A little sewing help?

OK, guys—well, girls, probably. I don’t sew, but I’d like to. I have a project to complete. My plan is to attend Ohayocon in January all decked out in a homemade Totoro cosplay outfit.

This could take some explanation.

Totoro = wonderfully cute creation by Hayao Miyazaki, featured in his film Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro). One of my favoritest movies. If you’ll recall, I did some sketches of some totoros back in November.

Cosplay = where otaku (psycho crazy anime / Japanese pop-culture fans) dress up as their favorite character at a convention.

Ohayocon = the only anime convention I’ve been to so far, located in Columbus. (It’s punny—”ohayo” means “good morning,” as well as the name of our state. Erika from the Bluecoats taught me that—it was my very first word in Japanese.) Aaron and I will be attending Ohayocon for the third year in a row next January.

So, I want to dress up like the crazy people. There’s a plushie out there of Mei, one of the characters from the movie, wearing Totoro pajamas. Instead of making a giant, ugly, deformed stuffed Totoro costume, I want to make some Totoro jammies. Several months ago, I drafted an initial plan of what my costume would be like, but I’ve revised my ideas since then. Instead of a more simple sweatsuit-type outfit, I’m looking at more of a one-piece footie pajama made out of plushie pile material, with a hood attached (or separate, if necessary).

I guess my big question is, does anyone know where to get a pattern for grown-up footie pajamas? I’ll need to modify it by a.) making it out of plush instead of fleece, and b.) adding a white panel to the front belly, besides making it big enough for my fat ass. I’m starting on this project way early, because I know I’m in over my head.

Oh, yeah, and I need to thrift myself a sewing machine. And learn how to use it. D’oh!

Parade Aftermath

I really need to stop going to bed so late, being tired all day, and taking hour-long evening naps after work. It’s just not working out.

So, on Sunday I was in a parade in Birmingham, Michigan. Why was there a parade in the middle of May in Michigan, you ask? Well, let me tell you: it was the Basset Hound Parade. I shit you not. Upwards of 500 Basset Hounds brought up the rear of this relatively short parade (and those of us who marched in it were glad they were at the back of the lineup, so as to avoid any… surprizes).

Anyway, it was the first public performance of the full Lakeshoremen Drum & Bugle Corps, and we did fairly well. I did discover that I need to do some more aerobic cardiovascular-type exercise, because after the first run of our parade tune, marching uphill—hell, remembering how to march at all—I was pretty winded. But once I remembered how to breathe properly and pace myself, I did OK. I’m not really muscle-sore at all, except for my shin muscles. The… gastrocnemeus, is it? I seem to remember that from stretching and calisthenics in the BGSU Marching Band. Yeah, my shin muscles. The ones that crank your toes really high when you march in a parade. Those are still sore today. Other than that, my face got a little sun, despite my application of sunscreen, and my bare forearms got a little toasty.

But worst of all: the part in my hair got sunburnt. My scalp. A teeny little strip of my scalp.

Last night, I sat watching TV, and realized that it kind of hurt and was a little moist, like it wished it could blister, or like it had. I picked away the few gummy nasty parts I found, thought little else of it, and went to bed. This morning when I woke up, I had freaking little crystallized crusties growing in my part. It was like rock candy or some shit, kind of crusty but gooey and clingy to my strands of hair. Really, really gross. I managed to get it all out and look presentable, since I didn’t have enough time this morning to shower before work, but all day it was still sore. In a while, I’m going to go upstairs and take a cool shower and ever so gently massage my scalp. Maybe I’ll put some lotion or something on my scalp, although I’m not so sure how that’s going to work out…

I was sick of the cat bugging me a while ago, so I closed the door down here to the basement for a little peace and quiet. I’d better go open it now and make sure the cat isn’t causing havoc.

My New Garden

This is a plan of my new garden.

The Better Homes and Gardens website kicks ass—they have this nifty Flash application that’s kind of like the Tony Hawk Pro Skater park building feature, but with gardens. That’s how I put this loverly design together.

This depicts my back yard, by the way. From left to right, I have planned: lavender, hydrangea, coral roses, yellow roses, ground cover in front of said roses, a rose of sharon, forsythia, catmint, more lavender, and butterfly bush. In front there, on the curve where there’s still a bit of dirt with no plants, that’s where the herbs go. Three varieties of basil, parsley, catnip, creeping thyme, coriander/cilantro, and whatever else tickles my fancy.

I’ll provide photos when I have some stuff planted. Until then, wish me luck… I hope I haven’t bitten off more than my little first-time-homeowner self can chew.

It’s official…

Gas is not only expensive—it is motherfucking expensive. Never since the first Gulf War did I ever believe that I’d be paying $2.039 a gallon for gas. Ten bucks barely got me half a tank of gas. That’s not too far from normal, I guess, but it’s just the principle of the thing. I mean, holy shit.

At least we don’t live in California. God knows what we’d be paying there.

Things you shouldn’t do:

#1 – Rent any “Faces of Death” video.
#2 – Download the Al-Qaeda video of the slaying of Nick Berg.

I have experience with both, and I wish I didn’t.

That is all.

How Much Is That Kitty In The Window?

Saturday was the Waterville Community Garage Sale. We had a pretty decent haul—some cast-iron shelves, wooden knick-knack shelves, a big shelf/table for my plants, a Ventures record, and some other stuff. Fun day, got some sun on my neck and shoulders.

But on Sunday… we adopted our kitty.

We got our kitty from Planned Pethood. They don’t have a shelter, but do foster homes instead, so we met one of the foster “moms” at a local vet’s office in Maumee. She was showing a litter to someone already, so we hustled to meet them there. We had a choice of two kittens: Mel, a black male, or Mia, a grey tabby female. Aaron and I held and petted and swapped and hemmed and hawed and decided on Mia, the grey female. For what we paid, she was already spayed and had her first set of shots. She also comes with a 30-day guarantee; if she gets sick, we can take her to the vet’s office where we adopted her and they’ll treat her free of charge. Not a bad deal.

We’d already bought kitty implements last weekend, so we were set on that front. Outside of having to fashion a new kitten-sized litter box out of a cardboard box, that is (don’t worry, we have cat box liners). She was a little skittish at first, but after a while, she calmed down and ate her kitten chow and drank her water and used her litter box.

Aaron and I decided that we needed to name her ourselves, instead of taking the name the Planned Pethood people had given her. So, we threw around some names all evening, and finally settled on Mei, after the young girl in Tonari no Totoro. The final decision was between Mei, Neko (Japanese for “cat”), Rei (from Neon Genesis Evangelion), or Troi (from Star Trek: The Next Generation).

It’s been a full day now, and she seems just fine. In fact, she’s laying on my lap as I type this.

I do have a whole kitty picture page up on my site already, so go check it out! It’s under the Photographs section.

Journaling and such

I had an interesting idea today. I had brought my sketch journal to work instead of a book to keep me occupied during breaks and lunch, so I ended up writing a journal entry. And I thought, why shouldn’t I scan in some of my random journal pages that I have in various notebooks, in addition to some of the more memorable journal entries from my “real” journals in the past? So, as my first entry, non-interesting though it may be, I offer to you May 7, 2004.

I also had the most fascinating conversation with a co-worker today. I don’t think anyone from work reads my LJ, so I think it’s safe to talk about it—I won’t be “outing” Mike as a non-Christian, which, yes, would be a bad thing in bible-belt BG.

Wow, I just stole my own thunder. How lame is that?

Anyway, in our weekly department meeting, I mentioned that I’d be heading out to the Waterville Community Garage Sale this weekend. Now, Mike tends to come down to my cube and talk to me, anyway, since he noticed that Deb and I are so isolated, being in a different room than the rest of the department. (Given the cliqueishness of some people, though, we prefer it that way.) But today, he came down to ask about the garage sale. Turns out that he likes to thrift, too, which is cool. We got talking about what we look for, and I found out he’s a Medieval buff, collects Renaissance-related stuff and cast iron and things like that.

So, he drifted back to his own cube in the other room, and after lunch I got an e-mail from him. Funny shit—all sorts of whacked out pictures from around the net. I plan to post them on my page eventually. After that, he stopped past my cube again to ask what I thought of those pictures, and just to say hi before he went off to clock out for his own lunch.

And we ended up talking for an hour.

The conversation ranged from my soy candles to essential oils to herbs… then we got into a discussion about what he’d printed off to read during lunch: some Norse mythology, an epic poem about Odin. From which point we got talking about cultural history and mythology, which morphed into religion, of course. We were kind of feeling each other out (so to speak) about how far to go with the conversation. He’d mention symbols and runes and how often they’re misused, so I’d mention people’s misconceptions of the five-pointed star and its various meanings, so he’d mention how those meanings were explained to him, and so on. Eventually we both discovered that we consider ourselves non-Christians, but are kind of “in the closet” about it publicly, due to everyone’s misconceptions of paganism. That wasn’t all we talked about, though—we also discussed the Ren Fests and SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and Goth Night at Uptown and “dabblers” in Wicca and other poseurs in the counterculture. Anyway, I told him I’d be up for a double-date to one of the Ren Fests this summer.

Just to clarify, I don’t consider myself an all-out Pagan or Wiccan or what have you. I don’t believe in The Great Horned God as an actual entity whom I could call to assist me, no more than I believe that the Judeo-Christian God (whose name I do still have enough respect for not to put into writing) actually follows our daily lives. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe that a god may have had a hand in creating our world/universe, or that I don’t believe in an afterlife of some sort. Honestly, I’m just not sure, and I won’t be until I die. At any rate, just the fact that I no longer believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be enough to ostracize me from many circles.

In other news, I relocated the credit card that was lost on my desk at home, and managed to order Mom a Mother’s Day present. (Mom, I hope you haven’t found my LJ yet… but if you have, Happy Mother’s Day!)

P.S. – If you haven’t checked out my webpage lately, I’ve got some new sketches up. The U-Haul rut photos are also posted in the Photos section, if you haven’t looked at those yet. Good stuff.

Why can’t we live in L.A?

OMG. OMG. Go here and listen to streaming radio out of Los Angeles. It’s my goddamned favorite radio station reincarnate (practically), and it’s in fucking California! Aargh! I want!

Well, at least it’s a Clear Channel station. That means, if it does well in L.A, maybe they’ll assimilate the country with their new station format. Who’d have ever thought we’d think Clear Channel was a good thing?

…since when did I like Bran Van 3000 so damn much? I’m grooving so hard to this radio station, I don’t want to go to bed.

(But I have to.)

Petrol Sucks

—–Original Message—–
From: Diana Schnuth
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 1:08 PM
To: Kris Heath (work)
Cc: Aaron Schnuth
Subject: Gas at Meijer

> Don’t pay too much for gas…I see it’s up over $1.90 now.

Let me share with both of you my Meijer escapade. So, gas there is only $1.83 or something. Only. Hah. I pull in to pump #14 and bring my purse out with me, and start to pump my gas. There was a small puddle in front of the pump that I took care not to step in, assuming it was gas. Anyway, I planned to put in $10 worth. The gauge rolls up to $9.60… 70… 80… I let go of the trigger —

— and it keeps pumping. The damn automatic latch is stuck, and I can’t get it to stop! The numbers scroll on… $11… $12… finally ending at $19.26, at which point I’ve filled the tank with mildly overpriced petrol. And, of course, I only have $14 in my wallet.

So, off I trek to the main store, to use the ATM and get out money for gas (and garage saleing, while I’m at it). No problems there, trek back, pay the nice girl, tell her about the gas spill, etc, etc. But, dang, that took twice as long as it needed to. *sigh*

It feels like Friday, too, but it’s not. How cruel.
– Diana