Oct. 21st, 2017 10:16 am[personal profile] infryq
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I decided to use a different jumper pattern and modify the
neckline, ironed the pattern pieces and traced the bodice. I’m also moving
the side dart to the shoulder; not sure yet if I want to split to princess
seams for the front. That’s what my existing jumper does.

I started another test embroidery swatch to try out the remaining stitches
I found on embroidery.rocksea.org. I can’t seem to keep the stitches taut
on the four-legged knot but the danish knot is quite attractive after some


Oct. 20th, 2017 03:25 pm[personal profile] alexr_rwx
alexr_rwx: (removal of signs)
Probably the most important idea I've gotten out of therapy is this idea of self-compassion. I've been especially bad at this, basically forever. It's not healthy.

The idea, roughly, is that you want to treat yourself the way you would treat a close friend; we're good at extending kindness, understanding and encouragement to other people! But we're often so harsh to ourselves; our internal monologue can be like a stream of verbal abuse.

But you can't help your friend or loved one by browbeating them. Same with yourself! You're like your own child, in a sense; you've got to take care of yourself.

Also like your friend or your child, you don't want to encourage yourself to fall into a pit of self-indulgence. Your wouldn't be happy to find your respected friend, or you child, wallowing in a mire of ice cream and porn -- at least not for too long! You want them to eat healthy foods and get sensible exercise and read a book! And you certainly don't want them to crunch up into a ball of self-directed rage and despair of ever feeling better and keep punching walls and/or their own body.

You can extend this compassion to yourself too! You deserve, as a human being, this kind of compassion, whether or not you're currently winning at whatever.

The TEDx talk on the topic is definitely worth watching: https://youtu.be/IvtZBUSplr4

The speaker, Kristen Neff, is a psychology researcher, and this is her primary topic: she writes about it all the time and has possibly-helpful exercises over on http://self-compassion.org .
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I dug out a bunch of back issues of Cook’s Illustrated to trace
the art on the back covers for embroidery patterns. There are some I’m
going to have to scale up digitally first (herbs!) but so far I have a crab
(dungeness of course), parsnips, and chioggia beets.

I finished the leaves and stems on my roses, finished Taltos (my favorite)
and started Athyra.

[food] Cheese is still out. Hopefully temporary.

Still a few beans in the garden

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:48 am[personal profile] infryq
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I started putting some leaves and stems on the bullion roses, and
am pleased with the results. I am apparently enjoying our new project at
work, because I worked straight through my usual bus time and had to catch
the next one. P and I met up with a friend who’s in town for the
twice-yearly department conference her job does (she usually works remotely
from Canada). Life seems to be rough all over, and I hope she’ll be okay.

[food] Had a wretched time with lunch and nearly bailed to deal with the
nausea and panic attacks at home, but managed to power through. I was
totally fine by 2. The magnitude of these swings is frustrating.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
You know, I logged out of Twitter a few days ago to support the #WomenBoycottTwitter thing, and I can't bring myself to log back in.

I think it's been pretty good for my mood. It just seems like a constant stream of anxiety-fuel, that site.

Feeling pretty calm, which is nice. Weird.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I finished hemming the curtains, and they look great! I had a
good therapy appointment where we decided the alumni women’s fb group
really is amazing, and I should maybe try mindful eating. It seems to have
gone okay at dinner but I worry I’ll end up losing weight again. We’ll see.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I blew the morning on the #metoo meme. Writing was cathartic, and
reading was too, but rapidly became overwhelming. There’s a lot of sorrow
and anger out there. Don’t be “sorry to hear that”, be sorry to have
contributed, and renew your dedication to holding your friends accountable
when they spout bullshit. They sure as hell aren’t listening to us.

I missed the bus and walked through Schenley to work for the first time in
two years. Yay bridge! I wasn’t properly dressed for the chill wind, but it
turned out alright. Got a lot done, worked right through a meeting I’d
forgot had changed times, stayed late to finish writing an update on a
github issue, missed the bus home. Took a 61 and walked from the stairs,
was again cold.

[food] Overate at dinner pretty severely, and spent the rest of the evening
slowly feeling more and more miserable and breathing very carefully. It’s
been a while since I felt that poorly. Went to sleep propped upright, woke
several times in the night but wasn’t feeling any better until maybe 3am
when I was finally able to lie down properly. We’ll see how today goes.

Linkspam for mid-October 2017

Oct. 16th, 2017 02:53 pm[personal profile] tim
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I'm not doing regular linkspam posts anymore, but I had a pile of links to file and I thought I'd put them in one place.

Some advice for survivors and those writing about them, Leigh Honeywell (2017-10-12). Some great advice on talking to journalists that applies to situations where you're exposing any kind of wrong-doing.

Donald Trump to become first president to speak at anti-LGBT hate group gathering, Benjamin Butterworth for PinkNews (2017-10-11). Remember when people were saying "at least Tr*mp is pro-LGBT"?

[CW: rape] On predators who won't accept that they are predators, E Price (2017-10-12). "It’s important for men to question whether there are rapists in their midsts. But good men, really feminist men, need to go even further: they need to question whether they have ever been rapists themselves."

Sister Outsider Headbanger: On Being a Black Feminist Metalhead, Keidra Chaney for Bitch (2000-11-30). Good stuff about being in intersecting outsider identities.

We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made, Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton (2017-10-12). "Rick was a very talented developer. Rick could solve complex business logic problems and create sophisticated architectures to support his lofty designs. Rick could not solve the problem of how to work effectively on a team." (Other people have rightly pointed out that the author doesn't place enough responsibility on the environment "Rick" was in for allowing him to escalate his toxic behaviors, but the fact remains that some people deal with pressure by seeking help and support from others, while others deal with it by harming others in an attempt to preserve themselves.)

We Warned You About Milo And You’re Still Not Listening, Katherine Cross for The Establishment (2017-10-09). 'The hypersensitivity that reels from “trigger warnings” but thrills to Yiannopoulos’ joyful transphobia, that likens workplace diversity trainings to “gulags,” is what fuels the outrage culture about “outrage culture,” an insatiable rage that can never be sated by giving it what it says it wants. It will merely demand we make ourselves smaller and smaller until nothing of us remains. Reactionary outrage about “PC” is not a philosophy as much as it is a burning sun that demands our compliance as its nuclear fuel, consuming it endlessly until it can feed no more and goes nova.'

America Loves Plausible Deniability, Lindy West for the New York Times (2017-10-14). "When faced with a choice between an incriminating truth or a flattering lie, America’s ruling class has been choosing the lie for 400 years."

A guide to modern Nazi dogwhistles from [twitter.com profile] secretgamergrrl:
"Modern nazi dog whistles- Accusing people of "calling everyone a nazi." Specifically, doing this in contexts where it makes no sense. i.e. shouting "you call everyone a nazi!" when someone is talking about nazi book burnings in the 40s, or "everyone you don't like is a nazi!" in response to a statement like "this is a profoundly homophobic statement from this organization." The hope is that someone listening who has, in a more appropriate context, been at some point likened to a nazi will give some subtle gesture of approval, outing themselves as someone ripe for recruitment. A common variation is shouting "why do you hate Trump!?" when people discuss bigotry in contexts with no tie to Trump."

Cyrus Vance and the Myth of the Progressive Prosecutor, Josie Duffy Rice for the New York Times: "The progressive bombast is meaningless if prosecutors continue to promote the same harsh practices behind the scenes. Instead, voters must look closely at their policies and hold them to high and specific standards. We should ask: Are prosecutors opposing new mandatory minimum sentences during legislative debates? Have they declined to request cash bail in a vast majority of cases? Are they keeping children out of adult court and refusing to seek life-without-parole sentences for them?"

"Fun sexual assault fact: you only hear the stories we can bear to tell." -- [twitter.com profile] sarahhartshorne
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday we went to the farmers market and got apples, beans, zucchini,
some winter squash, parsnips, parsley, a cucumber, and arugula. I washed
the towels and the sheets with just enough time to line-dry the sheets
before the rain arrived. I steamed and froze the beans (tiny tender ones,
they didn’t say what kind). I finished embroidering the artichoke and
started practicing boullion stitch with some roses. It is not as hard as I
expected! I’ve either gotten better at thread handling or the techniques I
picked up on YouTube for how to anchor the needle really make a difference.
Probably both.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I sewed all the elastic and finished both pairs of underwear. I
did the laundry and hung it on the line. I went through the Moosewood
cookbook and traced a few of her drawings to use as embroidery patterns.

It was bridge party day, and we had C use the house as a home base for his
part of the scavenger hunt. He played a sort of autumn fairy king, complete
with horns, mask, a wreath of leaves, the works. It was pretty excellent.

I did a wander through with P and we met up with L and D, chatted some, got
ice cream, and ogled all the stuff on the bridge. There were unusual
bicycles, a skittles game, a calligrapher, adult-sized bigwheels, a tarot
reader, maypoles, somewhat slap-dash mini golf, a climbing wall, and a
pretty hilarious game of ring toss played with hula hoops and the enormous
obelisk that blocks vehicle access to Pocussett. It was all very grand and
lovely, but also sunny and crowded, so once D had fled and L was taken up
by the scav hunt I went in (with brief stops to chat with a surprising
number of dance folks I haven’t seen in years) and hermited the rest of the

I lyed the washcloths and the bathroom sink, traced an artichoke onto the
next available spot on my embroidery practice cloth, and got through most
of the outlines. I plan to add thread shading and play with holding
multiple colors of thread together to stitch with.

Laundry today, bridge tomorrow

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:18 am[personal profile] infryq
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I assembly-lined the two pairs of underwear I had cut out,
through to pinning on the waist elastic.

I met with R, a masters student I was worried about, but it sounds like
he’s finding his feet and will be alright.

I finished the last of the Hungarian chain, and now I need something new to
do. I’m thinking of designing a set of towels. I’ve also been going through
an embroidery blog I found and pinning all the stitches I want to try, so
maybe another sampler is in order. The corners on the hilbert curves were a
pain though. Something else.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday P had a very early morning to get to a 9am job interview (which
went well!), and I had a moderately early morning to get to a 10am staff
meeting, so we were both pretty pooped by the end of the day.

I worked about a quarter of the last hilbert square in a variation on heavy
chain stitch called Hungarian chain stitch, which is easiest to work if you
start the next stitch before pulling the previous one to, then finish by
pulling your threads taut by hand. The two-step procedure for every stitch
takes ages but the results are lovely.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I finished a pair of underwear, and made notes on stitch settings
so I don’t have to fuss and doubt and wonder again next time.

I finished the Palestrina block of embroidery, so there’s just one left. I
think I’m going to do Hungarian braided chain stitch.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Oct. 11th, 2017 11:40 am[personal profile] tim
tim: A person with multicolored hair holding a sign that says "Binaries Are For Computers" with rainbow-colored letters (binaries)

  • I'm not transgender as in "we need cis allies", I'm transsexual as in "fuck you".
  • I'm not bisexual as in "here's my 5000-word thinkpiece on why that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to non-binary people", I'm pansexual as in "I don't eliminate potential partners based on their gender".
  • I'm not "gay" as in happy, I'm queer as in "fuck you".
  • I'm not liberal as in "universal acceptance and inclusion is possible while including fascists and white supremacists", but rather, anarcho-communist as in understanding what the Paradox of Tolerance means.
  • I'm not poly and kinky as in "understand my bizarre tendencies", I'm poly and kinky as in "almost everyone's conceptions of family and sexuality would benefit from radical change."
  • I'm not mentally ill as in "I need to be changed into a different person from who I am", I'm neuroatypical as in "other people need to accept the person who I am."

Go forward, do no harm, and take no shit.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I prototyped a few methods for sewing foldover elastic on Bela,
found some I liked, and successfully sewed on a waistband in the round!
Hooray! The leg elastic will be trickier, but I’m getting better at
controlling it all the time.

P drove me in and we picked up bread on the way.

I had a somewhat tricky nausea day but c’est la vie.

I finished the coral stitch hilbert curve and started another in Palestrina
stitch, which is another knot-based outline stitch.

I finished the third and apparently final book in the Howl’s Moving Castle
series by Diana Wynne Jones. The Audible reader is great, the protagonists
are fascinating, and the puzzles in the plot are lovely. Downsides are the
antagonists are woefully flat and there are occasional jarringly
antifeminist moments. I still wish there were more books in the series. I
started her other series, Cristomanci, and the first book is just wretched.
I do not want to hang out with any of these characters. I will probably
return it and find something else. For now, I’ve switched to catching up on

Picked a carrot! And some beans

Oct. 10th, 2017 10:20 am[personal profile] infryq
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I pulled swapped sewing machines and pulled out the underwear
pieces I’d stashed from August. Bela does much better work with stretch
thread in the bobbin, though she doesn’t let you change the needle position
on stretch stitches afaict and I did get the seam allowance caught in the
feed dogs once or twice so it’s not a perfect solution. Still can’t seem to
make it work to sew narrow elastic on in the round. The two-step method
where you topstitch with zigzag does work on her though so nice plus there.

I divided my embroidery square in quarters before remembering what I was
doing, so I’ve planned a sort of hybrid hilbert curve thing. Finding the
more interesting embroidery stitches online is tricky; everyone wants to
list the same 15 basic ones. I may make a trip to the library to see if
they have anything more in-depth.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2017 12:13 am[personal profile] gregh1983
gregh1983: (Default)
Here is how I passed the time walking home from the gym tonight:

I was thinking about mulch for the yard. So far, the only way we've been able to acquire it is by walking it home a bag or two at a time from Home Depot: I can carry one on my back, and Alan can push one in a little cart we have. If we lived in the suburbs, we could order a much larger quantity from a serious garden center and have it dumped in our driveway. Presumably, we could also show up at such a place with a car and as many containers as we could muster, and the mulch could be loaded into those just as well. This would let us pick from a selection of mulch types that don't come in bags, and the stuff is probably cheaper in bulk too. On the other hand, the scheme would only work if our various containers added up to significantly more than the two little bags we can already carry home unassisted.

The capacities of large, yardwork-sized containers seem to be given in gallons. A bag of mulch from Home Depot is 2 cubic feet. What's the equivalence between the two? What can I work out mentally, while walking, based on the facts I have on hand?

Well, one gallon is 3.8 liters, which is equivalent to a volume of 38 × 10 × 10 cm. Then two gallons would be 76 × 10 × 10, and three gallons is 114 × 10 × 10. Continuing, 30 gallons is 114 × 100 × 10, and 300 gallons is 114 × 100 × 100 cm. This is 1.14 cubic meters. Now 1.14 is annoyingly bigger than 1, so let's knock 10 percent off each side: 1.14 – 0.11 = 1.03 cubic meters = 300 – 30 = 270 gallons. We're still not quite at 1. Let's fudge the numbers and say that 3 percent of 100 is close enough to 3 percent of 103, and so we subtract (27... 54... 81) 270 – 8.1 = 262 gallons. All right, so 1 cubic meter equals 262 gallons. Now we have to go back into imperial units. A meter is something like 39 inches, which we can call 3⅓ feet for convenience. That would make a cubic meter equal to 10 × 3⅓ = about 33 cubic feet. While 33 × 9 is sounding too big, we do see that 33 × 8 = 240 + 24 = 264, which shows that the ratio beteen cubic feet and gallons is essentially 1 to 8. Therefore — whew! — one cubic foot is 8 gallons, and a standard bag of mulch is 16. Ha ha!

That laugh has a dual purpose. One of satisfied achievement, since I was able to work out what I wanted to know in the time it took me to get home roughly from Aldi's. (And, you know, when I spent three seconds just now to get the exactly correct answer out of Google, it turns out to be 7.48.) The other, though, is of caustic sarcasm, because 16 gallons is already our entire supply of five-gallon buckets — if I empty them all first. I could of course press into service our 30- or 35-gallon trash barrel, but it would have to be a pretty impressive type of mulch not available in bags to make it worthwhile. Otherwise, it'd be 2 × 8 – 7 + 1 = 10 times easier to just borrow a car and pick up a few bags from Home Depot!

And coral stitch

Oct. 9th, 2017 10:35 am[personal profile] infryq
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday we went to the farmers market and got apples, beans, okra,
zucchini, a tomato, cucumber, and parsley. I did poorly with the unrefined
coconut oil that morning so we stopped at the grocery store for the refined
stuff, and also picked up more seltzer, yogurt, soup was on sale, and a
packet of tea biscuits for my floormate at work who’s been nostalgic for
them but hasn’t figured out where to look for them yet (in the kosher
section, or sometimes the international aisle).

It threatened rain all day so P did the laundry. I froze half the beans,
and he prepped a small bucket of prickly pears from the teaching garden.

I cut out another pair of leggings, and I think I can get at least one more
full pair and maybe some bike shorts out of the remnants.

I finished the filled-stripes embroidery sampler with a sort of fishtail
braid thing and some waves. I’ve started another that’s a perfect square,
but I haven’t decided whether to make it a filled grid or a space-filling
curve so I can play with line stitches. There are some neat chain stitch
variations I want to try.

(no subject)

Oct. 8th, 2017 01:41 pm[personal profile] simrob
simrob: selfie with a digital camera using reflection in a train window (Default)
So you know that thing where your friend posts a hilarious review of a Frobbles Bar Deluxe on Amazon, you click on it to look, and for the next week, all across the web, you're getting ads for Frobble Pro, Frobbles Foo Bazzes, and Frobbles Unlimited everywhere on the web?

I always assumed this was because I'd tripped some Mysterious Neural Network thing somewhere Deep In The Algorithm, but it's actually a lot simpler: "remarketing" is an option that a lot of web-advertising companies support, and it basically just means that rather than targeting by location or demographic, you say you want to try to show your ads to people who have been to your website or viewed your product lately.

That's both creepier AND less creepy than I assumed. Creepier because of the tracking it implies, but less creepy because - an advertiser wanting to remind me of a thing I did actually did before makes a lot of sense and is kind of something I almost want, being-advertised-to-person-wise.

infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday we went to Costco and stocked up on paper products and
detergents. They were sadly out of pecans so I got macadamia nuts instead.

We stopped by the Braddock clay studio to pick up some more fired work. I
met one of the many other Katies plus a sleek and fluffy but very nervous
dog named Raymond. I stared at the wall of glazes but there were no good
options for eggplants.

I finished the leggings after sewing the yoke on backwards again and having
to unpick it. The right way round, they are excellent! I haven’t decided
yet whether to make another pair. Three sets will get me through the worst
of my period but maybe another would be good for just because. I could do
another cactus one.

I filled two stripes on my embroidery project, one with snugly packed
daisies and another with chain stitch.

I’ve put together a cart on Cleaners Supply with thread and threw in some
water soluble pens for actually tracing embroidery patterns instead of just
winging it. I also put a larger cutting mat, some more blades, and
scissors in there so it’s got a bit expensive and I decided to sleep on it.
It’s all stuff I’ve been annoyed by not having though, plus it’s a new
month so technically my craft budget will support it. I will probably throw
in some more thread for free shipping and pull the trigger.



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