Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

There's This Show, See...

It all started during The Big Move of MIL up from the Burbs of NJ last month.

On the hottest day of summer I had enough of schlepping dreck to the dumpster so I collapsed on the floor of the one room with both air conditioning and cable where Eldest Duckling had set up camp on the air mattress. Te TV was blaring but I didn't pay any attention till I'd recovered somewhat.

After the sweat had stopped running freely I realized the people on the screen were making things. Thought it was some public-television or home-improvement-network show and started watching. Realized the people were sewing things.

Strangely enough, the people (and there were a bunch of them) seemed to be sewing Barbie clothes. But not for the Real Human Being Sizes. Okay, fine, in Fashion Model Sizes, but you get the idea. The people doing the sewing were stitching up a Barbie-doll outfit for a walking, talking human being. THAT was I watched a while more.

What's Christie BRINKLEY doing here and how can she look so good when I know she's at least ten years older than I am? And why is she acting like she owns those people? Oh wait...that can't be Christie Brinkley; this woman has a German accent. Oh I get it...this is some sort of CONTEST. No wonder she's being such a five-star bitch. But whatintheHELL are they DOING?

I kept watching. Figured out it was another Reality-TV show and that the contest was actually a "challenge" designed to make someone be "out." Just like that stupid Joe Millionaire fellow a few years ago...but instead of female beauty, it was sewing. Okay, fashion design--same thing (don't argue.)

A sewing reality show? Now THAT I could appreciate. Why? Because my mother made sure sewing was in my blood before I even started school and I've been trying to dialyze it away ever since. She was (still is) an amazing seamstress; she taught Singer sewing classes for several years after the divorce. Taught me too--I sewed the side-seams of a simple A-line dress for myself the summer before I started first grade and she recently sent me the "Holly Hobby" long calico dress with leg-o-mutton sleeves I made the summer I was nine. Yes, nine--I'm no slouch behind a needle myself.

Which establishes the conflict. Being a nonstandard size on a substandard budget, I ended up making damned near all my clothes for more years than I care to count. The conflict arose when my process-oriented mother (who French-seams my kids' nightgowns) took umbrage with my very results-oriented construction methods. One of her constant refrains was that nothing I made would EVER last through the first wash*, especially anything where I turned the hems with Fray-Check (fabric glue) or gawdforbid didn't backstitch my seam ends or tie off the loose threads before cutting them. She also had strong opinions about fabric, style and cut which differed substantially from my own. Yes "differed substantially" is glossing over a lot of territory. Don't make me go there; I'll hurt you.

So although I got really good at it, I also got a lot of Sewing Issues. After making a boned lace-over-taffeta strapless black formal for a dance when I was twenty-one, I stopped sewing. Completely. Even when I knew I could produce a better product that the one for which I was offering up my charge card.

Therefore getting to watch Somebody ELSE be on the sewing chopping blo--I mean cutting board--was the best entertainment I'd seen in ages. Not only that but I could critique with confidence since it was a field I knew. What's not to love? Schadenfreude even matched the language of the hostess! Only thing left was to find out more about the show from Eldest Duckling.

Most of you on this continent have already deduced that I'm talking about Project Runway.

Anyone who follows the show has also deduced that I'm talking about a PREVIOUS season too, as I learned from my daughter that day.

After the Big Move, I went back to my usual news-junkie ways and forgot about "that really cool sewing reality show" till just last week. That was when Eldest Duckling pointed out that there was a new season with all-new players...and offered me to watch with her.

Can we say mother-daughter bonding? Can we say fabulous knitting time? Can we say TiVo-ed all the old episodes to get caught up? Sure...and we can also say "DVDs of Seasons 1 and 2** en route even as I type. Feel totally free to email if you're afflicted with the same disease; we'll dish.

* It always did. Always.

**(Don't tell my mother but I got extra copies for her birthday...she doesn't subscribe to cable and therefore has no more clue than I did. Won't SHE be surprised!)


Anonymous May said...

Had trouble living down the time I put a hem in with masking tape; the mail order fabric came a couple of days before and I was working. [this from a clothing construction teacher]

August 23, 2006 1:09 AM  

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