Monday, July 2, 2012

Need a Notebook? Make Your Own!

My first foray into book making! I like to hide post it notes with quotes on them for Josh to find, and he was sticking them around a mirror in the office. When the post its threatened to become an impromptu wallpaper I decided it was time to do something with them. It seemed as good a time as any to finally give book making a go. This first experiment has some pretty serious structural issues, but it serves its purpose as a note holder. 

My second book is much sturdier, and benefited from more forethought.  There were still issues with the binding though, and after a two hour struggle to correct them (complete with much swearing, one beer, and two episodes of Buffy) I finally managed to bend it to my will.

The third book is the most structurally sound of the lot and, not surprisingly, took the least amount of time to put together. Every project is a lesson, however, and this one taught me that the glitter embossed papers crack and fray when forced over the edges. Which is a shame because I think the glitter makes the cover, but clearly these papers can't be used to wrap the covers of future notebooks. 
There are so many different techniques for book binding, and the one I used for these three is super easy. In the interest of creating a more "finished" looking notebook in the future, I think I will try my hand a some of the more complicated techniques. Who knows when that will be, though, since each book is a pretty serious time commitment.

Monday, May 7, 2012

You're Not A Corgi!

I haven't put up a post in awhile, so here is a picture of Stormageddon that makes him look like a Corgi.
Silly puppy, you're an Eskie not a Corgi.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sending Out Love

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was to get mail. Now, as an adult, mail is considerably less fun. So, in the spirit of recapturing my love of mail, I've been trying to make and mail a card a week. Some cards go to family, and some cards go to strangers.

This card is going to a Redditor in Australia.

This card is going to my sister in basic training.
Have you ever sent mail to a stranger before?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The HitchBro Follow Up

I am a super huge fan of reddit. Reddit provides me entertainment, news, and the opportunity to help out those in need. (Ok, mostly I enjoy the rage comics and kittens) So when this guy posted on r/pittsburgh saying he was heading into town and needed a place to stay, I took a look. I watched his uTube videos, poked around his subreddit, and checked out his Facebook page before deciding to offer my home up as a place for him to crash.

He seemed like a cool guy, hitchhiking around the country and using the internet to find him places to crash at night. He also said he was avoiding couchsurfing, which struck me as odd, but who am I to judge.

I texted him while he was trying to get out of Columbus, OH and then on and off again throughout the day as he tried, and failed to escape Ohio (sorry Ohio, I'm from Pennsylvania and I couldn't help but make all sorts of mean jokes at your expense over this poor man's inability to escape your clutches :) Stuck in Ohio, I offer my sympathy and say that were he not a five hour trip to pick up, I'd offer to help. I do, however, look up the addresses of two homeless shelters near him, but he ends up sleeping next to a dumpster.

This, in hindsight, should have tipped me off to his level of unpreparedness. I know others who have travelled sans car, and without a lot of money, and they have all had basic, light weight camping gear for instances just such as this.

The next morning I get a couple of texts very early informing me that he has made it to Wheeling, WV and "Is that close enough"? Close enough for what, I wonder in my mostly asleep daze? Then it hits me, close enough for me to come get him and drive him to Pittsburgh. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I agreed to pick him up but caution that I don't have the car at the moment and I'm not sure when. An hour later he asks if I am coming soon, cause he is falling over from exhaustion...

I am not an expert here, but most people who make their way without a car have plans in place for when they can't get rides, like walking or trying to get a ride. Nope, he was perfectly happy to sit and wait for me to drive to Wheeling and get him. Seems to me a lot more like asking for a favor than hitchhiking, but again, who am I to judge.

I pick him up, and right away he is talkative and pleasant. He also is right away bumming cigarrettes. Somehow I am very much not surprised. We get back home and he plops his stuff in my entryway. Literally, everywhere in the entryway. Houseguest rule #1, ask where you can put your things (and pretty much never assume it is in the space intended to allow people to enter the home). Also, rule #2 should probably be, ask if you can wear your shoes inside. SOME people are wierd about that, kinda like me when I know the shoes in question have walked through thousands of miles of road filth and grossness and wet...

His plans for the evening include meeting another redditor and hanging out. He is perfectly happy to sit on my porch until this other guy gets here and picks him up. There is a problem with that though, I have to leave to pick up my husband from work and, while I may be nice and trusting, I am not nice enough to let a stranger hang out at my house waiting for another stranger to get there while I am not home.

I end up dropping him within relative walking distance of his meet up, with the stranger who turns out doesn't have a car (makes me wonder what the plan would have been if I hadn't given him a ride since he has NO money for public transportation)

I go pick the husband up and drop him off at a thing (not a creepy thing, just not a thing the internet doesn't to know) and then hang out and read my book while I wait for the thing to be over. I get a couple texts from our HitchBro friend saying A) he almost got arrested and B) he is going to need me to come pick him up, because otherwise he would have to walk. Eventually the thing is over and I go get him from downtown.

We come home and he flops on the couch. We chat for a bit, which was nice (like I said, the kid is personable and can hold a conversation) and then we grab some leftovers. He leaves his plate in the living room, which by now is strewn with his things. I repeatedly ask what his plans are for tomorrow, while kindly implying that I have a lot of work to do and we are going out of town so he should really find somewhere else to be, but he can't give an answer. I go to bed assuming he's taken my hundred not so subtle hints and will be out on his own tomorrow.

NOPE. I wake up and he is still there. He's found someone on Reddit to buy him a ticket from Pittsburgh to DC, but not until Friday and he's found a place to stay the night, but they can't get him until after 4. I seriously have work to do, so I get the husband to drive home over lunch and give me the car.

HitchBro is pretty obviously displeased that I'm driving away from my home. He tells me he has an online interview to do, and other assorted internet things to take care of, and doesn't have money. He's not sure where to go since he needs to leach space and WiFi from someone and has nothing to grease the wheels of commerce. I end up giving him three bucks in quarters and dropping him at a coffee place on the South Side with $2 pots of tea.

A few follow up notes to my story:

I spent a good amount of time asking HitchBro questions and I eventually asked why he doesn't save up money to bankroll these trips (ya know, so he can eat and stuff) and he tells me he only goes when he's lost a job and has no money.

Also of notes, there was a whole lot less gratitude for the help he has received, and not just from myself, than I would have expected from someone existing on others charity. Personally, the "thank you's" could be counted on one hand and he did not clean up after himself :( He also very openly talked about using r/assistance and r/randomactsofpizza a lot.

He didn't steal anything that I've noticed and I am obviously still alive, which is all to the good. He also makes conversation easily.

I think if you are going to ask for a lot of help from strangers, they have the right to hear from those who've helped you before. Is some not so stellar house guest behavior, and a lot of gas too much to ask to help a kid with a dream? That's up to you to decide.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crochet Follow Up

Because I know you were all on the edge of your seat over my crocheting habits.
I made these for nice reddit people. Well, knowing reddit, they are most likely atheists who love cats and boobs. But since that describes most of my friends, I don't judge.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I think I like green

Working from home has seriously limited my ability to meet new people. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I spend most of the day IMing a small handful of people who are also glued to their computers 9 to 5, but there are days where the only words I say out loud are to the dog.

I love working from home. I love the flexibility, the lack of incompetent co-workers, the ability to pee whenever I want but sometimes I find myself planning the dogs outings so that I am magically outside when the mailwoman walks up. And though the mailwoman is a lovely lady, those five minute conversations about the weather just weren't cutting it.

I knew I needed some way to meet other living, breathing, human beings but I didn't want to do anything rash and make a big commitment. Joining a gym seemed an expensive way for me to be too sweaty and self-conscious to talk to anyone. Going to a coffee house seemed like a good way for me to gain weight drinking over priced coffee. I'm not super into outdoors things, and besides it's winter, so those sort of things were out. I settled on a beginners crochet class.

Crochet seemed to be right up my alley. I like crafty things, especially if they can be done while watching crime dramas, the class was cheap, and a onetime thing. I figured if the two hour class was unbearably painful, at least I wouldn't be on the hook for anymore than the one. But I had never crocheted a damned thing in my life, and my manual dexterity is sub-par at the best of times. I didn't want to be the ass-hat who held up the class because they couldn't make their fingers grasp the concept of hold string A while also holding string B while pulling string C through loop D. A quick Google later, I found a good beginner crochet video and then spent an hour teaching my finger to manage all those strings and loops.

Then I spent the weekend practicing, and eventually made this poorly constructed hat and scarf.

Which left me in the position of being the ass-hat in the beginner class who already knew everything. I'm a jerk.

So this morning I packed my yarn and insecurities into the car and headed to my class 100% sure I was going to regret this decision. Being a hermits not so bad, right? I get to the class, plaster a smile on my face, and walk into an empty room. The class was cancelled and the store manager was appalled no one called to tell me. I got a refund and a coupon and I'm home in time to catch the mailwoman.

At least I got this nifty basket of yarn and a new hobby out of the ordeal.

I think I may like green. Just a bit.