A Week of Experimenting

June is a pretty busy birthday month around here. The first two weekends see two birthday parties, and as such I need to make some presents. Of course, I’m making some new things and have to make some test runs of techniques.

Like last night, when I made Oreo cookie pops from this Nerdy Nummies video. I started with the Baymax ones, then it wasn’t much of a jump to the Pok´mon and Pikachu designs.

Pikachu is basically the Baymax base without the M&Ms. I love how easy these are; so much easier than cake pops. A word of advice, though: You have to use at least the double stuffed cookies, and popsicle sticks work much better than lollipop sticks.

How Not To Be A Jerk While Filming

Listen, I get it. Your movie is going to be the greatest story ever told. Sure, it’s the same old trope of star-crossed lovers, or missed opportunities, or whatever you happen to have fallen asleep watching on TCM the night before you got your “brilliant idea,” but your’s os told in a completely new way. It just HAS to get made, whether you can pull together the budget to shoot it properly or not.

I also understand that filming on the big lots is really expensive, so if you want to be able to pay the catering bill you have to film somewhere else. Your cousin (or grandparents, or distant relative’s friend) has a great house in a great location that they are willing to rent to you for dirt cheap, so you are all set to roll. You pull the permits with the city and then put out tiny notices on the neighbors fences that you are going to invade their space in three days.

Here’s where it becomes annoying. You put out your little cones announcing to everyone that they now have to park down the street. You harass the UPS driver- who frequents the cul-de-sac so often he knows the names of all the dogs- with, “We’re filming here, you can’t go through right now.” You decide to film outside in the morning and tell the neighboring kids that they can’t play in their own yard because we need to, “Keep the noise level down.” (And you have the audacity to come up to those who are already sick of your crap and ask to piggyback off their Wifi connection because the house you are filming in doesn’t have one.) You take up every available parking space in the street from before 7 to after 10 every day, making those of us who actually live here and are trying to get things done have to park around the corner.

These are the behaviors you want to avoid, unless you particularly desire the hatred of those surrounding your filming location. If you want to film in a noiseless environment without paying for a space on a lot, go film in the country. If you really want to film in a suburban neighborhood, pay the neighbors, too. It doesn’t even have to be half as much as the place you are renting, just something to say, “Pardon the inconvenience.” Heck, when my friend turned 30, she gave all the neighbors a bottle of wine and said, “We are having my birthday party on this date. Please don’t call the cops with a noise complaint.” Just something to acknowledge you are being a pain in the ass, but also that you know you are and you feel bad about it. Even having someone personally come up and talk to the neighbors beforehand would be better than walking up every time you had yet another request. I would be more likely to encourage the kids into the backyard if I was asked nicely instead of flat out told, “Um, we are filming over here. Keep the noise down.” Especially after you have pissed the whole neighborhood off for the past week.

In conclusion (or, in Internet lingo, tl;dr): To avoid being a humongous jerk while you are filming your “masterpiece”, be kind to the neighbors. Otherwise, they will end up laughing maniacally thinking, “Serves you right,” every time a giant airplane or helicopter flies overhead and inevitably messes up your take. What, you didn’t know you were filming in a flight zone?

The Conclusion of the Bob’s Burgers Cross Stitch Saga

I wrote this last night. I sincerely tried to get it posted, but the Internet was hiding from the computers in our house between 4 and after 10:30 last night. So here it is, only a day late. As seems to be the case with everything associated with this project.

It feels like this project is haunting me. Currently typing this without Internet, almost like the ghost of projects past cut the Internet cable. Or, more likely, someone skidded on the slightly damp California road after this afternoon’s drizzle and smashed the transformer. Yeah, probably the latter.

Anyway, the Bob’s Burgers project. This is the first cross-stitch project I’ve ever “charted” on my own. Basically I just laid a grid over it and marked each box off as I went to keep track of where I was in the process. And I really need to keep track of where I was. I started the stitching on March 23 and finally finished on May 10. That means I spent over a month and a half on this project, but I was only a week late in mailing it.

It turned out pretty nicely, I think. Sure, a bit of the line work is wonky, but you have to remember that by the time I got around to that part I had drawn lines through most of the chart, so it was partially guessing. And for that I think it came out great. Also, considering it is probably just going to get tossed by the recipient to reuse the frame, I probably put way too much effort into it. But, as I told my mom, who cares if he likes it, I mainly made it for the Internet.

You can check out my Tumblr tag for the project for more in-progress photos.

I Wanted

To be able to show you the finished Bob’s Burgers cross-stitch piece. Because it is actually finished this time. Unfortunately, I did not let my auto-backup run long enough last night and I do not have the finished picture.This is the most recent picture, from last Saturday:

I finished this Sunday, so there is about a week of progress missing. Plus a few days in between as I found out a minute ago as I was updating my Tumblr queue. Hopefully all of those things show back up when I run the backup again this afternoon. I swear I will post it on Thursday and move on. Because, trust me, I am more than ready to move on to the next thing. Even though I don’t quite know what that will be, yet.

I Think I Forgot How To Count

They always joked it would happen when I was taking things like trigonometry and calculus in high school. I was going to get so used to working limits and imaginary numbers that I was going to have to write long, complicated equations across the walls of the school when someone asked me “2+2″. I don’t do any of that higher math now, but somehow I still cannot count correctly.

Or maybe I can. I’m not sure. Because working on this particular piece, I am way off in some places and then miraculously get back on track within the next row. I have no clue what I am doing, but it is apparently evening out. I am also so ready to be done with this piece. Which is good, since I need to get it in the mail… oh, yesterday. Too bad I’m not actually anywhere close to being done. (Though I am much closer than I was in that picture.)

Gone to Timbuktu

I wish there was something to show you

Something I accomplished today

But I feel like I’ve gone a few million miles

And there’s nothing really to see

So I’ll lay here in my bed now

And drift right off to sleep

Because I’ve traveled from here to Timbuktu

Without even leaving the city