Archive | August 17, 2012

Adventures in Home Ec

I noticed another blogger was showing how to make pattern weights and I got to thinking about when I had to take Home Ec. Back in the Dark Ages when Middle Schools were Junior Highs and you didn’t go near one until you reached the exalted state of 7th grade and Home Economics were required of every girl. You had a semester of Cooking and a semester of Sewing. I hated Cooking most of the time because all our Home Ec teacher taught was breakfast and other than the coffee cake that I really liked, most of the time I already knew how to make it or if it had oatmeal in it I was allergic to it. And I’m afraid Cream of Wheat in its natural state is nasty.

But I really enjoyed Sewing and actually got good grades and the next year took a year of it when they added the period back in our day. (Our 7th grade year the school district lost a bond issue so they cut a period out of the day instead of firing teachers. All we really lost was the second elective which would have been choir for me since I wasn’t allowed to take typing. They discouraged College Prep girls from taking typing at the time.) But back to Sewing, we started out with place mats and napkins with embroidery since I already knew how to do that it was easy. Next we had to make a gymbag. That was pretty fun and I probably could still whip one up now in my sleep. The last thing we were required to make was a straight classic A line skirt.

Before we could actually sew the skirt we had to learn about patterns and cutting and all the esoteric mysteries of the pattern. We learned what all the symbols meant how to pin the pattern properly without tearing the tissue of the pattern. We learned how to do the little basting stitches and the little marking stitches you put on through the tissue. We learned how to cut the darts and the little arrows to match up the edges. I think our teacher would have thought a pattern weight was heresy and blasphemy. I always thought she thought that proper pattern cutting was an art in and of itself and if you complied with all the mysteries you automatically would have a good result. And to some extent she was right because you learned how to match stripes and plaids correctly and when you could cut on the bias and when it was a Bozo no-no. You learned how to orient your fabric so that one half of your skirt wasn’t upside down or sideways. As far as she was concerned a properly pinned pattern was a thing of beauty and woe betide you if you screwed it up. The sewing up was gravy except maybe for placket zippers or a folded fabric buttonhole and not the cheating machine kind.

I remember the triumph of finishing the thing after learning to use the dressmaker’s dummy that wouldn’t go small enough to fit me. I also remember that I wore it once and spilled something on it and never wore it again. I was better at making pants and shorts anyway even if we weren’t allowed to wear them to school or church in those days. Back in the eons of time when Dress Code meant just that a Dress code.

I’m stressed and not taking it well

I’m trying to remind myself to be at peace. I’m stressed and I know it and listening to a certain person at work is going to make me even crazier. I’m stressed because I did the stupid but luckily they are fedexing the check to me tomorrow. I have the confirmation number. I’m stressed because it looks like my temp job may end on the 31st even though I talked to the big boss yesterday and she wants to keep me longer and she also wants to hire me. I’m stressed and anxious just on general principles I think at the moment from too many over 100 degree days. Sometimes I get this way. It was one reason I went to the Getty last weekend. I thought free + museum would help and it did for awhile but it also made me yearn for a new camera that behaves itself. It’s getting a little cantankerous like me in its old age. I’m stressed because I went and got a library fine. I never do that, ever. I’m stressed because it looked like this would be a permanent job and now unless something changes that isn’t going to happen. I’m stressed because boys jumped our security fence and stole our biggest gnome’s wheelbarrow and that particular gnome has a lot of sentimental value and being robbed even something small is stressful. Rassa frassa frassa, etc.

And if I have to hear this one person on the other side of the cubicle wall talk to her boss one more time today I’m gonna scratch her eyes out.

1. She has one of the most annoying voices on the planet. Imagine Jennifer Tilly’s voice a third higher and speaking with a very sing song rapid fire Chinese accent. Normally I love listening to anyone with any kind of accent, it can be fun. But this person’s voice would try Ghandhi. It’s worse than nails on a blackboard.

2. She seems to have no other topic than high fashion and makeup. That is normally something you can talk about once in awhile but it shouldn’t be your only topic. No news, no current events, no weather even, only makeup and fashion and who is having a sale on designer’s stuff and whether it’s counterfeit. Today I have had to listen to a 20 minute talk on eyelash conditioner????! Telling her boss not to go to a sale on Monday wait until the delivery on Tuesday. And her new shoes. No work talked about yet. Not even that they brought in another food truck because the cafeteria is still closed after a week and a half due to vermin infestation. Not that it’s a 100 degrees again outside and horribly muggy. EEAYEEEEEEEE! Nothing else…

So I am telling myself to breathe. I’m telling myself I’m going to do fun things next week and the week after. I’m trying to compose prayers. I’m trying to come up with the right words for a story about a cloud that is hanging out outside the window. I want a chocolate milkshake like my mom used to make.