The Art of Self-Proclaimed Solitude Takes a Break

Mishmash of other blogs, ideas, quotes, pictures, and anything that catches my general fancy...


Ask, I won't say no, how could i?  
Reblogged from build-a-diy
build-a-diy:

8-foot giant squid pillow.
You’ll need:
2 yards of felt
1 yard of patterned fabric (I suggest a polka dot-type pattern so it looks like suction cups)
1 medium piece of black felt, 1 medium piece of white felt (for the eyes)
white thread, black thread and thread of the same color as the felt you’re using
pins
about 5 lbs. of stuffing
a couple big sheets of paper to draw your pattern
You can find many of these things down at the many places on Fabric Row, on 4th Street between Bainbridge and Catherine. Pearl, at 417 South Street, sometimes has stuffing if you can’t find any.
First, you need to draw out your patterns. Here’s a basic template to get you started, although most of the measurements are reasonably fudgeable. If in the likely event you don’t have any four-foot-long pieces of paper lying around, just tape a few pieces together.

Once you’ve drawn out your eight patterns, it’s time to cut the fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric, laid flat, and cut out the following, leaving a half an inch or so of extra fabric around the edge of the pattern:
FOR THE ARMS: 8 felt and 8 fabric cutouts of piece 1
FOR THE, UH, LONGER ARMS: 2 felt and 2 fabric cutouts of piece 2
FOR THE BODY: 2 felt cutouts of piece 3
FOR THE FIN: 4 felt cutouts of piece 4
FOR THE HEAD: 1 felt cutouts of piece 6
FOR THE EYES: 2 white felt cutouts of piece 7 and 2 black felt cutouts of piece 8
So now you’ve got all your pieces ready, it’s time to start sewing them together. I did mine by hand because my sewing machine is busted and I get a kind of Zen buzz from sewing by hand, but if you have a non-busted one I recommend that you use it as it will be MUCH EASIER. You’re going to be sewing everything with the nice side of the fabric facing in, then turning it inside out to stuff it.
THE ARMS: Pin together one patterned fabric piece 1 and one felt piece 1 (with the nice sides facing the inside). Sew down around the U-shape and back up, leaving the top open. Then turn the arm inside out, stuff it (it’s easiest to do both of these things if you sort of scrunch it up like you’re trying to put on a pair of tights, excuse the non-dude-friendly reference) and sew the top closed. Do the same for the other seven arms and rejoice in the fact that this is the most tedious part. Same deal with the two long arms, they’re just harder to stuff.
THE FINS: Pin together two of your piece 4s and sew together the curvy outer edge. Turn the piece inside out, so the seam you just sewed is on the inside, and start sewing up the other side, stuffing gradually as you go along. You should end up with a triangle-ish puffy thing. Repeat for the other two piece 4s.

THE BODY: Put down one piece 3, then place the two fins you have down with the point up and the curvy side pointing in, then make a sandwich by putting the other piece 3 down on top. Pin it all together and sew around the edges with the two fins still inside, as shown. Turn it inside out and move on to…

THE HEAD: So take piece 6 and the ten arms you’ve already done. Lay the arms, fabric side facing you, out with the arms’ top seams in a line half an inch from the top of piece 6. The order should be arm arm arm arm BIG ARM arm arm arm arm BIG ARM. The legs should be almost entirely covering piece 6. Pin them in place and sew a straight line through the individual legs seams to attach the legs to piece 6.
When you pick up the other side of piece 6, you now have something resembling a really weird untied hula skirt. Sew together the two 9-inch ends of piece 6 with the fabric side of the arms on the outside, and keep it inside out for the moment.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Fit the open end of the body through the arms (still fabric side facing out) and pull the edge all the way through the felt cylinder so it’s even with the edge that DOESN’T have arms attached to it. Sew around the diameters of the head cylinder and the body cylinder to attach them, then pull the legs down over the head and you’re almost done!
Stuff the body, then seal it off by sewing piece 5 over the open end (even if you do have a functional sewing machine, you’ll probably have to do this part by hand).
THE EYES: Sew the black circles on the white circles and whipstitch the eyes onto the head. You do this last because you can’t tell where they’re going to end up on the end product if you put them on before stuffing the body.

build-a-diy:

8-foot giant squid pillow.

You’ll need:

  • 2 yards of felt
  • 1 yard of patterned fabric (I suggest a polka dot-type pattern so it looks like suction cups)
  • 1 medium piece of black felt, 1 medium piece of white felt (for the eyes)
  • white thread, black thread and thread of the same color as the felt you’re using
  • pins
  • about 5 lbs. of stuffing
  • a couple big sheets of paper to draw your pattern

You can find many of these things down at the many places on Fabric Row, on 4th Street between Bainbridge and Catherine. Pearl, at 417 South Street, sometimes has stuffing if you can’t find any.

First, you need to draw out your patterns. Here’s a basic template to get you started, although most of the measurements are reasonably fudgeable. If in the likely event you don’t have any four-foot-long pieces of paper lying around, just tape a few pieces together.

These aren't to scale.

Once you’ve drawn out your eight patterns, it’s time to cut the fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric, laid flat, and cut out the following, leaving a half an inch or so of extra fabric around the edge of the pattern:

FOR THE ARMS: 8 felt and 8 fabric cutouts of piece 1

FOR THE, UH, LONGER ARMS: 2 felt and 2 fabric cutouts of piece 2

FOR THE BODY: 2 felt cutouts of piece 3

FOR THE FIN: 4 felt cutouts of piece 4

FOR THE HEAD: 1 felt cutouts of piece 6

FOR THE EYES: 2 white felt cutouts of piece 7 and 2 black felt cutouts of piece 8

So now you’ve got all your pieces ready, it’s time to start sewing them together. I did mine by hand because my sewing machine is busted and I get a kind of Zen buzz from sewing by hand, but if you have a non-busted one I recommend that you use it as it will be MUCH EASIER. You’re going to be sewing everything with the nice side of the fabric facing in, then turning it inside out to stuff it.

THE ARMS: Pin together one patterned fabric piece 1 and one felt piece 1 (with the nice sides facing the inside). Sew down around the U-shape and back up, leaving the top open. Then turn the arm inside out, stuff it (it’s easiest to do both of these things if you sort of scrunch it up like you’re trying to put on a pair of tights, excuse the non-dude-friendly reference) and sew the top closed. Do the same for the other seven arms and rejoice in the fact that this is the most tedious part. Same deal with the two long arms, they’re just harder to stuff.

THE FINS: Pin together two of your piece 4s and sew together the curvy outer edge. Turn the piece inside out, so the seam you just sewed is on the inside, and start sewing up the other side, stuffing gradually as you go along. You should end up with a triangle-ish puffy thing. Repeat for the other two piece 4s.

THE BODY: Put down one piece 3, then place the two fins you have down with the point up and the curvy side pointing in, then make a sandwich by putting the other piece 3 down on top. Pin it all together and sew around the edges with the two fins still inside, as shown. Turn it inside out and move on to…

THE HEAD: So take piece 6 and the ten arms you’ve already done. Lay the arms, fabric side facing you, out with the arms’ top seams in a line half an inch from the top of piece 6. The order should be arm arm arm arm BIG ARM arm arm arm arm BIG ARM. The legs should be almost entirely covering piece 6. Pin them in place and sew a straight line through the individual legs seams to attach the legs to piece 6.

When you pick up the other side of piece 6, you now have something resembling a really weird untied hula skirt. Sew together the two 9-inch ends of piece 6 with the fabric side of the arms on the outside, and keep it inside out for the moment.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Fit the open end of the body through the arms (still fabric side facing out) and pull the edge all the way through the felt cylinder so it’s even with the edge that DOESN’T have arms attached to it. Sew around the diameters of the head cylinder and the body cylinder to attach them, then pull the legs down over the head and you’re almost done!

Stuff the body, then seal it off by sewing piece 5 over the open end (even if you do have a functional sewing machine, you’ll probably have to do this part by hand).

THE EYES: Sew the black circles on the white circles and whipstitch the eyes onto the head. You do this last because you can’t tell where they’re going to end up on the end product if you put them on before stuffing the body.

Half, no, more like 2/3s vegan.

It started like any shitty fad diet. I’ve been battling my weight for as long as I can remember, and now my body has decided to throw some fairly serious health issues into the mix.

I’ve watched my family members change themselves through a controversial series of injections. I dont want to inject myself with something questionable, i dont feel like it is my path, plus i feel like it could do some serious damage on my already destroyed body. My close friends have taken up running habits. But I’m being left in the dust. When i run-do anything too strenuous, it absolutely knocks me on my ass for days. I cant walk, i am in excruciating pain. I started counting calories last year after a doctor told me that was the way to go, and it only made my obsessive compulsive tendencies go over the top, and made me starve myself more often than not.

My brother went full vegetarian recently, and I harassed him, but after standing back and really thinking about it, I knew that some of my most serious issues with food lay in processed foods and meats and an over abundance of dairy. I knew I couldn’t go full vegetarian though, I don’t have that kind of will power. I would just do well for a month and then fall off the wagon and overcompensate- consume everything in my path. I don’t want to wage war on carbs or glutens and I think some fats and sugars are necessary, I don’t even want to save the world. My carbon footprint is a moot issue, and frankly I think cows are delicious.

Then, after a little research into alternative eating lifestyles I came across Mark Bittman’s book: Vegan Before Six. What a breath of fresh air. A chef who loved food who simply wants to get healthier, but has the same qualms with weight loss that I do. After reading this book I realized for the first time that you can make your daily diet whatever you see fit.

There is no cheating because you have a  noun- diet, you don’t -verb diet. So I gave it a try. I eat whatever for dinner. Sometimes, I eat cream cheese, ice cream, steak- everything terrible, and it’s fine because, before dinner I am a strict vegan.

Since starting this, I’ve had some weight loss- 12 pounds so far, a clear rise in healthfulness-i have had very little problems with my sciatica or fibromyalgia, and am no longer taking vicodin or muscle relaxers,  my skin is better, and I crave less terrible things at night.

I wanted to blog about this to share some staple food items for anyone considering this change, and some tips.

1. You’re going to have to be slightly more proactive. Do your dishes, take your trash out, and sit down- take a break from pinterest and make a shopping list each week. PLAN YOUR MEALS. And bite the bullet and grocery shop. If you don’t, you will backslide into old habits.

2. You don’t have to eat quinoa every day. Or those off tasting fake meat items.

3. Make a bento box. Make your food appealing.

4. There are a million vegan recipes online, try something new, but not all at once otherwise you will end up with a $300 grocery bill at whole foods.

Here’s some things that have worked amazingly well for me:

-Bananas. Always have them.
-Chia seeds. They go in everything, smoothies, muffins, oatmeal.
-Oatmeal is your best friend, you can make it sweet or savory, add fruit, add nuts, applesauce, juice!
-Juice… constant juice.
-Frozen fruit.
-Canned pumpkin for Fall… you know why. Because pumpkin, we all do it
-Almond milk
- Hummus, you can even make your own
- Nuts, they help fight meat cravings.
-Spinach, just grab a handful. in fact veggies are delicious raw, eat some broccoli, sugar peas, carrots.
-Tomatoes… not a veg so its here.
-Amy’s vegan meals and soups. Make sure you find the ones without cheese. These are great when you have the fuckits.
-Dark chocolate- yes it’s vegan, and it stimulates your digestion system and gives you feelings of euphoria. Go ahead.

And remember: there is no cheating. Craving a cheeseburger? Get one before the craving gets out of control. Take the weekend off for the bacon festival, just go back to it tomorrow. Food is delicious- never feel deprived.

"The Applicant

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,
Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit -

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of that?
Naked as paper to start

But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk, talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
You have an eye, it’s an image.
My boy, it’s your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.”

-Sylvia Plath

For some reason, when I flopped myself out of bed this morning, this poem crept from the recesses of my early adulthood (twenties,) reminding me of the weird lessons I’ve taken in over these 30 years. 

It was spinning, taking over “now your head, excuse me, is empty… now your head, excuse me, is empty… now your head, excuse me, is empty…”

And now my head, is, instead… quite full.

Reblogged from gabifresh
gabifresh:

Win any GabiFresh x swimsuitsforall bathing suit (along with a bunch of other awesome shit) in the giveaway on my blog, gabifresh.com ! It’s short lived so check it out soon. Reblogging this counts as an extra entry but you must keep this caption and leave a comment on the original post!

gabifresh:

Win any GabiFresh x swimsuitsforall bathing suit (along with a bunch of other awesome shit) in the giveaway on my blog, gabifresh.com ! It’s short lived so check it out soon. Reblogging this counts as an extra entry but you must keep this caption and leave a comment on the original post!

Sandwiches.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/30/170694962/middle-aged-breadwinners-become-part-of-the-sandwich-generation?guid=1359745276741#commentBlock

I love how most of the comments collected on this page are from people who are absolutely not affected by the above information, and want to place blame on one party or the other. Why are we in this situation? It’s not because of a cowboy or an election. It is because nobody is willing to take responsibility for their fellow human.

I’ve been part of two worlds, I grew up poor, and have worked long hours since I was fifteen. I eventually moved up the corporate ladder to make a comfortable living for myself. Now I’m unemployed, and dependent on those in my life that I’ve helped over the years. I’m in my twenties, and have elected not to have children because I think it’s financially irresponsible to foist more humans on this over-saturated market, and under-saturated humanity.

I’ve let people live off of me, and I’ve lived off others. You have to know how to give and receive help to survive in this economy, and if all of you think you’re only giving, think back to a time when you took.

I’m tired of hearing these self-important rambles about how Obama is destroying this country or about how the wealthy are “holding up” those that will not work hard. It’s all bullshit. I am calling you all on your bullshit. Pull your humanity together and work to be a better person in your community, YOUR taxes aren’t paying for anybody else. We all pay them. If you haven’t ventured into your community to make someone else’s life better, you haven’t done anything for your fellow human.

This economy is bad because we have ALL made it bad. We are all making the wrong choices. We are all working our fingers to the bone. We are all over-tired. There’s nothing setting you apart from anyone else. You are not better than someone without a computer, without a home. If you have the means to help, help. If you don’t, then learn to ask for help. But don’t come on some public forum complaining about the complex issues of this country without at least making an effort to improve it personally.

Reblogged from caissiesthing

Thieves and Liars Rule Your TV

Glee has stolen the arrangement and backing track from Jonathan Coulton’s cover of ‘Baby Got Back’. This is not an accusation, it is a fact. Listen to the two side-by-side. It’s pretty obvious.

Now beyond the fact that this is intensely wrong, there’s a larger spectrum and moral quandary that chills me. This corporation is dictating the morals for an entire generation of young folks. And they think stealing is okay as long as it’s for entertainment value. 

And now, their followers think this as well.

They don’t see the harm in this. It’s free advertising for the artist right?

No, he’s never been credited, and is not being paid for his work. They didn’t even ask permission, he had to find out from fans who found a leaked video on youtube.

So the fans called out Fox. And they still haven’t addressed us.

The sad thing is, if they had done this correctly, they would’ve boosted their fan base, and his. All this caused was the very type of turmoil they think makes good entertainment. 

The creators of Glee are stuck forever in high school, and it’s they type that doesn’t send you home for plagiarism.

http://kotaku.com/5978894/watch-the-glee-cast-perform-the-arrangement-they-ripped-off-from-jonathan-coulton#

The Man, the god.

Just a little post from my lit. class.

We have been tasked to choose a hero from the Watchmen graphic novel, and then defend their heroism, this will grow into a full paper, but this is sort of a pre-write activity. I liked it, so I wanted to share.

"God help us all" Edward Blake mutters (on page 15 of chapter II of the graphic novel: Watchmen- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.) And this utterance leads the reader into a very specific three panel story-line. The comedian has just compared Dr. Manhattan’s ability to intervene to be god-like, and when he says "god help us all" it’s a statement with two simultaneous meanings, a throw-back expression  with roots in a repressive religion as well as a plea to a more human almighty. Dr. Manhattan stands over the body of the gunned-down mother of Blake’s illegitimate child pondering, but changing nothing, in the following panel he poses the same way over the coffin of Blake, two instants in time intertwined ineffably by the recollective power of Dr. Manhattan, our omniscient god-being. In this third panel, there’s the overlay of a preacher’s funerary sermon: "…for as much as it hath pleased almighty god of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of a dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground…" And it is the most apt bit of sermon for this moment because Dr. Manhattan, who Blake calls out as having no mercy, has unending mercy in his rational endeavors despite his knowledge of time, and what will be and what is. He stands perplexed, and almost pleased. Dr. Manhattan was human, and because he is unstuck in time does not mean he is disconnected from his own humanity. It merely means he sees the good in a greater design when simpler or emotion-based characters might despair over the bondage of the human condition in a society with a perceived maximum wickedness or depravity. When discussing the idea of a hero, the Jesus-complex is hard to ignore, and there is nothing more Jesus-like than this large blue man ignoring the pain he must endure to drift through the universe’s plan for him.

Reblogged from montereybayaquarium

montereybayaquarium:

Midnight Rambler

It was 3 a.m. on June 25, and Security Officer Clara Nilsen was making her regular rounds of the Aquarium’s ground-floor exhibits. Suddenly, she spied what looked like a banana peel on the floor, in front of our Shale Reef lookdown exhibit.

“That’s odd,” she thought to herself. “Our custodial staff is usually so thorough!”

Closer examination revealed that the “banana peel” was actually a live, healthy, fist-sized red octopus (Octopus rubescens) in the midst of a midnight ramble. But where had it come from? A little Cephalopod CSI provided the answer: There was an octopus-sized wet mark on the railing in front of the Shale Reef exhibit, and an eight-foot  “slime trail” leading across the floor. Mystery solved!

Clara, an experienced diver and underwater enthusiast, quickly picked up the escape artist and placed it in the water, where it “inked,” then disappeared under a rock.

Red Octopus Road Trip

But here’s where the story gets really interesting. As it turns out, the red octopus isn’t normally part of the Shale Reef exhibit, which is open on top so that visitors can look down onto an array of colorful invertebrates with the help of large, floating magnifiers.

Our husbandry staff believes the octopus hitchhiked into the Aquarium as a tiny, fingernail-size juvenile, attached to a rock or sponge. Once inside the exhibit, the reclusive, nocturnal octopus hid among the rocks, growing to its current size undetected. Based on the octopus’s size, our aquarists think it has been there—presiding over its own, secret octopus’s garden—for close to a year!

“We’d noticed that there weren’t as many crabs coming out at feeding time in that exhibit,” said Senior Aquarist Barbara Utter. “Now we realize that’s where they’d all been going—into the octopus’s tummy!”

What’s just as amazing is that none of our visitors, poring over the exhibit through the magnifiers eight hours a day, saw it either.

The clever stowaway is now behind the scenes, being readied for display in a Splash Zone exhibit. This time, you can bet that the intelligent, agile animal will be kept in an enclosed space—and closely watched!

Reblogged from bindersfullofwomen
bindersfullofwomen:

Oppa Binder Style!

bindersfullofwomen:

Oppa Binder Style!