Monday, June 25, 2007

double plus good..

what's better than discovering a pattern you've lusted in your heart for for over half a decade exists?

well, i'll tell you...buying the $16.95 pattern for one single, solitary dollar.


Friday, June 22, 2007

just wrong...

don't ya think?

discovered last saturday in illinois on a sojourn to the drive-in. a wonderful day that started with a late lunch at a st. louis landmark, crown candy kitchen (mmm, chocolate banana malt!), a trip antiquing and vintage clothing shopping (kelly found a pale pink super beaded cardigan in perfect condition and talked ME into buying it!), and then we found an illinois goodwill store that had old albums we had never pawed through and episodes of lost in space on VHS. who could ask for more?

oh, and last night? kelly took me to joe's cafe (bill cristman's studio) that is only open on thursday nights. i don't think there are words to describe this place. imagine a surreal dream of neon and giant advertisements mixed in with a circus-y vibe, a wiener wagon, a cave of darkest dankest beat poetry goodness and live music and you'll not even come close.

this was after we saw a great musical, once, at the tivoli. we were lucky to catch it since last night was the very last showing of it, but when it comes out on dvd, i HIGHLY recommend this sweet sad film. oh, and did i mention we had a delicious dinner here? there is very little, tastebud-wise, that can make my toes wiggle in my shoes like the vegetarian spring roll, sesame noodle, vietnamese coffee combination.

tonight, if you're looking for something to do you could go dance the night away at the grand opening of cherry bomb/retro 101 at 2114 Cherokee Street featuring the music of hudson and the hoodoo cats and the vultures or go see this or this. maybe we'll see you. and tomorrow night? i'm going to be getting my fill of roller derby.

if you say there's nothing to do in st. louis? you're just not trying hard enough.

and, by the way, when did i turn into julie, your cruise director?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


you know when you have so much you want to tell your best friend and the words get all jumbled up in your mouth in the telling and your friend has no idea what you're talking about and your hands are wildly gesturing and eyes are blink, blink, blinking and your cheeks are flushed? that's how i feel right now.

i found a dress a day. i've been reading erin's archives with relish and clapping my hands gleefully under my chin like a little girl with each entry. did i mention that she's also a lexicographer?

oh. my. gosh. next to vintage dress patterns i have almost that many dictionairies. i heart dictionairies with a crazy passion. oh, and dress patterns. so the two of them combined is like a weird nerdy girl swoony cocktail of happiness.

and then she put me right over the edge...

she posted this pattern for which i have been searching for the vintage precursor to for years. i wish i was exaggerating, but i. am. not. it all started with a now defunct website where "members" posted pics and project notes of their sewing projects. somebody made the vintage version of this wrap dress and i became obsessed. now, thanks to erin (we're on a first name basis, doncha know?) i learned that butterick reissued the pattern.

i can hear you now, "why, heidi, did you not know that this pattern was reissued? don't you go to the fabric store more than your husband actually knows about?" oh, dear reader, your question is so wise, but you must understand...i don't troll the pattern books, because most modern patterns leave me cold. even though a photograph on the pattern envelope might give me a better understanding of the fit and ease of a given pattern, i don't get weak in the knees looking at a photo...give me a drawing (ala the above pattern) any day and i'll buy your pattern right out from under you.

so, one guess as to what i'm going to be doing this weekend? looks like my to-do list just got a little bit longer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

edge of your seat, i'm sure...

how could you do all the things you had planned for the weekend knowing that i had yoga on monday? went very well. there were only four students so it was more difficult to hide out and go unnoticed. i got a couple of "10s," accepted the praise and concentrated on my breathing.

we did do some stability ball work, which was new to me and required lots of core strength. since i've had three abdominal surgeries i have no abdominal muscle tone, to be sure, so i kept wiggling off the ball. it was a mental challenge for me to not be good at it. a very valuable lesson.

there you go. now you can rest easy. you've been updated.

Friday, June 15, 2007


it is a disease, to be sure, but often i feel like i have to be the valedictorian of everything. if i'm not 100% perfect, then i must be doing something wrong. as my friend becky would say, "you must have had a difficult toilet training."

so, even though it goes completely against the entire philosophy of yoga, i have to be the best at it. there is a reason why the act of yoga is called "practice." we are not meant to be perfect -- ever. it is a lifelong practice. but, me? i soldier on, trying to make myself perfect anyway.

i've begun taking yoga at my office on my lunch hour and the instructor is the most high-energy teacher i've ever encountered. she likes to tell folks that their poses are "10s!" the first few classes the valedictorian side of me reveled in the constant praise she doled out. then, after a little while it made me self-conscious. because, if any of you know me very well or feel like you do from what i write here, you know that although i love adoration, i don't really dig attention being drawn to me. if you wrote a little note on my research paper about how you liked a particular point i'd made or spoke to me quietly in the corner to tell me you liked my dress, i'd eat that up. but call me out in front of class or with a lot of people standing around and i melt into a pile of perspiring mush.

on wednesday i formulated a strategy for avoiding being called out in yoga class. the plan included arriving perilously close to late (something i abhor) and situating my mat in the back of the class. it worked like a charm...until, that is, i realized i hadn't been praised at all. i felt dejected. weird, huh?

becky suggested that i welcome the praise, that i embrace it and own it, because, well, i deserve it. and that's when it dawned on me...i didn't think i deserved it. damn! that becky -- she's good.

so my assignment for monday's class is to welcome the praise...if it comes, that is, and if it doesn't? then know that i am still doing fine. just fine. this is just practice after all.

sounds easy, right? i'll let you know on tuesday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

this is what i do...

i work for attorneys. mostly i do ministerial legal assistant type tasks and schedule meetings, create complicated powerpoint presentations and well, let's say it...soothe bruised lawyer egos. but the other day i was asked to find out from what poem a particular stanza was lifted.

it's those types of research projects that keep this ex-english major (with an emphasis on women's studies) coming back to the office day after day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

my summer to do list...

1. finish the basement cleaning extravaganza. this includes:
a. sweep (for the one millionth time), vacuum, wash, and paint the concrete floor;

b. paint all of the bookshelves, cabinets, and dressers that hold my voluminous art supplies a lovely shade of buttercream yellow;

d. pick up my sewing machine from being serviced and, oh, i don't know...MAKE SOMETHING! maybe the silk scarf curtain lesley pointed out to me in elle decor.

2. clean out my closet. this includes:
a. folding the sweaters from overflowing sweater shelf;

b. figure out a real solution for the shoe issue (you know you have this problem too!);

c. get serious about the purses. come on, i'm never, ever going to carry that woven perry ellis bag again, but it never wore out. it's hard to part with;

d. and i know this isn't the closet, but get a handle on the drawers of the dresser.

3. redeco the living room. this includes:
a. reupholster the arm chair languishing for oh so many years in the basement;

b. refinish (stain) said chair;

c. buy and assemble entertainment center, bookshelves, sideboy and media cabinet from home decorator's outlet;

d. paint the living room a soothing, retro dove/pearl grey;

e. pick out reasonably priced area rug and window treatments;

f. come up with some stunning arrangement of almost free artwork.

4. the backyard:
a. wash the patio;

b. wash the patio furniture;

c. paint the adirondack chair, ottoman and two metal lawn chairs;

d. re-do the woven seat/backs for the aluminum lawn chairs;

e. weed, weed, weed.

5. collapse over the labor day weekend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

he dressed himself...

a dad, teenaged daughter and kindergarden-aged son emerge from the grocery store on a sunny, late afternoon. the boy is wearing rain boots, knit shorts, and a pajama shirt. dude is obviously prepared for whatever the world has in store from him. you go, little guy!

and dad? my hat's off to you too. in my early parenthood i would have tried to micro-manage him out of the top...time has taught me many things, one of which is, "style is not up for negotiation, mom."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


enid collins, eat your heart out!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

secret? what secret?

i found a journal i had begun, first in november 2002 and then took up again in january 2005, right after my run in with the "c" word. i read a few pages. i was quite clearly working through some issues. some of the issues were "wow, i can't believe i had cancer" related; but many of them were everyday life issues, contemplating living each day with intention and purpose. not unlike what i've been thinking about lately.

what really caught my eye, though, was on my mondo beyondo list (a suggestion i got from andrea). one of the items on the list was, "own a vintage VW and paint a crown on the side or the top." wow! it's like i worked the secret even before i knew there was a secret because 5 months later i became the proud owner of a 1965 bubblegum pink VW squareback station wagon.

so, does that really mean the secret works and that just by putting my wishes out into the universe that it brought the VW to me? or does that mean that folks who believe in the secret are more likely to attribute any remote coincidences to the secret?

editor's note: after i wrote the above i read this. which made me wonder all 100th monkey-like if there are lots of folks questioning how the secret works. what are your thoughts on the secret?

Monday, June 04, 2007

i am not...

...a gardener. i like to plant things and i like it when they grow, but if you talk to me about zones, dead-heading and/or cross-pollination i'm a goner.

...a painter. i like color. i like to apply paint to many objects, but i cannot paint a picture.

...a good housekeeper. every once in while i realize that there are other people that routinely vacuum under the beds or sweep their kitchen floors and i do those things, but mostly i live in a very organized, not very clean, home.

...a straight cutter. why, oh why can i not cut a straight line?

...a correspondent. i realized yesterday that in the past month i've forgotten to send three anniversary cards and at least two birthday cards.

...a telephone talker. i may forget to call you back if you leave me a voice mail message. also, for someone who likes to talk a lot, i often forget that someone actually needs to listen for it to be called a "conversation."

...a faithful blogger. well, you can look at my archives and see that for yourself.