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2017-10-17 12:37 pm

Stuff and things

Oh hey, I haven't posted in a while, have I?

- The Interview with the Vampire screening at MoPop was wonderful. I hadn't seen it on the big screen since it was released!

- Work is work. The super-close deadline was pushed out by two weeks, Yay! The actual deadline was pushed up by two weeks, WTF BOO! Actually, there are good reasons for the actual deadline to be pushed up, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

- Went to the zoo over the weekend with some wonderful friends. My beloved red panda was waaaaaay up in a tree, snoozing, and wouldn't come down no matter how much I beseeched and made flaily hands. But at least I got to see his cute face as he sleepily groomed his fluffy tail.

- Speaking of cute faces, Vlad has been extra needy, and has taken to standing on my office chair (did I mention I have a standing desk now?), and gently patting my hip when I'm not paying attention to him. On the one hand, it's adorable. On the other hand, I wish his sister liked him right now. (She doesn't. She Very Much Doesn't.)

- OMG IT'S MY FAVORITE MONTH! THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO! Which means I'm super-busy and kind of tired, but it's worth it. Not to mention it's our 20th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. :D
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2017-10-03 12:12 pm

Musings on niche clothing retail

And for once, not goth clothing!

I have been a big fan of the J. Peterman catalog since I first discovered it sometime in the early 90s. (And no, not from Seinfield, because I never watched the show and have never wanted to.) Anyway, the catalog is still enchantingly whackaloon. Illustrations of the clothing, not photos, and ridiculously florid sell text, which are (fictional, I assume) snippets about glamorous, globe-trotting adventures that are very tenuously connected to the clothing.

But the main reason I'm a fan is that some of the clothes they offer (usually in the holiday catalog) are a wonderful. Silk-rayon velvet for miles. Gorgeous coats and jackets patterned off of Victorian and Edwardian styles. Last year I pined after this coat, but couldn't justify $400+ for it, even when it went on sale. (Mostly because of the yellow lining, which was a poly blend. I don't understand the point of making a beautiful velvet coat and lining it in polyester.)

(Did I mention their prices are ridiculous?)

I constantly search ebay and poshmark in the hopes that this velvet coat will appear, because that is pretty much the velvet coat of my dreams. It hasn't so far, and I will probably end up plunking down the money to buy silk velvet and lightweight silk satin, and then bribe the Infamous BlueJay to reproduce it for me.

Back in late 90s, thanks to some amazing sales when their ill-advised attempt at brick & mortar stores were going out of business, I snagged a bunch of their items. I still have most of them, including a black silk frock coat that you will pry out of my cold undead hands after someone drives a stake through my heart and not before, and a black wool riding jacket that I wore so often that the cuffs and collars frayed and I had to cover them in black lace to hide the damage.

Over the past few months, they've been having constant sales. It seems like I get an email from them at least once a week announcing a new sale. I'd take advantage of this, but they don't have anything I want right now, and probably won't until the holiday catalog. But it makes me wonder if they're long for this world. I'd hate to see them go out of business, but I can't imagine anyone paying $148 for a plaid cotton dress.
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2017-09-28 09:46 pm

(no subject)

Miss Erzabet No Biting skipped cartomancy practice tonight. I hear her scampering around, so she’s either chasing moths, or yelling at her brother.

Halloween Tarot: Two of Imps (Two of Wands)

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Ancestors

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2017-09-27 10:35 pm
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(no subject)

Cartomancy: in which my spelling is erratic, and Miss Erzabet No Biting decides washing her paws is more important than divination practice.

Halloween Tarot: Three of Imps (Three of Wands)

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Power

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2017-09-26 10:31 pm

(no subject)

Cartomancy: Miss Erzabet No Biting investigates the messages of the cards, then becomes very perplexed when I start singing “Shiny Happy Monsters” at her.

Halloween Tarot: Eight of Imps (Eight of Wands)

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Gratitude
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2017-09-26 08:11 pm


(My apologies to any vegetarians and vegans who subscribe to this journal - while there are no photos, I'm still going to talk about food that you don't eat. And I support you folks not eating this sort of stuff!)


As some of you may remember, I love steak tartare. Good steak tartare is one of my absolute favorite meals; one of the best things about my last work trip to Copenhagen was that the hotel restaurant had excellent steak tartare. Did I have it for dinner every night of the trip? Why yes, yes I did. And it was glorious.

Anyhoodle, I had been craving it (well, more than usual), so I did a search to see if there was anywhere here in Seattle that had well-reviewed, classic versions of it. Many, many local food writers have gone into raptures about the version at The Walrus and the Carpenter oyster bar, which is relatively close to where I live. And while there was nothing on the menu that appealed to the Stroppy One, he was fine going off to have sushi while Jen and I had oysters, raw meat, and cocktails.

OMG. Those food writers were not wrong. That was amazing steak tartare. And delicious fried oysters, and wonderful cocktails. And, encouraged by Jen, who is a big fan of oysters, I tried one. As in, the raw type where you just tip the whole thing out of the shell and into your mouth. It turns out I like raw oysters. Not as much as raw meat, mind you, but still, surprisingly tasty and not a problem with the texture! (That was my big concern about them.)

So much good food. The prices are such that we can't justify going there every month, but we're going to try to go there every now and again.
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2017-09-24 10:30 pm
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(no subject)


Halloween Tarot: Page of Ghosts (Page of Cups)

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Healing
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2017-09-21 04:23 pm
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Putting acid on my face, a report!

I have now used the 30% glycolic acid peel twice. I'm also using 5% glycolic acid cleaning wipes on my face every night, because that's what a lot of the skin care forums recommended. And doing the usual stuff: really good, soothing moisturizer every night (Bee Friendly, yes, really), and wearing sunblock every day.

I have noticed an improvement in my skin. The texture is smoother, and the brown spots from hormone wackiness are definitely lightening. They're not GONE (yet), but they don't jump out at me whenever I see myself in a mirror.

(I know, I know, probably no one else noticed them.)

So! Putting acid on your face! I totally recommend it!
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2017-09-19 10:57 pm

(no subject)

Cartomancy: be patient, you’ll be happy? UGH I HATE BEING PATIENT.

Halloween Tarot: Nine of Bats (Nine of Cups).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Patience.
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2017-09-18 10:56 pm
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(no subject)

Miss Erzabet No Biting is so serious about cartomancy. So. Serious. You have no notion.

Halloween Tarot: Six of Imps (Six of Wands).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Discernment.
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2017-09-18 06:12 pm

Witchy life

(Those of you not into magic or witchcraft, feel free to scroll by.)

As you may remember, I spent a not inconsequential bit of the past two weeks having bad nightmares and generally feeling really off-kilter. It felt like there was some sort of sharp, abrasive quality to the air. I am legendarily bad at creating or maintaining wards, so I texted my big brother and let him know I needed him in his role as magical tech support. He came over Friday evening.

"The energy in here feels like static. Really bad static", says he, proceeds to do the whole Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (something I have never managed to completely memorize, but I'm working on it*), then reset the house wards. I stand by and join him in doing this each time, but I always need him to take the lead on it. The weird, abrasive quality went away, and it felt like after a thunderstorm. Inside the house. Yeah, it's a thing.

Today, I finally managed to go do what I'd been intending to do since last week: go to the neighborhood park that includes a beach for Puget Sound. I waded out into the (cold, so cold!) water, stood there for a few minutes, collected some water in a bottle, then came back out and collected sand in a small jar. Both of those things are now sitting on my altar.

* The only part of the LBRP I'm good at remembering is calling on the Archangels, and that is entirely because Kate Bush actually included a version of that in her song Lily. Again, if I'm learning a melody and lyrics, I will remember it forever.
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2017-09-17 09:25 pm

(no subject)

Let's see: I didn't do any cartomancy last night, because I spent all day yesterday down with a really horrible sinus migraine that may have had a light dusting of eye strain. I say this because my sinus migraines don't usually have light sensitivity and mild vertigo, so something else had to have been going on.


Anyway, yeah, horrible migraine. To the point where I just gave in and spent most of the day in bed, listening to Disintegration (which is the best album by The Cure, I will fight you on this) over and over. Which meant that my hopes of Saturday involving going to the spa, then making up a few hours of dayjob work that needed to happen went away.

Today there was also supposed to be a trip to the spa with some friends, but when we got there, the spa was at capacity and turning people away. Well, offering to take people's phone numbers and call them when there was room, but it works out the same. I have never had that happen, but then, I don't go to the spa during the day on weekends. After 7pm and staying until closing, yep! Going in the afternoon during the week, sure! (Working from home is awesome.) But apparently weekends are insane there.

Instead I hung out with friends (not at the spa), and catching up on things. Then I came home, made dinner, edited, built, and uploaded a lot of content for work, and removed a layer of skin on my face with a mild acid. You know, usual Sunday evening things.
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2017-09-15 11:11 pm
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More wittering about perfume

Pulling up my review of Blood Popsicle reminded me of a post I made on Tumblr last year. So here: my thoughts on the scents of colors of velvet.

- Black velvet: An inky sharpness over the scent of dusty, antique books. There’s a hint of beeswax and a winter sky at night in there, too.

- Red velvet: The tartness of raspberries, the golden glow of amber, and honey mixed with salt. The darker the red, the stronger the honey.

- Purple velvet: Gunpowder tea, sweetened with vanilla sugar, being sipped in a secluded garden.

- Green velvet: A warm summer night, full of night-blooming flowers, and the scent of crushed moss.

- Blue velvet: Blackberries and creme brulee, served on a tarnished silver platter.
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2017-09-15 10:46 pm

(no subject)

Cartomancy: mixed messages? Maybe? Wait, probably not. It really does boil down to PAY ATTENTION, JILLIAN.

Halloween Tarot: The Devil

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Perception
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2017-09-14 10:33 pm

(no subject)

Cartomancy: trust your intuition, or perhaps realize you might know some werewolves.

Halloween Tarot: The Moon.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Purity.
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2017-09-14 10:47 am
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Wittering about perfume

A post by [personal profile] graveyardrabbit reminded me I wanted to post about perfume!

As some of you probably know, BPAL makes pretty much all of the scents I wear, with one exception from LUSH, Lord of Misrule. (Patchouli, vanilla, and black pepper.)

From BPAL, I generally wear the (limited edition, long out-of-stock) Blood Popsicle, inspired by the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Their description is "The scent of frozen Type O Negative". My description, from the review on the Gothic Charm School site: “The good stuff”. Honey and amber and salt, wrapped in blood-red velvet. The perfume version of a shiver of delight." I LOVE this scent, and am very glad I stocked up before it went away.

I *thought* that Blood Popsicle was going to be the only scent I wore, forever and ever, world without end, but then BPAL went and collaborated with one of my favorite jewelry designers, Bloodmilk. Enter Owl Moon (dark, rooty, sweet patchouli swirled with honey), and Silky Bat (sugared patchouli).

(Hi, my name is Jilli, and I have a patchouli problem.)

But! But! I was noodling around Etsy, looking through scents named or described as Hecate, when I found House of Orpheus. I'd heard good things about them being an especially witchy/magic -focused scent maker, and then I found their Amunet perfume:

Amunet is a natural perfume by house of Orpheus. A classical Oud, made with spicy notes of cassia, black storax extrait, agar wood oil, and made with an antique Egyptian paste of civet and musk. Amunet is exalted with the lunar oils of silver and the alchemical oil of distilled scorpions. Because this perfume is made with antique ingredients it will be limited in quantity. Once it is gone it will be gone forever.

Amunet is the hidden one, the high priestess, a tattooed goddess in human form. A dark feminine divinity, associated with witchcraft and feminine powers of creation and destruction. To wear this perfume is to embody that which is the high priestess in the major arcana of a dark and beautiful tarot deck. As the mysteries of the feminine are also the mysteries of blood the perfume is the color and thickness of blood…
A talismanic perfume for women who embody the divine feminine with authority and perpetuate its mysteries no mater the cost.

Well then. It doesn't have patchouli, but it absolutely sounds like something I should have. I am impatiently waiting for my order to arrive.
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2017-09-13 04:53 pm

Sleep, and boots.

Last night was the first night in about a week where I slept soundly and didn't have any nightmares. Now let's see if I can repeat that trick for a VERY LONG TIME, THANKS.


Remember those lace-up Olde Skool winklepicker boots I was dithering over? You know, these ones? I contacted the company, and they have RED LEATHER. They can make those boots in RED LEATHER.

:: cackles delightedly ::

No, it's not the burgundy or oxblood leather of my fondest wishes, but red leather will be SO much simpler to dye if I decide I need them darker. (My favorite cobbler is used to such wacky requests from me.) Red leather gothy witchy boots will be mine, yessssss.


I am having a small bout of impostor syndrome with the dayjob at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that it's mostly due to the amazingly poor sleep I've been having lately. Well, that and the fact that oh hey there's a technical preview deadline coming up in a smidge over three weeks. But! It's a super-limited technical preview, and it's not just me working on the documentation! I mean, sure, the documentation will still be still be hellaciously rough and full of "coming soon" areas, but eh. I am far less freaked out about this than I was about the same situation last year.
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2017-09-12 10:09 pm

(no subject)

Cartomancy: optimism and someplace peaceful? Maybe?

Halloween Tarot: Six of Imps (Six of Wands).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Sanctuary.
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2017-09-11 09:57 pm
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(no subject)

Cartomancy, a return to.

Halloween tarot: Knight of Bats (Knight of Swords).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Gratitude.

Hi, my name is Jilli, and I need to get back to doing things that help me feel balanced and perceptive. Which means more cartomancy and spellcraft.