Tonight we went to Ralphs to pick up some baby food (we need the jars for our glass class). While waiting in line, the checker had the phone up against her ear and shoulder. Once we got closer, it became quite clear that she was just having a chatty, personal conversation with a friend. It was definitely not work-related. I was actually surprised. Even the Albertsons-Of-The-Damned in San Jose didn't have clerks chatting on the phone. This particular Ralphs is not known for their customer service, but I still found that a bit off-putting.
Have I mentioned before how much I love where I live? Kevin and I went to Disneyland about an hour before they closed and rode three rides including Buzz Lightyear:
We also went on the Matterhorn and Peter Pan. I forgot how cool the Peter Pan ride is. It's definitely the best of that type of indoor ride in Fantasyland (others including Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White). I also had to swing by Wetzel's Pretzels to get myself one. Man I love those things.
I was kind of in a grumpy mood, but Disneyland cleared that up. Hooray! Plus there were big temporary walls up on the Tomorrowland side of Main Street. Kevin reports from his secret sources that they're taking out trees to make more room for the fireworks watchers.
Okay, that was the first night of the fireworks but it still can get quite crowded in the summer.
I've wondered if Scout is angry at us for bringing that big Galoot dog Digory into our household. Sometimes she gets grumpy at him because he's constantly wanting to play. Sometimes Digory will make a power play and try to be dominant over her--although she's gotten quite good at putting down those coup d'etats when they happen.
So today Kevin decided to take Digory to the dog park. Scout isn't all that crazy about dog parks--she's just not interested in the other dogs and absolutely hates the car ride there. But Dig likes to play and to run and chase, so we thought it would be fun for him.
Well, off Kevin went, and poor Scout barked for about 10 minutes straight. Then she whined straight for another 35 minutes or so. She's been whining intermittently since then, keeping vigil on the front couch looking out the window for Kevin's car. Every once in a while she'll come find me, clearly upset, and get some petting, but goes straight back to the couch.
So I guess she really does love him anyway.
Or is it "Moron Glass"??
Friday we started soldering our windows. It was a day of panic for me. First, my pieces didn't fit together all that well so I've got some nice gaps. Kevin, on the other hand, well the teacher said he was ready to professionally fit windows. So after some maneuvering and measuring, measuring, and measuring, I finally got my window in position. Then I was off to solder.
Well as you know, solder is melted metal, which is hot. Glass is, well, glass and is rather cool. So dripping melted metal on it is not really a good thing. You can see where this is going. Early on in the process (thank god) I was soldering the points together of all of the pieces. Then I dropped a nice piece of metal onto the glass. And panicked. My teacher happened to be standing next to me. I was screaming, "HELP! HELP!" and she was saying, "FLUX! FLUX!" but of course, instead of flux I just kept my soldering iron on the glass trying to pick up the metal piece. Then, craaaaack. I let out an expletive and lamented over my broken piece. Which happened to be more or less in the middle of the window. The only good thing was that it was only attached on 4 points instead of all 6, and the sides hadn't been soldered yet. So it was relatively easy to pop the piece out. Unfortunately I have to re-cut it. Another good thing is that I have enough of that type of glass to do so. Still, what a pain in the ass.
A very special thank you to the following people for sponsoring me in my CHOC walk!
Sasha and Stella C.
Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad in-law
Thank you everyone! I can still collect last minute donations up until Sunday the 2nd. Any information you need for donating is here!
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
Unfortunately, I haven't found any cases of JR [Jolly Rancher] gummies.
In that post I lamented that I couldn't find Jolly Rancher sticks...until Kevin found them online. But still, I lamented (as is obvious by the above line) that I couldn't find Jolly Rancher gummies. Man, those things were good.
Thanks to Swirlspice.
As many of you know, I'm participating in a charity walk for the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). CHOC is a cutting-edge hospital that treats children inside and outside of Orange County. I have to turn in my donations on Saturday morning--only 2 more days left! Please consider donating if you can--it's tax deductible. To donate online, follow this link:
...or someone's not getting dinner tonight. I got a message on my cell phone while I was in the shower. It was a very nice-sounding lady from a steak house in Santa Monica (I forget the name) confirming my reservation for 6 for tonight.
Attention family and friends: if you've planned a surprise for us at a yummy-sounding steak house, please call them to confirm our registration.
If not, well, I hope the party of 6 gets their table anyway.
On an interesting note, I Googled the incoming number and it's the fax number for the California Young Republicans of Los Angeles. Looks like everyone's a bit confused here.
First we have Hurricane Katrina--the name of my sister in law (who very rightly says that the one good thing about this hurricane is that nobody will ever mispronounce her name). Now we've got Hurricane Rita--as in Rita my grandmother! Next up is potental Hurricane Stan--my brother's cat's name. And we just missed a few Tropical Cyclones this year--what would have been Hurricane Cindy, my mother in law's name, and what would have been Hurricane Gert, Kevin's great-aunt, not to mention what would have been Hurricane Irene, my great aunt. What's the deal???
If you're interested in Hurricane names and want to see if yours is on the list, you can check here.
And speaking of destruction, I've finished cutting all of the pieces for my window. Unfortunately I didn't escape injury. I sustained 6 additional cuts, bringing up the total to 17.
Am I just inept? What's the problem? Well, traditionally you're supposed to break glass with your hands. Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of finger and wrist strength, so my hands end up sliding around and into the path of the broken piece = cut. Our teacher is a hard-core traditionalist and wants us to learn the old-fashioned way, but I gotta say, I'm sticking with those newfangled tools like pliers. Nearly all of my cuts come from breaking glass. The other two were sustained at the same time as I attempted to pick up a piece of glass lying flat on my board by holding both cut sides. Normally that's not too much of a problem except that I'd cut these of a bit of an angle and the edges were sharp. Um, DUH!
Our dinner party on Saturday went smashingly, although much to my disappointment we didn't get to use our cool decanter. The wine was fantastic and Kevin did a great job with the meal and my favorite apple pie (he's famous for it).
Sunday I had 5 friends over for a mini-party. That was also a blast, and we had to make a special trip to Sonic for limeades. Mmmmmm, good stuff! Great weekend overall.
And a giant CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Dorothy, who got engaged yesterday!!!
We're throwing a dinner party tonight for my parents and family friends Debbie and Martyn. Debbie, despite being a very good friend, has never actually seen our house. We threw not one but two parties and she managed to be out of town for both of them. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway we finally got her pinned down for tonight, so all month I've been sending her things that say, "Looking forward to seeing you on the 17th--if you haven't already made plans." *snicker snicker*
Total days cutting glass: 2
Total number of flesh wounds: 11
Ah yes, cutting time is when we separate the adept from the mostly adept and from the not-so-adept (NSA). Today's big winners are the following:
The Eye Guy (Not-So-Adept #1). The Eye Guy is so named because his design basically features a giant eye. He is notorious for not really bothering to follow directions and was already on his way to NSA status. But what made him a full-fledged NSAer? Well, he cut ALL of his glass at home and then walked around like a rooster crowing about it. Then he spread the word about how smart he was--cut your glass with the pattern side down, because you want the textured side to be on the front--and he figured this out all by himself--heh heh. After instructing a few people to follow his method, our teacher actually had to stop class to correct him: 1) cut with the pattern face up so you can see the information on the pattern like the directional arrow and number of the piece, and 2) When a glass window is displayed, the smooth side is facing out.
Additionally, since he'd cut all of his pieces with no supervision (she specifically said we could practice at home but not the cut the whole thing and that she wanted to check our progress as we moved through each piece) he'd done several things wrong--the most obvious being the edges of just about every single cut. When you cut glass, if you haven't gotten up against the pattern you take your pliers and take out small chunks along the edge. It works but it's not ideal as it can result in "shells" (chips taken out of the body of the glass) and a very rough edge. Well, The Eye Guy's edges looked like the surface of a road that needed to be paved, and he had more shells than Sally at the Seashore. As our teacher stood looking at his pieces she said, "you'll have to recut this one. You'll have to recut this one. This one too. Oh! This one is salvageable--oh wait, no, you'll have to recut it. Do you have any extra glass?" "Uh, no, I threw it away." "OKAY, CLASS?" she said. "You want to keep your extra glass, in case you make mistakes or in case you want to make a smaller project." Uh, yeah. So as a result, the now crestfallen Eye Guy spend 3 and a half hours rubbing his pieces on the grindstone--a method that is at once rather ineffective and hard on the ears. And he's going to have to buy most of his glass again, which wasn't exactly cheap.
The honors for NSA #2 go to Overalls Woman (a woman wearing overalls). She failed to score her glass very well and then was completely unable to break it along the non-existent score. When that happens, it generally breaks wherever it wanted to. Our teacher showed her a number of times what to do, but Overalls Woman insisted that she was okay. And then came the swearing, and the swearing, and the swearing...
Okay, so where do I fall on the spectrum? Well with my 6 additional wounds, I'm not quite adept, but I think I fall squarely in the Mostly Adept category. I took my time and while I didn't get as much cut as everyone else, I was very happy with my cuts and my teacher praised me for several of them. And most of my wounds were due to my own carelessness of handling pieces once they were cut instead of actual wounds from cutting incorrectly. And as for the wounds themselves, NOBODY left the class today without at least one bleeder--includin the teacher!
All in all I'm gaining a LOT more confidence and am really starting to enjoy myself!
We used to say that you weren't a real camp counselor until a camper barfed on your shoes. Well I think you're not a real stained glass artisan until you make yourself bleed. Guess what???
I decided on a practice project--an 8 pointed star. In the interest of not using up glass, I made it rather small (5 inches from point to point). This was, as it turned out, not my most brilliant idea. I think I'm not pressing hard enough on the cutter for one, so the glass is hard to break. You're supposed to break it with your hands, but why when there exists a very handy tool for the same purpose? The problem comes when pieces are too small for the tool, as most of mine are on this practice thing. So I had the glass in one hand and the pliers in the other and unknowingly had my finger over the score so when I snapped the glass it dug into my finger. It's a poke, not a slice, but it's kind of deep. It won't really quit bleeding and it's my left index finger which I really need for glass cutting, so I'm taking a little break until it stops bleeding and I can actually use the finger again. I can now type, but when I squeeze something it starts bleeding again. Ugh! I have a feeling it's going to be a long semester.
Edited to add:
Well I cut my middle finger twice, but after a slice to the palm of my hand I think I'm good for the night. Guess what? Glass is sharp! And 4 band-aids make it hard to type!
I'm all by myself this week as Kevin is at a conference in the wilds of Los Angeles. Yes, he's staying the night there. The sessions go from very early to quite late and coupled with the 1 hour drive (worse in traffic, more on that in a second) we figured it would probably just be easier for him to stay there. His first session was at 8 this morning and we figured it would probably be a good 2 hour drive--apparently not. He made it in an hour and got to go eat donuts like a real programmer.
The weather is getting a bit cooler. Not cold, but not summer anymore. Yesterday we bought our glass for our first projects. I naively thought we could just go in and march out with it, but apparently not. Good thing we didn't wait until Thursday! Anyway, so now I go back on Thursday to pick it up. Kevin left me his car to do so. I think my car would have been fine but I'm a bit paranoid after the big scary lecture our teacher gave about safely handling glass. I just hope it doesn't break. I have a feeling it's going to be expensive, even though our pieces are relatively small. I did allow plenty of room for breakage. I collected some practice glass but forgot to buy it when all was said and done. But as it turns out, we're not going to be using the glass we bought for class 2 so I'm going to use that to practice with. I have some really hard cuts so I definitely want to get some practice in before Friday.
Thanks to Michelle at Mom With Attitude!
1. What was your favorite tv show as a kid?
A true child of the 80s, I'm going to have to go with The Cosby Show.
2. If you had to choose, which one celebrity would you select to go before a firing squad because this celebrity is just that annoying?
Well several celebrities immediately spring to mind, so I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. Therefore, since I'm not one to follow rules to the letter, I give you:
Second Runner Up: Bob Saget. Former star of the awful 80s sitcom Full House (also starring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), and known best for his horrifying work as the host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," Bob is a comedian who regularly laughs at his own jokes, but he's got the world's most annoying laugh in which he basically snorts and gasps for breath. Here's Bob:
Now does that look like a huge annoying dork or what???
First Runner Up: Tom Cruise. We all know Tom--a mediocre actor who makes a ridiculous amount of money and gets an equally ridiculous amount of attention. Tom was pretty low on the annoyance radar until recently when he graduated to Grand Wizard of Annoyance. First there was his enthusiastic, insane, childish declaration of love to Katie Holmes on Oprah. Then the freakishness about his Scientology beliefs started coming out. He lambasted Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants for post-partum depression and said that vitamins would have helped her. Plus he dumped Nicole Kidman. Nicole Kidman! I love Nicole Kidman! He has GOT to be gay. Here's Tom:
Does this look like a man with all of his faculties intact? I didn't think so.
But finally, we have our big winner. Number 1 in front of the firing squad...
If you don't immediately recognize him, consider yourself lucky. This is Carrot Top--hands down the world's most annoying comedian. I mean just LOOK at him! Doesn't he look like someone who deserves to be shot? Why yes, yes he does. My distaste for this man knows no boundaries. I can't even begin to describe it here. Suffice to say, if you know who he is, I'm sure you share my feelings.
3. What do you most like about yourself?
Physically or in general? I'll answer both. Physically, I like my smile. I show a lot of teeth but it's wide and sincere. In general, I like my sense of humor. I completely crack myself up! Except unlike Bob Saget, I don't laugh too hard at my own jokes and the ones I laugh at are really good jokes, not the lame ones. And I don't snort or gasp for air while I do it.
4. If you could get away for a weekend all by yourself, where would you go?
I had to think a lot about this one. I'm not one for spending time by myself. I spend too much of it inside my head and that's not always the most productive place to be. So I had to think of a place I wouldn't mind being by myself, and I finally came up with one. I would go back to the Girl Scout camp I used to work at. My best summers were spent there (5 years). Okay, the last one wasn't so great, but the others were awesome. If you've ever worked at a camp, you understand what I'm talking about, and if not, you've missed out. In fact, I'm seriously considering going up at as a volunteer counselor next summer.
5. If you were to have a blogger over for dinner, who would it be and why? (and no, I won't throw a hissy fit if it's not me. lol I'm just digging for new reads here. ;-)
Oh that's a tough one! I do have to say that I would love to meet Michelle (who sent me these questions) because she's seriously spunky and funny as hell. And speaking of funny blogs, my good "in real life" friend whose name I probably shouldn't mention due to the content of her blog, writes some funny stuff over at Confessions of an English Teacher. We've had plenty of dinners and they've always been enjoyable.
And here's the rules:
The Interview Me Game Rules.
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
So if you're interested or are just looking for blog content filler *coughcoughCassiecough* leave me a comment and 5 questions will be yours!
I can't believe how quickly this week has passed! I'd give some kind of legitimate excuse for not posting, but really--I got nothing. Friday we went to a wonderful wedding. Chris, the son of long-time friends of the family, married the sweetest person in the world, Toni. The ceremony was beautiful, the food good, the reception and dancing quite fun. It had been overcast all day (the wedding was outside) and looked like it was going to be foggy for the ceremony, but it all cleared up and everything was beautiful. I was convinced I was going to freeze to death but I had no problems. All in all, a great time.
We also had Day 3 of Stained Glass. This class was pretty darned boring. We got approvals for our designs--she had a small fix for me, which I then erased and drew again. We then traced the pattern so we'd be able to tell where the pieces fit back in, and then cut the patterns with pattern shears. Pattern paper is a stiff paper--a bit thinner than posterboard. Pattern shears look like regular scissors, except they have two blades on the bottom. When they cut, they take out a core of paper that is conveniently the size of the copper foil the edges will be covered with. Unfortunately Kevin and I only got 1 pair of the shears so we had to take turns. That was quite boring.
Most of the day was spent with the teacher either critiquing others' designs, or working with the advanced group. Donkey Kong Woman had added more pieces to her design, but she still has 4 horizontal and at least 4 or 5 vertical "fold lines," which are lines that go all the way across the window and make handling very difficult because the window wants to bend at that seam. Should be interesting. She's really a very nice woman, just not terribly creative (but then again, who am I to be pointing fingers?).
Finally at the end of the day we got a lesson in handling glass and cutting it. The handling glass part freaked both Kevin and I out. You're supposed to store glass vertically, not hold it with your hand underneath, always wear close-toed shoes, etc. I was amazed that we hadn't sliced open an artery already with our mishandling. The cutting demo was good too. Naturally it looks a lot easier than it is. Well technically it's not hard--you take the cutter, which has a carbide wheel on the end, draw it across the glass, then snap it apart with your hands (or with a certain tool). The tough part is figuring out the exact pressure you need to score the glass, and how to apply that same exact pressure throughout the cut.
Both Kevin and I showed up with our fancy self-oiling cutters (by far the most expensive piece of equipment we bought) and mine has a pistol grip which makes things a lot easier for me because my wrist is so weak. This week we get to buy glass for our project, and some plain panes of cheap practice glass.
The teacher demonstrated cutting out a piece of glass from a pattern and I saw immediately why some of my interior angles are going to be very difficult to cut. I think I'll save those for class time. And buy lots of extra glass.
Friday was the second day of our stained glass class and despite some serious anxiety, I came out well. She launched us into our first project, a flat window no smaller than 18" sq. or bigger than 24" sq. utilizing at least 3 different types of clear glass, 30-40 assembled pieces, and an original design (points taken off for a ho-hum project).
The part that worries me is the design part. Let's be honest--I am not an artist. Crafty? Sure. But real art? Nope. I can't draw to save my life. After showing us various projects, some of which were amazing, we had to go out and sketch some potential drawings. I sat for a while before I had an idea and then I sketched it out. At that point she explain what was "cuttable" and what wasn't. Straight lines and gentle curves=cuttable. A circle out of the middle of a piece=uncuttable (at least for beginning students). I then took a look at my first drawing, the one I liked the best, and realized that practically the whole thing was uncuttable. Depressed, I doodled some more, and then went back to the first one and messed with it some more to try to make it cuttable. The teacher came by to look at it and determined it feasible, so I was off.
Then came the next challenge--transferring my design from a roughly 3.5" by 7" doodle on paper to a 12" by 24" design on pattern paper (a stiff paper used as a pattern). Naturally I hadn't drawn the thing to scale--so transferring it to the big paper is going to be a challenge. By the time we left, Kevin had his entire design on pattern paper and I was still fooling with my drawing, trying to get it to scale. I'm going to have to finish enlarging it this week because a clean pattern is due Friday for class evaluation.
My greatest concern was having the worst design in the class, thus revealing what an artistic dolt I am. However, that fear was put to rest when I saw a classmate's drawing. Her drawing looked just like a screen shot of Donkey Kong (sans Mario and the monkey):
Except her lines were horizontal and totally bisected the window--one of the things our teacher told us was unwise because it created an area where the window wanted to fold and would be a "handling problem." I'm not sure how the woman resolved her problem, but she was also told she didn't have enough pieces. I admit I was relieved--no matter what I do, this woman will always be worse than me.
Sorry it's been so long since I've written! I didn't mean to take a break but the week turned out busier than I expected.
Saturday we headed up to Fresno. My best childhood friend, Nell, eloped with her husband in July. I'm so excited for them! They decided to have a big party with friends from all over at their home in Fresno. We thought we'd drive up Saturday and go straight to the party, staying the night at a motel and driving home Sunday.
The plan worked, except we took a leeeeetle detour on the way up. There was a large brush fire on either side of the 5 and they closed the entire freeway--both directions. The fire was in the Tejon pass, very near the Gorman exit (for the Californians in the crowd) and suffice to say, it's the middle of freaking nowhere. We were re-routed onto a two lane county highway and headed towards Lancaster/Palmdale, then up to Bakersfield. It took us 4 hours to get to Bakersfield, normally a 2 hour trip, and the entire trip took 6 hours instead of the just-over-four it was supposed to take. However, the party was totally worth it. We had a great time and it was really fun to see Nell and David's house--built in the 30's. They're into historical restoration as well so it was cool to see what they'd done with their house.
The way home went smoothly, with one exception. At one point, we passed a Lexus sedan that caught Kevin's attention. A few miles later, Kevin swore. I thought we were being pulled over, but he said that the Lexus had just veered into the median and flipped over. That couldn't have been good. I called 911 and hopefully everyone came out okay.
We did end up making it home in the ust-over-4-hours it was supposed to take. Altogether it was a very fun trip and I'm glad we went. I'm also glad we didn't leave Friday night and come back Monday evening, as I'm sure the Labor Day crowd is probably horrendous.