Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little update

Today was a sunny, not too hot, warm breezy day. It was really nice. I spent a lot of it asleep though! Then I went to work- I got a job as a busser in a nice little restaurant down the street from me!- but I got let out early because it was so slow. The tulips had opened (they hadn't yesterday) on the main street of my little town and there were some interesting streaky varieties. I like tulips when sun is shining through them and they look like they are glowing. There were also fringey poofy daffodils and some small hyacinths. At work a woman talked to me about fiddlehead ferns (we serve them! you can eat them!) and New Zealand. I miss it a lot now that the weather is nice (although NZ is moving into wintertime there). It'll be two years now since I left for the enzed.
dear roommate is in the UK and it's kind of nice because I cleaned the fridge without worrying so much about her stuff, and her junk in the living room is going into a pile behind the loveseat. It does smell pretty gross since she didn't arrange for anyone to scoop the litterboxes, though Dan might in a few days. It's like occasionally living with two furry dirty diapers. I am put off cat ownership for at least several years.

Today I learned one of my Cambodian friend's father died when he was hit by a New Year motorcade. I do miss my family a bit when it comes to the New Year season (Thai/Lao/Khmer close together) and going to temple. I did get invited to an Easter dinner so that's nice. We'll see. And I'm looking forward to all that Easter candy going on sale!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I was discussing karma with a friend of mine, Tola,  on twitter. She was complaining about how when you're stuck in traffic, then when you see the cause of the traffic it's pretty minor. I said that once, we had been inching along when we got closer to the light and saw that a girl had basically broken down at the red light. And at LEAST ten cars had passed this girl before we could even see her, and it seemed like NO ONE had gotten out to help her! It wasn't rush hour, it wasn't a highway- just a medium sized road on the edge of a medium-small town, in a residential area. We pulled over on the intersecting road and the boys got out to offer her help to push her car out of the way. Tola said that was nice and she tries to help people because she knows it might soon be her that will need the help. I remarked on building good karma, but then- could it be bad karma to EXPECT something good to happen to you in return?
There's nothing really wrong with only doing good deeds hoping that you will get a return. I'd rather that happened than no one did good things, went out of their way to make someone else's day a little brighter or a little easier, because they couldn't see how it would help them.
Just a few thought today. I'm still searching for my camera's card reader that may or may not have some unfortunate parts in Cambodia so I am scarce on the recent pictures.

Recent good things:
- Got to see my old boss, Jay, and drop off some forms for recommendations!
-Was out and about walking in the sunshine
- I ran into Jon, Jenn's boyfriend, on the way to Arcadia and texted Jenn to tell her. Jenn texted me to tell me she was in the first row of computers at the library... I leaned around my monitor and she is sitting across from me.. haha!
- Got to hang out with Matt and measure him for the vest I decided I would make him. For practice- I'm even going to draft the pattern (possibly on the back of some paper bags or some gift wrap paper, although I don't actually have any gift wrap paper). He's good to sew for because he has a broad and occasionally humorous fashion sense, he can appreciate handmade, and he's skinny!
- I went into the little local yarn and quilting shop and found Gutermann thread for a cheaper price than I had seen online (I have since found it even cheaper but there's something about supporting your small local businesses) and talked to some of the staff for a bit. I also scored a yard and a quarter of a lovely Valori Wells for Free Spirit Fabric! In the dollar bin, so I only paid 1.25! It was a small and perfect indulgence for me. Also, I didn't see much of that kind of designer fabric on the bolt in the store- mostly batiks and a few random solids and dressmaking fabrics. I've been using a lot of re-purposed and crummy-to-begin-with fabric lately so it's nice to have a bit of higher-quality stuff to handle. Pictures as soon as I figure out my camera...
- A restaurant down the street from me may still be hiring, so I'll walk there tomorrow- I called today, but by the time I was done making and eating dinner I was tired and looked kinda gross.
- The rock climbing club I used to head has been doing well and should have an outdoor climb soon, possibly end of this month! I was invited to go, and may be useful as a belayer.
- I kept forgetting things for my classes/recs but then I kept not needing them. It was a strange day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My bookshelf (and paint)

Rachel Griffith of the blog "p.s. i quilt" was hosting a giveaway and she asked, "what color would you paint YOUR living room" as she is currently painting hers a calm grey. That got me thinking about paint.
I live in an apartment and we're probably allowed to paint the walls. Actually, I believe Dan told me we were allowed to paint the walls.. but he wasn't sure on wallpaper. Not that I can afford to wallpaper anything right now. I did order some wallpaper samples from Anthropologie, mostly for fun...

But the reasons I couldn't really think of a wall paint color for this apartment are we're looking to move out in the near future, that redecorating is a superfluous task not in my budget, but most of all because they are already painted! The bathroom is white, and I think my flatmate's bedroom is yellow, but our (my boyfriend and I) have a yellow bedroom, the living room is a more saturated yellow, and the kitchen is light green! Not a pale, retiring green either. Just a green that isn't dark or medium. This apartment HAS color. And I'd keep it, because why not? The bathroom is white, but it's small, and it needs so much more work than just a coat of paint. If we were to move into another apartment though, I think I'd paint the bathroom a soft bright blue, like in my old house. I want to try a pink wall someday.. I'm not sure I'd ever feel it was quite right. And I really want to paint a bright crisp vertical stripe inside of a closet. Like the lining on a coat! :)

I still have a small can of red and a small can of white from when I was painting my bookshelf.  I used to live in an apartment building that had the trash rooms all in the same area on each floor and an elevator that could stop at each, and went out to a loading dock. People moving out would leave their furniture in the basement sometimes, but sometimes they'd just leave it right in the hall. I thought that was pretty unfair to the maintenance people who now have to haul your junk out for you. You could at least take the manageable stuff out to the loading dock. Also it sometimes blocked everyone's access to the recycling bin and trash chute. But maybe they were in a rush- a few weeks after we moved in someone left a large chest of drawers in the hallway, with no drawers. My roommate then, Matt, figured maybe they didn't have time to take stuff out of it, but just dumped all the drawers into a cart or something. It's too bad because we really would have used that piece of furniture. Anyways we did score a weird chair that I recovered the spotty, stained striped silk on- but I've yet to finish the trim that's supposed to cover the staples- and I scored this junky, old, but perfectly sized, bookcase:
As you can see, not the best stain job.
 I didn't do the best paint job on it either, but it looked so much better. I didn't really sand it. Spray paint would have been right for this job (and cheap!) but I wasn't about to get spray all over our balcony, and I wasn't sure where else to go.

So much nicer!

I laid out the cardboard boxes I had kept from IKEA delivering furniture and my mattress, and painted very carefully. It became a really great fabric shelf! I used latex paint and that's not always the best for lots of heavy books- it dries soft compared to oil.
Unfortunately I don't really have anywhere to put the bookcase in the this apartment (despite our very large bedroom) and so it remains in Matt's apartment. I don't know what it's being used for, but whenever I want it back it's mine :)
One of the main benefits of this little project was meeting some of the people who work in my (former!) town, the guy at the hardware store and the guys at the paint shop. That's how I learned about latex paint! I was going to see if they had any reject buckets of paint, but no real luck there. I chose red because I had an IKEA LACK table that was bright red, and I wanted color in my tiny bland room. It wasn't all that tiny, just really bland. The desk/sewing table was IKEA and black and white. I chose white for the inside because I didn't want the fabric to look weird next to such a strong color- I thought a red interior would cast strong shadows.

Now my fabric lives in boxes :(  But it's working okay. I can't get to my Quilt (it's my first big quilt, and it's big) anyways unless I really want to make a mess in the room, and I still managed to make a pretty good little cozy for my slow cooker this weekend out of saved scraps (mostly from the Quilt) and t-shirts. The t-shirts were major hand-me-downs destined for Goodwill, and now I'm kicking myself for not taking more pictures of the process. A brother of one of Dan's friends gave Dan a lot of clothes because he was moving. Dan didn't even want all of those clothes so the nag leftover were rejected rejects. Out of those, I've set some aside that I think I'll be refashioning into shirts for myself (or practice 'muslins' for projects) but the ones I cut up this weekend weren't even in that category. And honestly, they probably wouldn't even sell well at Goodwill! One was one of those 5K shirts with the sponsors on the back, and one was a shirt that probably got washed with something new and red and it turned into this unsightly weak pink color. Those became the liners and padding.
But pictures of that (and why I would even need to cover a slow cooker) in another post!


Friday, April 1, 2011

I do miss the food.

A picture of a Canadian lobster we had in a restaurant in a mall in Thailand. It actually didn't have a lot of meat on it/ in it, which may have been why it was such a good deal!
Dan wanted to know if I had plans this weekend, if I want to go out and do something.. He even offered dinner or a movie! Isn't that sweet? But I still don't have a job and so I feel kind of bad or frivolous. But if he wants to do something, then of course I won't stop him from taking me out! haha!
And I have been stuck in the house so much after all. It's also been really rainy this week. Dan was moved to second shift so he's been home in the morning, which is pretty cool. But next week, back to third. And, it meant he didn't get a free Friday!
I got my first two apps out- LaSalle and USP. The online portions, anyways. Now I just have to print out forms for my recommenders and my resume to send in to the schools. I plan to do that Monday, although I emailed them all and Michelle is out of town until the 10th and two haven't responded. I think I will be all right though!