Shop the stash before you shop the shops.
Formal-ish: scarves, shirts, vests, old evening wear, old best suits, 'tai chi shirts', things made of satin or brocade, formal shoes, non-terrycloth bath robes without pockets.
Casual: tees with oriental-inspired prints, army boots, cargo pants, jeans or twill jackets, less formal brocade items.
Army surplus: khaki green or desert beige clothing, belts, pouches, straps, boots.
Thrift store: evening wear, shirts, vests, leather, belts, shoes, gloves, hats, clothing to alter or harvest for fabric.
Mundanewear shops: standing collar shirts are somewhat fashionable for men and women atm. Some tops come in a mock wrap style that's a nice fusion of eastern and western.
Street market, Asian shops/webshops: brocade items, 'tai chi' shirts, fans, parasols, sarees, costume jewellery.
Silk painting supplies: silk scarves for cravates or to pair with evening wear. Plain undyed ones can be surprisingly cheap.
Workwear shops: cook's tunics have standing collars, sometimes wrap around and can come in colours.
This close to an event, I'd say shop or shop the stash as much as you can. Consider if you can alter what you have. For instance, fitting something more closely may make it look more formal. You can also sew trim around a (men's or women's) v-neck to make a mock wrap shirt.
Taking in a bought shirt (also works for vests, etc. Check out more of their movies for spats etc.)
Making a faux-cravate out of thrift-shopped ties
Some more thoughts from another larper about Firefly larp costuming
Yesterday, we went shopping at Xotus/Oriental Market to stock up for Sunday's family day. We ended up going home with three kinds of rice (sushi, Indonesian-style short grain and basmati) and some random bits and bobs, nothing very exciting. We'll have to go back for frozen/fresh goods nearer the end of the week.
The most interesting thing is the place itself though. This Chinese-run oriental supermarket has isles upon isles of familiar and obscure products from all over Asia (Japan, Korea, Indonesia etc.) With all the colourful packaging on every isle and the staff being more fluent in Mandarin than in any other language, it looks like a trading station from the Firefly 'verse. So if you're looking for Chinese spam, nondescript dried goods, unnaturally brightly coloured mochi, 'protein rations' or nebulous jelly concoctions, I'm pretty sure you can find it here :-)
It has a laser cutter, 3D printer, vinyl cutter and more cool stuff. Basically, they buy expensive machinery to make it available to everyone to make whatever think think will improve their life. They're currently looking for volunteers, so I thought I'd see if any of you were interested. There's a volunteer discount, it looks cool on your CV and you learn how to use all this machinery. They need about eight hours a week minimum, but you can split it into two.
She spent a day or two under the desk in the hobby room and then hopped up onto the shelf that gets the best sunlight. She is very cuddly and not shy at all, but she wasn't eating very well and she was very thin. After having her wormed, vaccinated (! we all thought she was but she wasn't) and chipped, it was time to check her teeth. They ended up taking out three teeth and although we have no reliable scales, she is sure to weigh more now than the two kg's she did when they weighed her. Her shoulders are much less pointy and her spine isn't just padded with her skin and thick fluffy fur any more. We're very relieved it was that easy to fix. It's not nice to watch a cat sniff at food and then not eat it.
This new energy seems to have also helped in settling the territorial disputes. The cats have decided that the hobby room is Mauw's and the rest of the house is Aeryn's. Mauw used to tentatively wander a bit but hasn't recently. Aeryn will go into the hobby room to use the litter box, but will run to get there. She'll only steal Mauw's food if Mauw is not around and is very twitchy in that room. Meanwhile, Mauw reigns supreme on the sun shelf and enjoyed thorough petting by almost everyone at my party last Sunday.
We're now sure that Mauw can't go back to her last owner, though. Of course there is the question of where Mauw will go next. We're not really in a financial position to eventually take on the potential costs of two aging cats. Even if we were, we'd prefer to have a second cat that didn't just ignore Aeryn, but maybe got along with her a bit better. Armed peace may be better than what some cat-owned end up with, but it's still not ideal. So the search is on for a new home for Mauw...
Now I'm sort of tempted to go here. On the one hand I shouldn't spend too much money, but on the other hand a lot of my stuff is starting to look a bit worn and ratty. Also, a lot of my jersey tops seem to have developed holes on the front and/or left arm/shoulder. Cats are hard on clothing...
I wish I could say this was a freak occurrence, but this has been true for every house we've ever moved into. Sometimes it's only a couple of tenners, but it's always higher than what we end up using. I don't know if they're expecting us to crank up the heat so we can walk around in swim gear or something, but it was as bad as we've seen this time. We looked into lowering the amount, but they wouldn't go further than 10%. They also stipulated that you can get no financial consideration/help whatsoever for the rest of the year if you lower the amount. That's even if your financial situation changes completely but your usage is as you estimated yourself.
It's good that we can pay off some things with this lump sum, but they would have been paid off ages ago if we'd had the money...
This would have been a lot easier if hplipopensource.org hadn't been offline for a while. If anyone's even remotely interested: cups needed a filter/plugin and the version of hplip I was using didn't include it. I had issues earlier with backwards compatibility, so I was pretty sure using the very latest version wouldn't help. Heh, shows how much I know.
Now to nab some screencaps and store them where I can find them...(although most of it runs by itself and tells you what to do, so I won't need all of it).
But I am sick and tired of my printer not functioning after every single upgrade since three upgrades ago. I don't have an exotic printer (HP Laserjet P1102), it's hooked up directly to my USB port, nothing fancy at all. CUPS online interface detects it, adds it and then it still refuses to print a test page. HPlip can detect/add it about half of the time but that still doesn't make it run. I just want to be able to print, damnit.
Stupid thing is, this happens just far enough apart that I lost my notes of how I fixed it last time. I don't know, maybe I did something wrong and I'm getting a message from the Karmic Koala?
Gifts are optional, but I will not say no to books, baked goods or whatever you think I will enjoy. For questions, you can contact twilightbanana if you want to surprise me.
A little over a week ago, I made some clotted cream for a bring-your-own-food afternoon tea. It was pretty easy, mostly requiring patience and a bain marie so there would be no cooking or burning. Most 'recipes' you find have you mix up mascarpone and sour cream for a surrogate. I was amused when I saw a girl at the Viva Magazine forum elect the surrogate because "...the whole lumps floating to to surface business sounds unsavoury". How does she think her other dairy products are made?
Making real clotted cream involves gently heating (slightly separated) whole milk or cream and waiting for the fat to surface. After you cool it down and let it sit, you can scoop off the clotted cream. The recipe I had said to scald the cream for two hours (I didn't sit next to the pot all the time, I went online and checked back every now and then), but the first 30 minutes seemed to do the trick, with not much of an extra yield after two hours.
Anyway, with the success of the clotted cream, I felt confident enough to try cheese. I didn't want to be too ambitious, so I went with something easy. At our last house, we had an Indian restaurant nearby. As a rare and special treat, we'd have some of their food delivered and that's how I first had paneer, an Indian fresh cheese. It's more of a texture than a flavour, but it makes a good foil for spices and veggies. The best thing about it is that you only need two easily acquired ingredients, so I was all over it:)
Basically, you need milk, preferably whole, and some sort of acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Of course I didn't plan this through all that well, so I had less than a litre of semi-skim, some leftover full fat Greek yoghurt and some white vinegar. I heated the milk and added the yoghurt to make it creamier. I was told to add 10ml of vinegar. I couldn't really be bothered to measure it, I wasn't really planning to use the whey and the cheese doesn't take on the acid, so I just put in a metric slosh and stood back. This is the bit that makes it fun, because the acid separates the whey from the curds pretty quickly and it's a bit like magic:)
I let it sit for a few minutes and then I poured everything into a wet clean dish towel (cheesecloth stand in) in a sieve. The whey leaked through into a bowl and the curds stayed behind. I pressed out some more whey by pressing the curds for another 20-30mins in my very high tech 'cheese press' (I put some dishes and a can of beans on top for weight). We ended up with a modest hamburger-sized bit of paneer, which I handed off to the kitchen prince to be made into pakora (spiced batter fried snacks). I think the taste and texture were reminiscent of mozzarella, not very exciting but a good base to start from. Overall, I would rate paneer as dead easy to make, slightly time consuming, easy on the wallet and vegetarian-friendly.
Things pretty much went pear shaped from there. The next train left late and they announced that it would only go as far as the last stop before Utrecht, Woerden. At the stop before Woerden, we had to wait for a train to clear the stretch of track our train needed to use. Janie&co called us to say they were stranded too and were considering turning around. We looked at the clock and we had a snowball's chance in hell (c what I did there?) of making it in time. In other words: time to call it a day. When we caught the train to The Hague, the train we were in before was still just sitting there. The rest of our train trip was slow, but uneventful. When we finally got off the train and went to catch a bus, we saw two leave in front of our eyes because there was no safe way to run and catch one.
Still, we made it home in one piece and a bit of preparation meant we were well-supplied with sandwiches, hot tea and reading material/crafts projects. I just feel unhappy I spent all this time traveling (left 10.45, got back around 15.00) and have nothing to show for it. I really hope it's going to be better over this week as I'd hate to miss Christmas with my family because of the snow. And maybe another year of heavier snow will get it into people's heads that hey, maybe we are getting more snow. Who knows, they might even *gasp* free up money to weatherproof the trains. They managed to pick up more snowploughs for the roads...
It's stop motion animation, meaning that every frame is set up, shot as a still and then they move it slightly and take another shot. You can see why this needed various trips to the laser cutter (which was behind my desk, so I got a good view). Nifty, huh?
Which is possibly the least grown up response possible, so yeah.