Convergence Voting Time!

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:52 pm
lil_m_moses: (convergence)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
Detroit vs. Milwaukee

VOTE!

I saw too many hints of Gothapalooza aspirations in the Detroit bid for my taste, and Detroit is really spread out. I like the idea of Milwaukee in the fall (I've never been!).

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:53 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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.

Oh dear

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:00 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
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 ...

New Phone, 2 Weeks On

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:21 pm
lil_m_moses: (phone)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
Liking the new phone!

Good Stuff:
- Having a reliable GPS when playing Pokemon Go is a revelation! No more auto-wandering of the neighborhood while at home with my wifi off, though, shucks.
- I like some of the new little features in Nougat, including split-screen dual app use, and native call blocking (had it in my LG phone on Lollipop, didn't realize it wasn't a stock Android feature).
- The extra horsepower is a boon to Pokemon Go, along with everything else.
- The rounded edges and lack of magnetic charge port make it more comfortable to hold and easier to slip in/out of my pocket.
- I like not having glass on the back as well as the front (and it consequently doesn't try to slither off horizontal surfaces, either).
- I LOVE my new LoveHandle, which is firmly stuck to the back of my phone and lets me loop a finger through an elastic strap and keep the phone attached to my hand while I'm fumbling other stuff or just walking about and randomly klutzing. Should have gotten that years ago, though it wouldn't have helped in the ultimate demise of the previous phone (fell on it while it was in my pocket), and wouldn't have stuck to that glass back anyway. I still don't have a case, but I think the LoveHandle will preclude the need for one and I don't especially want one.
- Getting a new device inspired me to reevaluate and revamp my home screens' layouts for the better.
- I haven't yet had opportunity to take advantage of the additional LTE band (maybe this weekend?), but I'm sure that'll be primo.
- The built-in calculator knows order of operations now! But I still don't use it because I prefer/need a scientific calculator (I use the one in Android Army Knife, or a Graphing Calculator Pro app if I want something even more robust). EDIT: Oh hey, stock now has a little slide-out panel with some extra operations on it! Still pretty minimal, though.

The Less Good Stuff:
- The USB-C port means I'm having to get new adapters and cables, and those have some other minor issues, but it'll be fine.
- The wifi doesn't seem as capable all over my office buliding, but there could be a local router not working right.
- The lowest screen brightness is an irritating amount higher than the old phone, particularly in a dark room. (I'm also trying out the adaptive brightness again, but it's not reactive enough - too dim in bright sun, too bright in dim rooms.)
- The new version of the preloaded AccuWeather app sucks - it doesn't include the (omnipresent in Houston) heat index (except randomly sometimes), no longer shows me the expected weather for the current day/night in its widget view, and its background pictures aren't even useful for that either.
- They took away the jump-to-letter navigation in Contacts (though scrolling is better now) and the long-press save phone number option in Phone, both of which I used a lot.
- All the icons are a little bit smaller than they used to be. Somehow restoring my old profile made the folders go to a square shape instead of the default round shape, at least. No idea how to deliberately change that if I want to, but I'm sure the internet knows.

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 09:14 pm
lil_m_moses: (crafty)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
This is my family-free evening (little one's at her grandparents', Josh is at tai chi), so I ran personal errands.

- I signed up for a hula class at the NASA rec center for late Sept to late Oct; I've been wanting to learn hula for years, so am very excited.
- I discovered that a delightful local pizza by the slice place closed, which was disappointing because I really wanted a slice of their mac & cheese pizza for dinner. Instead I tried the 3rd of 3 new Subway-style pizza joints in the area. It was definitely the least interesting of the 3, so...the most like Subway, I guess. ;)
- Picked up some icing tips and gel colors for the Bulbasaur cake. Decided I'm going to try the frozen buttercream transfer; I'll have to practice next weekend. Whle also quilting. Or something.
- Went to Jo-Ann and got more materials and tools for my quilt. I found a fun mottled navy fabric with constellations printed all over for the backer, and a light blue with little white stars for the framing and binding. I liked another fabric print better, but it wasn't so thematically appropriate and the color didn't coordinate quite as well. I think I'm going to quilt with a dark teal color that coordinates well but stands out a little, after doing all the piecing with a purple that blends well with all the fabrics. They only had one spool of that color, though, so I might have to find more later. I did find a square ruler in the right size to help me easily trim down my wonky star blocks to a uniform size, yay, though pricey! I found a 1/4" presser foot for my machine to help me make my seams that little bit narrower they should have been, but then they wouldn't sell me the foot because it was from a sewing machine store within Jo-Ann or something, and the sub-store was closed? Super lame - don't display it if you won't sell it to me. Amazon will take my money at any hour, I'm quite sure.
lil_m_moses: (avatar)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
I feel like expectations of parents are becoming increasingly insane. I just read an article about 2 toddlers driving their Mom's car in an effort to get to their grandfather's house down the road. Supposedly the kids found the keys under the floor mat; I wouldn't personally put them there, but I also live in a large metropolis. Regardless of that, though, the kicker for me was that "the sheriff's office is working with the county prosecutor and Child Protective Services to determine if the mother should be charged with any crime."

It seems like it's getting to the point that one can't even let your kids play in the yard while you're inside doing some work or having a moment of peace or going to the bathroom, much less let them walk down the street to a friend's house, without being at risk of child endangerment or abandonment charges. When I was 5 I would walk alone the half mile to my friend's house (tiny town) to play with her. Mom knew where I was going and would have heard from the friend's mom if I didn't show up. Third (or 4th?) graders and up at Lillian's school are allowed to walk themselves to school, but if it's raining, parents are required to go pick them up. For _rain_. And even if you choose not to drive the average half mile between neighborhood homes and the school to pick them up on those rainy days, you still have to bring your car pickup pass as if you were driving. *eye roll* I was left alone sleeping in the car while Mom ran in to buy something (but with windows down, and it wasn't a billionty degrees), but that's a no-no now too. Bah. I have more feelings on this, but they're not yet coherent. It all just amps up the parenting anxiety.

Space Station Virtual Tour

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:24 am
lil_m_moses: (NASA meatball)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
Holy crap, this is SO COOL. Google did a Street View of the International Space Station. Check it out here: https://www.google.com/streetview/#international-space-station/cupola-observational-module

You can drag your mouse around to look around (and remember, there's stuff on the "ceilings" and "floors" too, because there's no true up and down in space!), and if you click on the little up-arrow at the bottom, you can move to different modules. In the Lab module, look for a fat orange hose along one corner (standoff), then look for a funny-shaped aluminum box sticking out over it (just left and down of where the view starts), and that's my payload (and the stuff it's attached to above and behind it)!

You can also look at this in Google Maps format: https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5602853,-95.0853914,3a,75y,214.46h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szChzPIAn4RIAAAQvxgbyEg!3e5!7i10000!8i5000 and the resolution seems a bit better. However, I had trouble getting it to move between modules.
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.

Insectile Invaders

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:21 pm
lil_m_moses: (A is for Amy)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
Oh hey! I think I finally I identified our blue-black waspy friends, who are particularly abundant inside the house this year. They're blue mud wasps, or blue mud daubers. Not aggressive, which we inferred (particularly when one tried to fly into my ear the other day, then down my shirt in its disorientation and I was none the worse for the experience), and they eat black widow spiders (YAY).

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Chalybion+californicum
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_mud_dauber
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.

So that's a thing

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:52 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[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.

Thoughts on Google technology

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:18 am
kingrat: (Default)
[personal profile] kingrat
I received the Pixel i ordered today, along with the free Google Home device.
  1. The phone is very smooth. It's my first all aluminum body phone, rather than plastic. I feel like I'm about to drop it all the time.
  2. For the same reason, it won't stay in my car mount in landscape mode. I have to keep it in portrait.
  3. Not really a fan of the aluminum for these reasons.
  4. It's thin. Very thin.
  5. So far, battery seems to be better than the Nexus.
  6. I like the Home device. I put it next to my bed and will use it as a clock radio with voice control.
  7. Speaking of voice control, it's very sensitive. It recognizes the hotword even when I'm in the other room with the door shut. Which means I have to turn off hotword detection on my phone while at home, or make the Home stop listening when I hang out in the other room.
  8. Google Fi doesn't have any of my usual Verizon dead spots, which is good.

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.)

Planning the Birthday Party

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:25 pm
lil_m_moses: (cooking)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses


She's still big on Pokemon, and loves Bulbasaur, so I'm looking at cake design ideas that aren't wildly over my very limited skill level. Here's some inspiration(s), along with the semi-profile and face-on reference pics above:

Bulbasaur mostly-round: http://www.imgrum.org/media/1424646589758230256_2006279
Homemade Pikachu (at my level of amateurness): http://www.andnextcomesl.com/2016/09/pikachu-cake-for-pokemon-birthday-party.html
Flat Bulbasaur that I can't find an actual source for
Minimalist Pikachu (could do similar for Bulbasaur): https://www.instagram.com/p/BH2tE7vj8UZ/embed/captioned/ (oh, and here's a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LupCkIHwJvU)
A cool frozen buttercream applique thing I could try (though I don't have icing tools): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWVzZ529Onk
Cut-out Pikachu w/ buttercream star frosting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJHbgGCPXVw
This square Squirtle looks a lot like Bulbasaur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B37ZnNCV_9k

I like buttercream better than fondant, but the fondant could look nicer and might hold together better for a Texas summer BBQ party that we have to drive an hour to get to. Hrm.

And related to none of this, I just think it's cool: galaxy mirror cake by a girl with a very odd affect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZhV63pkDBw

One of these days I should take a cake decorating class, 'cause I'm pretty bad at it.

Technical Hand-Waving

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:05 pm
lil_m_moses: (phone)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
Hm. I got the new screen installed on the old phone (well, it's at least taped onto the frame and electrically connected to the rest of the stuff which I stuck back into the slightly broken frame), and it's working now (huzzah!), though I broke apart and then gave up on the earpiece, which was glued to shards of broken glass on the back of the old screen. I'm just going to sell it for parts when I'm done cleaning it off, so completeness is not important. Seems the battery (which is the bent part - eek!) isn't talking to the motherboard, either, as it's stuck at 50% and not showing charging when the cable's connected, though I'm getting the connection bing. I was able to recharge it a few days ago, before I took it apart, and it's been off since shortly after that, so the charge should be sufficient to do this activity even if it's not charging now.

I'm trying to transfer the data between the two phones via wifi and the Xperia transfer app, but it lost connection once, and then seemed to stall out on the second attempt and then said it lost connection while I was poking through its help file (and it had switched to the other wifi band when I looked; I consequently made it forget that one). I'm trying a third time now (maybe it hadn't been stalled, since it got through the current piece fast this time?), but if this doesn't work I'll just dump what I can via computer, and if that's not enough, I'll go get a USB OTG cable (which might be handy to have anyway) and try it that way instead of over wifi.

EDIT 1:30 AM: Ended up doing a backup of the old phone onto the SD card and then doing a restore from that onto the new phone. Then took FOREVER trying to figure out how to get my calendar data transferred. Annoyed that I bought an upgrade to my calendar program and it wasn't able to do what I needed. Did finally find a separate app that could make it work, though I'll be damned if I understand what it did and why none of the other stuff that was supposed to work did. Not sure I'll be able to import my cross stitch floss list (think I did it manually last transfer). I had a few files in a secure notes app, the app was crashing in the new phone and I needed to reinstall it, but I very foolishly did that _before_ trying to switch the SD card back to the old phone and export the files first, and now they're gone. *facepalm* If I have to recreate the files anyway *whimper* maybe I'll check Google Play for something better. I think I have everything else that contained data I care about transferred, thank goodness.

EDIT 8:45 AM: Victory! After sleeping on it, I tried another restore from the backup file, of just the apps, and it recovered my data for both those apps! I'm still fighting with the calendar a bit, though. Again.

30 Stars

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:44 pm
lil_m_moses: (crafty)
[personal profile] lil_m_moses
30 Stars

Finished my 30 star blocks for the quilt. Next is the star borders, or sashing, which will help hide the unevenness of my star edges. This is all I need before the next class, though.

Not super happy with one that's reverse contrast and another that's negligible contrast, but whatever. This is my newbie quilt. Trying really hard not to make any star/sashing combo changes, though. I'm terrible at randomization, but feel like I did OK at randomizing these initially.
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.
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