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Amparo Bertram

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08:22 pm: The fateful question
One of my students asked today if it was my policy to wear socks that match my shirt. (Yep. And I'm pretty obsessive about it, too.) I was impressed that she asked so quickly. It took at least a year in Niigata for someone to ask.

I've had it confirmed that I'm supposed to help judge a speech competition on November 6th, which is a Saturday. I haven't asked yet about what day I'll get off in compensation.

Only two students showed up for English club again today. They have apparently decided on a song, but not enough members were around to practice. The second-year students will be back tomorrow after their trip, so hopefully the next meeting will have a better showing. (I was asked to start taking attendance.)

The superintendant gave me about another ten pounds of sweet potatoes from his garden. ^_^; That's really nice, but I only just last week finished the first ones he gave me. I'm going to have to hunt down some more recipes.

I spent hours--literally--pouring over my newest sewing books during my free time today. I was particularly intent on trying to figure out the patterns in the kimono book. They're practically in code. It took me close to an hour of staring at and comparing various patterns to figure out that "AH" meant "the length of this line segment should be the same as the length of the line segment that starts at the outermost tip of the shoulder and ends at the top point of the underarm."

Duh, you might say. Well, sure, if I knew "AH" stood for "armhole," it would have been easy. But I was scouring the patterns for some indication of what Japanese word was abbreviated "AH." And keep in mind that this is a country that abbreviates "fantasy" as "FT."

The problem is, of the designs that could be made with a haori, the only one that would really look good with the one I have was a design that was (intentionally) lopsided, so even if I made it right it would look as if I made it wrong. So I set out for the nearest bookstore after work to try to find another similar book of patterns.

I paged through the ones they had on display. The first few were rather disappointing...most of the designs were either patchwork garments made from scraps of many different kimono sewn together, or they were really plain smock-type dresses. They didn't show the kind of style and imagination as the one I bought. I struck upon one that was more imaginative...but it was almost *too* artsy, with wild collars and such that I didn't think would be quite appropriate for wearing to work. I probably would have bought it, though, if I hadn't chanced upon one that had chapters of patterns by different designers.

There was one design that made an entire ankle-length dress out of a BELT. How could I not buy that?

Okay, so it also had a couple of haori patterns that I could choose from, too. Plus, it had some designs for men's shirts, which I rarely saw anywhere else. So, I snapped it up. If I ever go back to the flea market or a used kimono shop, at least now I'll have lots of ideas for what to do with the fabric.


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From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 18th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)

Great detective work, Sherlock.

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Persistence really pays off, doesn't it.

I'm so glad you found a creative pattern book, too.

Students notice everything, too. They might have noticed it sooner in Niigata and just not said anything about it right away.

Love,
Mom
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From:wednesday_10_00
Date:October 19th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC)
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And keep in mind that this is a country that abbreviates "fantasy" as "FT."
I just learned today that domestic violence is called "DV" here. Is it just me, or does that seem....wrong?
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