Monthly Archives: April 2009

The sushi train is evil

And other Terrible  Terrific Tuesday thoughts:

  • The sushi train is an evil, evil thing that makes you eat far too much sushi and then when you are full, taunts you by passing by with your favorite thing in the whole wide world. (It doesn’t matter what it is because if it goes by on the train, it is always your favorite.) Thanks for the invite, DD girl! I’ll ride the evil train with you any day.
  • When the waitress came to count my plates, she told me “good job.” Either I’m a ginourmous pig, or she was genuinely proud in the way you are when a two-year-old eats broccoli.
  • I ran out of my super potent Secret deodorant today. So I put Mitchum under the other arm. This is causing me to feel off-kilter. And I keep catching a wiff of two scents. Not cool.
  • The work girls are running to Jimmy John’s for lunch. I brought my lunch, but I couldn’t resist requesting one of their GIANT pickles. Yurm.
  • I leave on Tuesday for a work trip. I’ve been driving around with my suitcase in my backseat (What’? That’s not normal? It seems like a perfectly good storage space.) and it’s now covered in Gertie hair. I do not look forward to the lint brush session to come.

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That’s what I get for trying to be a good dog mom

It’s no secret that Gertie likes to go play at Lily’s house


Where she is spoiled rotten. Then she comes home and gives me attitude because like. it’s so. totally. boring here, mom.

What? An endless basket of toys, a kong filled with treats, two couches I can lay all over and long runs with mommy? That’s all you got? Pishaw.

Because over there it’s all rawhides, treats and endless romps in the backyard with Lily. And well, a massive backyard isn’t enough to satisify MY Gertie, who has now learned to jump the fence in order to stroll around the neighborhood.

Last week, Gertie played for two days because the weather was so nice and I thought it was good for her. One day, the boyfriend’s mom received a call from her neighbor, “I think your dog is over here.” The boyfriend’s mom stepped outside and yelled, “Gertie!” Low and behold Little Miss Thang came trotting back into the yard.

But on Saturday, I decided it was time to remind Gertie how like. totally awesome her mom is. Starting with taking her to lunch at Chipotle (lunch for me, not for her — very important disclaimer in light of events that were to transpire.) where we sat outside and she met a very delightful two-year-old child who pet and kissed her.

Then, I thought it would be great fun to go to the dog park. I even stopped to pick up a ball launching device, knowing how much Miss Thang loves to fetch balls, and her propensity toward the slimiest, nastiest balls in the park.

Upon arriving at the dog park, I was  thinking it’s pretty sweet how close she is staying to my side. Awww…she does know I’m her mom!

Then, I tried launching the tennis ball.

Nope. Not going to have any of that.

(The ball was very kindly returned to me by a Great Dane.)

Ok, so we aren’t interested in the ball today. Ok, well, we can still have fun — Go run, Gertie! Do doggie things! Sniff someone! Come on! Something?!

Finally, she started trotting around. Mainly to go sit at people’s feet for petting and belly rubs.

Then I saw it, the moment of  free running fun as she took off in a four-legged gallop. Hoorah! This trip wasn’t a waste afterall. I am the coolest doggie mom she’s ever known…

Then, with horror I realized that what I thought was a moment of doggie play, was more a moment of “gotta go!”

Now there is nothing wrong with a dog doing her business at the dog park. They make little blue bags and plenty of trash cans for such occasion. But when your dog has massive diarrhea that lasts for at least four minutes of squatting and moving around within a 6 foot radius, that is NOT cool.

Suddenly, I was imagining all eyes (both human and canine) were on me. Armed with a blue bag on each hand, I painstakingly tried to scoop the evidence off the grass. Which was not an easy task. I also needed about four more blue bag covered hands.

People were staring at me like their dog had never had an upset stomach (in this case, probably caused by too much rawhide consumption.) Gertie moved on, leaving me to my clean-up efforts. And gave me a look like, “See. this is why I was not in a playful mood.”

I took my dog and my new $10 ball launcher home. To the boring apartment where we layed on the boring couch.

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Shoes. A religious shopping rite.

Recently, I found myself wandering the aisles of a large Kansas City shoe store. 

I was struck by the almost religious aura among other patrons. Women shuffling through the rows and rows of shoes, pausing at each one out of respect and deep contemplation. Often times, picking up the shoe and placing on their foot reverently, with great care.

There was an understanding among these hopeful consumers, often having to make room for another worshiper beside them. It was a respectful, yet slightly pious understanding. Pious in the sense that it was fine for another woman to worship a shoe as long as she wasn’t worshiping the same size.

And then there were the Saints. The ones holy enough to have found a shoe (or shoes) to take home. They stood in the check-out line with the satisfied look of dutiful sacrifice. Ready to embark on whatever sole-searching journey the shoes would lead them to. In the real world.  A world marred with dirt, puddles and elements clearly designed to scuff, soil and wear down their precious new shoes.

Until they can return to renew their spirits and their frequent shopper cards with new shoes.

I didn’t buy any.

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Closer Part II

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. That  last thing was far too serious and sappy. Barf.

I present Closer Part II – a photo essay.



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Listening to a good friend rant about a mediocre first date.

Taking care of him when he’s not feeling well.

Laughter with friends on Friday night.

A long walk with an old friend and our dogs.

Sitting next to Mom in a cozy booth over a nice dinner.

Dad asking me marketing questions.

My sister sharing in the passenger seat of my car.

Gertie’s big head on my lap and a sigh of content.

Enjoying sushi straight from the train.

His hand grabbing mine in the night.

These things make us closer.

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The creator of the Wonder Woman costume shares some tricks of the super hero trade

It turns out the costume maker is also a super cool blogger with an esty site! 

This means two things: 1. You too can own a Wonder Woman (or other super cool super hero) costume. 2. I had to talk to her in order to learn more about this Literary Assassin.

Luckily, she didn’t think I was too much of a freak show when I sent her an e-mail that was basically, “Hi. My boyfriend bought the Wonder Woman costume from you. I think you are cool and I want to interview you on my quirky blog. Here are ten questions. Are you in?”

Ok, well maybe she thought I was a freak show, but she played anyway and here we go…

1. How did you get into the superhero costume creation niche?

Back in 2001 I was dating a guy who was really into Batman, so I accompanied him to a lot of comic shops. Terry Dodson happened to be drawing Harley Quinn’s title at that time and I just fell in love with the art in those books, the design of Harley’s costume, and the loopy way she viewed the world: it was a synthesis of all those things. I was already a somewhat competent stitcher, so I naively said, “I’m going to make that costume for Halloween.” It was the pits, of course. It was the first time I’d worked with spandex, and I was making up the pattern as I went along, so of course I made a lot of mistakes, wasted a lot of fabric. People are often horrified when they see how much I charge to make that costume, but that sucker is a LOT of work.

Still, the suit turned out even better than I’d expected, and in May of 2002 I wore it to ConQuest, the scifi/fantasy con in Kansas City. I should say, at that point I had no real concept of Harley’s significance in the DC universe or how popular she was with fans. When I walked into the ballroom at the Con the audience just roared–it was completely exhilarating. After the pictures of that costume hit the Internet I had total strangers writing to me, begging me to make them a costume or at least tell them how to make the hood. I made a few costumes for people, grossly underpaying myself for my time, and eventually got smart and put the pattern up for sale. Since I’ve been on Etsy my business has just bloomed. Being part of that venue makes me seem respectable, and people feel free to ask me about doing commissioned work. Etsy is awesome–in the last two years it’s become *the* internet place to shop and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

2. I understand you are into martial arts. If I’m going to wear the costume, are there any moves you would recommend I learn?

I think any babe in a superhero costume has a right and a responsibility to defend herself. For the most part fans are very polite and respectful but there are always one or two lugnuts with nonfunctioning body radar who will invade your personal space.
There are several body-language techniques you can use to keep the crowd at a respectful distance–a long cool stare, squared-off shoulders, and both feet planted firmly. This posture has the benefit of not only conveying bad-assitude, but also looking good in pictures.
However, should some lugnut misread your vivacity for a come-on and swoop in for a hug, simply show him the hand. When he lunges for you, extend your palm toward his face or chest in the classic “HALT!” gesture. Maintain eye contact. Cock an eyebrow, if you like. Say, “I’d rather not, thank you.” He will then back away, grovelling and babbling apologies. Ignore him. Resume looking cool and gorgeous.
Should all else fail, employ this move:

3. What inspires you when you are working on a costume?

a) A good design. Obviously this is subjective but I like costumes that are not only flattering but intrinsic to the character somehow, and which have a smidgen of real-world plausibility. The Catwoman costume from “HUSH” was a great one, with the knee pads, goggles and lug-soled boots. Harley’s is great, too–her costume is so indicative of her personality. And right now I’m really keen on Zatana–it’s that whole stage-persona masking her genuine power.
b) A challenge. If I’m going to do a costume it’s great if I love it but even better if it’s something new I get to try. Last weekend at Planet Comicon I had a guy ask if I could make him the Flash, and I was on that concept like white on rice. I would love to do more designs for guys.

4. How much of my cellulite is going to hang out of this thing and what would you recommend I do to help this situation?

It’s strange but you never see Wonder Woman or Power Girl struggling with cellulite or razor burn…. Many costumers opt to wear nude-colored tights or nylons beneath their briefs, for warmth and/or modesty. I can find no fault with this logic–just try to find a pair that aren’t too shiny.

5. I understand you spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. I do too, but it sometimes doesn’t turn out so well. What would you cook for Wonder Woman and why?

I strongly suspect that Wonder Woman follows the Mediterranean diet. Serve something simple, like boneless chicken cutlets pan-seared with olive oil and plenty of herbs; accompany with a spinach salad, some feta, figs, olives; maybe a side of hummus and pita and a little wine.

6. As you know, my boyfriend picked this costume for me, but if someone were to ask you, “which super hero should I dress up as?” how would you advise them?

I find that many people have a character with which they identify strongly but they’re too shy to say. Often I hear “Oh, I’d love to be so-and-so but I don’t have the body for it.” What I do in that case is try to recontextualize the character–break down what the client likes about the character, analyze where they plan to wear the costume, and try to incorporate significant elements into a look that will be recognizable, and with which the client will feel comfortable. For instance, the first year I did Harley I talked a friend of mine into being Poison Ivy. She flat-out refused to walk around in tights and a bodysuit, so I made her a sort of Peter Pan suit out of green taffeta, with a bustier–it was Ivy in evening wear. And people totally got it.

I’ve noticed a trend in recent years toward *interpreting* a look rather than duplicating it religiously–Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies have a great deal to do with this, as does the Steampunk movement– and I think fans are flexible about not requiring an iconic look in costuming. They love a clever visual surprise or satirical twist: for instance a “big, beautiful Wonder Woman” is completely acceptable. As long as the person in the costume has the attitude and puts in the work on their concept and execution, they can carry off anything.

7. What costumes are you currently working on?

Elektra, in the classic red one-shoulder ninja costume. I’m redesigning my Catwoman hood because I’m not yet happy with it. And I’ve got the materials to make an Adam West-style Batman cowl but that’s still on the back burner.

8. What is one tip you would offer someone about costuming as a superhero?

Invest in good underwear.

9. How could I do you proud when I wear my Wonder Woman costume?

Work it, girlfriend! Square your shoulders, toss back the mane and flash the pearly whites! (And I’ll send you some business cards to hand out.)

10. If you could make only one super hero costume for yourself, who would it be and why?

Catwoman, absolutely. I’ve always liked the character, and I’m glad she’s finally got a semi-respectable costume. She’s a loner by nature. She’s capable of connecting with others but she’s very self-sufficient, emotionally and financially. She doesn’t get wrapped up in the morality gloom that haunts the big-boy heroes; she’s a pragmatist. She’s also a bit of a hedonist, and doesn’t apologize for that. At least, that’s my inkblot and I’m sticking to it.

Well we totally bought it, Holly. Thank you for the great words of inspiration. I encourage all of my readers to go out and find their inner super hero…and then get Holly to make you the costume.

P.S. Holly. I owe you measurements, but last night I pigged out on the sushi train with DD Girl (I’m not speaking for her as to whether or not she pigged out. I can only represent myself.) so I wasn’t feeling much like measuring myself. I will try to restrain my eating tonight, or at least measure myself after my run.


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I got nothin’

Of substance for you today.

It’s just that this week, my life has been pretty boring. I can’t think of anything interesting to blog about.  Sure, Gertrude and I went for a run yesterday, and a walk with Laura and her dog on Tuesday and a run on Monday. But nothing earth shattering happened.

My pants stayed on.

No one smiled at me.

For the most part, Gertie didn’t freak out.

I’d rather read your blogs today, quite frankly.

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