island in San Francisco Bay. I don't need special clothes and shoes for this activity.  Even Grant says so.

I need to be comfortable. I need to be safe.  I do not need to look like an Old, Slow, Fat Lightning Bug.

Taiko finishes up at 7:30 PM. By the time I rode home from class the other night, it was starting to get dark. (The Weather Channel says local sunset tonight is 7:53 PM PDT and it's only going to get earlier. Hence the immediate purchase and installation of LED head- and tail-lights and a bell when I acquired Two-Tone Mimi. I chose a white bike helmet (both times), but I realized that like a lot of Old, Slow, Fat Women that I appear to own an awful lot of dark colored sweat shirts, sweaters, fleeces and jackets.

A lot of modern "activewear" tends to be made of synthetics that feel like they're designed to cling to your body like Saran Wrap, make you sweat like the entire cast of Rashomon and Cool Hand Luke combined, and retain your stink no matter how often you launder it. OK, this may not be entirely true and I freely admit the prejudices of a historical costumer with a love for natural fibers when I reach for a garment on a hanger and find myself shuddering and letting go of that nasty, icky, we-hates-it nylon sleeve. If it feels icky, I'm not going to want to wear it.  If it makes me look like a fluorescent tennis ball, it's not going to make me feel good about wearing it.

To make a long story short, I've recently felt up an awful lot of eww-factor zip front jackets, or walked in and walked right out again when I couldn't find a single jacket-like garment in white or a light color on the racks at the outlet center near where I work or the mall on Alameda's South Shore. Add to that the Gurdymonkey Don't Do Hoodies Factor, which rules out 90% of the cotton-poly sweat shirts out there, and the one windbreaker I saw at the Eddie Bauer outlet on payday. They're putting hoods on perfectly nice cardigans anymore. And ruffles. Jaysus Mary And Joseph, hoods on Aran fishermen's sweaters. Someone somewhere is probably sticking ruffles on  British commando sweaters in the name of fashion.

I seemed to recall that there was a Columbia outlet up in Vacaville, checked its existence via the internet, and headed up there this afternoon. Behold, they had women's jackets in lots of styles -  and the color range included plenty of options in white or near-white shades. Zip fronts. Pullovers. Vests. Windbreakers with hoods and without. Fleece. Waterproof shells ranging from unlined to survival-on-Everest-in-a-white-out. Synthetic fabrics of all sorts, but they didn't feel quite so cheesy. I ended up with a boxy fleece zip-front and a jacket in a waterproof fabric with some nice vertical seam details, both cream colored. Neither of which were required for this afternoon's ride when I got home, because it was actually warm and summery today.

Now, the question remains: do I need a set of these? Nah. Maybe just a couple of wooden clothespins and some playing cards. That'll do.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
1. A friend of mine is a secret shopper at Lush Cosmetics. (I could tell you who, but the cruelty-free organic skin care ninjas would come after us all and smother us with cocoa butter and lob bath bombs at us. Which may not be a bad thing, going to the afterlife smelling all yummy....) It turns out the local shop was having an in store promotional "party" last night, so we met up and checked it out. Now, you have to understand, high-maintenance-Japanese-persona notwithstanding, I'm not a big cosmetics/perfume person. My health and beauty shopping tends to go on at Walgreens most of the time, and if I put on anything more than moisturizer, lip balm and a little mascara, that's a lot.. Yet I came home with a rosemary and peppermint solid shampoo (and a tin to keep it in), a solid perfume and shower gel in the same scent and a moisturizer for the areas around my aging eyes which I sprang for on my friend's recommendation. (I tried one of the new anti-aging eye creams with Retinol once. On a warm day, mild to moderate perspiration caused it to run into the corners of my eyes, stinging and resulting in blurred vision for a couple of hours despite an emergency face wash.)  In fact, I purchased enough to get a goodie bag with several bath and shower products, and a free sample of a hand lotion I tried.

Why this sudden burst of girly consumerism? Well, before we went to Lush, My Friend had to pick up something in Sephora, a few doors down. The reek of rioting perfumes nearly made me throw up on the sales clerk who was assisting my friend. It was pretty bad. Then we went into the Lush shop where things were not inducing migraines while duking it out for artificial scent supremacy. Their products did have scents, some of which I really, REALLY liked, but they weren't in your face unless they were literally in your face. The hand lotion? Three hours and at least one hand washing after the sales clerk put it on me and my hands still felt really nice. The shampoo? Well, let's see how non-oily my hair stays through tomorrow as I try not to shampoo every single day. But the scent was a nice wake-up call for a 6 AM shower.  So yes, I splurged a bit. Besides, with a wisdom tooth extraction scheduled for Tuesday, I sort of need it.

2. The bored members of the kingdom e-list got on the subject of surviving a cataclysm and I really, REALLY want to post, "If the apocalypse comes, I'll be the one rotting for all eternity inches from the door to my apartment, having fallen down the stairs while trying to flee the earthquake/zombies/superflu/nuclearfallout/apocalyptic disaster of your choice." See, I do know how to make a fire without matches, and how to shoot a bow and arrows and build a shelter using only a tarp and some string, but I'm also a realist.

Hmmm.

Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:25 am
gurdymonkey: (Default)
I hate having my picture taken and I usually hate pictures of me. (Ask my mother about the albums full of me with my hands over my face or ducking out of frame.) This one, I do not hate. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] bovil. You have joined the tiny handful of photographers I trust.

For more of the fabulousness, go here.

gurdymonkey: (yeahright)
Back at the beginning of February, you may recall I decided to try a new shampoo.

It's been a month. I think Pantene's 90% less breakage claim is a crock. Breakage is down, but not anywhere near that much.

Maybe this stuff was formulated for people who wash their hair daily and blow dry the crap out of it, curling irons, crimpers, straighteners and other heating appliances optional. For an every other day user who does not blow dry, I might as well use Elmers. Seriously. My hair feels tacky by the end of day one, greasy by the end of day two - and yes, I am using the traditional dime-sized squirt of both the 'poo and conditioner. I started alternating with Suave for color treated hair. On Suave days, my hair looks and feels fine. On Pantene days, I look like freaking Wormtongue.

It's time to reduce the Pantene to once a week and see what happens....
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Some of you might remember the white and gold silk that was not enough to get a kariginu or suikan out of.  Well, I found the envelope bearing Simplicity Retro# 9221 and laid out the pieces. I have just enough of it to make a Regency gown if I make the sleeves out of a different fabric, because it was part of a kimono bolt.  If I were still a sweet young thing, I'd be daring and make it sleeveless, but I'm not.  Bodice pieces and skirt have been cut and the skirt panels have been assembled because yes, I am that fast with running stitch. I figure a pretty pale gold silk will do for the sleeves, neckline edging and possibly a sash.

Now, whether I can have it ready to wear for Peers' Pride and Prejudice ball next week remains to be seen. I'm a better seamstress than I was when I made the blue velvet Regency several years ago, but there's a metric buttload of pleats and gathers on this puppy.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Got to meet up with[info]antoniseb in SF last night. What the poor man did not know is that Auntie Jehanne is hard of hearing. I had to go back DOWN the stairs of the Civic Center BART and stand in the entrance to use my cell phone because there was just too much white noise. Anyway, I called him, he told me he was on his way and would meet me on the corner, so I waited there and never heard the two subsequent calls he made to tell me he'd broken his glasses and could I meet him at LensCrafters? Not hearing back, he sensibly opted to meet me at the original spot and we walked the several long blocks down Market, winding through rush-hour pedestrians and catching up with each other's news, both at a brisk pace.

LensCrafters didn't have what he needed, but he got a referral to a very nice Chinese optometrist who agreed to stay open past 6 and wait for us, so it was another 4 blocks back up Geary to Mason.

Glasses repaired, we were both ready to find someplace to eat. We ended up in a tiny little sushi joint called Katana-ya right across the street from the Geary Theater. We both opted for a couple of appetizer plates of stuff each. The tuna and hamachi combo was very good, the gyoza piping hot and not too gummy.  Anton got a rice curry which was aromatic and flavorful without being at all hot. I didn't try the veggie tempura, but it looked nicely done (I'm generally not a fried foods person). I was able to identify the green and orange squashlike substance for him as kabocha. The couple next to us were slurping happily away at huge bowls of noodles and when I later looked Katana-ya up on Yelp, their ramen is evidently a specialty.

We had a nice visit. It was fun.

gurdymonkey: (Default)



Hair was duly sworn at. Shoes were abandoned after the first waltz because the floor was too slippery. Room was simultaneously too hot and too cold because they had every and window propped open AND the heat blasting.

Danced some but not as much as I would've liked. Knee held up just fine, but had to decline a polka with Alexander on basic general principle - I'm just not a high impact kind of girl anymore, should've made him come back for a waltz later. Crowd dynamic was different - lots of people there I'd never seen before plus people who normally adhere to mixer etiquette at Friday Night Waltz or Gaskells being glued to their date the entire night (hey, New Year's Eve, I'm not gonna quibble). Did "Congress of Vienna" with a very nice guy who's quite new - and a brand new dad. Got a lovely waltz in with Mark and another with the amazing Cary. Did a little swing dancing with the Sikh gentleman whose name I never caught. Had the last waltz with Aviva because Men R Dum - we linked pinkies to walk out onto the floor.

Lots of good gowns, plus a fair number of Dickens Faire escapees. Merrin looked great in dark blue chiffon, hair up in a tiara with Grecian goddess waves of curls flowing out of it. Carey - I have to hate Carey because she looks amazing in pretty much anything -  was in a thrift store confection in white satin. Lots of guys in tails, or at least spiffy waistcoats. Alexander was in zoot suit mode in a particularly obnoxious  shade of mustard, but it worked on him. Sam - who we also must hate for being young and cute and slight enough to wear vintage stuff of his own - was in a white linen suit from the early part of the 20th century.

Band appeared to be incapable of listening to each other: don't know if it was post-Dickens-Faire burnout or what, but they were not on form.

No magic. Just a bit of fun.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
....a great deal of swearing at myself in the mirror tomorrow. I don't know what to do with my hair..... 
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Mom's package arrived this afternoon: a pair of elbow length evening gloves that fit me, all the pearl buttons at the wrist are intact. The fingertips were a little grubby and there was a very small rust stain near one of the button shanks, so I tossed them in cold water with some Shout dissolved in it and let them soak for an hour - they 're drip-drying on the shower door and they look pretty good.

Go Mom! These are MUCH nicer than the cheesy satin-y stretch gloves I already own.

By all reports, the treasure chests were a big hit. Brian was too busy being a wizard to come to the phone on Christmas, but Nicky actually talked to me and thanked me for the treasure. Mom says the compass key chains were especially prized.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
I found shoes.

PRETTY shoes.

That fit.

On Christmas Eve.

In Macy's.

For under $50.



For those of you going, "So, what's the big deal?" you have to understand that I pretty much live in flat shoes (or barefoot!), thus spreading my already congenitally wide feet somewhat wider.  My foot is 9 1/2 inches long - which theoretically makes it a US size 8. Measured at the widest distance around the ball of the foot, the circumference of my foot is also 9 1/2 inches.  Most retailers only carry "Medium" widths in women's shoes and "Medium" is generally interpreted by most modern shoe manufacturers as being about the width of a Number 2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. What this translates to is that I often end up in shoes that are US size 9 or 9 1/2.

I decided to go straight to a department store rather than an outlet like Shoe Pavilion because of my fit issues, hence, Macys. I knew the mall would be heinous, but I figured I'd proceed on the theory that  most people do not buy shoes as gifts (unless it's for themselves). I did have to wait about ten minutes for a clerk to help me, but she was pinned down at a cash register by customers with items from other departments - there were only two or three people actually wanting to try on shoes, in accordance with my theory. She apologized very sweetly as soon as she saw me. I told her I didn't mind waiting, and she managed to flag down someone to help us within about two minutes.

These "Endall" sandals are by Bandolino. The heels are blessedly only 2 1/4" high. I walked off the carpeting onto the faux parquet tile running past the shoe department and took a couple of waltz turns in them. I didn't fall off of them. I didn't fall out of them - and the African American lady who was trying a pair of size 5s in the seat beside me pronounced them "darling."

So it's not the Greatest Story Ever Told. But I got to indulge my inner girly girl.

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