Saturday, March 24, 2012


Well, that went better than planned. The two mothers met today, Mister's and mine. Both stopped in for a whirlwind visit of only about 5 hours. After Mister's mom left, mine said that she was lovely, and as MY mother left, Mister commented that his mother certainly knows how to smile and nod.

Oh family. Think of what stress free lives we'd lead without them?

But I was able to have a long chat with my mother about our communication skills. Hopefully this will lead to much better relations.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mock-Up Nearly Finished!

It needs sleeves, a finished edge along neckline, and either buttons or a zipper. But the main bodice and skirt are done!

Pride and Necklaces

Francesca's most recent post reminded me of a very old memory.

As anyone who has met me in person has realized, I love jewelry. It's my favorite thing. I've worn every single kind that there is to try. I currently am wearing 6 earrings (three lobes and a cartilege on my left ear, 2 lobes on my right), a mere three rings, close to 20 bracelets and bangles, and a single necklace (odd for me). Oh and now two little barbells on my boobs. I've tried toe rings (they hurt my toes), ankle bracelets, belly chains, ear cuffs, wearing jewelry in my hair, sparkly belts, up to 13 rings at a single time, the whole shebang. I love jewelry and always have.

I remember when I was finally old enough to get my ears pierced -- I was four. I had always wanted it done, and I picked the "prettiest" piercing earrings. They were shaped like stars. I got my second set in 5th grade, the cartilege in 7th, and the final one I pierced myself in 8th grade. I received rings and earrings from a very young age, and continually lost them.

But I remember one Thanksgiving at a family member's house when I was very young. I don't even know who's house it was at, I think my Aunt P and Uncle C. (I remember a few fun things about their house -- including Uncle C's collection of marbles, Aunt P's sewing room, and the chinese plates on the wall of the living room.) Another family member, either an aunt or an older cousin, gifted to both my sister and I (and probably other young girl-children of the family) beaded necklaces. But not just ANY beaded necklaces! These were quite interesting, and fun to explore. It involved a tapered tube of fabric with marble-sized beads INSIDE the tube, and smaller separator beads OUTSIDE the tube. Mine was periwinkle fabric with indigo beads. K, I think yours was purple with green beads.

I drew a quick sketch of what the necklace looked like: I think it would be an easy craft project.

Francesca, I thought of this because of the memories associated with your new bead necklace. And I though perhaps this is a Rebecca-friendly way for her to be beautiful like Mama. I know I felt really grown-up with this necklace -- both having been old enough to HAVE a pretty necklace, and seeing and feeling the weight of a pretty necklace. I still have it somewhere... :-P

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

So K, you are going to judge me within an inch of my life. I merely request that this not make it back to the parentals.

So... yesterday I got my nipples pierced. It was something I'd been thinking about for a couple of years, and DAYUM does it look cute having sparkliness on my boobies. Seriously, I think my boobs were made for jewelry.

I had delayed getting it for several years because I was super afraid of how much it would hurt. That is sensitive tissue! It's not like piercing ears which have few nerves...

But we had the number of a highly recommended piercer and I called him with all my questions. He was very sweet, very informative and highly friendly (over the phone). He explained that actually a cartilage piercing hurts worse than nipples as it's harder tissue. That he always makes it incredibly quick and easy, and that the pain really is negligible.

In person, he was EQUALLY sweet, informative and friendly, but he was also very calming (I was a bucket of nerves) and highly professional. He methodically laid everything out in the procedure room in a way that even -I- understood without having to ask -- which I super appreciated. It was well set up.

As to the actual pain? The IUD hurt more because it was about equal pain but SUSTAINED. This was painful yes, but only for approximately 1 second, and then a different kind of pain to shift the bar in position instead of the needle (which is a really cool way that they do that -- the needle is hollow and the same gauge as the bar. So the screw side of the bar can fit inside the needle, and they just slide together until the needle is out and the bar is in!) and then it was done. The second one hurt a little more, not quite sure why, but I also jumped a little and got a tiny scratch. :-P

I was able to sleep on my side as per normal, and after about an hour or 2 after the procedure, my boobs were no longer like "OH HEY PAY ATTENTION TO US SOMETHING IS GOING ON" and merely commented if I bumped them. There was no blood, no nothing. My body takes to piercing surprisingly well.

In the aftercare discussion, I learned some surprising things. Apparently, it's no longer recommended to put hydrogen peroxide or alcohol on piercings as they can dry out and irritate the skin too much. They recommend a saline solution (no saltier than a potato chip) 2-3 times a day. Also, to not twist the piercing (as I'd always been told with earrings). Old piercings used less quality metal that was porous -- and the skin could actually GROW INTO the stud. Ew. But he uses surgical steel (non-porous) and the skin will heal much better being undisturbed. The other thing was he pierced with a barbell, and I'm pretty sure friends who got their bellybuttons pierced in middle and high school and they had rings put in. Apparently my piercer does not recommend rings because there's more surface area to get germs on, it's more likely to get snagged while healing, and it often twists in the hole. All of these lead me to say: thank the gods I have a smart piercer!

Also, in my worries about how much it would hurt, and everything involving getting pierced, I looked up a lot of information on the internet. It looks like a lot of people have had really bad experiences and poor piercers. I've also heard before that the part that hurt the most was the forceps being clamped on. No clamping, no pain with forceps at all. I've also heard so many horror stories about free-hand piercing with NO forceps (omg no no no), sideways piercing, piercing with hoops... etc. I think I lucked out with having the best gods-damned piercer in the area. And he was so nice to boot!

So! If you're in the Boston area and want a piercing (or a tattoo) go to Pino Bros in Inman Square, Cambridge.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dealing With the Parentals

In response to my sister's post, I'd like to take a moment and discuss the problems of dealing with family. Francesca, this is obviously not about dealing with parents at the age your boys are, but rather navigating adult relationships when neither the parent nor the child are quite sure how to manage them. My mother brings out the 13-year-old in me every time.

For one, I'd like to say that neither my sis nor Myriad (her friend) are planning a wedding -- holy cow are there a lot of "requirements" that get blown out of the water. And although it's neither here nor there, Mister is not the kind of person who gives a flying f*ck about traditions that mean nothing to him. If it's not worth it, he's not going to do it -- no matter if it keeps the peace, perhaps ESPECIALLY if it keeps the peace because then he's "sacrificing principles" blah blah. K, you can imagine how well this goes with Mom if you haven't seen it in action any time recently.

So that's my one special parental problem, but I'm dealing with a few of the others as well. For one, I get a lot of the "if only you lived closer, we could see each other more" speech a lot. It got to the point a while back that I brought it up to Mister as a solution to stopping that complaint. His response? "She'd find something else to complain about." Since that's true, I've gone back to ignoring the "move closer" plaint.

I don't have to deal with any weight complaint issues, since she probably thinks I'm healthy -- I certainly look it enough, but I think I've got a ways to go in the exercise and stamina department. Mister made me take off the punching bag from the registry but I want one OH SO BAD. I just like to punch things. Super awesome stress relief. Also, one of the best runs I've ever had in my life was when I was so frustrated with something and had so much pent-up adrenaline I literally ran about a mile in 5 minutes. Just flat out. My mood went back to normal and I felt fabulous.

I think the one thing that bugs me the most in my dealings with Mom are her attempts to coach me in my relationship. I'm sorry Mom, but you have the most dysfunctional relationship I've ever seen, and you veer pretty close to man-hating. Have I mentioned the time that she told me that it was ok I didn't have a job -- I could just live off of Mister? Because, y'know, he's a man and he should expect to do that. (With the further implication that any money I make is mine, but his is OURS.) Just the sheer number of times she's tried to be all "Look, can I say this and you not tell Mister?" or "Can I say something and you won't get mad at me?" How I've dealt with this is by listening calmly, and explaining how I feel that our relationship differs from what she thinks. This is not to say that our relationship is perfect, but I feel that Mom has a particularly skewed view of it. For one, my mom seems to feel it's better to keep secrets than to be open -- and FYI I know what happens in my relationship if I try that. I'll give you a hint: it involves the biggest fights Mister and I have ever had.

(Another example of her man-hating is the way she keeps trying to get my sister and I to sponge more money and STUFF off of my dad. OMG LADY BACK OFF.)

One thing that I've learned recently about Mom is that she's even worse that my sister and I when she hasn't eaten. Oh she'll tell you she's not hungry, that she doesn't feel hungry at all (lemme tell you how emulating THAT attitude went for me... BADLY), but holy cow does The Beast emerge. When I was fabric shopping with Mom and N (Mister's almost-aunt and a very dear friend of mine), N was frankly shocked at how bitter, angry and verbally abusive Mom was to me and the world in general. We had a second shopping trip where we made a point to grab food (and have Mom NOT get lost and stuck in traffic), and she was absolutely pleasant. N was surprised at the Jeckyll/Hyde nature of Mom and had to revise her opinion of her. The first shopping trip, I was honestly embarrassed of and for her, as Mom normally tries to be agreeable the first time she meets someone! I just couldn't believe how much of a disaster it was. But! Thankfully, I now know this tip about feeding her and I will try to use it accordingly. :-P

If I could change ONE thing about my relationship with Mom it would be this: That when we have disagreements, she doesn't resort to nasty, snide comments about my abilities and/or decision-making. If she could reasonably explain why she feels a certain way, I could reasonably explain the reasons behind the decision-making. It wouldn't lead to such comments as: "Y'know, you're not really that good at sewing. You should just buy a dress" and would instead lead to: "Well, I understand that you want to make your dress since sewing and costuming has been a major part of your life since you were 4, but let's go try on some dresses for ideas". I had to find out through an intermediate party that that was the reason for dress shopping -- not trying to extort me into buying a dress.

I know that supposedly planning a wedding is one of the hardest things that one can do in regards to one's relationship with parents, as figuring out what to do that's right for the new family without compromising current familial ties allows a person to grow fully into an adult role in the community. (I read too many wedding blogs.) But boy oh boy do I wish it was already over and my mom and I figured out our relationship. We'll get halfway to having a real conversation, and then she'll suddenly remember I'm her kid and she'll flip into Mom-Mode and decide to lecture me about whatever it is that I've just shared (disregarding whether or not she's just shared the same bit of information). Bah.

Life is complicated, yo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Life Gives You Limes...

A while back we had a bunch of limes that we neglected to use up properly. The juicer to the rescue! I was very thankful for this today as I'm home sick from school. Mister had a bad headcold that turned into full blown sickness and I caught it a day later. After a restless night (I was up about every hour), I emailed my profs and crawled back into bed after taking ibuprofin, pseudoephedrin and robitussin.

Fast forward to this afternoon when I'm tottering around my house peering into corners for things to make me feel better.

I put the duckie kettle on for water and had every intention of making tea. That was when I remembered the lime juice. So I made a delicious "feel better" concoction of freshly grated ginger, lime juice, ginger simple syrup and hot water. It soothes my throat, has a minimal amount of calories, is warm in my tummy, throat and hands, and smells good (the steam helping my stuffed head as well).

I'm sure most people know about combinations of citrus and honey/syrups for sore throats, but I am so excited to remember it that I have to put it up here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Food to Make

OMG things look tasty.

Double Coconut Muffins

Homemade Sauerkraut

Dried Apricot Jam

Vanilla Crumb Pie

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

Life is Busy

Man, who knew that classes could keep a person busy? Add in guest performing for a local symphony, applying to a local wind ensemble, and cooking tasty meals with friends, and you have a full schedule.

But yeah, my studio prof invited me to perform with the symphony that he's a member of. First concert was hard as hell as I didn't get the music and I sightread it for the two rehearsals I attended. I get the music for the concert at the end of this month this Thursday. :-P

I have a happy new reed that I made last week. I love having working reeds. The second clarinetist in orchestra sharpened my knives for me as I'm terrible at it.

The county wind ensemble is looking for oboists -- I've put in my application, and the conductor should be getting in contact...

Have I mentioned that I received venison from my dad? We just cooked some tasty venison steak tonight with brussel sprouts. So tasty. And on Saturday, Mister and I went to a local sausage maker and bought knockwurst, smoked Hungarian sausage and smoked Polish sausage. Add in my buddy Martin's fried cabbage, our mashed potatoes with cheese, sourdough bread with spread and lots of beer, and you have the recipe for an awesome night. Sometimes, food really is the greatest thing in life.

On the wedding front: the invitations are in, Mister and I are just hammering out the guest list. I think we're pretty close, although K, you know some of the problems. :-P I've also been poking some more at the dress and possibilities for shoes. The bandmaster of the group we want to hire is incredibly busy so hasn't gotten back to confirm details, but we're pretty sure that it'll work out. We still need to contact the caterer. We had a design session with our jeweler, and good news! The design I want, and the size that I need are in her stock selection. She just has to adjust the size slightly (from a 5.5 to a 5.25). Mister's ring requires a bit more. But knowing that mine'll be pretty cheap makes me happy.

And I think that's life!