Monday, October 27, 2008

This is why I got the dog...

Smelling sweetly of aloe and oatmeal after his bath...chewing on his Nylabone in front of a roaring fire...curled up on his special beagle-sized looking on lovingly as she updates her blog....

Nevermind the fact that when he got out of his bath he went zooming around the house, at one point using the sofa as a springboard onto a sidetable from which he launched himself into the air before performing a flawless triple axel.

Too bad he didn't nail the landing. ARG. Bloody dog...

RIP orange pull toy...we were sad to hear of your demise by determined gnawing. You will be missed.

Kizzy was acting lethargic yesterday (ie not attempting to climb onto my head and lick my face off) and this morning when we got up he was digging at his ears and eyes, so I took him to the vet. He has a touch of pinkeye in one eye and the start of a yeast infection in his ears...dogs are prone to yeast infections, especially when they have floppy ears. And Kizzy's ears are oh-so-floppable. He was a good boy for the vet, except for the part where they tried to shove things (ie cotton balls, light scopes, medicines) into his ears. Oh, but guess what I get to do for the next two weeks, two times a day? Yay medicinal ointment! The vet recommended "lots of treats." Sure. Fine. At least he doesn't attempt to bite you, but he is small and wriggly.

In addition to dog-wrestling twice a day, I also have to work late this week to make up the three hours I missed this morning. That's okay though. I probably could have taken him in after work, but I would have spent all day worrying about him--and this way we've caught what ails him early. I had a terrifying moment when I thought about all the people who petted him this weekend on our Saturday stroll through the historical area. But the vet assures me that dog pinkeye is not conductive to humans. Well. I'll be taking it easy on the kisses (me) for a while. I'm just glad it was nothing more serious. Kizfiz is mah spechial boy.

Even when he's using the apartment as a racetrack.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reasons to go home: to see old friends finally tie the knot. Here they are, Mr. & Mrs. Gaboda at last. Aww...congratulations, I'm so happy for you!

Me and Baby Taylor, looking adorable in his tux...I nearly had to sign a waiver before Grandma would hand him over, but I assured her I'd had recent experience with newborns...

Mom and Dad at the helm of their new boat. I was in the prow...singing "Hearts of Oak" and generally enjoying the hell out of myself. The good thing about boating on a chilly day in October is you have the entire Wolf River to yourself, save for the fishermen. The bad thing is you've got to watch out for sudden squalls.

Reasons to go home part deux: Auntie Nicki with Lily and mom and dad. I never realised how much Peter and I looked alike, but there it is. Lily, of course, is already adept at posing for the camera...isn't she an ANGEL?!

I saved this picture as "zomg, baby!" Isn't she ADORABLE?!?!?!
(note the red nail polish...a remnant from the wedding. Yeah, that's the polish I forgot to take off before militia. Needless to say, they didn't have nailpolish in the eighteenth century. Especially not in the army. Ooops...)

I be rollin'...they be hatin'...
This is my new car. She's a 2003 Buick Regal: eat your heart out, Toyota Corolla. In keep with the A-B-C naming theme I started with the Argo and Boxer, I named her after my favourite movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Except that doesn't really fit, so I shortened it to Chi Chi, like the classy bingo-lovin', margarita drinkin' gal she is.

So that's it...I didn't take as many photographs as I thought I did, although there was often more than one camera present, so I'm sure I'm a few random shots I don't know about. I've never had a better time going home to visit. It was just awesome to be surrounded by loved ones for a week.

The week since had been long, but I'm hopefully adjusted to my schedule again. Last night a couple friends and I went to Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream and I made it through six haunted mazes (screaming the entire way) and two major roller coasters. Granted, they were not the Gryffon, but I did do one of them IN THE DARK. AAAAAAHHH! It's been so long since I was at an amusement park that I almost forgot how much fun they are--especially once night fell and people started jumping out at you from behind bushes.

And I've also volunteered to help sew fur onto the Santa suits that CW rents out...the CDC uses the profits for charitable giving, so it's all for a good cause. Right now though, I'm more tempted to join the beagle in a nap than I am to fire up the Singer...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fire at will

Loyal readers, I am so glad it's Friday. You have no idea. It's just been...a long week. I spent all day today working on my stays. They are coming along, but seven hours spent staring at anything is enough to drive you up the wall. Hopefully another couple of hours or so and they'll be ready for fitting...

The militia captain didn't even bother putting me on cannon today; instead I fell in with the boy's company--some of the fife & drum kids who are cleared to fire guns. I felt pretty dorky since I was a) the only woman and b) at least ten years older than anyone in the ranks. But we got the order to fire independently today, so for a few minutes I got to load and fire as quickly as I could. So. Much. Fun. And quite stress-relieving, even if I did have a couple of misfires. Nothing more disheartening than a quick "fssst" and no "bang!" Luckily my last shot cleared the musket...and I marched better than the guys in rank with me--keep in mind the fife & drummers start marching when they're about ten. Whoo.

I wanted to take a picture of my hand because it looked so cool covered in black powder, but I had to fish something out of Kizzy's mouth when I took him for a walk when I got home. I don't want to know what it was, but it necessitated lots of anti-bacterial handwashing. I can tell he's a little squirrelly tonight too. Well, he's been in his crate all day, fair play, but I'm exhausted. He's starting to bark more, which is worrying. Jumping, nipping, climbing on the furniture--okay, it's all annoying, but not a deal breaker. Barking on the other hand is verboten. Tomorrow we're going to go for a walk around the historical area. That's always a good time, especially when Shilling the magazine Cat intimidates him into running away.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rising to the Challenge

This week I've been working on muslin mockups of a new type of jacket. Basically it's a set of different sizes, in a cheap fabric so the cutter/fitter can figure out any problems before hacking into the expensive stuff. The first one took me eight hours to put together (plus lots of tears) but after four of them I'm down to about three and a half.

Then today my supervisor took my hand and gently told me that my next project was going to be a set of stays. Stays, of course, being the undergarment of choice in the eighteenth century--our stays come from a pattern that was taken from an original set in the Victoria and Albert Museum. (the wiseass in me questions the patriotism of wearing English stays in revolutionary America, but I digress.) Stays are hard. They are bloody hard. They are angles and straight lines and exact measurements and turning corners on a dime and they will drive you mad. I cried. Attempted to stab myself with my seam ripper. But in the end--the stays stayed, and I'll let you know how they turn out.

I told my supervisor that if this was her idea of getting my confidence up by challenging me, then I was perfectly happy being despondent that I couldn't so much as gather a sleeve, but she just laughed and told me she had every confidence I could do it. Great. That makes me feel MUCH better.

So I was happy to get away for militia--only when I arrived I learned the program has changed again, and it's cannon only on Wednesdays and Fridays from now on. It takes six people to fire a cannon properly, although you can do it with five. I've never been trained on the cannon however--not on handling the charge, lintstocking, worming, sponging, picking or priming. But with a wicked glint in his eye, my captain told me that handling the charge was "easy" and left the poor befuddled searjeant to explain it to me. It is easy--basically when I'm ordered to, I take a cartridge out of the case, shout "Coming about!" then walk over to the wormer and hand it to him so he can load the gun. Then when the gun fires I shout "Gun fired!" in case anyone missed it. But--as with all walk on roles--I missed a cue and neglected to shout "Gun fired!" at one point, prompting my searjeant to yell at me in a historically pleasing fashion.

It's a new program. Lots of kinks to work out. As in the real military, the captain was the only one with any clue what was going on--and even then I'm not entirely sure he was certain, although of course I'd never question a superior officer. We did get to fire the cannons "as on the battlefield" which means as quickly as you can reload, resulting in a nice barrage of smoke and noise. I can see how cannons are the preferred weapon of choice among the CW militia. I'm just waiting for New Year's Eve when we get to fire muskets as quickly as we can reload.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Return to blogland...

I want to update properly this weekend with pictures and highlights, but in the meantime I thought I'd put up what I wrote in my journal last night. In addition to blogging every day, I also write a journal, which I usually keep private. But I thought last night's post was particularly fine. Enjoy.

"I'll probably regret not journaling everyday, but it's nice to have a week with no writing, not blog or journal. Vacation was great. It was over too quickly, and I feel like I spent all week running from one relative to another, but I had a good time. It was wonderful to see everyone. Really, just...

See, the problem with not writing for a week I use generalisations, words I use when I'm describing it to a coworker or a casual acquaintance: 'It was great. Wonderful to see everyone.; How to describe the utter joy I felt bombing through the middle of Wisconsin--leaves fluttering through the air, the smell of drying corn and cow patties in the air--the utter happiness of moving through an area that is totally familiar and completely home? Of waking up in my childhood bed with the warm snugness of a weeklong Saturday, all my '2nd tier' books (the ones I won't give up, but can't take with me just yet) all the familiar spines just within reach? Falling back into my old lifestyle, reaching for beer and turning down familiar streets, my accent picking up the familiar elongation. So easy.

Before when I could come home, it felt alien, like I was a foreigner. But this time I felt overwhelmingly welcomed and loved. Maybe it's because I'm so happy where I am in Wmsbrg I transport some of that light. Maybe it's because I've outgrown the petty jealousies of youth. The love you give is the love returned, and thats all I felt the entire week there."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm back

--The wedding was beautiful, and it was lovely to catch up with everyone.

--Lily is a perfect specimen of gorgeous babyhood.

--I loved spending time with my family and I was really depressed when I had to come back.

--But right now...I'm going to bed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

happy dance

My flight leaves in nine hours!!! Whee! I can't believe I made it through this week without climbing the walls.

I am so excited to be going home. I need a bit of a vacation. Kizfiz is at doggy camp this week--I worried that he would miss me, but he shot through the gate with nary a backward glance. Thanks pooch. Love ya too.

Work is fine, everything is great, but it is going to be fabulous to not be doing anything for a couple days.

Except, ya know, playing with my niece. (also the furry ones)

And a wedding. Looking forward to that as well. I'm so excited I just spent an hour dying my hair, plucking my eyebrows, loofah-ing my backside and trying to remember how to put on foundation. Arg. Twentieth century beauty is complicated.

But! I am so happy and proud of Sarah and Travis, and happy to be a part of their big day. I can't wait to see everyone and celebrate with much dancing!!!

Dancing, dancing, dancing with the happy! Can't wait to see everyone and finally meet this "Lily" person who, I hear, is perfection incarnate.

Happy dance!

NLD is on vacation--see you when I get back!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Joining the Revolution

Broadsheet has a brief article about how the FDA has put a stop to false advertising by Bayer about their birth control pills, Yaz. Go read it, then come back here.

I thought this article was interesting and relevant, because for a long time I've resisted going on birth control. Basically, there is no need for me to. (let me repeat that for parental units and other interested parties: there is NO NEED for me too.) For years I've suffered through bad periods, with every symptom in the textbook, and I've always managed to get through somehow, usually with the help of Midol and beer. But the last cycle I had (cf: "My Friends, I am Dying") was so bad, so unimaginably horrible, that I decided I cannot go through that again. I am literally scared of my own body's pain. (Note to new mothers: feel free to share labor and pregnancy stories. I will be more than happy to reciprocate with a description of how I thought my heart was going to stop in my chest. Cheers.) So I'm going on the Pill. Yaz, actually, although I read the fine print that Bayer neglects to cover in their spiffy ads.

When I walked out of the pharmacy brandishing my brand new blister pack of pills, I did feel quite liberated, although not liberated enough to head down to the local pub and take my pick of the studly undergrads. Part of me feels sad though--I don't want to be one of those women who's on the pill for convenience's sake, and to clear up acne. This is serious medication, with a serious purpose, and I don't take it for granted. I'm damme lucky that I live in a place where I can get birth control for something as frivolous as cramps. But it also feels like a rite of passage--most of the women I know are on the Pill, encouraging me to join them as if it were another milestone in a woman's life. Not just the women I know, but all the women who've ever been on it, back and back, women taking charge of their reproductive abilities.

Me, I'm just hoping that whatever it is that is making me have horrible cramps and ridiculously long cycles (forty days plus, but that's probably due to stress and a new roommate) will be discovered and soon so I can go back to being au natural. I'd rather treat slight cramps with beer than throw the baby out with the bathwater (or not) and be on pills for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Playing dress up

Little secret: like a cross-dressing husband, I love to play dress up in secret, swanning about my room wearing frou-frou skirts and scarves and singing along with old Disney movies. Usually after a shower I'll throw on some of my favourite ensembles, which means I'm usually topped off with a towel.

Well, last night I had a real reason to dress up: I got my story cleared, so starting after I come back from vacation I'll be put on the schedule as a story teller. As I jokingly told the director, I guess this means I have to stop speaking discriminatingly against actors. Since I am one now. Each tour gets three stories: the storytellers are stationed at three different houses, and the tours move from house to house. The tour guides are charged with checking tickets and keeping the atmosphere spooky. The house attendants are tasked with warning the storyteller and making sure two groups don't interrupt each other. And the storytellers have the job of scaring the pants off the guests. I'm sincerely worried that I'll be the one scared out of my pants (petticoat), since all the houses that I'll be performing in are actually haunted. I've heard stories--firsthand stories--about mysterious footsteps, shades coming down the stairs and a baby crying. Which would be cool, considering my story, but probably confusing to the audience as I'm booking it out the door in terror: "hey, aren't WE supposed to be scared?"

My costume consists of a shift, stays, pocket, stockings, shoes, brocade jacket, petticoat and cap. With a wool under-petticoat and a cloak for when it gets cold out. Can't have non-period coats over period clothes. I tried on my clothes last night and couldn't quite get the jacket hooked closed. I brought them to work to have the designer look at my outfit. According to her, my stays weren't cinched tight enough. I managed to bleat "but Linda, I need to breathe!" and she just laughed sadistically and pulled harder. I can't really move my arms, but who needs to gesture anyway? Like Norma Desmond, I can say anything I want to with my eyes. "Help me!" comes to mind...

I will try to post a picture soon, but my computer is well and truly dead. Kizmet ate my computer charger, and then he ate my friend's computer charger, so now we're both SOL. Until then, I'm borrowing internet from my roommates...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

and I shall marry the miller's son...

I've been really busy this week. Working full time--my first jaunt into women's clothes did not turn out well, as I accidentally stitched a pair of sleeves sideways onto a shift--and then "rehearsing" in the evenings so I can get my story cleared. Preparing to come home: in addition to taking care of getting Kizzy boarded, there's all the wedding details to worry about. Pressies, haircut for me, stitching my dress back up where I took it in an inch and a half. Then helping out friends: babysitting again, helping Other Nicole move into her brand spankin' new fabulous townhouse. And when I get a few moments, cuddling with mah beagle. Who is in deep trouble for chewing up another computer cord. Arg.

I'm not super-stressed, just tired. Ready to go home for some pettings and some cheese curds, to be with the family. I miss having family around me.

We are encouraged, as young women, to picture our weddings, our husbands, our children, our houses, even if when they happen they aren't exactly what you had in mind. Still, I am constantly reassured "it will happen."

But maybe it won't. No, really, stop doing the reassuring hand gesture and the understanding half-smile. Seriously. Maybe I'll never get married. It happens all the time. Maybe I'll never have kids. Maybe that won't be a bad thing. Maybe I'll never own my own house--have you seen the housing crisis lately? Maybe I don't want to. Maybe I'll live in Williamsburg and become one of the crazy interpreters who's been here for so long they start looking like part of the furniture. And maybe I'll contradict myself in a year's time and marry the Prince of Wales.

In the meanwhile...I'm just really looking forward to going home.