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It's been a while.

I'm continuing to settle in to this place and continuing to love it. It is a place that I can have to myself and a place that I can share with others and I've done precisely that. People come by, settle into the chair or couch and talk and drink and eat. One person in particular has done this more and more of late and now I can't get rid of her. Nor do I want to. This has been a gentle coming together; a slow teasing dance of ever decreasing circles that even now continues in an exploratory waltz as we work out how we feel about this thing that we're doing that holds new experiences and implications for both of us.

I cook more these days. I like my kitchen and I love sharing food with people, especially when I'm dating them. Food is a sensual thing that engages all of our senses in a deep and fundamental way. I'm not exercising well though so I am failing at losing weight. I'd say I will try harder but I've said that many times before and until and unless I make it the kind of habit where I twitch if I don't ride then it will be an uphill battle. I'm at that point in my life where my body is starting to degenerate purely due to age. It's a slow and fairly gentle process but noticeable. I picked up my first pair of prescription glasses just over a week ago and have been startled by just how much my eyesight had declined. There will be some grumpiness at my body but this is nothing new and I'm gradually getting better at making my peace with this sort of thing. There's also no reason why I have to just throw my hands up and surrender - I can still ride and there are other things I can do. I'm aging but I'm most certainly not old.

Still. For the first time in a very long while I find that no part of my life is fraught. I am making new friends who are lovely, I'm settling more comfortably into my home, my body, my community, and this new relationship, the precise shape of which is still shaking itself out.

I have my life back and I find myself fascinated to see how it turns out from here.
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Another few weeks and I'm back at work and feeling more comfy. My secondment has been extended for another eight weeks which pushes it back to the end of August and the call centre is feeling very very remote. This is a good thing. Call volumes are out of control and the atmosphere in there is feeling rather toxic to the point where I'm feeling it from 9 floors up and through some rather remote channels.

I bought myself a cello last weekend. This is an amazing instrument and one of the most deliciously tactile things I own. It is huggable in a way that I don't expect from a musical instrument and rewards pretty much any kind of touch. It resonates and responds makes complex noises no matter what I do with it. My left hand kind of knows what's going on but the bow is a challenge. If I play it pizzicato the level of concentration needed is less than half of what I need with the bow and it engages me in an exhausting way. I like this. I like it a lot. I'll like it even more when I learn to make deep, sweet, toffee-coated sounds with it.

I'm finding that I can walk more and I'm starting to want to reclaim this body that I like so so much more than I ever have before. I still can't cycle or skate and that will take some time. I'm undertaking a detox diet with my housemate which was something she wanted to do and that dovetails with the intention I already had not to drink alcohol over the course of July. This might pull some of this excess weight off and give me a head start on doing some kind of real exercise heading into August. In the meantime I still have the opportunity to get to know this body in an awful lot of ways. Derby is receding into the background although I still have a lot of wonderful people in my life as a result of it but the resulting gap left by its absence and the fact that surgery no longer occupies so much space in my thoughts gives me a chance to introduce new things to myself. Cello is definitely one. Defining relationships with people and the communities in which I exist is another. The myriad mental projects which all seem to be converging on the notions surrounding the ways in which we see and treat those who are not like ourselves is yet another.

I have a big blank canvas to play with. There's lots that's already defined but I have lots and lots of wriggle room. I *knew* this was coming and I knew full well that I was only going to be able to start the process of filling in the gaps once those gaps appeared. This is going to be fascinating.
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Things are settling.

I've not yet made any inroads on unpacking. The boxes are heavy and awkward and I'm wary. I'll get there but I think I will need to dragoon the unwary.

For the rest of it, the swelling has reduced and the slight ongoing bleeding and disconcertingly firm places (feels like cartilage) was looked at by the surgeon today and declared to be not a thing worth worrying about. This was what I suspected, but worth checking. A side note to that is that I'm leaving out the inner form for a bit and using tampons for the seepage. It's silly but there was a little bit of joy in legitimately purchasing tampons for my own use, even if it could never be tied to actual menstruation.

I've had a couple of nice days of what might be called actually enjoying this annual leave I'm taking. Monday was cafe breakfast (middling, but still tasty) followed by the purchasing of a nice teacup from the T2 shop on Brunswick St, playing about at Gallin's Music and then home to tea in said new teacup and Thai food dinner with nice housemates. Today was the visit to the surgeon followed by a spectacular vegan breakfast at a local cafe. It turns out that smoked tofu is not only a thing, it's an amazingly good thing. So so tasty! That plus other tastinesses such as black beans and beetroot relish made it memorable. From there I went shopping for a half size guitar for Small Boy with Bonnie. Every time I've seen him pick up a guitar without thinking he's picked it up left handed and been apparently much more comfortable strumming with his left hand so I asked the guys at the guitar shop to string it left handed for us. We got home and of course he immediately picked it up right handed - seems it was the size throwing him off. Fine, I reversed the strings making it right-handed again and we'll see how that goes.

While we were waiting for the guitar to be restrung, we roamed Brunswick St and Bonnie showed me a place that sells old stock for a number of brands I like, including Dangerfield. I spotted a red wool felt trilby marked down from $34 to $19. I was pleased enough with that but doubly so when I received it back from the cashier with $15 change from the $20 note. Apparently that happens sometimes there - extra markdowns don't hit the floor stock fast or consistently enough. Still, a not bad at all hat for five dollars makes me happy.

Home to relaxation with the rest of the household for the evening. I like it here.
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It seems I'm removing meat from my diet. The odd part is that it's a compulsion that I still haven't entirely worked out in my own mind as yet. I've been tumbling it aobut in my head increasingly over the past couple of weeks, trying to work out where the impetus is coming from. In some ways I think there's a lot of peer pressure involved but rather than it simply me feeling pressured into ditching meat because lots of people in the queer and derby community are vegetarian, if not vegan, it's more that I have fewer people validating the excuses I have internally for ignoring the uneasiness I have over something dying, and more importantly living really unpleasantly just so that I can eat something tasty.

So I'm being strangely vague about my motivations but the compulsion is strong and I've been getting the uneasy feeling that goes with ignoring something in the back of my mind because it means I might have to make uncomfortable and/or inconvenient choices. I've been getting better at recognising those and have learned intellectually if not deep within myself that ignoring that and deferring dealing with it just means that I'll wind up annoyed with myself later.

There's really no reason not to go ahead with this other than convenience and the part of me that wants to play with tasty tasty charcuterie (there are so many awesome things that can be done with meat that are both tasty and fascinating!). It'll improve my diet, settle my mind and probably help me take off the weight that's been creeping on since I haven't been able to exercise. So I start the moratorium on meat and animal derived products as of now (no more Guinness once the sole remaining can in the fridge has gone *sadface*). I'm not especially fussed about giving up meat. The reduction in the cheese that will be available to me is going to be hard though. There will be an adjustment period and then I'll be fine. In the meantime, I have some thinking to do.
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Even though I can't skate, I can't tear myself away from it either. Saturday saw me driving up to Bendigo to see a couple of bouts. The ticket was $10, the petrol was probably more like $50. I'm still rather enjoying having a car again. I generally don't drive it during the week so when the weekend rolls around and I have it sitting there waiting for me, it's still a luxury that I haven't quite managed to take for granted yet, even though I unthinkingly plan with the assumption that I now have access to it. It was a truly lovely day so the drive up was delightful and I had a little time to kill which I did by idly wandering around Bendigo. I dropped into JB HiFi to get a giftcard for the person whose birthday party I was attending that evening and heard a really fun bouncy pseudoska track playing. "That sounds like Gwen Stefani" I thought and asked and sure enough it was the new No Doubt album. Sadly, that was the only track of it's type on the whole album. A bit of a disappointment but then I suppose I shouldn't have expected Tragic Kingdom all over again.

The derby was scrappy and most penalty laden but still entertaining. I was really going up there to avoid the star testing which happened at Northside that day in which I was not earning my orange star. *pouts* I am only a couple of weeks away from dropping a star level which will effectively end all hope of bouting before surgery. I will throw a tantrum, get over it and move on. There *will* be a tantrum though.

I made my way back to Gisborne and attended a quiet but pleasant birthday party for Michel and crashed on their couch. On the way home I conceived of a desire to finally try braising lamb shanks. One super market raid later and I had browned shanked resting on a plate and a mixure of leek, celery, carrot, fennel and apple making a sort o mirepoix in the same enamelled cast iron pot used the brown the shanks (and deglazing it a treat before I even added wine) along with oregano, fresh rosemary that I noticed poking through someone's front fence in great abundance so O nicked a couple of sprigs, zest and juice from a lime (yes, again - I love it) lots of pepper, a fair amount of salt and a little nutmeg. I had it all in the oven turned down as low as it would go before remembering that I had agreed to NSO for scrimmage at Kemizo this evening. I figured it would survive, invited my flatmate to help herself to a shank at about 7pm and drove up to Campbellfield.

I *like* playing NSO. I'm being useful, I learn lots and I'm hanging out with people that I really like. I also spend the whole time wishing that I was out there on wheels, banging hips and getting sweaty. Still yellow star, probably about to drop back to white due to absence. That will chafe.

Initial consultation with the surgeon tomorrow. I have no idea how I'll react so I've arranged to meet up for debriefing over coffee with someone who's also been through surgery (albeit not quite the same procedure, but close enough) with the same surgeon and also someone I have meant to catch up with again anyway. Fortunately I have Tuesday off so I can do whatever I like on that day rather than being distracted at work.

[addendum:] Dinner rather good. I was going to roast sweet potato to go with it but didn't have time. There was so much in the way of braising fixings in the pot that it proved entirely unnecessary though. I am pleasantly full.
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A busy day yesterday. I got up bright and early to borrow a car from the lovely [personal profile] sjkasabi so that I could go shopping for my own. It turned out that the model that showed itself to be value for money at the price range was the late 90ish Holden Astra. I was looking at other things as well but in the end, party due to time constraints, test drove only two cars. The first was rather nice at first glance. A pleasing green and with a few extra bells and whistles. Once I started driving it though I immediately had a bad feeling about it - it really didn't quite feel right. I said non-committal things and continued on my way. At another car yard I found another Astra that was very nearly identical, albeit with few extra features. The main difference though was that it drove so very differently that I realised just how decrepit the first one had been and how mechanically good this second one felt. I did the usual round of driving tests and checked carefully for rust and accident damage (also remarkably clean in that regard) and promptly decided that this one was mine.

So I'm now very nearly the happy owner of a 1999 dark blue Holden Astra. I couldn't quite get a bank cheque on the day so my current plan is to get one tomorrow and then take that out to Mum's place (she lives just around the corner from the car yard) and see if she can't pick up the car on Tuesday. I can then drop by on the Tuesday evening and pick it up and still be on time for derby training as that doesn't start until 9pm.

It's been a long time since I've been car shopping, either for myself or anyone else. I don't think there's been anything that's come close to pointing up the differences in how I get treated these days. Secondhand car salesmen are generally not the most sophisticated of beasties and I was thoroughly bemused by just how remarkably different the experience was. It was occasionally hilarious...the first car didn't want to start and he tried to excuse it by saying that he'd accidentally flooded it. I pointed out that this was unlikely given that it's fuel injected and so has no throttle pump and delivers no fuel when the engine isn't running. The mixture of confusion and slight panic on his face was remarkable and I had to try awfully hard not to smirk at him. So there was a strange blend of solicitousness and condescension threaded through the whole experience. I realise that this is par for the course but there's still a great deal of novelty and validation in this for me so fascination still usually wins out over annoyance. I'm sure this will change and there were a couple of points when I didn't look half as closely at the contents of a car yard as I might have because the salesman seriously put me off.

Pleased with myself I headed off to derby. We didn't have training as such as it was fresh meat induction. 23 women turned up to have a go and I saw some real promise there, both amongst those who clearly already had some skating skills and the utter novices. A couple of them picked up suggestions that I made and integrated them really well despite being very uncertain on skates. I had some good chats with a few of them during the afternoon as well so I think Northside is going to gain some fantastic new members out of this group. After a couple of drinks at the Raccoon Club I headed home in a thoroughly good mood.

Today was spent servicing my sleep debt (which sounds so much better than "sleeping in" and does actually have an element of truth in it) and doing laundry. I have cooked very little lately so I went shopping and now have a bubbling pot of noms on the stove that I'm just about to have a bowlful of. I had an odd moment at the supermarket when the woman behind me at the checkout starting physically picking through my shopping on the conveyer belt at the checkout making comments about imported produce. Weird but in the end not worth getting invested in so I paid for my shopping and just left.

This week marks the end of my secondment at work. I have Monday and Tuesday as my final days in that department and then back down to the contact centre on Wednesday. I really don't want to go back to the phones. The couple of short stints i did last week have reinforced this. Still, I get the impression that it's only a matter of time until I go back to business support. There was a departmental meeting on Friday and several people said really nice things about me and my work so if there's another opening up there I suspect that any expression of interest from me will be viewed favourably. Also, if things go to usual form, I'm also likely to get a degree of priority for other alternative duties. I may not like the work in the contact centre overmuch but I like the people and the company so for now I think it's time to suck it up and bide my time. The security and stability that this employer provides means that I'd have to be offered something an great deal better even to consider changing.
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A day of doing today. Not especially sustained or arduous doing but doing nonetheless. I returned the keys to the old flat so that's done and then continued on to Highett to buy knee pads for roller derby. They didn't have the brand I wanted in my size but they did have my second choice and those seem to be reasonable things for about the same price so I got those. $110 is not a cheap purchase but we are talking about my knees. On the way home I stopped at a supermarket and spotted kilo bags of chicken necks at a quite reasonable price which got me all inspired to cook. This has been a sticking point lately so I went with it.

Making risotto with chicken necks is a somewhat involved process that has an almost alchemical feel to it. Chicken necks are full of chickeniness but they're also full of neckiness. You want one but not the other. So necks into a pot of water for a a couple of hours on the stove to make stock at which point I chopped up a leek, threw it into my favourite cast iron pot with pepper, tasty oregano, sage, turmeric, a little cumin and a little cinnamon. I poured in a generous amout of brown rice which makes the process take longer than with other kinds of rice but which I really rather like and started spooning the stock into the rice a little at a time, thus transferring the chickeniness but not the neckiness. I love how in making risotto you're condensing flavours. The stock and the portobello mushrooms which I chopped up and threw in once I'd gone through a few ladlesful of stock just get denser and more luscious as you go and I really like the end result. So in the end all of that along with semi dried tomatos, frozen spinach and red capsicum stirred through at the end after I'd turned the heat off resulted in rich concentrated chickeniness in the rice and concentrated, chickeniness depleted neckiness in the other pot (which I threw away). A yum thing.

Also, several boxes unpacked and resolved. My room is still just as messy at this point but there is a great deal more space and I can now access the wardrobe without difficulty. I also have the room to start putting more things away and getting tidier, possibly tomorrow. Unless I get a better offer.

Ouch.

Feb. 18th, 2012 11:38 pm
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It's been really quite a long time since I've properly injured myself. Thursday evening, which mostly consisted of a lovely friend appearing from Sydney and taking me out to dinner, concluded with me clumsily letting the front wheel of my bike slot into wet tram lines on Flinders St. The bike went abruptly to the left and I put my foot down to save myself. I was still going fast enough that it meant I came crashing down on my right heel with substantial force leaving me with a bruised heel and my ankle and knee so sore when I woke up yesterday that I could barely walk. Given that roller derby tryouts were today, this was extraordinarily bad timing. I went anyway. I was *not* silly enough to attempt skating although had I taken the skates with me, my frustration levels watching everyone else skate were high enough that I might have had a go. Going was a good thing regardless. It meant I am now firmly on their radar and will be welcome to attend whichever training session coincides with me feeling up to skating again which might even be Tuesday given how much improvement there's been over the past 24 hours. The people are nice, the training looks fun and the itch I had to get out there with everyone else today was strong enough to suggest that this whole exercise was a very good notion.

I spent the time on the train to and from derby today finishing up the most recent Stephen Hunt novel 'The Rise of the Iron Moon' I am very much enjoying this series and apparently the next book comes out next month. I'm just about to start in on the Julian May trilogy that I ordered recently as the first book conveniently appeared in the mail yesterday. This should comfortably see me through into March as there are three rather substantial books in the series so unless I devour them voraciously the degree to which I'm filling my evenings at the moment should mean that they'll last me at least that long.

My new housemate made curry again tonight which she does really very well indeed. Another book I ordered recently is "Wild Sourdough" which looks like a lot of fun. I think the communal kitchen doings part of what I was hoping to have in a sharehouse will come to fruition, especially as the weather gets colder and I'm really rather looking forward to this, especially as this place is big enough and possessed enough of a dining table to invite people over to share such doings. Fun!

There is a plan to see the Mad Square exhibition at the NGV tomorrow which I've been eyeing as a thing for ages. This should be a fun thing to see and potentially a nice consolidation of a new friendship. I really ought to spend the evening doing something about starting to clean the old flat though...I only have a couple of days left for that exercise. I think I will have to go there immediately after work on Monday to get some of that done.
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I do like these evenings. The lovely Ms B has yet again appeared from Sydney, declared an evening of dinner and conversation and, having paid for the lot, discharged me into the evening in a really very good mood. This is a habit about which I simply cannot find the will to complain.

So summer is here. Long evenings, warmer weather (certainly not balmy at the moment, but neither am I feeling actively cold) and I'm consciously drawing a line here and now. A year ago I was watching my life disintegrate. My marriage was in its final throes and I was desperately trying to get the resources together to move out. In the intervening 12 months I have had the hardest, saddest year of my life. I have cried and feared and had very little idea what lay in the future. In many ways I've been incredibly fortunate compared to others in my position but it's still been the most surreal time.

Enough angst. I'm finding the headspace now to have a life that's not entirely focussed on the process of transition. This means I've started pushing forward at work and, with the somewhat extended secondment as a team leader, having some success. I'm hoping to re-engage with more of the old aspects of my life although that will depend on resources and how various social arrangements shake themselves out, including to what extent they include me. There are a few incompatible viewpoints to resolve which has required me to take a few steps back and consider how to negotiate my relationships with some people. This falls firmly in the "enough angst" category. The coming year is a time to move forwards. Less awkwardness, less worry, less ambiguity and more consolidation of myself, my relationships (whatever form they take) and the aspects of my life that make life more than just survival.

I realised recently that the things I love most are all so much better if you make them yourself rather than simply consuming them and doubly so if made in the company of others and shared joyously. I'm thinking of food, music and language but that applies to so many things. I want picnics and singing and crazy communal kitchen doings and enthused ranty chatter. I've said over and over again this past year and more than I want my life back. "My life" isn't what it once was and never will be again. I can pursue those parts most worth having and make the rest up as I go though. I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing nor with who a year from now but it has to be a lot more fun finding out than the last year has been.

Wow, I might almost be a vaguely coherent person again. I like that idea.
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An odd day today. I went to a couple of gatherings, both of which involved nice socialisation. The weather was cold and wet which both literally and figuratively dampened the mood somewhat. There was odd emotional discomfort which is really nobody's problem but my own so I'm not sure exactly how to address that. It also seems I'm still having odd ambivalent feelings about being attracted to people.

Yay for Kerry Greenwood booklaunches, even if today didn't bring the wonderful sunnyt weather which usually accompanies such things. There was singing which was always good. I had a minor twitchy moment and moved on to the next gathering I was due to go to, and in truth only got there about half an hour early. There's a Melbourne genderqueer group which has some lovely people there. I feel like something of an old fart there but not too badly. Thence to Hares and Hyenas to grab a copy of this. I was amused by the fact that the central character is a transgendered cyclist called Salisbury Forth who lives in Melbourne. A solid array of coincidences that and the book itself looks fun.

Food is in the oven. I chopped onions and let them fry in the bottom of my lovely cast iron pot with garlic and turmeric and pepper and cumin and fresh coriander before dumping a tin of diced tomatoes, two tins of chickpeas, a goodly amount of chopped sweet potato, flaked almonds and caroway seeds which I'd just toasted, a little chilli oil, tarragon and a box of frozen spinach on top of it and transferring the lot to the oven where it makes nice smells and is stirred occasionally.

I have a small amount of a Pratchett novel to consume and then I think it'll be straight on to my latest acquisition. I'm not really sure how I feel at this point. Not bad, not good but a poorly stirred mix of the two.
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That's much better. After the past couple of weeks of divers and sundrie argh, I finally have some better headspace. On Saturday I finally found a hutch for the kitchen. This means I can put the pots away without trying to nest them inside each other, the drinking glasses are where I can reach them without awkward stretching and the cat food no longer lives on top of the fridge. I am most pleased and predictably indebted to the ever helpful [personal profile] tenbears for helping me get the thing from the St Vinnies on Glenferrie Rd to the kitchen in my flat. There was a brewing gathering at The Embassy but for some reason I felt flat and got a lift home. I was just about to prepare dinner when I had an unexpected but certainly not unwelcome invitation to head out for drinks with the lovely Ms E. We wound up sitting at a table in a tiny alley just off Little Bourke St, drinking wine and chattering idly for ages. I was also introduced to the espresso martini which I found very much to my taste. I got home somewhat squiffy but in an awfully good mood.

Today I made my way into the North Melbourne Market which is held in the Lithuanian Club on Errol St. I and [personal profile] splodgenoodles went in together and met up with [profile] ant_queen, [profile] ms_kilian and Ms. N. There was much browsing, a little purchasing (I found a tiny fobwatch with a spherical case on a necklace and decided it was a Needful Thing) followed by a late and lazy lunch. I got home and finally managed to cook the spinach/chickpea thing I'd been meaning to have for the past few days. I sauteed the spinach with garlic and chilli oil and a little butter, stirred through almond flakes I'd toasted first, drained and rinsed chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, feta and sweet potato chopped into fairly small pieces and roasted. It came up slightly oily but rather tasty. I am now full.

Now to bed with a book and I might just head off to work tomorrow in a good frame of mind.
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An odd few days and I think I'm trying to resolve far too many things at once. An otherwise lovely day at the Krae Glas invest was marred by multiple triggers turning me into a wibbling mess who had to go off and hide in the corner several times, not always successfully. Many thanks to those who found me and made the right noises and most particularly walked me in circles until I settled. That aside, it was fantastic to be at an SCA event again and not only to catch up with people who haven't seen me for some time but to be received so warmly. It was also fantastic to sing again even if it did feel peculiar every now and then to be singing the bottom line of the score. Given that I'll never be an alto, it's either rumble out the counter-contralto part or not sing. I am so not not NOT giving up singing!

I didn't get the expected therapy session on Saturday morning. Apparently my therapist had a sudden onset of something bad with his appendix which was severe enough to warrant emergency surgery. Given that, I really don't feel like I got the worse end of the exercise in this but it's a little ironic that the one time I actually really wanted to vent at him, it all fell through.

Sunday, I had plans for the afternoon but in the end I slept in (after not sleeping much at all during the night) and pottered. Laundry was done and experimental stuff comprising shallots, bacon, Swiss mushrooms, fennel, butternut pumpkin and blue cheese was baked and pureed into a ridiculously rich mess and spooned over gnocchi. I'm working my way through a fairly generous serve for dinner as I type this and I do rather like it.

So I shall progress gently for a bit. I have social engagements which will prod me here and there but which will also make me happy in some important ways. The tricky part with dealing with everything at the moment is that I can't compartmentalise things, they're all far too incestuously interwoven. So I can only tease out knots here and there until things start to look coherent again. Well at least I can't complain about being bored. It might be a bit fraught sometimes but if nothing else, it's awfully interesting.

Right, bed and a book. Incidentally, Judith Butler writes awfully densely, even for someone producing an academic rather than popular work. Worth persisting with though methinks, even though I'm already piling up quite a assumptions in the text that I'm waiting for her to resolve.
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I have been feeling encouraged lately. People have taken me shopping and given advice on projects and given me bits and pieces that will contribute to Getting Things Done™. So tonight will hopefully see the genesis of a couple of things.

The fixie needs its back tyre mended and its handlebars wrapped. I have recently been gifted with a set of bars that will likely give me the perfect amount of extra reach and drop. I’ll get the old grips off them tonight and fit them. They’ll probably require that I get a new brake cable as the existing one will be cut too short to suit but once I get that and some new bar tape, it’ll have a whole new character that I think I’ll love even more than I do its existing one, which is saying something because I adore that bike.

I have a voluminous man’s shirt that I bought from an op shop because it has a funky mandarin collar and I love the fabric. It’s huge though and a bulky masculine cut. I’ve unpicked the breast pocket and after receiving some much appreciated advice and help with pinning, the plan is to sew darts into the front and close the rear pleat so it fits as a long, feminine cut shirt. This is my initial foray into breaking out the sewing machine and deciphering out it works. After that I have cloth originally meant for shirts but which may well become sundresses or similar, possibly after making the first one out of an old bedsheet or something so that I can learn from my mistakes on fabric that I don’t care about. I spent the bulk of my lunch break making a foray to Clegs so I now have a little container with four different coloured pieces of chalk. I've been warned off using the blue or pink on white which is good because otherwise I would have. The other two are white and yellow so I suppose yellow is the obvious choice.

This will lead into making garb, just like I keep banging on about. I’ll start with something simple and there are plenty of things that revolve around sewing squares and triangles together so once I actually decide what to make, work out fitting get some fabric and stop sewing my fingers together I should be away. I really want to sort garb out because I’m sort of re-emerging into the SCA (booked for the Krae Glas baronial invest, yay! Going to sing, double yay!) and I don’t want to do that in my boy garb, no matter how much I like it and love that it was made for me. I’m also no longer dressed by Laurels and frankly I should probably learn to dress myself. I suddenly have a body and a social context that makes clothes interesting to me and they never really were before so this is all new. I’m having a blast exploring it and I’m delighted at the support I’m getting. This translates into a desire to toy with them in terms of making and modifying. Hello vertical learning curve which is always a fun thing.

The other part of personal appearance which will involve a vertical learning curve is cosmetics. It’s not something I plan to make much use of but at the moment I don’t dare because if I try to apply them I’ll look like the over excited 8 year old who decided to play with Mum’s makeup. This would be bad. So there will be purchasing and advice seeking and experimenting at home.

Other than that I have a nice enamelled cast iron casserole dish that’s going to be loaded up with leek and mushroom and tomato and lentils and olives and whatever else strikes my fancy…it’s about time I had something without meat in it and lentil bake sounds nice. Browning and deglazing the leek and stuff on the stovetop first before adding the rest of the stuff and baking should work well. I think it’s also time to move the chest of drawers out from under the loft bed where it’s a pain in the arse to get to and use that for bike storage and sundries as I always intended. This might actually make my bedroom a nicer place to be although I’m damned if I can work out how to get into the light to replace the dead globe.

Forty minutes left before I go home, I’ll be posting this as I leave work. Want to go home now.

[edit:]

Dinner cooked and yummy, bedroom largely reorganised and bike fixed (the brake cable *was* long enough and the other tyre worked, yay! I can ride it tomorrow and just need to wrap the bars). Useful cutting tools and conversation provided by 10B and sewing project relegated to tomorrow evening at the usual open house dinner and chat time. I think I'm pleased.
sacredchao: (Default)
Perhaps steampunked though.

Despite having dithered and angsted about how I was going to dress for the steampunk party hosted by the ever delightful [livejournal.com profile] montjoye and having utterly failed to find anything despite extensive op shop raiding, in the end I just rummaged through my wardrobe and it actually seemed to work out ok. The outfit in the end was the knee high leather laceup boots I wore to [livejournal.com profile] taleya's wedding, long woolen skirt, satin waist cincher and velvet bolero jactet, all in black and a high collared white cotton shirt which I rather like. Silver/marcasite/garnet earrings and a red cameo pendant provided a spot of colour. The motorcycle goggles I found in a shop on Friday were the obligatory steampunk accent.

Once dressed I realised that I no longer have any nervousness about playing in feminine clothing. I would have happily gone shopping in that outfit. (indeed a bottle shop stop would have been nice, but circumstances dictated otherwise) People are still tripping on the pronouns but most people realise it and pick themselves up on it. It's feeling less and less like a game of dressups (the costume nature of last night aside) and if I'd worn masculine clothes last night, *that* would have been uncomfortable. Basically, I felt comfortable, friends who I'd not seen for a while asked thoughtful interested questions and at one point I got dragged out into the hallway to be a darling of the camera. I actually felt a bit pretty in a way that wasn't entirely due to people telling me that directly. I'm also rather looking forward to seeing those photos.

Other than me getting to play with clothes, it was a glorious party. Lovely people, fantastic food and lots of fun with the theme without it being thrown at you in gobs which so often happens at theme parties. Compliments to the hostess, definitely.

Today was a day of consolidating my bombsite of a flat which hasn't been completely successful but the kitchen is resolved, Experimental pseudo Thai chicken, corn and mushroom soup (with ginger, coriander, chilli, fish sauce, leek, tarragon, cider vinegar and rice noodles) and bread made, laundry done and I still got time to sleep in and also have some lazy Sunday couch time. I think I'm happy. More of this please.
sacredchao: (Default)
A nice evening yesterday. A nice evening today too, as it happens but only in the gently pottering relaxed way.

I went to see La Compania last night. I got there just early enough to comfortably collect my ticket (in the name of Forth, which was sort of fun, seeing it on the ticket) and relax with a nice pilsener and some peanuts before they opened the doors. Everyone seemed curiously reticient about sitting in the front row. I wasn't. The music was 16thC Venetian and was marvellous. I was hoping for some tasty tasty viol da gamba but it was a bit buried under everything else, sadly. The cornetto though...wow! I want one now, what a fantastic solo instrument. Definitely a brass instrument but so mellow and delicate although it can get shouty if it wants to. I think I also want to find some sheet music for Adrian Willaert. Stuff like "Madonna mia famme bon'offerta" are interesting pieces for lute and voice and could be fun SCA performance pieces.

I bounced out feeling generally good and called the ever delightful [livejournal.com profile] tenbears who had messaged me earlier to tell me that there was a gathering at Nova Cranham. The rest of the evening was spent with good food (nice home made lasagne, excellent home made lemon souffle and cake of which I ate more than I should have) and more importantly, good company. I got home a little late, given the obscene o'clock start this morning but completely worth it.

Just about bedtime now...I think I want a good night's sleep for a change. Here's hoping i actually spend the time in bed asleep.
sacredchao: (Default)
A post in parts. Um...

Woke up after an unusually generous amount of sleep this morning and felt like I'd had none at all. Nothing specifically amiss, but didn't want to move, couldn't concentrate and had that general achy queasy malaise that suggests lesser seen parts of your body making use of all your resources. I pushed through breakfast and was halfway through packing clothes for the day when I decided I couldn't face it and went back to bed.

I woke a couple of hours later and rang work, dozed another hour and started trying to book an appointment to see a doctor. After this morning's arghfest trying to book an appointment at a bulk billing clinic anywhere up to 10km away I've concluded that there are sod all in the way of doctors actually working within the public health system on this side of town. So I paid two hours wages (or at least it *will* be two hours wages once I get the Medicare rebate) for a piece of paper that says I'm ill.

so how can I sing like a girl )

Dinner looks promising. $1.40 bought me two chicken frames which have produced a promising stock and a surprising amount of meat plus a stealthy liver. Half a butternut pumpkin roasted with salt and thyme, a few potatos and a couple of onions roasted with salt and rosemary while I dealt with the stock and made up some bread dough with proper bread flour rather than the cake flour I've been using. The roast veggies have gone in along with fresh ginger and coriander and some turmeric, cumin, pepper, chilli oil, sesame oil and cider vinegar. I've banged it about a bit with my recently acquired potato masher and it's beginning to show potential.

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