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So I am FINALLY after like thirty years setting up a dedicated sewing area in the house, so I can actually have my sewing machine out and work on projects without having to swap it out with my desktop computer. Prior to this I've kept all my sewing stuff jumbled into craft boxes crammed into a cabinet, where they are inconvenient to get to and impossible to find anything once you've gotten to them. With all the rearranging and cleaning we did after the Closet Project, I managed to clear out enough space in the office room to fit in a sewing desk and a rack for all my cloth.

I've been going through all my notions and sorting them out, and getting rid of things I'm never going to use, like the bag of Ribbon Scraps in Ugly Colors That Are Too Short To Do Anything With. In aid of the sorting process, I ordered a spool organizer off Etsy. It arrived today, and much to my annoyance, it was broken.

First thing I did was send pictures to the seller and complain about the insufficient packaging. Hopefully they'll feel guilty enough to send me a partial refund. Next thing I did was break out the clamps and the wood glue and fix it, because it really is a cool piece and I want it, damn it. If the glue proves insufficient I'll drill holes in the back and insert dowels for extra support, but the broken part isn't load-bearing, so hopefully glue will suffice.

Pictures of the spool-i-nator by popular request:Collapse )

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HEEEEEYYYYY there are still two slots left for the next round of Seasonal Spuffy! ONLY TWO! GRAB ONE NOW! You'll thank me when they've doubled in value!!!

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Just deserts

Every now and then I see posts about how character X deserved better. I don't think there are many characters I haven't seen them for. I have mixed feelings about the concept, because most of the time they seem to be pushing the idea that all fictional characters ought to live their best and most comfortable lives, always making the right decisions, and never having anything really unpleasant happen to them.

I'm not a proponent of the idea that happy, functional characters can't be interesting, far from it. But I am perfectly fine with terrible things happening to them for the entertainment of the audience. I don't think that fictional characters deserve anything, being fictional and all. The people who deserve things are the audience, not the characters.

The audience deserves characters who are well-rounded and complex, who aren't sterotypes. The audience deserves a cast of characters which reflects its own diversity. The audience deserves protagonists who have agency. The audience deserves storylines that aren't lazy.

If the audience gets all those things... then sometimes, fictional characters will still have terrible things happen to them. But it will seem a lot less meaningless and insulting when they do.

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Bedroom is painted and tiled. Almost. We still have to paint one baseboard. I am fucking wiped. And we still have to move all the furniture back and clean the rest of the house, which has mysteriously become a pit of filth while we were otherwise occupied, and then paint the exterior walls of the new closet. Pictures when the baseboard is painted and the furniture is where it's supposed to be.

We took off three extra days over Labor Day weekend, and by God we spent almost all of it laboring. We did take a short break to have lunch with my niece, who is just starting college -- my god, I swear it was just yesterday she was a tiny child. I am officially Old. I'm going to take a hot shower and some Advil. Tomorrow is back to work, which ironically involves sitting at a desk all day.

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I am exhausted

But the closet is mostly finished:

But the closet is mostly finished:Collapse )

We still have a few things we want to do with it -- add a shelf above the shoe rack, mainly -- but I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. We're about halfway done with painting and tiling the bedroom, and I'm hoping we can get at least the tiling done by Tuesday.

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Or in this case, bread pudding. I tried making whole wheat fig bread the other day. The recipe called for dried figs, but I was trying to use up some fresh ones, and I added a lot more than the recipe called for. So I ended up with way too much moisture in the dough. I realized as much, and managed to more-or-less salvage it to the point where it baked into recognizable loaves, but they have that coarse grainy texture that too-moist dough ends up with. And in a whole wheat bread, which isn't very elastic anyway, that means that the loaves just crumble up into bits when sliced.

After a few unsuccessful sandwiches, I decided to make bread pudding out of one of the loaves. I used the Joy of Cooking New Orleans Bread Pudding recipe, with a few modifications -- no raisins, since the bread already had figs in it; the bread being whole wheat rather than white, and the only milk I had on hand was 2% rather than whole. And god damn, it came out FANTASTIC. NOM NOM NOM.

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Inspection successfully concluded today. Closet is tiled and painted, and we've finished the modifications to the two shelving units and moved them into the closet. Next steps are to finish painting the rest of the bedroom (it's about half done now), and get the little wooden bracket things that will allow us to hang the clothes rods between the shelving units. (This is going to be a double-rod arrangement.) I'm going to put a center support in which will hold the rods up in the middle -- I have one of those circle saw drill bits which they use to cut holes for doorknobs, and I will use that to cut holes the the center support board, and the rods will thread through it. I'll cut and stain the center board tomorrow, and trim the ends off the rods -- they're just a skinch too long. (Which is infinitely better than being a skinch too short.) We'll have to run over to Lowe's for the brackets, though, and I don't know if we can get over there before the weekend.

The last step is going to be putting together the shelf which will run across the top of the whole thing, from one shelving unit to the other. The shelving units are twenty inches deep, and they don't sell single boards which are twenty inches across. So I've got a 12'x8" board and a 12'x12" board, and I'm going to drill holes along one side of each, and use little pieces of quarter-inch dowel and lots of wood glue to peg them together. Then you clamp it till it's dry, and sand the hell out of the join. I've done this before when making shelves, but never with one so long -- it's going to be about eleven feet long when finished. Hopefully I can get the peg holes to align properly. If it works, we then nail the whole thing down to the top of both shelving units and the center support board, and we will have a custom closet installation! We're hoping to have it all done by the end of the long weekend, and then we can see about tiling the bedroom floor.

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Done! Sort of...

The construction people finished up on the closet project today, and we have the final inspection from the city on Monday. Yay! Now we have to paint the bedroom, tile the floor, paint the outside corner of the house, build shelves, etc. We've already started on it. The closet interior is painted, and most of the tile in the closet is set -- I was hoping I could get it all set today, but I ran out of energy after four or five hours of mixing thinset and cutting tile. It has been awhile since I used the tile saw, and I needed to get used to its peculiarities. Luckily, we have enough extra tile that I could afford to mess up a couple of cuts. I ran out of daylight before I could quite finish, but I should be able to get the last of it done tomorrow morning, and then it can dry for a bit before I grout it.

We still have to buy the tile for the bedroom. Judging by the time it took me to do the closet, that's going to take me several days.

Tired. Sleep now.

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Every now and then I see adverts for the IWRY Marathon, and I think, "You know, maybe it would be a nice gesture if I wrote a fic for it." I could write Bangel ficlets set in seasons 1-3. It might even be fun! And then invariably, I see yet another Bangel shipper on Tumblr saying things like they won't reblog unrelated meta (which they admit is good meta!) from Known Spuffy Shippers, or they don't want to read IWRY stories that even mention Spuffy in passing. And I think, "Nah, screw it. There's no sense in making a gesture when you know it's going to be rejected."

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