zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
When I was in the Netherlands... wow, over five, six years ago now? I got a gorgeous red skirt, which has ever since been my favourite, but has unfortunately suffered fading and much fraying of the hem and embroidery. During the snowdays this year, when I was snowed in with my friend on the other side of town, I passed the time taking the hem up (it's still ankle-length; it's a wonderfully long skirt, and it took time because it's a wonderfully full skirt), but it's been sitting around for the last couple of months waiting for me to get the dye. I finally got that on Wednesday on the way to meeting undisclosed people for coffee (about something that... may come to something, I'm not certain) and have just followed all the instructions for dying the skirt red again.

Now just to wait for it to dry. I'm not sure if it's a bit more cherry red than when I bought it or if it had just faded that much but I'm pretty certain it's going to look fantastic either way.

Must be time for an earthquake update:
  • at work they're knocking down the buildings on either side of the building I worked in. We should be able to move back in early next year. Current plan is to then in another year's time cram us into the main library and randomly give the space away to other departments, which makes me furious, but I'm resigned to being made furious by decisions there. (They're hurting financially due to earthquake costs and lost revenue from students going elsewhere; but I'm convinced many of the proposed decisions are false economies.) Plus a key person has recently resigned so who knows?
  • the cordons around town have shrunk a bit more and there's a new bus exchange. (Since February, there've been two bus exchanges which each consisted of a bus parked on the side of the road for shelter and some portaloos. They were great, but y'know?) It consists of driveways, electronic signage, outdoor seating, and some prefabs with toilets and indoor seating, and it looks fantastic. It abuts demolition sites and cordons. At night everything beyond it is pitch black. In the day, you can see machines pouring asphalt on a space that used to be something, and beyond that the hole in the wall of an upper floor of the pre-February bus exchange building; and the bus coming in goes past the demolition of the Salvation Army outlet store that yesterday was merely abandoned and unhappy, and the the bus going out comes past the vertical blinds fluttering in the broken windows of the City Council building.
  • reservoirs and other components of the water system are still so damaged we're already being given summer water restrictions (which many years we never need, but if we did it'd be at least January before they started) - no unattended outdoor watering, and handheld watering only on three days a week (Tues/Thurs/Sat for even-numbered houses, Wed/Fri/Sun for odd-numbered, Monday entirely banned).
  • apparently City Mall is opening soon (this weekend? or Show Weekend, which is in two weeks?) in box containers. (There are already box container shops operating in scattered locations, eg a dairy aka corner store which has recently sprouted a "Coffee coming soon" sign.) The newspaper claims that some place in the UK is threatening to sue for us stealing their idea, which outraged me until I remembered that the business of newspapers is to recount the truth in such a way as to mislead people into being outraged enough to buy the newspaper, and I'm not sufficiently interested to investigate what's actually going on in this case (quite possibly all they said was "Please don't use our brand name"). They're getting pwned on their Facebook page in either case.
  • the public libraries that had been still closed - eg space taken over for council work and such - have been slowly reopening; and there's a new small one on the edge of town; and my local relocated one is opening for another hour in the day which'll make it possible for me to get there during the week. Also the local mall continues to open new shops.
  • CEISMIC has launched - a portal for earthquake stories and other information about the events.
  • my choir's singing a tribute song which is gorgeous music but truly appallingly sappy-wappy words, I cannot express.
  • state of the Zeborah: I don't like sirens from emergency response vehicles. I especially don't like sirens from more than one emergency response vehicle at a time. I'm mostly okay with helicopters, though sometimes they're disconcerting (this one for instance; must be the fourth time it's passed). I'm also mostly okay with aftershocks, as much as one can be of course, but unidentified rumbles hold my attention until I've identified exactly what they are even if I know that whatever it was it wasn't an earthquake. In an unfamiliar place I'll often (but not always) do a quick "If there was a big earthquake right now I would..." spotcheck; sometimes I'll then get a wee "There could be a big earthquake right now" gutkick, but a breath or two fixes that, whereas sirens require more breathing and often blinking too. I empathise more closely, tear up more easily, with stories of disaster or personal loss or communities coming together. In other words, all perfectly normal and of no concern.
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (books)
I needed some jerseys and some thermal underwear and whatever else I could find, so I made a date with my sister to go clothes shopping. In due course I came home with one jersey, one pair of woollen tights, and six books.

(Borders was having a "Fill a bag for $10 sale". I could have fit a lot more books in if I'd been thinking with my Bookcrossing hat on instead of my "Would I conceivably read this?" hat. At least I did go back and grab a copy of Ko Maui Raua Ko Te Atua O Te Ahi even though I'm going to need to read it with my dictionary next to me.)

I did figure out why none of the shops anywhere anywhere sell bottle-green jerseys. It's because bottle-green jerseys are part of some school uniforms, so it'd look totally dorky. (I was briefly tempted to buy one of the school jerseys anyway, but... it really really looks like part of a school uniform.) Hypothesis: this may also be why it's impossible to find non-transparent white blouses. I don't understand the point of transparent white blouses, but presumably someone buys them.

I used to have a bottle-green jersey which didn't look like part of a school uniform, and it was awesome, so I spilled things on it and then wore it anyway until the cuffs started to fray. Same thing happened with the nearly-eggyolk yellow jersey I had. I miss those jerseys fiercely. However, my new purple jersey is very nice too.

I retain an abiding interest in woollen tights of colours beyond Columbine's range of blue, black, grey, or another-grey, but I think for this I shall have to resort to online shopping and shipping.
zeborah: I found this humerus (humorous)
Conversations on a bus:
Three teenagers (two girls and one boy). One of the girls was rehearsing her defense for the school board of trustees about drunkenness at school. It wasn't that she got drunk at school, see, she got drunk before school and just happened to still be intoxicated when she got there. Also when she gave some drink to another student it was because said student wanted it, not because she'd peer pressured her or anything.

The conversation turned, as conversations do. In due course the boy was telling how once, when a friend had been pressuring him with "Bros before hos", the boy retorted, "Mate, chicks before dicks."

--

The Press cheerfully mentions that over 50% of the buildings in the CBD may have survived. This is a stunningly glass-half-full mode of reporting for the Press these days. Also, I shouldn't read the newspaper while waiting at the supermarket checkout: going shopping is enough of a punch to my emotional immune system as it is, and today is pouring with rain and I spent all morning looking after part of the church fair's white elephant sale so resilience has been going steadily down all day anyway.

(On the plus side, at said fair I got two skirts for a dollar, and some violets, and some feijoas in red wine which I'm planning to take to friends for a dessert with the plan that she and I can eat the feijoas and he can drink the wine. I restrained myself from going near the book stall, it seemed for the best.)

--

Boots has returned to her ordinary self, ie restive with outbreaks of annoying, and the vet's battery of tests all read back in the normal range.

--

There are all sorts of things I keep meaning to say, but I've forgotten them all. Oh! One of them was that I worked out what's been splitting my skin open when I empty my chemloo tank; I then put one bandaid on my finger and one bandaid on the jaggedy part of the tank.

--

At work I'm still bouncing between three locations, though one predominates. Unfortunately it's the one I hate the most. It's deathly quiet; we share with people we don't know that well and they complained about the beeps of our virtual reference application, so now we need to wear headsets if we want to notice our customers calling us. The only redeeming feature of this place is that it has my computer in it -- my actual computer from my actual office, with my lolcat version of the 5 laws of library science taped on and my rights to modify the software on it which IT accidentally-on-purpose left me because they trust me not to modify it too much. And on Monday we get a new manager and he's going to be sitting at that space.

Sigh. Oh well. At least I worked out how to get my desktop picture (of The Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library) onto the other computers I have to use. Why I mentioned work was really to keep on with the alcohol theme, because in one of the other locations the tiny little tearoom has, next to the coffee and tea and milo, two bottles of wine. They must have come from some function or other. No-one would ever actually open them on worktime, but I feel it's comforting just to know they're there.
zeborah: I believe in safe, sane, and consensual Christianity. (christianity)
I'm wearing my favourite skirt, which is red and goes right to the floor and swirls and has pretty swirls embroidered. It's possibly fading a bit and has a stubborn stain but I can generally hide that, and the hem is a bit battered but what do you expect, and anyway it's awesome. With it I normally wear a white blouse that ties in a bow at the front and has its own embroidery on the breasts, the main disadvantage of which is that it's sufficiently short that it shows a bit of waist.

When I say "disadvantage" I don't mean that I care, just that when I'm considering my wardrobe in the morning I always have this vague idea that someone sometime might be all, "Ooo-er, Zeborah's showing a bit of waist!" which would be mildly embarrassing. Then I defy this hypothetical person and put it on anyway.

So the other day I was reading Guys on Immodesty, Lust, and the Violence of Women’s Bodies, a survey in which a bunch of Christian guys say that it's immodest when a woman shows skin, has embroidery drawing attention to an area, bends over so her bum is more prominent, stretches so her chest is more prominent, moves other than sedately so her breasts jiggle, or just dresses in any way that's designed to draw a guy's attention to her body or which he thinks is so designed because he's horny. And women shouldn't do this because it makes it haaaaaard for guys to think pure thoughts.

Sigh.

The thing is, I guess they're coming from that line of Paul's where, in a completely different context (talking about eating food sacrificed to idols), he says doing this isn't sinful in itself but some people think it is so when they're around don't do it because it could weaken their faith. Basically avoid it for their sake. (Note that I'm pretty sure he didn't say that it was a sin to not avoid it for their sake. He just said that avoiding it for their sake was a kindness and a virtue. In fact I think something can only be such a virtue if it's not totally obligatory.) And within the specific historical context where the issue was being hotly debated and was genuinely controversial I think that's a decent compromise and I rather like it, and also I think it can be applicable elsewhere sometimes maybe, if you're careful.

Not here. Not when it boils down to "You're immodest if I say you're immodest, now stop being immodest."

This is my theory on women's clothes and guys trying to think pure thoughts:
Dear Christian guys,

If you really have no control over your physiological/mental response to a woman's beauty then God's not going to send you to hell for it. OTOH, if you do have control over it then quit with the "It's all her fault" excuse. That didn't work in the Garden of Eden and it's not going to work on the Day of Judgement either.

Love,

Zeborah

PS You do have total control over your physical actions. Just so we're clear on that part.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
A friend of mine is one of triplets and another friend of his has a birthday on the same day so he and his wife threw an "Attack of the Clones" birthday party, sci-fi costume compulsory. (This was also inspired by him ordering a stormtrooper costume from the UK and wanting to show it off.) So I decided to go as a Vinvocci.

Makings of an alienUncoloured alien

Vinvocci

Also at the party (besides sf-themed food, sf theme tunes playing in one room, and a Star Trek movie playing in a control panel decorated with LED lights by a spot marked as the transporter - it took them a few weekends to decorate, apparently) were:
  • a model of a dalek and the front of the Tardis opening towards the bathroom (both made by another friend -- they're excellent models, it's his hobby), a tinfoil-on-cardboard cyberman, and the Fifth Doctor complete with celery;
  • the abovementioned stormtrooper, Princess Leia, a few Jedis, (at some point the Stormtrooper, struggling with his awkward costume, had recourse to say, "Help me, Obi-Won Kenobi, you're my only hope!") a Death Star t-shirt, and a two-year-old Ewok;
  • three Star Trek redshirts (one of whom had helpfully pinned a target to her back; another had the perfectest thigh-high boots though the heels were apparently quite painful), a Vulcan, and someone in a blue shirt;
  • and miscellaneous fandoms: Starbuck, Cordelia Naismith (who was very excited that I knew who she was), the Men in Black (with business cards and memory-wiping devices), a combat person from Stargate, my friend's mother wearing robes and a sign saying "Attack of the Crones", and - gah, I've forgotten her name and I wanted to look her up: apparently an evil female character, wearing the awesomest long black robe/coat thing ever, neck to toe and so sleek. Anyone know?


The other fun part was beforehand - getting there on the bus. I decided I'd just wear the whole costume all the way (I needed my sister's help to get the helmet on with all my hair inside, and since I was wearing that I felt more comfortable being completely anonymous) so I left the house and went out to the main road. *Everyone* stared, which made me a) giggle and b) hope I wouldn't cause any car accidents. Some guys yelled out a car window, "Have a great evening!" which was nice; some other guys catcalled, which was meh - I get catcalls wearing my normal clothes, thanks, try something more original maybe?

The bus driver asked if it was a fancy dress party, which I affirmed. More stares and smiles from passengers trying not to laugh. In the bus exchange in town I was waiting for my connection and a young woman came and sat down by me:

Woman: Why are you wearing that?
Green alien: ...It's for a fancy dress party.
Woman: Oh. Did you make it yourself?
Green alien: <explains the virtues of papier mache and paint>
Woman: Cool. ...You know, it's kinda scary.
Green alien: It's okay, I'm a friendly alien.

Then the bus came and I got in line, and the driver didn't see me until I was right up paying, at which point -- this was my favourite reaction of all -- he bit his lip to keep from laughing, and tried really really hard to be completely casual, like green aliens take a ride on his bus every day.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Stressed)
This is Dorothea of Brandenburg: twice queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; regent in her husbands' absence; commander of all the castles in the three kingdoms; holder of so many fiefs it caused political problems, including the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein after her husband couldn't repay her loans -- in short, the most powerful and presumably vocal woman of 15th century Scandinavia.



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