The Dorkiest Post in the History of Dorky Posts, Includes Quilting

I turned down all my New Year’s Eve offers so that I could fiddle with S.’s sewing machine and get started on my quilt. It’s terrible. I mean, whew, doggie, terrible. But here’s the important thing, if you are about to set off on any new crafting skill. The first one will suck. No way around it. So, just get on with the sucking, you know? I thought I’d just do stacks of rectangles, but none of my rectangles are square so the stacks were, just six rectangles in, obviously not going to be square, so I have switched to squares, which are hilariously off-kilter.

But I really like the fabric and the quilt’s not for anyone but me, so I’m not too worried about it. Even just looking at what I have pieced together, it looks hilariously bad, but also really good.  So, I’m kind of digging it. I guess the trick is to use fabric you like so that it’s easy enough to overlook that you don’t know what you’re doing.

It’s funny. My mom taught me to sew and I don’t remember sewing a lot of things on her machine, but the biggest problem I’m having with S.’s machine is the muscle memory that keeps reaching for the wrong spot to lift up the foot. I even did all the bobbin stuff myself, which involved adjusting the tension, so I felt like a pro. And then, I threaded the needle on the first try! Only to then realize that the machine has an automatic needle threader. Hilariously enough, I can’t figure out how to use it, so I’ve just been threading the needle myself when I have to, which I have had to a few times when I am not careful.

I won’t tell you how many times I had to pull a whole seam out. Okay–four. But that’s when I developed my grand theory of “The first one is just going to suck and it’s okay.” It’s easy to be cheery about sucky things when you accept that that’s the learning experience. Plus, I don’t plan on becoming a grand quilt maker so I didn’t buy all the tools that I’m sure make your first time suck much less. But, if I do this again, I will, believe me.

Writing is going at a much slower pace. I know what I want to have happen in Chapter 5 (right now the last chapter) and I know where I am now, but I’m not sure how to get from where I am now to chapter five. And I’m very nervous about the next draft. I’ve never written something this long, so I’ve never really needed to do actual second drafts of things. I just wrote something and then edited it until I liked it.

But with something this length, I’m starting to get an understanding of why you’d need to actually rewrite things, and it scares me a little bit. I know it needs to be done, but I’m not sure how to go about it. Which, weirdly, brings me back to the quilting stuff. I may just need to come to accept that the first novel sucks and just do it for the sake of having written something that length to see how it goes.

And, like the quilt, I’m not sure “sucks” shuts off the possibility of “interesting”  and “beautiful” and “something I really love,” so there’s that. This quilting shit may be more useful than I know.

I need to go take a picture of what’s going on so you can see.

Science! You have answers, we have questions.

I was telling the girls yesterday (“the girls” as in “my friends” not “the girls” as in “my boobs,” though I’m sure my boobs were totally eavesdropping) that, while visiting with my family, we had come up with a Mythbusters question for the ages.

We have all heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth.

And yet, my dog regularly eats poop.

So, I’d like to know, how long does it take a dog’s mouth to go from “I just had a goose poop popcycle” to “It’s totally not gross if I go in and try to French kiss the Butcher”?

A Noise I Like

For the first time in forever, I got up and walked the dog and, as such, was reminded of one of my favorite noises in the neighborhood. Not that we have a lot of noises in the neighborhood. Mostly just cars, birds, dogs, and sometimes children. But we also have the AT&T building. I don’t know what, exactly, this building does for AT&T. I’ve been walking by it for a couple of years and it appears that very tired men in crappy cars go into the building and… I don’t know. I never see anyone leaving it.

I like to imagine it’s a support group for people who can’t quite make the switch in their minds from Bell South.

“Okay, guys, just one more time. Repeat after me, ‘Hello, Ma’am, I’m from AT&T.”

“Hello, Ma’am, I’m from Allt&South.”

“Close, Earl, real close.”

I shudder to think what happens if they all have to start calling themselves uVerse.

Anyway, they have an HVAC unit that that makes the most awesome noises. It comes on like a mechanical dragon clearing its throat, all cluuunnk cachunk cachuuooonk and then it purrs for a few seconds prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppprrrrrr (ha, I’m 36 years old and I’m just now realizing ‘purr’ is an onomatopoeia.) and then it kicks into this heavy metal scream, “ooooooooEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” and then I assume they have heat or something.

Even though it kicks on almost every time I walk by, that initial cluuunnk cachunk cachuuooonk scares the shit out of me.

Sometimes I think, “Dang, they should get out there with some WD40,” but most of the time I just laugh at myself and think that I should remember to tell you guys about it.