See, this is what happens when two nerds get married and have little boys.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lest any of you were tempted to think that sewing is glamorous...

I'm in the middle of making a shirt from the bodice of the Ceylon dress from Colette Patterns (go look!  Isn't it awesome?).  I also just finished taking a fitting class from Craftsy, along with a bunch of other sewists from Seattle-ish, which has been great fun.

I figured since I took the class, I should apply what I learned and fit the bodice properly for once.  I made a muslin (a practice copy) with NO alterations and tried that puppy on, and what do you know?  Some of the alterations I typically make would have made this worse.  The waist line and bust points were exactly where they should have been.  But, and this is a very big but, this shirt is a button-down, and it wouldn't close.  BOO.  Enter hack-and-slash:  cut it apart where it doesn't fit and pin in extra fabric till it does.  Behold!

Now, this looks like a horrible (Wonder Woman-y) mess, and it is, but it's a horrible Wonder Womany mess that FITS.  Yay!  On to real fabric later this week.  Suggestions?  I still haven't decided what to make this out of...

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Politics! Shocking!

I rarely post about politics anymore.  Too frustrating.  But someone one Facebook (hi Ms. Behner!) asked, so I answered... and answered... and answered, to the tune of about 800 words.  So I'm putting it here, 'cause darn it, I worked hard! Ms. Behner (a committed Obama-voter, and one of my best teachers ever-- she's awesome) asked me what it was that President Obama had done that I didn't like.

I think the President has made a mess of our foreign policy.  It seems as if he's gone out of his way to offend half of our major allies (I'm sure he hasn't actually tried to, but it sure does look like it sometimes).  He dithered over the Green Revolution in Iran until it was far too late.  Diplomacy with Iraq is going nowhere.  Russia, far from being reset, is growing more aggressive, repressive (rhyming unintentional!) and anti-American by the day.  Libya was worth intervening in (and it seemed to me that much of what was done was illegal), but Syria is not?  There's reams of FP stuff I could get into, but I don't feel like digging up the links.
I think his choice of Sonia Sotomayor for SC Justice was poor.  I have no problem with Elena Kagan (I would have preferred someone who was more of a strict constructionist, but being Pres has its perks),  In fact, I think his stating decision process for picking Justices is poor.  Empathy should not be a deciding factor.  If the law and constitutionality are decided by empathy, then soon the rule of law will cease to mean anything.
Which leads me to immigration.  I feel worlds of empathy for some illegal immigrants, and especially their children.  It drives me bonkers when Dems (AND John McCain AND GWB AND The Wall Street Journal) state that conservatives are heartless/racist for opposing illegal immigration.  I'm not.  I come from a line of people who were refugees many times over.  I feel terrible for a lot of people who are here illegally... but at the end of the day, illegal still has to be illegal, or the word doesn't mean anything.  The rule of law is shivered to bits the instant we decide that it applies only to people who aren't favored constituents, or people who are sympathetic.  Take the GM shareholders, for instance.  They were owed money, by contract and law, before the union members were.  Yet the Administration skipped right over them, paying the union members first and shafting the shareholders.  Yes, the union members were far more sympathetic looking than the shareholders.  Yes, the union members were probably much worse off financially than were the shareholders.  But those are not good enough reasons to shuck off the constraints of the law.  There are few good reasons for any governmental entity to sidestep the law, and even fewer for any of the three main branches of the federal government, if for no other reason (and there are plenty of other reasons) than precedent.
Precedent being another thing, per the drone war.  I don't have a ton to say about that, other than a) it just feels wrong, and b) what happens when Iran/Syria/al Qaeda/North Korea/Cuba get their hands on drones and decide to start executing Americans?  What can we say to that, other than it was right when I did it, but wrong when you did?  (I'm open to that argument in a lot of cases, BTW, but that's hardly going to fly at, say, the UN.)
This chart ( ) shows another beef of mine with out me having to type out a mini-AP essay, so I'll just stick that there...
The next thing is a bit more ephemeral.  I think the President has drunk too much of his own Kool-Aid.  I know that running for President, let alone *being* President, requires an abnormally large ego.  But President Obama's seems almost monumental.  I remember  him saying "This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" in his acceptance speech at the DNC Convention last time 'round.  Surrounded by Greek columns that made it look like a scene straight out of the original Clash of the Titans' Olympus set.  Why would he do that?  Why would he say that people (regular people!) who disagree with him are "bitterly clinging to guns and religion"?  1.  Those are two things which the Bill of Rights guarantees your right to cling to, and 2. What an arrogant thing to say!
He has also failed to work with a Republican-run Congress.  Heck, he had a hard time working with a Democrat-run Congress!  I know that they don't agree on any number of things, but his job and their job is to suck it up and work together.  I won't say that the Republicans have been good about it.  But neither has he, walking out on negotiations, getting concessions and then demanding more or he'll walk out again... politics has been nothing but Kabuki theater for the past two years, and he should share the blame for that.
Phew... I think I'm done!  Hopefully it would have earned me an A, even if you don't agree :)

Thursday, August 09, 2012


So.  I've decided that I'm sick of trying to use things that other people make that don't fit.  I'm a big girl-- and dresses for girls over 5'6" are hard to come by.  So far, I've made two dresses, both of which fit beautifully, if I do say so myself.  Next project:  fingerless gloves.  I've already begged Mrs. Brooke, who is my bestie (not counting James :) ), to make me a pair, which she has graciously agreed to.  One pair, however, ain't gonna cut.  I only have so many knitting friends, they only have so much time (and time for me, no less!), and my fingers do not seem to like the feel of knitting.  One day, I'm hopeful that they'll get over their hang-up, but it is not this day.  So I started poking round the interwebs and found some cute little sewn gloves.  So I'll clone them.  And I borrowed one of those knitting looms from a woman in my Ward (thanks Marcia!) to make my self a couple cowls and hats with (who knew that tall girls have tall heads?).  And I'll make myself a few warm dresses.  I'm so done being cold-- especially as it has medical consequences.  This winter will find me prepared-- and I'll have done it myself.  There's something immensely satisfying about that, even in... whatever the opposite of retrospect is.  Forespect?

Monday, April 16, 2012

For the Men

So, everybody's been going over (and over and over) the whole Rosen/Romney dust-up. And I'm not going to, other than to say that being a stay home Mom is a whole lotta work. Other people, men and women, have said that a lot more eloquently and forcefully than I can. That's not what this post is for. This post is for the men that make stay home mommism possible.
 This is one of my favorite pictures of James. This is more or less what he'd like to be doing every day, along with composing music, writing children's video games, improving his already considerable cooking skills, learning more about carpentry, and just enjoying his family. But those aren't the things he does every day.

 He gets up early (for a night owl, anyway)and goes to work at Amazon. There, he writes software that's awesome, but not as much fun as children's video games would be. He eats a lunch that's good, but not as good as it would have been if he could have made it. He listens to music that's not his while he's wracking his brains trying to figure out why "X" piece of code isn't working. He sits at a desk that is literally a door on blocks, instead of at the beautiful table we made together. And he earns enough money to make sure that I can stay home. He comes home exhausted from sheer mental effort. He comes home just in time to make sure he can eat with the boys and enjoy their company for a while (which, in case your experience with five-and-two-year-old boys is out of date, is also a form of work) before they have to go to bed, because he misses them. And then, with the little time he has left, he tries to decompress enough to sleep. So he can get up and do it all the next morning. Oh, and somewhere in there, he squeezes in a workout.

 It's not fair. Yes, I do a lot of work around here, and he does a lot of work in Seattle, but... I'm not shot at the end of the day-- but he is, because he does this for us. I had time to do something that I wanted to today, just for me-- because he does this for us. I have time to work out in the middle of the day, because we pay for a membership at the Y-- because he does this for us. I have a beautiful home-- because he does this for us. I have an incredible life, because he does this for us.

 It's so easy to run down men. You can hear everything from "Oppressive patriarchy!" to "Lazy" to "If he'd just do dishes" in an afternoon. Sometimes from the same person! But men aren't what they're painted as. Generally speaking, they're not monsters, or jerks, or eternal teenage boys. They're wonderful people who get up and take care of their families as best they can. They're people who sacrifice their free time and hobbies and money and dreams because they've found something worth that sacrifice and are brave enough to see it through. Men are incredible.

Especially you, James. Love you:)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What Denise is doing this week

So, "What Denise is reading" kinda went out the window when we moved. Not that I haven't been reading... you guys get it, don't you? Anyway, I'm not reading anything new this week, but I am working on a couple projects, so I thought I'd put those here instead. 1. This. I am SOOOO sick of not being able to find dresses that fit someone who's 5'10" and in reasonably good shape. So I'm gonna learn to make 'em, dang it. 2. House re-org. I love our house, but it doesn't work quite the way I want it to yet. 3. We tore out all the old landscaping-- it was old and overgrown and a lot of it was mostly dead. So new things are going in. Blueberries go in tomorrow, I'll start hardening off the heuchera, hostas go in as soon as it stops dumping rain at every opportunity. The rest will wait for Uncle Kevin's birthday so I can beg advice :) 4. Calorie counting. I HATE calorie counting. But if I don't... well, I don't want to go back there. And I want to be strong. SO-- no more two packs of pop-tarts for me:)

Monday, February 27, 2012


I have a sinus infection and two ear infections. That is all. OH, except that James is on his way to get me Golden Noodles from the Thai place down the street. AND orange soda. How awesome is he? Really really awesome:)