We went camping over the weekend to Boulder Mountain, which is in between Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I’d say it’s some of the most beautiful country in Utah, with changes from red rock in Capitol Reef to high alpine meadows and pine forests, with immense views down from the Aquarius Plateau.
We planned the trip to coincide with a visit from the Buddhist monks of the Drepung Loseling monastery that a hippie/fancy restaurant in the tiny town of Boulder was hosting. They created a sand mandala (dedicated to protecting Grand Staircase-Escalante in its entirety) and we were able to watch the dispersal ceremony.
So, to sum up: Beautiful scenery, Buddhism, time in the wild with my love? Sounds perfect. Then why did I spend most of the first day there thinking, “This should be more fun”? Why was hiking a flat wash so difficult? Why did the driving seem like it took so long?
Turns out I was getting sick. By the second night, right after the mandala ceremony, I had a full on head cold starting, which turned into aches and sinus pain and everything else a cold entails on the drive back.
That explains it.
1. This purring simulator is really fun.
2. This mashup of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” and a jump rope contest looks like it came out of late 70s Sesame Street.
3. It’s a Utah holiday Monday so there’s a long weekend ahead. I’ll be back posting on Tuesday. (Someday I will write about learning to embrace the holiday–I’m descended from the pioneers the day celebrates–and not feel like an outsider. But not today.)
Most of July has been over or near 100 degrees. The foothills are tinder-dry, it’s hot at all but the highest elevations, and the yard is looking pretty crispy. I’m thoroughly tired of the AC running non-stop and the fight to keep things from burning up, but this week I noticed it’s getting dark closer to 9:00 now instead of 9:30 and felt that same old pang: The tide of summer is headed out.
I started to do the math in my head–a week and a half until August, then only another month of steady weather and six weeks of longer light–and thought of this quote I found a few years ago:
Pelle had already begun to dread the awful day when they would all have to go back to town. He had an old comb with as many teeth as the summer had days. Every morning he broke off a tooth and noticed anxiously how the comb grew thinner and thinner.
Melker saw the comb one morning and threw it away. To worry about the future was the wrong attitude toward life, he said. One should enjoy each day as it came. On a sunny morning like the present one, life was nothing but happiness. How wonderful it was to go straight out into the garden in pajamas, feeling the dew-wet grass under one’s feet, and then take a dip from the jetty and afterward sit down at the painted garden table to read a book or the paper while drinking delicious coffee.
Astrid Lindgren, Seacrow Island
When I posted yesterday’s pants on Instagram, I commented that my new goal was to dress like a Swedish art teacher. My style is definitely changing: Shirts and pants suddenly can’t be loose enough. I’m stomping around in clogs and orthopedic shoes. I joke that this new look might as well announce, “I eschew the male gaze,” and I love it.
This article–about Jane Jacobs, Georgia O’Keefe, and their Marimekko dresses–sums up a little of what I’m going after:
“Eugenia Sheppard, the fashion critic for the New York Herald Tribune, called such dresses ‘a uniform for intellectuals…Marimekko is for women whose way of wearing clothes is to forget what they have on.’
[…] These dresses are the opposite of the tailored and belted and solid-color sheaths worn as a kind of female armor by Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Selina Meyer on “Veep”—and by the Trump women. They aren’t feminine interpretations of the suit-as-uniform but dissent from the idea of sucking it in and putting on a show.”
After I made this pair of shorts as a wearable muslin, I noted that I thought I needed a little more length in the torso. I made the pair below (in Andover Dream Weaves ikat, which is definitely a shirting weight) and blithely added half an inch to the top edge below the waistband, thinking that would fix the tugging of the crotch.
Readers, I know better. I ended up with shorts that still pull in the crotch but also hit my ribcage and are a little saggy at the waist to boot. (These were a straight size 10, versus the 10 graded to 8 at the waist of the last pair.)
I knew I needed to do something with the crotch curve but this is why I don’t make pants–fitting adjustments are hard and how it all hangs together is such a mystery. But! I found this cheat sheet from Closet Case Files, took a deep breath, and made a half inch adjustment to lengthen the crotch. I also narrowed the waist at the side seams a little, ending up between an 8 and a 10.
These are the first pants I’ve made in 12 years of sewing that fit me well and that I like to wear. They are the only pants I WANT to wear in this heat–wide legs + elastic back = heaven. And I love the ikat “twinky stars,” as my brother would say.
Now that I’ve cracked the PANTS CODE I have two more pairs planned out and am eyeing another pattern from the same designer. Because I can make pants now!
- Emerson Pants from True Bias, lengthened two inches + mods as noted above
- Ikat from Fancy Tiger Crafts
- Immeasurable delight that I made pants that fit
1. From a few months ago, a piece about Finnish textile giant Marimekko, whose workforce is 94% women. My favorite quote about the founder: “She ran the company like a Karelian farmhouse.” #goals
2. Also fashion related, the Instagram account of 74 year old Commes des Garcons superfan Suzanne Golden is a weird fashion delight. I covet this outfit:
After I posted this poem by Elsa Chavez, I found this one too. It’s not my life now–Doc is my woke rock against the tide of sexist microaggressions–but this is for every shitty dude in my past, every man on the street who thinks he gets my attention. Rawr.
That Awkward Moment When He Says, “You’re So Sweet,” And All I Can Think Is: “Nah, Man. I’m a Velociraptor.”
Velociraptors and I have faces for the movies.
We have learned how to open doors: We scrape talons
across the knob, sneak out middle of the night
leave fading indent in the bed. He calls asking where I am.
I’m in your blind spot.
I’m watching heat radiate off you
as you stumble through the woods. I am attracted
to movement, meaning I only chase something when it runs.
Like a velociraptor, I will not text you back.
He kisses me like he doesn’t even know I have teeth,
like I don’t mouth his neck carotid and catastrophe.
He still thinks the parts of him I’ve swallowed are pieces
he’ll get to keep. When he looks into my eyes, I try to seem
like a warm-blooded girl, but I am a fucking velociraptor;
I trace my lineage back to birds.
He doesn’t understand how I can be so lizard-distant,
why I don’t want to kiss him outside the restaurant;
chalk it up to Cretaceous differences.
Squishy mammal boy, I don’t hunt in packs;
I have hooks for hands and very limited patience for bouquets.
If you wander into my woods, don’t be shocked when you call
and I don’t answer. Check your periph; don’t ignore that rustling.
You might have time for one last “clever girl” before you die.
Most of the time I think Twitter should fall on its sword for its crimes against American politics, but then I see this: a robot programmed to tweet scenarios of magical realism. In other words, AI Mad Libs. I love them. Think of the story ideas:
A sculptor discovers that the Egyptian economy is secretly being manipulated by a huge salamander.
— Magic Realism Bot (@MagicRealismBot) June 26, 2017
There is a library in Montreal where you can borrow pigeons instead of books.
— Magic Realism Bot (@MagicRealismBot) June 14, 2017
A Mughal soldier appears in a shopping mall in Fresno. She has a message to deliver.
— Magic Realism Bot (@MagicRealismBot) June 26, 2017
A drunk army major has a rare gift: He can understand the language of pine trees.
— Magic Realism Bot (@MagicRealismBot) July 7, 2017
Maybe someday, when I’m not working on HOA paperwork in all my spare time (yes that is still going on) I could use these for quick 100-word story prompts.