I’m going on a trip to Seattle soon to attend the Penny Arcade Expo. As excited as I am to be going, there’s one downside (other than the crippling anxiety I feel any time I travel, which is multiplied tenfold if I’m flying).
I have to wear pants. Not pajamas, actual pants.
I’m tremendously cheap and not particularly fashionable, so I tend to buy my clothes on clearance. A couple years ago I bought about six pairs of bellbottoms at Old Navy for the awesome price of $6 each. I’ve been wearing them ever since.
They make me look like a Clydesdale.
While I was taking a nap today I had an epiphany: I could alter those jeans! They’re that stretchy kind of denim that has lycra or something in it, so they’re the perfect material for it! And because I’m a giver, I’m going to walk you through the process, step by step.
How to Turn Your Bellbottoms Into Skinny Jeans
1) First, it’s important to have a plan. I find my best ideas come to me when I’m half asleep, so take a nap!
2) Now that you’re rested, pick out a pair of bellbottom jeans that you don’t wear. I suggest you grab that pair that’s three inches too short, because even if this plan doesn’t work out you won’t miss them.
3) Turn the jeans inside out and put them on. Pinch your belly skin while you’re buttoning them.
4) Now it’s time to start fitting them! Grab your pins and bend over, starting at the knee on the outside of the leg and working your way down. Look good? Great!
5) Stand up to grab more pins. Get dizzy. Fall over.
6) Bend back over, starting on the inside of the leg. Oh, look! Your cat is inexplicably awake, even though he normally sleeps right now!
7) Push the cat out of your face. Pick cat hair out of your mouth.
8) Repeat step 7.
9) Repeat step 7.
10) Peel the cat, who has started to climb you, off your leg. Be aware that he may bite you at this point, as he is frustrated by your refusal to play with him RIGHT NOW.
11) Repeat step 10.
12) Lock the cat in the bedroom. Is he locked up? Awesome! Time to finish the inside of the leg!
13) Carefully pin all the way down the inside of the leg, keeping the fabric smooth. Stand up every so often so that you don’t pass out from the blood pooling in your head.
14) Pull the pin out of your finger. Don’t whine. You’re not bleeding THAT much.
15) Pull the pin out of your thigh. Say “Fuck!” six to ten times.
16) Repeat step 5.
17) Check the fit in a mirror. Oh, no! The back of the jeans are oddly puckered!
18) Repeat steps 13-17 six times.
19) Congratulations! It finally looks perfect. Time to take them off and baste them!
20) Start taking them off. Realize, as all of the pins slide out of the fabric and into your leg, that you put the pins in upside down.
21) Remove all the pins.
22) Repeat steps 13-17 eight more times.
23) Realize that you should probably use safety pins instead of straight pins. Remove all pins.
24) Wow, you’re really starting to feel ill from all this hanging upside down. Try sitting down and fitting the jeans that way!
25) Well THAT didn’t work. Stand up. Step on a pin.
26) Repeat steps 13-17 four more times.
27) You know what? These would make really awesome capris! Take them off and measure the legs to make sure they’re the length you want.
28) Measure again. You don’t want to fuck this up!
29) Measure again!
30) Cut the jeans. Good job! You’re making great progress.
31) Try to figure out how, after measuring them three times, you managed to cut them almost four inches too short.
32) You know what? These would make really great shorts!
33) Take a closer look at the jeans.
34) Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. You have just realized that you grabbed the wrong pair of jeans, and have just cut one of your favorite pairs in half.
35) FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUUUUCK.
36) Throw the jeans on the floor. Stomp on them. Kick them across the room.
37) Go to the store. Find a pair of skinny jeans.
38) Closely inspect how they’re made. Do you see how the inside seam is straight, while the outside seam is curved?
39) Buy the skinny jeans.
40) Wear the skinny jeans.
Congratulations! You have a pair of skinny jeans, and they look GREAT! Join me again for helpful tutorials like, “How to Paint Without a Dropcloth or Tape” and “Hanging up pictures: Why a Level Isn’t Necessary”.
I was tweeting about my dinner today, as one does, and mentioned to a friend that I have the best curry soup recipe anywhere in the world, ever. Seriously, my husband informed me that it is “the best thing you’ve ever cooked. Ever. I’m not kidding.” Which is either an awesome compliment to this soup or I’m a really shitty cook. Honestly it could be either.
Anyway, I told my friend I’d give her my recipe, and since I’m too lazy to email it to her, you all get it, too.
If you guys make this soup, you’d better make sure I’m credited.
Okay no wait. I just decided that I have to make a Discworld reference here, because Death in Discworld speaks in ALL CAPS and also appreciates a good curry. So we’re going to call it
DEATH’S CURRY SOUP
(Much more badass.)
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2″ thick half moons
2.5 tbs curry powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small apple, peeled and grated
3 tbs ketchup
1 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs miso paste
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked rice
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Saute onion 7-9 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add carrots and saute 5 minutes more. Stir in curry powder, coriander, cumin, ginger, and garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add broth, sweet potato, apple, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, miso, and garbanzo beans and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in coconut milk and rice.
I am having a bitch of a time writing lately, and it’s ironic. Well deserved, because the less I write the harder I find it, but still. A bitch of a time.
The irony comes from the fact that I have recently become a lot more invested in becoming a Real Writer ™. I’ve said before that I have one marketable skill, and that’s writing. This would be a lot more frightening if I was responsible for feeding myself, because writing isn’t the easiest thing to get paid for.
You know how you sell your writing? You’re tenacious, you’re passionate, you’re damn lucky, and you’re at least a little bit good. I used to think that being a good writer was more important that being a tenacious or lucky writer, but Twilight and its bastard love-child 50 Shades of Grey have seared my innocent optimism right out of me.
So, I have one semi-marketable skill. I also have significant motivation; the lack of purpose in my life has been eating at me. I want to do something bigger than what I’m doing now; I don’t want the only marks I make on the world to be the tracks I leave on the carpet when I vacuum. I want to do something that I’m proud of. When someone asks me what I do, I want whatever I tell them to be amazing, at least to me.
This is not the part where you say, “But being a mom IS amazing! It’s such hard work and blahblahblah….” I know you mean well, I do. I know exactly what being a stay at home mom requires, and I’m not ashamed of it.
I want more than that. I don’t want to be the supporting cast in the lives of my children, I want to be the headliner in my own life.
I can’t say that I haven’t had doors open up to me. When I started Razorblade Sammich, all I had was a computer and an abundance of female gamer frustration, and somehow that turned into opportunity. Because I started that blog, I’ve met amazing people that I am honored to call my friends (they probably call me “that one loud chick from Twitter” but that’s okay). I’ve gone places and done things that I could not have imagined possible two years ago. Even when it seems that I am actively trying to sabotage myself as a writer, doors open in front of me that I don’t expect. It’s like the universe has chosen a road for me, paved with frustration and excitement and broken keyboards, and it won’t allow me to walk down any other.
Now I have a skill, a motivation, an opportunity, and the hand of fate is clearly guiding me. What am I lacking?
A fucking work ethic, that’s what. I whine all the time that writing is hard, and that’s because it IS. It’s totally fucking hard, and it’s not fun, and I honestly don’t always like doing it. Sure, I like it when I’m done with something, because then I can be like, “Hey look at this fucking awesome thing I did because I’m so awesome”. Before the thing is done, though, it’s just frustration and exhaustion and “why the fuck can’t I remember that fucking word”. (That is a huge problem for me. When I sit down to write my vocabulary likes to abandon me. It’s the writing equivelent of going into labor when your obstetrician is golfing in Maui. That’s why I use ‘fuck’ so much. Sometimes it’s the only word I can remember.)
Everything is coming together to give me what I want most, and rather than reaching out and grabbing it my reaction is “I could actually really use a nap right now. Probably after that I’ll spend four hours telling dick jokes on Twitter. Maybe I’ll do something with my life tomorrow, that’s cool, right?”
I don’t fucking have time for that. I don’t have enough tomorrows to waste them doing this stupid bullshit.
This is normally where I’d outline my plan to do things differently. “I’m going to write this many hours a day and then this and this” but that shit never works and then I feel bad about it later. So I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to make goals for myself and make promises to other people and end up failing everyone. Nope.
I actually don’t know what I’m going to do. I think I’m going to be satisfied that I wrote something today, and let that be enough for right now.
We met in the summer of 2010. My husband’s birthday was coming up, and I, as usual, had no idea what to get him. He’s the most irritating person in the world to shop for, because he just never wants anything.
I watched him for a couple weeks, trying to figure out what hell to buy him. Finally, after watching him squint at the screen of his phone while he read Game of Thrones on his Kindle app, I knew just what he needed: A Nook. (Why I went Nook when he was reading on the Kindle app, I have no fucking clue.)
He wasn’t convinced he would like it, but I talked him into it. It was probably my earnest desire to finally get him a good gift.
He read one chapter of one book on it, declared that he hated it, and never touched it again.
I picked it up, read one chapter of one book, and I fell in love.
I hadn’t expected to like any e-book reader, because I like books. I like the sound of pages turning and the way they feel in my hands. I like the way they smell when they’re new, and the way they smell when they’re old. I like flipping through them to find the passages that I especially want to read again. I like seeing them around my house. (I like using them as props to make people think I’m smart. “Look at that! Pride and Prejudice. I gots mad culture, bitches.”)
Not just that- I loved CHEAP books. I could get any book I wanted to read for half price just by waiting for it to appear at the used book store, and when I was done, I could sell them back. I could lend them and borrow them. An e-book reader just seemed like a huge downgrade in almost every possible way.
Somehow, it wasn’t.
Over time, the Nook became more than just a reading interface. It became a window into any other world I wanted to visit. I could download and read any book I wanted without reservation or judgment; when I wanted to read a tawdry romance novel, no one needed to know. When I wanted to continue a reading adventure in the middle of the night, I just had to download the next book in the series; I didn’t have to wait until the next time I had a chance to go to the bookstore.
When I needed something, it had it for me. Spiritual advice? Pema Chodron or Thich Nhat Hanh were on hand. Recipes? Rachael Ray was right there.
We went on fantastic adventures together. We battled faeries and demons, tumbled through epic love stories, and saved the world more times than I can count. It re-acquainted me with old friends (Sam Vimes) and introduced me to new ones.
It became my travel companion. When I was bored or lonely on trips, it was always right there to cheer me up and keep me company. When I didn’t want to be around the people I was travelling with, it provided an excuse to escape for a little while.
It became my comfort. When I was depressed it took me to happier places, and when I was overwhelmed it gave me a break.
It even taught me to play Sudoku.
Newer, flashier e-book readers came out, and I considered “upgrading”, but in the end I stuck by my Nook. We were bros. It gave me everything I needed. The plastic was yellowing-in some places even cracking (The page forward button, in case you were wondering), but it still worked, and so I stayed faithful.
A few months ago, I turned it on and found that the memory had been completely erased. Everything was gone; it wasn’t even registered to me any more.
I panicked, but the internet said that it was fine, that I just shouldn’t let the battery get completely drained again.
Fair enough. I re-registered it and downloaded my books again, making sure to plug it in every couple of days.
A month after that, on a full battery, it happened again; for some reason, my Nook was rolling itself back to factory defaults.
It was like my Nook had developed an electronic form of Alzheimer’s.
I kept re-registering it, and it kept resetting. Not only that, but the memory failures were getting more frequent and more severe; the screen would go blank and then flash repeatedly, and it would stop responding to the buttons for long periods of time. Still, I could deal with it. It was happening every few weeks, that’s not a big deal.
It happened less than a week ago. Yesterday, it happened again.
Last night, I went out and bought a new tablet to read my books on.
And I came home and cried a little bit.
It wasn’t just technology. It was my friend.
(Crossposted to Razorbladesammich.com)
A lot of people think ADHD is a made up disorder. You guys know that. Some of you probably even think it. That’s okay. (You’re wrong, but it’s okay to be wrong as long as you’re not a dick about it.)
As I mentioned in my last post, I went off my meds about a month ago because I’m cheap, and also because I’m an idiot. (My face is looking much better, by the way.) This morning has been an excellent reminder of why I need the damn things. (Can’t get them until Tuesday.)
(Tangent: So, every time we put in my prescription for Concerta, the pharmacist asks for insurance information, and every time, we tell them we don’t have insurance. Every single time, they say, “Well, this is going to cost over $200, are you sure you want it?” and every time, we say, “Yes, we know, it cost that much last month, too.”
EVERY TIME, we get a phone call not long after asking if we’re really, REALLY sure we want the meds.
You guys. We live in a society where it is assumed that people will just not take necessary medications because they’re too expensive. That’s not cool. It shouldn’t be this way.
I woke up this morning, which is good because otherwise this post would be kind of boring. It would just be me writing about how I slept until noon and sleep is awesome. I mean, sleep IS awesome, but everyone knows that. You don’t need me to tell you.
Unless you go to a hellish alternate dimension where demons eat babies and you have to sit through your 7th grade algebra class every night. For you, sleep is probably not awesome. I feel bad for you.
For ME, sleep is awesome. Waking up to 9 year olds squealing and giggling because they had a sleepover last night is not as awesome, but it’s acceptable because blah blah blah sacrifice blah blah kids blah love. (translation: It’s what I’m supposed to do so that the therapist my kid hires when she’s 30 doesn’t think I was a cruel, disinterested mother that only had children so I wouldn’t have to wash dishes anymore. I did, actually, and that backfired HARD. Kids don’t do housework. Kids MAKE housework.)
This post so far is a pretty good representation or what my day has looked like. I sat down with a goal. I was going to explain how having ADHD hampers productivity and complicates my life.
MY DAY SO FAR. It started with “waking up”, which we’ve already covered.
Then we moved on to “finding food” (Actually, we moved to “putting on pants”, which is more complicated than it sounds because I’m an old lady with a very bad back, so I had to pick up my pajama pants with my foot – they were on my floor, where I like to hang them neatly every night before I go to sleep – and then try and maneuver myself into them without, you know, moving.)
Because I haven’t gone to the grocery store in a while, finding food consisted of actually having to make food. So I made muffins. I mixed the egg, oil, water, and muffin mix (YES muffin mix, I’m not Martha Fucking Stewart). Then I went to find a muffin pan and realized that one of my muffin pans was rusty, so I threw it away. Then I checked the rest of my bakeware to make sure that it hadn’t rusted, too.
Then I started a pot of tea. (I have this awesome tea thingy that’s like a coffee pot, but it makes tea. It’s cool.) I washed the carafe, cleaned out the basket, filled it up, started it…
… and remembered that I *thought* I had therapy tomorrow, but I wasn’t sure.
So I picked up my phone to check my calander and look! I had a text.
Replied to the text.
Put down the phone.
I needed to grease the muffin pan, so I went to the spice cabinet and got out the Pam rearranged it.
And realized that the oven was hot and the muffin mix was made, but the two had not yet been combined to create actual muffins. (Thankfully, I had another muffin pan that was not full of tetanus, so I used that one. I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain that, but I’ve met people on the internet before, so I’m explaining it anyway. I DON’T USE RUSTY BAKEWARE and then tell people about it.)
I greased the muffin pan. I filled up the muffin pan.
Still didn’t know if I had therapy! Picked up the phone, checked Twitter, put the phone down.
Stared in confusion at the tea maker, which was boiling, and then realized that I hadn’t put any tea into it. Nom, hot water.
Fed the dog. Turned on my computer.
Still no tea in the water.
Still no muffins in the oven.
Still no idea if I have therapy tomorrow.
I’ll cut it short: It took me two hours to make a pan of muffins and a pot of tea, and I didn’t know if I had therapy tomorrow until the fifth time I checked the phone. (And because I know myself, I called and double checked anyway. I do have therapy tomorrow, but I had entered the time into my calendar wrong.)
Everyone has days like this. The difference for someone like me is that every day is like this. It kind of sucks. A lot. I don’t tend to get a lot done, for some reason.
Really looking forward to Tuesday, when I can get my “fix”- not of stimulants, but of sanity.