Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dreams of Symphonic Rock

I want to hear Floor Jansen, Sharon den Adel, and Charlotte Wessels singing Nightwish's "Bless the Child" (or pretty much any of the Nightwish opus) as a trio.  den Adel as descant/highest treble counterpoint, Jansen as main soprano, Wessels as contralto counterpoint/harmony.  There should be more great music for duets and trios. 

Full choruses, too, while I'm dreaming.  Not just solo + choral backup, which rock has some of, but baroque-type chorus work.  I was listening to the Orchestra of the Antipodes' Messiah recently.  They have a lovely, light touch and great balance between all the voices, and between chorus and orchestra.  More of that type of vocal and instrumental working together, please.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Books I Read in 2015

Warning: Navel-gazing.

In order of reading: 
  1. Brandon Sanderson, Way of Kings
  2. Barbara Hambly, Blood Maidens
  3. Barbara Hambly, Magistrates of Hell
  4. Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane 
  5. Bizenghast vol 1-8
  6. Neil Strauss, The Game
  7. Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  8. James Moore and Charles Rutledge, Congregations of the Dead
  9. Stephen Crane, Black Riders
  10. Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance
  11. Mary Roach, Stiff
  12. Randall Munroe, What If?
  13. Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  14. Neil Patrick Harris, Choose Your Own Autobiography
  15. R. A. Lafferty, The Man who Made Models
  16. Barbara Hambly, Icefalcon's Quest
  17. China Mieville, Unlundun
  18. George Orwell, Animal Farm
  19. Ian MacDonald, Desolation Road
  20. Steven brush, Issola 
  21. Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Not so very many books, but it's been a busy year.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

In which I am a Pampered Cattle

I just got back from a Caribbean cruise, where manicures are exotic hand rituals and the soap is made in PRC rather than China.

I feel like a cattle who is pampered and badgered to buy all the things.  Pictures of butterflies to follow.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Fabulosity: Sticky Note Fantasia!

I've watched the Eepybirds before for their coke and mentos shenanigans. I stopped by their website a few days ago for a link to illustrate strangeness (non-quantum) in our universe. They have lots more things up now! Like sticky notes, sticky notes, sticky notes everywhere! Sticky note waterfalls, sticky note slinkies, sticky note pinwheels (I love the pinwheels!), and sticky note animations, all in tropical, neon colors!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In Which I Assert That Yes, We Do Have the Right to Say Whether We Know Better Than Our Ancestors

Moral codes were not designed to be selective, nor indeed were they designed to be questioned.

Most morality, thought Mma Ramotswe, was about doing the right thing because it had been identified as such by a long process of acceptance and observance.  You simply could not create your own morality because your experience would never be enough to do so.  What gives you the right to say that you know better than your ancestors?  Morality is for everybody, and this means that the views of more than one person are needed to create it.  That was what made the modern morality, with its emphasis on individuals and the working out of an individual position, so weak.

                                        -Alexander McCall Smith, Morality for Beautiful Girls, p. 75

Sorry, book, but I will not silently swallow such fallacious assertions for the sake of the story.  I am going to examine these assertions.  I will even dare to question them.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Mad Person-Who-Stitches: Tiered Ruffled Skirt With Dinosaurs

I had 1.0 yard of green dinosaur fabric, 0.5 yard of bones dinosaurs fabric, and about 1.25 yards of purple fabric.  I made gathered ruffles, but it didn't turn out as ruffly as I had hoped.  Now I'm second-guessing myself and thinking I should have tried to finagle circular ruffles.  But I'm not sure I would have had enough fabric.

I made the purple top kind of like a collar, with two layers of fabric.  The elastic got a pocket at the top edge.  Then I pressed the lower edges 5/8 inch under, tucked the upper two ruffles plus lining to which lower ruffle is stitched inside the purple, and sewed everything together.  I thought it would be a good way to make all the seams tidy.  And it did make them tidy:
inside join of purple top to dino ruffles
sideseam for top layer
But all the layers had different circumferences, and it was slow, exasperating work to get them gathered to the same circumference and pinned together without little swags escaping from the seam line.  Next time I need to make a ruffled skirt, I will leave the layers as strips, gather and pin and stitch all the layers together as a trapezoid, and only at the last stitch up a side seam to turn the trapezoid into a truncated cone (skirt). 

But it has purple and ruffles and dinosaurs, and I think overall it's a success.  I hope the person who commissioned it will like it!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Caturday Post: McNulty and her Own Special Chair

Nulty's adjustment to the developed world would not be complete without a roomful of toys and a chair that she likes to sit in ambush behind.