auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
I spent the better part of today figuring out how to be a Princess In A Castle, and with an hour and forty-five minutes to spare, I'm finished. I've built myself a sandwich placard castle, complete with portcullis and functioning drawbridge. I made a medieval princess hat (the tall, conical kind with gauzy stuff coming out the top) that sort of stays on my head - oh, I still need to put an elastic strap on that, so not quite done - and I've decided on an outfit. Shift from Calvieri girl outfit, bodice and skirt from Five, and combat boots (a castle needs a strong foundation). I'll be sure to get pics of the whole outfit tonight, but in the meantime, here's Mal storming the castle.

To complete the proper look, I (almost certainly ill-advisedly) took a scissors to my bangs in order to trim them down to reasonable length. I then proceeded to mousse and spray my hair down so tight not even a hurricane would budge it. Which means it should be good for another ten minutes or so. Now I just need to figure out make-up and I'll be all set.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
I got a lot of housework done yesterday and today I spent the entire day working on the mock-up of the ganger coveralls. I am a slow worker, but I have most of the top done. All it lacks is sleeves, some sort of interface or lining for the collar, and the bits that go across the shoulders at the corners. And a zipper, which the mock-up will never get. I want to get the top done this week so I can start on the bottom next weekend.

I had some dvds playing to keep me company while I worked.

Trial of a Time Lord )

Burn Notice: Season Four )

Oh, and it was a banner weekend for Zoe. After being so cute yesterday morning with her toy, she has since chewed through the wires on my headphones, tried to eat my pins and sewing needles, and chewed through the usb cable for my camera (thank goodness my newly repaired laptop has a card reader). And now she is curled up on the sofa, sleeping the sleep of the innocent and adorable. Mal contented himself with pouncing on the sewing patterns and is also sleeping the sleep of the innocent and adorable.

And because I can't see my cats being adorable without taking their pictures, here are the pictures.

auntiemeesh: (mal and zoe)
Zoe is utterly and ridiculously in love with her little remnant of bias tape. She drags it around all day long and begs me to play with her constantly. I often wake up in the morning to find it on my bed, waiting for me. It's just too bad that from a human perspective it's such a boring toy. I can only maintain interest in waving two feet of bias tape through the air for a very short period of time before I start wishing she'd entertain herself with it. But it's the first time in two years that she's found a toy she truly loves and can't destroy, so I'm pretty happy about it anyway.

Mal's favorite toy these days is a ball of aluminum foil. Which he destroys within a few days. But I also wake up to find that sitting on my pillow some mornings, lol. It makes me wonder how they manage to entertain themselves when I'm not home.
auntiemeesh: (What?)
Round One: Mal 0, Meesh 1

About 8:30 (two hours after his after school snack) Mal started getting very yowly and started biting at my arm. I ignored him for a few minutes, then when he started getting even more snippy, off to the box he went. He was pretty pissed but settled down very quickly and when I opened to door after a couple minutes, he just stayed where he was.

A few minutes later, he started up again, but when I didn't seem impressed, he wandered off to sulk. Finally ended up getting all sweet and purry with me before settling down for a little nap. When I finally did decide to feed them, around ten, he took his own sweet time heading into the kitchen, lol. He's a smart boy, my Mal.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
After taking a few days off from eating, Mal was pretty desperate for food this morning, so I got up a little early to feed the kids. Afterwards, I went back to bed and let myself have a slow, snoozy morning. All three cats joined me at one point, which I only realized when Maggie got up and left. But I just happened to have a camera on hand, so I got some photographic evidence of Mal and Zoe being adorable. Note: the angles are a bit awkward, as I was still in bed trying not to disrupt them before I got the pics.

Cats looking cute behind the cut )
auntiemeesh: (Default)
It's been quite a week, and not one I'm sorry to see end.

Maggie is finally starting to sound and act better. Up through yesterday she looked pretty miserable and I actually asked her owner to take her to the vet. The owner made her an appointment through the Humane Society, but it's a two week wait so it's a good thing Maggie finally started mending on her own. Honestly, if she hadn't stopped sneezing the way she was by today, I would have gone ahead and taken her to my vet and just footed the extra bill. I was really worried.

To keep with the theme of worrisome cats, Mal decided this week that he didn't want the dry food I've been feeding him for the last three years. He barely ate for two days and this morning I finally broke down and opened my last can of wet food to tempt him. He chowed down so fast I'm surprised he didn't regurgitate it all immediately. He did eat the dry stuff perfectly normally this evening, however. I noticed last night that he was nosing at his full bowl, went to the other cats' bowls, nosed their food and then wandered away, confused. Maybe his nose was still a little stuffed and he couldn't smell the dry stuff. The wet stuff certainly has a much stronger odor than the dry stuff.

For myself, to cap off a week of sleepless nights, I woke up with a headache today. I finally beat it midafternoon, but it's left me feeling every bit as exhausted as the sleepless nights did. Bleh!

On the brighter side, all the cats seem to be feeling better today and the headache is gone. It is Friday, the weekend should be a bit warmer than the past few days, and I remembered to get stuff done at work by the deadline, for a change. We had an unannounced visit by our state licensing rep today, and our room got through with shining colors. Luckily for me, all we had to do during this visit was know how many children we had and what their names were. Even the names part was a little bit of a challenge for my poor head this morning, lol.
auntiemeesh: (dream-wtf)
So many dreams last night.

Dream 1) Babysitting at some random person's house. Very cool house, playing in all sorts of weird attic and basement spaces, having a party. But then I had a headache and the mom of the house directed me to a big bag of pill containers, saying there was Tylenol in there somewhere. After rooting through the bag for a while, all I could find was little plastic vials of unlabeled liquids. Yikes!

Woke up from that dream very crampy and in need of advil. Luckily, it was much easier to find than the drugs in the dream. I was awake for a long time after that, though, waiting for the advil to eventually kick in.

Dream 2) I had to take Tookie to the vet (in dreams, I usually still have Tookie, not Mal or Zoe) and I was driving this old VW Beetle. No trouble getting there or parking, but coming back out afterwards with Tooks - not in a cage for some reason, just loose in my arms and squirming like crazy - I realized I had parked at the far edge of the parking lot. When I got to the car, it was unlocked and someone was messing about at it. They weren't trying to steal it or anything, they just wanted to see something. So I got Tooks into the back seat and got ready to go. For some reason I was driving from the right seat even though there were also controls and a steering wheel on the left. And as is typical of my driving dreams, I was only just barely in control of the car. I was never really able to make the car stop completely, even when I had the breaks jammed flat to the floor (this is standard Meesh car dream stuff), I was narrowly avoiding collisions with people and other cars and then driving a little too fast and recklessly once I got on the road. My view of the road was more than a little bit obstructed, as well, by big lumpy things on this side of the dashboard. And then I came to the crest of a hill, with yellow caution lights warning everyone to slow down. As I went over the crest, I saw two things. One, it was a very long way down to the bottom of the hill. Two, despite other cars managing somehow to drive on the road, it's angle of decline was well over 90 vertical degrees and there was no way to stop myself at this point from simply tumbling off into the void. And as that tumble started, I gratefully awoke.

Dream 3) This one was equally vivid when I woke up but has become a little less distinct since then. But it was, in some ways, sort of like a Harry Potter world, although not at all like HP. There were two groups of people living side-by-side, but only one group knew of the other. That group may have had magic or something, although it certainly wasn't wand-waving, spell-chanting. I was more or less a non-magic person who'd been welcomed to the magic side by one particular family. And we had a variety of adventures, none of which actually involved anything even remotely like magic. But there was skiing, and a helicopter, and a group of the magic people who were vastly offended and felt threatened by my presence. It was fun, but I'm having a hard time describing it properly.

I got very little sleep after waking up for advil at four, just enough to cram those dreams into. And oh lucky me, today is picture day. Somehow, I almost always end up looking pretty rough on picture day. Maybe I'll just pull myself out of the group picture this year.

Did I mention that the cats have all been taking turns with a sneeze-o-rific cold the past few weeks? Zoe and Mal both had a few days of sneezes. Zoe gets sneezy all the time and it barely bothered her. Mal almost never sneezes and it freaked him out, poor boy. And now Maggie the loaner cat has it. And boy, she's not messing around. She's got the biggest sneezes you could imagine coming out of a little cat body, and then she huffs and snorts for a while, and rubs at her nose like she just inhaled pepper. She's not at all happy with this. Today is day three for her, and that's about how long it lasted for the others so I'm hoping she starts feeling better soon.

Hockey tonight. Go Pens!
auntiemeesh: (Default)
I was taking pictures of Zoe this morning and Mal, perhaps feeling left out, decided to strike a pose.

That's my Riverside Chaucer he's sitting on there, clearly contemplating his next literary move. Not only handsome but smart is my kitty.

But wait! There's more! )
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Such a sucker for my kitties am I. After thirteen months of Mal and Zoe keeping a careful distance, I turned on my little desk lamp in my very dark living room and spied this:

They were so very casual about it, too, like they sleep back to back all the time and couldn't understand what all the fuss was when I went running for the camera. *hearts adorable cats*

New Cat

Aug. 15th, 2010 11:51 am
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Well, that went about as poorly as I should have expected. New Cat arrived without a carry case, so I had to carry her through the house into the bathroom in my arms. Hoo boy! I have never seen Mal so utterly pissed off and furious. He was ready to fight and since he couldn't get into the bathroom to fight her, he was perfectly willing to have a go with me. Luckily, it didn't come to that, but he is not even a little bit pleased with me or the situation right now.

I'm not entirely sure what Zoe's reaction was to the whole thing, since she's sort of just been keeping her head down. She came into the kitchen to sniff at the litter box and eat a little food, but otherwise I haven't really seen her.

New Cat is safely tucked away in the bathroom. She'd really like to come out and explore but that won't be happening for a good long while. I'm not letting her show her face until Mal and Zoe are both feeling much, much more comfortable about the situation.

New Cat is a very pretty girl and I'm told she's very sweet and gentle, so hopefully she'll make a happy addition to the household once we all get over this OMG!Invasion anxiety.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Sewing weekend with [ profile] eve11 went really well! No internet for the whole weekend while I sewed. Thirteen or fourteen hours of dedicated work got me through the bodice and sleeves, which are all finished and attached. My fingers are, once again, sore. Even with the thimble, I still managed to make myself bleed several times (only once on the fabric, and then only a tiny bit, on the lining, phew!)

Eve's kitties are a little older than mine and much more relaxed around sewing projects. They both wanted to snooze on the fabrics and instructions, but neither of them really wanted to play with the fabric and instructions. I got home, spread things out, and Mal immediately started attacking the fabric. And then Zoe wanted to play hide and seek under the bunched up skirt pieces I was working on.

It was a high calorie weekend. I really need to stop at the store on the way home from work tomorrow and buy salad stuffs, because I ate a ton of deliciously fatty foods this week, ending with take out gnocchi (almost drowning in olive oil, yum) and part of a chocolate brownie. So delicious, but so not part of my diet. My dress will fit if I stay the same weight, or continue to lose. If I regain any weight, it's not going to work so well. So, tomorrow I'm back to salads and very light meals.

And now, I'm exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open and see no reason to try. I'm off to beddy-bye now, in the hopes of actually sleeping for a change.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
After six and a half or seven hours of work, I have the outer gown pieces cut out of the fabric. This does not include the underskirt, lining or interface, but it's something. Being the procrastinator that I am, I didn't get started until well after 2 pm, despite getting up at 7 am because I wanted to get an early start.

I had eight yards of 54" fabric for the outer gown. There is nowhere in my apartment that is even remotely capable of holding that much fabric spread out. Even doubled up to cut two layers, I had little bits of it spread out at a time, with the rest bunched up at one end. And there was just enough room at the sides and other end for me to creep around the edges and balance on my toes while pinning and cutting. I expect my thighs to be a little sore tomorrow.

I had to make my own sleeve pattern, combining the sleeve of the shift with the shoulder of the gown, since the gown pattern came with some sort of ridiculously overdone oversleeve/undersleeve frippery that was way too fancy for what I wanted. And since I did the bodice side in 14 and the bodice front and back in 10, it's going to take some more adjusting before it actually fits the shoulder strap of the bodice (depending on how much too big it is, I might just do a little gather at the top and make the shoulder slightly puffed), but it will look a lot better than the alternative.

I think Mal doesn't actually like it when I start working on these sorts of projects. He and Zoe spent a good part of the afternoon trading off the bathroom and the carrier box, and when he was finally freed (after I'd cut everything out, but before I'd transfered markings and put all the pins away) he settled down on the skirt (right on top of the pins) and growled everytime I came anywhere close to touching it. Poor guy, back to the bathroom with him, until I had everything finished and put away. It's going to be a long month for him and me both if he can't accept this activity. Zoe took her turn being a nuisance, too, but with her it's more 'oh, hey, fun, what are we doing now?' as she settles herself on the pattern/fabric/pins/etc. And then she cries so plaintively when she's locked up. Much harder to ignore than Mal's pissy growls.

This is definitely my least favorite part of doing a sewing project. I start liking things again once all the fabric is cut out and I can start putting it all together. Then it gets fun!
auntiemeesh: (white mountains)
I'm home! It was a great vacation but I'm glad to be back in my own little apartment, with my two little kitties.

[ profile] lyda_pearl met me at the Boston airport and we drove up through New Hampshire Saturday evening, getting to her place shortly after 10pm. Sunday we took a woodsy dog walk to Mascot Pond.

Come for a woodsy walk with me )

After resting up from our walk, we went to dinner at a local pub/restaurant called Saalt. Great atmosphere and great food. We went for another walk afterwards and the sky was just so beautiful!

I didn't have my camera with me on Monday, but we went for another walk in the woods, a little quieter this time, and mostly just took it easy. It was less cloudy but super windy. A great day for sitting on the porch and reading a book.

Tuesday was full of clear blue skies. We didn't walk quite as much (only four miles instead of eight), but we took a boat ride. LP is a part time boat captain for the Heritage Park this summer, so she gets to give river tours.

A lot more pictures this way )
auntiemeesh: (tookie)
[ profile] shirebound suggested a Snoozepet weekend and I have snoozy pets galore. First comes Mal, slumped in exhausted abandon, probably after a good destructo day.

Then Zoe, on her first weekend with me, making herself at home on the sofa that is still her favorite place to sleep.

Next, because I was back in the vaults anyway, a picture of my dear Tookie. This was nine months before she died, and already looking so gaunt, poor baby. I have a better Sleeping Tookie picture somewhere, but it's hard copy, not digital.

And finally, Mal's general attitude towards me sneaking up on him with a camera when he's trying to nap. I got this one just a couple weeks ago, when he and Zoe were both sleeping on the sofa, in synchronized lounging positions. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera to hand, only my phone and the pics came out blurry. By the time I'd found the camera, they'd shifted and Mal was not pleased.


Jun. 21st, 2010 10:47 pm
auntiemeesh: (taking over the world)
Oh, the things you see while waiting for a bus.

Last month, I got up way early too catch a bus downtown to take the train to Harrisburg for [ profile] poppy_queen's baby shower. While waiting for the bus at 6am, I noticed an advertisement for one of the local newspapers. The smaller of the two local newspapers, with a strong focus on Pittsburgh sports and news, very little national or international coverage, as far as I can tell without actually ever reading it. This advert was proudly proclaiming that its circulation was up, while the bigger newspaper's circulation was down. Accompanying this claim was a stack of newspapers, as seen below.

It's not a great picture, I took it with my phone at 6am, but you can probably see clearly enough that the newspapers shown are in, what, German? So the newspaper publisher is either proudly proclaiming that it's German readership is up, or really proud of it's sales in Germany. *shrugs*

Then, this past weekend, I happened to be waiting for a bus in Oakland. There was some work going on down in the sewer lines under the street, and so there was a truck and some guys hanging out on the street.

Here, take a closer look:

Yep, it's a rubber hand, covered in (one would assume) fake blood, hanging from a utility belt on the side of the truck. I love my city. I really do

And since I'm already posting photos, I think I'll throw up a few more that I've taken recently. )
auntiemeesh: (weeMal)
My sewing machine is on the way! It is right now sitting in a routing facility in Lewisberry, PA. The Fed Ex site gives an optimistic June 16 as the delivery date. Since it will probably have to go to the Fed Ex distribution place in Pgh before getting reloaded on a different truck and being actually delivered to me, I sort of doubt it will be on my porch when I get home tomorrow, but you never know. I'm just crossing my fingers that it gets here by the weekend. I'd love to have a little time to play around with it and some scrap fabric so I can learn it's idiosyncracies before diving into a major project like this dress is going to be.

I also got an email from Jo-Ann Fabric that my muslin and the other things for the shift have been put in the mail. Well, actually, Fed Ex was notified but doesn't seem to have picked them up yet. So they will probably not get here at least until the weekend or next week at the earliest.

In less fun news, boy does Mal disapprove of the diet I've got him on. He's turning into a very cranky boy indeed, and I'm learning just how sharp his teeth are. But I think he's losing a little weight, and he's starting to act a little friskier, so I guess there is good mixed in there. He's definitely not starving, but he's hungry and he doesn't like it. Poor boy, I feel bad for him but I won't let him be a fat cat any longer. And if he bites me one more time, he's going into solitary confinement. (I miss that adorable little guy with the big ears in my icon. They grow up too fast!)

To misquote Arthur Dent, I never did get the hang of Tuesdays. But Tuesday is just about done, now. Bring on Wednesday!
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Luckily, I'm not in school anymore and don't have any homework lying around, because if I did, Zoe would certainly eat it. The girl's gone paper crazy! She uses those sharp little teeth of hers to rip up everything in sight. When I get dvds from Netflix, I have to hide the envelopes if I want them to be in one piece when I'm ready to send them back. Good thing she's so adorable, or I'd have to send her back.

Mal had me worried yesterday evening. He puked up a hairball but didn't feel any better afterwards, wouldn't eat, etc. Finally puked up a little more, and had a small piece of salad dressing packaging in it (the individual serving packet that you get with pre-packaged salads). Poor guy, he loves to lick and chew the package after I've used the dressing but he's never swallowed any of the plastic before. I'll have to be more careful with the packaging from now on.

I can't believe it's June already. Summer is here, ready or not. I always find myself wishing for just a little more of that lovely spring weather, and looking ahead to fall. It seems unfair to hate summer so much, when it was the highlight of the year for my entire childhood. No school! Let's go outside and play, play, play! Spend all afternoon at the local swimming pool, riding bikes, climbing hills. I don't remember ever minding the humidity or the heat as a kid. Now I go outside and wilt. All the strength and energy drains out of my body and all I want to do is turn around and go back inside. Or at the very least sit down somewhere and be a very passive observer of the world around me. Unfortunately, when one spends one's day supervising highly active and disaster prone one-year-olds (good grief, we've got such babies this summer) passive is not a word in one's vocabulary. Yeah, provider of happy memories or not, I hate summer. September can roll around any time it likes.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Poor Zoe, she's been sneezing almost non-stop since yesterday. I called the vet to double check that she's okay but since she's not goopy or congested or anything, it's probably just allergies. There's also a little bit of a smoke smell in the kitchen still, which may be aggravating it. Mal, on the other hand, is completely unaffected by it all.

I had to go to a Carnival committee meeting this morning, which there was absolutely no need for me to be at, but oh well, it got my morning started with at least a semblance of productivity. I carried on with that by stopping in Oakland to register for tomorrow morning's Race For The Cure event and then walking into Squirrel Hill to eat lunch and deposit some checks at the bank. I probably got close to three miles of walking in, so that has to be good. It's a cool and cloudy, wild and windy day, just perfect for being outside. It's going to be quite chilly but at least partly sunny for the race tomorrow morning.

And now, I really do need to do some minimal cleaning. It can be put off no longer. *sigh*
auntiemeesh: (coffee)
Note to self: when making oatmeal in the microwave, please remember to put the water in.

I do believe it's time to start looking for a new microwave. I got my current one second hand a few years ago and it already had a big, burned out spot on one side of the interior walls then. It's ticked along well enough since then, but this seems to have put it over the edge, with billowing clouds of smoke pouring out of said burned out spot. It was definitely NOT the oatmeal that was smoking.

I learned, to no great surprise, that Mal is afraid of the noisy smoke detector when it is going off. He sat in the living room, staring at me as I tried to swat the smoke away with no success, crying every bit as loudly as the thing was shrilling. On the plus side, I now know that the battery in my smoke detector is still good, despite being something like 2 years old. On the minus side, everything in my apartment smells like smoke. Now I just have to hope I can put the blasted thing back together when I get home from work. Why don't smoke detectors come with off buttons?

In other news, there was a hockey game yesterday. Final score was Penguins 2, Montreal 0. That's right, folks. Marc-Andre Fleury earned himself a shut-out. Only his second one all year, and his first playoff shutout since May '08. It was a fun (read: nail-biting and crazy-making), dueling goalies sort of game. It all came down to a question of who was going to crack first and in this instance the answer wasn't Fleury. I love Fleury, a lot, but he's had a pretty mediocre season, so it was really nice to see him making the big saves and standing tall in net.

It's going to be a long day. I managed something like four hours of semi-decent sleep before my arm started screaming at me (no great surprise there, either, since yesterday was not exactly Be Kind to Injured Arms Day). Advil did pretty much nothing, so the second four hours involved lots of tossing and turning and 'will this be a comfy position? Why, no, it won't.' I finally gave up on sleep altogether about an hour and a half before I usually get up, which may at least partially explain the brain fart that allowed me to explode my microwave. *sigh* And we're having a room party at work, which means I won't get home until late.

This room party, incidentally, is the Year End, Grandparents and Special Friends Picnic and Cinco de Mayo extravaganza. All the families signed up to bring chips and dip (apparently no one could think of anything else even vaguely appropriate - unimaginative, lazy group). There's going to be a lot of dip and not much else at this party.

In the meantime, I'm going to be happy that my coffee brewed perfectly fine, and go help myself to a second cup of liquid life support.
auntiemeesh: (fifth doctor)
It is cold and rainy today. Which is better than colder and snowy, I suppose. Mal and Zoe both seem to enjoy sitting in the window watching the rain and I'm warm and snug inside, so things could be significantly worse.

Buffalo and Boston played their second game of round one this afternoon, and being a little bit bored, I watched most of the game from the perspective of the NBC ISO cam focused on Zdeno Chara. Kind of a weird way to watch a game, since the camera follows one player the whole time he's on the ice, whether he's anywhere near the puck or not. There's no play by play, instant replay or anything fancy like that, just whichever player their focusing on and the sounds of the game. Next game I watch like this, I'm going to try to watch with a radio broadcast and see how well it syncs up. If it works well enough, I might watch tomorrow's Penguins game this way. At least I'd be able to see a little bit of the action that way. eta: Of course, the whole NBC thing should have tipped me off but didn't because apparently I didn't have my thinking head on yesterday. NBC ISO cam is only when there's a game actually airing on NBC, which a) isn't going to happen for the Pens this round, and b) it would make more sense to just watch the game on NBC when it does happen. Oh well, so much for that work around. *laughs at self*

Today is officially Doctor Who Saturday. I watched Enlightenment (Fifth Doctor) which was a bit silly but fun. Think sea-going vessels from down the centuries, transplanted into outer space, engaged in an America Cup like race around the Solar System. And then add a little more bizarreness because it's Doctor Who.

Next up was The King's Demons, another Fifth Doctor adventure, set in thirteenth century England, in which the Master once again tries to take over the universe by mucking about in England. I liked the Chameleon quite a bit, and there were knights and a boy who looked a lot like Bradley James, and the Doctor engaged in swordfighting.

I found Tegan very annoying in both episodes. She's very shrill, whines a lot, dislikes everyone and everything and yet refuses to just go home when the Doctor offers to drop her off. I think she's my least favorite companion to date (keeping in mind that I'm only familiar with the companions of Four and Five, and the current ones).

And then, because I still had lots of time on my hands and today's episode isn't available yet, I watched the Confidentials for eps one and two of this season.

Did I mention that Mal rousted me out of bed at 7:30 this morning, despite it being Saturday and my day to sleep in? Yeah, it's already been a long day and it's only 4:30.


auntiemeesh: (Default)

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