mrissa: (Default)
It's autumn here in Baja Canada, which you can tell because I'm wearing socks again, the tomatillos are going berserk, and my tisane consumption has gone from appallingly high to truly unbalanced. That latter, of course, may be due to the fact that the first chest cold of the season has arrived right on schedule, so I am occasionally alternating in what Midori's Floating World labels a honey-ginger latte, despite the fact that it contains no coffee whatever, which I thought was a requirement for a latte. It's just hot milk with honey and ginger. Really intense, but good on the throat. [ profile] timprov figured out how to make them at home. He, too, is trying to rid himself of bits of lung. ([ profile] markgritter too, but he is doing it in California at the moment, and also he refuses the goodness that is honey-ginger latte. [ profile] timprov refuses the goodness that is tea. Only I know what's good, apparently.)

Yesterday's city, the capital of Britain's dearest ally in 1955? Oslo, Norway. Surprising Brits and Norsk alike, I expect. Well done, [ profile] mastadge, although guessing all across Scandinavia at once does seem a bit...anyway, well done.

We have candidates for the dress for my godfather's wedding. We also have yet another reject. You know what I hate about those shows where they make people over, other than everything so I don't watch them? They are apparently constantly telling people to try things on in styles they don't usually wear. I do this. You know what happens? They don't fit. You know why I don't wear those styles? They don't fit! (Or else they look terrible on me.) Who are these people, who have styles that fit them perfectly well and are perfectly flattering, and they go around not-wearing them on a whim? Oh, tra la, I think I shall just not-wear perfectly good clothes that will look lovely on me, because there are just far too many perfectly good clothes looking lovely on me in this world, tra la! Also, they are far too readily available at reasonable prices, manufactured by people who are treated humanely and with reasonable environmental practices, tra la! Shut up, those people!

(Tried on a sheath dress in a perfectly beautiful shade of blue, which my mom purchased and brought over and will now have to return to the store with sad and dragging feet. It had a wide belt that would have accentuated my not-wide waist. Guess what? Did not fit. Surprise! Yet another Neal Stephenson dress. What, ask the newcomers, is a Neal Stephenson dress? It is a garment in which I could fit the complete works of Neal Stephenson in the waist of the thing with me. Gigantic cul-de-sacs of fabric, people. Why do I not wear sheath dresses in non-stretchy fabric? Because I am not shaped like a sword aaaaaaaagh the end.)
mrissa: (antibarbie)
I am not much for Gratuitous Icon Posts, but after I said the line in this icon in frustration in a private discussion, [ profile] marydell made the icon, and I just have to show it off in delight.
mrissa: (think so do ya?)
Don't get me wrong: sometimes I like thinking about clothing. But I don't like being made to think about clothing. I like having more or less default options for daily wear for whatever weather and being able to put those on and go about my business if nothing in particular is going on.

For the last few summers, my summer default has been a Nusa Rollover skirt from Athleta and a T-shirt. Done and done. Various colors. Hurrah. I wear other things. But if I just want to get dressed in something comfortable and decent-looking that will wash well, that is how I do it. This extends reasonably well into spring and fall with addition of tights and extension of shirt sleeves, so many of those of you who have seen me at all have seen me in one of these skirts. They are not the sort of skirts for which people will accost you on the street, squealing over the cuteness. They are fairly plain cotton knit skirts. One will not get arrested for indecent exposure in these skirts. One will not have to fuss about pulling them down when one gets out of a car. If one's friend's kid spills on them--if one spills on them oneself--they will wash well.

Until now.

The most recent batch I ordered were clearly of a different fabric, lighter weight and clingier. I frowned but wore them anyway. And after two or three washings in cold water, I went to put on the Sangria colored one yesterday.

It had two holes in the middle of the fabric. Just holes. Not even by the seam. Not where you could have stuck your finger through pulling the skirt on. The fabric, after two or three washings in cold water and wearings not at all strenuously around the house and possibly out to a restaurant, had developed holes.

I wrote to Athleta customer service, and they sent me a helpy* e-mail response about how I could pay $6 for a return or exchange. Golly! I could pay an additional $6 to have another skirt made of the same shoddy material? Or I could have my money back, less $6 for the privilege of dealing with them? I have written back to ask how this is customer-friendly, since it is in no way my fault that they have decided to make their skirts out of tacky crap. I may have phrased it more tactfully than that. But I have long been a fan of Athleta clothing like Athleta Nusa Rollover skirts, and have sung their praises here and elsewhere, and I am really not at all pleased with this development, because one of the main things I liked about their clothing was durability. They claim to cater to active women; active women do not have the time to pull out a garment and discover that the thing they bought just last month has already given up the ghost and they will need to run to the UPS store to spend money on exchanging it. That is not the kind of running active women want to do.


*Helpy, adj.: the quality of sounding like one is being helpful without actually providing any help whatsoever. Thanks, [ profile] matociquala, for this genuinely helpful word.

Update: They have offered to waive the shipping for a replacement or give me a full refund since it was their screwup. Which is reasonable; I just hope the quality gets back up again so I can keep using them.
mrissa: (memories)
I had to discard the last of my physics department T-shirts from the 1996-97 school year tonight. The gaping hole that had opened up along the seam with the sleeve was the sort of gaping hole that happens when the fabric is just done being fabric now kthx.

I haven't been that girl in awhile now. A good while. A few of the important people in my life were not only not born then, I think their parents had not yet met. But I kept repeating to [ profile] markgritter, and now I am repeating it to you, "But--but my shirt. That was my shirt." And after a mere 13 years of consistent washing and wearing and washing again, in hot water most lately to get the sweat smells out from being used as a workout shirt--after only 13 years, it is gone from me. So unfair. That was my shirt.

There was a T-shirt. When comes such another. And so on.
mrissa: (nowreally)
I was looking at clothes for the elder niecelet's birthday before we decided that we are way too awesome to get her clothes unless they twirl or do something else equally wondrous fine for a 4-year-old, so Legos and a book it is. But anyway, that's not what I meant to say here. What I meant was: I saw a dress in a color they called "grape wreath." And it was, it was that oddly purply brown-grey that you get from dried grapevine twined into wreaths. But initially I misread it as "grape wrath."

That would be so great! They could go one of two ways with that. They could either do the Steinbeck line of children's clothing colors (grape wrath, rosasharn, pony red, pearl, mousy manly grey, cup gold, burning bright orange, travels with chartreuse) or the Harryhausen/giant monster line (grape wrath, godzilla green, mottled mothra, burnt charcoal, city-stomping red). I don't actually like Steinbeck, but for color names he's much better than for actual prose.

No? Well, I liked it.
mrissa: (frustrated)
I'm no fashion expert, but I'm pretty sure that if you hold the seat of a pair of jeans up next to the window while folding it, you're not supposed to be able to see not just daylight but details of individual shingles and leaves outside the window through the cloth.

Sigh. Well, no one could accuse me of not getting good wear out of those, I guess.

Now it's just a matter of seeing if the jeans I ordered last year are still being cut that way. Hopehopehope.
mrissa: (auntie: Robin)
They are totally going to take away my femme card, but I figured out how to give my mom instructions for buying me a purse (for which I was to reimburse her, but it's a lot easier for her to wander through stores than it is for me right now). She kept asking my questions about my purse preferences, and I kept making the inarticulate Noises Of Shrugging, and finally I said, "Look, Ma. Pretend that you're buying a purse for Dad, if for some strange reason Dad had agreed to carry a purse." Not only did this entertain my dad while they were at the store, but it worked! I have a functional purse now. It appears to lack holes in the bottom or sides and to be big enough to hold the things I want to fit in a purse and to avoid clashing with everything I own. I'm sure, knowing that my mom picked it out, that it has other really nice features, but what I care about is: purse, did not have to go purse-shopping with vertigo, wiktory.

In other news, my godson is hilarious.
Me: Robin, do you know what you're going to want for your birthday?
Robin, eagerly: What?
Seriously. He wanted to know. Because I am his godmama and apparently I know these things.

I do have a few ideas, so his faith in me is not completely misplaced.

(Also I need a new Robin-icon, since he is now nearly 7 and was not quite 2 in the picture in the icon.)
mrissa: (Default)
What I wanted to tell you here comes with some extraneous details, so please bear with me; I know it will be the first time in the history of livejournal in general and my lj in particular that such a thing has ever occurred.

So. With the vertigo, I need to have longer workouts to make me hungry enough to punch through the nausea so I can eat. People need to eat. This is a rule I have. This is how I can make the rule happen right now. And an hour and a half of bike every single day--plus weights most days and yoga or Pilates some days--means that I sweat a bit and need to launder the workout clothes after one wearing, especially since I work out in the clothes I sleep in. So instead of getting two nights out of a sleepshirt, I'm getting one. This means I needed new sleepshirts so that I can do a big load of sweaty sleepshirts in extremely hot water at once rather than having to wash small loads in extremely hot water every few days. So.

My mom was out shopping, and she agreed to stop in at the Land's End outlet up past Khan's, you know, the one by Don Pablo's. (Perhaps you don't know. It's the one by Don Pablo's. Now you know.) It was January, and she knew I needed more sleepshirts and had not gotten more sleepshirts out of Christmas, at least not in the quantity required. And they were having a sale on good soft cotton sleepshirts, long-sleeved, well-made, very basic, that had been made up as packages for Christmas. They were each tied with a ribbon and a tag, so in January they had to go on sale. I didn't mind the ribbon and the tag in the least. Two of them had snowflakes. I like snowflakes. The third was something I would never wear out in public because it is a vastly unflattering color for custardy-colored me, but for sleeping and working out it doesn't matter much: it's the color of unpainted canvas.

My subconscious has taken this and run with it. Every night I wear this sleepshirt, I have dreams that it's been painted or otherwise done in the style of one visual artist or another, and the rest of the dream goes along with, sort of colored and styled in the appropriate palette. So far I have had Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the same night, both Monet and Manet (different nights, though), the Bayeux Tapestry, fake-medieval Victorian tapestry, Rodin (the sleepshirt was sculpted iron, which was awesome), Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Burne-Jones, Tyko Sallinen, and Mark Rothko. Last night it was some of Dali and some of R. Crumb.

The pleasantness of the dreams is not well correlated with how much I like the artists in question, so I should be careful what I wish for. But I do hope this keeps happening, and I hope I get Rene Magritte and Akseli Gallen-Kallela before I wear the thing to shreds.
mrissa: (peeking out)
First, I have sold my first short story of the year: Futurismic wants to buy "Erasing the Map." I like getting the first sale in January, not even too far into the middle of January. I like enthusiastic acceptance letters. I like finishing stories that percolate and percolate and finally go, and then other people like them too. In fact, I really have a hard time thinking of anything I don't like about this.

(Note to self: write more stories.)

And second, the jeans I ordered arrived, and they fit, so in the wash they go. And there was much relief. The booty dancing required to determine that jeans realio trulio fit and are not going to become SuperSpy jeans (creeping up silently behind their enemy) or suddenly gape at the waist enough to store your reading material for the next week* is not really all that much fun in fitting rooms with vertigo, particularly when the vertigo has caused me to go from having strong legs to having warrior princess thighs!!!, so a lot of the jeans available there are not fitting the different bits of me equally well. (How does vertigo do that, ask the latecomers and the people who didn't write it on their scorecards? Well, vertigo brings nausea. Nausea brings not eating. This is a problem. People need to eat--this is a long-held and deeply-felt philosophical position of mine. And so far just about the only thing that cuts through the nausea consistently enough to let me eat, like ya do, is going from 45 minutes of biking on the big sturdy recumbent bike 4-5 days a week--plus PT and yoga and Pilates--to doing about 90 minutes of biking on the said recumbent bike 7 days a week--still plus PT and yoga and Pilates. Fear the might of my vertigo-powered legs. Srsly. F34r. If I wasn't so tired, I could totally crush Tokyo, or any other monster-movie-hosting city. If they'd give me something to hang onto while I did it.) So being able to do the requisite booty dancing while holding onto my very own dresser--as a barre, as it were--was very useful, go internet, go jeans, go elaborate dance of denim-verification.

It's been a rough week around here, for an assortment of reasons, some of which you will be able to come up with yourselves if you think hard. But here we are Friday, and there's a story sale, and there are jeans, and [ profile] markgritter is coming home, and while I only managed lunch by telling myself I didn't have to think about lunch, I just had to eat lunch, I did eat lunch, and it was nice. In fact, I commend it here to you: red quinoa cooked in broth (mushroom broth is favored; other broths will do) with pecans and dried sour cherries. It has a wide variety of nutrients and is warm and savory and tastes interesting without being difficult if you're not very sure of this food thing at the moment.

So yah. Story. Quinoa. Jeans. Stuff.

*I have said, haven't I? that my mother's first exposure to Neal Stephenson was as a measure of clothes that don't fit me. I have said, "I could stick the complete works of Neal Stephenson in this waistband with me--in hardcover!" more times than she or I could count, when we were clothes shopping together.
mrissa: (winter)
It is interesting writing The True Tale of Carter Hall so that the hockey fans should go, "Hmm, something's not right here," and the mythology geeks should go, "Hmm, something's not right here," and the mythology geeks who are also hockey fans should be going, "OH NOES OH NOES RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!!!" I will be interested to see how well I nail that balance in the first draft or whether it needs tweaking in one direction or another.

Anyway Carter got to punch the fella in the ear and force him down on the ice when he crashed the net, so everybody is satisfied, where by "everybody" I mean me, Carter, Coach Laird, and Honor Itself.

Also I have the last of my post-Christmas sale purchases, which is a red sweater with white snowflakey bits, which is honestly how I look in my own head. Native garb and all that.

So it's afternoon now? Huh.
mrissa: (Default)
1. If you are writing a web interface, do not specify a font color but not a background color or vice versa. This is what we know as sloppy and bad.

2. Clothes shopping online to replace things that have worn out. What did we say about pencil skirts for at least the last six seasons? Together now, in a weary drone: [ profile] mrissa is not shaped like a pencil. Puff sleeves: do I look like Anne of Green Gables to you? (If yes, check again: red hair? No. Freckles? Only very pale pathetic ones. Best friend who would put a cake ad in my fiction? Not hardly. Earnest assumption of all humanity's goodness? Guess again, bucko.) It's a faux-denim faux-A-line skirt? Great! Then I'm faux buying it! And if you could pick out of all the possible women models in the world, and you couldn't make your shorts look any better than that, why are you selling them? Pick out the stitching, cut up the fabric for a quilt or a pillow or something and hide your shame. Some people would feel better that the shorts they tried on earlier in the season looked on them just about exactly as they did on the model. Me, I feel sorry for the model, because I took the things off and departed the scene as swiftly as the vertigo would allow, rather than standing around letting somebody get photographic evidence that I'd ever worn the wretched things. And the ones I tried on were brown; the model's are in periwinkle pinstripes! There are very few occasions that call for periwinkle pinstriped shorts, in my experience. Perhaps I'm missing out and you're all having parties for which they would be just the thing and not inviting me. Good. Carry on with not inviting me. Periwinkle pinstripes. It's self-mocking!

3. How being a little-known SF and fantasy short story writer is better than being a candidate for PotUSA/VPotUSA (selections from long, long list): the people you deal with like to teach you things, and some of them even like to learn. If someone tries to appoint you to a committee, you don't have to pretend to like it. You can do whatever you want with your hair and it does not affect the success of your career: shaved off? Longer than your butt? Dyed blue? Looped up in dozens of little loops with sparkly butterfly clips? Nobody. Cares. Also if a member of your family gets pregnant, the only people who have opinions on this event are people who have known her name for more than a week. Also if you try to get something stupid published, nobody cares as long as you don't succeed. And when there are good sushi restaurants in the cities where we have our conventions, we eat there.

4. Post-travel vertigo: the less said, the better. But oof.

5. I can tell I'm ready to start really serious writing on The True Tale of Carter Hall, because interesting tidbits about four other novels have popped into my head. I wrote them down and closed the files. Focus is our friend. Our elusive, popular friend who is never around when we want to catch up over a cup of coffee.

6. The vertigo is still making reading nonfiction less fun than it ought to be, but at the moment I feel compelled to be stubborn. We'll see how that goes.
mrissa: (frustrated)
(Upon continuing the preliminary search for dresses online)

1. "Oh, are they having a Brownie troop meeting here? How sweet!"

2. "They got talking cleavage to do a reading? That's kind of weird. think I can see a person back there. Maybe."

3. "There are lighthouses printed on her dress. Light...houses. Printed. On her dress. Um. Why?"

4. "Do you know when she's due?"

5. "That's definitely a dress. Or a shirt. One or the other, I'm almost sure."

6. "That's definitely a dress. Or some curtains. One or the other, I'm almost sure."

7. "Is she still alive? She sounds alive, but...."

8. "Is that hole a design element, or did she have a near-fatal run-in with a knight on horseback on the way to the wedding?"

9. "I don't know how many thousands of chiffonlets died to make that, but it was too many."

10. "I don't know how many thousands of chiffonlets died to make that, but it was not enough."

There is, however, a possibility. *song from choirs of angels*
mrissa: (don't mess with me today)
I ran my tights first thing at the bagel place this morning. Came home to find the next pair of brown tights in the drawer was not run but clocked from hell to breakfast. Sigh. So I am on brown tights version three this morning. Any further tights damage means changing my clothes completely.

But as I was digging through the tights drawer, something became very very clear to me: the Great Trouser Experiment of 2003-2004 is officially over. Three and four Christmases ago, I got trousers, on the theory that, hey, I live here, it gets cold, I might want some trousers. Turns out: no. Many of the things sold to women to be "dressy" are no warmer than good tights and a skirt, if as warm. I will now -- sometimes, occasionally -- rarely -- wear corduroys. But in general, the attempt at trousers was a dismal failure, and I declare it done, and I'm not really interested in going back. Jeans, yes. Skirts and dresses, yes. Trousers...not so much. It turns out. I just can't get into it, really.

Also, I have started looking for a "light-colored" dress (or matching skirt and blouse, but more likely a dress) upon the bride's request for a wedding in the late winter. I have time, so I've just been doing online preliminary looking. It's good for me to get out of the dark colors rut. (Although I like it in here and will probably slip right back in after this wedding.) But so far the only pale blue options I've found are from a store that thinks I am a size 8 on top and a size 2 on the bottom. Hint: that's not going to work. So I may have alterations in my future, and I certainly have further shopping in my future, but -- hello, clothing manufacturers! I am not a size 2! I don't particularly want to be a size 2! I do not feel all vain and proud when you try to make my measurements into a size 2! I am fine with the 4 I generally wear. Don't go vanity sizing me into nothingness and some of my friends into negative numbers. And this thing where you make the waist and hips bigger and not the bust: I am not feeling loved, clothing manufacturers. I am not feeling your affectionate regard. I am not even feeling like a Barbie doll, but I'm feeling like you think I am one. That makes me annoyed with you, not with myself.

Harumph harumph harumph harumph.
mrissa: (Default)
Dear E-mail Interface,

Please do not auto-correct "et al" to "at all." "Dear [name] at all," makes us both look stupid. Well, it would. I corrected it. Now it just makes you look stupid.

(In fact, didn't I tell you not to auto-correct anything? I'm changing that option again, but how did it get changed back? Harumph.)


Dear Clothing Manufacturer,

I realize why it would be beneficial to you to sell overlapping but non-identical sets of clothing in your stores and on your website: you can try to sell more things to people if they have to go both places to see the stock. But can you please not pretend that it is some kind of favor to me? "Internet exclusive" means "available to anyone who has a computer or can get into a public library." Just admit that it's for your own benefit as a for-profit business, since we already know that's what you are, and move along.

Not impressed,

Dear My College,

This "making an unmarked field of people's former homes" thing: it does not do you credit. Engraved paving stones cost less than $100 apiece. Look into it. Also: it'll be ten years in March. Plant some damn trees around the Shakespeare Pit already. Without the trees it's just a hole in the ground. Nobody likes a denuded Shakespeare Pit. It's unsightly.

Good job on seeing how cool Jen is, though. Rah rah rah, well done skool skool skool, as the man says.

Oh, all right, at least a little bit of love,


Apr. 23rd, 2007 09:10 pm
mrissa: (stompy)
Well, I may be a technopeasant, but I don't have to be a barefoot technopeasant: I bought sandals today. Two pair. It went exactly as shoe-shopping should go for a [ profile] mrissa: I went in, there was a sale on shoes of the quality of arch support etc. I prefer, I tried on the pairs I didn't hate, both of them fit, they were different colors (both of which I will use all summer--white and brown), I bought them. The end. I do not like shoe shopping. I have inherited my father's sense that shoes are fundamentally ugly and uninteresting objects. (I have somewhat more affection for boots.) I prefer not to go barefoot, and I prefer to go into such schmancy establishments as do not permit you to go barefoot. But shoes? Meh. Just not excited.

Also there is a peasant-ish dress, again on sale. And I avoided the garment that, once tried on, looked like a Goth petticoat. It did not look like the sort of petticoat a Goth would wear out in public to attempt to be all sexy. No. It looked like an actual useful undergarment to wear under complicated and macabre clothing. This is not a compliment; as I say, I steered clear. There is a reason Goths put clothes over that stuff.

Also there were very many other things like toilet bowl cleaner, wooo. And there were very many phone calls, and I'm still not done with the phone calls because the asphalt people had a busy line when I called. I really don't much care for the phone.

Also the short story that was making me tear my hair and swear it wasn't going to get finished because it just wasn't worth it -- just two days ago, that -- is coming together nicely. Which just goes to show.
mrissa: (play)
While we were off seeing Miss Lillian, Ista's nemesis* dropped off the box with the E. Nesbit skirt and another skirt and a dress in it. We didn't see it when we came up the driveway, so it sat out in the snow until just now, when [ profile] markgritter and Ista left on their walk. I brought it in and tried the stuff on immediately. Wah! And I say again: wah! Cheap thrills! That was chilly.

My sympathetic status, you will be glad to know, remains intact, although it is both less mod and less Nesbitty than I thought. The other skirt, a black-and-green plaid, almost-fits, in that way full skirts have where they just sit a little lower on one's hips than if they actually fit. So that'll do. I suspect that my choice of this skirt makes it very clear that I came of age in the '90s, in that it is a bit grunge or at least post-punk, but I'm not going to any particular length to pretend I am some other age anyway.

The dress...I am still thinking about the dress. It's a summer sundress, and -- well, I think [ profile] gaaldine once put it best, when we were discussing my bridesmaid dress: "I didn't expect it to be 'look at my boobs!'" This dress was clearly constructed for someone with a rather different body type than mine, and the result is...I will ponder how I feel about the result, is what. I don't think it's bad; I'm just not sure it's me. The other thing about it is that it is reminds me of a previous dress of which my friend Rob said, "You know those orange and white popsicle things?" "Dreamsicles?" "Right! You look like a Dreamsicle in that dress." He meant it to be nice. Really. it's just that it's a rather vivid orange. I wear vivid orange well. But it remains vivid orange. So. I ponder.


All this would be easier if I didn't care about clothes, but I do. (Not about fashion. About my clothes.) On the other hand, I am absurdly pleased with the two skirts, and I wouldn't be if I didn't care about clothes.

Anyway, back to hockey stories and Spinoza, consecutively, not concurrently.

*The UPS man. Oh, how she hates him.
mrissa: (reading)
I was looking through sale items at a store online, and I came upon a certain skirt. "Hey!" I said to myself. "If I bought that skirt, I would be the Sympathetic Grown-Up in an E. Nesbit story!"

Then it occurred to me that I already am that model of Sympathetic Grown-Up. Mostly. Without quite so many self-contradictory class issues. And with more of a personal life than the later, C. S. Lewis model of Sympathetic Grown-Up.

I bought the skirt.

I hope it fits.
mrissa: (writing everywhere)
Three rejections. Apparently the exhortations to go back on our heads earlier this week were heeded by at least some editorial staff.

The Target in Burnsville is disappearing slowly into a dimensional rift. If you want anything from there, you'd better go now, because it doesn't look like it'll be there much longer. There were expanses that looked like they were wide open, free of shelves or racks or stuff to buy, but apparently you could lose a toddler in those supposed wide open spaces, because there was a woman calling for hers in an increasingly desperate voice. Entire departments were walled off; others were just empty. There was no indication that they were going out of business. They just didn't have...y'know, stuff. Target stuff. Extremely disorienting.

Also, I am beginning to wonder if putting "casual" in the name of your store is like putting "science" in your field of study: means it isn't one.

In any case, I may be done with the "attempting to spend money" component of the day and may be moving into the "putting things away and writing" component of the day, which would be nice, all things considered.
mrissa: (Default)
Sometimes people act like sewing is the solution to all clothing woes: just make it yourself! Then everything will be fine! Well, Mom and I went fabric shopping this morning, and I can tell you, everything is not fine. I'm happy with the fabric we got -- enough for a skirt and two pairs of wrap pants -- but it was all the good fabric in the store. Well -- there was a lovely shaded blue silk, but I have no idea what it would be good for except cloak lining, because I can't think what else would use enough of the range of fabric for the dramatic change in color to be displayed. And I already have a cloak.

Something like half of the fabric in the store that was theoretically suitable for adult clothing -- not upholstery, not SpongeBob pajamas -- had sequins on it. In case no one had noticed, part of the reason I am short on clothing is that I hate sequins. I don't like how they feel on clothes, and I am perpetually convinced that they will fall off and make the garment look grungy and tacky, and that I don't have the energy to re-sew a sequin or two every time I go to get dressed.

If I didn't like clothing, none of this would be an issue, because I could just wear any old thing, but I do like clothing, and so I am sad when the situation is so sequined and dire.

But my birthday is coming, so even if that doesn't involve clothes as presents, it has to be a good thing, right? Of course right. Because books make better presents anyway. And chocolate. And books.

I am not the sort of person who will mope around wondering if anyone will remember her birthday. No! I will tell you! July 26 is my birthday! This will not be the last you hear of it! My family is very good at birthdays. We're even good at other people's birthdays, when they let us be.

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