Jul. 8th, 2017

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eveiya replied to your post: collecting thoughts

I just watched a short vid to see what tambour embroidery was, and it looked to me like a slower, more difficult way of sewing a chain stitch than doing it with an embroidery needle… I guess I’ll need to find some longer videos to discover what the advantage of tambour embroidery is and what the differences are.

The point is that it’s faster, much much faster. I never use chain stitch when I’m doing regular embroidery because it takes forgoddamnever, but with tambour, it’s two gestures instead of about seven. 

The only problem is that it takes a while to master it. But I saw it when I was researching Kazakh yurt hangings (they make these amazing things called “dream quilts” that are made of giant slabs of felt with applique, and they’re just all chain-stitch-outlined, and I saw a video of a woman doing the chain stitching and it was so fast it was like she was drawing, and I had to keep researching forever to find out what on earth she was doing– but it’s tambour hook embroidery, that’s how they do it). 

I want to learn how to do it because it’s the fastest method I can find for applique, among other things. But it’s so damn hard to get the hang of.

The other thing it’s perfect for is attaching beads or sequins to fabric, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but have never figured out how to do properly. You just do it from the back, so the chain stitch is on the back of the fabric, and the thread carries across the front and locks each bead down. Anything you own that’s embellished with sewn-on beads or sequins is probably tambour-stitched. 

But that’s a whole other ball of wax; I have to master the basic stitch before I can try adding beads to it, I think.

I took a break today and did a painting instead. OK, not a proper painting, but I painted a sign on a hunk of canvas, and instead of it being for someone else like literally all the painting I’ve done for the last several years, it’s for me, and it’s just text art but it’s a piece I wanted, so now I have it. I’d post pictures but since my computer’s busted, I don’t have my phone photos on it. I’ll wait until it’s done and do a post from my phone.

Painting is still the fastest method of embellishment, lol. 
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“No one rejoices more in revenge than women, wrote Juvenal. Women do most delight in revenge, wrote Sir Thomas Browne. Sweet is revenge, especially to women, wrote Lord Byron. And I say, I wonder why boys. I wonder why.”
- Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World (narrator Harriet Burden)
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@bomberqueen17 replied to your post: i got peer pressured into joining a shotski of…

that’s such a dumb idea? if it was anything but jaeger I’d say what a waste of alcohol but I mean, jaeger.

us pittsburghers during the OHIO song: wow that shotski thing looks like a bad idea

thirty minutes later: bride wants a shotski? BRIDE GETS A MOTHERFUCKING SHOTSKI. us other sixteen people are just gonna keep her company with shotskis of our own!

I gotta admit, I’m actually a little sad and jealous. My youngest cousin finally got married… and didn’t invite any of the cousins. We were all looking forward to it, because we’re very widely dispersed and only get together for very special occasions, and the last wedding was of one of the ones in Norway, so most of us couldn’t make it, but this is the sister of two of the cousins with little kids so they’d definitely be there, and so the rest of us could kind of collect and all see one another and probably the two in Norway with babies wouldn’t make it but maybe the third Norway cousin would, and definitely our aunt, which is like enough for a quorum kinda, and we could all catch up and have such a good time and– 

She didn’t invite us. There’s weird stuff there, mostly an abusive step-aunt who isolated her, so she doesn’t really know us, but she’s an adult now and this would be the time to reach out– but she decided that since the groom’s family was huge, they’d save money by just writing her family off entirely and not inviting us. [Her sisters were super upset but, well, it’s not like it would be worth it to protest; this is their one shot to attempt to reconcile with the stepsister, so…]

So that was last weekend, and my mother went and mass-texted all of us updates about how weird and terrible it was. 

But I didn’t get to see the cousins, or their kids, and my effort (knowing this wedding wasn’t going to include us) to have a renegade party of our own this summer was derailed by older sister being in the midst of moving and telling us we couldn’t possibly schedule anything, so… 

I’m sort of sad and jealous and thwarted, because there’s awfulness to giant Wedding Shenanigans things, always, but it’s such a good opportunity for family reunions.
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Having the last three days off to get myself in order, I had expected would be pleasant, but it wasn’t. I’d really wanted to go through my old original writings and see if any of them were something I wanted to work on next, but after a great deal of hunting, I’ve realized that although this temporary computer was supposed to have my last backup restored to it, Dude lost patience and in fact, basically none of my documents are on it. 

Most importantly, my Documents folder is not on it. While I’d expected if you were going to only grab one folder, it would be that one, he told me he hadn’t thought there’d be anything important there, and since there wasn’t room, he hadn’t grabbed it.

There are 250 GB free on this hard drive. It turns out, he saw that I had 300GB of files, and just didn’t grab any.

Which is fine, but that’s not what he said, and so I spent about a day panicking because Documents contains all of my original writings from 1992 onwards, and while I have it backed up in like five places, none of them are accessible to me on this strange computer.

TL;DR this is the only time off I’m going to have for the forseeable future and I wasted all of it convinced that my life’s work was gone, so, clearly, I have not made any progress on that, nor have I written anything at all in like, forever, and I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ve never done anything in my life. 

I can’t have days off from work, because I’m so conditioned to believe that if I have time to myself, spending it how I like is “wasting” it. I feel like I’m not “allowed” to have leisure. And so while I spent the times I wasn’t panicking over these last three days or so reading novels and working on embroidery, the entire time I was feeling wretched that I wasn’t getting more done.

I’d told Dude maybe I’d paint the spare bedroom and he got actually mad at me that I’d waste time on that instead of, I don’t know, nebulously “cleaning” the house, i.e. figuring out what to do with the amorphous mass of possessions that I clearly don’t know what to do with, and he definitely for sure believes I shouldn’t do anything other than deal with, ever, but Christ fucking forbid he offer an opinion or some guidance. 

I wish I’d told him to go fuck himself and just painted the spare room, because it would be done now and I would feel really good about it and maybe it would have given me some ideas for the other rooms of the house. But I didn’t, and I will either be at work or at the farm for the rest of the summer, so I guess, fuck having anything done ever, and why do I pretend that I live in this house?

People have leisure. They watch television. I haven’t watched TV in decades because it just feels wrong, I get itchy, it’s a waste of time. I almost never read books because I can get the same satisfaction from writing and so I should do the latter because it’s not idleness. 

People are allowed to not be productive for a minute. It’s like, a thing. People tell me I work too hard and should relax. But people, not the same people but people inhabiting the same reality, also tell me that I’m lazy and worthless and my lack of income is down to my lack of worth, more or less, and so I don’t see how those can both be true. So I stay busy every instant of my life.

The problem is that I’m so disorganized I never finish anything, so staying busy gets me exactly nothing, in the end. 

Oh well, that’s what brainweasels do, I guess? I don’t know. I just know that I’m probably going to spend the rest of the summer kicking myself for not having gotten anything done this “vacation”, these three whole days I had to myself, one of which was spoken for already because I had to clean for houseguests. I’ve spent this entire day so jittery I can’t focus to finish anything, just like yesterday, just like the day before… 

I want one project I can start and finish, but I can’t think of anything I could actually accomplish. That’s why I painted the thing I did yesterday, and I did do that, I did finish it, but now I’m left staring at it and realizing that it’s useless so what good did it do me to finish it?? 

Ugh everything is useless. There’s no point being productive when I feel that way, because it doesn’t matter what I get done, it’s not going to be satisfying. 

This is why I spend so much time doing things for other people. If I do things for myself, I’m left feeling stupid because it was pointless. If I do things for other people, at least they thank me, and often are genuinely appreciative over the long-term.

Well, there’s that mystery sorted, not that it was a mystery. Self-care is pointless when your self is a stuck-up disgruntled bitch who doesn’t like anything. 
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There’s Now a Name for the Micro Generation Born Between 1977-1983, and according to Dan Woodman at the University of Melbourne, it’s… Xennials. I’ve heard other names, quickly shrugged off: the grunge generation, the Oregon Trail generation, Generation Y. None quite fit. I don’t think Xennials does, either. It’s a mashup term, a shipper name for the two things you desperately want to bring together.

The thing is, a name produced by Venn diagramming labels already given to other generations doesn’t fit us. We’re not the overlap between the Gen X and Millennial generations. We’re the gap between them–and the bridge.

Our salient characteristic is not the seven years of our birth. It’s that we spent our seven teenage years in the mid ‘90s, specifically 1995 and 1996: the years the internet matured and home computers became affordable for the middle class.

Before that, if you’d been on the internet at all, you were very likely an upper-middle class subscriber to one of the companies that tried to create walled gardens of insipid internet-delivered pablum: Prodigy, CompuServe, or AOL (in that order). After 1996 or so, it became commonplace to have one of those services, or a connected computer you could use a little bit at school, or dialup at home through a local ISP, or a shiny new ethernet port in the wall of your dorm or office–and to use those things to explore the parts of the internet that hadn’t been built or curated by your provider. The internet at large was pervasive among the middle class by the late 90s. The original providers started eating their oxen and dying of dysentery before the boom years finished them off entirely.

And the important thing for our generation is that we encountered the new, wild-grown internet when we did. It arrived in our homes and high schools just as we were shaping our worldviews, and it wrenched us from local to global perspectives. We went online, we looked up fans and hobbyists talking and teaching about our favorite things, and we made friends. They were from all over the world! It was cool!

It was more than cool;, as it turned out: it gave us an ambient awareness of the daily lives of people in other countries. Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook have amplified this awareness to a constant scream, but it was there on mailing lists and in IRC chats and in newsgroups. Our teenage pen-pals were internet users, and we got to talk to them almost daily.

Generation X were mostly adults when they underwent the internet paradigm shift, with mixed results. In my work, I encounter a lot of Gen Xers who understand the usefulness of the web (or hell, built the thing), but are just not enthused about social media networks. They’re on Facebook so they can share pictures of their kids with their parents… and that’s about it. If they work in a field that doesn’t keep them online all day, it’s easy for them to retreat to the local sphere of awareness.

Millennials didn’t have to shift their paradigms at all; for them, the internet was always there once they started school, woven throughout their childhoods and educations. They grew up thinking globally–though somewhat hobbled by their incomplete social studies educations, since they’re also the No Child Left Behind generation.

Our generation did have to shift paradigms, and we didn’t yet have many teachers or parents who could explain this new world to us. We walked that bridge from analogue childhood to digital adulthood, one by one. Some of us didn’t take to it–the kinds of people who didn’t enjoy dinking around on dialup on a Saturday afternoon, soaking up the world’s coolest-looking assembly of human knowledge, largely stayed on the analogue side, and those folks are camouflaged as Gen X.

Those of us who work online, or found online communities we couldn’t have locally, have built our lives with those connections in mind. We’re camouflaged as Millennials.

But we are neither. In reality, we’re a single group that is sharply defined by the fact that we stumbled into the new global internet paradigm on our own. If Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL built the bridges between DARPAnet and the internet we have today, then our generation are those bridges’ travelers.

We’re the Prodigy kids, the proto-Millennials who showed up to the internet party a little early, accompanied by the buzz-click-whir of dialup connections in progress. We’re the salty aunts sliding drinks over to our Millennial friends, explaining how we remember childhood before the internet and adulthood before 9/11. We remember the world we thought we were graduating into until the Boomers’ post-9/11 isolationism, jingoism, and Islamophobia settled into our institutions like a virus for which we’d been vaccinated.
We have the advantages of pre-Bush era educations, memories of how things were done before we relied on computers, and a global network of friends and family who help us see news and perspectives other than our local 6 o'clock anchor’s. There’s a role for us to play in this post-Trump world. I trust we’ll find it.



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