Posts by Karen Kaminski:
“The clog, comfortable on levels both physical and spiritual, has for me come to stand for an existence untethered to the corporate grind. Clog life is not lived off the grid but grid-adjacent. It’s a fuzzy, fancy realm, littered with alpaca sweaters, Rachel Cusk novels, and trees that grow indoors, in charmingly primitive ceramic pots.”
2. Current mood/I need this:
It is Imbolc today, the “cross-quarter” day between Solstice and Equinox. Granted, we’ve had a worryingly mild winter, but yesterday I saw bulbs coming up on the south side of a building downtown, and this morning–no joke–I heard a robin.
We’re nearly out of the darkness. We got this.
Monday night my friend give a fabulous talk on how to run a business, and the advice over and over was “get comfortable talking about money.” Get comfortable asking for what you are worth. Get comfortable asking for more.
I saw this interview with actress Ellen Pompeno–about getting to a $20 million paycheck every episode–and it’s nearly the same advice. She quotes/credits producer Shonda Rhimes as the one who first told her to ask for more. [Hey, Amber: You’re my Shonda!]
“As a woman, what I know is you can’t approach anything from a point of view of ‘I don’t deserve’ or ‘I’m not going to ask for because I don’t want other people to get upset,’ ” Rhimes says now. “And I know for a fact that when men go into these negotiations, they go in hard and ask for the world.”
I actually ponied up and bought fabric for these pairs (numbers 5 and 6) but don’t worry, it was during Stonemountain Fabric’s 20% off knits sale and I only needed half a yard. The pair in front has coyote and quail on it and is stretch cotton; the pair in back is brushed poly.
Things I’ve learned in Unofficial Undies Month:
- That pattern doesn’t lie when they say use fabric with at least 40% stretch both way. Some of my scrap pairs aren’t quite that stretchy on the cross grain and it makes a big difference in all-day comfort.
- The contrast bands are fun, but maybe a little too “kid’s Underoo.”
- The more you blog about your underwear, the more normal it seems.
This really has been The Winter That Wasn’t: All of last weekend’s snow melted in about four days. It’s supposed to be 55 degrees tomorrow. I’m tired of waiting for winter to hit so now I’m waiting for spring.
We skipped the mountains and their patchy snow and walked up through the neighborhoods to find the local plant store/greenhouse and see something alive.
It was amazing to be in the warmth and humidity and see actual green growing things. Only six more weeks til spring…
1. Another month, another article about how terrible smartphones are for your brain: Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down?
2. Related, a case for nuking your Facebook account from orbit.
3. New to me: The Moon Lists. “Each month I ask three different women to respond to a list of questions. I have found it interestingly difficult to remember what has happened in the near past; consider the idea a sort of checking in with how time is spent, recalled, reflected on.”
It’s fun to read but I also may copy the idea and get a list of questions together for myself. Way better than the Facebook “On this day” feature, right?
It’s Virginia Woolf’s birthday today (she even gets a Google doodle!). She’s one of my favorites and I always think what a tragedy it was that she lived before there was real help for her mental illness.
This is from To The Lighthouse, one of my top five, and I think of it all the time. (The whole dinner party scene is in Google Books, and is amazing.)
Sitting opposite him, could she not see, as in an X-ray photograph, the ribs and thigh bones of the young man’s desire to impress himself lying dark in the mist of his flesh–that thin mist that convention had laid over his burning desire to break into the conversation? But, she thought, screwing up her Chinese eyes, and remembering how he sneered at women, ‘can’t paint, can’t write,’ why should I help him to relieve himself?
There is a code of behaviour, she knew, whose seventh article (it may be) says that on occasions of this sort it behoves the woman, whatever her own occupation might be, to go to the help of the young man opposite so that he may expose and relieve the thigh bones, the ribs, of his vanity, of his urgent desire to assert himself; as indeed it is their duty, she reflected, in her old maidenly fairness, to help us, suppose the Tube were to burst into flames. Then, she thought, I should certainly expect Mr. Tansley to get me out. But how would it be, she thought, if neither of us did either of these things? So she sat there smiling.
Ursula K. Le Guin died Monday at the age of 88. Her books didn’t inspire a passionate fandom in me as a teen (unlike, say, Dune or Tolkein) but the more I read of her non-fiction the more impressed I am. It’s probably time to pick up the Earthsea trilogy again.
Margaret Atwood has a short piece in The Guardian in honor of her; I’d been saving this quote on aging and beauty (via Brainpickings, from her essay collection The Wave in The Mind) for a while, so here it is for today:
And yet I look at men and women my age and older, and their scalps and knuckles and spots and bulges, though various and interesting, don’t affect what I think of them. Some of these people I consider to be very beautiful, and others I don’t. For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young. It has to do with bones. It has to do with who the person is. More and more clearly it has to do with what shines through those gnarly faces and bodies.
Well, it seems that I can’t stop making underwear from fabric scraps and posting awkwardly staged photos of them for all to see:
After the resounding success of the last two pair, I realized I had nearly two yards of a brushed poly knit in my stash. I bought it for Hudson pants, thinking it was more of a camel color, but it was too close to skin color to be pants. But that made it great for undies!
I’d also been saving some scraps from making this dress circa 2011 (which I still love even though I don’t really wear dresses anymore). I tried out some contrast bands in the poly knit and used the last of the precious print for the front and back.
I feel like I’ve won the lottery–not only do I finally have comfy underwear, I can make them for FREE. If this turns in to Karen’s Underwear Blog, don’t be surprised.