cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Aug. 17th, 2017 06:32 pm)
I need to try to remember that I have a few chronic health issues, which means that even if the changes in diet and the injections have greatly reduced my daily pain levels, I still don't have have the reserves of energy that I wish I did.

Hi, I've been Doing A Lot Of Things since last week. And will be Doing A Lot Of Things for at least a few days going forward.

You all can stop giving me that terribly patient look. I know what you're thinking.
Apparently the key to me not slowly losing my mind from multiple nights of unsettled sleep while The Husband is away is to have people come stay with me. Kambriel and C. are here! And C. is being very understanding about his sleeping in the living room while I steal Kambriel to snooze in the bedroom with me. I've slept soundly for the past few nights, and it has been AWESOME. Also, y'know, they're some of my favorite people, so just having them around (even while I'm laboring in the tech content mines during the day) is a delight.

Because they're out here, we organized a super-last-minute yard sale! Because I have, um, a LOT of clothes to sell (yes, even after last year's epic yard sale), Thea has things to sell, and Kambriel brought goodies to sell! (I swear I will not buy up all of her bat pillows.)

Anyhoodle, in case any Seattle-area peeps are interesting in checking out the sale:

Saturday, August 19th
11:30am - 6pm.
122 N 105th St WA 98133
The whirlwind trip down to PDX for filming was a lot of fun. The cast are adorable, the entire crew are wonderful and professional, and I had a lot of fun in my cameo-with-dialogue as a slightly concerned and disapproving Elder Goth. I wore an enormous hat, my sequinned skirt, and by lightweight black & gray striped bustle jacket made by my darling Kambriel.



(Me and the Executive Producer.)

The flight home was fraught, because the flight that was booked was cancelled, and I was bumped to an earlier flight. So filming went right up until I needed to run to the airport, there was a line at security, and I ran to my gate only to get there 5 minutes after the plane had taxied away.

But! Victorian goth girls bursting into tears motivates gate staff to find a solution. It turned out that there was an earlier plane to Seattle that had been delayed over an hour, and they were able to get me a seat on that.

The past couple days have been a whirlwind of friends doing some home repairs for me, getting a new washer and dryer installed, and a bunch of housework in preparation for having wonderful house guests. I'm kinda tired. But it's all worth it!

In other "my life is weird and awesome" news: A local radio station (and not one of the alternative or rock stations) has contacted me about doing an interview, because they have a running series of profiles on "interesting Seattle people". All righty, then!
cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Aug. 11th, 2017 12:49 pm)
VLAD G-D DAMMIT GO FIND AND KILL THE GIANT SPIDER THAT JUST SCUTTLED UNDER A CABINET. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE MIGHTY HUNTER CAT.

Hello anxiety spike, how are you? :: twitches ::
Whining:

- One of the (many) problems with the hot, dry weather and the air full of smoke from the B.C. wildfires is that it makes my sinuses Very Unhappy and gives me awful sinus headaches. Which, of course, leads me to panicking about what if this is a sign that the injections are wearing off and heralds the return of the tension headaches?! Which it isn't, because not only are my eyes watering, but my neck isn't stiff and my jaw doesn't pop when I yawn. So, just sinus headaches. Just.

- The weather + smoke also means that I have the choice of windows open and aggravating my already angry sinuses, or windows shut and broiling. But when I lamented about this on FB (and everyone said "SHUT THE WINDOWS"), one person suggested filling the bath tub with cold water and putting a box fan in the open bathroom door to help push cool(er) air into the house. It's helping. I also pinned a dark towel up over the kitchen window that is currently curtainless (and only had lace curtains before), and that has also helped reduce the heat.

- Pete is away for three weeks, for two different events. This means the traditional not great sleep while he's gone started last night. But some friends are coming to stay with me next week, which means my hindbrain going "AAAAAAAAAAAH WHAT WAS THAT NOISE?!" and waking me up in the middle of the night will be a bit less. Plus, people I adore! Visiting me!

Adulting:

- I hired the teenage son of a friend to come extensively weed the yard. He came over at 7am today (because he's a weird morning child), and was still working at 10 when I was up. I gave him iced coffee, food, and money, and will absolutely be hiring him again. I hired a teenager to do yardwork! That is totally a sign of being an adult!

... I could have sworn there was other adulting I did, but I can't remember what it was.

Quick, someone tell me I don't need to get this jacket from ChicStar. Because even I kinda-sorta realize that 1) I don't actually need more jackets, and 2) it's too damn warm to be thinking about buying jackets.

Tonight, more swiffering of the floor (because Miss Erzabet No Biting sheds enough for three cats, and Vlad isn't much better), and then bleaching my streaks. AND MAYBE FALLING ASLEEP BEFORE 2:30 IN THE MORNING DESPITE HAVING TAKEN SLEEP MEDS. That would be nice.
(This was totally prompted by a comment I left on another friend's DW entry. :: waves in the direction of SF :: )

There's someone who I knew for approximately forever who is no longer in my life. The memories of all the times and things we shared make me wistful, but I realized the other day that I don't actually miss them. I guess I never stopped and thought about how often I tip-toed around them to make sure they wouldn't lose their temper, and how often I did the emotional labor. Which, no surprise, is a thing I am historically spectacular at not realizing, because my instinctual reaction is to take care of everyone else, because then I am Good and Helpful, and Not Being Selfish. Yeah, I know. The Brain Raccoons and I have done a lot of rounds on this, but I'm slowly getting better about it.

---

Shallow fashion burbling! I have been gifted something like 9 or 10 yards of burgundy, excellent quality rayon velvet. The good stuff, that was in production over 10 years ago. I know exactly what sort of coat I want made with it, I just have to wait until the weather is sufficiently cool enough that the Infamous BlueJay is willing to work with velvet. (I completely understand her objections to sewing velvet in summer.)

I did get around to doing my petticoat necromancy project so I have a long(ish) black petticoat with a black cotton base. There's just one problem: the petticoat I sacrificed for the necromancy project was one of Mom's old organza square dance petticoats, and. Um. My petticoat necromancy project turned out to be more lively floofy than I expected, even with only one layer of the organza. I am going to have to do some pruning so the thing will actually fit under my skirts. I suspect this is the sort of problem that only exists in my life.
- Saturday I spent with the creative team for a podcast I'm working on, going over the scripts. This is not a paying project, but it's going to be a lot of fun. We made some really good progress, yay! I wanted to go to a housewarming that some friends were throwing that evening, because I haven't seen them in too long and they're wonderful people, but the past week's heat and smoke left me with less energy than usual.

- Sunday I spent with the woman who is essentially my sister-in-law (married to my chosen-family big brother), taking a bunch of stuff to Goodwill to donate. And then running around some other thrift stores, because why not. I found two great lace blouses (which may or may not go into the Goth Yard Sale bins), 3 yards of good quality black velvet, and one of the vintage V.C. Andrews books with the fancy die-cut double covers! The type where the front cover has some sort of cut-out framing device -- a window, a shattered mirror -- with a character looking out of it, and an interior cover of that character in a gloomy setting appropriate to the plot. It wasn't one of the original Flowers in the Attic series, which are impossible to find with those covers, but still! Vintage V.C. Andrews with the fancy cover!

I am fascinated by V.C. Andrews books. They're solidly in the overwrought gothic horror genre (with a dash of romance, usually doomed), and not only did they end up in the hands of a lot of us who were probably too young to be reading them when they were published, but now they're kinda-sorta presented as YA. At least the original Flowers in the Attic trilogy is; I recently saw new trade paperback editions in the YA section of the bookstore, with new, soft-focus photos of a blonde girl and boy looking wistful. I reread that trilogy last year, and had several moments of "I cannot BELIEVE my parents let me read this when I was 11". My parents didn't ever restrict my reading, but in this case, I suspect they didn't know the contents of this particular book.

Anyway. Busy weekend! Trashy book ahoy! How are you folks?
cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2017 06:17 pm)
Heatwave + smoke in the air from the BC wildfires (stay safe, you peeps!) + a night of horrible nightmares and stress dreams = I feel awful. Still no tension headache (YAY!), but awful. Today has been one long exercise in feeling groggy and woozy. I was going to head to the spa tonight, but I think I'm feeling a bit too tired and head-swimmy to feel safe about doing so. When I feel like this, my balance gets a little uncertain, which means I'm prone to slipping on perfectly dry floors.

---

I recently got this patch from Poison Apple Printshop, and am trying to decide what I want to put it on. It's actually the second of this patch I own; the first one is carefully appliqued to one of my long velvet waistcoats. I'm thinking I may put this one on the back of one of my many lace dresses, because having a summer version of the abracadabra wardrobe is appealing.

---

I just messaged an Amazon seller I had purchased a CD from. Instead of sending me the copy of Projekt Records Beneath the Icy Floe, Vol. 4, they sent me ... something else. In Japanese. Oh wacky Amazon seller. I hope they haven't sent my CD off to someone else.

---

THIS WEATHER IS NOT OKAY. Yes, Maura, I know you're thrilled with it. I love you, but you're completely wrong about this issue.
cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Aug. 1st, 2017 07:56 pm)
I think I have just found the perfect example of what I'm looking for in terms of unsettling, monstrous, and strangely cute.

Image hidden behind a cut, just in case any of you aren't into unsettling flowers with teeth )

I love it. The artist is in Russia, and is on Etsy. I want it so I can put it on a giant black sun hat.

Well, what I really want is for someone to do a stylized botanical illustration of it with leaves and twining vines, turn it into a repeating print in shades of pink, cream, and gray on a black background, and then put it up on Spoonflower so I can buy yards of it printed on the "organic sweet pea gauze" and make a skirt. Because that would be peak Victorian garden witch aesthetic.
cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Jul. 31st, 2017 10:02 pm)
While I still get a little angry about this vague ketogenic eating plan that I'm on (I miss grilled cheese sandwiches so much. So, so much.), but. Um. I've lost 19 pounds so far.

No, I'm not doing this for weight loss. Eating this way has reduced the systemic inflammation and chronic pain. In fact, between eating this way and the Botox injections, I haven't had this low of an overall pain level for years*.

But I'm also really damn happy about the weight loss.

---

In other news, it is going to be unbearably hot for the next few days. (Note to self: remember to put out extra water for the crows!) I am full of sympathy and slightly worried for my friends in PDX, because they're going to have it worse than Seattle.

---

The Great Uncluttering went a step further this weekend: the work space had to be cleared even more, because my fancy motorized standing desk arrived and needed to be set up! So everything got rearranged. I love my standing desk so much. Sure, my feet hurt after using it all day, but I've had standing desks before, and after a week or so, my feet stop hurting, and my back feels better because I'm not slouching all the damn time.

Maybe this weekend I'll tackle the next part of the Great Uncluttering: The Library. Depending on the weather and if I've melted.








*Welllllll, except for when I do something foolish like have a chocolate croissant. No, self, you can't have that much gluten anymore. Stop hoping you can occasionally indulge in more than a bite of something.
This skirt?

On the one hand, burgundy (good!), olive green (meh), and brown (ewwww) is not a color combo I'd considered wearing before.

On the other hand, falling leaves pattern!
cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2017 10:53 pm)
STILL! HEADACHE! FREE!

Since Thursday! This is a damn miracle, that's what it is.

And today we ordered me a motorized standing desk, because the (antique by now, it belonged to my grandparents) dining table I've been using as a workstation for my laptop and two monitors for the past three years was never a good idea. I'd never found an office chair that was tall enough to be comfortable at that table, and that doesn't take into account that any one that was even close enough to use at that table meant my feet didn't touch the ground.

So! Standing desk, arriving this week. It's a good thing I finished The Great Decluttering: The Workdesk over the weekend. (Well, almost finished. I still have to haul some boxes of things out from underneath the table, but that should be relatively easy. Plus the Stroppy One is going to help me.)

Aaaaaand I've finally FINALLY accepted that I need to carry smaller/lighter purses with less stuff in them. Yes, I've said this before (every couple of years, I think?), but it has been made very clear to me that I absolutely have to do this and stick with it. I'm currently making a shoulder strap for a vintage velvet handbag I have, which should be just large enough for me to carry the essentials:


  • Phone.

  • Wallet.

  • Powder compact and two tubes of lipstick.

  • Tiny pill case of anti-anxiety meds.

  • Keys.

  • Sunglasses.

  • Tiny notebook.

  • Pen.

  • Handkerchief.



And maybe, just maybe, my mini multi-tool and tiny sewing kit. What? I actually end up needing those two things fairly often.

NO HEADACHE. I don't think that will stop being astonishing to me any time soon.
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cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:00 pm)
I have learned that there is a whole world of DIY kits for steeping/infusing your own bitters, that come with all of the "bitter" herbs and spices in the correct proportions. Just add them to alcohol with whatever fruit, flowers, or spices you want, infuse for a couple of weeks, strain out the solids and simmer them with some water, mix the two liquids together, and bottle.

I am very, VERY tempted by this. Because no one is making rose bitters right now, and I am almost out. HOW AM I TO MAINTAIN MY FANCY EXISTENCE WITHOUT ROSE BITTERS, I ASK YOU?

I know, I know, I don't need any more hobbies. But rose bitters! And it's not like I can enjoy rose syrup any more ...
Today was the Botox injections day. A total of six injections, one on each side in the muscles at the base of my skull, temple, and jaw. My headache (which had come back sometime last night) started lessening after the first two injections. Now? Now it is COMPLETELY gone. No trace.

Being completely headache-free is WEIRD. Awesome, absolutely! But weird. It's been a very, very long time since I've had that. (Like, years. I don't actually know how long.)

Nothing in my face feels odd or frozen, and I can move it like normal. (So, like a cartoon character, really.) Dr. Ryan the awesome dentist said that I should give him updates over the next couple of weeks, whenever I feel like it over on FB, and OMG we need to go makeup shopping together.)

(He also correctly identified which bunny I brought with me for emotional support. (Merricat.)) I LOVE DR. RYAN WITH A PURE AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

No headache. NO HEADACHE.

The next step is to talk to my doctor and get her help in convincing the insurance company to pay for this treatment every four months. If they won't, then I am seriously considering squeezing the household budget to pay the over-thousand-dollars ourselves, because this feeling is worth it.

---

In Shallow Fashion Craving news, I showed the Stroppy One that skirt from Amazon that I posted here the other night. He Did Not Approve of the graphic design. He liked the idea in theory, but felt the actually quality of the rose print was lacking. This is part of the fun of being married to an artist - they will give you useful feedback when you're looking at fashion.
Tags:


Yes? No?

On the one hand: B&W stripes! Giant red roses! Oooh, it's all very Night Circus, isn't it?

On the other hand, I can't tell if this is too busy. Plus, while it's a full skirt, it's also 100% polyester.

But let's be real here, I'll probably end up buying it.
One problem with this new-ish fascination for vintage floral print full skirts is that so many of the sellers on Etsy and eBay use a slur in their description. I know they're clueless and think it evokes a free-spirited air, but dammit.

With that bit of venting out of the way, these are different ones I'm idly contemplating. (All images hotlinked from the various Etsy listings, because apparently that's an okay thing to do now, especially because places like Etsy are never going to run out of bandwidth.)

I really like this one.



The print is beautiful in this, but I'm not sure about the mix of colors?



This is probably my least favorite, mostly because it's similar to the skirt I have that kicked off this whole fashion tangent.

cupcake_goth: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2017 07:52 pm)
Today I had a long-overdue dentist appointment, mostly for a cleaning and checkup. It was overdue because I've been busy and incapable of scheduling things, not because of any apprehension. I LOVE my dentist. As in, I have gone out for drinks with him and his hubby, because I adore him so. He's charming, sarcastic, and incredibly good at what he does.

After the checkup part was done, he asked me a bunch of questions about my (usual type of) migraines, then did some pressure tests on my jaw, temples, and the base of my skull. After I winced away from all of them, he said, "So yeah, your migraines? Probably tension headaches, because girl, you are tense".

Then he said he wanted to try something to double-check his theory, but that it would be "Fuck my life painful" for a few minutes on each side. But I trust him, so sure. Then he stuck his thumb into my mouth on one side, gripped the outside of my jaw, and applied what felt like an appalling amount of pressure. The pain rivaled the migraine that sent me to the ER, and then lessened after a few minutes. Then he did the same thing to the other side.

After he did this torture, my migraine went away. No, you don't understand. I have had some level of migraine pain every day for MONTHS. (Yes, I mostly just ignore it, because what other option was there that wasn't medication that left me a zombie?)

It turns out he has the same sort of issues, and after a lot of research, found the treatment that works for him, which is a fuckton of Botox injections in those three muscle groups. Guess what I'm doing on Thursday afternoon?

I won't lie: I'm kind of freaked out by this. Buuuuuuut, if this is able to drop the migraines, it's worth it.
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Whooo, I would like to stop being exhausted. That can happen any time now, thanks.

But despite being woozy and exhausted, I did manage to get some badly-needed household chores done today. Then I changed back into a ruffled nightgown and flopped on the couch, reading vintage gothic romances. I guess that's my version of self-care now? Sure, why not.

I've also been noodling around more on Pinterest (clicky-link!), because having "witchy fashion", "romantigoth" and "chiffon death shrouds" boards is entertaining to me. Yes, I also created a "Gothic Charm School" board (erm, last night), because Thea read me the riot act about not actually having one. (Thea is the person who regularly busts my chops about my not being proactive about self-promotion. Yes, I know I need to be better about it, but that means I have to get over my fear of being self-aggrandizing? Something like that.) So I am going to try to be good about making sure there are pins for new GCS posts and whatnot, in addition to photos and fan art.

I have a couple more clothing alteration projects I want to do:


  • Fine-tune the alterations I'm doing to one of the batwing-hem jackets to turn it into a sleeveless, lace-up overdress thing. I thought I had it finished, but it turned out that taking it in down the back did something weird to the pull across the shoulders, and the resulting tension gave me a headache when I wore it on Friday night. (Not dissimilar to the types of headaches I would get if I wore a halter dress, and it went away as soon as I took the overdress off.)

  • Thea's mum, who is one of the kindest, magical people I know, has given me a stack of vintage (90s is not vintage, dammit!) floral rayon dresses. The ones that were made by Nostalgia or Starina. Apparently the bodices are worn or damaged, but she knows I'll turn the dresses into skirts. (I've developed a weird fondness for black with pink, red, or white florals from those manufacturers, worn with black lace overdresses and giant sunhats. Victorian Garden Witch*? I dunno.)

  • I need to unearth one of the full tiered black cotton skirts, and use it as the base for petticoat necromancy, wherein old chiffon and organza petticoats are cut apart and sewn onto a cotton skirt. Maximum floof underskirt, but with a lightweight, breathable fabric underlayer!



The problem with these clothing alteration projects is that I don't have anyplace right now to leave the sewing machine set up, so I have to drag it out each time I do something, then put it away. And by drag it out and put it away, I mean ask the Stroppy One to do that for me right now, because I have mom's vintage all-metal construction Elna from the early 70s, that thing is HEAVY, and I'm not supposed to crouch down and lift heavy things right now. Which brings me right back to I WOULD LIKE TO STOP FEELING EXHAUSTED ALL THE TIME, THANKS.





*Which reminds me, I found a brand-new pair of Dr. Marten's Triumph 1914 (clicky-link!) boots at Goodwill a few weeks ago. They're super-cute, I just need the weather to cool down a bit before I wear them.


(Seriously, florals? Even with everything else black? When did this happen? I am perplexed. Delighted, but perplexed. Which reminds me, I am contemplating this crushed velvet floral skirt, by Nostalgia (clicky-link!. But I'm not sure about the mix of colors.)
Lessee, last I wrote, I was feeling better from chiropractic adjustments. That night, I was tripped by a certain large black cat, and fell down a couple of stairs. The bruise on my rear is spectacular. Thankfully, the fall didn't throw my back out again.

The doctor's appointment was good, and I have a follow-up on the 26, so we can go over the results of the x-rays of my upper spine and base of my skull, and the results of the mass of blood tests that are being run. But I kept having milder versions of the migraine that sent me to the ER ... and then on Sunday, the Stroppy One made me switch back to my old glasses (I'd gotten new ones in June), and we have determined that I probably gave myself hellacious eye strain over a few weeks. It is interesting to note that now that I've switched back to my previous glasses, the swings of vertigo and light sensitivity have died down.

And then on Monday, I slid down two stairs again and banged my right arm up. (Not Vlad's fault this time, but my own carelessness.) And the rotten cherry on this sundae of nonsense: all of this has left me exhausted, so I'm not able to get as much done as I want, and therefore I am feeling unproductive and guilty.

WHY, BRAIN RACCOONS? WHY?!

But! I got a new Gothic Charm School post written, I did slooooowly manage to get a couple of mending projects done, and the bedroom is still tidy after last month's Great Uncluttering. And I'm sloooowly stepping up my witchy work, because it makes me feel better.
cupcake_goth: (Leeches)
( Jul. 6th, 2017 03:28 pm)
So after Thursday night's ER adventures, I seemed okay? I went out on Saturday with friends, and then on Sunday started the Great Decluttering: Part Two: ahahahahah the workdesk. Which was going to continue on through Monday.

Monday, I realized my lower back was tight and painful. I laid down with ice packs, but when I went to get up ... well, let's just say I wasn't sure if I was going to end up confined to the couch for a few days. I made a chiropractor appointment for Wednesday, took a few rounds of carefully-timed muscle relaxers, and slept a lot. Tuesday, I felt mostly okay, so went to BBQ with friends.

I don't know if it was that I pushed myself too hard on the 4th, if smoke from a fire pit and fireworks is no longer a thing I can tolerate, the stars were in bad alignment, but when I woke up, my back was once again locked and incredibly painful, and I developed another migraine like the one that sent me to the ER on Thursday night. (Not as bad, thank goodness, but with all the symptoms I'd had earlier.)

Two days of chiropractic treatment later, my back feels okay. I don't have a migraine today. But I do have a doctor appointment tomorrow, so I can talk to her about the new, excitingly awful migraines and what we should look into for them. I'm going to ask for a neurologist recommendation, and also ask if I should get X-rays of my neck to make sure nothing odd is going on there.

And finally, because of the multiple days of pain and ugh, I picked up a chocolate chip cookie from WF to eat over the next few days. I've been eating low-carb and pretty much sugar-free since ... late March?

My cookie doesn't taste good. It tastes heavy and too sweet and ick. ::sigh::
.

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