Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | November 27, 2010

Chronicle Books Wishlist!

Chronicle Books, who I swear make the most awesome creative books ever, are having a promotion right now that if you make a list of books worth $500 and post them to your blog, you have a chance of winning them! Plus, if I were to win, one of the commenters on my post also wins!

Ones I’d Love to Have:
Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter – I’ve done a little printmaking on my own, but I’ve love to have a book to refer to!
In Stitches by Amy Butler – This book has adorable projects, my library has this book, but I’d love to not have to share it with the whole city!
City Walks San Francisco by Christina Henry de Tessan – San Francisco is only a few hours from me, and I need to visit more often.
DYI Fashion by Selena Francis-Bryden – I’m really interested in learning to make my own clothes for myself, especially things involving modifying old clothing and the like!
Dorm Decor by Theresa Gonzalez – Just because I’m beyond college, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy these projects!
Simple Sewing for Babys by Lotta Jansdotter – I haven’t seen this one in person yet, but I bet it’s awesome. I love making stuff for Miss V and other babies, making baby stuff goes so much faster than adult clothing!
Applique Your Way by Kayte Terry – I love this book and want my own copy!
Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival – I learned how to knit a few years ago, but quit soon after. I really would like to pick it up again, and this book sounds like it has nice basic projects.
1-2-3 Sew by Ellen Luckett Baker – Perfect for me! I need more skill growing projects!
Paper Cutting by Laura Heyenga– I love love love papercutting. I can’t wait to see this book when it comes out!

Awesome Baby Books for My ‘Niece’ Miss V:
Zoom by Simms Taback – Any book with a title like ‘Zoom’ just has to be awesome, and it’s not just boys that enjoy car books!
Look by Dwell Studio – Black and white, hippos and whales oh my!
Peek-a-Boo Who? by Simms Taback – What little baby doesn’t like peek-a-boo!
Touch and Feel Farm by Dwell Studio – As an adult even, I love touch and feel books, they’re the best!
Button Nose by Nina Laden – The alligator has a zipper for a mouth!
Emily’s Balloon by Komoko Sakai – Beautiful beautiful illustrations.
Walk the Dog by Bob Barner – There is nothing Miss V likes more than dogs, this is a must have!
Who is Sleeping? Who is Awake? by SAMi – The fox on the cover is adorable, and you gotta live lift-the-flap books!
Count by Dwell Studio – The birds in a tree? Adorable.
Eat by Dwell Studio – Omm nomnom, food!
Go by Dwell Studio – Loving the red, yellow, and green cover!
Good Morning Toucan by Dwell Studo – Baby birdies great their mother!
Goodnight, Owl by Dwell Studio – Well if you are going to have morning, you better have nighttime!
Puppy in Circles by Dwell Studio – Looks a lot like my dog who Miss V loves!
What Colors? by Dwell Studio – A baby can never have enough color books!
Touch and Feel Zoo by Dwell Studio – Like I said before, touch and feel books are AWESOME.
Touch and Feel Town by Dwell Studio – well ditto
Lullaby Baby – for when mom and dad are feeling lazy or need to add to their repertoire!
Little Books Boxed Set by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – Includes one about a little pea, how much cuter can it get?!?

For Miss V’s Mommy:
Flour by Joanne Chang – One look at that cover, and I can’t stop drooling. Miss V’s Mommy is a former pastry chief so many if I give her this book she will make me things out of it? 😉
Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt – I want to say that I recall hearing that Miss V’s Mommy used to work here so she might be familiar with some of these recipes – maybe that would mean faster food for me!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | November 23, 2010

Games with My Cats

There’s this certain cabinet in my bathroom. It looks like this:


My cats, specifically the all-evil Sprout,

it's chewy!

are of the opinion that the cabinet needs to be open at all times:


Every time I got into the bathroom I close it, and every time I come back it’s open. muhahaha!

This morning as I got in the shower, Sprout opened it and walked inside, and I decided to close the door on her.

I knew full-well that she could pop it open and escape easily, but I also felt evilly powerful.

When I got out of the shower, Kitten!!!


was messing with the door, but when I opened it, Sprout was gone.

Flash forward ten minutes. I’m fixing my hair and hear scrapping coming from the cabinet area. I reopen the cabinet, still no cat. I call Sprout’s name and hear a distant meow in reply.

That bastard cat has become a magician and taught herself the disappearing from a box trick!

It turns out she’d squeezed behind the back panel into the abyss of nothingness. Luckily she managed to fit her fat ass back out a few minutes later.

The evil cats win again!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | November 10, 2010

Why I’ve become a flake when it comes to derby practice….

I entirely can’t stand flaky people, but really from the outside, that seems to be what I’ve become when it comes to derby practice anymore these days. Yes, I may be full of excuses, but I think I have some decent ones, and feel compelled to share, and then hopefully you’ll understand what’s going on with me and won’t place me in that much-loathed flaky people category…..

Anyway, here are the top 6 reasons you haven’t seen me at practice much anymore…..

1) The commute. It takes me about an hour to get to our practice warehouse in the winter, and about an hour and a half in the summer. On the bright side, the drive home is usually only fifty minutes (ha!), but the reality is that it sucks and eats up a ton of gas money.

2) The timing. I get off work at 5pm a lot of days, but 6 or 6:15pm one or two days a week, and 8:15pm every Monday. Practice starts at 7pm, as in I’m supposed to be geared up and ready to go at 7pm. That gives me approximately 45minutes up to 2 hours to get home from work, eat something, feed my pets, let the dog out, change, fill my water bottles and grab all my gear, drive up to practice, and get my gear on (obviously some days that’s impossible). Practices are usually 2 to 2.5 hours, then I have to take my gear off and drive back home. I usually don’t get back until 10:30ish and then I’m exhausted, hungry, and still sweaty. Basically if I decide to go to practice, it’s a 5 hour commitment on top of throwing everything else in my day off. Practice days fluctuate, and my work schedule fluctuates based on need, and in a perfect world, my work would have me stay til at least 6 every day. Practice used to be later at night, and really 8pm+ would make a huge difference for me, but you gotta do what everybody else wants….

3) Motivation. For the longest time after starting derby I had perfect attendance. Granted, there were fewer practices a week and they started later at night, but I wanted to improve and I was freshly in love with the sport. Things started to go downhill over a year ago when I seriously messed up my knee and both shoulders. It meant a lot of pain, and it they took forever to heal. I started to miss practices in hopes that the rest would help. Finally everything healed (we’re talking months and months later) and between that and the off season I got really out of shape, and practices became more about struggling to keep up rather than getting better. However at the beginning of this last season, I made the Harbor Hellcats, our B team, and committed to attending practice and getting better. Things were going pretty decent in my mind, I had my struggles, ack turn-stops!, and while I wasn’t a star on the endurance front I could keep up fine unless we were doing really intense drills or racing. The first bout of the season rolled around, and I thought as one of the few players on the team who had actual bouting experience, I’d be on the rooster. It wasn’t just me, other people thought so too. But when the rooster was announced, I wasn’t on it. I tried to get an explanation or at least a list of things I needed to work on, but the coach refused to discuss it until after the upcoming bout, just under a month away. As the weeks passed I felt less and less part of the team. It was like I was invisible during practice – I never heard that I was doing something bad or something good. Finally I got some feedback from my coach, and a few things were cleared up. I knew what I needed to work on, and stuck with it. The next couple rooster were announced, and I wasn’t on any of them. At this point I wasn’t completely invisible at practice, in fact I got to hear about all the things I was doing wrong. Apparently I never did anything that deserved commendation, and nobody really cared if I ever succeeded or not. Why in the world was I devoting so much time and energy to derby if I was getting little to nothing in return?

4) Immune system fail. Then in the early spring I started to get sick. Cold after cold. The misery was never-ending and I couldn’t practice. I started to think maybe exhaustion was the partial cause of it, so I went to even fewer practices and finally took a month+ off completely. I stopped getting sick so much when summer rolled around, but things had gone pretty downhill by then. Now it’s autumn again, and I’ve already been repeatedly sick. I tried seeing my doctor for advice and was just told to eat more fruits and vegi’s. Been there, done that, I think I’m just screwed.

5) Depression. I struggle with this on a daily basis, and have for years and years. It’s made a huge impact on life, and while it’s gotten easier as I’ve gotten older to cope with things, I still have plenty of days were I really just can’t convince myself to do anything, and even the simplest things are an ordeal for me to deal with. Plus in the winter when it’s cold and dark, I just really start shutting down.

6) Life outside of derby. When I realized I wasn’t succeeding in derby I knew I needed to spend less time on it. I needed a variety of things that felt rewarding and meaningful, so now if there is an awesome sewing class or I make plans with friends, I skip derby. Or even if between work and everything else my week seems crazy, it’s more important to me to take a night off rather than try to force myself to go to practice.

On the flip-side though I could come up with a much longer list of reasons why derby is awesome, and that’s why I still stick with it, abeit on a lesser scale. (And yes, I do realize there is a league in Monterey now, but I don’t have any interest in transferring at this time.)

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | August 8, 2010

Current Wishlist….

My birthday is coming up, and people keep asking me what I want! So here’s a list I threw together:

*Sewing Class
*New Skates, Sz 6 please!
*Vintage Slides, to make one of these!
*iphone Alarm Clock
*Doggie DNA Test
*Pound ‘o Felt
*Vintage Book Shirts, Sz Men’s M please!
*Snaps/Snap Pliers
*This Helmet or this Helmet (in green) Sz L please!
*Apple Magic Trackpad
*Mini Gas Grill
*Hand Mixer
*Pinking Shears
*Camera Lens
*Inside or Outside Plants
*Vintage/Antique Cameras
*Tickets to Shakespeare Santa Cruz
*Visit to Raging Waters
*Visit to the California Academy of Sciences
*Visit to the Legion of Honor Museum
*Visit to the SFMOMA and Cartoon Art Museum
*Trips anywhere, especially Denver, Madison, or Evansville

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 24, 2010

Squishy, Sticky, Sugar Wheels

Note to self: even though people online make it SOUND like you can use all 8 Sugar Wheels, on warehouse concrete floor you do NOT want to use all 8.  Or even all 4.  Unless you’re a bad-ass with super strong legs.  I made the mistake of starting practice with all 8.  A couple laps later I was back on the bench swapping wheels out.  THANK GOODNESS I brought my G-Rods in with me.  I decided to do 2 on each foot.  That was a little better, but they were still making me work way too hard.  When you already have a reputation for crappy endurance, you don’t want to make yourself look even worse due to bad wheel choice.  Again it was back to the bench with me, and I narrowed it down even more to 1 on each foot.  One each didn’t make too noticeable difference on my speed, but did save me on the slipping and sliding some, but not enough, so I may have to bite the bullet and add another sugar wheel.  We shall see.


My team plays May 22nd in San Diego.  They already announced the roster, and I wasn’t initially on it, but there maybe might be some changes.  I’m still waiting to hear.  Too bad the roster isn’t based on the number of people you knock down at practice, because then I’d definitely be on it.  Or plow stops!  We were doing this drill at practice the other night where you sprinted, and when you reached one cone you started plowing, and you had to stop before the next cone.  THAT I could do well.  Hrm, maybe I should make a little commercial of myself kicking ass, including footage of me knocking two girls over at once like dominoes….

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 23, 2010

Zip Zip!

I recently took another sewing class at the Crafter’s Studio in Santa Cruz.  It was all about doing zippers, which are hard damnit!  By the end of the class I’d completed two very cute little bag/pouches.  I have yet to attempt a zipper at home yet, but at least now I have an idea as to how to make it work, and they sent me home with some handy dandy instructions.  Unfortunately I’m so busy these days that I never get to sew, but one of these days I swear I’ll have some new in-house creations.

I love the fabric on this one:
bag from zipper class

And I’m amazed at how hidden my “hidden” zipper actually looks in this one!:
bag from zipper class

I’m not really that patient about following step by step instructions.  I kept getting a smidge ahead in class, and instead of waiting for the next step, I’d guess and jump ahead.  Luckily I more or less had the right idea, but the teacher kept telling me exasperatedly that if I had only asked her, I could have avoided making silly minor mistakes.  Pfffffffft.  She’s a perfectionist, I’m not.  It all works out!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 14, 2010


Derby continues to be a struggle lately. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another, and why can’t everything just come together?!?!sugar

My team played last Saturday – our first bout of the season – and they kicked major ass – without me. Which is awesome, and yet obviously disappointing on my end, cause it wasn’t like I was out hurt or anything. It was because I didn’t make the cut. And there’s nothing like watching the bout from the stands, and then afterward walking out on the track to congratulate your teammates and getting bounced by security!

But hey, that was then, and this is now. Time to move forward.

If only I could SKATE on the damn practice floor!!!!!!

My league moved into a warehouse last month, and it’s awesome. I had no issues at all with the concrete floor when we first moved. Slowly it started to feel more slick. I attributed it to dust and the fact the wheels, D-rods, I was using were going bald. However then I switched to my nearly new G-rods, and it was barely any better. If I cross over on the turns, I slide out. This is not good AT ALL. I know other people are having some trouble, but it seems like I’m finding myself on the ground way more than anybody else.

Can we pause for a second and consider physics for a moment? I have a theory, which might be complete bullshit, but is there any chance that my weight might be playing into this somehow? I’m the heaviest girl in the league, and most people are significantly smaller than me. I go around the turn on my G-rods and slide out. Girl B who weighs much less than me goes around the turn on her G-rods without a problem. Does the extra pressure and force make it more likely for me to slide out? Does anybody know?  What else could it be? Bad form? Weak legs? Someone cursed me?!?

I currently have some sugar hybrid wheels on order. A number of my league-mates are using these as pushers and like them. I’m thinking that maybe I just want to put all eight of them on my skates. I think as a blocker it’s way more important for me to have stability rather than sprinting speed. Anybody have thoughts on this either?


Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 7, 2010

Creature Feature

Someone hacked up the Creature from the Black Lagoon and left pieces in my back yard.  I’m not kidding.  Believe me, you do not want to see the photographic evidence.


Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 6, 2010

Frou Frou

Today I wore this dress:

Screen shot 2010-04-06 at 9.35.10 PM

With jeans.

That’s just how a roll folks.

I spotted the dress a couple weeks ago at Target on their Liberty of London rack and immediately fell in love with the pattern on the fabric. I just KNEW I could dress it down enough to make it part of my wardrobe. The jeans + a lime green cardigan and we were good to go.

When I was looking up the picture just now I perused the other Liberty of London items and saw the bedding I must have missed at the store. Would someone please please please buy me this quilt?

Screen shot 2010-04-06 at 9.45.23 PM

I neeeeeeeed it! If you could see the current quilt on my bed, you’d know why.  Alas, I just can’t justify spending that amount of money on something my animals are probably just going to gnaw on, and will quickly start disintegrating in the washer due to its need for regular de-furrings.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | April 4, 2010

Socks ‘n Shoes

Spring is here, and I need need need some new sandals before the warm weather completely sets in.  I haven’t managed to find the perfect pair yet, but while I was hunting around today I came across these Campers I utterly love.

Screen shot 2010-04-04 at 9.07.26 PM

Mustard.  ❤

If that’s not enough to lust over, my favorite sock website just got a redesign making it 10x easier to run across the most adorable socks, stockings and the like.  So tempting.  Plus they always have free shipping for any US orders.  Since starting derby, I’ve become a knee-sock-oholic.  Stripes please.  And yes, they do go with everything.  I swear ; )

Screen shot 2010-04-04 at 9.08.44

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