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Tomorrow is August 1. Fest opens August 21. Right, time to panic.

Not really. I've been working on adding more bling to my costume for a couple of months. Yet every time I finish adding a layer of pearls, I realize I really should add more. But I need to stop after this layer so I can address the other costuming refurbishment issues.

Like, finishing the refurb of older Felix costume. It's a lovely rose/cotton candy pink, and I made it something like 12 years ago, and not for Fest. However, I put on too much weight to wear it, so it hung in my closet, looking pretty but unwearable. Then, I lost all that weight and then some, and there was exactly one weekend at Fest where it was wearable - the last weekend of Fest near the end of the first year of going to the gym (on a side note, that was the first weekend where I started to get stopped by patrons for photos, and yes, I am vain). The next year it was too big. And it remained too big.

This spring Felix offered to help me refurb it so I could wear it again - he thought it was too pretty a dress to be relegated to the back of the closet. The skirt was easy enough, just had to take out some pleats and pull in the waistband. But the bodice, that was going to be trickier, or so I thought. Taking in the sides really wasn't going to fix the fit issues across the shoulders. However, taking four inches out of the back, that solved most of the fit issues. 'Course, I nearly had to deconstruct the whole bodice to do so....

Anyhow, I'm taking the opportunity to add trim and other bling. The buttons I originally used are no longer available, but I acquired a whole bunch of buttons this spring that I should be able to use, if I redesign how the buttons are used....

And I still have to finish boning the new hoop skirt, and re-hem the pink overskirt, and make sure the currant/chenille dress fits properly over the new hoop and I really should make another chemise....

It's going to be nice having two costumes to wear, one of which doesn't require assistance to get into.

I really haven't started serious violin practice, just some cursory repertoire review. I never got my act together in time to buy a new violin (many reason, including the fact that I also want a new bow and a new case, and I don't have the tip money to buy all of them this year, although I probably will for next year), and I still ought to record my own CD for sale. But the ongoing issues I've been having with my arms have contributed to my lack of wanting to practice.

Those issues seem to be clearing up, at least enough. I've kept up the shoulder and elbow rehab exercises, which have kept my left half mostly happy. But they have also helped with repairing all the damage I've done this year to the right. Also, I've (FINALLY) started wearing elbow and wrist braces when out in the yard, or when stripping paint off of the windows. It's made a huge difference. You would think I might have figured this out before now.

The other nasty pain issue that might be going away is a truly nasty bout of plantar faciitis in my right foot. I don't know the specific event that triggered it, but both running and karate class keep it active. It I don't ice my foot down after class or a running session, I can barely walk the next day without limping. Even with ice and ibu, I still notice it. I'd rather keep running for cardio work, but I am tired of the pain. I've switched over to using a stationary bike for cardio work, which I don't especially like, but Fest is hard enough on my feet without deliberately continuing with a known irritant.

So, the state of me. Fest now takes over and dominates my life for the next two plus months. I should probably add at this point, I always get comp tickets as part of my compensation. I'll give them to whoever asks, but it is always on a first come, first serve basis, and I've already got requests on six tickets, two of which are hard locks.

For a moment of zen, nothing says trust, and "I love You" like a cat climbing into your lap for snuggles, resting a cheek on your wrist while falling asleep. Then twitching and dreaming in your lap, only to wake up purring and wanting face and ear rubs.

It was a good day today.
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In fact, the cat is downright clingy. She's patting at my legs when I'm at the sewing machine, curling up next to me on the sofa when I'm watching TV. She'll even settle into my lap if I put her there. I ended up beading with her draped across my arms last night. When I tried to put her down on the floor, she developed a strong magnetic attraction to my shoulder. I eventually gave up, and settled for a slower beading pace.
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New windows are happening today! I found this out last night at 6:30 when I left for a recording session for Terpsichory. When I got home after nine, I immediately had to start moving furniture and stuff. And getting the last pieces of garbage out of the way. The entertainment block moved fairly easily, and didn't fall apart like I thought it might. The real pain of the evening came from moving the china cabinet, first removing the stuff on top of it (including an miniature cast iron coal-burning stove), then emptying the cabinet itself. Even so, that sucker is heavy, and my back is complaining about it today.

A quick sweep and some spot cleaning, and everything is looking pretty good.

I got up early this morning to finish converting my bedroom, and to take down the curtain, and any other number of small tasks.

During all of this, my cat just look bewildered. All this stuff being moved into places she wasn't used to. So much stuff now sitting in her nap spaces, or blocking access to them

Last week had been a rough one for her. I hadn't been home much to give her the attention she thought she deserved. I stepped soundly on her tail one morning. And the worst sin of all, I ran out cat food. But with fresh food, a day dedicated to scratching her ears, and maybe a touch of tuna, she had apparently forgiven me.

All of that has now gone by the wayside. When the contractors came this morning, it quickly became clear to her that they weren't leaving, so she went and hid in the bathroom. While she was hiding, I chatted with the contractors about what they wanted me to do with her. This is when I found out that neither the kitchen nor the bathroom windows were going to be replaced today because the wrong size had been ordered. So, I offered to lock her in the bathroom for the day. I made up a bit of a bed, I put her (full) food dish and water basin in the room, and found a spot for her litter box. I left the light on, and then I left for work. I was late, but since I called twice (once to say I wasn't coming in, once to say I was), it wasn't a big deal.

When I get home today, I am expecting to find her completely wired. She may not be able to see or hear what is going on, but she can darn well feel it.

I expect it will be at least a week after I get everything back in its place before she decides I am worthing of snuggling up to during the night.

But, I will have new windows.
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I got started on storyboarding my animated short. It is now going in a new and better direction. I still have a lot left to do on it, but I got started, and now I will keep going on it.

Because I got the storyboards underway, I got to go to 12th Night. I had a very good time. I got to wear layers and layers of clothing, including my snowflake overdress with the full circle sleeves - more fabric in the sleeves than the rest of the dress. And the matching snowflake veil. I also got to wear my dark green wool cloak with the beaded trim. Most of the time, it is just too big and heavy to wear to events, but the nature of the site made it very practical to wear. I wish I'd worn my blue and purple hood, too - I was still kinda cold over the shoulders.

The highlight of the event (for me) was getting called into court for the Order of the Willow. I was not expecting that. Not even in the slightest. I was very bouncy for the rest of the night. I didn't get home until well after one.

Sunday was archery, which was low turn out ('cause of 12 night, and because I didn't say explicitly that there was going to be practice), but I shot ok. Then I went over to my brother's apartment, because he bought an X Box.

He bought it Saturday, and he must have spent much of Saturday and Sunday practicing Soul Caliber II. He'd definitely gotten better. I still beat him 4 times out of 5, and in one very memorable run, I trounced him 10 times in a row using *his* character. Sooner or later, he's going to get good enough to beat me regularly, but not yet.

My cat was sick yesterday. Acting like a heat leech, curled up tight against the radiator. Very lethargic - usually she makes about four trips across my lap while I'm at the computer, and she didn't even try once. And her ears were glowing pink - almost red. I know she was running a fever, and her body was trying to dump heat through her ears. She's much better today - still lethargic, but her ears are their normal white, and she is following me around the apartment again. And eating and drinking.

I might be next. I feel fine so far, but my throat is feeling swollen and slightly irritated when I swallow. Hope it goes away, 'cause I hate being sick.
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The fire alarms went off in my building this morning, a bit before eight. It took me a while to figure out exactly what that racket was - almost sounded like bad speakers. At any rate, I finished dressing for work, if more hurriedly, then stuffed the cat into her carrier and headed outside.

The apartment manager is on vacation, though I must be the only person in the building to know this. Of the few people outside, no one had called either the management company or the fire department. So, whipping out the cell phone, I call the management company emergency number and let them know that the fire alarms are blaring. The sleepy lady on the other end of the phone says she'll send someone over to turn them off. I don't call 911, because by now I'm pretty darn sure that this is a false alarm. I do call work to let them know I will be late.

So, chatting with some of the other residents, several with cats of their own, I discover that this happened yesterday afternoon, as well. Which certainly explains the lack of other residents on the lawn. And yes, it is a false alarm. Either a bad prank, or bad wiring. Either way, I hope they get it fixed soon, 'cause repeated false alarms are only going to cause tragedy later.

My cat, however, was not happy. She can't hear the alarms, so she has no idea why I suddenly shoved her into her carrier and took her outside. She hates leaving my apartment, as in psychotic freak outs for being taken to the other side of my apartment door. I take her to the vet, I have to get tranquilizers in advance. Anyhow, when I get her back into the apartment and let her out of the carrier, she goes and hides in the bathroom behind the tub. She comes out a few minutes later, but she won't let me touch her. At least not until she finds her way back to the food dish. Then I can pet her.

Work, eh. The rest of the week is going to be nuts. Christmas is messing with deadlines all over the place, and while we have sent emails to the people who need to be aware of the deadline changes, a goodly number of them won't bother to read them and will proceed to get pissy when we can't process their orders.

Gotta going the rest of the shopping madness tonight. A few groceries, and trying to find a present for my brother. Harder than you might think - most of his stuff is still in transit from Germany, so I don't know what he needs, and I don't know what he already has. Maybe I'll get lucky.

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