Hire me for your paranormal reenactment needs.

I have not graced a stage in many years, and I really only have one acting ambition left: I want to be in a paranormal reenactment.

I am a bananapants obsessed viewer of paranormal reality shows — seriously, I love them all. I love “A Haunting” and adore “Paranormal Witness” (there’s a new season starting next month on SyFy, yaassss), and even have a weird soft spot for “Celebrity Ghost Stories,” despite the fact that I don’t always know who the “celebrities” are. So it’s only natural that I would want to participate.

I have always loved reenactment shows of all kinds — “Unsolved Mysteries” converted me early on, despite focusing more on crime — but paranormal reenactments are my favorite. Where else will you see actors of all shapes and sizes, all ages? And yes, all levels of acting ability, too — if we’re going to be really honest. So that’s a mark in my favor! I’m a fat actor whose skills are markedly rusty, but that won’t stop me from performing my very best haunted histrionics. I will bring it.

I will settle for portraying an average haunted homeowner, but I really want to  play the psychic brought in by the friendly ghost investigators the homeowner found on the internet. I want to be the one who tells the hapless family, “There are demons in your basement/attic/crawlspace/wherever!” Because there inevitably are!

I would be so good at that.

This is it. This is the sum total of my remaining performance ambition.

Hashtag “life goals.”

Shout out to fat brides.

“I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.”
— Lindy West, in this fantastic article about her wedding.

Can I just say how much I loved Lindy West’s article? Reading that right after this article about Instagram being asshat-ish to fat people (no shocker there, really) and banning the search term #curvy, it was such a breath of fresh air.

When we got married five years ago, I was also the biggest I’d ever been, and it didn’t diminish my happiness one tiny bit.

Cheers to all the happy fat brides (and husbands) out there! Hopefully one day there will be nothing remarkable about us at all. We’ll just be happy, no disclaimer necessary.

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Making lemonade, sewing-style.

Although I generally wait to buy new sewing patterns until I have seen them sewn on a wide variety of body types (read: not just thin people), I took a chance and bought a brand new indie sewing pattern last week.

And now I regret it.

I don’t want to name names here, because A) I would just be needlessly throwing shade, and B) It’s mostly my own fault, and could have happened with any other indie pattern. But anyway, I paid upwards of $15 for a pretty wonky pattern, and I feel a little burned.

Part of the problem is that some designers do not give enough information about the pattern itself. I have not been able to find really basic info on the pattern in question, like what height the pattern is designed for, or what cup size. Somewhere on the designer’s website it says, “for average height,” which could mean anything, especially since average heights vary from place to place. Maybe they think average height for women is 5’6″! (Here’s a hint…it’s not, at least not in the U.S.)

Now, I’m a fat person. I’m sized out of many indie sewing pattern ranges, and I’m at the tippy-top for most of the others — as in the largest size, and then maybe outsized at the hips. I know how to alter for that; it’s not a big deal (no pun intended). I have narrow shoulders, and although no one would call me busty (I wear a 42B, you guys), I have a 4 1/2 inch difference between my upper and full bust measurements. In sewing terms, not bra terms, that makes me a D cup! Most sewing patterns only have 2 inches difference between the upper and full bust measurements, so the first pattern alteration I ever learned to do was the full bust adjustment. I am accustomed to making “regular” patterns fit my “plus” body, but…I need some basic information to know where to start.

I have only sewn one other dress pattern by this designer, and I had trouble with it, too. And it was a sewing blog darling! I had seen it on women of many different sizes and shapes, and thought it would work for me, too. But the fit through the shoulders was terrible, the neckline gaped a bit, and the exaggerated A-line in the skirt seemed to have been drafted incorrectly at the largest size, as it was comical in its inflation. I wore it twice, then donated it to Goodwill. I hope someone with strong, wide shoulders found it, and is happily wearing it today.

In that case, I did blame myself. I didn’t make a muslin (test garment), and suspected that I should have made a smaller size at the shoulders just by eyeballing the pattern. But I thought, it’s a knit, it’s forgiving — and I was in a place where I had sewn several frustrating things in a row and I just wanted to finish something simple. But that dress was undeniably a dud.

I had hopes for this new dress pattern. It was breezy without being too voluminous, and had a nice modern look to it. But it also had a tulip skirt, which seemed like a strange choice for a pattern that obviously called for drapey fabrics. I took the plunge and got it anyway.

I made a muslin the day after I bought the pattern, which is light speed for someone like me. For example, I still haven’t sewn a Colette Moneta dress, yet I bought the pattern pre-release! I am not on the cutting edge of sewing, generally speaking. Anyway, the muslin had Problems with a capital P. At the largest size, the tulip skirt was straight up ridiculous looking. I mean, it looked like jodhpurs in skirt form! Even in a drapey fabric, that was going to look bananas. The sleeves were okay, though I didn’t personally like the length on me — and I cut the neckline for a much smaller size, so it was A-OK. I ended up drafting a completely different skirt — just a plain, knee length A-line. Maybe, like the fictional Leslie Knope, I just needed to learn that tulip skirts weren’t for me.

Or maybe, just maybe, there is a problem with the method or computer program this particular indie designer is using for pattern grading. Because the largest size seems to be too exaggerated — everything is blown out of proportion. You can only grade a couple of sizes up or down from any set size before this starts to happen, though most clothing retailers and many pattern designers do not bother with the extra expense of drafting two separate sample sizes and grading them both. (By the way, that’s why most women’s t-shirts are XS-S-M-L-XL — medium is the base size — and why many clothing lines only came in 6-8-10-12-14 back in the day.) Believe me, this shows on the largest sizes — and maybe on the smallest sizes, too. I have no idea about things on that end.

Anyway, having made an altogether new skirt, I did finish the dress over the weekend, and although it’s not my favorite thing in the world, it’s wearable. I took my lemons and made some sewing lemonade. But I also learned my lesson, and I will not be buying that anonymous brand of sewing pattern again. Sigh.

Pillowcases constructed on a whim.

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We got new sheets this weekend, and I opted not to use our duvet when I made the bed, as I have had some trouble sleeping in the heat — despite the ever-present air conditioning. This meant that I was short two pillowcases, so I made some.

They don’t match exactly, but they contrast in a weirdly pleasant way (and are blue, despite looking black in the photo). The pair took 2 1/2 yards of quilting cotton, and took less than 1 1/2 hours to make, including time spent pressing the fabric and cutting them out!

It felt nice to accomplish something with a concrete end product. And check out my ridiculous Scandinavian hipster style!

I’ll have what S & P are having.

I could write about the show “Hannibal” all day (best show on TV, for real), but the question on my mind lately regards the following Mason Verger quote: “Spitters are quitters, and you don’t look like a quitter to me.”

How on earth did they get that past standards and practices? How?

Then again, this was in the same episode as a pretty graphic disembowelment, so maybe standards and practices were on vacation that week. Or possibly they’ve been shooting up with whatever creepy cocktail Bedelia was injecting the next episode? Oh! I’ve got it. They were so worried about early edits for the kaleidoscopic lesbian sex scene in “Dolce” — too much female satisfaction on display, you know — that a vicious little quip about swallowing semen just slipped right through the net.

Either way, two thumbs up! Keep up the good, filthy, violent, weird work, you guys. The fans appreciate your laxity.

This is why I’m not Sherlock Holmes.

I’ve eaten at a specific restaurant in our neighborhood at least 100 times through the years (literally), and have always wondered where the stairs to the upper level were. They mainly use it as a banquet space, so I have never had occasion to see it, and I had never seen the stairs.

Today, after leaving the restroom, I finally noticed the glass front door next to the ladies’ restroom, clearly marked “stairs,” with a staircase also clearly visible behind.

Mystery solved.

Considering that I’ve used that restroom 25 times at a bare minimum and never noticed the staircase until today, you can imagine that my powers of observation are spotty at best.

It reminded me of that time in college when my best friend dyed her hair a completely different color and it took me six weeks to notice, despite seeing her every day.

I’ll never be Sherlock, that’s for sure.

It’s okay to be a ridiculous gudgeon.

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I’ve been reading a lot of Regency-set novels lately. When I say “a lot,” I really do mean A LOT — like 30 in the last few months. A good number of M.C. Beaton romances written in the 1980s and 1990s fill the group, and although they’re often very far-fetched and intensely silly, they’re just as often laugh-out-loud funny. But the books I’ve really loved in this category were all by Georgette Heyer (and mostly written in the 1950s). When people say she was “the next-best thing to Jane Austen” they’re not kidding. She was apparently quite a historical researcher, and her novels are regarded as being very accurate to the period.

Which brings me to my point: I love Regency slang! Everything from “gudgeon” to “bird-witted ninnyhammer” — this stuff is the best! Whether something is the “outside of enough” (such a colorful way to be exasperated) or you “don’t like it above half,” you’re covered.

I do love old-fashioned language in general (I wouldn’t have read so much actual 19th century literature otherwise, you know?), but I can’t get enough of this Regency language right now.

I don’t mind indulging such a harmless obsession.

P.S.
Currently accepting enconiums upon my exquisite deportment.