This is weird. Good, but weird

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:53 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:12 pm
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore. Random House, 2017

In this tale, souls get 10,000 chances to reach perfection. If they achieve this, they go into the great cosmic soul forever; bliss, but with no individuality. If they fail, they are obliterated forever. Most people manage it in significantly fewer than 10,000 lives. Not Milo, though- Milo is at 9,995 and it’s not looking promising. Milo knows this- at least between lives, he does. During the resting period between lives, a soul is fully conscious of all their lives. In Milo’s case, two spirits (deities? Avatars?), Ma and Nan, aid (mostly by harassing) his journey to perfection. Also with him between lives is one of the many avatars of death, Suzie. Suzie and Milo are in love. They want to find a way to stay together. Also, Suzie wants to stop being death and open a candle shop.

We follow Milo through a number of his lives. Lives can be as anything; trees, kings, cats, pirates, slugs, slaves, male, female, poor, rich, whatever. He comes *close* to perfection, but somehow always screws it up at the end. The lives are pretty interesting; short tales of near perfection in a prison, turning around the human race on a different prison world where the Water Cartels run everything; and tiny tales, a page long or less, of marching in Selma Ala., and hiding a cache of Polish pornography from the Nazis. Some tales of being not so nice a person. He also has adventures between lives, too- the afterlife is quite a busy place. The whole book is a collection of short stories, with Milo (he tends to keep that name throughout) as the star of them all. Some parts are horrific, some are very funny- his style reminds me of Christopher Moore (and, at times, of certain periods of Robert Heinlein’s work)- but for some reason, Milo never seems to take anything seriously. It made it a little difficult for me to really feel for him. Suzie isn’t around enough to make a real connection with her. I really enjoyed the book- it’s a lot of fun!- but for some reason I just can’t make it five stars. Four stars out of five.
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth


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.
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.

Nun preaches the trans gospel.

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:51 pm
sistawendy: (stern nun)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Remember that five-minute version of "How to Change Sex the Easy Way" I was working on? Well, I delivered it last night.

Lesson #1: If you know you're going to be speaking in a hall with excellent acoustics for unamplified music and not a small, dead room, you'll want to talk slowly. I didn't go quite far enough in whittling my 45-minute talk down.

Lesson #2: Talking fast makes some mics - in this case a cardioid headset - crackle. The sound techs asked me if I could talk slower. You know, this talk I'd practiced several dozen times with precisely 15 seconds per slide. 'Not so much,' I thought. They dispensed with the cardioid; luckily they had two other headsets.

Lesson #3: Microsoft Powerpoint needs to be banned. Like so many MS products, it doesn't seem to understand "I want it here."

The talk itself went OK. I almost failed to notice one slide transition, but the boozed-up audience helped me out. I think I got the point across that my way was the easy way by far, even though it wasn't that easy. It seems to have been well received.

Mine was one of two queer-themed talks. The other was an excellent talk by a bi woman about, well, being bi. It was nothing new to anyone who knows (vast thundering mobs of) bi people as I do, but it was stuff that did need to be said.

Oh by the way, there as an adorable lesbian from Arizona who delivered a talk about her guinea pigs. No, really. I hung out with her a lot at the party afterward, natch.

So that's a thing

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:52 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:39 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature, by Bill Goldstein. Henry Hold & Company, 2017


1922 was the year that ‘Ulysses’ was published and Proust’s work was translated into English. Willa Cather declared that the world broke in two in that year, because these were literary works that were distinctly different from all that had come before them. These works had effects on other writers, of course- Virginia Woolf said, after reading Proust “Well, what remains to be written after that?” Thankfully, after being unable to write due to illnesses both mental and physical, she found a new voice within her and created both “Jacob’s Room” and “Mrs. Dalloway”.

T.S. Eliot felt trapped by both his day job at a bank and his invalid wife. His own neuroses did not help; he had a great deal of trouble letting go of his new work “The Wasteland” and was an incredible frustration to the people who wanted to publish the poem.

D.H. Lawrence was traveling the world, trying to find a place where he felt he could write in peace. People seemed to be dying to have him stay with them, even though he was quite unreasonable about his situation, wanting to be put up by friends but also wanting to be left strictly alone. During this time he watched censorship battles being fought over his work, and published “Kangaroo” (which I had never heard of) and “Aaron’s Rod”.

E.M. Forster had writer’s block for well over a decade, but in this year managed to finish a book he’d started long before: “A Passage to India”. His life was unhappy; a closeted gay man in an era that did not allow homosexuality, he did not want to suffer the same fate as Oscar Wilde. His mental outlook wasn’t helped by living with his aging, control freak mother.

These four authors were affected by Joyce and Proust, even those who did not like the work they produced. They were also profoundly affected by the recent World War; “The Wasteland” and “Mrs Dalloway” both contain reactions to that.

The entwined biographies of the four, and what they published in 1922, make a good picture of how modernist writing was being created. The book is not fast reading (I tended to skip over a good deal of Eliot’s parts) but it’s good writing and the research is meticulous. Four stars out of five.

drive-by weekend

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:28 pm
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Poutine and mighty fine absinthe at the Gainesbourg with J & R Friday night. It's almost as if they're keeping their killer selection a secret - you have to ask for the list, at least these days - and they've got the best stuff in town. Strange.

I attempted to have a date with Much Younger Woman at the Merc on Saturday night, but she bailed at the last minute due to brain issues. Le sigh. I'd even dressed sexy.

Was a sleepy zombie yesterday, but still managed to take care of business. Currently at StartupCo's annual conference. Grenade is here again. Much excitement tomorrow and the next day, some of which will take me away from my son. I'm not pleased about that.
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.)
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.

some good political news from WA

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:20 am
sistawendy: (butterfly)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I just learned, a week after the fact, that "bathroom bill" initiative 1552 did not get enough signatures to be on the ballot here in Washington state. This despite the 1552 proponents' ties to deep-pocketed national organizations including the Family Research Council, and all the lies they told to get signatures.

How did I miss this? Not reading enough in Zuckerberg's data mine, probably. I can't say I regret that, though. My son, who usually finds out about things later than I do because I'm a Twitter addict, knew before I did but didn't tell me, which now that I think of it is kind of weird.

How did it happen? Sure, trans folks had an organization in Washington Won't Discriminate, and I know I've done what I can to throw cash and raise awareness. But mainly I think it's because the mighty, the awesome Evergreen State doesn't suck.

Will it happen again? Probably. It happened before with I-1515, and witness how long-lived Tim Eyman's odious career has been even years after it largely stopped being successful.

I have taken the anti-1552 sign down from my front window, and cancelled my vandalism plans.

ETA: I'm kind of hoping there will be a victory party like the one for 1515. That was fun.

(no subject)

Jul. 13th, 2017 04:13 pm
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Yesterday I posted a joke about Trump being like Henry VIII.

Last night, I dreamt that Henry was very angry with me, and was summoned to his court. There he was, with a few of his wives and some other fancy folks, thoroughly pissed off. He was planning on attacking my house. Last thing I remember was trying to shut and lock all the windows then realizing the futility of that against lances....

my son; my speech

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:27 pm
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I made dinner for m'boy last night, which wouldn't be noteworthy except that I hadn't done so in about a month. After dinner, as I did the dishes, he scoured the neighborhood for the latest issue of The Economist. Happiness. I do wish, however, that he would walk instead of drive because my neighborhood is walkable and not that well supplied with parking. I'm afraid living on the east side (of Lake Washington, i.e. Seattle's eastern suburbs for you non-locals) taught him some bad habits that he has yet to unlearn.
I've been practicing the bejeezus out of a five-minute version of my talk "How to Change Sex the Easy Way" for a series of talk to be delivered at StartupCo's annual marketing conference next week. The founder of the company asked me to do it, and I wasn't about to say no because of him, me, and all my trans peeps.

Twenty slides, exactly 15 seconds per slide. It's kind of brutal. I've had to ditch a lot of the emotional content of the original 45-minute talk that I think is the best part. I'm a tiny bit worried that the talk won't go over well even if my delivery is right on. All I can do now is polish the delivery.

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 05:44 pm
dark_phoenix54: (snooch scream)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Am I the only one who keeps wondering when Trump is going to behead his wife and declare himself head of the country's church?

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 05:31 pm
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
So, last nights dream adventures had me being pursued by serial killers. First Tim and I spent a night in a room in a big house that was a sort of motel. We were trying to check out and it was really uncomfortable talking with the woman; I felt the need to really praise the place even though it was just a minimal place. We were trying to edge away to the stairs, and then the husband came in. He had a wild look in his eyes. We took off down the stairs and he came after us, trying to grab us. We made it to the street, and were looking for a place to hide. We passed people walking on the street and they just ignored this guy trying to grab us and waving a knife. Finally we did something REALLY stupid and ran in an open door; it just went to a staircase to the basement and like morons we went down... only to meet a big grinning guy with a big bloody ax. Thankfully it ended there.

I think I have gotten all the plants I bought or started this year into the ground! This is a first for me, especially this early in the year.

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 09:36 pm
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[personal profile] digitaldiscipline

Dent, a/k/a “eleven pounds of sadness,” was being adorable in my gym bag before I worked out this evening.

dentlump
 

She is a malevolent, cuddle-averse hate lump masquerading as a small set of poorly-tuned bagpipes in a fur coat.

returning to the nunly normal

Jul. 11th, 2017 12:31 pm
sistawendy: (mad woman)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Back into the work groove, which always involves fighting fires more than it ought to.

Lambert House last night. I finally got around to asking the director, Ken, what to do about folks in trans group who suck all the oxygen out of the room. This is a frequent occurrence, and I'm not proud to admit that I've never really known how to deal with it, so I didn't try.

Also, I told Ken about my tabling at Pride, especially that people wanted to know about the house's financial situation. He was hoping he could get some pro fundraisers on board before he had to message that, but he might have to reconsider, he said; props to him for being careful. As usual, I got an earful about incompetence and skullduggery at city hall, and stuff I need to do to the database to protect the house from it. I'm on it, but only time will tell if it's soon enough.

The Wendling is back with me for four nights to make up for when I was at Critical. I'd barely seen him for two weeks. Yeah, I missed him. He put his clean laundry away before I got home without needing to be reminded. That made me inordinately happy, and I told him so.

Other things that make me happy:
  • Making plans with the Siberian Siren to make plans for the Folsom Street Fair.
  • Planning a date with Much Younger Woman.
  • Getting a record recommendation from the Tickler that I have no doubt is solid.
  • Hearing from Ex that an old college chum has tracked me down, but doesn't yet know about my sex switcheroo.

(no subject)

Jul. 10th, 2017 12:37 pm
dark_phoenix54: (why motherfucker)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
As most of you know, we feed a feral cat on our front porch. We also get the occasional trash panda or skunk, but they have been pretty few and far between.

Yesterday I'm sitting on the sofa, and I hear not just the crunching of cat food, but these weird, squeaky toy sounds. I go to the sliding door (which opens on another porch, but I can see the front porch from it) and go out- there are *two* skunks there. One sort of small for a skunk, the other REALLY little.

Great, if there is one baby skunk there are no doubt more. And they seem to have gone under the house. We are hosting a family that settles arguments with long lasting stink bombs.

(no subject)

Jul. 9th, 2017 12:34 pm
dark_phoenix54: (ivy door)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
I'm halfway through with the antibiotics, and I'm really tired of being nauseating, feeling generally crappy, and spending too much time in the smallest room of the house. But the...thing.. has gotten smaller, although it's still very much in evidence and very sore. Today, with bonus skin peeling.

It's too hot for me to want to do anything. In between body functions I read, and have finally caught up with reviews. Book reviews, that is. I still have to do some on a garden tool and some other stuff. That requires going outside and taking pictures. Maybe this evening.

My strange dreams continue (strange as compared to the ones I've had all my life; they are ALL strange in any other respect). Night before I was a member of a vampire hunting group (no one I recognized); last night I was working for Alec Baldwin, in what seemed to be a houseful of kids and teenagers.

(no subject)

Jul. 8th, 2017 03:46 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Love and Other Consolation Prizes, by Jamie Ford. Ballantine Books, 2017

‘Love and Other Consolation Prizes’ covers more than 50 years. At one end, we have a five year old half Chinese/half white boy being sent by his starving mother to America. After a horrible voyage (children packed into the hold like animals; any who got ill were thrown overboard) and being placed in a few different places, he comes into the hands of Mrs. Irvine, who sponsors him at Holy Word school. When his year-end review comes up, he asks Mrs. Irvine if he could maybe go to another school or something rather than continuing at Holy Word. In an act that seems like retaliation, she takes him to the Seattle World’s Fair (actually called the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition), where many donated things are being raffled off, and donates *him*.

At the other end, we have the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, with a brand new Space Needle and much more. The little boy is now Ernest Young, senior citizen, living in a flea bag hotel, with his wife, Gracie, being in a state of dementia. But her memories are starting to come back, and she is calming down. At the same time, one of their daughters, Judy (Juju), a newspaper reporter, is searching for a great story- and has discovered, via old newspapers, that her father was the boy who was raffled off. She wants his story. He’s reluctant to talk about it, for reasons that become obvious.

When Ernest was raffled off, the madam of Seattle’s finest brothel won him. At first glance this would seem to be a bad thing, but it’s not. For the first time he has enough to eat, and his own room. He’s treated well. He’s expected to work and earn his keep, but he’s not a slave. The other servants and the ‘upstairs’ girls are likewise well treated. Of course, the upstairs girls run the risks of the trade- disease and nasty customers. Nasty customers are barred forever, but nothing stops disease. Madam Flo is the stereotypical hooker with a heart of gold.

As soon as he is won by Madame Flor, he makes the acquaintance of two girls near his own age: one the daughter of the madam, Maisie (although identified to all as her sister); the other is Fahn, a Japanese scullery maid. It turns out he knows Fahn; she was on the same boatful of indentured servants that he was on. Ernest and the two girls become fast friends in the years that they are there.

It’s a heartbreaking story in some ways; in other ways it’s heartwarming. Ford has researched Seattle history; there really *was* a child raffled off at the AYP Expo, although that one was a baby. The brothels of Seattle of course were real, including one very high class one that bribed everyone that needed bribing to stay in business. The girls- many of them Asian- kept as slaves in the low class ‘cribs’ were real.

There is a good balance of well-developed characters, great description of scenes and events, and action. We’re seeing the beginning of the modern age- electric lights taking over from gaslights, automobiles showing up on the streets- and it’s an exciting time. Five stars out of five.

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