Monday, July 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities ~ a project

With my newfound fixation for book-binding, I guess I've gotten a bit over-zealous. I figured out the coptic stitch, with the help of this lovely tutorial, I made myself a travel journal; I guess I figured I could do just about anything. So, I rebound my copy of A Tale of Two Cities.

It took me forever (I'd say about forty hours of work total, seriously), but I did it. I didn't want to have to take the time to copy all my notes into a new copy, see? And I've got a BUNCH of notes; from the first time I read the book, for school, throughout the whole thing; and about a third of the way through from my second, closer inspection of it. And it was my dad's before me, and it was utterly falling apart, so I decided to rebind it.
After I'd ripped out the covers completely and peeled off the canvas that was holding the glue-bound pages to the flyleaf, I started by taking a small cup of vinegar, some Q-tips, a pot of boiling water, a knife, some nail polish remover, and a very bright light to work by and dissolving the glue from the spine. Silly me, I figured the pages would've been in signatures (like a composition notebook, the paper folded over and connected in the back) to begin with. But no. As the glue dissolved, the pages fell out into single sheets. Roadblock the first.
So I found some red thread and I arranged the papers into sheets of sixteen and I hand-stitched each page to it's opposite (using a healthy dab of glue to hold the final knot down). Then I used a screw driver to bore some holes in the original covers, an ice-pick to pop the holes in the papers, used the lovely stitch from the tutorial to bind it all together, and viola! It is reborn.

Now I'm just really, really glad it's over.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

 Oh, my lovely little bedroom, how I shall miss you! It's been a lovely six months. (Also, I'll quit the reality-avoidance and actually explain the moving thing as soon as I actually know something. Yes, indeeed, it's that sort of week.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yesterday, It Was Eczema...

And if you know me, you know that that's a quick cheat sheet to my state of mind. Yesterday, the back of my hands were red and cracking. Today, with enough aloe, they are so no longer. This morning it was a twisting, turning stomach and a great big fat heavy weight on my chest and a shocking lack of motivation. The desire to bury my head in a book and hide, very nearly claimed me for it's own. A couple of realities were starting to sink in, and my mood wasn't pretty. I remembered, though, that the grass needed cutting. Here was something I could do that would be useful, while still allowing a certain level of reality avoidance also. Perfect.
So I spent several hours behind our push-mower and went through several playlists on my iPod, and now my attitude is quite a lot better. I've got back my sense of adventure and my can-do-ness.
I have also got, though, a bug bite on my forehead. Of the sort that I'm allergic to. If both my eyes don't swell themselves shut by the end of the night, I'll eat my own hat. And as embarrassing as this is going to be, I've talked myself into posting a picture of the aftermath. Without further ado, I give

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Feeling a Little Meta...

And in the mood to examine my reasons for blogging and the future of this blog. I started the blog to have something to do when I was bored. It grew from that to a writing exercise, a place to vent my opinions, and a way for people who want to know about my life but don't live nearby to keep up with me. But here's the thing: I like writing. It's what I want to do with my life. Well, among other things. And I want to write well, and I want to write things people want to read. I want to write a blog people want to read. It's not just about hits and site traffic, though that's a way of gauging it, of course. I just want to write things people like! And you hear these lovely success-stories of travel writers or food writers or fashion writers discovered because of their blogs, and I would like for that to happen to me. In a perfect world.

Now see, I post two sorts of things here: media posts (those kind of review-like things where I consume media and then write/rant about it), and personal posts (where I ramble about weekend plans and keep you updated about things like my emotional response to being in the young adult life group). Of the two, you can guess which gets more hits. If you guessed movie reviews, you were right. Especially because the sorts of movies I watch are the sorts with fandoms and cult followings. But the people who read my blog frequently, let's face it, don't really care what I thought of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  They, mostly, want my take on my life. But how Vacation Bible School went doesn't exactly do great things for widening my readership. Is that my problem? Am I just too broad as far as topics go? But that's frustrating, because my life encompasses all these things! From my personal comings and goings to the movies and books I love (or hate): all of it's me. Now see, if I could do something like this lovely lady (who calls herself doodlemum), and make the everyday occurrences of my life something people are actually interested in, I'd be doing pretty good. Thing is, I don't have the talent. Or at least, I haven't happened upon it yet.
So here's the question: How to I write things that people want to read, while remaining faithful and honest to myself and to the few readers who actually read this blog because they care about me?  What do you think? Any ideas? Suggestions, criticisms, wild complaints, rantings? Feel free to comment!

P.S. Also, thanks, I think, to whoever added a random personal post from two years ago to the stumbleupon library. Kinda weirded out, to be honest, but also appreciative.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stuff And Things

Before I go any further, I'd just like to say that the number of hits this blog got yesterday was more than ten times my daily average......
Proof that use of a particular celebrity's picture is an effective (though ethically questionable) way of upping your blog traffic. Face it, Ella. People are more interested in Benedict Cumberbatch's face than they are in what you have to say. Not that I'm blaming anyone, of course.
Coming soon: With the purchase (aka, read) of each blog post, readers will also receive a picture of a dishy British actor, absolutely free of charge. ;)

 In other news, VBS has come and gone; quite the same as every year. Me and Joy and goofy costumes (Hawaiian island theme this year, oversized men's hibiscus-print button-ups), and trying to talk to between ten and twenty precious, hyperactive, curious, impressionable first-second graders about how much Jesus loves them. This year, it involved my Aunt Becky and cousin Cara staying the week with us (Cara, being in second grade, was in my crew. :), a vicious fire-ant attack, a failed jaunt to the new thrift store 'round the corner, and an incredible amount of Shaun the Sheep. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I spent my first Wednesday night Bible study in the young adult's class day-before-yesterday. It . . . wasn't awful. Okay, well, it was awful, but it wasn't so awful. I was sitting at the foot of the table with two married couples on my left and a married couple and a dating couple on my right and. . . yeah; and then the topic was purely enraging, knowing God's will and telling the difference between your will and God's, which is like the main theme of my life right now, so I didn't talk. If I had talked, I might've exploded, which would've been really unfair to the rest of the class, it being my first week and all. And I felt out of place and awkward and shy, and I'm afraid Joy took rather more of my ilk than was really fair, for which I am both sorry and indebted. And hopefully these things get better in time.

It was also Riley's first week in pre-teens, and Anne's first week in youth. I am old.

Also. Um. Well, lastly, though not least. . . ly (?), we're, um, well, just in passing. We're moving. My brain=

I'll be back with you with more information when I have regained the ability to *ahem* "can."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Birthday Wish That Will Not Be Received...

Similar to my "Happy Birthday Steven Moffat" post a couple of months ago; no matter if there's no chance at all of the person involved seeing the post, one might as well wish a body a happy birthday when one can, so:

Happy birthday and many happy returns to Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

In Which I Create a Tumblr Blog and am Chased by a Rooster

.......It's been an odd week. Okay, it hasn't been a week, it's been like four days. But whatever.
The start of the oddity was when I started a tumblr account. It sounds pretty run-of-the-mill, but it seemed climactic at the time. The main purpose of it was, at least in theory, to increase my traffic on THIS blog. See, Tumblr's better for the social-networking side of blogging, so theoretically, get to know people over there, find people interested in the same sorts of things I'm interested in, find way to direct my followers over there ...over here.
The theory breaks down around the time that I remember that I'm pretty much Socially Useless, even on the internet. So my tumblr is going to sit there with three posts and zero followers until the cows come home.
And while I'm waiting on the cows to come home, I've got enough to worry about with the chickens and the turkeys.
See, I'm house-sitting. Supposed to be simple, right? Feed the housepets, bring in the mail, watch the homeowner's entire movie collection, etc. Well, no. As I said, chickens and turkeys. And rabbits. Oh my.
The people I'm house-sitting for left a lovely blue sheet of paper stuck to the fridge with explicit directions about who's supposed to eat what and so on, but I'm still a bit unclear on the difference between chicken food and chicken scratch. And right now, the roosters aren't getting along with each other, the turkeys, or me (thus the being chased by a rooster bit); the rabbits have taken to sitting in the back corner of their hutches and staring at me warily, mostly I think because I had to make an awful lot of racket this morning with the hutch door and a six-foot shovel in my (entirely successful, I might add) attempt to kill a rather large and mean-looking writing spider; and I still have no idea just where I stand with the turkeys. So, essentially, it's just me and Gandalf. Gandalf being the rather overweight tabby housecat. I'm not sure if he's sweet or just lazy, but he's barely moved from my feet since I've been here. And he rather likes being scratched under the chin.
His name makes for some interesting (and occasionally awkward) happenstances, though. Like, when he tries to escape whenever the front door is open, and  you turn around and tell him to stay, and then you realize what you just implied. "Gandalf, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" Yeah. Or when he's on one couch and you're on the other and you say, "Gandalf, no, don't you want to come sleep with me?"

*cricket, cricket*

So anyway. Hopefully me and the roosters will come to terms eventually, and perhaps the turkeys will choose to be less enigmatic, and the rabbits will decide that I'm not actually a shovel-wielding maniac, but rather their spider-killing, carrot-bearing friend, and everything'll be just hunky-dory. In the meantime, I think there's a dvd of Phantom of the Opera calling my name around here somewhere..