Wednesday, April 23, 2008

David Plouffe Needs to Stop Sending Me Emails

Seriously. I get at least two emails a day from the Barack Obama campaign. You are getting my support. You're not getting my money--sorry, but until Barack Obama is president and starts handing out lollipops with hundred dollar bills* for sticks, I don't have any extra.

The concert went well on Sunday. I was sad that more people didn't show up, but I had a lot of fun. One of the pieces went a little awry at the last minute--trying to come in after a ten minute instrumental part we've only heard once will do that to you--but overall everyone was very positive. Afterward, a couple members of the choir, the director and myself went out for dinner. I thought I was just getting a ride home, but they talked me into eating out. (and after being, uh, "stuck" in Wmsbrg for a month with no kitchen, I must confess I didn't protest too hard) We took the Colonial Parkway through Yorktown to admire the dogwood trees and then had dinner at a posh little restaurant on the York River. I can't wait for visitors so I have an excuse to show off Yorktown...they have ships and pubs on the water and redoubts that were built by the British in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Continentals. Woot. Dinner was shrimp and gumbo and smoked gouda cheese grits...and I still have dreams about it.

Then yesterday was a Very Good Day. First off my boss announced that due to maintenance of the clothes conveyors, they were shutting down the shop on Friday, so I have paid day off. Yay! Then I had my review, and my boss along with two supervisors told me they were Very Pleased With My Progress, which was a huge sigh of relief. I told them "Now that I know the techniques and what to do, I need to focus on quality and getting my speed up." Sewing in the 18th century is completely unlike modern sewing--I had to relearn a lot of my mad skillz. But I'm getting better.

Then, and this is bliss, my bike arrived. YAY. My poor Schwinn Searcher which has been a faithful companion since I was fifteen arrived in several pieces which took me about an hour to put together. For a few heartstopping minutes I thought the threads on the left pedal had been unfixably damaged, but I carefully cleaned it out with my Leatherman and got it in tightly. Yay!

The final Yay! came when I took Windsong** out to seen an apartment. I have been talking with a woman who works here about rooming with her and one other person, and I was pretty much decided that I'd take the room, unless it was disgustingly horrible. Happily, the apartment was very nice--my room is the size of the place I'm living now AND I'll have my own bathroom--and better yet, the woman who put the ad up is like a younger, thinner, more excitable and sweeter version of me. I mentioned how I wanted to get a dog and name it Horatio, she told me that her car was named Hamlet. I noticed a biography of Turner on her bookshelf, she told me a story of driving up to DC on Christmas Eve to see a Turner exhibit. She said "I'm an Anglophile" I started singing "Rule, Britannia." So yay. As long as the application goes through, and I don't see why it wouldn't, I'll be moving in July.

So it appears that things are going well, and I'm slowly working my way into the fabric of the community here. I know there's been some confusion out there in NLD-land: this job is a full-time, year round commitment, it's pretty much up to me when I want to leave. Of course, I probably won't be sewing for the rest of my life, but...on the other hand, I could see staying here for awhile. Now that my TV is dead*** I've been spending a lot of time writing, and that is good. I'm also thinking about taking up embroidery--not faffy needlepoint from a kit, but drawing a picture on fabric and going from there.

One of the cutter/fitters has been working on muslin mockups of the Fife & Drum Corps uniforms. They are getting all new coats, because the research powers that be have decided the red is probably more "redcoat" and less maroon-y, which is what it is now. They want to get the coats done by July, because the Fife & Drums are going on tour to Europe to perform in some tattoos there. I was chatting with her about how odd it is that the Continental troops would have red coats, since, ya know, the enemy ALSO had red coats, but apparently they put the boys in red so that they wouldn't accidentally get shot. (The real targets were in blue) She also mentioned how there is only one Continental coat left in existence, and it's in the Smithsonian--years ago CW people went up there to examine it and draft a pattern and that's where they get their uniforms from--and she also told me that the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association has one of Washington's original uniforms. Same deal: CW has examined it and has a pattern. Which got me thinking if they would let ME see it. One of the questions my reviewers had was if there was anything I'd be interested in doing or knowing about the clothes, and I mentioned how I'd (very much) like to borrow the patterns and make myself a suit of clothes. Yes, breeches and a coat--oddly enough, although the gowns are pretty, they aren't as appealing to me as the men's clothes.

As I went back to my machine, my mind started wandering. It does that a lot--I have a LOT of time to think--and I started wondering if anyone had ever patterned Nelson's coat. Meaning the one I used to visit all the time at the NMM. Ironically, a few hours later while on my break I noticed a new book in our library: Dressed to Kill, which is all about Naval fashions and masculine attire from c. 1750s to 1860s or so. And, of course, Horatio features prominently--and there are sketches at the back of all his clothes, cut away breeches and all. It was strange seeing something so "familiar" in such a formalized, posed way, and in the midst of all this 18th-century clothage. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm getting over Nelson, but perhaps my interest is being subsumed by something else. What, I cannot say.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my day off--Friday I must go get a helmet and do laundry. And then maybe I'll give my poor sitzbones a rest.

*And he will.

**Yes, my bike is named Windsong, and your point is?

***My fault. Long story. Don't ask.


Jack Bunny said...

Pictures? I wanna see some of what you see ...

Laura said...

oh I hope the leatherman and the TV didn't have a fight again.

Good to hear from you and glad things are going well. I've been checking your blog daily -whenever I have my eyes open...