Monday, September 29, 2008

Who knew unemployment was so productive?

So I still don't have a job. I probably enjoy this a little too much, as it gives me all the time for sewing projects I have been meaning to do for months. I made Jon a slightly girlie oilcloth lunch bag (Using this tutorial with the same fabric, but brown), a scarf, embroidered pencil bag (gifted), a toddler sized drawstring backpack and tiny coin purse (could not resist the smallness!), and finally, the Amy Butler Weekender bag. (choir sings in the background) This bag scared me. It involved making my own covered cording, stabilizers, template plastic, and the ever horror-inducing zipper. Not to mention the fact that I needed to sew really straight lines. And there was a billion pieces to cut out in 4 different types of fabric/stabilizers. This bag is amazingly big and awesome. From reading other experiences with the bag, I was prepared for days of stress and seam ripping. Perhaps due to my cautiousness, I did not have to rip out any major seams. (Although it took me the better part of a week to make.) Miracle! I am so proud of myself, I should be struck down by a lightening bolt. I have to thank Kenz for choosing the lining/contrast fabric, which is way cooler than what I picked originally. If you gifted me a Boston terrier or firstborn child, I may be willing to make you one. Just kidding, I'm only accepting Boston terriers.

I enjoy this bag more than looking at myself in my skinny mirror. And that thing gives me legs for DAYS.

Chock full of veggies. Jon wanted me to post a different picture that was more "satan-like." Sorry Jon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm sorry the frosty chill went to my heart

As poor people, experiencing different seasons in apartment living is a lot like childbirth. It's like we have a hormone that helps us forget how miserable we once were. During winter in my old apartment, I forgot about the pools of sweat and sleeping under damp towels of summer once I was cozy warm due to all the heat I wanted at no additional cost. Yesterday I was shivering and typing with numb fingers as my resilient will to not use the heat crumbled and I turned the thermostat to 63 degrees. It reminded me of the last house I lived in before I got married. It was old, and I had a private room in the back with wood floors and 6 windows. SIX windows that had one job--creating uninsulated avenues of cold. As winter approached along with a roommate's unflagging will to keep the house at 55, I began changing my sleeping habits. My attire started with a base of normal sleep wear, a t-shirt and shorts. Then I added socks. And a hooded sweatshirt. And a fleece adult onesie. Then I took the fetal position under my jersey sheets with a Norwegian comforter and three additional blankets, and created a breathing hole, tying the drawstrings tight on my hood. Coincidentally my roommate next door had a room that was in a constant sauna-like state. She melted at night while I hunkered down in my own Everest base camp.

Marriage forced me to sell my contract early. In December, I would crank up the heat for prospective buyers. I walked barefoot through the apartment. "Look here, we have a dishwasher! Oh, and here is the room. The desk is included, it has wood floors (so hot right now) and a vintage dresser, lots of closet space. And the most amazing part... it has SIX windows. So great. I love this room."

A few weeks and a $200 signing bonus later, I sold my contract. Little did she know I had sentenced her to 4 months in her own private icebox hell. I should have felt bad, but I didn't. I had $1200 on the line and my new apartment to move into. And it was nice and warm, with utilities all included...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My friend, the Apple

This week I learned that it is not evil to put off running for a while. Sometimes you just don't want to do it, but by Saturday I was back. I think the running gods knew it too, and they were grateful. I made my way to Gabriel Park, my new favorite place. It was one of those crispy fall days that wasn't overly cold, just overcast. After a large climb I made it to the community gardens. There I saw a group of people gathered in the parking lot at tables cutting apples. There was a large manual apple press, and some kids with tie dyed shirts turning the crank with the help of tie-dyed shirted parents. Then I was offered what was to be the most delicious hand pressed cup of apple cider I have ever had. Once a year all the garden volunteers harvest the apples from the orchard and make and drink cider all day, and I happened upon this utopian activity by chance. I finished my run without directing a single curse word at the hills. I told Jon about it, and we stopped by after he was done studying, but they had disappeared. Mysterious...

And if this day couldn't get any better, I totally sneak attacked my football watching friends with a plain-yogurt-and-tofu-filled baked artichoke dip. ShaZAM! I love tofu sneak attacks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm buying black nail polish

Off subject: the background is my new obsession, oil cloth.

I painted my nails over a month ago--O.P.I., Cajun Shrimp. This is what's left--stumps of color that have lost their original luster and shine. This is why: (click to enlarge)

Kenz and I painted them the same color the last time I saw her. Yes, I can go buy the same color or remove it, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm supposed to repaint it when I go over to Kenz's and we hang out, talking about grandma dresses and project runway and cinnamon ice cream. I can't really wrap my mind around 2000 miles. She might as well be in Antarctica. We're identical twins, womb buddies, and if you want to revert back to elementary school bullies, you can even sing the "we are siamese" song at us (but please refrain from pouring pixie stix in my hair). Now that I've had some time to get used to our new place, I've got phantom pains. Some essential part of me has been amputated and removed but it still hurts and feels like it should be there. Tyler, you took her practically to Canada. You know how I feel about Canada.

We have cellphones, Skype, and I have nice people around me. But I still feel a little down about it. And for now, I think I have the right to be.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

If you don't want to be a part of the show...

Don't stand in a prime middle-front spot. Jon and I love 31knots. They are Oregonian virtuosos of rock, but they always put on a unique and surprising show. (Let's just say the rafters of Kilby have been climbed by at least one front man.) The lead singer, Joe, ventures out into the crowd for about half the songs, and as he passed me, we did a little "I-don't-know-what-way-to-go-dance." Then I stood on the cord as he passed me, and for about 10 seconds there was nothing I could do apparently but continue to step on the mic cord. Later, I was summoned by Joe to hold a white lace tablecloth in front of him while he sang behind it holding a flashlight. As much as I enjoy the music, at concerts I like to be an inconspicuous observer, keeping a beat but never singing along or dancing exuberantly.(Beyonce-style dancer at Pinback, I still have wrath for you!) In hindsight the front corners would have been a much more comfortable place for me.

And, to top off the awkwardness that must follow me, at this small show I saw the girl who interviewed me for the vintage clothing descriptionist job. The night was basically "Hey, lead singer in my face." and "Hey, person who didn't hire me! Nope, still unemployed." At least, that's what I would have said if I had the courage to say hi, which I didn't. I kind of regret that. She was nice.

Oh, so it's weird to dance around with a tablecloth on your head holding a mini maglight? I thought it was just artistic expression.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One word: Euphoric

That's how I feel after a great thrifting trip. Among the usual (dress, sweater, tee) found last night, Jon and I hit the Halloween jackpot. One kid's skeleton costume, homemade clown suit, and two pairs of matching hammer pants later, we had the real start of an amazing costume collection. I also got a really weird look and a good awkward silence moment from the cashier who asked me if I had kids, and I said "No."

It was a kind of high where you feel like a spontaneous song and soft shoe tap dance number could erupt on the street.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We should really buy sleeping bags...

Lately our weekends have been filled with reruns of the O.C. on a Japanese web site and Costco trips. Thanks to other people that plan really well, the wives of other 1st years were able to meet up with them at the end of their retreat at Canon Beach to go camping. Jon and I are such camping moochers. We were able to contribute exactly two roasting sticks and 4 camp chairs, paper plates and a tea kettle. (and our own air mattress...thanks to Jon's parents). We slept in a palatial tent built for at least 10 (thanks Steve and Danielle) and in a ginormous sleeping bag (Ann and Willy (-ie?) I can't get that name to look right). We had 12 people, 1 baby, and 4 tents smashed in a way small space, and made foil dinners in the smokiest campfire ever made. For extremely inexperienced campers, our foil dinners were amazing. Salmon with a spice rub, fresh garlic, red potatoes, red pepper, onions and carrots coated with just the right amount of olive oil and herbs. The next morning we spent some time on the beach and the touristy parts of Tilamook before driving home. Mother, sleep easy--we have made friends!

Jon and Willy skim boarded on the freezing, foggy beach.

Spencer was the only one with rational sense, angrily wondering why the heck we were standing on a frigid beach.

Our weekend did not end there. We went to go see Menomena at Music Fest Northwest, which was absolutely stellar, although we were there until one and I was about to pass out from lack of sleep. My phone is acting weird otherwise I'd post a photo, but instead I will post my favorite snippet of easedropped conversation.

girl1: So, I think I have glaucoma.
girl2: What?
girl1: You know, glaucoma. I keep having these weird headaches and fuzzy vision.
girl2: Is this like the time you thought you had leprosy?
girl1: Yeah.'s a preview of this weekend. Hint: Jon made this band mini cupcakes, they called us "their friends" on exactly one occasion, and it might secretly be a large reason we moved here...

Can I just say that I love Portland?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dear BYU College Republicans that keep sending me emails,

I graduated a year and a half ago, and I've unsubscribed to this list about 10 times. One sign up to get info about free food has turned into a full fledged, blindly octogenarian-pro force that really wanted to vote for Mitt Romney and now doesn't know what to do with themselves but send really hopeful, peppy emails to everyone so they can still feel like true Republicans. I don't know what it takes to get rid of these emails, but I am willing to do almost anything to get them to stop. Please please please.

With sincere gratitude,

Malorie Hall

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DIY button madness!


When we moved I thought about getting rid of this clock we got for our wedding. It was huge, which was nice, but I didn't really love the faux tuscan antique look. We decided to try to give it a makeover. Jon and I brainstormed a bunch of different ideas (putting tiny figurines inside, decoupage, etc.), but nothing seemed to fit. My friends gave me a bag of antique buttons for my birthday, and it inspired me to cover the thing with amazing buttons. We bought an assortment of 600-750 on eBay and sorted them into colors. I decided to just concentrate on the light colored ones, and we chose a color theme (aqua and red). After some spray paint and industrial strength glue (E6000--can bond metal engine parts) we had this.


I loved how it turned out. Each button is unique and I love the different textures and mother-of-pearly-ness. And, super easy.