This week has been kind of a bitch. It'll just get right into it.
Last week, I found out I needed a special type of needle to sew lycra. I'm glad I was lazy on starting, because if I had started sewing before learning this, I would have been tearing my suit up with my sharp needles.
From what I found out, I need a ballpoint needle for lycra. Sharp needles just ruin it. I was thunderstruck. I'd never heard of this type of needle before in my life. I thought they only made them sharp.
I immediately scoured the internet. They were either too expensive with shipping, or only sold as an add-on item. (Means you can't buy them alone, you have to buy them along with something else, or 4 other add-on items.) I'd have to go find them, because I wasn't going to spend $7 extra on shipping for a set of needles, and I sure as hell couldn't afford to buy something else to add them on.
I hopped on Google Earth and tried every keyword I could think of. Fabric store, quilting store, sewing store, knitting store...
There was no way around it, I'd have to go a long-ass way to get them.
I chose a destination. It was the same distance as Joann's from my long-ass fabric run when I was trying to get down to Ross Disappointment Store. (How the hell does a clothing store not sell black sweatshirts and sweatpants in the fall?) But it was easier to get to since I didn't have to cross a highway along the way, and it was way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. That kind of obscure, out-of-the-way fabric store has to have all kinds of things I've never heard of. And with the store so out of the way , they'd have to be in stock because there's no way they get many customers after the same things I need. Perfect!
I left my house at 12:12PM. The trip was grueling. It was 83-ish degrees out and there was nowhere near the amount of shade I thought there'd be along the way. It was all barren out there. All of it's mostly croperty. (A word I made up to pass the time, describing a crop-property.)
It took a long time to get there, and I was sweating my ass off. So I stood in the shade outside the store for a few minutes. My deodorant I'd applied before leaving was still kicking, so I couldn't have smelled too bad.
You know that sinking feeling when something you struggled for turns out to be a massive disappointment? That's the first thing that came to me as I walked in. Half the store was reserved for a sewing class room that aimed to teach sewing, and 1/4th the remaining store was closed off by displays. The actual store was smaller than my living room. And my livingroom is small.
And to make matters worse, the only person there didn't even run the store. She was just a friend while the owner was on vacation, and didn't know a damn thing about anything in the store.
I found a set of ballpoint needles, but they only had one in stock. I grabbed them, paid for em, and walked out the store.
You know that feeling when you're walking along and realize you made a huge mistake, and almost swear out loud? As I was looking over these needles, I realized they're the third largest size available, and I needed something 4 sizes smaller.
Fortunately, they only cost me tree-fiddy. No, I'm serious, they literally were $3.50.
I had a lot of time to plan where I'd go next as I made the disappointing trip back, scowling at all the lower-middle-class country-side homes, and judging each one of them for how rundown their fences were, and how shabby and uninteresting their giant yards were.
I made it back to civilization and immediately headed for the next nearest store. It was a ways off, but I could still get there, even though I was exhausted and aching all over.
They were closed. I arrived at 5:05PM, they had closed up at 5PM sharp. A guy, looked like the manager, noticed me walk up and check the schedule and then my phone for the time, and he came out to ask what I needed. I thought he was going be a total bro and let me just grab what I came for and go. Nope, he came to say he wasn't open and mocked me by assuring the item I wanted was in stock, and refused to let me just allow him to just take my cash and keep the change.
He invited me back tomorrow saying they'd be open, and then went back inside. Hell no. I'm not coming back to that store ever again. I'd sooner peacefully drive the truck of peace through their store front, screaming "Who the fuck closes at 5PM on a weekday!? You're not a goddamn bank!" than ever go there, now.
Yeah, I was pissed. Fortunately they were right across the way from a Fred Meyer, which is pretty much just like Walmart, K-mart, Target, etc. So I hurried over there, knowing they wouldn't let me down.
50% of the interior of the store was blocked off by plastic curtains. They were still permitting customers to enter, but they had literal construction workers, hard hats and all, building shelves in the middle of the store.
I wandered for a few minutes, discovering I was in a hell of a bad way. I was nowhere near home, and I was already losing the ability to remain on my feet, I felt very near blacking out, I was thirsty as shit because their drinking fountain had filled my stomach, but not quenched my thirst, and I was hungry. I'd eaten before I'd left, but wasn't expecting to be out so long. So I didn't have food or water.
I rested at the store, meandered a bit, but couldn't find their fabric department. (A lot of their stuff had been moved around to keep their store running during the renovation. A clever idea, but made it a bitch to find anything). Eventually I gave in and asked an employee. She laughed about it and said it was fine. The renovation actually made it hard on the employees as well. Nothing was where it usually was, and even they were having trouble helping customers.
She found me the isle. It had been reduced to an abysmal 2x2 hanging shelf space to make room for their other craft sections, and they were hurting on shipments because they had no room in their store. They didn't have what I needed.
The lady was cool though. She used Siri on her phone to help me find other fabric stores in the area.
Each and every last one of them were closed. Save for Joann's... 20 miles away. I looked down at my sunburnt arms, and compared how much it hurt to stand with how far away it was. No way in hell I could make that. I was even doubting I could make it the 6 miles home.
I couldn't believe how shit my luck had been. I bought a pre-made lunch at the deli and a refrigerated drink and headed to the last store I could think of, while blocking out how much pain I was in. It was only two parking lots and a street away.
Imagine my surprise, after all these years of complete and total disappointment, Walmart, out of all stores, pulls through. Swallowing my hatred of the store and momentarily setting aside my vow to never shop there again, I went in, fully expecting to be disappointed yet again. But not only did they have the needles I needed and in the size I needed, they also had the brand they were talking about in the video I was watching for tips on how to sew with stretch fabric without a serger.
I grabbed them, checked out, and ate on the way back home.
I know some of you might be wondering how I made it back. Well, I took a souple 10 minute breaks in places I found where I could sit along the way. Like between the cunt store that closed and Fred Meyer. There was a little pavilion with benches. And on the way back to my place, there was a car wash, where I was able to sit by a vacuum pump and rest.
Soon as I got back, I sat down and calculated the distance I'd traveled. 63-ish miles, not including wandering around the stores. almost twice the length of my first super long trip.
What was more amazing than the distance I'd traveled was that my deodorant had managed to survive 7 hours of me walking in direct sunlight, in a shirt that is 100% polyester, and still worked at completely masking my sweating-pit stink.
I took a shower, medicated my sunburn, and started to rest. The shower wasn't easy, by the way. It still ached to stand, and my forearms had sunburns so the water stung like fuck against my skin. (I wore a hat which protected my face, my hair shielded my ears, I had a shirt shielding most of my torso, I popped the collar on it to protect my neck, and sweatpants protected my thighs and lower legs. I only got burns from 4 inches below my elbow, down to my knuckles. Still peeling, too.)
Divided into parts, because this one is long.
As I rested from my nightmarish walk, the second big issue hit me. It had been well over a week since I placed my order for the supplies to turn my unitard into a mocap suit.
I went to the website and contacted support wondering if it was shipped to the wrong place, or still in transit, or maybe lost among some papers on someone's desk.
Took a while, and I had to answer some questions about my order, but finally, just today, they got back to me. Turns out that's pretty much exactly what happened. They discovered my shipment had never been processed. They took my money and my order just sat on someone's desk for just a day short of 2 weeks. They were very apologetic and offered to overnight my package to me.
I'm not really mad. Just glad for this enormous delay, because if I had been finished with sewing my suit, despite ordering those materials in advance, I would have been waiting all this time with no idea that my stuff wasn't even on the way.
Anyway, after the support ticket was filed, I dug my new needles out of the fridge (they were in same bag as my leftovers, which I lazily tossed in the fridge when I got back) and immediately exchanged the needle. I was setting up to get started when I realized "You know, I have a sunburn all over my arms. First of all, I've got this gross gel medicine goop all over me, and second, it's not going to feel too good if these pins jab me while I'm working, or if I accidentally bump part of my sewing machine with my sunburnt hand while I work." So I decided I'd put it off until my burns stopped hurting so much.
That was 2 to 3 days ago. But after struggling to rotate my mattress without scraping my arms on it and hurting myself, I came to the hard realization that my mattress had finally had it. Within two days of rotating it, I was already starting to sink into a deep, hard pit. Damn near felt 3 inches deep and stiff as a wooden board. And to make matters worse, my $150 pillow sucks, and it's summer time, meaning it's started to get warm here. If you thought I was sleeping like hell before...
I sleep like crap in the summer even on good mattresses. I cannot sleep when it's warm. I need it to be cool or freezing in my room. The last few days it's been getting warmer here. Summer is starting to arrive.
My sleep was truly abysmal. I'd sleep for a while, wake up, try to find a spot that wasn't hard and uncomfortable, go back to sleep, and wake up again a little later and repeat. For the last few days I've had to increase my caffeine intake just to survive the day. Typically, half a cup of 30mg caffeinated energy drink in the morning to wake me up and half a cup of 30mg caffeinated energy drink in the afternoon to shave off the midday slump was doing me just fine.
But lately, as mentioned in a previous post, I've had to double my caffeine dosage to 60mg, but my system seems to handle caffeine really well, so it did nothing. I had to start drinking a full cup (about 8 ounces) in the morning, and another full cup in the afternoon.
During the portion of time my mattress was reaching the end of its usefulness, I had to start downing 3 full 8oz glasses of 60mg caffeinated energy drink just to make it the whole day.
And before you start worrying about me, according to my weight, the caffeine website I visited calculated that my safe limit is 6 servings at 60mg, or 6 full 8oz glasses in a day.
I was sore all over every single morning, and struggled to stay awake pretty much the entire day. It was horrible.
You may have noticed that I've been talking about my mattress in the past tense. So what did I do?
Well, a while back I asked my mom if she'd be willing to trade mattresses with me. I'd give her my horrid mattress, and she'd give me the old guest mattress I used while visiting her for the week of Christmas last year.
She agreed, the only issue was transport. Her vehicle had no roof-racks, and she had no friends with trucks willing to let her borrow one, and she couldn't afford to rent a moving van. So we sat on it for a month until I could afford to give her the money for the van to transport the mattresses.
Just yesterday (at the time of posting this) we made the exchange and we moved the old mattress in and the crap one out. I'm not sleeping so well just yet, because it's warm as I mentioned above, and I need to do something about my pillow, but last night was fairly good sleep compared to how I've been sleeping. And on top of that, it's an older mattress. Those last a lot longer than newer ones, plus, it's two-sided, so not only can I rotate it, I can also flip it. But it gets better. It's much lighter than my crap one, so it will be much easier for me to move around any time it comes time to flip or rotate.
My battle with shit sleep isn't quite over yet, but it's just improved massively.
In fact, I'm feeling well enough to start sewing today. Hopefully I'll have this thing done soon. As for the cameras, I've decided I'm not wasting money on the studio part of this until I have a suit with which to test the setup. Would be a massive waste of time and money if I bought the cameras and built the studio just to find out the cameras I bought aren't able to pick up my movements. And considering the software has to be cheap and also work with cameras, that will have to be something I research, too. So better to have the suit first.