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Today I did some things that scare me. Important things. Potentially life-changing things. I feel really really good about these things. I’ve been feeling consistently good for a while now. I’ve gone to yoga class three weeks in a row. My skin is great. I haven’t really finished tidying the new place, but I have managed not to add any new mess to it. I spent a year and a half not making decisions, hibernating if you will, and now I know where I’m going. I have a goal, and it will probably be hard because of some of the (necessary) things I’ve done in the past, but I’m good at fighting for a goal. Knowing what to do after achieving a goal is another story, but let’s not dwell on that just yet. I’m going to ride this upswing and enjoy the hell out of it.
My watchword for 2017 is “joy.” That solidified at yoga the other night, and it feels right. It feel good. It feels powerful. Last year it was “gentle” which morphed into “calm,” which morphed into “chill” which became “fuck all y’all motherfuckers” and then back to “chill.” We’ll see where “joy” goes. I’m enjoying it now.
You know what really brings me joy? Hampster Dance. Has since I stumbled onto it back in Ye Olden Days of dialup. I used to keep it open and playing until my allotted time on the interwebs was spent. This was not the first time my family had cause to regret the thing that made me happy, nor the last. I also find unbridled joy in Sloop John B by the Beach Boys, the theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but mostly…mostly the Hampster Dance.
So let’s see where it goes.
Sixth grade was a rough year for lots of people, and I’m not an exception. Nobody realized it at the time, but looking back I recognize the signs of my anxiety disorder–overwhelming dread, obsessive counting, forgetfulness, crippling inability to focus or make decisions, the total destruction of my fingertips. I still deal with this, but as an adult I understand what’s going on, and as a child I was just panicky and stressed all the time. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t just not popular–I was unpopular, in that I was the subject of active, organized, widespread teasing and bullying. That wasn’t new, but I was getting older, and I was starting to care more. That’s not to say there weren’t bright spots, because there were. I distinctly remember three: band, the couple of friends I had at school, and Robin McKinley.
Robin McKinley came into my life because my 10-year-old morality was sketchy at best: I picked up The Hero and the Crown from the shelf that my social studies teacher reserved for her homeroom students’ library books. I don’t know if I intended to give it back, but I do know that I never did, and the guy who had checked it out had to pay for it. I’m not sorry. He was a jerk. Anyway, I read that book over and over and over, until I could recite passages (I still can). I would finish it only to start again immediately, and I carried it with me everywhere like a talisman against evil. Or crushing lonliness. My memories of 6th grade can only be categorized in two ways: Being Miserable, or Reading The Hero and the Crown. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say this book saved my life. Over the last two decades I have returned to it, and her other books, more times than I can count, in times of joy as well as sorrow, and each time I’ve read one of her books I’ve found all the perspective, validation, inspiration, entertainment, hope, comfort, and motherfucking great storytelling I could want.
Her partner of 23 years, Peter Dickinson, recently passed away. She was silent on social media for several months before reporting his second stroke; the next time we heard from her was today, when she posted the eulogy she delivered at his memorial service. It is heartfelt and well-crafted.
I’ve never met Robin McKinley, but she has been with me through some of the most difficult periods of my life, beginning in sixth grade and extending into my early 30s (so far). Her books shaped the woman and writer I am in too many ways to name. I owe her an unpayable debt, and I adore her. She is going through the unimaginable and I have nothing to offer her except empty words from a person she has never met.
She didn’t write her books for me, but they were a gift to me anyway. I’m going to go buy some more of Peter’s books, and I’m going to plant a tree for him, and for her, and I’m going to keep crying. And then I’m going to work on my novel, ok, because sometimes all you can do is take the gift someone gave you and try to give a gift to someone else.
So the other day I realized I had forgotten to liveblog Reign for something like a million years, and I was like:
TRUTH: I am like four episodes behind. That’s ~ten hours of my life because I have to watch each episode twice to catch all the Subtle Nuances and locate appropriate gifs. Do I carry on?
Liveblogging the two most recent episodes of this show was full of hardship and despair. While the pilot remains free from various trustworthy sources including Hulu, one must needs pay cash money to access further episodes. I wrestled with my carefully crafted self-image for quite a long time before I finally signed up for a free seven day trial of Hulu Plus, which should get me through episodes two AND three, at which point I will have to seriously re-examine my priorities. EDIT BEFORE FINALLY POSTING: I failed to re-examine my priorities in time and instead am now paying for Hulu Plus. So….I am paying for this show. Somewhere in my life I made a wrong choice.
In addition to all this, mr. biscuit recently came home with the new Tomb Raider game. So while you read this post, remember that while I could have been following the adventures of Lara “Fuck You I’m Awesome” Croft, I was watching Reign.
Dallas has a couple of great fabric warehouses, and every year I look forward to
Dallas has a couple of great fabric warehouses, and every year I look forward to
blowing huge amounts of money visiting them. Today, on the whimiest of whims, I abandoned my traditional post-faire sleepathon and went a-fabric shopping. I got almost everything I need for the Grape Fairies, with the exception of the fabric for the waist cinchers I’ve only just decided I’m building in place of corsets.
I am shit at taking pictures.
I decided pretty early on that the fabric and trim would need to be identical except for the color. That turned out to be easy for the matte base layer (a very simple cotton, not pictured b/c yawn) and the sheer outer layer (which was unmarked at the store but is definitely poly and might be organza or possibly chiffon, I don’t really know and neither do I care because it was cheap as hell), but not so easy for the trim. After an hour in the trim room, I came away with 3/4″ grossgrain ribbon and simple braided trim to go with/over it, both in pale pink and hunter green. Not really what I wanted, but once I get over my disappointment I will be happy with it. I wanted a really rich reddish purple, but all they had was basically neon, so I swallowed my tears and went with green for the red wine, reasoning that grapes have green leaves. Totally makes sense. I’m planning to use the ribbon for most of the trim, as it was thirty cents a yard and I bought a thousand billion yards of it. Some decorative stitching in contrasting colors will do a lot to liven it up. Also, pearls. Because handsewing can be done on the couch and is therefore The Best.
I left the pattern I’m planning to use at home, so now I have to figure out whether it’s cheaper to have it mailed to me or just get a new one. Waiting until I visit home in two weeks isn’t really an option, I don’t think; I need to have these basically done by the time I go home for good (about 6 weeks from now). Plus, I need time to stitch on those pearls, and make the headdresses, and paint the wings. So. To the postoffice, mr. biscuit!
This is where the bracket gets tricky, and also more fun–the Division Champions go up against each other in bloody, feathery, well-tailored head-to-head combat! I’m not entirely sure why the top-seeded divisions go up against the lowest seeded divisions first, but mr. biscuit assures me this is how March Madness is done and I have no reason to disbelieve him. Seems a little unfair, but if there’s one thing dance is about, it’s judgement. So we’re going with it.
I’m all tingly with anticipation. Get to voting! You have until midnight on Saturday, 3/23.