Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tagged (updated with pictures!)

Here are 6 things about me (the photo is from 6 years ago when I had short hair):

1. I started university as a double major in violin performance and physics. (Ended up majoring in American Studies and studying French and Afrikaans on the side. Go figure.) I've played the violin since I was five years old and thought I would be a concert violinist until an overuse injury during high school slowed me down and made me re-evaluate that idea.

2. I've studied all sorts of dance: ballet, jazz, modern, ballroom, and Irish. I've also bought bellydance DVDs and I would love to take lessons. Some day when I live in a bigger city...our small town of 5,000 doesn't offer much.

3. I joined a fencing club during high school. When I was sparring with one of my friends, he broke a foil (a lightweight fencing sword, such as the one Eric--aka Zorro-is wielding below) on my chest. I thought it was pretty funny.

4. I've always liked to sew and am quite handy at making things without a pattern. My two most ambitious no-pattern creations were:

- A 1770's style dress, complete with undergarments, corset, quilted underskirt, and overdress. It makes a sweet Halloween costume. It took me about 100 hours to sew. I made it as a final project for an undergraduate humanities class. I could have just written a paper, but this was way more fun. Sorry I don't have a better picture of the dress. Maybe later I will dress up and take some new photos. I also made the Zorro costume for Eric. On my insisting, he sewed most of the cape. You know, teach a man to fish...


- My wedding dress. I fell in love with a gorgeous designer dress from Spain, but the $3,000 price tag was out of the question. My mom and I surreptitiously took measurements and sketches while we were in the dressing room. Then we went home and made a replica, with some minor changes. Total cost for materials (the entire dress was made of silk): $300.




5. My mother gave birth to me while hanging from her ankles. Her doctor had this theory that giving birth upside down would prevent hemorrhoids. My mom recalls that only her shoulder blades were touching the bed. She was yelling at him to let her down--she had never had hemorrhoids in her life--but he did not. I think I have the story right but I should cross-check the details with my mom.

6. I love power tools and fixing things. My husband and I renovated old houses while in graduate school. We've done plumbing, electricity, plastering, drywall, framing, cabinetmaking (well, technically we were helping an Amish cabinetmaker), paint stripping, tiling, hardwood floor refinishing, lap siding, painting, glazing, kitchen designing...

The kitchen I designed. We called it the "yuppie paradise" kitchen.
Before & After, Master Bathroom Shower

11 comments:

  1. Gracious, Rixa, that story about your mom is amazing. Talk about working against gravity! Can you tell more about that one?

    I loved the other stuff you wrote, too. When did you do Irish dancing? I'd love to do that; I've wanted to for years. I just haven't found a studio or the time and inclination to start that yet.

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  2. Wow, and I always thought the "hanging from the ankles" thing was just a figure of speech! That's pretty impressive, I want to hear more!

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  3. Jen.b.in.az9/3/07, 2:35 PM

    Do you have any pics of the dresses you made? The old one and the wedding gown? I'd love to see them :) I didn't remember the violin part...but I'd say you're a very well-rounded lady!
    I've told other people about your mom's labor/birth...I think they believed I was making it up it's so absurd!!

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  4. I've been looking for pictures of the dresses and I know I have them--I just can't find them!

    I'll ask my mom for more details, but basically it was her doctor's way of "preventing" hemorrhoids. She was very upset and remembers being buck naked, hanging from her ankles, and all of these residents were walking past looking in.

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  5. You're very talented! A Jack-of-all trades! What did you and your husband do with the houses your renovated? Did you flip them and sell them for profit? The house looks gorgeous, by the way. I am also amazed that you made those dresses without any pattern. Did you buy a pattern and alter it or did you make them completely free-hand?

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  6. Almost everything was free-hand, except I used a bodice pattern (actually the same one for both dresses) and drastically modified it and the sleeves to suit my purposes.

    We sold the houses each time we moved and made a tidy profit, especially on the last house that I pictured. We made enough to buy our current house with cash. A debt-free life is fantastic, especially on a professor's salary. Which, after a "big" raise this year, comes to $40K. Not much for 10 years of university education. Well, we didn't go into academics for the money. It's enough to live on, especially when you have no mortgage. The lifestyle is great: 3 months off in summer, 1 month off in winter, plus spring break and Thanksgiving break. That's why we do it.

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  7. Thanks for the pictures. Your wedding dress is gorgeous. It's fun to see you looking like you did when I first met you. Do you ever think about our first and second dorm rooms? I still have the leather scripture case that one of your plants dripped water all over. Actually, I really like the design the water made; I think it adds character. :)

    Perhaps Jon and I should think about buying houses your way. Hmmm.....

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  8. Jen.b.in.az9/4/07, 11:21 AM

    Great pics - I love the short hair! And the dresses are just amazing. Are you sewing a costume for Zari this year??

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  9. I don't remember the scripture case incident, but perhaps if I saw it I would...

    I will definitely make Zari a costume this year. I am waiting for inspiration. Any ideas?

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  10. Rixa, I am so impressed with your woodworking. If you don't mind I have a couple of questions about power tools and such that I'll email you with.

    BTW, I'm a musician also and love physics too. Well, pop physics anyway. ;)

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  11. Fire away with your questions!

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