Wednesday, December 22, 2010

La la la, linoleum!

I skate on sport court. It is good in that it is even and has no cracks to trip on (like concrete or split wood), but it is very slippy. Yes, I am in PA. Slippy is a word. My first skates, Riedell R3, came with the Radar Caymans. 95A, viewed as a waste of plastic to most skaters I know. These were way too hard for me and I ended up getting a set of Radar Mojos, 88A, on a whim. I like them, I don't skid out, and I'm under the impression that at my now 172 lbs, I benefit from the aluminum hubs.

But I'm a compulsive shopper. I want, no, NEED new toys. I've been a good girl! Ok, but I still want new wheels. Mainly because I hate pink with a fiery passion, and that was the only color they had in stock and I really needed to get rid of the Caymans. So last night I saw some Sure Grip Blasts for sale, in red glitter :D Unfortunately, I think they are also 95A, and they looked pretty dodgy. I can't find any info on them, not even on the Sure Grip site.

I'm trying to put more research into this than I did last time. Fast Girl Skates has a wonderful compilation of articles from Blood And Thunder magazine that compiles a lot of the research I've done in one place. Though, according to this, 88A's are for beginner, shaky skaters, or should only be used as pushers, while the rest of the wheels are something harder. So I'm a fair bit better than a beginner (obviously not pro yet, though) and I don't know if I'm dragging myself down with the grippier wheels. I definitely felt like molasses the last time I skated on recently mopped concrete, but the sport court feels quite ok. Is it just that I don't know that I -could- be going faster? There are SO MANY OPTIONS!!! I'm also thinking of going the narrow (Atom Poison Slims Alloys) route so I don't trip over my own wheels. Or spinners!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stinky pads

Very, very stinky pads. Like, hobo piss bad.
I'm lazy. I'm not going to deny it! So for the first couple of months, I just threw my bag in my trunk and forgot about it. And then it got to the point that even when I did use soap (dirty hippy, remember?) it was impossible to get the stench off my elbows. So I started dragging everything inside and laying it out in the basement in front of the dehumidifier. I even sprinkled it with my trusty baking soda, to no avail :(

So after some more handy dandy googling, I found many solutions:
Spraying them with 50/50 vodka and water
Aerating system I plan on eventually making
Sweat soaking satchels I also plan on making if I find out what they are filled with (baking soda and kitty litter or some other desiccant)
Get The Funk Out enzyme spray
Febreeze or perfume sprays. For the love of god, don't do this!!!

Laundry is bad. The heat and agitation will decompose the foam in your pads and mess up the elastic in the straps. Yes, it is a quick fix and sanitizing and crap, but you will just end up getting hurt and having to buy new pads very, very soon.

I know many people that claim to use vodka, but I haven't checked how effective it is. The reason it works is that when the vodka evaporates, it boils and kills the bacteria, after already having broken down its cellular wall. No bacteria, no stench. This is also a big part of what happens with the enzyme spray (it has a lot of isopropyl alcohol). I looked into getting the stuff that is specific for sports pads, but I already had a gallon of Nature's Miracle at home, due to the wonderful Herb, so why not? This stuff is wonderful! It really did make a huge difference in my elbows ^_^

Some day, I plan on buying some PVC and making the aerator system so I can just clamp everything on when I take it off, and pull it out of my bag and hang it as soon as I get home. But in the mean time, cat piss spray is awesome!


Stolen from See? I have chemicals!

For those of you playing at home, I often pretend to be a grad student that works in a Materials Science and Engineering lab when I'm not skating. Of course, I spend all that time at work thinking about skating. After a few of hours swimming through the internet, I came to to the following conclusions:
  • - It really doesn't matter what ABEC your bearings are. Unless you are a super pro speed skater, you aren't going to miraculously win every jam by spending $200 instead of $10. If anything, the more precise the bearings (higher ABEC rating [milled to more precise dimensions]) will be more liable to get stuck and damaged with the least amount of dirt. So just get the ABEC 5 or 7's and call it a day.

  • - Bearing cleaners are solvents, like acetone or orange oil (Goo Gone). Yes, you can buy specialty crap, or not. Whatever you do, make sure you dry them out very well before oiling. Some require rinsing with water, which can rust the bearings and tracks if not properly dried.

  • - Oil vs Grease. Well, most people are divided on this subject. Grease stays inside the bearing better, but will also be more viscous and cause drag. You only get a benefit from grease if you are going very fast for a long time, like an industrial machine that heats up. So just stick to mineral oils, available wherever they sell bearings for just a few bucks.
So what all did I do to ready up for the bout? Let me count the steps ^_^
  1. Pull out the bearings from the wheels. I highly recommend a bearing pulling tool, seeing as how I crimped the shells on two of my bearings. If you have the ones with removable plastic sides, you can just push them out with your axle and a bit of determination (or a screw driver).
  2. Wipe them down with a rag, preferably lint-less.
  3. Stick them in a jar with industrial strength acetone. Swish it around until the liquid stops getting yellow/brown.
  4. Pull them out, spin them while holding them in the rag, and blow out in fume hood.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with toluene.
  6. Stick in vacuum oven at 140˚ for half an hour until you are sure everything is dry.
  7. Lay flat on towel and add three drops of oil on each bearing. Wait a few minutes, swivel, flip, add oil, wait, swivel and done.
  8. Reinsert in wheels, making sure to keep any you completely fuck up for trophies.
  9. Make sure you do this with at least one practice before a bout. You have no idea how dirty your bearings are until you see the difference!
Stupid ideas I had that were corrected by experienced skaters:
  • - Teflon spray will make everything awesome!
  • Don't do it! It will make the bearings lock up.

  • - WD40 is cheap and available!
  • Some girls love it, some say to stay away from it.
  • "Aerosol lubricants such as WD-40 and '4-way' sprays do not have anti-friction properties. Squeaks are only temporarily stopped because the spray wets the surface and then quickly evaporates. These sprays are good for releasing frozen nuts and bolts, but not for lubricating."

  • - If I spend all the money in the world and switch out my equipment every month, I will be the bestest derby girl evar!
  • Bitch, please! Just chill and check in with reality every once in a while. Pay a little bit of attention to upkeeping what you already have and you can be as good as the best. Dedication will get you so much farther than your credit card ever will.
Here are some people that I plagiarized and stuff:

Jingle Brawl

Ok, so this is the main reason I've been AWOL for the past four months, for those who haven't noticed. I'm the crazy chick dancing. I'm always the crazy chick dancing! This was so much fun/stress/insanity, that I am so glad it's over/can't wait for the next one/hope I never have to do this again.

Damn, it is so difficult to get back in to the swing of this blogging thing. I can't even remember what I've already talked about, though I'm guessing not much... So this might get a bit repetitive.

SCAR: Well, the league is really starting to pick up. But after a couple of months of hard work and three interventions, I'm taking a breather. I would have taken the month off, regardless, due to finals/christmas, but the drama really made it come early. I don't know if I'll go back in the new year or not. They are putting a lot of emphasis on a Do Not Compete/Exclusivity contract that I just can't get behind. It goes against everything I know derby to be. I have visited with so many teams in a four hour driving radius that are so friendly and eager to teach, that I don't see the point to forcing skaters to not practice with other leagues. It might make sense if the leagues are more established, are competing and don't want to let their supar, supar sekrit game plans out, but all of the girls that skate on leagues at that level tell me this is bullshit. So who knows.

SVDV: I can't love these girls enough! They are always so nice and accommodating. We had our first public scrimmage a week ago, made enough to cover our costs and then some, and got two huge boxes of toys to donate! I was so nervous leading up to it, but as soon as I was in that line to skate onto the floor, the world was at peace ^_^

We only had two 20 minute halves, with a 20 minute intermission where some of the girls played musical chairs, shopping cart races, and a little skit where two girls wore antlers and beat up a santa. It was such a blast, and it went by so fast! I really wish we could have waited a couple of more months, since there were so many of us that were so nervous. The date was a bit imposed on us due to availability, but it came out pretty good in the end.

Tonight is our christmas party, and then no skating until dec 30 :( I complained last night on FB and a couple of girls in Lancaster invited me down to their practices. It really sucks that they aren't having their regular sunday morning practice, since I'll be in Lancaster saturday night supporting my roommate in his family events. I'm going to try to convince people to drive down with me tuesday or wednesday. Which, beeteedubs, it sucks that I finally finished classes and can throw myself into lab work, and the lab will be closed 23-3.

One of the things I plan on doing this time off (hahahaha, plans!) is catching up here. I want to start compiling the shit I've learned about derby, mainly so I can remember how to clean my bearings next time! And, you know, all those swaps I've been in...

Friday, November 12, 2010

uuu... hi?

Not mine, but the same on Mojos ^_^

Holy shit, it's been over two months! Wow. I think bullet points might be useful here.

- My advisor/boss ran out of money, so he made me get a fellowship that requires being a student. So for the past two months, I've been taking three classes that I will put towards a teaching certificate. I hate homework, I am so far behind!

- The idea of my fellowship is awesome, but nothing really has happened all semester. I'm supposed to be paired up with a teacher in Harrisburg to help revamp their science curriculum. We're having our "speed dating" session with the teachers next wednesday.

- I swear I've been crafting! I finished a Zombie/apocalypse swap on Odd Ducks last month, and a Dia De Los Muertos this month, and I modded one over at the Buffy forum, but I'm the only lame ass that hasn't been able to send out her package because:

- I'm a derby addict. I was getting my fix on sunday, helping out in Harrisburg doing the lineup lists, and then my friend's engine exploded and I forgot my knitting in the car that got towed to Williamsport, while I live in State College.

- Saturday before that, I went to Black Eyed Susan's Skate Shop outside of Baltimore. Marzipain is beyond amazing, and she sold me the most wonderful pair of slightly-too-small Riedell 195's. My toes haven't fallen off yet!

- Why am I skating in size 7.5 skates, instead of my size 9 R3's? Because those fuckers started giving me the worst pain on my ankle, where the right boot meets the bone on the inside. Luckily, I found someone else with big feet on the team to buy them off of me :D

- A couple of weeks before that, I went to Lancaster to watch the Dutchland Rollers, crash on the wonderful Ms. K-T Period's floor, and then attend their sunday morning practice. I love skating with other girls and on other floors, because I really need to refine my technique and make sure I'm not taking things for granted (like how wheels stick when you drag them on any floor that isn't ours).

- Give or take a weekend, I went down to Philly to their pre-tryout beginner skater training extravaganza. Mind you, I'd also gone to this the previous month.

For now, I'm "studying", "doing lab work", and traveling 2-4 times a week for derby. You might say I'm a bit occupied. One of these days I'll actually post pictures of the girls skating (including me!) so you guys don't think I'm all skates, no skater. And I'll post pictures of all the swaps I've gotten, and hopefully of any that I took before sending -_-;;

Also, I'm in charge of organizing our first bout/scrimmage in a month. Anybody want to come watch/help?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to school

So I decided to re-enroll in the PhD program so I could accept the NSF fellowship, and am now taking three Education classes. They aren't bad, and are even interesting, but I am so out of practice when it comes to being a student. I keep on forgetting I need to do that whole "homework" thing. But I'm trying. Now, if only I could shake this horrible headache I've had for two days. I mean, I never get headaches, but I have a feeling I have a sinus infection coming on, pressing on my eyeball.

On the good side of life, I went to RD practice monday and thursday, and will be going again on saturday. Some girls from Pittsburgh are coming to coach us. The new skates are really nice, and make such a difference compared to the rentals! Though I think I need to tighten the right one, since we were doing this thing where you skate on one foot, and raise the other one and your arms out like you're flying. I could do this ok with the left foot, but not the right, and that's my dominant foot, so I should have better balance and shit. But anyway. Really awesome.

I ran the 25/5 on monday and managed 20 laps! And then I did a couple of scrimmages yesterday that I am very proud of. The first two I was blocking, and managed to throw out a really good jammer once. But the best thing was when I jammed, and had two spindly little blockers try to stop me, and then just bounced off ^_^ Hooray for mass! Now, I know they were pulling their punches, me having scrimmaged a total of five times, but I love that I'm not afraid, and that I just want to keep on testing myself and pushing my limits. I really think I can be good at this! There were at least two laps that I managed to get through without any trouble, and their team was all experienced, while ours had I think three new ones.

I use the term "experienced" lightly. The Williamsport group was barely formed in June. But if they have been able to get that much better (than me currently) in two months, I feel quite confidant. The two teams are the Little Skull Crushers (pink and black. blej.) and the Trauma Queens (pink and yellow, currently under revision). There was some talk after practice yesterday that LSC seems to be pulling in all the new, experienced skaters, while TQ kind of has all the Fresh Meat. I originally thought that this was on purpose and that they were forming an A team and a B team, but apparently not. They want to have two A teams, and a spill over B team for FM. It sounds like a good goal. My only concern is that I don't want to be FM.

I mean, yeah, I still need to really improve my speed and form, but I'm a Dive In Head First kind of gal. I want to be out there, showing them that I am a force to be reckoned with! And one of the main things I want to work on is feeling comfortable with the contact of the pack. There were a couple of times a girl tried giving me a boost that just completely confused me until after. But the more I skate packed in, the less afraid I am of tripping, so I want to do this more! And it is totally different from when you are just doing laps; I just can't bring myself close to someone that isn't expecting to get bumped.

On other, slightly related news, Dory and Quentin gave me a late birthday present. The new Bullet for my Valentine CD (which I'm about half way through), a BfmV tee shirt, and two pairs of derby socks ^_^

Monday, August 30, 2010

[recipe] Black Bean Mocha Brownies

I tried out this recipe I found about a month ago on 101 Cookbooks. It has the benefit of being free of wheat, and most everybody liked them, but I think most people are addicted to coffee a lot more than I am.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (slab or powder)
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar (works just the same as honey)

Melt chocolate with the butter. Then blend the first list of ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Whip up the eggs with the nectar and incorporate half of the mixture into the bean batter.

Line a cookie sheet (with walls) with parchment paper and spread with the mixture. Pour the remaining egg and honey on top and run a toothpick through for a marbling effect. Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes. Let cool and set before cutting.


Now, like I said, everybody loved them, except for me and Dan. But neither of us really drink coffee. Next time, I plan on using only a bit of the instant coffee instead, since the chocolate is already bitter. I'm also going to try some other sweetener (probably plain light brown sugar), since the agave nectar was ridiculously sweet. There was a very odd dynamic between the bitter and the sweet, where they seemed to accentuate each other, instead of mellowing themselves out.

Also, they had a great consistency, though I wasn't completely sure they were cooked enough, and you really can't tell they are made of beans unless someone tells you.

I'm a mother to be...

is most definitely not "I'm joining the Roller Derby" (which is what I actually said). My sister almost had a heart attack. But yes, I am excited! I drove to Harrisburg on saturday, and Rowan and I bought skates ^_^ My laces say I (less than three) nerds (which would have been even awesomer if the heart was actually a less than three) and I skated around campus a bit that afternoon, getting ready for LARP. (hey, I swear I tried to do my homework in the car, until I got carsick...)

This weekend was full of other fun things, too, like the Grange Fair. If you live in Rural PA, you MUST go to a fair. This involves looking at a bunch of animals the 4H kids raised, seeing a souped up tractor pull, and eating everything you can imagine that can fit in a deep fryer. I've been on a diet for the past month and lost five pounds specifically so I could eat a fluffer nutter and strawberry crepe, deep fried cookie dough, pierogies, cheese sticks, beef jerky, fried chicken on a stick and the most amazing potato chips. Yeah, I regret nothing (but my intestines beg to differ) except for not getting the Oreos, which were my original plan.

Things that were fun, but for all the wrong reasons, involved watching Last Airbender (and watching Craig almost cry), and heckling Eclipse (which was surprisingly better than the other two, combined). I'm really taking advantage of the dollar theater.

Other good things: The original TRON. For some reason, I'd never watched it before. I love how people used to view computers thirty years ago. Before this, we went for a brisk hike through Millbrook Marsh, and I saw this really cool yellow ladybug!

Also, my boobs can finally be crammed into a 36DD! It is so nice to fit into commercial bras (that I can try on in the store in this town). I've bought eight in different colors and shapes ^_^

Even better: tomorrow I get to go to skating practice again!!!

ETA: Skating from the parking lot to my office (about a mile of hills and students) is a lot more of a work out than I was expecting it to be. I am beyond soaked XP

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Roller derby, here I come!

Like I probably mentioned in my last post, I went down to Harrisburg on sunday to their homecoming bout, and really caught the bug. So in the hour and a half that it took me to get home, I managed to figure out that Williamsport has been trying to start up its own team for the past couple of months! Long story short, I convinced two other friends to go to practice on monday night with me ^_^ (If Tiff ever sends me the pictures, I'll up load a good one of me on my ass)

The best and most exhausting part was the end of practice, which they called 25/5. This means that they expect me to skate 25 laps in 5 minutes. I can't even jog for 5 minutes! But I did manage to skate on the outside of the track without killing myself and get a whole 14 laps (I'm going to estimate that it would have been 17 if I was on the inside of the track :P) I'm proud of myself, and the big cramp I have in my ass ^_^

So yes, I had my first Fresh Meat experience!!! I was using the pads for my fighting armor (which really stink and don't stay up by themselves) and rental skates (which are completely sucktastic) and still managed to have a wonderful time. Soooo we decided that we are joining :D We are going to keep going on monday nights, and then add thursdays in september, and since there are three of us (four if I can pull Rown's ears enough), carpooling will truly diminish individual gas costs.

I spent my lunch hour yesterday looking for gear, which State College is severely lacking. The few places that sell skater gear had been emptied out when students moved in last week, and nobody sells skates. So we need to go to Harrisburg (preferably before the 12th, which is their next bout) to buy skates ^_^

On another note, today I spoke with a guy that is in charge at SciEd, and he said that all I need to do to get a Secondary Physics Teaching Certificate is to take five classes in one year, and then student teach for another semester! I only have to take specifically Ed classes, since all my degrees count for the topic specific classes ^_^

Life is good. Oh, and I've been working on my horrible YO socks. The more I try to knit the Crazy Zauberball, the more I hate it. It is constantly splitting on me, and I feel like I'm ripping out the 25% nylon with every stitch :/

Also, I need a name.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lisa, it's my birthday! Happy birthday... uuu... me!

Last wednesday was my 30th birthday!!! I am very excited about this fact, and the week I had ^_^ It started on friday the 13th, when I was informed that I got an NSF fellowship, CarbonEARTH, where I get to teach science to 4th or 8th graders!!! I re-enrolled in the PhD program (I got my MS last may) and now I really want to take some teaching classes (maybe work towards a teaching certificate). There's a class called "History, Philosophy, & Sociology of Science and Science Teaching" that just sounds beyond amazing! Now I just need to badger the teacher to let me take it.

Tuesday was also cool, since I played soccer and then got fondue. I love fondue! We are actually going to celebrate tomorrow, since many people were out of town or exhausted. Then wednesday, several cool people came out to karaoke with me! I made a proper fool of myself and had so much fun ^_^

Someday there will be a video here, if they let me upload it >.<

Thursday and friday were a bit less cool, since I had to do actual work, mainly beat the NMR into submission and chase people around for my re-enrollment. But then I went kayaking on saturday! Wow I'm in pain. I went to a really cool party that night of another girl that turned 30, where we got stickers on our back and had to guess what/who they were. I always love these kind of things. Then sunday was The Roller Derby :D

HARD had their homecoming bout, where they pummeled NJ 212-93. It was amazingly violent and full of time outs! And now I seriously caught the RD bug. I was already thinking of driving the hour and a half back on wednesday for Fresh Meat night, when a friend told me Williamsport has a brand new team. I emailed them as soon as I got home, and they responded! So I'm driving there after work today (only an hour, and no mountains) to get a feel for how serious they are about it. I'm still really pissed that the Craigslist ad I found several months ago didn't go anywhere. But hey, I am totally going to make this happen now!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

knitting [meme]

Here is a knitting survey that is going around that I shamelessly stole from hairballz.

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting – seems overrated
Participating in a KAL
Sweater - in progress
Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn – if I ever get off my ass and look for something decent.
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
- interesting...
Domino knitting (modular knitting) - does entrelac count?
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting - what is this?
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting - well, I do Eastern European
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money

Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors

Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars - I have some going...
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit - anybody who cares already knows by now
Knitting for a living – that would be amazing

Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art - psh
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO

Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items

Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn - unfortunately
Writing a pattern

Intarsia – didn't this already come up?

Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets

Knitting with dog/cat hair - well, I'm at the spinning phase
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

It was funny seeing how similar my list was to hers. And as she noted, there were a lot of things that weren't mentioned.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ballistics gel ^_^

This was a very fun, very redneck sunday! On monday, Dan and I mixed up 14 oz of Knox gelatin in 1 gallon of distilled water, very, very slowly, and added a couple of drops of tea tree oil (for its antimicrobial properties). We got to shoot it sunday morning ^_^ I'm the only female voice on the video, and I giggle a lot.

We shot a couple of pistols at first, going clean through the gel (we were using it because one of the guys wanted to reclaim the lead), but it was all worth it when he shot it with a WWII Russian Army Surplus rifle (.44?) and the thing jiggled like there was no tomorrow ^_^ That's my target, and I am very proud of it. It was my first time shooting pistols. The larger holes were from a .45 automatic, and the smaller ones are .22 revolver.

Later that afternoon, we took Isilzha to Harrisburg to a Roller Derby Fund Raising Punk Show. It was a blast. The absolute best part was the dinner that we had downstairs at the Appalachian Brewing Co. Their vegan burger was to die for! I mean, yeah, it's not a burger, it's beans in a patty shape, but it was so good! I had an apple and cheddar grilled cheese that was very yummy, and the desert we had was really good, but I couldn't believe how amazing the onion rings were. They were perfectly well fried, no gooey batter at all!

I also tried on a corset at the show from Brute Force Leather. They make most of the corsets that get sold at PA events. Well, back fat is period. Unfortunately, I just want a bodice I can wear in this century without needing the period excuse. I'll post the picture Dory took of me eventually. The guy told me they make custom and Elizabethan shapes, but all I could find on their website were variations of Victorian hourglass shapes :/ Oh! And I found The Joy of Cooking for $1!!!

I'm glad this was all a great distraction from not going to Otacon. Next week, I'll be not going to Pennsic by going to a 3 year old's birthday party in Frederic, MD.


This is me in all my Mad Scientist glory. Well, I'm wearing my lab coat, at least. I've been slacking a bit (ya think?) with my posts, so this is a 4-in-1 no-poo post! (I love how my hair is growing out and finally getting big!)

Friday 16, three weekends ago, I had a (final) date with the Hair Sniffer, so I was too self consious to rinse with vinegar. I also poured way too much BS into my mug, so I had to find a new approach. I deposited a few pinches on my scalp around my dry head and then rinsed with hot water, and followed up with (gasp!) Head conditioner. Now, it's supposed to be all hippie and awesome, and I really wanted soft hair for my failed date, and it came out quite nice.

The problem, though, was the next week, when I tried to do the same dry pinch method. You know how every spring issue of a fashion magazine will tell you to spray salt water in your hair to give it texture and beach waves? Well, that's what i got. The BS seemed to stick a bit to the conditioner from the previous wash, and my hair ended up Very Texturized.

It wasn't until last tuesday when I washed it again, also with the pinches of BS on dry scalp. I rinsed it out in the tub (I was exhausted from playing a lot of soccer) and then with hot water from the shower. I followed it up with a 1:4 white vinegar and water mix, and my hair came out better, but didn't feel as clean as I had felt it in the past. All three times with the pinches of dry BS felt a bit lacking.

So today I finally took the last portion of BS in my mug and added really hot water. I poured this on my dry scalp, combed through, and rinsed with very hot water from the shower (this is the key!). I followed it up with the 1:4 vinegar rinse, hot shower water, and cold shower water. I finally feel like I got all the residues out, my scalp feels clean, and my hair feels soft and not dry. And I think the 1:4 is enough to give me the benefits of vinegar, without smelling like a walking salad. This is definitely the combination that I like the most, though I'll probably not use the vinegar every time.

As soon as Eliot posts the video, I'll tell you guys about the rest of my sunday, balistic gel and all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to the Skew

As always, now that I've finished knitting everything for everybody else (yeah, yeah, I'll post about it this weekend, maybe) I'm picking up the damned skews again. Unlike previous times, where I'm constantly wearing Docs, today I was wearing espadrils, which I quickly removed at the busstop (where I do most of my knitting) and tried the sock on.

Well... It fits my foot perfectly, but it's a bitch to pull on. There are notes as to how to make the ankle larger, but I've already done 50 rows past that point, and I really just want to get them over with! Ugh. I'm so conflicted. It's my first Wollemeise, and It feels really nice, but I'm starting to be afraid I'm never going to be able to wear them :/

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crafter's guilt

As is stated in the title of my blog, there is so much crap I want to make, and have purchased materials for, and I'm never going to get around to it! I'm currently angeling a swap at Odd Ducks, and am finally only a couple of rows away from finishing my handknit. And it's only taken me two weeks! I am quite proud of myself. Especially because I'll finally be able to increase my knit total! I mean, I swear I've been knitting, but I don't feel I have anything to show for it. Especially because I love knitting for other people :/ So hopefully, I'll finish this shawl and I'll finally be able to finish those damned socks. Ha.

As far as purchases go, I'm still waiting for my Woolgirl Sock Club delivery which I was supposed to get before going to MDSW. Communication has been near impossible with her, so when she sent out the announcement a few weeks ago for this month's package, I responded, and she said all my previous emails had been sent to the trash. Now, the problem is, I really want the kits! They are really high quality! And the very, very rare times she has managed to respond, she's been very sweet about it, and promised to send out replacements for the AiW and Mad Hatter kits that I never got. So now I am waiting. Again. People have been receiving their Queen kits for a week now, and I don't know when to expect it. And I don't want to be that annoying person that keeps on writing and complaining.

So yeah, still waiting on that one. I also have all the stuff I bought at MDSW that I haven't gotten around to even touching, plus the stuff that I have bought locally. And now I want to join a RHPS SAL that EverimprovingMe is holding and a Zombie/Apocalypse Odd Duck swap. Decisions, decisions! And guilt :/

So if I do join the RHPS SAL, what character(s) should I chose?

Oh! Also! I got a cool email from Blogger this morning. Apparently, now you can see how much traffic, and from where, your blog is getting. My Alice doll seems to have been linked several times on free ami sites ^_^

ETA: So of course, the moment I decide to complain to the world, a box is left on my doorstep. I'll post about its awesome, awesome contents in the near future. I hope.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

[swap] Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog recieved!

Remember how I said I am a horrible, horrible human being? Well, here I am, trying to make amends! A couple of weeks ago, I got an amazing package from hethen13 for the Dr. Horrible Singalong Blog swap over at Odd Ducks. It was soooo cool!!! Here is what I put in the thank you thread, which was left lacking because I hadn't managed to do This Damned Post so I could use a picture:

(Saturday, July 10)
heathen13’s DRHSAB arrived yesterday!!! After a week of almost 100F weather, and during a biblical rainstorm… But luckily, only the box was moist. All of those little packages she took a picture of? Completely perfect! I’m on my way out of town, so I’ll post pictures when I get back, but in the meantime:
  • “goodness, look at my wrist”: lovely wristwarmers and a counting bracelet that I really, really needed!

  • “You need anything dampened, or made soggy?”: Kiss My Face soap, hand knit face cloth and Wet Ones that will be very handy on my camping trip in august!

  • “and she may cry but her tears will dry when I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia”: A wonderful pencil case, australian style strawberry chewy candies and a cherry chocolate that I absolutely love, and a double sided hook for repairs. And that key stamp? Opens up and says “this really is the key to australia”. Love!

  • “and sometimes there’s a third, even deeper level. and that one is the same as the top surface one. like with pie.”: hammer iron on patch, with polka dots. Have I told you how much I love polka dots?

  • “With my freeze ray I will stop the world”: adorable blaster necklace and water blaster ^_^

  • “laundry day, see you there. Under things. Tumbling.”: My very first Soak, and a beautiful paisley like bag! And the piece de resistance (that the cat insisted on helping me open)

  • “The world is a mess and I just need to rule it”: a bag with cascade lace yarn in a gorgeous red and black (my favorite colors!) and a knitpicks sock also in a deep red, an addi lace 1mm (squee!!!)

Oh yeah! Everything had their respective pins, and then there was an adorable card with a roller derby key chain which is immediately going on my backpack! Well, as soon as I swing by my office and pick up my lap top and camera...


Not pictured: the wonderful blaster necklace I've been wearing, until the chain broke >.<, the roller girl keychain that is already on my bakcpack, and the delish Australian Strawberry gummy things from Target that vanished in a heartbeat! The counting bracelet has already been making the rounds with my Firefly project bag, covered in all the cool pins ^_^

Any ideas?

I am a horrible, horrible human being, I just realized I haven't given thanks for my Dr. Horrible swap formally, since this is the only place that I have that can host pictures. That will be my next post. For now, I will continue to be selfish and brag about my new toy.

I got a new iPhone 4 ^_^ I've had a first gen for two and a half years, and many, many, many falls, and since the button wasn't working on it too well (or at all, when the mood sat it) I was already looking for an upgrade. A few times during that period, I would just completely freak out at my bill and swear that I was going to throw it in the crick and go back to my PEBL, but then I lost my iPhone a couple of weeks ago and had to do just that. It was torture! I have become so addicted to checking my email when I'm in bed, right before turning off the lights and going to sleep, that I started to panic now that I couldn't.

Enter my mad dash, after only four days, to order an iPhone 4. Of course, the next day, my roommate found my old one in the couch >.< But still, I need an upgrade, and I got it yesterday!!!!!1!11!!one!!!squeeeeee!!!!! I am so happy. I've tried many, many ways to hold it and drop signal/calls, and I think people are just full of crap. Haters be hatin'!

So now I'm looking for a scratchproof skin, since the cases always get in my way. I'd love to get this H. R. Giger picture, but I have no clue what it is called, nor how I would go about getting the rights to get it printed on a skin. But it is so cool! I mean, I love how the alien is all curious. I identify with it ^_^ Does anybody know what it is called?

ETA: Tammy was cool to tell me that it is called The Reedemer, or Der Auslöser. It is acrylic on paper on wood, 70x50 cm, 1983-1987! Now to find a way to make this legally :/

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

[swap] Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

As awesome as I felt about the previous post, I feel completely inadequate about this second swap package. At first I was very excited about knitting the Dr. Horrible doll, until it started to look lopsided, and the head wouldn't stay on. I really don't like the pattern I used (Some Assembly Required) as it had many superfluous steps that involved binding off and casting on and kirchnering. I want to try it again, but I'll definitely try to crochet it instead.

I also sewed up a project bag, included 3 oz of the fawn colored alpaca, and some sour babies, along with a cool letter I wrote referencing an application to the E.L.E. being processed and torture. Oh, and the pattern, which was on her list.

Harumph. It's one of those things that looked good all through the process, and then I saw the other packages in the Thank You thread, and even the other one I made, and I really dropped the ball. I should look for some way to remedy this. I was going to include a second coat and gloves, but I really, really was hating the pattern when I was done. And I would have had to wait several more days to send it out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

[swap] Firefly

Drewbird finally got my package, so I am free to gloat! I made her a Mal inspired swap:

The most important part was the hip belt with the gun holster that flips open into a project bag that can be hung on your wrist. I also included the 355 yards of laceweight alpaca I spun (and Dory carded for me), some cascade eco duo, and several teas.

I also very much wanted to include a Knit Kit in the ammo pouch of the belt, but I didn't find out until too late that they cost $20 (and it's a $30 swap), so I put together a tin with scissors, tape measure, row counter and tapestry needle.

The last thing I added were a pair of strawberries I made while I waited at the dentist. I only had pink yarn, but I was very excited to try to dye it with kool aid. I used some off brand Cristal Lite, and it worked like a charm! Unfortunately, using the vacuum oven to dry them took out the strawberry smell, and I forgot my green yarn at home, so I couldn't put leaves on them. But I really wanted to get the package sent out on thursday, so meh.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Let me have it!

So I'm looking for buttons to put up on my blog to try to keep me accountable for all my ongoing projects, and I figured you guys could help. I already found the wonderful (up a whole 0.2 miles this month -_-;;), but now I need to find how to incorporate a counter for how much I've spun (355 yds last week! [I'll post about it as soon as my swapee gets the package]), and progress bars for my three pairs of socks, two sweaters and shawl. Honest, I'm knitting! I'm just not concluding anything :/

So yeah. What do you guys use, and what do you recommend I put up in my side bar?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

[swap] Look what I got!

So today was the end of my second and third swaps, Firefly and Dr. Horrible, and I got home from the post office to find my Firefly box!!!

I am beyond thrilled! There was something for every character, with an explanation. Transcribed from ladyval75's letter:

To do this swap, I took each character and chose something representative of them.
1. Mal- the captain always goes first. Mal gets this lovely laceweight merino in browns and white with a hint of blue. This represents his browncoat past and his quirky sense of humor. Mal also gets a lovely necklace [which I am currently wearing on my wrist] stating "I aim to misbehave" revealing his risky nature. From stalking you I think this represents you as well. You seem like a risk taker.
2. Shepherd Book gets a book. I know it's not "firefly" themed but it is a great book on alternate history and vampires which I know you are also into [quite!].
3. Kaylee gets some lovely quote buttons including "Shiny" and "Yessir, Captain Tightpants" which is one of my favorite lines. These buttons are great on a backpack, purse, laptop case or jacket.
4. Inara always strikes me as the most spiritual of the lot, except for maybe Book. I chose the bonsai kit and the mini spa because of this. Inara is usually the most calm in most situations nd I think it is her ability to meditate and relax that helps to do this.
5. River has always been my favorite because of her unpredictability. I chose the classic line "Also, I can kill you with my brain" that she tosses at Jayne during "Trash" for stitchmarkers. [I love this line!]
6. Simon loves his siter and takes great care of the crew. The first aid kit can be useful in the life of a klutz. I seem to remember you cut your finger a while back so I hope you find it useful too. [very!]
7. Jayne is bu far one of my favorites as well. He is sweet but reckless, caring of his crew with an outward facade of disdain. I decided that a Jayne hat just wasn't the right idea plus I remember you saying you did not need one [correct]. However, the wrist warmers met the ideal [correct again!]. The pattern was difficult so if I made some mistakes I am sorry [not that I can see]. Plus they are very cunning because only a true Firefly fan would get that they are from the show.
8. Zoey was hard for me. She is probably the most straightforward character but I wasn't sure how to represent her. Chief among Zoey's characteristics is her love for her husband which never wavers. Luckily I found this project bag with Wash's quote of being a leaf on the wind. I think that is a defining moment for Zoey because it is her last memory of him and it is very appropriate.
9. Wash has always been my favorite character for his hilarious one liners. It is one of the reasons I have never watched the movie. The first scene in the show where we meet Wash is the infamous dinosaur scene. Arguably one of the funniest introductions of a character. To represent that I have the "this Land" kit, containing dinosaurs, earth and trees [which I had to fight the damned cat to get back >:|]. It is meant to be one of those zen gardens I think but I thought it was awesome.
10. Finally, random CD's. One is the soundtrack from the show. The other is from a group called Bedlam Bards with music inspired by Firefly. My favorite is "The man they call Joss"

I hope you enjoy your box as much as I did putting it together. Keep flying and Stay Shiny

Squeeee!!! As soon as I find out my packages have arrived, I'll post my pictures. Honestly, I've been crafting, too!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Misanthropy, Movies and Me.

I had another one of my "I hate people" moments this weekend, when four separate people bailed on me within two hours of us going to the Dam to canoe. At least I have a very stubborn roommate and we ended up going anyway. It rocked! We rowed for a good hour, saw a lot of dogs, and I got a lot less sunburned than I ever would have expected to (as in, none). This also made me remember that I should probably place that Zinc Oxide order already!

As far as the no-poo, I think I've got it down! I'd yet to feel my hair as clean as I would with shampoo, until last friday night. I did a tbsp BS in 1C water on dry hair, brushed through, and then dunked my head in the tub that I'd let fill while the water was warming and I was doing everything else. I then rinsed with 1C straight vinegar, followed only by cold water. There was a faint smell through the night and part of the morning, but had completely disappeared by mid afternoon. I don't plan on doing the vinegar every time, or at least halving it with water and maybe rinsing with warmer water, but my hair did feel completely clean, without feeling dried out. Also, dandruff is completely gone!

The hair sniffer, though, has had minimal txt contact on friday, past midnight, for which I have lost all patience and hope. Le sigh. I managed to keep myself distracted throughout the week by watching many movies:

Prince of Persia (aka Parkour, the movie): Disney movie, based on a game, staring a very ripped Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a blast! It was very well done, and very entertaining.

Toy Story 3: Holy shit, did I cry! I did children's parties in college, and would constantly do a TS2 puppet show, so the story is very close to my heart. There were very few predictable moments, probably because I'd seen them in a preview, and it was completely awesome!

Knight and Day: We didn't make it to The Killers in time. It was Tom Cruise doing what he does best: be batshit insane. They never managed to get Cameron Diaz in the proper angle, for which she constantly reminded me of the doll from Saw, with the huge, protruding cheeks and detachable jaw. If you want to be constantly thrown through a loop, over and over again, this is the movie for you! It made perfect sense, in that it made no sense at all. It was quite enjoyable, just for how ridiculous it was.

The A-Team: "No, they are trying to fly it." This is by far one of the best action movies I have seen in quite some time. I was laughing so hard the entire time.

I promise to post this weekend about the two swaps that are coming to an end. I hope I mange to finish everything >.<

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No-poo beadhead

This is a shitty photobooth picture, but you can tell how curly my hair is when I wake up. My hair has never been curly (without a shitload of prep) until I stopped using shampoo; it's always had a lanky wave.

This other picture is from the first time I did no-poo, right after it dried, before I ever brushed it. Wow, volume!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BS+vinegar+cold water

In today's no-poo files, I am trying to go all out. Why, dear reader, might you ask? Because I met a guy last friday ^_^ He's cute, tall! and a nerd ^_^ We went out on a date last night, grabbed some dinner at a chinese restaurant, and then went for a couple of beers after to his house. We proceeded to sit on the couch, talking, and he sniffed my hair. Like, he actually took in a deap breath from my hair. o.O Of course, when I got home, I shoved my head in my roommates face and asked if I smelled like anything, and he said no. So I'm hoping that he was just trying to "breathe me in", and maybe was confused by my lack of 57000 bath product smells. He, on the other hand, smelled divine! I am so sick of everybody and their uncle wearing Old Spice, that I am beside myself that he doesn't!

So today, coming back from the gym (I power walked 5.5 miles!) I used 1 tsp BS in 1/2 c hot water on dry hair, followed by 1/2 c white vinegar, straight, dispersed by a couple mugs of hot water, and then rinsed out with cold water from the shower. My wet hair still smells a bitvinegary, but I'll shove my head in Dan's face again later when it is dry.

I don't remember if I've mentioned it, but I've stalled so much on my face milk recipe hunt, that I have resorted to using only a drop of jojoba oil, spread on my hands and elbows, and then on my face. This way, I get very little oil on, but I don't need any more, especially in the summer. I'll see if I need more later in the year.

On the smell front, I still love my deodorant, but having smelled him last night made me really want to find a scent to mix in to my products. A signature scent, if you must. I know I love cranberry, honeysuckle, and chamomile, so now I need to find sources and implement them ^_^

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No-poo and trees!!!

I'm keeing up with the no-pooing. Saturday, after three gym visits, I washed my hair with only 2 tbs white vinegar in a cup of water. Out of the 8" of hair I have, 7 were perfect, 1/2" was dry, and the other was... well, not oily, but it definitely felt sweatyish. I tried brushing my hair out with a natural bristle brush, and I don't know if it made any difference. Through the three days, my hair felt progressively better, for some reason.

Yesterday, I tried sprinkling a tsp of BS on my dry roots, and then rinsing with 1/2 c WV and 1/2 c water. I don't know if there was enough BS to make any difference, but the WV felt nice. Again, the ends felt a bit dry, but the roots felt less sweaty (I think the main culprit for them feeling wrong on saturday is that it was muggy as all hell, and it took my hair forever to dry!) and I had a ridiculous amount of volume! I don't completely dislike the feel of my hair, but it is definitely different than what I'm used to. I am hesitant to use more BS, after that overdose last week, but I might need it.

In the tooth department, I posted over on Naturalliving on LJ about all this, and someone responded with this amazing list of the abrasiveness of many toothpastes!

In completely unrelated news, I HAVE TREES!!! We bought them on saturday, and they delivered them yesterday morning ^_^

This is Dan, jumping on the shovel like a pogo stick.

This is not a corpse, but a network of very healthy, 3" wide roots that were exactly where we wanted to put the tree, and couldn't tell until we'd already removed 10" of dirt. They belonged to a maple that got chopped down three years ago o.O I think it was a dwarven tree canopy, of those underground dwarven trees, which of course Dan would be forced by his dwarven nature to find. (Dan is a D&D dwarf. Honest! He has all the stats.)

Lightning bug ^_^ and the house ^_^

The tree on the left is a redbud, and the one on the right is a magnolia. Hopefully, within a year, they will be big enough to offer shade to that bay window that is our dining room/nerd quarters.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Damnit, Molly!

So, Knitter's Underground has a sale on their sock yarns, so I bought 10 Sedrun, 15 Wildfoote and 9 cotton skeins, all 50 grams and $2.50. So yeah. 34 skeins of neutral yarn. So if you are in a swap with me, guess what you will be receiving! Well, except for the cotton, which I hope to make a hoodie out of.

I'm glad I was only going for a very quick run to pick up #2 circs and a $12 lace spindle...

Friday, June 4, 2010

You love me! You really love me!

Well, probably not, but some of you actually leave comments!

Dory said... Baking soda is the shit. I use it to clean all my sterling and once I'm done scrubbing, my hands feel really smooth.

My mother swears by cleaning her silver with a lemon peel dipped in BS. That way you can clean the surface without removing all the deeper tarnish that is supposed to be there.

Jamie said... I did my first no-poo last night, and it worked REALLY WELL. My hair, which is usually really coarse and dry unless I put a ton of leave-in conditioner in it (I was already only shampooing three times a week, because even with a moisturizing shampoo my hair just gets wiry), was really soft and manageable. I used, as recommended, one tsp. of baking soda in a cup of water, plus a little honey because I have such dry hair; then I rinsed with apple cider vinegar diluted with water. When I got out, I rubbed a little bit of lavender essential oil (with jojoba as a carrier oil) into my scalp.

My hair and skin are super dry, but I like the BS rinse so much so far that I don't think I need the honey. I did try to rub some jojoba oil onto my scalp after my bath yesterday, since I'd done a number on it, but it mostly staid on my really thick hair. It felt nice and soft, but a bit greasy until it managed to disperse itself fully by the end of the day.

supepome said... Yay! I'll have to try the facial scrub idea, thanks for the tip - I already use bicarb on my hair and teeth. I still find I have to use a teensy bit of regular toothpaste afterward though, because I can taste all the yuk it's getting off my teeth. I think I might try making a mouthwash with some water and a drop of peppermint or tea-tree oil. Doesn't half shift those terminal-caffeine-addict stains though :D

I haven't had any problems with foul aftertastes. I love that I can eat right after I brush them in the morning (and even drink orange juice!) without wanting to gag. Tea tree oil, on the other hand, really repels me. My roommate swears by its antibacterial properties and uses it every single time he gets any small scrape or scratch. But if you like it, whatever floats your boat!

As far as caffeine stains go, most products contain peroxide. You could rinse with that after the BS! Though it will cure all the wounds you might have in your mouth, and not in a fun way. I know HP is H2O2, while BS+vinegar=CO2+H2O, but I'm tempted to try brushing with BS and then rinsing with vinegar and seeing if the chemical reaction helps the stains at all. I remember reading a story once of a bride's teeth getting stained with red wine or coffee right after an intense bleaching, and that champagne then helped get the stain out because of the bubbles...

Whatever you do, don't brush your teeth for half an hour after drinking sodas! They weaken the enamel, which is then easily brushed off.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oh, Baking Soda, how I love thee...

Last night I played soccer again, and decided to not wash my hair so I could OMGBLOG! about it. The wash seems to be holding up, though the roots are slightly greasy and the ends a bit dry, but nothing compared to the regular shampoo days. My scalp is itching this morning, and I'm assuming it is because of the sweat. Though at least my head doesn't smell! And the pits, still rockin'!

I did, though, try brushing my teeth with baking soda, and loved it! I've had a bone to pick with toothpaste since I was 7 and would always get nauseous on the school bus (this is where my dental hygiene habits went to the shitter). I'm constantly trying out different brands, in the search of something without mints, and found a very decent hippie cherry one from Nature's Gate, but I ran out and keep on forgetting to buy more (the hippie store has odd hours).

So I dipped a moist toothbrush in some baking soda and brushed away (it just tasted like a bunch of salt). This was a bit better than just a brush, thanks to the abrasiveness of the BS, and a lot better than your average toothpaste! I think it is because of all the surfactants in regular toothpaste, that you get a mouth full of foam, and it is hard to tell if you reached all the crud. I have often brushed my teeth and then gone on my merry way, only to feel that I hadn't done anything, and was getting nauseous.

So yeah, teethbrushing + BS = WIN! I was reading the website, and they also recommend mixing 3:1 with some water as a "mild daily face scrub" that I will try next time.

ETA: Ok, I couldn't take it any longer and showered again. I'd been scratching my scalp so much this morning, that I had minor abrasions, so the BS burned a bit, but it calmed down quickly. I also did the face scrub, and that was nice. The less water you use, the more abrasive it is, so you can mix it accordingly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures in Smelly Hippie Land, part two: RTFM

I think I'd mentioned that I did the no-poo thing wrong the first two times. Well, this monday morning I finally got it right. I dissolved a TBS of baking soda in a full cup of hot water, and slowly poured it on my dry hair, soaking all of it, and then rinsing as normal in the shower.

Monday: Holy crap was my hair curly! It hardly ever gets past a lazy wave, but you'd think I'd just come out of a vapor room. Also, it dried a lot quicker than it normally does, enough to not give me swamp-neck. My hair felt Clean, with the ends maybe a tad dry. Then again, I have Very Dry everything, and haven't come within ten feet of scissors since last july. Dan also said it looked a bit lack luster, compared to what it normally looks like.

Tuesday: still really curling out of my ponytail, but feeling smoother.

Wednesday: My hair now feels like it normally does. It is still not greasy; I haven't gone to the gym (because I'm a lazy slob), but it's been 80 F and I was running two experiments yesterday that burned the crap out of coal samples. My hair has a thick, voluptuous wave, is finally lustrous (without being greasy) and feels pretty much like the end of the day when I used good shampoo and conditioner (I used to be addicted to Redkin's So Soft).

As far as the deodorant, the original mix is still doing well. I'm not too fond of the smell of shea butter (though it is very mild and I only smell it at first) and I am definitely going to have to cut it in the next mix (jojoba, maybe?) but it is definitely doing it's job. I think saturday I didn't put it on completely over one armpit, or didn't use enough, so later in the day it really smelled on that side. I was able to put on more and completely get rid of the smell, something that never worked with regular deodorant.

Another thing I've read people ask on other blogs: Does it leave a white stain? Not at all. Most of my shirts are black, and there is a slight trace from my old deodorant that hasn't washed out of all of them yet, but nothing from this one ^_^

As a side note, whatever I have left on my fingers, after use, I rub on my elbows. They are feeling nicer because the baking soda buffs them a bit, and the butter moisturizes. Same for when I tried it on my ankles.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Damn you Erika!

I just spent $25 thanks to you (not counting the other $40 in books that I had to get at the same time). I'd already given up cross stitching fifteen years ago, but no, I just had to pick up yet another hobby. The list of projects I currently have going:

- New cross stitch Black Eyed Susans
- Skew socks 50%
- Vampire BF socks 25%
- Wedding shawl (for wedding this saturday) 25%
- Sweater, 2" to be frogged
- purple spinning 75%
- new green spinning
- Swap #2 project, purchased
- Swap #3 project, purchased

not to mention the lotions I have to research.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

[recipe] Bruschetta

This is what I'm having for breakfast today ^_^
Ok, nothing revolutionary, but damn is it good!

Previous day:
- four or five tomatoes on the vine
- a sprig of fresh basil
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Chop and mix, and let sit over night.

This morning:
- baguette, sliced on the diagonal
- Cabbots Seriously Sharp Vermont Cheddar, sliced

Place bread on tray and toast in oven at 400 for a few minutes. Meanwhile, slice the cheese, which is then placed on the toasted bread and stuck back in the oven to melt. When gooey, spoon tomato mixture on top. Nom. Try not to scrape your gumms on the toast, like the klutz I am.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adventures in Smelly Hippie Land

Last night I managed to make deodorant! I started off with angry chicken's recipe, but omitted the cacao butter because the smell is too intense for me (and the vitamine E that I forgot to steal from Amalthea). So why did I have any desire to make my own deodorant?
  • - I absolutelymotherfuckinghate scented deodorants. They nauseate me! For the past five years or so, I've been exclusively using Arm and Hammer Baking Soda's unscented antiperspirant, and it has worked for the most part. Except for
  • - every once in a while, I will feel a sharp pain in my armpit, like a clogged pore or something.
  • - Also, I will still smell after I exercise, no matter how often I reapply.
So what did I use?
  • 1 TBS shea butter
  • 2/5 TBS corn starch
  • 3/5 TBS baking soda
  • - melt in the microwave for 30 seconds, checking every 10 that it doesn't boil over.
  • - mix well and place in fridge to set
  • - a small pea size or less is enough per arm pit (I scrape it with the back of my fingernail and the shard is enough). It will melt very well with body heat.

So I think I put this through the ultimate test. I showered last night and cleaned off the spoon on my pits. I slept in a furnace, and ran many errands in a car that was hotter than deep fried ass. Afterwards, I played two hours of futbol in the damned sun.

At first, my pits felt a bit swampy. The shea butter was too greasy, so I will probably add more dry products next time. But the important thing is that I DON'T SMELL! Like, seriously! After all that, I feel awesome! Ok, now that it's been about three hours since my game, my armpits smell a bit, if I really, really sniff at them. Huzzah!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things I want to make someday*

*but probably never will. Or it will take me several years to get around to them.

In Mexico, there is a gubernatorial agency in charge of consumer affairs (PROFECO) that analyzes products and grades them, and then offers recipes on how to make them for super cheap! (unfortunately, not all are from scratch, and go for an emphasis on cheap rather than hippie) I remember watching a show about ten years ago on how to make chapstick and lotion!

Here is a "short" list I just compiled of some of the cool things I want to make. Mind you, the links are in spanish. I plan on eventually adding notes, specifying if they can be made naturally.

- Cajeta (video)
- Dulce de Mango (video)
- Marmalade (video)
- Rompope (video)
- Soy Milk (podcast)

Personal product master list
- After Sun Cream (video)
- Antiperspirant (text)
- Bug Spray (video)
- Face Tonic (video)
- Hair Gel (video)
- Hair Wax (video)
- Liquid Hand Soap (video)
- Mascara (video)
- Shaving Cream (video)
- Shoe Deodorant (audio)
- Vick's Vapor Rub (video)

- Insecticide (video)
- Kitchen Cleaner (video)
- Play Dough (video)

Activism Powers Activate!

There are many causes I hold close to my heart: Queer rights, proper education, empowerment of children through music; pretty much anything that helps people be equal and responsible. I've gotten many comments from passersby that see me knitting that I should join Knitivism, but like I stated in an older post, I prefer to actually -do- something with my activism, not just lecture people on how they are wrong (or how people in some country they have no idea about are OMG suffering!!!!1!!one!).

Queue the tree-hugging. Having been born in 1980, I was a proud Planeteer (I know I have my membership card still in a box at my moms house). I wrote a paper for a competition in elementary school about how trash trucks should be divided so we can separate our trash (I wonder if it already existed back then, or if some high-up stole my idea... hmmm...) and I am militant when it comes to reduction of consumption and waste. If you come to my house, don't you dare ask for a paper towel, and you better have carpooled!

The reason I am so passionate about this is that this is something I am actually DOING. I am actively turning off all the lights in the buildings at school that I find not being used. I pick bottles out of the trash and put them in the recycling bin. I pick up trash (even a measly little rusted bottle cap) when I go hiking. I reuse dishes many times before washing them, much to the dismay of my friend Amalthea's mom, Judy.

Poor Judy. You do not want two treehuggers together, because Hippiness Increases Exponentially(TM)! Last weekend was Amalthea's brother's graduation, and we put Judy through hell buying the decorations. I love her dearly, but she is very much of the school of making a big show with tonnes of decorations. Did I tell you that Amalthea and I are a bit militant at times? We managed to convince her to buy very bland and boring compostable sugar cane plates and dissolvable corn starch flatware, and nothing else that was disposable.

So this last week helped me remember a slew of things "I've been meaning to do" for several years now, and since Amalthea started a hippie blog, I feel guilty and I kind of feel I need to step it up. So today I started no-pooing, and I should be making in a bit the deodorant that I found a recipe for several months ago through a slew of blogs. If I'm lucky, this weekend we'll start a compost ^_^ (Dan also planted an apple tree in the yard this weekend, which I'm sad because I was in NJ and couldn't help)

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I love you alot!

We were having a discussion on LSG about someone not wanting to hire a birthing coach because the class announcement ended with something like "hope 2 see you there". I agree with another poster that mentioned it being unprofessional, like going to an interview in your bunny slippers. Her ravatar is also an alot. I made this for her ^_^

Saturday, May 8, 2010


A friend just gave me the heads up that she saw a Craigslist add two days ago trying to set up a local derby.


I just joined their FB group and sent them an email.


Now, I know it is still in its fetal stage, but HOLYSHIT!!!!

[recipe] Strawberry Pie

I compulsively bought two pounds of strawberries a couple of weeks ago, without any time to eat them or cook with them before leaving town for MDSW. So I stewed them!

I cut them in half and tossed in a pot at low flame for a few hours until they condensed. No sugar or anything (well, a tad of leftover Manischwietz). The next week, when I had more time, I bought another pound of strawberries and shoved it all in a Pie ^_^

Hot Water and Lard Pastry

Ingredients (makes 2-3 single crusts)

  • 1 cup lard or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour

1 - Put lard in a medium bowl and boil the water.
2 - Pour water over shortening and blend until all the water is absorbed and the mixture is smooth.
3 - Add the flour, salt and baking soda.
4 - Once it is mixed and in one large ball, cut into 3 balls of dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. If you want a larger pie crust, just do 2 balls of dough. Uncooked dough can be kept in the fridge for about a week or frozen.
6 - Bake these pie crusts up as you would any others, at 350-400 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
7 - Follow instructions for double crust fruit pies.