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    Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    New Year's Eve at Trico!

    My company is giving us a ½ Day on New Year’s Eve…and it is not one of our ‘normal’ holidays. (New Years Day is obviously one of the latter).


    Aren’t my bosses generous?





    I’m SO glad we get to close early on New Year’s Eve. (Plus, besides closing early and getting the 1st off, we also get the 2nd off entirely. I’m so looking forward to a having Long Weekend that I can actually use to sew!)




    From: Lucinda Reeves
    Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 3:53 PM
    To: Trico Employees

    Subject: New Year's Eve!


    To prepare for 2009, the Trico offices will close at 12:01 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, 2008. 



    Monday, December 29, 2008

    Car Update (12/29/08)

    Nope, don't have my car back YET, but I did just get a call from my autobody shop with an update.

    (They are pretty good at getting me updates, I must say).

    Apparently they took my car for alignment on Friday, but it didn't work. They discovered some kind of structural bend when they got it back, which they fixed today, but now they have to take it back to get aligned...and the alingnment place won't get to it till tomorrow.

    So...I *should* get a call sometime tomorrow afternoon with a status update (and then they have to wash/clean it...and I can finally pick it up).

    I am SO close to getting my car back. Can't wait! =)

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Zero Dollar Statements

    So, what is it with people not understanding a Statement of Account that shows they have a Zero Dollar Balance? (That they have paid in full for the period of time shown on the statement?!?)

    On the 16th we printed off Late Statements for my work (I work in a commercial real estate company that leases, well, commercial property) and mailed them out. Unfortunately, we didn't pull all the Zero Dollar statements that printed. My fault/oversight...and I am kicking myself for it, believe you me.

    So the next few days we kept receiving phone calls from confused tenants wondering if this means they don't have to pay for January. Really? (Same people wonder if they don't have to pay when there's a problem with the post office delivering our statements - which we have to re-explain are a courtesy only. Rent is always due on the 1st, with or without a statement. Check your lease agreement.)

    Anyways, we get to respond to the confused person that 'No, the statement dated the 16th does not show January charges. It just shows that you have paid in full through the end of December. Please disregard the statement as it was sent out in error and you'll be receiving a statement for January charges shortly.'

    (It gets real old real fast re-explaining that on various phone calls and emails, trust me).

    On Friday, we posted January charges to the tenants account and I printed off all 800+ statements and got them folded/stuffed/postage added and in the mail. (Fun job I have, huh? =)

    And begining on Monday/Yesterday, the confused calls started up once again. Some people were even wondering if they had been doubled billed! (People, please READ the data on the statements. Its fairly self-explanatory, afterall).

    I think I need more coffee if I'm going to deal with more of these type of people today. ;-)

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    random phone calls

    ok, this is kinda weird - I just got a call (on my cell) from a random person who had my number as a contact for something on craig's list...and I don't have anything listed!

    And this is the 2nd time its happened (different times - different items listed too)!

    Today was for a position listed on Craig's list. Earlier (last week?) was for a Washer that was available (for sale, I guess).

    Weird, huh?

    Hope they're just mis-dialing a number and my number wasn't (accidentally?) used for a listing or two. Cause that would just be freaky if my number is on a few listings on Craigslist and I didn't put it there!

    Car Update (12/22/08)

    Just got a call from my autobody shop with an update.

    Sounds like they're painting today (if I understood him correctly) and tomorrow they plan to work on/check the alignment. If THAT goes well, then there's a slim chance I may get my car back on Friday!!! (26th/Day after Christmas) Or else on Monday the 29th. Either way, its a few days sooner than the original estimate of possibly by the 31st.


    V. Excited!

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Car Update (12/17/08)

    I just got off the phone from my Autobody Shop....and good news! The Insurance company has agreed with my autobody shop's estimate (which was higher than what their independent adjuster had initially written up).

    So, the Insurance will pay for basically the $5.5K (I'm rounding) for the repairs, and I'm paying my $500 deductible...and for a new tire (or, rather, a portion of a new tire since they estimated for 30% wear and tear. Which means I am only paying like $60 instead of $180).

    I gave the verbal approval to go ahead and start work on my car to get it repaired. And if there's no suspension damage, then I should theoretically get my car back on the 31st. (This timeframe is of course counting in the fact that the shop is going on Holiday Schedule soon). If, however, there is suspension damage, then it'll obviously take a bit longer for me to get my car back.

    But I'm glad that I've finally got a timeframe and things are moving along. Yea!
    (And I now have a copy of the Estimate in my hands - picked it up off my work fax a moment ago)

    Christmas Tamales!

    Each year one of our vendors, Cesar (of Ces-Ga United Business Solutions), brings in home-made Tamales as his Christmas present from his company to us. And each year everyone in the office EAGERLY awaits the arrival of these oh-so-yummy tamales.

    He usually brings in a couple varieties - one chicken, one pork, and one sweet/dessert one. I'm not too keen on the dessert one, but I LOVE the chicken and pork varieties.

    And there's usually home-made salsa and some form of cream (fresh and/or sour) involved too.

    Well, TODAY is the day for 2008. Christmas Tamales should be delivered any moment now...and we're all planning on having Tamales for lunch today! =)

    And look at that! Cesar and his Tamales JUST arrived (as I was about to press Publish on this posting)! How wonderful is that?!? =)

    I'm off to eat Tamales!

    I'm just a-tingle with anticipation. ;-)

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    a Functioning Sewing Machine

    It's official, my sewing machine is back at home, after being serviced (in who knows how long), and working as good as new! It is SO *WONDERFUL* to have a functioning sewing machine again.

    Ok. Really must go to bed now!


    Christmas Cards...are DONE!

    Just excited that I'm officially DONE with Christmas Cards for the year! Yea!! (Last batch is sealed and ready for the post be mailed tomorrow morning).

    That's it. =)

    'You can go about your business' now... 'Move Along'

    Car Update (12/15)

    So, I did talk to my autobody shop and Insurance Adjuster today (around my lunch break).

    The estimate from the appraiser has been written up, and the autobody shop has a copy and they're coming up with a different estimate amount (higher) than the appraiser. (Of course!) So they're currently going back and forth on the details (via fax I'm sure) to negotiate out items that make up the total estimate.

    I'm supposed to get a call back with an update tomorrow morning from the autobody shop. (Yea =).

    As for the Autobody Shop, they've got a good reputation, and my family has used them the last few times we've needed a car fixed up (and they've done a good job, haven't overcharged us, etc.) we trust them/their judgement on how much work its going to take to fix a car.

    Right now, I'm probably looking at around $5,000 to fix my car. (Good thing I just managed to put away the $500 deductible amount with my last paycheck, so I got that part covered at least! Whew! =).

    Getting back into the busy flow of things

    So, after kinda being thrown out of my 'normal' routine (as well as gearing up for the Holidays - Yea Christmas!) by my Car Crash last Tuesday, I'm finally starting to get back into the swing of things. The weekend was packed with running errands that I didn't get accomplished during the week. But I did make sure to get some 'hanging out' time in as well.

    Friday night unfortunately was shot for getting anything done, as I ended up working till 8pm. I was SWAMPED. But at least things that needed to be done were done, and certain items that needed to be mailed were dropped into the post box outside for Saturday morning pick up. Whew!

    On Saturday morning I finally got my sewing machine in to a repair shop (it had broken down on me during my 1950s project - mid project at that). Funny enough, the entire reason I was exiting the freeway at that particular exit on Tuesday (when I got into the car accident) was because I was on my way to take my sewing machine in to a repair shop to have it looked at (and hopefully dropped off for it to be repaired). With the accident, however, that got put on the back burner. And it obviously needed to be serviced after the accident (no matter that it was giving me problems before the accident). So as of Sat morning, I my machine was dropped off to get serviced (Tension adjustment, & 8 point tune-up), and I did a variety of other errands that have been on my 'to do' list. Including getting my nails done. Yea! =)
    (Of course, I kinda forgot to keep my keys in an easily accessible place for when my nails were done and still I ended up walking over to a book store and browsing...and getting some Christmas shopping done...while I waited for my nails to dry enough to dig my car keys out of my pocket! lol =).

    After I got my various morning/mid-afternoon errands done, I headed up to Fullerton to hang out with the Henlseys. Or, more accurately, with Maegen & Rhiannon, since Chuck was away at a game for the weekend. =) I brought stuff to make dinner (since I DO like cooking for others) and we had a nice time hanging out, me cooking dinner, and then decorating the tree. In the background we either had Christmas music on or a Christmas themed movie. =)

    And since I was the 'tall' person there, I got the honor of putting the Angel on top of the Christmas tree. (Of course, even I wasn't tall enough to tackle that person without the assistance of a chair ;-).

    And for those of you who are curious as to what dinner I prepared...

    I slow cooked some Chicken in white wine, onions and garlic. (I browned the chicken & sauteed the onions/garlic first =). I also made mashed potatoes and cooked carrots (the latter was served with a bit of garlic salt). And of course, since the broth/juice from my cooked chicken makes an excellent base for a gravy...I made a gravy to go with the meal.

    After dinner we put on "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day", a cute movie that Maegen & I had both seen in the theater and were looking forward to seeing again. And we did enjoy the chance to sit and watch the movie. Although truthfully I was a bit distracted at times during the movie, since Rhiannon was playing nearby with some Nutcrackers, and I got involved in playing with her and the Nutcrackers. (Couldn't resist! =) She is my adorable honorary niece, afterall.
    So, while it was a late night, I had a great time and was glad that I had taken the time to relax and hang out with friends.

    Sunday I made it to church (even with a bit of a dehydration headache) in the morning and afterwards I got to hang out a bit with my folks (and have lunch with them), which was nice.

    We talked about a variety of things, including a couple of options regarding my car (once I find out the damage from the Ins. adjuster and get the autobody car estimate), some present ideas for family members, and some ideas for the HCA ( And then I was back on the road and running errands. Well, only one errand really was accomplished that afternoon - JoAnns. The one stop I didn't get done on Saturday. But I needed to go there (especially since I had some 50% off coupons expiring that day). Fortunately/Unfortunately - depends on how you look at it ;-) - I didn't end up spending money on any fabric (which would have been the best use of my coupons). But that's ok. I got a few things I needed, and I've decided to use linen (which I get elsewhere) on a few upcoming projects instead.

    I had meant to also go and pick up a Christmas tree for myself (my apartment) and get my Christmas Decorations out...but I ran out of time. I just ended up fixing some leftovers for myself and getting to work on my Christmas Cards (which I really wanted to get in the mail as soon as possible). I managed to get almost 60 done (about 2/3 of my entire list) while White Christmas was playing in the background. After that, I gave up on Christmas cards for the night. =) (Which means that tonight's goal - Monday night - is to finish those remaining 30 something cards).


    And today, if I can manage it on my lunch break, I'll be calling my Ins. Adjuster (and possibly the autobody shop?) on my lunch break. I think I'll leave running errands till tomorrow (or at least after work) - hopefully the rain and resulting craziness (drivers) will have died down by then.

    Ok. Back to work for a bit (at least until my lunch break! =).

    The rain brings out...tenant Roof Leak calls

    Right now, the phones keep ringing with more and more tenant calls (complaints) cause of the rain. What fun! And a great way to kick off a Monday Morning!

    Either a roof is leaking (which tends to happen around a skylight, or where someone installed their own sattelite dish and didn't have the company seal up the holes in our nice roof properly, or just there is wear and tear on the roof and this heavy rain is making any leaks noticable, etc.)...or the drains aren't doing their job and water is starting to flood into a unit (under the door and soaking carpet, etc.).

    Yes, the fun phone calls that I and other office (admin) staff get to deal with on rainy days.

    This is going to be an interesting work day....

    I am...Kaylee (Which Serenity/Firefly Character are you?)

    This probably doesn't surprise anyone that knows me...


    Which Serenity (Firefly) Character Are You?

    Your results:
    You are Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
    Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
    Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
    Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
    Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
    Derrial Book (Shepherd)
    Inara Serra (Companion)
    Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
    River (Stowaway)
    Wash (Ship Pilot)
    A Reaver (Cannibal)
    You are good at fixing things.
    You are usually cheerful.
    You appreciate being treated
    with delicacy and specialness.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Christmas progress

    Well, I FINALLY started on my Christmas Cards tonight. This year I'm (only?) sending out 90 or so Christmas Cards. Each year I seem to average around or just shy of 100. Wow!

    As of a little while ago, I'm about 2/3 the way through.
    Whew! Good Start, but I think I'm going to call it a night on Christmas Cards and go to bed.
    I'll finish the rest tomorrow night (and get the ones that are done in tomorrow's mail! =).

    Thursday, December 11, 2008


    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    Was in the mood to be distracted, so I started browsing some of my old photos (posted on Flickr), and I came across this fun one from College - a favorite of mine.


    (And see if you can spot me! It's like Where's Waldo...with Becky! =)

    oddities (musings on driving post-car crash)

    I gotta say - its kinda weird driving an almost idential car to mine/the one I had an accident in on Tuesday. (I'm borrowing my mom's Ford Escape - which is the same kind of car that I drive...we just have different years and car colors).

    I drove a couple of blocks yesterday afternoon to get myself some Starbucks coffee and it was definitely strange to be driving around in that car. (Or driving period).

    Today wasn't quite as bad, but still definitely odd - especially since I had to drive the 405 Fwy to get to work.

    But I *am* at work today (even if distracted).

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    the new microwave arrives!

    just letting y'all know that I finally have a new microwave installed...that actually works!! (Yes, I tested it out by heating up some water).


    After a bit over a month without a working microwave, it sure is nice to have one again.

    update (post car crash)

    Didn't get much sleep last night.
    Decided (upon a friend's recommendation) to just stay home today to rest and take care of things. Good thing, cause with not getting much sleep last night I needed extra time to sleep this morning).

    I called Irvine tow truck company where my car ended up overnight around 7:50a, so they could release my car to the autobody shop (who contracts with another tow company - and they'll get my car towed to the autobody shop). They were ok with me giving a verbal release of the car to be picked up by my autobody shop. (yea)

    Called the Autobody Shop next (so just before 8am) and gave them details. (The tow company's lot location, my car's make/model & liscense, etc.).

    Then I went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours.

    Got up around 10am (Still groggy) and then got myself some food, listened to the message from my landlord (saying that the microwave will be installed sometime early this afternoon), and then called my Insurance company.

    So, just before 11am, I got off the phone with the Insurance Company. That was relatively painless, actually. Gave my details, got my claim number, and was told that I would hear from/have an adjuster out to view the car in about 2 business days. (Could be worse).

    Then I called my autobody shop to let them know the timeframe for the adjuster to come out (since they requested that info, if I was told by the insurance co).

    Called work after that to check in. Spoke with Sophie, gave her my update, and asked if they needed me. She, of course, said no. Things were quite enough, so go ahead and take the entire day to get things done.

    And that's it so far.
    Going to do laundry and take care of some things here at home. (And wait for the contractors/installers to arrive for the new microwave installation this afternoon).

    And for all of you that have sent me well wishes and (virtual) hugs...THANK YOU!!!
    =) Very Much Appreciated.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    In a Car Accident (12/9)

    Yes, you read correctly. I was just in a car accident earlier this evening.
    On my way home from work, so around 5:40pm, on the 405 So., in between the Jamboree and Culver exit.

    I was attempting to change lanes (from the 3rd lane from the right to the 2nd lane from the right) in order to exit at Culver, when I hit the car ahead of me. As it was stop and go traffic, at least it was a relatively low speed accident (no air bag deployed in my car), but I was quite shaken, and my car is currently not-driveable since the front driver side corner is all smashed in. I barely managed to get it to limp off on to the side of the road.

    After CHP arrived a while later, a tow truck finally arrived, and towed me home. I got to get my stuff from my car, and then they took my car to their lot, where it will wait the night until morning. I'm still have to call my insurance company and have them contract with the lot to take my car to an autobody shop. Now, I wanted AAA to take my car to this place in Orange that my family uses - its very reputable and such - but there was no way the towing company was going to attempt that anytime that night. Too many accidents and too much traffic. They told me that they wouldn't be able to get to towing it to my autobody shop for like 2 hrs. So I gave in and had them drop me off home and take my car to the lot.

    My dad brought me dinner (since I'm on his way back home) and my mom brought her car so that I can use it tomorrow to get to work. (And since my dad was here, he drove my mom home). Gretchen then came over and kept me occupied so that I wasn't thinking about the accident and everything. (Thanks Gretchen! Really appreciate it =)

    So now, I'm trying to clean up a bit, and then go to bed. I'll call the Insurnace company first thing in the morning. I have no idea how much or how long its going to take to get my car straightened out. But I shouldn't think bout that right now. Important thing is that I (and the other people involved in the crash) are ok physically. No one was injured. Whew.

    Ok. and now I should go to bed.

    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    Let's Remember Pearl Harbor!

    Don't forget! Today is the Anniversary of the Attack on Pear Harbor (Dec 7, 1941), "a date which will live in infamy".

    With this attack, we Americans officially declared ourselves part of WWII.

    Please take a moment to remember those who died (both military and civilian) during the attack.

    Dept of the Navy - Naval Historical Center:

    Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941 --


    Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Infamy Speech

    p.s. - an interesting Side Note: in 1941, December 7th was a Sunday...just like it is today (2008).

    Oh, and FYI - all images used in this blog post were found online (from the links I've included in this blog post)

    sewing/progress update (1950s outfit)

    Just finishing up the last of my tulle petticoat right now. Had a setback yesterday in my sewing when my machine broke on me.

    Spent like an hour trying to fix it, but I eventually gave up. I'm going to need to take it in. Something is wrong and causing the needle thread to catch on the works down where the bobbin is. Also, was having difficulty in catching the bobbin thread when attempting to pull it up so I could sew. The needle wouldn't return all the way to the right position. It'd get almost there, and then stop...and not pull up the thread. Needless to say, I was frustrated and had a setback in my 'quick' sewing projects that I had left for Saturday.

    Eventually I remembered that my roommate Jill had a machine boxed up, and I asked her if I could use it. She graciously let me borrow her machine, a Shark Automatic (with the basic stitch functions at least), so I could finish my projects for today. Yea for my roommate! =)

    So, that's my status report. Finished my belt for the dress, and got really close to done with the tulle petticoat, but was just too tired last night (after 10pm) to be productive at sewing, so I'm finishing it now. Need to stitch down the pinned tulle to the base, then add in a waistband (haven't cut & interfaced yet), and add in my hook & bar closure. And then I'm done and can get ready.

    I was hoping to be able to get ready in time that I could wear this outfit to church this morning, but looks like that's not going to happen. Oh well.

    At least I should be done with the outfit in time to wear it to the Movie, my original goal, and that's the important part! =)

    We're meeting at 1:15pm outside the theater (movie starts at 2pm), then headed to Clifton's cafeteria (place has been in business since the 1930s) for an early dinner afterwards. What fun! =)

    Ok, must get back to sewing so I can finish and then get started on my hair/makeup, etc.


    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    Current Sewing Project: 1950s outfit

    So, I'm doing a quick project so I can wear a 1950s outfit on Sunday to White Christmas (showing at the LA Theater - see my previous blog posting in November =).

    Well, Colleency was nice enough to loan me a dress so I don't have to start from scratch (with basically a week to make an outfit). Yea for Collency! =) You rock! So all I need to do is make a belt and a petticoat (with tulle) to make the dress 1950s. And of course accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

    Maegen loaned me one of her set of pearls (her grandmother's I believe she said) and a pearl bracelet (which she made), and I have a little black velvet headband hat (with black feathers) that I'll be wearing. And of course some gloves (white with black polka dots - also loaned by Collency), stockings, heals and a nice hairdo/make-up will complete the picture! (I might even have a small purse that will work with this outfit too).

    What would really be nice is if my recently ordered book, How to Handle Long Hair -- Recreating Glamorous 1950s Hairstyles ( ), arrives in time for me to try out one or more of the hairstyles and see if any will work for Sunday's outing.

    I'm so excited about Sunday.

    Which means today's goal for my Lunch Break Errands: purchase supplies (such as tulle) needed at I can get started with cutting & sewing tonight!

    Microwave Update

    As of this morning, I received an email from my landlord saying the mircrowave he ordered has arrived!


    (Of course he never mentioned to either my roommate or myself that he ordered a replacement microwave. So this is great news.)

    Now we just need to schedule a time when he can come over to install the new microwave, and Jill & I are back to having access to a fully working microwave. Yes! (It has now been a month since we've had a microwave at home).

    V. Excited, if you can't already tell.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    a Busy Thanksgiving Weekend - Part 1

    Where to start?

    Well, the day before Thanskgiving (Wed), I got off work early (yea for work closing early!! =) and was able to go home and start my baking. I had LOTS of items (cookies and such) on my list of "to bake"...of course.

    I baked all the rest of the afternoon/evening, with a brief stop to run out to the store to pick up more flour (didn't realize how low I was until I was in the middle of baking) and another break to cook/reheat some leftovers for dinner. (Still no microwave, so need to be creative in re-heating).

    Cookies baked that afternoon/evening:
    2 batches of Pecan Cookies (Great Grandma Florence Thelin's recipe =)
    1 batch of Pumpkin Raisin Cookies
    1 batch of Lemon Squares (made from scratch with freshly grated lemon zest & squeezed lemon juice...of course!)

    The Pecan Cookies & Pumpkin cookies took a long time to bake, since both of those were baked at lower temps and would therefore take longer to bake all the way through. Plus there's the whole frosting the pecan cookies (and making the frosting) and topping with a whole (i.e. non-broken) pecan half (preferably before the frosting sets ;-) which can take a bit of time.

    The only batch of cookies I didn't get made that night, which I wanted to do, was the batch of Chocolate Chip cookies. I was a little bummed, but I wanted sleep too.

    Thursday morning, however, I was determined to bake them... So I did. =)

    I was a bit late with arriving in time to help out with Thanksgiving Dinner (mid-day meal) prep, due to baking, getting ready for the day (I wanted to look nice - so I gelled, blow-dried and hot curled my hair before setting it in a 1940s looked awesome by the way!), and making sure I had everything since I was planning on being gone for the next day. After the family Thanksgiving party, the plan was for me to join up with some friends in LA for the Enigma (UCLA) Thanksgiving Party, to which I had earlier been invited (Thanks Riz!). And since the next day (Friday) I'd be hanging out at LosCon35 manning the Costume Repair Station and then watching my friends perform in the Lux show that evening, I was able to get permission to crash on the couch at the FIRM that night (Thurs) so I wouldn't have to drive home late at night and come back in the morning. (Thanks guys! =). Anyways, that meant I had to pack for my time away as well as just my Thanksgiving day stuff, and that of course took a little time to think through and grab the items I might possibly need (and throw it in the back of my car with other stuff currently residing there ;-).

    Thanksgiving with the family was great. Good food + good company = great times! =) Plus, it was nice to see my grandparents (especially since Grandpa's not doing well right now, and if I'm being realistic he probably won't make it to another Thanksgiving). I arrived around 1pm, and while the food was just about ready to serve, the grandparents hadn't arrived yet. They were still stuck in traffic, so the rest of us got to chat and keep the food warm as best as we could. =) Soon enough, the grandparents arrived, the greetings took place, a blessing on the food was said, and we all tucked into our scrumptious food.

    Dinner at my family means a Turkey, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, yams, creamed corn (everyone's favorite!!), green beans, fresh baked rolls, cranberry salad (another of Great-Grandma Florence's recipes) and home-made pies! Such yummy dishes.
    Fortunately, I was able to refrain from stuffing myself, even though all the food was so yummy its kinda hard not to overeat.

    Since we were at my folk's place this year, instead of all trekking down to Escondido (San Diego County), we got to use their new CA Poppies China (a reproduction of one of the sets of China used on the Santa Fe Rail Road, if I recall correctly). They're really pretty, and since they're reproduction of a Railroad China set, they're smaller sized than 'normal' china. Which is kinda cool since they all fit better on the table AND it means you can't overload your plate as much.

    But I digress. As we leisurely ate our meal, we chit-chatted and in general had a good time covering a variety of topics in our conversation. (Not that I can recall any right now, mind you =). After dinner, my dad got a chance to show off his new flatscreen tv (to his folks and sister) with a showing of The Alps video. ( ) I must admit that this is a pretty cool video to see on a really good tv. Not only is the picture quality good on the tv, the video itself was filmed in IMAX *and* its Blu-Ray, so you KNOW that the resolution is amazing! All in all it was pretty neat to watch the gorgeous Swiss scenery as it flashed by on the screen.

    Soon, though my sister (Sara) and her hubby had to leave for their next party, which was back down in San Diego with Jeremiah's extended family. After a family photo was taken, and a round of goodbyes had been made, SaraMiah departed. Next, Tim and Monica got to show off their photos (and photos taken by others) from their trip to Argentina earlier in the year. After viewing the photos, they too had to take off so they could join up with Monica's family Thanksgiving, and another round of goodbyes was made.

    Not too long afterwards, I too made my goodbyes and headed up to LA to join in with the Enigma Thanksgiving (already going on, but I was just joining in when I was able to). When I arrived, there wasn't much parking (sorta expected that), but after circling the nearby streets for a bit I eventually found a not-terribly-*too*-far-away parking spot and made my way to the party. They were just serving dinner when I arrived. What great timing! =) I wasn't terribly hungry since I had only eaten a few hours earlier, but I did make a small plate and snack on a few items to tide me over till dessert.

    I gotta say that the party was a lot of fun. I only knew a handful of people, but I did get to introduce myself to a number of Enigma people (or friends of Enigma) and occasionally someone, like Jen K, did remember to introduce me first. =) I even got to chat about costuming with one of the other gals there (who is interested in doing a costume for a Cthulu game that's coming up in January and wanted ideas for an outfit).

    When the dessert came out, there were a couple of pies (including a yummy Lemon Meringue), a brownie creation (not sure what it was, but it was yummy) in a cast iron skillet, and my various cookies/treats. We definitely had plenty of dessert! And I got complimented on my desserts. (Yea! =)

    And while the party was fun, it was a long day, and when David said he was interested in heading back to the FIRM (he still had stuff to work on to get ready for the Lux Theater show the next day) I decided to leave at the same time and give him a ride. Back at the FIRM, I got to chat with him while he got things together for the show, and also with Graydon when he arrived, and eventually we all called it a night. (Whereupon I got to crash on the couch...which is a very comfy couch, btw. Thanks guys! =)

    And well, that's the end of my Thanksgiving Day, so I'll end Part 1 here. =)

    (I'll continue with my weekend at LosCon in another post...later tonight most likely)

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    helping out at LosCon 35 - Costume Repair Station

    So, a couple of days ago, I started toying with the idea that since I'm already going to be at LosCon for the evening programming (to see my friends in the Lux Theater group perform), perhaps I could just hang out for the day at LosCon and even help out at the Costume Repair Station (CRS). And then when I checked the website's list of departments, I saw that a friend of mine is heading up the CRS, so I spontaneously decided to email her and find out if she needed help or not.

    And of course, she does. =)
    (Seriously, though, did I really expect her to say, "No, I don't need addtional help. I've got plenty of volunteers lined up"? LOL! I should know better =).

    Anyways, since I didn't really have any scheduled plans for the Friday (during the day), I've now decided to go ahead and help out at the CRS! Go me!

    And to think I've actually never yet been to LosCon (and now I'm going to be volunteering at it).

    Should be interesting!

    - - - -

    Details (for anyone interested in checking it out):

    LosCon35: "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the LosCon"

    Where: LAX Marriot Hotel,
    5855 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

    When: November 28-30, 2008

    $50 for the entire weekend;
    $25 for either Friday or Saturday; $20 forSunday;
    $10 for either Friday or Saturday night after 6pm.

    Fun things to see:
    -Friday night, after the ice cream social: Lux Theater presents anevening of musical theater
    -Saturday night, 8pm: Masquerade

    From the website:
    LVX Roman Theater
    LVX Presents: The XXXVth Annval Togie Awards!
    It’s “Comedy Tonight!” and so much more as we celebrate the best and brightest entertainment from the “Via Valde Niveus”. Experience this all-out musical spectacular with elaborate tributes and specialty numbers from today’s hottest shows and revivals of old favorites. Wear your best togas on the vestis rutilus and join us to see which astra of the theatrum will take home the coveted Togie statua!

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Life without a Microwave

    So, for those of you who don't already know, back on November 2nd, my microwave died on me. kinda went all haywire and started microwaving on its own, without any prompting from me or my roommate, the touch pad/buttons went dead and so did the screen.

    Finally, my roommate and I just unplugged the dang thing since we couldn't get it to shut off otherwise.

    Now here's the thing - we moved into this place and it already had a microwave. So seeing this microwave isn't ours and therefore not our responsibility to replace, I emailed the landlord that very night saying that the microwave is malfunctioning and we need him to check it out and possibly replace it.

    Over a week goes by with no response.


    So on the 11th, I email the landlord asking if he got my previous email, and he *finally* responded (same day) with "What appears to be the problem with it?". OK. Fine. I'll explain in detail. (And so I did in my next email). After I sent that email, I got this in response: "Looks like an electronic problem. I will come-by to check it out and see if I need to replace it."

    Ok. Sure. Whatever. (Its totally broken, so he'll need to replace it - once he actually looks at it he'll see this fact real quick).

    So Jill & I waited to hear from him as to when he was going to show up (and hopefully give us a few minutes warning)...yet nothing came.

    Therefore, on the 20th of this month, I emailed the landlord again basically inquiring if he could give us an approximate time frame as for when he'd come by to check out the microwave.

    Didn't get a response.

    HOWEVER, on Saturday (11/22) afternoon, he suddenly showed up to check out the microwave. Without letting us know he was arriving, no less. And he barely knocked before letting himself in and calling out "hello?". So annoying! I was in the back of the condo busy with laundry, so it is hard to hear someone knocking or ringing the doorbell, but still. A phone call or email giving us the heads up BEFORE he came over would have been appreciated! (And I still find it unnerving that he just lets himself in).

    After he enters, I go back to my laundry and let him look at the microwave. He soon realizes its unplugged and plugs it back in...only he can't get it to come back 'online' and calls me over confused about it. I reexplain about how the microwave went berserk, and reiterate that the touch pad and screen went blank on us. So yes, it is broken. At this point, I leave him alone with the microwave to 'futz' around some more, and go back to my laundry. A little while later, I realize I haven't heard any noise from the front of the condo for a while, so I come around the corner and discover that at some point he left without saying a word. So I have NO idea if he's planning on buying a replacement microwave and coming back or what.


    In the meantime, its been interesting to figure out how to do things I'm normally used to cooking/reheating in the microwave. I've managed to reheat a few things fairly successfully using the stove and or the oven, but it certainly is different! =) (And of course takes longer, dirties more pans/pots/dishes, etc.)

    I'll be glad when I finally get a microwave again. But at least I do know that I can actually cook (or reheat) without a microwave. It's just annoying to not have one (especially when you get home late from work and want to quickly fix something for dinner).

    Oh well. Hopefully life will get back to 'normal' soon.

    White Christmas playing at the historic LA Theater!

    On Sunday December 7th at 2:00pm the Los Angeles Theater (a historic theater in downtown LA) will be showing "White Christmas" (1954). How fun is that? =)

    I am SO going! (And I'm going with some other costumers too).

    Now, if I can somehow manage to pull together a 1950s outfit in time, that will just be the icing on the cake. =)

    FYI - for others interested in coming along, tickets ($10/adult) can be purchased at the LA Conservancy website.

    Los Angeles Theater

    615 South Broadway, Downtown L.A.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Group Pic from Moorpark

    Oak Street Residents

    Here's a fun group pic taken on Saturday. (Not all of us made it into the photo, but at least a good number of us are present for this shot).

    The picture is from Curtis Neil's camera. (He also tweaked it to be Sepia toned).

    Isn't it just fun?!?

    an update on my injured arm...sorta

    Well, unfortunately, I do not have much of an update at this point. But I thought I'd post *something*.

    My arm still hurts (of course!), and I'm still waiting for a call back from the Doctor's office to see when they can fit me in to see him. So...I'm currently in a holding pattern, taking pain meds (advil) every few hours, keeping my arm in a sling, icing my elbow (occasionally), and attempting to get some actual work done.

    Thats pretty much it for now.

    the New Civil War Boots have Arrived!

    Finally, my long awaited new Civil War boots have arrived! Yes!!!

    Here's a another of picture of them.

    On the bright side - now that the Season is over for Civil War reenacting (a few months break at least), I have a bit of time to break them in before I really need to use them.


    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Link to Interview (Ventura County Star)

    Here's a link to a video interview I gave to the Ventura County Star (Newspaper) on Sunday, November 9th at my Moorpark Civil War event.

    I re-injured my arm...again

    I will leave to another/future post my update on the entire weekend of my Civil War event at Moorpark (which I just got back from late last night), and will just give you the details of why I'm re-injured...again.

    It does seem like I get injured at pretty much each event. Why? I don't know. Just do.

    This time, I was not rushing anywhere or anything, but walking from the van (where I just dropped off items to be packed into it) to the tent to get another load of personal items to go into the van. And as I passed the ice chests sitting off to the right of my direct path to the tent, I felt my right ankle hit a metal rod (rod was at a diagonal angle) and as my momentum forward was suddenly halted, the rod hit the back of my left angle a split second later...and I was pitched forward onto my knees and of course, my extended arms. At which point my injury prone left arm (from my hurting it in 2007 - I had badly sprained the ligaments around the elbow) decided to dislocate as I hit the ground. Obviously, I was in a lot of pain. I don't cry a lot when I in pain...except for yesterday. Yesterday was painful enough that tears (sobs really) were definitely flowing. Lana had to calm down my breathing since I was getting close to hyperventilating. (Lana was one of the first to reach me and hold me up). They quickly got an ice pack on my arm, got me advil and water, and made a makeshift sling (out of an apron) for my arm (thanks Jen R), but I knew something was wrong cause I couldn't bend my arm back into the 'neutral' bent positing like I could last time I injured my arm. So we just sat there while I tried not to move and to calm down a bit. Eventually, when I indicated that I wanted to attempt to get up off the chilly I was now shivering from the cold and shock...two of the guys hovering nearby (Jeff and a gentleman from nearby who's name I can't recall right now) helped me slowly to my feet. And while they were carefully raising me (like from under my armpits), my left arm shifted and I felt my elbow pop back into place...and I could move my arm back to the 'neutral' bent position again. Wonderful! And that's when I really knew that I had indeed dislocated my elbow (and not just suspected it).

    Obviously, I was still in a lot of pain, and no way to drive the van home. (Plus, my glasses broke/got bent in my fall - to the point they are currently unwearable). So Jenn Mulvey (who rides with me in the van to events) got to drive us back to Garden Grove to drop off the van. After we made it back, my brother Kyle and my mom helped me get my personal items into my vehicle, and then mom drove me home (Kyle following). They both helped me get my stuff up into my place (since being only one handed I couldn't handle the crates or my small wooden trunk), and then Kyle drove them back. (Thank You!!!)

    I got to shower, take more advil (and vicadin from my old prescription...had a couple of pills left), ice my elbow down, and go to bed. And I slept for like 9 hours.

    Good Thing I already took today off so I could 'recover' from my weekend. I normally work very hard (a lot of intense physical labor at these events...constantly). I'm busy from when I arrive to set up till when I'm driving away (except for a few hours I get to sleep at night). And in between set-up/tear down...I'm busy standing or walking (and moving cast iron pots and hauling buckets of water, etc.). So even without dislocating my elbow yesterday, I'm quite tired. My original plan for today was to 'rest' and put things away from the weekend, do laundry...which I will still try to do, but now I'm also going to try to see my Orthopedic doctor to have him check out my arm (since I re-injured the same arm from before - its now more prone to injury since I first injured it in 2007). Only thing is I called and there's like 5 people ahead of me in the 'waiting to see the doctor w/o an appointment for today' list. So we'll see if they call me in today. Would be nice since I'd like to see him soon since I just injured the arm and I live close to the doctor's office and I have today off. If I have to go tomorrow (or later), I'll have to take more time off of work and drive further (if I'm coming from the office). Oh well. Whatever happens.

    And now I'd better stop writing and get myself something to eat...and some laundry started (and rest again).

    Oh, and to all of my HCA members/friends (and any other reenactors) who helped me yesterday on site that I haven't already mentioned. Thank You! I really appreciated your help.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    musings on writing mock-period recipes

    Ok, since I was asked to contribute a recipe (or receipt, as they were still known in print during the 1860s) to the Oak Street Weekly, I've had a hard time focusing on what to write....until this afternoon! (When I should be working on real work stuff, of course!)

    What *I'd* ideally like to submit is a mock-period recipe. Basically write up my own recipe but in the style (and prose) of the originals. And that's where I was having my hang up. I couldn't figure out what to write or where to start. But suddenly, as I was looking at an original Custard Pudding (sauce) recipe from 1845 (which I want to try out one of these days!), I finally got the inspiration I needed to write up one of my own recipes. Yes!

    I settled on writing up my chicken stew recipe. I'm about half way through. Got the basics done, and now I just need to add in the bit about the vegetables, and then I'm done! Whew! (Of course I'll still need to submit it to the Editor of the Oak Street Weekly so that it actually gets printed! =)

    (And yes, I'll post my final mock-period recipe later...although there's a chance that the final print version of the Oak Street Weekly may start appearing online at our group's website. I hope so! =)

    Adventures in Ordering Reproduction Mid-19th Century Shoes

    So, back in July (end of the month), I ordered from a Civil War supply company that I've ordered from plenty of times and had good service from in the past.

    I had finally decided to order a good pair of reproduction Civil War (women's) boots, and went with the Brown boots to do something different (and since their online catalog said they offered both brown and black). Well, I placed my order online, after verifying that the sizes ran true and not small/large, and everything seemed jake.

    However, a day or so later, I got a call from the company saying that they didn't stock the brown boots cause no one ever ordered they had to be special ordered! Ugh! I had purposely placed my order at the end of July so that there would be time to get the shipment before my (then) next Civil War Event...Huntington Beach. (I wanted time to break in the shoes before the event, after all). So since there was nothing I could do about it, I had to write off getting new shoes in time for my event (oh well!), and just move on. (Which I did).

    My event comes and goes, and then September rolls around and I realize that I haven't heard from the company regarding a status update on my order. That's odd, I think. So I send them an email through their website requesting a status update on my order. Never got a response. Zip.

    Fortunately - I have not been charged at this point. So its not like I've paid yet for an item that I haven't gotten. But it IS a bit annoying by now that I've not heard back from them.

    So I wait a bit longer and October rolls around. At this point I finally call them asking if they lost my order . They said no, but they expect to get the boots in from the manufacturer in their next shipment...which they estimate will be the following week. They will send me an email with the tracking number once the order ships, etc. I say ok, and let it go with that.

    Only thing - still nothing by the end of October! So I call again. This time, the gal who answers the phone and checks on my order says the shipment from the manufacturer (with my boots) is arrving on the 3rd or 4th of November. So I should be receiving a notice of my impending shipment sometime the 2nd week of November.


    And guess what? I *finally* got my notice that my order placed 4 months ago has FINALLY shipped! What drama! At least I'm getting my last. Too bad it is going to arrive AFTER my big Civil War event that is this weekend. The estimated delivery day is the Monday following my event. Oh well. I could have used the new boots. (Although wearing unbroken in boots to an event might not have been that pleasant either). I guess that just means I now have plenty of time to break in the new boots for next year's events (and our first Civil War event probably won't be till February).

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Fwd: [C&C] Guinea Pig Review - November 2008

    Just wanted to share a fun article. I'm the "Guinea Pig of the Month" for Cloak & Corset.
    Enjoy the read!


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Cloak & Corset <>
    Date: Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 9:01 AM
    Subject: [C&C] Guinea Pig Review - November 2008
    To: Rebecca Thelin <>

    Brookwaite's The Cloak and Corset
    Click here to visit the Cloak and Corset Web site!spacerClick here to email Jennifer and Sara
    spacer In This Issue

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Hi Rebecca,

    In a recent Guinea Pig Review, we put out a call for you to submit garments from specific time periods. Rebecca responded immediately and submitted her 1920s day dress for a Review.

    Rebecca is the President of the Historical Citizens Association and has been sewing for a number of years. But her techniques on this garment may surprise, and encourage, you and how you think about putting together a historical ensemble in a pinch.

    For all the details and pictures on this month's Guinea Pig Review, go to the Guinea Pig page of our website.

    Have you submitted your current, completed, or partially completed historical costumes or projects from the 1780s, 1840s, 1880s, or 1920s yet?

    To teach others in the Cloak & Corset community and receive your f.r.e.e report, Quick and Easy Undersleeves, please drop us a line at and tell us what clothing article you would like to submit.  Ginny will be waiting to hear from you!

    Happy Sewing and Reading!

    Sara Cornthwaite
    Co-Owner and Novice/Intermediate Sewer

    P.S. Please see the Guinea Pig Review Archive page for an explanation about where the October Review went.

    Please add "" to your whitelist or address book in your e-mail program, so that you have no trouble receiving future emails!


    Want to take yourself off our list or change your e-mail address? See below.

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Attempt #1 for 1930s Hair

    Ok, so here are a few pics of me attempting to do a Wave look for my upcoming 1930s look.

    I've been referencing some books I recently purchased, like The Art of Finger Waves: Recreating 1920s and 1930s Hairstyles and a copy of a March 1937 "Modern Beauty Shop" magazine. Both are such fun to look through!

    Tonight's attempt is with some styling gel and metal wave clips I picked up yesterday at Sally Beauty Shop (on my lunch break).

    Finger's crossed for how the finished result turns out!

    Anyways, here's some pics of me putting my hair in the clips, etc.

    And the end result (2 hrs later) - it really didn't take. Too bad!
    Live and learn. Oh well!

    So, either I needed A LOT more gel, &/or I needed A LOT more time to have my hair dry (cause its still pretty damp and I can't stand for an hour attempting to blow dry my hair...just not realistic)...OR, I should just try the styling lotion. Guess that's what I'm doing next time in attempt #2. (Which might be tomorrow night...we'll see =).

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    My Busy Busy Weekend (10/17-10/19)

    Where to begin? Such a busy weekend.

    It sure seemed like the official Birthday Weekend. Not only did I attend a bunch of Birthday parties (and parties in general), other friends of mine I talked with were attending parties all weekend (or it SEEMED that way!).

    Let's see, on Friday I went home early cause I wasn't feeling too well. Let's just say that a heating pad and pain meds helped me feel *much* better a few hours later so I could actually attend the 2 parties I had planned for Friday evening. Yes, I did mention 2 parties in one evening!

    The first party of the evening was actually a "Block Party" at South Coast Plaza. Candice got an invite (through work) and she invited me to go along with her. (You rock Candice! =). Her husband Matt was able to come along with us, so the three of us wandered around, tasting the different foods they had out at various stations and in the stores in the designated section of the 3rd floor where the Block Party was happening. Bands played loud music that competed with the DJs in just about each and every store (that participated in the Block Party), so that it was definitely a noisy affair. =)

    All in all, it was interesting experience and I think the highlight of the time spent there was when Candice & I stood in line at Oliver Peoples for a 1/2 hour (barely moving 10 feet in that time) just to watch a Candy Artist at work. He was AMAZING! We both watched him create these candy sculptures out of blobs of molten candy (I'm assuming sugar based). He'd stretch and twist and occasionally use pliers and Viola! a Hummingbird (in multi-colors) that was about to gather nectar from a hibiscus flower! Or a Butterfly landing on a red rose. Or two giraffes (mom & baby) dancing. Or two dolphins playing with a wave crashing around them. Or a Dragon with a spiny tail that wrapped around the stick. (Oh yeah, each of these creations was on a long stick). Or a panda bear sitting in a patch of grass. The list could go on and on, but those were all definitely some of the creations we personally saw made in front of us. So neat! We were determined to get one for ourselves...but when 7:30pm rolled around, and there was no way we'd get to the front of the line before 8pm (and we both had other things we were going to later on that evening), we resigned ourselves to the fact that at least we got a cool memory. (Now if only either of us had a camera on us. Doh! =).

    After the Candy Artist, we three got our free ice cream (from one of the fashion stores - it was part of their gimmick to get people to visit) and headed out of the roped off "Block Party" area and down to the coffee shop section of Borders, where we could sit and eat our ice cream in peace and just chat for a bit. That was nice. =)

    So about 8pm I got on the road to go to my next party, which was up in LA. When I got the invitation, it said is was just an 'informal get together' to hang out, have drinks and such. But apparently it was also a birthday party for 2 people cause they brought out a birthday cake (and surprised at least one of the two, I think) at some point in the evening. The party was held at Riz's, which I had only been to once before (and I was a bit out of it that one time), so I didn't really have a good idea of what his place looked like, etc. When I arrived (a bit after 9pm), the street was SUPER crowded. I drove past his place twice (without finding the apartment) while searching for a spot to park. Eventually, I called and got ahold of my friend David, who was also at the party, who was able to point out which place was Riz's, so I could at least *find* the party. =) (Thanks David!). After driving around for a few more minutes, I eventually circled back and low-and-behold! A spot on the street not *too* far from Riz's had opened up! So I quickly snatched it up.
    Overall, I had a good time, but there were a few spots where I was when the conversation turned to politics. And since almost no one there knows my political leanings (except for like one person), and I was the 'odd person out', I just kept my mouth shut to avoid confrontation...especially since those who were expressing opinions definitely had a few drinks under their belts. I really didn't feel like add 'fuel to the fire', so to speak. And there really was no point in creating an argument at that point, so I just sad and endured when my political group/beliefs were occasionally bashed.

    Anyways, like I said - *overall* the party was actually fun! (I had like 1/2 a glass of some alcoholic drink - might have been port - and kept to water most of the evening). I got to meet and talk with a lot of people, some of which were at Jeeves & Wooster, but I didn't really get to talk with them much prior to the Friday party. As someone who likes to just hang out with people and socialize, chatting on random topics of conversation, this was definitely up my alley.

    Well, the party ended just before 3am, so when I was offered a spot to crash on the 2nd couch (i.e. a small/2 person couch) at Riz's instead of driving home while tired...I was fairly easily talked into staying. (I did have the 'party/socialization adrenaline' going for me, but as it was 2:4am, I was a bit worried about that 1/2 way point during my hour drive home. Which is why it didn't take them that long to convince me to just crash on the couch. Thanks guys! =).

    After a few hrs sleep, I did manage to drive home, get showered and ready for the day. Or, well, enough ready that I could reasonably function around other people. ;-) (I was still *quite* tired, obviously. I had hoped to squeze in a quick power nap after my shower, but never did get the opportunity. Too bad.)

    I met up with my folks/family who were just finishing a round of mini-golf at Camelot and we all had a pizza lunch together. (That was yummy pizza by the way...and I was starving since I hadn't really eaten yet that morning). Then after lunch, we all did another round of mini-gold (I took over Kyle's spot as he had to leave to work), and I won! =) So awesome!!! I never win at mini-golf! I got 47 points overall AND I got my ball into the 19th hole - the one where you try to get it in some ridiculous spot in order to win a free game...which I did!
    How cool is that?!?

    At this point, Dad, Mom, & Tim took off, but Sara, Jeremiah, & I played one last round (after I ran out to Carls Jr for some Ice Tea me and Ice water for them). Even though I lost that one, I had fun...and I wasn't too far 'above par', at least. That's something.

    Next we three joined up with my folks at the Garden Grove Regal to watch 'City of Ember' (good movie, btw!), and then we all walked over to have Sushi at this little place nearby (that my folks love). I stopped at my folks place to pick up a few things, and of course we got to talking. But eventually I did take off and came come...and crashed in bed! And that was the end of Saturday.

    On Sunday, I had yet ANOTHER birthday party to attend. This one was for Liz Galvan, who just turned 13...and it was a surprise party! And she sure was surprised. It was great! I got to be the unofficial photographer too. And as most people know, I'm a shutterbug! Love taking pics. Now I just need to take the pics off my camera, and put the party pics on a disc for Sabine (my friend/Liz's mom).

    After I left the party, I headed home to get some stuff done. I redid my nails (trying to keep them painted so I don't bite them - which is definitely takes effort to keep the painted nails looking nice!). I worked a bit more on my civil war aprons (really belated presents for a few people =), and then I *finally* got around to ironing my new skirt fabric.

    I'm really going to need to buckle down now and work on that new 1930s skirt. My plan is to cut out the fabric on Monday night, and start sewing on Tuesday. But we'll see. The material is slippery, and that always means extra time cutting it out. Plus I'll probably need to make time to practice my 1930s hair. But that's a side issue.

    And so, back to the main point - that wraps up my busy busy weekend!

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    the best laid plans...

    well, yesterday I took off early (as it was slow at work) so I could get some sewing accomplished. Only thing - I stopped by Jenn Mulvey's work on my way home in order to drop off a pattern, and we got to talking about event planning details for Moorpark (our next event)...and that was enough to kick me into planning mode (or the 'planning zone').

    Which means I ended up spending more time planning yesterday afternoon (working on schedules and the like) than I did actual sewing. Oh well. Fortunately, it was stuff that needed to be worked on, so it wasn't like I wasted my time or anything. And I did make a bit of progress on my sewing. (Not as much as I had originally hoped to accomplish, but any progress is better than none).

    Only downside is the fact that we're a little behind on our planning right now (due to various circumstances), so this morning I just received an email from the event organzier with a 'published' official schedule...including the one for civilians. Doh! He used the information we submitted last year and just plugged that in. And that schedule doesn't work for us this year. So I quickly dashed off an email to him requesting if we can change the civilian schedule since it's not conducive to our group's scheduled activities & demonstrations. We were actually planning on emailing the rest of our group today to nail down our final schedule and get commitments from various people to participate/lead certain activities and demos throughout the weekend with the hope of sending the finalized schedule to the organizers sometime over this weekend (18th/19th).

    Fingers crossed that we can still get some of our events into the 'official' schedule. It would be nice to be listed correctly. (They do print off the schedule for the spectators, as well as announce the upcoming activities from a loudspeaker on site).

    ok. Guess that's it for now.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    New Fabric for my 1930s Skirt

    Isn't it Lovely?! My new Red Fabric for my 1930s Shaped Seam Skirt.

    On Monday (10/13), I drove up after work to visit with the Hensleys and go fabric shopping!! Yes, I was *finally* getting around to purchasing some fabric for my new 1930s skirt.

    In an effort to save money and time, I had decided that instead of creating a whole NEW outfit for the Cicada Club (which I would LOVE to do, if I had the time/money), I would just update my 1930s outfit by making a new skirt that was more suitable for an evening look than my current 'afternoon' wool skirt.

    Therefore, since Maegen was willing to go fabric shopping with me (and I always like a second opinion when looking at colors and fabric types), I made time in my schedule to drive up to the Fullerton area. By the time I arrived at the Hensleys' place, Maegen was just behind me in arriving, and soon the whole family (Charlie, Rhiannon, & Maegen) and I loaded up into their car and took off for JoAnns.

    After browsing through a few areas of the store, for various items, Maegen & I finally ended up in the home textiles section and found this lovely red/black fabric ('silkessense' - i.e. a poly blend =). When my gold fabric swatch for my blouse was held up next to it, we both just fell in love with how the two just "popped" when combined. I had to have it as my new skirt!

    And fortunately for me, the fabric was even on sale! How awesome is that?!? What timing!

    And now I just need to wash (and iron) the fabric, cut out the skirt pieces, and start sewing. Shouldn't take *too* long...just need to get started....soon. =)

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    time for the Costume College (2008) Postmortem

    Well, time flies and it sure seems to be speeding along these days. Today is the Costume College 2008 Postmortem (a kind of debriefing meeting) which is being help up in the LA area from 11am till whenever. =) (It should only last a couple of hours...hopefully). Once we finish with the meeting, its time for the 2009 committee members to start planning and having meetings and such. And guess what? I'm on next year's committee too...although this time I won't be serving as Roommate Coordinator. I'll be training someone else while I take over the Information/Check-In department. (Cool, I know - it fits me since I do like to know practically everything =).

    Anyways, must be off. Have to go print up some papers for my Roommates binder (so I can hand it off to the next Coordinator) and my official report for the 2008 year since I forgot to print off the papers earlier in the week.


    Friday, October 10, 2008

    fun browsing through old recipes

    So, since I've had a lot of downtime at work lately (ugh! I hate being bored from lack of work), I've been catching up on a few things and starting to plan for upcoming events and the like. Which means....drumroll...I am back to browsing through my historical cook books for recipe inspiration for my next event.


    As my next event is Moorpark, and as a group Oak Street is getting larger (by the minute it sometimes seems), and as I still do not have any dedicated "kitchen staff" to help me run the kitchen of the Inn full time, I'm back to doing 2 simple 'community' mid-day meals for the weekend: Stew! Good thing everyone likes my stew(s)! They are quite tasty, if I do say so myself. :-D I'll most likely end up doing a chicken stew one day and a beef stew the other day. Moorpark tends to be a cold event, so a warm meal each day will be a treat. (Last year it was drizzling/raining on us all Sunday morning, and we were SO wishing we had something warm to eat!)

    And as I am only concentrating on 2 community meals, which have pretty simple prep and just need to be checked on and stirred once in a while while cooking (although the fire/coals need to be checked a bit more often to make sure those are still burning/glowing brightly), this means I can actually take some time at this event to do some 'for fun' cooking as my cooking demonstrations going on throughout the day. (Not that I want to be next to the fire/in the kitchen *all* day...but I'd like to try out a few new recipes and cooking techniques on a small scale at a cool temperature event while I can! =). My 'for fun' cooking would be Saturday's Breakfast & Supper and Sunday's Breakfast...and it would only be for 3-4 people (including myself).

    I was going back and forth between a few recipes, but I believe I've finally decided upon what I want to cook for supper on Saturday.

    Minced Meat, served on warm toast, and
    Baked Potatoes (in their jackets)

    (I haven't decided what vegetable to serve with it yet. Perhaps a winter squash? But anyways, I still have time to decide).

    The other recipes that were up for consideration:
    *Meat Pies (probably beef)
    *Chicken Fricassee (either Brown or White)
    *Salt Pork & Apples (which also includes potatoes in the recipe).

    All would be interesting to cook on site, and in my cast iron (dutch ovens & skillets).

    For breakfasts, I'm going to be pretty simple (since I will be getting up early, in the cold, to get the fire started so that we can all have hot coffee or tea...or even hot chocolate. =). This year I'd like to warm up some biscuits and do a quick gravy, so we (Lana, Jenn & I) can have something warm to eat (and not buy from the vendors on site). Otherwise, we'll be having the usual fare of hardboiled eggs, cottage cheese, and some cut mellon. (Generally we need a quick and easy breakfast since we have to get ready for the day before the spectators arrive, etc.).

    Well, that's it for now. Must get back to my other work.

    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Report on my Halloween Haunt Excursion

    Ok. so as promised here's my update on my very first ever trip to Halloween Haunt (Knotts Scary Farm)

    Overall, I did enjoy the trip/event. It wasn't nearly as scary as some people kept making it out to be. (The hype was more than the actual scare).

    We got in like 45 min. early as we bought the dinner tickets ("The Boo-fet")...and that was worth the price alone just to get in before the park got crowded! We knocked out a few rides & mazes right away with barely any line. That was great!

    While we were waiting to be let in, they let us ride on Ghost Rider (one of my favorite wooden roller coasters, even though it does scare me cause of the drops - I have a thing about heights and falling ;-). Although doing that ride SO soon after eating might not have been the wisest choice...but oh well. We still had fun.

    The first stop, once we were let into the park, was the Log Ride, or "Pyromaniax" as it was renamed (and redecorated). It was one of the rides that had people stationed throughout jumping out at you. We barely had to wait in line (which was awesome) while they finished testing the ride (and presumably getting all the scarers in place) and we were soon led to our log and on our way. I must say that was the only time throughout the night that they people jumping out at me actually got me like *each and every* time! LOL! And it was pretty much the only time throughout the evening that I *actually screamed* from being startled. It was Fun, though. I really did enjoy being startled on this ride. =) They did a good job. And it was a good thing I was wearing my purple rain coat and my Keen boots, since I was sitting in the front and got a good share of the splash zone on me. (Not enough to get me thoroughly soaked, mind you...just a good splatter all over the front of me =).

    Next up - the Black Widow's Cavern. (aka the slow moving mine trade ride). We were stuck in a cart with a bunch of screaming teenage girls. Ugh! The decor was pretty cheesy, but it was all in good fun. In all honesty, though there was *one* huge spider creature (marionette type thing) that was partially shrouded in fog that jumped out at the cart, and I did have an involuntary reaction to pull away - but it was hard to not when something that big comes towards you. =).

    Afterwards, we headed back through the park towards the Mystery Maze and the '13 Axe Murder Manor' (aka the 'Victorian Manor'). This was a well done maze. And it was especially spooky as our first time through there were few others wandering through with us...which made the suspension of reality a bit easier (especially in the darkened rooms). A few people actually managed to get me to start (or on some occasions at least slightly start) a few times while going through this maze (especially in the darkened rooms, when no one else was around and the scarer was well hidden). Overall, I liked this maze, and at the end of the night, I believe the three of us had come to agree that this particular maze was the best of the ones we had gone through.

    Another maze where someone got me was the 'Labyrinth' located in "The Gauntlet" (aka Camp Snoopy). It's a new maze, and it was really neat (all fantasy creatures and some things/decoration that reminded me of the movie Pan's Labyrinth). When I was distracted to turn my head and look at a monster/statue that was part of the decor (when the Mulvey's pointed it out), I turned my head back to look forward at where I was going...and found a creature/scarer inches from my face! I certainly did start! (The Mulvey's loved it! =).

    Later on in the evening, when we were going through another new maze, the "Corn Stalkers" (a cursed cornfield in Kansas with some fo the evil minion of the Wicked Witch of Oz) that had some potential for being scary...but there were too many people going through it. One scarer dressed in all black and hidden up and to the side of the doorway to a barn like structure actually got me to start as he stuck his fingers (with these little clicker things) right in my face as I was pushing aside the shredded black curtains that covered the doorway. It was a good hiding place! I didn't see/expect that scarer at all! Near the end of the maze, one of the scarers got Jenn really good as she was passing by the outhouse type structures (and of course a few people were using it as hiding spots).

    I think the one that distrubed me the most (not scared, just distrubed) was the Slaughterhouse. While my least favorite (not as distrubing though as the Slaughterhouse) was the Killer Clown Kollege. Clowns just aren't that scary to me (except for the one in the movie It...but that's a whole different story! =).

    When I was a bit nervous going through the mazes, especially earlier in the night when I didn't know what to expect, there weren't many people in the mazes (or the park) and I was still fresh on all the hype of being scared, I started using nervous laughter to help me 'buck up' and get through the mazes. But after a while...I just didn't need that anymore. And I started laughing at other people's reactions (those who actually were truly frieghtened) when one of the scarers zeroed in on the person/people and started tormenting them. It was actually kinda funny...especially when I saw 4 teenagers (2 boys & 2 girls) huddled together - arm in arm - trying to navigate the 'Alien Annihilation' maze without being picked on. It was just amusing to me. How funny is that?

    Guess I'm just more scared by scary movies since I get all caught up in the imagination world and in this one I can separate out the real vs. the imaginary and I can usually spot the people hidden, etc.).

    So, and after a while I started 'taking point' in going through the mazes, since the workers inside didn't really faze me (though they tried). I just grinned...and stared them down. I got pretty good at spotting the various hiding places of the scarers (and telling which ones were manicans and which were real people just holding still...waiting for someone to pounce on and scare).

    Of course, it was kinda hard to be scared when the park got full and you were just slowly walking through the maze, following along the line of people ahead of you (with more people behind you). That kinda took some of the 'scare factor' out. (That's probably why we liked the mazes we did earlier in the evening better - less people so it was easier to get scared).

    Anyways, we did every single one of the mazes (scattered throughout the park) and three scare zones (and the 2 themed rides) and got in 3 shows.

    Our first attempt to the "The Hanging: Oils Well that Ends Well" (which is the must see show for pretty much everyone since it lampoons all the recent pop culture stuff for the past year) was unsuccesful as the crew/program had technical difficulties that kept it from going on at the first scheduled performance. But we did eventually get to see it. It was interesting (sometimes crude, but overall pretty funny).

    When our first attempt to see The Hanging failed, we moved on to another show on our list. We went to the Charles Shulz theater and saw "Fangs - a Vampire Show" that was described as Comedy meets Vampires. It was ok - basically a chance to dress people (dancers/singers) up in sexy 'vamp' clothing and have them perform song/dance numbers that were 'vampire themed'. And then when they needed a costume change, they'd trot out two guys that were the comic relief and kept some weak form of a plot moving along. The funny thing is that I actually prefered the comic relief sections to the rest of the show! =) I would have liked it if there was more of those two guys. But whatever. It was...different, to say the least.

    The last show of the evening for us was The Hypno-Chick. Now normally I'm not too fond of hypnotists...but this gal was good and that particular show ended up with some real characters as participants. It was hillarious! We had a great time laughing at the silly antics of the participants. (Especially two in particular who made it memorable: the blonde girl and this one 'cool' guy...for lack of a better way to describe his attitude). The Blonde's reaction to the suggestoin of a stampede was just, well, beyond words! Her antics definitely set the tone for the night.

    Around midnight, we had hit all the rides & such, so Jenn & I each decided it was time for a carmel apple. (Yum!) We were passing by a candy shop in the Old West section (just as you get to the area with the train station, etc.) when we realized that they probably had carmel apples. And we were right! We each got a carmel apple (with nuts - and sliced up for easier eating) and the three of us sat on a bench outside, people watching while we ate our respective apples.

    But by 12:20am we were tired, had finished with our carmel apples, and since we had just about done everything, we decided to call it a night.

    And that was it for us.

    That's my experience at Halloween Haunt this year!