Be a Cool Frood

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When attending an SCA camping event, don't forget your towel.  I know what you're thinking, "There usually aren't any showers, why on earth would I need my towel?"  Here are the various ways a towel can really come in handy without leaving the planet.

1.  Rain
If you're in An Tir, you already know to expect rain even if the forecast is clear.  Once a person is wet hypothermia becomes a real concern.  The first thing you should do is get them dry.

2.  Swimming Hole
Even if there aren't any showers, there might be a spot to go swimming.  If you choose to do so, familiarize yourself with the site rules.  At one event I attended swimming was normally allowed but for the blue-green algae bloom.  A few attendees hadn't heard/paid attention to the town cries and went swimming anyway.  No one got sick that I know of, but please listen to your heralds, we often do have helpful information.

3.  Dew
Unless you're wearing all the layers of clothing required by women's late period Elizabethan, sitting on a cold, damp chair or bench is extremely unpleasant in the morning.

4.  Camouflage
I normally bring a burgundy towel and drape it over my ice chest to disguise the bright white and blue plastic.  It's easily moved when I need to get into the chest.

5.  Extra Layer
My towel has been known to double as an extra blanket on nights where it dipped below freezing.  At my first An Tir/West War I had forgotten my air mattress, that towel helped to shield me from the heat-sucking earth.

6.  Bubblewrap
Even if I don't end up using the towel for anything other than camouflage, it works great for cushioning my breakable kitchen items.

Best Game Room in the World

1:41 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
The base for the room is this one by burntwire brothers.

 Instead of faux stained glass paneling, try the real stuff geek-style

Protect the perfect table for tabletop games from caffeinated drinks with these coasters

Then top the table with this

Lifehack Your Cleaning Habits

6:28 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
In case it wasn't already obvious, I am severely cleaning/organizationally challenged.  After all, who cares about the pile of seed and crap under the birdcage when I have an Elizabethan court gown to sew?  If it's a choice between cleaning and playing with silk and velvet, the cleaning will almost always lose.  That is, until the OCD's CMB beats the ADD's CMD, and then it's time to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!  To prevent the twitchy-eyed monster from taking over my crafting time, I developed these habits to trick my mind into thinking it's not really cleaning.

1.  It's Dangerous to go Alone, Take this
If I'm going into the kitchen, I take cups, plates, dishes and any other odds and ends that belong in there.  Say that the kitchen is merely on my way to the bathroom, I deposit said dishes into the sink and/or dishwasher.  I pick up the new tube of toothpaste and stack of towels that were folded and waiting to be put away.  On my way back to the living room, I collect the books that made their way to the bathroom over my last couple of visits.

2.  There is no Spoon
Who else here hates to unload the dishwasher?  Do you sneak the item that you need without taking anything else?  Stop lying.  You know you do it.  Everybody does, and that's ok.  I take a few dishes out along with the one I need and put them away.  If it's just a spoon, then I take a whole handful of silverware.

3.  Zombie Washcloths
I scrub down the kitchen with my washcloths and then toss them in the laundry.  They sit there, waiting, watching, staring, molding and stinking.  Then I realize that the laundry should get done.  If I used only one or two washcloths at a time, they would gradually accumulate in the dirty clothes pile, which can wait just one more day.  By that point, the damage is done.  There's an odour that haunts my dreams.  The stank of the dead washcloth come back to life.  This way I can avoid the reek of zombie rags and hey, clean laundry!

4.  Create Obstacle Courses
My blinders are remarkable for blocking something from sight until I trip over it.  So to make sure that I remember to do it, I place it deliberately in the way.  Folded clothes are stacked on the stairs.  In order to pass, I have to take an armful.  Think of it as a game, like Calvinball or Ironman Croquet.  For added hilarity and bonus points, play it with your partner/roommate...  without telling them.
*Please note that the administration is not responsible for any injuries, trauma (physical or mental), or asthma attacks incurred by uncontrollable maniacal laughter.

5. One Day at a Time
I suffer from anxiety and bipolar disorder, which means that when faced with the daunting prospect of a 2-story/3 bedroom house that looks like it's been "tossed" (as per my crime-show addicted parents' description) because its sole occupant is recovering from a two week bout of depression my ability to face it becomes non-existent.  My Martha Stewart-esque mother raised me with the mentality of all the cleaning had to be done on the weekend.  Unfortunately, when my weekends are usually filled with camping, and my work schedule was designed by MC Escher on LSD, combined with my aforementioned maladies this is a recipe for disaster.  After 29 years of this, I only recently came to realize that I don't have to clean the whole freaking house at once!  Each room gets tackled on a different day of the week, with the bigger and messier rooms assigned to when I have more than a single day off at a time.  Sure, the living room's still buried in camping gear from last weekend and the current sewing project, but the kitchen is fabulous.  That's a clean mother-freakin' kitchen if you ever saw one.

"Happy Mother's Day!" Um... No thank you?

1:26 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I find myself at a unique stage of my life in which most people assume I have children.  Being that I am 29, this is not an unusual presumption.  The oddity is, is that the person in question assumes that I want or will have children.  Since I work in a nursing home, I am surrounded by elderly residents and nosy female coworkers, so the following conversation (or variations thereof) occur on a regular basis.
Me: "Happy Mother's Day!"
Them: "You, too!"
Me: "Oh, thank you, but I don't qualify."
Them: "You don't have kids?" in surprise.  "Oh, you will someday," reassuringly as I shake my head.
Me: "I don't think it's in the cards for my partner and I, but that's ok."  At this point, if the person in question feels that children are necessary in order to be complete, they usually drop the subject because the ambiguous phrasing could indicate fertility issues.  (For all I know, with my health problems, this could very well be true).
For some reason, there's a part of me that just won't smile and nod.  Perhaps it's because I refuse to kowtow to public opinion that all women of childbearing age desire offspring, perhaps it's because I am opinionated, or maybe it's because I don't know when to shut my mouth.  It's part of my charm.
I don't feel a need to justify my decision, but rather I feel that others need to justify why they project the stereotype of the nuclear family onto others.  One would think that we have reached the point where women, whether single or partnered, need not defend their decision to live childfree.  Having been adopted, I am firmly of the belief that every child should not only be wanted, but also planned.  While I was certainly wanted, my biological mother could barely take care of herself, let alone a baby.  
I suffer from much the same illness that plagued her, meaning that caring for myself can be a struggle at times.  I recognize that having a tiny, helpless person dependent upon me would be negative for both my and its well-being.  Not to mention that my partner does not wish to begin procreating in his early 40's.
By simply stating that I do not have, nor intend to have, children I feel I am doing my best to politely subvert the cultural paradigm without baring my soul for the scrutiny of strangers.  Perhaps next time they will ask someone if they have kids, rather than how many or how old they are.  Perhaps that person will realize that in assuming someone has or desires children they might be opening a whole can of emotional worms for other person.
Then again, I might just jump straight to grandmother considering the way my youngest cockatiel is chasing my eldest across the keyboard in an attempt to court her.  Although, judging by how she's avoiding his advances, she may just follow in my footsteps yet.

To all those who decided to make the wisest decision for themselves as an individual and their hypothetical offspring, Happy non-Mother's Day!