Ode to the dude

Dear dude in the school pick up line,

Hi, we’ve never met and judging by your questionable taste in music and assorted behaviors I’ve been privy to, I hope it never comes to that.  

Let me start by saying I’ve spent some of my best years held hostage to the drop off and pick up lines of various school campuses and therefore consider myself something of an expert when it comes to viewing the personages of The Line.  These are usually female persons in various stages of dress, makeup, and readiness for liquor.  Yes, I myself have dropped the darlings at school whilst clad in fuzzy pajamas and sans brassiere…only to pick them up hours later similarly attired.  Don’t judge.  Shit happens.  There are the skinny minis who are skinny and mini due to either genetics, a strict diet or an unhealthy meth habit.  These woman actually wear yoga pants to do yoga.  These women also do not wear underpants.  Or else they’re wearing butt floss.  I’ve never been brave enough to ask.  There are your typical workaday moms, office armor fully in place with a visage that conveys anyone messing with her will be dispatched without mercy or last rites.  These are feral women; women on the edge; women whose last nerve is one whine away from being tripped.  These women are busy and you’d best put some hustle in your bustle when dealing with them.  Then there are the bird moms, you know the chirpy, perpetually happy, Starbucks fueled PTA chairs, volunteers and general menaces to the rest of us who’d be only too happy to forgo yet another damned fundraiser if you’d just take a check, thankyouverymuch!

Never, and I do mean NEVER, have I ever seen a man in the pickup line.  You, my good man, are my first and, God willing, you’ll be the only.  Because unlike the ladies of The Line and my sainted Himself, you sir, are a dick.

You do not drive ‘round the corner and assimilate quietly into the line.  No, no.  You arrive with fanfare, your truck engine trumpeting like a fart blazing from the nether region of an octogenarian after an all you can eat Mexican buffet at the senior center.

I’ve observed you for weeks now and with each passing weekday, I keep hoping your current or your ex will arrive in lieu of you to pick up your monsters.  Sure, we women can be spiteful, bitchy and somewhat competitive (ahem), but we aren’t clueless.  We KNOW how to comport ourselves in public.

Point 1:  I can only assume that the large, obnoxiously loud, tricked out diesel truck you drive is compensating for your shortcomings…one which is visible to all in that you can barely see over the steering wheel.  You sir, have a bad case of SMS, short man syndrome.  And by the way, your stinky truck’s got nothing on Himself’s 1968 Roadrunner.

Point 2:  You are aware, of course, that despite your dollar store aviators, I can, in fact, see you? Scowling at me as if I’m a fresh pile you just stepped in isn’t very endearing.  And while we’re on the subject, stop it.  It’s creepy.

Point 3:  Naturally, you also know that the windshield and windows of your vehicle are clear, right?   I see your daily DIY sinus excavation while trolling for those pesky nose goblins that just won’t turn loose.  My, but you are one determined lad.  That, as well as other actions most people consider private, are best completed at home.  Behind locked doors.  Under cover of night.

Point 4:  It is apparent to all present, as well as those living three counties over, that your four-wheeled chariot sports one hell of a sound system.  Personally speaking, I’d rather listen to a herd of cats mating on a metal roof during a hail storm than have my ears assaulted by what passes for country music these days.  I suppose someone else in the line may share your love of the garbage.  I also suppose there may indeed be life on Mars.

Would it be wrong to ask your offspring to ride the bus?

Sincerely,

The Codefendants’ Mom

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Again?  Still?  Ugh.

I should probably file this under ‘things that stick in my craw, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?’ and move on, but the atmosphere in some of the Facebook groups I belong to is clouded with sanctimonious horse hockey from the quilt police.  I’m peeved and I have an opinion and here it comes.

Let’s talk about dun, dun, dun…discount store fabric!

Assuming you haven’t swooned from the horror brought on by the mere thought of even entering such an establishment, let me start off the convo by saying I happily buy from those fabric outhouses called Joann’s and Walmart.  I’ll spend my money where I please and be none the worse for it, thank you very much.  Besides which, it’s convenient to purchase my fabric and my chocolate pop tarts in the same venue.

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to fiber purchases.  If it feels good in my hand, is pretty, and I can’t see a discernible land mass through the weave, it goes into my stash.  

No has died as a result.  No puppies were kicked.

People are losing their shit because someone had the nerve, the unmitigated gall, the stones to say ‘hey, girl, hey, Joann’s is having a big ‘ol Fourth of July sale with a rinkdum-dinkdum coupon‘.  If this is all it takes to make you puff up like a toad and loudly proclaim you’re leaving a group, here, hon, let me help you pack.

People, not everyone can afford quilt shop prices.  And a quilt shop purchase doesn’t guarantee a quality product as I know from personal experience.  I myself have scored Alexander Henry from Hobby Lobby, the kind with those tawdry, half-clad hotties on them.  I love that fabric.

Maybe there’s nothing close to where they live so they shop online.  Huzzah, for that squishy package of fabric goodness waiting patiently in their mailbox!  It’s almost as good as a brown paper-wrapped package.  Wait a minute, did I write that out loud?  Scratch that last part.

But, but, but…what about supporting small business?’ you may be thinking.  I’m all for it.  Provided they have what I want, actually acknowledge my existence when I walk through the door, and don’t act like they’re doing me a favor by simply being open.  In fact, I’m pretty close to a shop that I love (Simply Fabrics on Gholson Rd in Waco, TX if you’re interested).  And you should, IF YOU CAN, support your LQS.  But if you can’t afford the product they’re hawking, having quilting as a hobby can be tough.  What are these people supposed to do…not quilt?!  

More power to you if you can score great deals from estate sales, Goodwill, and Wallyworld.  Sew on, my stitching sisters and brothers!  Be proud of what you make with your cheaper finds!  My Nana would be cheering you on for your thrift and good sense.  I don’t see why it matters where the fabric came from.  We don’t need provenance with our fabric.  It’s not a Renoir or a poodle.  If someone isn’t happy because you made your quilt with something other than quilt shop purchased fabrics, they either need to pony up the funds for you from their own pocket or shut up.

Texans have an expression that can have many meanings depending on the circumstances.  The phrase may mean, but is not limited to, the following:

‘That’s nice’.

‘Screw you… and your opinion’.

‘Drop dead’.

(By now, if she’s reading this, my mother is probably uttering my first and middle names in a fit of exasperation, but smile and repeat after me:)

BLESS YOUR HEART.

Carry on, my peeps!  It’s almost Friday.

Chocolate Pop-tarts

One morning, I sat alone, as is my preference, with a good read (an actual bonafide book and not an ebook on my iPhone so it should’ve been clear I was BUSY) and a package of chocolate pop-tarts.

That should tell you all you need to know about me.  I love to read, eat chocolate and generally be left to my own devices.  It’s not a bad gig if one can actually get it, amiright?

Anyhoo, the door swung open and in walked 👹who proceeded to ogle my package of nutritionally bankrupt breakfast offerings.

Fabulous.  

I could already tell by 👹’s facial expressions that my moment of solitude was about to come to an ignominious end as every introvert on the planet KNOWS the look.  Someone is about to speak. 🙄

“Oh, chocolate pop-tarts”, 👹 intoned in the same voice one might use while working as a 1-900 operator or starring in a porno.  

Not that I’d know personally.  I’m just guessing here.  

Shit, why can’t I just eat in peace?  Apparently, I’d aggravated Karma and she didn’t want me to be one with my trashy romance novel and my equally craptastic breakfast of calories and caffeine.

I offered up what could only have been a pained, constipated smile and said nothing.  

I’m told I’m good at doing this and the ones of weaker constitution usually slink off in search of easier prey.

Not this one.  

“Oh, I haven’t had one of those in agesssss”, 👹 continued, “but do you know how many calories are in them?”

For the record, I don’t care.  At least it wasn’t one of those nasty Jolly Rancher or coffee flavored ones.  Yes, that’s a thing now.  Ugh.

Now, I’m guessing 👹 is one of those that dips the tines of the fork in the salad dressing before plunging it into a bowl of greens the size of Cincinnati and grins all the while like a jackass eating cactus.  These people claim to be happy eating rabbit food drizzled with a whiff of organic unicorn farts and a sprinkling of good wishes and I am equally happy for them to do so but, dammit kindly leave my plate alone!

I watch, hapless, as 👹 drew a deep breath and…here it goes.

Sweet sister Sadie, cover my mouth and remind me with visuals of the eternal flames of hell what awaits me if I lose it.

“Ugh, this new diet is killing me and I’m soooo hungry.  I’d kill for a Pop-tart!”  

I gave a bit of side-eye to see if the brandishment of weaponry was in my future, but no, it appeared I was to be talked to death.  

Someone hold me.

What followed can only be described as verbal dysentery.  It certainly wasn’t a conversation because I wasn’t talking.  I had a book…wasn’t that my antidote to talking?

In brief, I got to hear about the diet, the strict adherence to the diet, how much work went into preparing the dishes for the diet (not to mention the cost of the diet), the spouse’s lackadaisical adherence to the diet, that evening’s plans (concert) and where they intended to eat (steakhouse) …and how the diet fit into all of it.

Clearly, I was off my game.  I felt the panic seeping into my pores.  I’d lost my touch.  My trademark “my give a damn’s busted” visage had fled.  In my 15 minutes of need, I’d been abandoned by my snark, that fickle wench.

I had nothing.  Even my constipated smile had further dried up and turned into a full blown impaction.

Listen, don’t get me wrong.  I’m happy you’re starving yourself into abject misery.  I truly am.  I mean, who WOULDN’T think that 800 calories a day was sufficient?   If it makes you flatter, fitter, healthier, quieter, I am all for it like Hugh Hefner is for half-naked chicks in bunny suits.  I just don’t want to hear about it!   And neither does anyone else!


Drink your shake, eat your kale, gulp great lungfuls of air for all I care.  But do it quietly.  It isn’t confession or penance.  It’s food.  Eat it or don’t.  Just don’t talk to me about it.  

Here, have a Pop-tart.

Busy hands, happy heart?

It’s summertime.  I’m hot, hormonal, and cranky. Which is not unlike my wintertime self, only sweatier and with fewer layers.  

I digress.  It’s time for a rant.

———————————-

Dear Males of the Species,

I’m pretty sure that isn’t how you greet one another.  How about dear sirs, fellows, homies (do they even say that anymore?), gents, lads?

I suppose if I were of the youngish male persuasion, I’d say something along the lines of How they hangin’?  Perhaps How’s the package? would jazz things up a smidge for those grammar nerds.  Who-wee, I’m already feeling apologetic and there’s so much that needs to be said here. 

The point is, we need to discuss how you manage your, ahem, man bidness. 

Listen, I completely get that it’s summertime.  It’s hotter than a two bit hooker on a payday weekend and we’re all sweating like pigs before a big luau.  Clothing sticks to our sweltering flesh, booties cleave to vinyl seats (leather if you’re uptown).  But…how to put this delicately? 

Eh, screw it.

Please stop handling yourselves like there aren’t women and children running amok.  

Because, we are, you know.  And I’d like to think I speak for most women when I say, dammit, lay off that crap!

I watched a fellow stroll through the parking lot the other day, his hands never still, the action almost unconscious.  It was like watching the aftermath of a car wreck.  Grotesque, yet riveting.  Like a Tom Cruise movie.  Same difference.

I ask you, whats with all the rummaging about?  Did you lose ’em?

I don’t see how as the good Lord saw fit, in His infinite wisdom, to physically attach them to your bodies.  Unless you find yourself in a nursery rhyme, the dish is unlikely to run away with the spoon, my friends.  They are, in fact, still there.  Surprise!


I live with two males whom I love dearly, but one of whom is guilty of excessive baggage handling.  It’s the frontal equivalent of patting the backside to make sure the wallet is still there.  

Take that somewhere private, tend to affairs and then rejoin polite society.  If it’s an absolute must, be advised there is a time limit for a must-do public rearrangement of your personage.  Anything beyond 2-3 seconds constitutes fondling.  Again, they are physically attached.  If you’re having to hunt them down like wild game, your britches are too big.

I’ve been told by confidential informants that sometimes The Business gets in a ‘bind’.  Unless you are having to reel it in like a garden hose (brief pause for hysterical laughter) the best I’ve got is…well, I’ve got nothing actually.  I’m too busy retrieving the eye orbs that rolled out of my head.  

Want to talk about binding?  Try wearing a bra.  You’re in a bind?!  My fat fanny.  Harness your beloveds like ladies truss up their girls and get back to me, m’kay?  You won’t catch me juggling my bodacious rack like a circus clown juggles bowling pins.  Know why?  ‘Cause I take that hot mess to the ladies room.

And last, but not least, is the sweat excuse.  You, sirs, aren’t elephants and, as such, your sweat production shouldn’t rival that of such a large creature.  Do elephants even sweat?  Never mind.  Let me refer, yet again, to women and two words you yourselves will never use.  

Boob sweat.  

Breasts are heavy, pendulous pains in the tucchus.  And the shoulders.  And the back.  You wanna talk sweat?  Die and be reincarnated as boobs.


Bottom line: I’m happy as a clam you’re a dude.  We need y’all for stuff like opening that stuck on lid or driving around for hours because you’re too stubborn to ask for directions.  We don’t need you rooting around like hogs after truffles.  Knock that mess off.

Sincerely,

Quiltnmama

Over or Under: A Question for the Ages 

So, I’ve been working on this hand quilting since Wednesday night and have been running into a few issues with the whole process.  

It’s slow.  Like grocery shopping with toddlers…or a husband.  Same difference.  It’s all bright and shiny and they want to look at and handle every friggin’ thing in sight when what you really want is to get in, get out, get home.  Hellaciousness on an epic level.  Much like I imagine a forced marathon viewing of the Kardashians would be.  

My posture is atrocious.  Not that I’m going to change what I’m doing because I have to have something to grouse about, but schlumping about like a jellyfish can’t be the most inspiring view ever.  At least I’m wearing makeup.

After a while, I can’t feel my feet.  I’ve been making myself get up and change positions fairly regularly.  Like a pregnant woman or spouse of a snorer.  But, dang it, I got stuff to get done!

And finally…

What do you do with the ladies?  Your BFFs?  Your gals?

I’ve convinced myself that hand quilting is for the flat chested, because bellying up to a quilting frame with a rack big enough to feed the entire African continent is a trial, y’all. It didn’t bother me at first, but the longer I sit here, the more apparent the problem becomes.

So, gentle reader, logistically speaking, does one’s rack float (haha) atop the frame, exposing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to potential needle puncture  as in this photo…


Or, do the mammaries hang (low, do they wobble to and fro, can you tie ’em in a knot, can you tie ’em in a bow?) below the frame like a fleshy pair of sword of Damocles?


Plus, I’m also wrasslin’ the bulk of the quilt.

I even attempted to wedge the frame betwixt my bosom and jelly belly, the wood and fabric equivalent to a pinch of chaw between your cheek and gum.  It got ugly real quick.

So, here I sit, alternately flopping Fred and Ginger onto the work surface like a pair of fresh caught trout and shoving them under as if dunking The CoDefendants in the pool.  There is no satisfaction to be had.

So, my bodaciously endowed Quilting Sisters, any suggestions?

In the meantime, I’ll sit here juggling body parts and praying for the end.

And to think there are those who think quilting and quilters are boring. Eejits.

Look in My Eye…

 

🎉🎉🎉Come one, come all!  It’s Two-fer Thursday at Maison Imperfect!🎉🎉🎉

Come see a bad, bodacious, jelly, bonzer, v.g. dachshund in her element!  She’s a sphinx in a canine kielbasa package!

Want to know just how much a dachshund’s bladder can hold?!  Want to see poo in a completely unnatural habitat?! 💩💩💩💩. Want to see aforementioned dog singlepawdedly destroy a cage?!  Want to see an otherwise rational woman lose her ever-loving mind?!?! 😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜

Today, is your day!  Look no further than Casa de Imperfect!

I cannot for the life of me figure this dog out, but if I base my assumptions by her facial expressions, and, trust me, she has them, these inadvertent expulsions are retaliatory in nature.  That’s right.  She’s a vindictive crapper.  A peeved pisser.  She’s one ticked doxie and she’s not takin’ it no more!!

And before you say it, no, she isn’t bored.  She’s got more toys than Barbie has shoes, each toy stuffed with some tasty num-num.  There’s a view of the backyard and the radio playing in the background.  NPR.  Maybe that’s the problem.  Meh.

If she had middle fingers (or fingers at all, for that matter), she’d flip them at me.  Look at this face.  This is the face that says, “Sorry, luv, but screw you.  No one owns this be-otch !”  

Don’t fall for the pseudo-innocence of this expression.  Gramma and Papa are already goners.  She’s a con man with fur; bladder and bowels her tools of the trade.

Don’t miss out on Two-fer Thursday.  As Mrs. Bowen can attest, it’s the shit!! 💩🐾💩🐾💩

Where’s the bottle opener? 🍺

Fiddlin’ Around with Precuts

If you have a passing acquaintance with social media, you may find yourself joining up with likeminded individuals on a plethora of quilting/sewing sites.  I myself belong to quite a few. Some I love while some I question why the hell I’m still a member.  I’m betting it’s some sort of latent S/M tendencies.

People get catty over the weirdest crap, y’all, and go at it like a school of piranhas.  I have to confess to kind of enjoying watching it unfold. I’m human, sue me.

So, the latest brouhaha was over precuts.  

Are precut users lazy…time-saving savvy…incapable of making good color combinations…closet puppy kickers?  It was a matter of great debate. 

Get real, people.  

While they’re all over yonder having the equivalent of a fabric pissing contest, the rest of us go on our merry way and sew like the foot pedal’s aflame and we can’t get finished fast enough. 

Is it really quilting if you use precuts?

Seriously, this is a question you ask with a straight face?

Are ya, um, sandwiching the layers and stitching ’em together, binding is all up and calling it a day?  (By now, I’ve rolled my eyeballs so hard I had to hang on to ’em for fear they’d fall outta their sockets.)  Then yes, it’s really quilting.

Not all of us can match fabrics well enough to form a cohesive unit that we all call a quilt.  We’re challenged.  And lucky enough to step out of the house in the morning without looking like Bozo the clown.

So if the thought of precuts makes your head spin ’round and you vomit pea soup like in The Exorcist, you need to stop reading now.

Right now.

I bought this pack at my LQS, their own version of a jelly roll (and a heckuva lot cheaper, may I add).  

I will admit to being something of a jelly roll race addict because of how quickly the pattern works up. That’s not what I have in mind here, but thought I’d throw it out there just for general consumption.

I’ll also admit to having roughly 7 billion quilt patterns with zero intentions of making any of them.  Ev-er.  

Hats off to you folks that spend years making one quilt.  I am in awe.  I’m also wondering about the name of your prescription med and your alcohol consumption.  I just can’t even fathom…

I want something simple.  I like the hum of Lennie the Featherweight.  I thrill to the steady feed of fabric under the pressor foot.  I am giddy over a finish within thirty days.  Call me a philistine if you must, but I’m quite happy to be a sew simple quilter and a precut aficionado.

 Yummy batiks!   

  
  
What’s not to love about a precut?  It’s  pre cut! That’s half the battle already done for you.  Love. Just love.
 

There’s only about half a million sections left to cut and when it’s done, will it win prizes?  Probably not. Actually, no, because I don’t do shows.  Will it be snuggly and warm and used?  Yep.  And that’s the point.  

So for you sparring sisters of the cloth, get off your soapbox and sew.

To (….)

You scum sucking, toilet bowl swirling piss ant.

This is The Diva’s mother.  You know The Diva.  She’s the one you called a tramp today.

Fuck you, you knuckle-dragging, excrement-laden little bastard.  Do you even have the mental capacity to appreciate what that word, tramp, means to a girl?  I’ve seen you on several occasions and you’ve never, not once, struck me as the sharpest tool in the shed.  You’re a tool, alright, just not a useful one.

I wish you had been there to see her face when she got into the car this afternoon.  My baby’s sweet exuberance wasn’t there, just downcast eyes and quivering lip.  Even if my baby didn’t know what it meant, she knew from your tone.

What did you gain by saying it?  Momentary satisfaction at having it roll off your lips.  Widened eyes at the shock value your word wrought.  She sure as hell didn’t bring it on herself, much as I’m sure you’d like to think so.

You little shit.  You probably lugged your ass home and holed up in your room to play X-box without a care in the world.  Or maybe it’s a rock you live under.  Not that that would surprise me.

That encounter, that word, meant absolutely nothing to you.  It means a shit-ton to the girl to whom you said it.  Every woman who’s EVER had anyone lob those filthy epithets at them knows the power they have.  It’s the sharpest cut with the dullest blade.  Generally wielded by someone whose grasp of the English language is limited to swine-like grunting.

I don’t care where you heard it.  I don’t care that you’re eleven.  You know better.  You knew it when you hurled the word, much as I’m sure you’ll try and deny it.  I know your kind.  I’ve had firsthand experience with pricks like you.

You can’t un-say it.  Apologizing doesn’t cut it.  I hope that word sinks like a stone to your gut and sits there like a cancerous mass.  I hope it haunts you every day from now until the end of your miserable little life.

I told her to not let it bring her down, that there are some people out there who are miserable fucks.  Apparently, you’ve started early.  Your mother must be proud.

You know the worst of it?  My daughter, bless her, will forgive just like that.  No question about it.  Me?  I’ll plot your life in my mind.  It’s filled with bitter disappointment and penicillin resistant venereal disease.  Be grateful it’s her and not me.

Signed,

The Diva’s Mother

Waste Not, My Fat Fanny

If there’s one thing guaranteed to drive me over the edge, it’s wasting time.  Whether waiting for an appointment (isn’t it a shame we can’t charge for waiting past our appointment time?), to waiting in line for the dope in front of me to make their mind up already at Starbucks, to waiting in the pickup line at school (dear, God, it’s January…don’t you have this crap down yet?!), to finishing a quilting project, I am a terrible waiter.  My tank of patience, like my car’s gas tank, tends to be full of fumes.  I have high hopes this is something that will improve with age, but if not, I’ve had plenty of practice and will make a fantastic curmudgeon.  I’m thinking Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, “Get offa my lawn!”, curmudgeon.  I’d totally rock it.

Twenty-fifteen is the year I’ve decided I will clean out the mess that is my quilting corner.  I’ve got several already-cut-out projects just waiting (there’s that word again) for me to get with the program and get moving.  I wonder if they’re as impatient as me?  Anyway, I sat down the other night to sew one up and, heaven help me, that crap didn’t last.

I don’t know what happened exactly and the pictures I took aren’t great, but the tension was definitely off somewhere along the line and my pieces like pure unadulterated horse hockey.  I pieced these during my Thangles phase about 2-3 years ago.  Gag.

002

Lennie the Featherweight had apparently lost his mind and decided to skip stitches here…

003

…and fling caution, and good tension, to the wind and to say to hell with it.  Sometimes he’s such a diva.  And did I catch any of this while it was happening?  Here’s a clue: you’re reading about it NOW.  Yeah, no.

I don’t recall how long it took me to Thangle these strips up, cut them up and press them open, but this is what happened in the end…

001

Yep, it sucks to be you, doesn’t it, Quilt Top That Will Never Be?  Actually, that’s two of them that I flung, shoved and stomped into the trash.

All this to say: Life’s too damn short for trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

If it looks like crap, it’s going to sew up like crap and fall apart like crap.  You know, like a WalMart quilt.  You have my permission to say ‘screw this’ and move on to the next thing.

Hallelujah, pass the Xanax!