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1. The sponsor on Hulu of many of the Bab5 episodes (and "Burn Notice" as well) is the US Army.  As I listened to the propaganda and once again became disgusted with how much of George Orwell's 1984 the current administration has taken as a playbook, I realized that I'm old enough to remember something different. My formative years were spent in a time of relative peace and at a time when the fruits of the Civil Rights Movement were beginning to come to ripeness.  I have something to compare all this to.  Kids born in 1980 don't.  How many of them just swallow it all hook, line and sinker?  Well, my brother B. was born in 1980 and I have to say that one thing that opened his eyes was serving in the Navy.  He's been sent to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once (or was it twice?).  He was apolitical before going and probably as easy to gull as most Americans today seem to be.  Not every service member who's been sent to Iraq automatically becomes a foe of this administration.  But my brother did, thank god.

2. I still like the costume work on Bab5.  The costumer for that show did a better job than any SF show costumer I've seen before or since in creating really interesting future fashion.  Yeah, a lot of it has to do with lapels or absence thereof. But it really succeeds in seeming fresh, not just a Time Bandits mish mosh of existing historical fashion.  Honestly, I'd duplicate some of the designs on that show and wear them as everyday wear if I had the pattern drafting talent needed.  Not all of it works.  The Earth uniforms prior to the alliance with the Minbari are very unflattering.  Not that it isn't realistic to have badly-designed uniforms.  I think I've seen at least a couple countries that have those...  In fact, I was looking at one particularly unflattering outfit worn by Catherine Sakai in "Mind War" and thought that it's really interesting and looks futuristic or heretofore unknown despite the fact that I thought it was ugly.  And, really, some people wear ugly things.  In every era there have been unflattering nasty fashions.  So even having something ugly in there is more realistic than having every single character, regardless of class/species/culture, wearing extremely flattering runway wear.  Anyway, props to <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0115835/">Ann Bruice</a>.

3. I wonder if it will ever stop being highly risky for an actor to take a regular role in an SF/Fantasy/Geek series?  While some of the acting on Bab5 was wooden, there were some very fine actors on that show.  Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in particular come to mind.  Yet when you look at IMDB, you see that many of these actors didn't go on to bigger and better things after Bab5.  Shit, how often have you seen James Marsters post-Buffy?  It always seems weird to me that I can see actors I think really have chops (aren't merely cast well) and then they disappear after the series ends, presumably because they were looked down upon for doing SF.  With the rise and re-rise of comic book movies, the reinvention of Battlestar Galactica and more, I hope the "George Reeves" syndrome stops.
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Several months ago I wrestled with designing something that would hide my figure flaws and accentuate what's worth accentuating. Unfortunately, I have no training in pattern drafting and a pretty bad mathematical mind. So while I could draw a good design, I couldn't transfer it to 2-D pieces that would assemble to what I needed in 3-D. And, unfortunately, I couldn't afford to hire a serious pro to do it for me. So the sketch and the initial attempts at making a pattern have just that much more clutter in my room.

As it dawned on me that I was not going to be able to avoid attending my brother's wedding no matter how torturous (and expensive) an event it will be for me to attend, I realized I was in real trouble as to what to wear. I'm fatter than my previous fat weight. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for 3 years between 2001 and 2004. Though I was loathe to sell/give away my "fat clothes", after 3 years I figured I'd finally vanquished this problem I'd developed in adulthood. So I gave away my custom fat cheongsam. I gave away my corset and got a smaller one. Then I gained it all back plus 15 more lbs. Figures.

I wear irregular Dickies I get on sale from Longs Drugs. I wear XXL and XXXL t-shirts. And that's my uniform. I don't like how I look in them, but I don't have the $ to buy anything tailored and I haven't had the strength to sew for a while.

I finally bought a fitted bra this week. I went bra shopping at Nordstrom last week and couldn't find a good sports bra that would fit me. Even when I'm "skinny", my chest cavity is 38" around...it's now like 41". But the biggest problem is the straps. They're never long enough and cut into my shoulders. So I ordered one online. Got it today and it fits reasonably well. But bras are expensive enough that I can only afford the one right now. I'll have to get along with shelf-bra camisoles as I have for months. The sports bra is to be able to exercise without adding stretch marks.

SO...dress to wear to the wedding. I thought about actually hiring someone for the pattern drafting but I would probably have had to spend my entire budget just on them and have had nothing left for fabric and notions. So...another plan. Empire waistline looks reasonably good on me, but my problem is that even though my breast cup size has grown with the weight gain, the size of my upper abdomen has grown even more. And it's embarrassing as hell. How to emphasize the breasts without drawing attention to the gut? I realized that the Korean hanbok might be a solution. The dress is voluminous and hangs from the breasts. Attention is drawn to the upper body by the chogori/jacket. My shoulders have been rolled for years so my shoulders are nothing to show off. No halter dresses, no spaghetti straps. Plus my upper arms are nothing to be proud of right now. So the jacket solves all that. I have to hope the weather in LA in late Sept. is cool enough for me to wear the jacket the entire time.

I went to Discount Fabrics first. The bright striped dupionis I remember seeing before are totally gone. I hate fashion. You can escape it somewhat by learning to sew, but the available sewing patterns, available colors and available fabrics are still enslaved to fucking fashion. So I held off 'til I could see what's at other stores but I called around to Piedmont Fabrics and Stonemountain & Daughter and they said they didn't have any. I thought about sewing some silk ribbons together to get the stripes I wanted, but it was just more work and I would have to order the ribbons online without being able to feel the weight and quality of them or seeing their real colors. So I walked to Discount Fashions and put together what I could put together. Even that took a while because not all the 2-way dupioni was available in the colors I wanted. I contacted Folkwear and got them to break down the yardage separately for the chogori and the chima/dress, which they don't do on the package.  However, I still had to guess on yardage because I'm going to have to construct stripes in the sleeve fabric  (stripes aren't a fat girl's friend, but they'll work in the sleeves and I saw sleeve stripes being used a lot in various traditional hanbok I saw online).

$106.44 and I haven't even started sewing yet.  I consoled myself with the thought "At least it will be what I want instead of settling for whatever's off the rack that fits me", but I had to remind myself it couldn't truly be what I wanted because I was limited by what fabric is in style right now.  I wish I were physically able to weave my own fabric.  I really chafe to transcend the constrains of what's "fashionable".


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September 2014

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