Thursday, December 27, 2012

Infinity Scarf

I can’t seem to help but buy fabric. Even though I know I don’t need it or even have a plan for it, I want it. The only plan I have is to use it…someday. I keep collecting fabric, which is a problem as I have little room for the fabric I have, let alone any new fabrics I might pick up. It’s just that there are so many pretty fabrics out there and I have a desire to use them, the only problem is I can’t seem to sew fast enough to use them all in a timely manner.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Flashback to 1990s TV Shows Notebooks

Every so often I’d catch a stray episode of The X-Files on some random TV channel and was reminded of how much I liked the series. Many years had passed since I’d really watched it and I decided it was time to watch it again from the beginning (as I’d forgotten pretty much everything about it). The show still makes me smile; I find the weird and creepy stories quite entertaining, and enjoy the government conspiracies with its many shadowy figures. And of course, I like Mulder and Scully (as individuals as well as working as a team)…they amuse me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Bad Buzz

I love coffee; it’s smooth and bitter and delicious. It’s my breakfast beverage of choice, and I look forward to that cup of coffee in the morning to wake me up. Rarely will I have a second cup of coffee in the day, but if I do it’s in the afternoon so my body has enough time to process that caffeine. Well, recently I had a cup of coffee after dinner and while it was a fine decision in the moment, I paid for it later that night when I couldn’t fall asleep.

Perhaps my body was confused and thought it was morning so it wanted to be up. It was quite frustrating because that caffeine wouldn’t let me sleep even though I was tired and I wanted to sleep. I tried multiple times to make myself relax. I tried reading. I tried counting to ten repeatedly. I tried thinking of nothing. And I repeated most of these fruitless relaxation attempts numerous times over at least a four-hour period and nothing really worked.

I guess eventually I sort of fell asleep but it wasn’t good sleep. It wasn’t refreshing sleep. And I still woke up about the same time as I normally do, so I didn’t sleep for that long either. Of course, once I woke up I had my cup of coffee because I knew I needed that caffeine buzz to stay awake during the day. [Sigh.] Caffeine: a great friend and a great enemy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Being Polite to Your Own Detriment

Sometimes it’s hard to say no when food is offered to you. You want to be polite, so you end up eating a little something extra that you hadn’t planned on. Recently I ate (and quickly regretted) a slice of sheet cake; this slice of birthday cake was just placed in front of me so I felt obligated to eat it (even though I’m not a fan of sheet cake). And while I removed most of the half inch thick slab of frosting, there still managed to be enough sugar within the cake and filling itself to give me a sugar headache. I felt light headed and tired and miserable; I paid the price for my inability to say “no thank you”.

We’re currently in one of the most dangerous food times of the year: the holiday season. We’re constantly surrounded by food; everyone just seems to want to feed you because food brings happiness to people. So there’s always an array of cookies, chocolates, toffees, caramels, candies and every other kind of bad for you sweet treat imaginable at family gatherings, holiday parties, at work or gifted to you to “enjoy”. [Pause.] It’s a lot of sugar.

I admit sometimes I can’t resist and will readily accept the offer of a tasty treat. I try not to go overboard but some of it is just so good that I’ll eat more than I should. I may hit my sugar limit and stop, or sometimes I may exceed that limit. I tend to exceed that limit more often if someone made something themselves, because it seems especially rude to decline that homemade treat (as though you think they’re a terrible cook), so you have to at least try it. Sometimes it’s just easier to accept what’s given to you, even though it’d be better for you if you just politely declined.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hold Up

Being stuck in traffic sucks. No one likes it. My annoyance quickly builds when I’m driving and traffic suddenly starts to slow down (sometimes to a stopping point); when this happens, I’ll crane my head to see what the hold up is because I find it especially irritating if I can’t tell why there’s heavy traffic. If I see there’s a traffic accident, then I know there’s a valid reason for the slow traffic and I can be a bit more patient. However, sometimes there’s no apparent reason. It’s just congestion and there’s just too many cars and not enough road for everyone to share. And while both of these situations annoy me greatly, one thing annoys me even more: people being inconsiderate and causing traffic to back up.

Not long ago I was driving during rush hour on fairly busy roads, and I finally got passed a particularly busy intersection, but then quickly had to stop because the cars in front of me had stopped. I strained to see what the hold up was and I found the perpetrator: a car had decided to stop in the middle of the road to let out a passenger. The area in question may have been a low speed zone, but that didn’t mean going zero speed was appropriate.

This whole situation irritated me greatly because that stopped car could have easily gone around the corner (a mere ten feet away) and let their passenger off without blocking any traffic. It was just so inconsiderate. I was mad for the people behind me, waiting at the green light to move passed the intersection and onto the road that they weren’t able to get onto.

I mean how hard is it to realize that you’re inconveniencing everyone else? A little common sense, that’s all you need. It only takes a bit of self-awareness to know that traffic is heavy and maybe I should move my car out of the way of these other cars. [Pause.] But apparently common sense isn’t a quality that everyone has. [Sigh.]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY: Paper Fringe Napkin Ring

I’ve used toilet paper rolls for napkin rings before in my Fabric Napkin Ring, but this time I decided to cover the toilet paper roll with paper. The toilet paper roll adds extra stability to the paper napkin ring so doesn’t feel quite so flimsy. I chose metallic paper to add some sparkle and a sense of festiveness, and used fringe to create a nice decorative detail.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DIY: Flower Banner Card

I thought a simple flower card could be a nice all-purpose card, which depending on the message you wish to give could be easily be used for thank you, congratulations, thinking of you, happy birthday, for you, etc.

For an added pop of interest, I decided to create a banner that is glued to the card and creates some depth and a bit of fun.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sharing Size

I once had dinner in Japan, where at the end of the meal the hostess brought out a single Cinnabon roll to be split between us. She cut the cinnamon roll into five pieces and everyone got a slice. I thought it was a bit funny at the time, not only having a breakfast pastry for dessert, but that it was presented in a cake-like fashion (and I had never thought of a cinnamon roll as a cake before).

Part of the reason I was surprised by this dividing of the Cinnabon, was the fact that I generally think of a cinnamon roll as being one serving. They sell them individually, and thus it’s easy to think of one cinnamon roll as one serving. Yet Cinnabons are huge, and I for one doubt that I could ever eat an entire one in one sitting. So taking a step back, dividing the Cinnabon up makes perfect sense because you’re eating a portion size that’s not large enough to overwhelm you.

It’s so easy in the U.S. to get large portions and end up eating the entire plate of food placed in front of you. On my smart days I may get a smaller portion size or take the leftovers home with me. On my not so smart days I’ll consume it all (as though it’s some sort of accomplishment to have cleaned my plate)—but I know I’m bound to regret this poor decision later as my stomach grows more and more uncomfortably full. It’s grossly apparent when you’ve eaten too much when it becomes an effort to eat and you no longer enjoy the food you’re eating. And yet sometimes I still forget about what a serving size should be and eat too much; it continues to be a lesson that I have to relearn on a regular basis because it just doesn’t quite want to stick. [Sigh.]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

End Before It’s Too Late

Sometimes one of the few TV shows I actually love comes to a point where it feels like they’re prolonging the inevitable end. American TV shows tend to strive for many seasons—which can be good and bad. With multiple seasons, characters can develop and stories can deepen, but it also means that a good series can last too long and start to decline, and you know things are going down when they add The Interloper.

Perhaps after a few seasons the ratings have dipped, so the writers or the higher ups decide they need to add someone new to “spice things up” and so The Interloper appears. A common Interloper is a relative—like a whiny child or teenager or a cranky elder. And while The Interloper can take many other forms as well (e.g. friend, co-worker, adversary, etc.), one thing is clear: they’re not welcome.

The Interloper is often one (if not all) of the following: stupid, annoying, inept, immature and just plain unlikable. They bring everyone and everything down around them. Every time The Interloper comes on the screen you just want to sigh in disapproval at the dumb things that come to pass because of The Interloper. And you keep hoping that The Interloper will just die (or at the very least move away), but for whatever reason The Interloper just won’t go away. [Sigh.]

The Interloper puts a stain on an otherwise great series and often becomes a marker between the “good seasons” and the “bad seasons”. Instead of having that unwanted distinction, a good series should just end before Interlopers appear and ruin everything. Let a good show end on a high note rather than a low one by ending things in a timely fashion. All good things must come to an end...unless you wait so long that it’s not even good any more.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Trumps Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving, but don’t you think you ought be getting ready for Christmas? Although Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays in the U.S., it’s nothing in comparison to the mammoth that is Christmas. Because an entire month of Christmas shopping just isn’t enough—apparently you ought to be chomping at the bit to be shopping for Christmas presents…today.

Black Friday used to start around 6 a.m. Friday, and then it got pushed back to 4 a.m., and then it got pushed back to midnight. And now, there’s no more Friday to push back on—so why not start on Thursday at 8 p.m.? Because how long does it take to eat Thanksgiving dinner? A few hours, and then what? Spend more time with family and friends? Try to cram another slice of pumpkin pie into your already bloated stomach? Go to sleep early because your family has exhausted you? Why do any of these things when you can shop?

Sure, you’re stuffed and sleepy, but perhaps after a power nap you can awake and find your way to stores to spend, spend, spend. Because why wait for tomorrow when you can shop today? And in your swollen and sluggish state you’re sure to be surrounded by shoppers in equally terrific moods, and while lethargic from the food coma you’re all in, that will in no way impact the wonderful purchasing decisions you’re all sure to make.

Can you sense how ridiculous I think shifting Black Friday to Thursday is? It’s bad enough that Black Friday exists; does it really need to infringe upon Thursday? I say no, it doesn’t. Once Thursday ends, the following three days is a hellish shopping nightmare—let Thursday remain to be the calm before the storm. Let Thursday just be Thanksgiving. [Pause.] Or perhaps it’s just easier to give Thursday up and let it transform into Black Thursday and just move Thanksgiving to Wednesday. That would solve everything…until they started pushing Black Thursday onto Black Wednesday.