I must be insane. Kate said she wanted to be a witch for Halloween, and my brains flew right out of my head. “I know!” I said. “I’ll go to the fabric store and find a pattern and make you a witch costume!”
So I did. And I have to say, it wasn’t the stupidest thing I ever did, although it’s made a mess of my dining room, which is where this little project is set up. I was inspired by the example of my husband, who takes on all sorts of projects successfully, by employing a simple strategy: Read the f*%$& manual. If the manual isn’t helpful enough, there’s this building right downtown called the “library,” where many books are stored, which you can consult free. Plus we have this thing called the internet, where you can meet groups of freelance body-modification surgeons, so how hard could it be to find tips on sewing straight seams?
Not very, but just sort of tiresome. I discovered that if you can follow instructions, you can make a crappy witch costume. A nicely done costume? Well, that’s down the road. Maybe after I read “Ulysses.”
And it has been a strange experience, almost like muscle memory. My mother sewed, and huge chunks of my childhood were spent watching her do it, while we talked at the kitchen table. I also got dragged through fabric stores until I thought I’d go insane, and no, I didn’t appreciate all the cute clothes she made me when I was a child, but that’s the way of the world. I haven’t sewed anything since eighth grade, but when I have a question I find that if I just stop for a minute, close my eyes and think for a minute, it comes back to me.
When that fails, I read the f*&^% manual.
And now I’m almost done. A badly sewn hem, a little tacking here and there, and if I’m lucky it’ll hold together for two wearings — at the Defiance Halloween parade and at Actual Halloween on Sunday.
Best bloggage of the day: A Sun-Times correspondence, between Roger Ebert and various executives, but mostly Conrad Black, the thievin’ sleazarino who lined his pockets with company money. Black, in one letter, revealed to the world Ebert’s S-T salary — $500,000. That’s damn generous, I must say, but it doesn’t strike me as excessive. Anyway, I loved his retort:
Since you have made my salary public, let me say that when I learned that (your wife) Barbara received $300,000 a year from the paper for duties described as reading the paper and discussing it with you, I did not feel overpaid.
I’ll be back to full strength tomorrow. As soon as I’m done hemming.