eShakti just sent me a survey, which I dutifully filled out in the hopes of getting better options.

However, in a list of13 garments to give feedback on, there were on 3 tops (2 of which were the exact same cowl top in different colors) and 1 pair of trousers -- everything else was dresses.

Considering out of everything I've bought from eShatki over several years, I've bought 1 dress, 1 skirt, and 2 trousers, with everything else being a top - mostly shirts with a smattering of jackets (and if you know me IRL, you know I love jackets).

You'd think they'd be asking me about their shirts and jackets, not dresses. I don't buy dresses.

Basically I suggested the following:

  • More princess seaming

  • Use darker skinned models for some of the items, especially with colors that would look good on them

  • Trousers must have pockets! No pockets, no sale!

  • Trousers should have a length option appropriate for people wearing flats.

  • More blazers

  • The boatneck is not a great neckline

  • Offer the square neckline option more often

  • Less waist seams on tops

  • Given actual fiber percentages for poly/cotton blends

  • How about you actually make a line of pantsuits?

That said, eShakti is still one of the few places doing mass customization of women's clothes at a price point many people can afford, and I've been quite happy with almost everything I've bought from them.
I went with [personal profile] greenygal, [profile] ipleasance and A to see Muppet Treasure Island and The Manchurian Candidate (1962) today.

Muppets Treasure Island was a delight -- from Billy Conolly as Billy Bones, through Kermit as Capt. Smollet and Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn, to Tim Curry's star turn as Long John Silver. Also, just imagine how difficult it must be to do the fight choreography for a sword-fight with Muppets! Also, Gonzo's occasionally Star Trek jokes! The opening song! The Hans Zimmer score!

The Manchurian Candidate was also quite enjoyable, and I need to see more of Angela Lansbury playing villains -- this and The Court Jester are the only two times I can recall seeing her really get to be evil, and she's so good at it. Also, all of us were suspicious of Janet Leigh's character Eugenie Rose Chaney, mainly because her sudden attachment to Frank Sinatra's Maj. Bennett Marco came out of nowhere and was inexplicably fast and dedicated -- we suspected she was another agent, actually, though apparently not.

Laurence Harvey's Raymond Shaw was very pretty, very charismatic, and quite often a jerk. Also, his accent slipped noticeably during some scenes, which threw me off. Otoh, I definitely sympathized with the character and found Harvey's performance excellent.

The most conspicuous problems I had with the film is the use of non-Asian actors to play Asian characters -- Henry Silva was very obviously not Korean, for example -- and the black & white film stock flattening out the black characters, which is a known problem in a lot of movie history.

I'm really glad the movies were shown in that order, because I don't think it would have worked nearly as well to see The Manuchurain Candidate first.
Asparagus, sandwich steak, medium and extra large eggs, pink lady apples, pint of cream, pint of chocolate milk, half gallon of whole creamline milk, spanopita, tiropita, flaouna, pita, melomakrona, batard of sourdough bread, cheddar cheese biscuit, garlic cheese curds, chive quark, seedling plants -- jalapeno, bell pepper, dill, basil, oregano -- and cider masala pickled beets from Number One Sons.

Ran into [personal profile] ellen_fremedon at the market, and went with her on the rest of her errands to the grocery and hardware store. On the way home, the left wheel came off my cart twice, but we were able to jam it back on and make it to her apartment, where she had tools and we were able to hammer the bits back together. It seems solid, at least for now. On the other hand, it was originally hers, so if it becomes unrepairable, I'll owe her a grocery cart.
My town just had a hailstorm, with hailstones the size of glass marbles -- between 1 and 2 cm in diameter.

That's pretty weird -- we don't get hail as a rule. I hope we're not in for a summer of weird weather...
Went to see 1984 with a local meet-up group. It's a bit weird to watch a movie like that with people who aren't particularly interested in dystopian literature and don't have much of a frame of reference for it.

No one else in the group knew V for Vendetta, The League of Extra-Ordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, or even Brazil, which at least is a movie, and all of which are in dialogue with or commenting on 1984 (at least the book version).
Planted the sunflowers, bell peppers, thyme, lavender, and rosemary today.

Repotted a mini-rose I picked up at the grocery that needed rescuing. It may not survive, but it's still better off than it was. Potted the Atilla strawberry seedlings -- they're still teensy, and might not make the transition.

Thinking about planting melons, beans, and more corn when I get back from my trip. It might be hot enough by then.
Chicken empanada, chicken tamale, tamale de elote, pint of chocolate milk, three tins of spice blend from Max's Degrees, cheese from Kenswick creamery (including a pound of quark, so cheesecake for Easter!), seedling plants -- lavender, rosemary, lemon thyme, mammoth sunflowers, bell peppers -- loose sweet italian sausage, kimchi, sourdough batard, and eggs.
This recipe for intense waffle brownies also works, though I did have to unplug the waffle iron and flip it over to get them out.

But it's a great recipe for a quick desert, and I'll keep it in my pocket in case I need to make something for a potluck on short notice.
So this recipe for making quesadillas using your waffle iron works. It's pretty important to get tortillas that are just the size of your waffle iron -- I used La Banderita tortillas, 'soft taco' size, which are only a little bigger than my iron and therefore are conveniently sealed closed by the edge of the waffle shape.

But it's pretty useful method -- less than ten minutes, and that includes the time to grate the cheese -- and you have hot, tasty food for the days when you're low on spoons.
Did my taxes today... now I just need to decide whether trying to send them in electronically is worth the stress of trying to get a government website to work versus the speed of them being processed. My state wants you to use Internet Explorer to file electronically, which is

I think I'll sleep on it and figure it out in the morning. It's not like I can mail them any earlier, after all.
I went to see Blade Runner--The Final Cut yesterday with [personal profile] greenygal, [personal profile] pleasance, and A. It's a much better movie in this cut, though it does show its age in some of the interactions between Rachel and Decker, and in the zeerust -- flying cars, videophones, hard copy photos, but no mobile phones, PanAm and Atari in advertisements, and such. The production design was amazing -- not just the sets, but the costumes (Edward James Olmos' wears a future-clothes version of a zoot suit, Roy, Decker, and Sebastian all have extremely high rounded collars, even though their clothes are from wildly different social classes, etc.) and props (I particularly liked the umbrellas with lightstick shafts). Even though it's taking a lot of its inspiration from Noir, if you're familiar with the genres, you can see the enormous impact it had on cyberpunk.

Today I went to see 20000 Leagues Under the Sea with [personal profile] fabrisse. For a 50s children's movie by Disney, it's hilarious that Kirk Douglas has four shirtless scenes -- pity his character is kind of a jerk. The special effects were quite good, given the limitations of the time. The giant squid was particularly well done, given that it had to be an enormous puppet that had to function on a water set.
Lapsang Souchong Gravlax with curry waffles was a good combo. I might make it for Easter, if my folks are hosting brunch while I'm visiting.

Otoh, I definitely need to get my ulu sharpened, because it was almost impossible to get the skin off -- no wonder salmon is used for fish leather!
I picked up some Pacific salmon on sale the other day so I'm trying the recipe for Lapsang Souchong Gravlax from Eat Tea.

If I like it, I'll try making it for a party or the next stitch'n'bitch at [personal profile] wolfshark's house.
I went to see Spartacus with [personal profile] trixie and [personal profile] fabrisse this afternoon, as part of the AFI's Kirk Douglas Centennial film series.

The film has held up very well -- this was the 2015 digital re-mastering -- and is quite a good movie, and includes some wonderful set pieces, including the Roman army manuvers that make it clear just how teriffying it would have been to face a Legion in war. I did think they missed -- as most sword-&-sandals movies do -- just how devastating slinger auxiliaries would have been, but the problem there is finding extras who are expert enough with slings to really show it off.
Made verde posole using the recipe from the Rancho Gordo posole booklet -- I had to substitute dried peppers for fresh because the grocery didn't have any fresh poblanos in stock. It's good, but extremely hot, so I am planning to make white chili from Bean By Bean and use the posole to heat it up.

And since it's Pi Day, I made Warm Chocolate Tarts from Small Batch Baking, because I want pie, but not a lot of pie.
The peanut seeds have all sprouted -- which is really fast! And of course, I'm going to have keep them inside for the rest of the week at the very least as we may have a bad snowstorm on Monday evening into all-day Tuesday. It's a very late snowstorm for the climate, and we really haven't had a blizzard yet this year, which is very odd for this climate. We get smatterings of snow, and at least one blizzard over 4 inches.
I turned on my seed starting heating pad, soaked a bunch of jiffy-pots, and started some seeds today. Four each of Anaheim chiles, Poblano chiles, Atilla strawberries, Carwile's Virginia Peanuts, Carolina Black Peanuts, and Table Gold Acorn Squash.

I also planted my pansies (Sangria & Frizzle Sizzle Orange) and violets (Admire Orange Purple Wing), scattered seed for Breadbox Poppies, Butterflyweed, and Nasturium, and repotted a mini-rose I picked up because it had a bud that looked almost lavender in color.

I'm going to wait until next week to start any more seeds, but I have maize, cucumber, melon, candy roaster squash, cowpeas, and more beans than you can shake a stick at. I do have a purple-podded sugar snap pea that I might put in the ground tomorrow, depending on the rain.
I went to see Logan with several friends today. It was an extremely well-constructed, plotty movie that could have had the entire X-men premise excised, and still been interesting -- it would have been about a middle-aged man dealing with his aging father who had progressive dementia and his newly discovered and traumatized daughter while his previously shady life embroiled him back in the criminal world.

But it was also an X-men movie, so it was even more interesting.

The one thing I really wanted and didn't get was some indication that there was someone in Canada waiting at the border to take those kids in. There's a fair number of Canadian mutants in comics canon, including several members of Alpha Flight, who are quite formidable when written by someone who actually likes the characters.

Otoh, it did earn its rating, for on-screen violence and gore. If you can't handle that, you're going to be squicked in the first 15 minutes.
Is anyone interested in seeing the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn? The next release of timed passes -- they're free, but you have to reserve your date/time -- is tomorrow, for dates between March 14 and March 20.

I could try to get a group of tickets for the 18th or 19th, if people wanted to come.


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