Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm Tote-ally...Just Gonna Stop There

I made this. And it's probably one of the things I'm most proud of. So proud, in fact, that I kind of don't want to give it away. If only I was more of a Doctor Who fan.

I found this fabric a few weeks ago and seriously debated buying it for pillows in our living room. It was fun, and such a pretty blue, damask until you looked close enough and saw that silly TARDIS- what geek wouldn't love it? Well, this geek, actually. This is not the face of Doctor Who fandom.
Disclaimer: NOT our dog.
So it sat in my cart, calling my name. And then I remembered that giving brings happiness to both parties, so I made that order anyways. I've made a few of these bags before and I'm really happy with the way they turn out. It's such a simple pattern and it has a lot of customizable potential. The cuff is flirty enough to showcase TWO awesome fabrics and although there were no pockets in the pattern- I FREE HANDED THOSE SUCKERS. Yeah, you could say I'm pretty proud.
I ran into some kinks when both pieces of my bag (outside and lining) were cut funny: Spoonflower prints your fabric special, so it wasn't an off-the-bolt kind of thing which messed with my measurements, and Joann's was kind of having an off day at the cutting counter. In the end I just cut a few inches off of my pattern and made a smaller bag- I actually think I like it better smaller. I guess it just means I have to make another one for myself...

The Doctor Who fabric basically chose itself, then the multi-colored chevron was chosen by Mr. E (the color-coordinating master of the house) and I couldn't pass up a fat quarter of London landmark fabric. Especially for the travel-bug bestie of mine. Plus the minty-green inside of one of the pockets was from a homemade napkin at my wedding, so we're all rolled up in symbolism over here. Hopefully that makes up for the fact that I should have totally made this two years ago.

Slam-BAM that thing with a little travelling/Disney-themed cross stitch and you have a Christmas present, my friends. Good gravy I miss being crafty.

Monday, January 13, 2014

On How I'm Like JLaw...And You Could Be Too

We exited the theater like schoolkids for recess, a flutter of limbs as the audience scuttled out, reaching into jacket sleeves, holding doors, ambling our way through the dim hallways on our trek back to the real world.

My husband and our group loitered outside of the bathrooms as we waited for friends to weave their way through the Saturday night crowd. The atmosphere was tense between us as our minds raced to chew through what we had just seen, turning it over and over, absorbing all the last bits of interest and relatability.

There's a moment, right before the first person speaks, when we all hold our breath. We're waiting for the sacrificial lamb to start the slaughter, jostling each other, making eye contact as if we were penguins huddled on the cliff, pushing forward until the first bird fell in. Did we all feel the same way? How best to tell everyone- hyperbole? Graphic joke? Understated simplicity?

Movie-watching is a unique sport- it can be done both solitary and with others, but movie-experiencing is entirely personal. You can share the experience,  but it's still wholly your own, reflecting all the odds and ends and triumphs and heartaches and choices that make you different. Much the same way that books can stay with us, so too can movies. They're all stories, after all.

I didn't like American Hustle. I was so sure that everyone would agree. I felt that it was pretentious, unrelatable- the plot so labyrinthine that it was a wonder I could follow it. It was a nod to the visual film-making that I even knew what was going on. Don't underestimate the power of body-language, people. Or steadicam.

Instead, they gushed.

"So good."
"Wasn't that great?"
"Best movie of the year so far." A few titters- it's only January, after all.
"Not at ALL like the preview."

I frowned in confusion. Did we watch the same movie? Yes, I loved the actors too, and I could understand the guys enjoyed an eye-ful of the wardrobe (I think we could mold Amy Adams' chest with clay by memory, thanks), but it was much too long! How could you tell who was playing who when they were all playing each other?

Movies have always held a special place in my heart. I was practically reared on stories, both visual and textual. I could quote Star Wars on the playground and it only grew from there- so it was no surprise I fell in love with a man whose dream was to craft the silver screen. I live a little vicariously through him- after all, someone has to pay the bills. I enjoy being his sounding board, listening to his rants on the perils of 3D, learning from his experiences with story-telling and leading the audience. I was a part of that world in some small way and usually that's enough.

Until we're together with other film majors.

Suddenly my opinion feels glossed over. I don't "get" it. I didn't take those classes, I never sat in the editing bay going through dailies, I haven't worked 8 or 10 or 12 hour sets, so I couldn't understand. They try to be nice about it though, if not out of respect for me, then out of respect for my husband- that age old suffering borne by friends who endeavor to keep him out of the doghouse.

I realized that I was Jennifer Lawrence's Rosalyn, expertly hustled by those around me, mood swings and all. She was headstrong and naive, a bit of a bully in an effort to adapt to her circumstances, and often kept ignorant, but in the end she was revealed to be an untapped resource. I may not be all of those things (or I am, depending on the time of month) but I knew how she felt, making the best of her situation in the only ways she knew how. They may not have been the best ways, but they were those that were available to her.

How often have I felt that way? How often have you felt that way? Capable and confident in your own sphere but patronized and dismissed with ease when you attempt to expand.

My difference in opinion about a movie doesn't mean that I'm stupid. It doesn't mean that I don't "understand" what's really going on or that I'm too dense to read past all of the fluffy dialogue to see what they're "saying". The more I tried to explain why this movie didn't work, the more I got tight smiles and incredulous stares.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Let's All Resolve To...

This is my New Year's concession for blogging. It's almost expected, right? I need to write on all the ways that 2013 made me a better person, the obstacles I overcame and how I resolve to do amazing things in the upcoming year.

Maybe it's just the killer headache from too much holiday (remember that Berenstein Bears book?) or my absolute lack of enthusiasm for staring at my computer screen, but 2013 was a very angry year.
Cover art
There was a lot of stress in our world when Mr. E graduated and we up and moved to LA- neither one of us particularly city-people. Sure, living here is great, but downsizing was a pain in the butt, budgeting is tough and we got slammed with a car break-down at the same time we were apartment hunting. Mr. E's playing heads-up-seven-up with jobs at the moment and I'm attempting that ruthless jump from temp agency to full-time employee- provided I continue to like this company.

But even outside our own sphere of the world things are looking pretty angry: we're hating on celebrities, we're hating on institutions, we're hating on everyone else's likes and dislikes, their choices, what they support, what they don't and how they do it. There's a lot of opinions out there, guys. I get it. There's a lot of ignorance, perceived or otherwise. There's anger and fear and shame and guilt and a whole host of negative qualities that could probably fill the internet a thousand times over.

I'll be the first to tell you that I can get angry easily. My coworker was very clearly (and very loudly) typing something repetitive today that just about had me kicking the cubicle wall (if I had to guess it'd probably be LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLZ,  the jerk). I get pissed when people go the speed limit on the freeway. I'm mad when my Disney Hidden World's game doesn't accept when I'm clearly pointing to the correct object.
None of this makes me happy.
Angry Peyton Manning Stare Angry Peyton Manning Stare
I like to think that I follow a pretty wide range on the internet- those of you who craft, who read, who write, who snark, research, drink tea, hate tea, have kids, have dogs-who-think-they're-kids, love fandoms, love fans, support causes and just need somebody to talk to at all hours of the day (Hi, Twitter!). A lot of you preach to do what makes you happy. You pin it, you remind yourself of it all the time, but did you ever stop to think that it's less of an action and more of a choice?

World, let's make a resolution together. It doesn't have to be first or your list or kick off something else that's important to you. Can we please PLEASE remind ourselves to be happy. To let it go? To accept that the world does not play fair, does not have the same rules for everyone and we'll just have to agree to disagree sometimes. Stop the hateful comments. Stop the passive-aggressive responses. Every one of us is entitled to opinions but you don't need to say yours louder in order for it to be more correct.
I resolve to be a happier person in 2014.

I didn't need a generic time of the year to choose this, but it sure is a nice built-in motivator, isn't it?