Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Three years ago today...

Jeremy and I had our first date on Halloween...

Fitting, isn't it?

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Everything Happens for a Reason"

I see these pins and posts everywhere about remembering that everything happens for a reason, and I want to reach out and shake the poor lost people who post them. No, no, stop cheating yourself! Stop expecting some bearded dude in the sky to plan out your life for you and make all the hard decisions for you and turn the hard things into part of some big plan for you.

You need to take responsibility for your own choices and your own desires. And you know what? Shit happens. Really, Forest, it does. And there is no celestial reason behind the shit that life will fling at you. And it will be awful and hurtful and hopefully it won't last too long. And then maybe you'll look back on it and mold it into something that fits the paradigm that you have chosen to explain your life. You will look back and invent reasons why it's better this way, why it had to happen like this, what you were supposed to learn from it. But really, unless it teaches you how to more efficiently pick your ass up off the ground the next time life backhands you, it will do you no real good. You, and you alone, are responsible for your life choices.

If you are the master of your destiny (up to a point, see previous paragraph regarding shit-happens) then spending your days waiting for someone else to confirm your decisions--or worse yet, make them for you--is pathetic and asinine and dangerous. It is an excuse for you not to do hard things, take scary risks, and accept the full weight of your own stupid decisions and failures. Either way, you make bad decisions and you totally fail. You fail because you are not as good at something as you want to be. You fail because someone else is better at it than you are. You fail, because you fail. Not because some divine weirdo waved his magic hands around and aligned the cosmos to make your failure inevitable. You failed, dude. You just failed.

(PS. This doesn't mean I don't believe in God. It just means I don't need Him to tell me which shoes to wear today. Or to convince me that my coworker is a tool "for a reason".)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Revenge of the Ren Faire Nerds

I think it's pretty normal behavior around any office for coworkers to ask each other "So what did you do this weekend?" You know, common workplace smalltalk. Twice a year it's also pretty common for me to get stank-face in response to my weekend activities. Because twice a year, I dress up in a costume and go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

Oh and it is so nerdy. I mean, come on. Costumes? Do I also speak Old English and walk around calling random stangers "M'lord?" Obviously I play World of Warcraft in leu of a normal social life. What did I name my pet dragon?

Yes, right, because sitting around the house watching reality TV and shopping at the Target is such a better use of time right?


This mime is playing a saw with a violin bow. And he is rocking it.

Look at these talented musicians about to teach us the steps to an Elizabethan dance like the dorks we are.

Ah, pansies wearing cod pieces.  

They were also tear-jerkingly hilarious and they fenced beautifully, with real swords. But we're focusing on the silly costumes, right?

This elephant is not impressed with your Real Housewives reruns or your NPR listening.

Blown glass and a master blowing glass behind it...but let's focus on that short leather skirt he's wearing instead shall we?

Nothing I can say will make this understandable.

Gosh, my husband is such a nerd. I mean, who wants to be married to a man who will dress as the Dread Pirate Roberts to walk around a RenFaire and sporadically kiss your hand when you could marry someone who spends his Saturdays half naked on the couch watching football? I'm so unlucky.

Yes yes, she's about to jump between the flying knives and balance on a yoga ball. Clearly we'd all rather be checking facebook. Also, she's got feathers on her head.

Yikes! Leather art? Is this where they store the dragon skin too?

And there I am. Wearing one of my various costumes (this one for Pirate Weekend). Eating a warm, juicy turkey leg. Later I chased it with chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick. Pity me.

So he can walk on stilts around uneven ground in a funny hat. I'll bet you can change the channel three times per second. You totally win.

Look at all of these people, enjoying themselves while listening to live musing, watching plays, and eating roasted almonds. Losers.

So many bagpipes all in one place. We are obviously compensating for something.

Ah, the Rogues. Sure, the electric violin and mad percussion allowed them to play everything from Last of the Mohicans to some Led Zepplin. It's the fact that I got all choked up when they played a medley of armed forces themes and Scotland the Brave that truly marks both them and me as total pansy nerds. In skirts.

Not pictured:
  • Live jousting
  • The sword swallower (ick ick ick)
  • Acrobats dangling from trees in random walkways.
  • The silversmith making jewelry
  • Me finally hitting the target at the archery range
  • Jeremy throwing a battle axe over his head and straight into the target.
  • Me trying to throw a battle axe over my head and dropping it.
  • The most realistic Mongolian Warrior costume I've ever seen.
  • Two mimes performing the funniest version of Hamlet you'll ever see.
  • Me learning to play the hammered dulcimer.
  • A medieval German band rocking it out with a special guest...on the cowbell.
In conclusion, what did YOU do this weekend, huh? That's right. Who's the loser now?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mom, Mom, hey look Mom, look!

Until she spawned a pack of over 6' tall giants who made her respectable 5'8" seem diminutive, my mother was considered a tall woman. No only that, she's smart, creative, witty, and resourceful. In fact, sometimes when people who know my older siblings say things like "Is it hard to follow in such impressive footsteps?" I respond "Dude, you should meet my mother."

But anyway, bragging about my mother's talents and brilliance aside, we were discussing her height.  Being herself above the average height for a woman, she understood some of the difficulties a tall girl faces when trying to find a dress that fits right and is, wonder of wonders, long enough. So, when the day came that I was the same height as her (in fifth grade), she looked at me and said something along the lines of "Well, I'd better teach you how to sew your own clothes I suppose."

And, seventeen years later, I've finally got something to show for it. (Yes, seventeen years to make a passable dress. I said SHE was the brilliant resourceful one. I just got the height. And the cheekbones.)

So, basically, this one's for you mom! Look what I can do!

I was going for "Seventies Chic" with this one. It flatters me from the front, but those pleats down the middle actually make it look a bit of a potato sack from the side so...

I made it again, only this time I sliced it at the waist and re-cut the skirt to lie flat. Then I removed the little ties in the back and made it a full-waist tie. And I chopped off the sleeves. So now it says "Working Girl" (No, not THAT kind of working girl. Perv!)

And then I used a pattern my mother sent me, that she had made for herself in the seventies. Unfortunately, my choice of fabric was...lamentable. I look like a giant Easter Egg (in my defense, it was meant to be an Easter dress). Also, those sleeves are enormous.
Yes, technically I have made other garments before. Things like pajamas and skirts and random Scottish Maiden costumes. But still, other than that blue travesty, these are dresses I actually wear in public on a somewhat frequent basis and NOT as missionary (when one gives up all understanding of fashion and gets in touch with one's masculine side, despite the dress). And I just want my brilliant, resourceful, creative Mom to be proud of me dang it! (And you are, right Mom? Huh? Yes? Huh?)

I did end up re-using that last pattern for my halloween costume this year. I added some lacing, changed the neckline, dropped it to the floor, altered the sleeves a bit, and made it in red with a gold belt. Any ideas as to who I'll be dressing as? One more hint: Mr. Awesome will be wearing black. All black. ;)

Okay, one more hint: "ROUSes? I don't think they exist."