Archive for the '[Etc]' category

Major Milestone

Jul 14 2016 Published by under etc

On January 19, 2016, I got a call that my spouse was not doing well at work. Within 48 hours his head was cracked open, and we began a roller coaster of cancer and complications.

Today, almost 6 months later, he officially is back in his office for the first time. He is trying to do administrative work only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He has to deal with some changes in the way his brain works (they did remove a major chunk of his left frontal cortex). Until he starts interacting at a higher level, he won't be able to figure out how to compensate for those missing neurons.

There were many days this year that I wondered if his return to work would be feasible, ever, at any level. Today is a great day indeed!

8 responses so far

A Fine Line

Jul 07 2016 Published by under Random Thoughts

Yesterday I wore a statement necklace to work. This piece composed of faux turquoise and coral added just the right pop to my plain black dress. As the day went on, I wondered where the line fell between what I wore, which was clearly influenced by Native American culture, and cultural appropriation.

Every creative type has inspiration boards with images influencing their current trends. Sometimes these pictures come from nature, but other times they are human creations. The artwork of every culture seems to have had its moment in high fashion.  When I sort my scarves and jewelry, I can see bits and bobs that would fit right into National Geographic.

Of course, I usually limit myself to a single “ethnic” piece. Looking like an extra on a movie lot would generally be in bad taste. But the line falls well before full buckskin, war paint, and feathered headdresses. It’s just hard to know exactly where before you screw up.

If you think my wardrobe item has crossed the line, please let me know why. We need to discuss this stuff in real life, not just ridicule off-duty models and actresses who make their mistakes on a big stage. 

2 responses so far

Fun Time for #ManiMonday

May 23 2016 Published by under Beauty

My sapphire blue tweexy

My sapphire blue tweexy

This weekend I tried out my new tweexy, a manicure aid. This silicon device holds your nail polish bottle on your hand while you paint its nails.

The device worked as advertised. My only issue involved lighting. I sat on a sofa with a nearby table lamp, and the nails on my left hand got shadowed by the tweexy. Having a more flexible light source would help the situation.

I used my tweexy to apply Afternoon Delight, a subtle lavender from Deborah Lippman Gel Lab Pro Polish. This base, polish, and top coat set provides a long-lasting manicure, even for someone who is hard on their nails. I typically get 5 days of wear with this system (vs 2-3 with regular stuff).

Afternoon Delight by Deborah Lippman

Afternoon Delight by Deborah Lippman

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Non-Apologies

Apr 18 2016 Published by under Blog Maintenance

This post is an apology of sorts to new commenters. I have things set so that once you have an approved comment on my site, all future comments will ultimately appear immediately. Even with an effective, aggressive spam filter, two or three inappropriate things try to get through every week or so. To know that there are comments awaiting moderation, I have to sign into my site.

I no longer do this every day because, life.

Anyway, that's why some of you, even though your comment was inoffensive and even welcome, saw a lag before it made its public debut. I am sorry for that, but not sorry enough to change my moderation habits.

In other words, deal with it (although you're likely on the good list now)!

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For Better, For Worse

Apr 14 2016 Published by under Random Thoughts

Today I took my husband to Grand Rounds, a Pediatric Educational Lecture (for my non-MD readers). I noticed on the announcement yesterday that a person he knew well from our St. Louis days was giving a named lectureship in honor of the retirement of a colleague here at Oklahoma. I asked if he wanted to go; he said he would.

He arrived bright and early, and quickly impressed people who knew of his illness and issues with his stamina and resilience. He paid enough attention to the lecture to get upset when I scrolled through non-emergent messages on my phone. He chatted with colleagues at the reception afterwards, until I retrieved my bag and took him home.

He slept most of the afternoon (while I went to the dentist for a tooth repair), ate a quick dinner, and then retired again for the night.

During the marriage vows, one typically swears in front of god-and-everybody to stay together through a number of circumstances, including for better or for worse. So far, 2016 has been a butt-load (to use the technical term) of for worse. Today, I finally saw some for better, even if it did wear him out.

I will take what I can get right now.

8 responses so far

Random Thoughts From the Restroom

Apr 11 2016 Published by under Random Thoughts

Yesterday while picking up some groceries and assorted items, I required a trip to a public restroom that contained 10 stalls. As I took my seat I noticed nice shoes under the partition next door. Now, these shoes looked feminine, but frankly, I have no idea what the chromosomes or genitalia of that person were. I could not tell, even at those close quarters, if this person had a vagina or penis. For all I know, they might have been cursed with two penises or a persistent cloaca! They might have been XX, XY, or some other combination of DNA units. I don't know if this person was doing #1, #2, or something else in there.

All I know is that their outer appearance, based on shoes, was female. AND NONE OF THE REST OF THIS MATTERS ONE BIT WHILE I'M PEEING!

If someone presents themselves to the world as a woman, they get to use the women's restroom. And vice versa.

One response so far

Thoughts from the Front Lines

Feb 04 2016 Published by under Wackaloonacy

Clean-Up Guide

Remember, no matter what you must clean up, you have earned that drink or candy or other treat. Enjoy!

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I Beg To Differ: My Avocado Slicer

Jan 04 2016 Published by under Gadgets, gizmos

Just before Christmas gift exchange, I heard Alton Brown discouraging the use and gifting of single-use kitchen tools. I also used to pooh-pooh such things, and some of the items discussed in his interview his interview truly perplex me (a square hard-boiled egg?). However, one such tool has a permanent place in my gadget drawer:

The main blade is all plastic. While it easily slices the skin and flesh of the fruit, you would be hard pressed to scratch yourself with it. The only metal pieces are within a cupped area. They are not sharp enough to cut skin, yet they grip the pit and easily twist it out. Finally, the plastic blades in the slicer easily cut through ripe fruit, but I cannot imagine anyone hurting themselves with it.

I used to dismiss these things as nonsense; I could use a chef's knife! Then, I cut myself pitting an avocado and ended up in the emergency room. My payment for that visit (not to mention the subsequent infection) would buy more than 45 of these tools. One of my nurses suffered a very similar injury this fall, also while pitting the fearsome green fruit. I gave her one of these devices.

We are worth it.

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Happy Holidays

Dec 22 2015 Published by under [Etc]

RedcupJoin me in raising a plain red cup to the winter solstice and its celebrations in all cultures and communities.

To my friends and acquaintances in the southern hemisphere, fear not. You will get your winter in 6 months.

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Gifting Adventure, Steampunk Geek Girl Style

Dec 11 2015 Published by under etc, What I'm Reading

Click to order

Click to order

Looking for a great gift for a tween/teen girl? Or even someone a bit older (hey, I'm over 50)? Look no further.

I just finished Gail Carringer's Finishing School series. As noted in the first book:

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time.

Set in a steampunk version of Victorian England, the stories focus on Sophronia, a 14-year-old girl who would rather take things apart than flirt with boys. She gets sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (always pronounced quali-tay), a school set in interconnected dirigibles so it floats above the moors. It rapidly becomes apparent that this is more than an etiquette academy. Soon Sophronia has learned how to use a well-timed faint to her advantage. She excels at fighting with a fan tipped with steel blades.

This being a steampunk world, homes and school have tracks laid for mechanical servants to roll about and do their jobs. These same servants in the school can help enforce curfews as well. In addition, the world is inhabited by immortals, including werewolves and vampires. The latter live in hives, with mortal human drones who provide a food source for the vampires. Werewolves also tend to run in packs and cannot float, so a werewolf cannot board the school. Becoming an immortal is not as straightforward as in the usual literature; transition to either species is difficult and often not survived.

In addition to the mechanical slaves, there have to be human servants. For the school, the giant steam engines run through the efforts of sooties, black youth who shovel coal and fix the riggings. One of these young men, Soap, becomes acquainted with Sophronia as she galavants about the blimp against all the rules. Can you see the forbidden love interest from here?

Conflict occurs and drives adventures through 4 books. The Picklemen want to rid the world of immortals by taking control of the mechanicals that serve society. Of course, Sophronia and her entourage save England from an ugly fate. Her colleagues include immortals, a girl who lives as a boy, and a mechanical steam dog.

These books provide a lively romp through an alternate history. I just love imagining all these proper young ladies learning the feminine arts while doing very untraditional things. I also greatly appreciate that Sophronia chooses a nontraditional lifestyle in the end, rather than the politically influential marriage that most of the spy-maids enter. I won't spoil the ending, but it is worth every moment.

These four books seem to close the saga. I really wish they didn't and we could go on with Sophronia's adult adventures.

I also believe that this series could be the next big YA movie franchise. Are you listening, Hollywood?

 

3 responses so far

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