Friday, February 22, 2013

Blogging is Scary

Not everyone in my life is aware of this blog.  It's not that I hide the fact that I'm a blogger, but sometimes I don't necessarily want everyone in my life to have quick access to my rants or beliefs or quirks.  I mean, I realize bloggy is available for anyone to read at any moment, but still, knowledge is power, right?

I find it somewhat uncomfortable to share the fact that I'm a blogger with some people.  I'm not ashamed or afraid or anything like that, but it is sort of weird to tell someone, "there's this place I go every night and write all about myself and little else, and people all over the world visit to read my thoughts."  How can I retain any sense of humility with that statement?

When I share the fact that I blog with new people, I often race back here and rethink the whole idea of blogging.  Was my latest post interesting?  Was it well written?  Did I sound intelligent and witty or rambling and incoherent?  Is this blog easy to navigate, inviting, or even slightly interesting to anyone but myself anymore?

Then, worse, I begin judging myself as I think others might.  For all of the confidence I've amassed as a blogger (writer of my own story) in the last eight years, I am always surprised at the speed with which I doubt my ability here.  I can do this.  I can write.  I need to tattoo that on some part of my brain.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Random Questions XVII

Before you read this, you should probably watch "Ew-in or Ew-out," as seen on Live with Kelly and Michael via YouTube.  Ewan McGregor's answers are fine enough, but I couldn't resist posting my own here.

Brussels sprouts:  I'm out.  However, I don't think I've ever actually eaten a brussels sprout, so I don't know if I'd hate them or like them.  Statistically, based on the fact that I pretty much don't like food in generally, I am going with not liking them.  On the other hand, I love kale and spinach, but I'm just not willing to risk a bad flavor right now to find out about the sprouts.

Karaoke:  I'm out.  I'll play the music, but never will I be seen with a mic in my hand attempting to sing.  And it's not even that I'm a bad vocalist: somebody told me I was terrible as a child, so now I'm against singing.

Peeing in the pool:  I'm out.  For the record, you should be too!

Re-gifting:  I'm in.  Why keep something I don't need if someone else could use it?

Manscaping:  I'm in.  Well, I am not a man, so I can't personally do any manscaping, but if I was a man, I'd totally manscape at least once.

Skinny dipping:  I'm in, conditionally.  I have nothing against being naked in water.  However, if I'm going to skinny dip, I want to know for sure that nobody else is watching.  So swimming naked, sure.  Putting my wobbly bits on display for someone to watch? Not so much.

Dancing at weddings:  I'm in. Well, as long as I have someone to dance with.  Solo? No.

Honey Boo Boo:  I'm OUT.

Plastic surgery:  I'm out, mostly.  For reconstruction or medically valid reasons, sure.  For "improving," no.

Roller coasters:  I'm out.  I used to be in, but then I learned they make me sick and sort of give me panic attacks and generally make me want to die.  I don't particularly enjoy that sensation.

Small dogs:  I'm... neither.  I don't really like dogs in general.  However, I'm no more opposed to small ones than I am to large ones when viewed from a healthy distance.  When they attack, small is preferable.  When they protect, larger might be better.

Kissing dogs on the mouth:  I'm OUT.

Baths:  I'm in.  Until the water gets cold about twenty seconds later.  Then I'm out.

Speedos:  I'm... out.  I like the brand well enough, but there's not enough fabric to cover all the parts I like to keep covered, so no speedos for me.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Putting Out the Other End of the Candle

The Man and I have made more of an effort lately to be less busy.  We've found ourselves sprinting home from work most nights to feed the cats, and then we run out again to do something until late at night.  In the last month, I think I've been able to go home, make dinner, and flop on the couch with nothing pressing me back up only once.

Earlier this week, The Man and I sat down and filed our taxes.  We look forward to it every year.  Crazy, probably, but we both enjoy the number crunching and seeing what our refund--if any--will be.  As usual, we owe the state.  Thankfully our federal refund is slightly more, so at least we aren't out much.  If it wasn't for our mortgage interest, we'd owe both.  Good thing we bought a house, eh?

Our little kittens are growing so fast.  They are now large enough to be considered livestock, and I have a mind to harness them up to plow our garden this summer (note sarcasm: I don't advocate cruelty to animals).  They are six months old this week, and I think they're close to six pounds as well.  I had no idea just how much I could fall in love with two kittens, and I know we're both thankful now to have pets.

It is starting to become light out earlier now as we move through the winter into spring.  I am not liking the light peeking through the curtains in the morning, and I think we're going to need thicker curtains to block the light as we get into summer.  I have to finish a quilt before I can free up my sewing machine to make the curtains, though, so it might be a few more weeks of earlier and earlier mornings.

Speaking of a quilt, I must keep pushing on.  I've pulled muscles, stuck fingers on pins, and ground my teeth to nubs making this quilt, but I'm so close.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Basted and Wasted

The king-sized quilt continues to take shape.  I reduced the quilt pieces from four to two on Friday, and then I spent yesterday ironing, preshrinking, and otherwise flattening the muslin backing and batting.  I laid out the quilt layers yesterday and trimmed them up a bit before whipping out my fancy new basting gun.  Rather than safety pinning the entire quilt, I thought I'd give the basting gun a try and see just how well it works.  Four hours later and nearly a thousand tacks later, I had my answer: awesome.  While my arms and hands hurt from hauling a ton of fabric and batting around and from squeezing the trigger on the basting gun, I couldn't be more pleased with the quick work.  The gun was much faster than pins and way faster than needle-and-thread basting.

But four hours spent on my hands and knees did nothing good to my shoulders and back.  I ached last night and had a hard time sleeping.  Today, my left shoulder has informed me that it is going on strike until better working conditions can be found.  My right hand joined in with the want for less trigger fingering and more remote control clicking.  Apparently my whole body got quite the working just from quilting.

And let me tell you, I broke a sweat three times yesterday just quilting.  Methinks I might be taking things a bit too seriously!

So after I get my needle swapped for a fresh one, the walking foot installed, and a few test bits sewn, I'm going all in on the actual quilting bit of this quilt.  Finally.

Here's to not messing it up now, to having the determination to finish the job, and to not injuring myself further in the process.