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In Which Bo Endures Much

A while ago, I noticed what looked like a tiny scrape on Bo's nose, as if a teeny piece of the black shiny nose skin had come off. It wasn't bleeding or anything, and he didn't seem to be bothered, so I assumed that one of the cats had taken a swipe at him. Over the next couple of weeks, though, the spot got larger. Then I noticed that he was licking a place on his tail, and when I checked it out, I could see he'd licked it enough that there there was a bare spot where the skin was irritated. So I took him in to the vet forthwith. She looked at the places and scratched her head, and said she wasn't absolutely certain, but thought it might be an autoimmune thing. So they shaved the surrounding fur off the spot on his tail so I could see the condition of the skin more easily, and gave me a topical steroid solution to spray on his nose and tail twice daily, and told me to let them know on Monday if he'd improved any.

The spray stuff does seem to be helping; his tail is definitely healing up, and his nose seems better. Bo does NOT like getting his nose sprayed, even though we bribe him with cheese, but he's putting up with it resignedly. I'll let the vet know tomorrow how he's doing, and see what we need to do from here on out.

We didn't do a lot for Easter -- colored a few eggs, made a lamb roast (which was delicious) and planted a Blue Girl rose. The roses we planted last year have all done very well, so I'm hoping this one follows suite.

Kathy will be going to Vegas to meet her mother next weekend, so I'm hoping I can get some writing done while she's out of town. I have managed to get enough done on one of my shorter WIPs that I can post an update for Seasonal Spuffy, but I'd like to get a little more done if I can.

We took out a home equity line of credit this month, so we can get some projects done around the house. I'm waiting for a last estimate on the largest of them (enclosing the little porch/shed which is the northeast corner of the house to make a walk in closet for the front bedroom). Judging by the estimates we've gotten so far, it is, unfortunately, going to cost more than I'd hoped, but that seems to be par for the course for renovations. We have a whole list of other smaller projects we want to do, but we won't know for sure which we can do first until we know for certain how much the big one will cost. Hopefully they'll get back to me tomorrow.

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Ugghhhh, I have fallen into another non-posting slump. I must forcefully drag myself out.

The leather corset I ordered at the Ren Faire arrived last week, and my new, improved steampunk costume is just about finished! I still need to find or make a cloak clasp of some kind to keep the capelet from sliding off, but otherwise, it's pretty much done. I'm fairly pleased with the way it's come out.

This is the underskirt I made:

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Sunday was the Phoenix Pride parade, and Kathy had volunteered us to march with the group from her work. We got there around ten o clock, which was when the parade was supposed to start, but it didn't get going until almost eleven, and we were group #235 of what was probably about 300+ entries. There were all kinds of people marching, from big corporate groups to local non-profit and community groups, to cosplay teams to "I don't know what they're supposed to be, but they sure seem to be having fun."

Some of the groups were absolutely huge, and way better funded than the State Farm people (as in we had a little red wagon and some bubble guns, they had an air-conditioned bus and their own music system.) But it was fun nonetheless, and we seemed to be one of the few groups who were passing out trans and bi flags in addition to the standard rainbow ones, so we got semi-mobbed by people wanting those. The parade covered only about a mile and a half, from Virginia to Indian School, but we'd parked the car about a quarter of a mile away from the starting point, and once the parade was over, we had to walk back to where we'd parked the car, and what with the milling about before we started, we probably walked about four miles all told. It was pretty warm, and I had chosen aesthetics over comfort and worn my Doc Martens instead of sneakers, but I got out of it with only minor sunburn and no blisters.

Unfortunately being in the parade made it difficult to get any good pictures of the parade, but here's some milling about behind the scenes stuff:
PhotosCollapse )

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Editor list updated

I see someone already updated the editor list in several places -- thank you! I did the extra list on LJ, and updated the Tumblr list (which was so old it still had Gillo on it, eep.) It gave me some issues because it didn't want to save until I updated all the http:'s in the custom HTML to https:'s. :P I did that, but I have no idea whether the sites the graphics links go to have actually updated to https, so there is a possibility that some of the links may not work. However, I sincerely doubt that anyone ever clicks on them, so we should be fine.

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In Which Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

If my mother's tales are to be believed, my ancestry is mostly Scots and Irish, with some English in there somewhere. However, on her side of the family, we've been in the US since the 1700s. On my Dad's side, which appears to be mainly Scots/English, we've been here since the 1800s at least (the trail for his side of the family peters out in the 1880s or so because everyone's named freakin' George or Mary.) So I've never seen any point in doing the whole Performative Celtic Thing. I am not Irish (or Scots) in any meaningful sense. I crankily refuse to wear green, and wish a top of the morning to no one.

Sunday morning a friend of ours, who is very much into Being Celtic, called and said "It's St. Patrick's Day! Let's go to {local Irish-themed pub} for corned beef and cabbage!" As we were in the middle of catching up on cleaning the house, doing five loads of laundry, and still had the weekly shopping to do, we tried to hint that it was too short notice, and we were busy. They didn't take the hint, so we ended up dropping everything and going to meet them.

It being St. Patrick's Day, the bar was of course crammed to the gills with people, standing room only. They had a Celtic band playing, which I do like, but the crowd was so loud that you literally couldn't hear them more than five feet away. I don't like corned beef, I don't drink (OK, I drink occasionally, but only fruity umbrella drinks, and only one at a time.) Fighting my way through a crowd of drunken, yelling strangers for a decent-but-not-fantastic plate of shepherd's pie that I have to eat standing up in the middle of said crowd of drunken yelling strangers is not my idea of a good time. We agreed that perhaps we ought to come back some time when it was not St. Patrick's Day.

In more cheerful news, we did a run through SAS last week, (which, for the uninitiated, is an amazing fabric store in Phoenix which sells all kinds of mill-ends and odd lots of fabric at far more reasonable prices than your average Joanne's.) I had been intending to pick up some plain muslin with which to make a pair of drawers for my Ren Faire costume, which I did. But I also happened upon some incredibly cool fabric which would be perfect for my steampunk wardrobe. Since anything you see at SAS is likely to be gone the next time you go in, I grabbed a bunch of it, along with some really nice black linen as backing fabric. I decided that I didn't want to just wing it with this stuff, so I ordered a skirt pattern from Truly Victorian. Pics once I get it sewn together.

Work has been... weird since the software changeover. Hopefully things will improve, but I'm going to polish up my resume just in case.

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The only thing that's more fun than watching a good game of Mornington Crescent is watching the observers who don't get the appeal of Mornington Cresent complain bitterly about it.

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AO3 meme

 Rules: Go to your AO3 works page, expand all the filters, & answer the following questions!
I have 139 works on AO3.
What're your 1st & 2nd most common work ratings?
General Audiences (57)
Teen And Up Audiences (54) 
What's your most common archive warning?
No Archive Warnings Apply (110)
Least common archive warning?
Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings (1)
Do you consider yourself an adventurous writer?
Depends on what you mean by adventurous, I guess.  James Joyce I ain't. I stick to one fandom, as a general rule, and I tend to stick to writing one series within that fandom.  But I do experiment with form now and then, and I am happy to make side excursions into one-shots, where I am a good deal nastier to the characters than I am in my main series.  And I end my series on an ambiguous note rather than a happily-ever-after, because that was what felt right.
How many works have you made in each pairing category?
F/M (98)
Gen (41)
F/F (5)
M/M (0)
Multi (1)
Other (2) 
Is this more accidental, or do you have preferences?
It's more a function of the fact that I'm monofannish and write mainly about a het couple.  (Or, depending on how you look at the characters, a bi couple in a M/F relationship.)  
What are your top 4 fandoms by numbers?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV) (138)
Angel: the Series (15)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Comics) (4)
Are you still active in any of them, & do you tend to migrate a lot?
Yes, and no.
What are your top 4 relationship tags?
Spike/Buffy Summers (110)
Tara Maclay/Willow Rosenberg (5)
Xander Harris/Anya Jenkins (5)
Angel/Buffy Summers (4)

Does this match how you feel about the characters, or are you puzzled?
Pretty much – I'm writing a series about Buffy and Spike; stands to reason the majority of the stories will be Buffy/Spike.
What are your top 2 most used additional tags, & your bottom 2?
Alternate Universe - Canon (90) (I'm including Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence (15) in that, because they're the same damn thing.)
Angst (46) 
Kid Fic (23)
Domestic (19)
But I'm pretty sure this interface just lists your top ten tags, because I know for a fact that I have used dozens if not hundreds of tags less often than I've used those.
What would happen if you combined all 4 of these into a fic?
I would have a fairly typical Barbverse story. XD
How many WIPs do you have currently running on AO3? Any you don't plan on finishing?
Three are listed as WIPs, but one is the Three Deep stub which isn't really mine, and one is the Barb Brain Theatre collection which doesn't really count.  I do have at least three other WIPs that either I didn't tag correctly, or I haven't uploaded to AO3.  I intend to do my best to finish them all.
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Assorted things

I saw the orthopedic doctor Friday, and he agreed with my primary care doctor that the Mystery Pain had most likely been a Baker's cyst that burst. As long as things had returned to normal (which they pretty much have) he didn't recommend that I do anything but take ibuprofen as necessary for the arthritis, and stay active and all the usual stuff. He said I might need cortisone shots or a knee replacement at some point, but not for a long time yet.

This was the weekend that work was going to be changing a bunch of our software systems, so they kicked everybody except for the IT team doing the changeover out of the system on Friday and today. On the on hand, yay four day weekend; on the other hand, I go in tomorrow with literally no idea what I will be doing for the foreseeable future. Our old reporting jobs will, at the minimum, be changing a lot, and possible going away altogether (though we've been told that we'd be assigned to some other team rather than laid off if that happens – at least, for now. Knock wood.)

Regardless, four day weekend. Kathy took Friday and Monday off as well, and we determined to get things done. Friday we assembled the pergola we're using as a car port for the front driveway. The directions said it required four people, but we managed it just fine with only the two of us. It took about six hours, but part of that was because we accidentally put one part together backwards, and had to disassemble part way and re-do it. It came out very well, and it looks way nicer than the plain flat-top metal carports I'd looked at first, at about half the price.

Saturday, aside from the usual housekeeping and errands, I decided to dig out all of my half-finished sewing projects and finish them, by damn. I added leather cuffs with metal buttons to my Ren Faire costume shirt, to replace the elastic, and swapped out the cheap plastic button it came with at the neck for another metal one. I finished one of the half-completed leather pillows. (And determined that the issues I'd been having with sewing leather a couple of weeks ago were in fact the fault of the needle, yay. Much easier to put in the correct needle than get the machine serviced.) I finished the overskirt for my Ren Faire costume, started a faux fur capelet for my steampunk costume, and did a lot of the hand-stitching needed to finish up the black leather steampunk skirt, adding hook and eye closures and reinforcing places that needed reinforcing. I still have a ways to go with that. We also caught up on ST: Discovery, and watched the next few episodes of Umbrella Academy.

Sunday we went back out to the Ren Faire, as Kathy wanted to get the hat she'd seen out there a couple of weeks ago. It was much warmer this weekend than it was last time – two weeks ago it was overcast, cold, and windy, and this weekend it was bright and sunny. Kathy, unfortunately, got sunburned, but we had a good time. The friend we went with last time hadn't felt up to walking through the whole thing, so we saw the parts we'd missed, caught some more shows and the joust and the falconry exhibition, and got Kathy's hat. I had a mildly gratifying moment at the hat place; it's the same place where I bought my brown leather corset a few years ago. While I was looking around and waiting for Kathy, one of the people who worked there noticed the modifications I'd made, and enthusiastically called several of the other people who worked there over to see what I'd done. They were all very complimentary about it, which was very nice. At one of the other costume places I found a black leather corset that works way better with the steampunk skirt than my brown one does. The guy who's been giving glassblowing demos there for the last umpty years is retiring due to medical issues and won't be back next year, so I bought a very small vase – I'd have loved a larger piece, but his stuff is gorgeous hand-blown art glass, and priced accordingly.

Today I finished the last of the leather pillows (except for stuffing; I need to buy some fiberfill), completed the steampunk capelet, and made some modifications to the skirts on the Ren Fair costume. The striped skirt had a sash tie closure, and the overskirt had a drawstring waist. Based on my experiences with wearing both on Sunday, I thought that the combo was too bunchy when worn under the corset. So I unpicked the waistband of the striped skirt, trimmed off the drawstring part of the overskirt, and sewed it into the waistband of the striped skirt, cut off the sash ties and sewed them into the waistband as loops to gather the overskirt, and turned the waistband closure into a hook and eye closure. It looks better and is more comfortable to wear under the corset now.

I didn't quite finish all of the sewing projects – I still have one shirt that I was adding embellishments too, and a heap of net-cut leather scraps that I had great plans for, but am no longer sure what to do with – but I made a big dent in them, so I feel moderately accomplished.

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What I have been up to

Well, at least whatever was wrong with my knee wasn't due to blood clots. I have an appointment with an ortho doctor Friday, because I suppose I should at least see what's going on with the arthritis. I suspect that the exact cause of the mystery swelling will remain a mystery. I also need to get Bo in to the vet. I forgot his appointment in January, made a new one, and promptly forgot it too. Sigh. My brain is shot.

We have not yet gone to look at roses – or rather, when we did, they weren't in yet, and we haven't got round to going back. I'm not sure I'll have the spare cash for them now, since I had a lot of expenditures this month – plane tickets to Whedoncon, a pergola which is going to be a carport for the front driveway, and my car insurance. We'll have to see.

We started watching The Umbrella Academy, which is very atmospheric and stylish. They've taken a lot of liberties with the original comic, which I'm fine with, since the original comic was a tad too gonzo for my taste. (It was strongly influenced by Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, and I'm the only person in the world who read Doom Patrol and went, "Meh, OK I guess.") It's a little weird to like something that's a Hot New Fandom, though I have no desire to get into the fic or anything.

I got back into Fallen London after a lengthy hiatus, and I'm methodically going through all the end-game grinds. I raised Scholar of the Correspondence to 21. I have an Ubergoat. I've overcapped Persuasive at 215. I need to do a couple more stints as Governor of Port Carnelian, to get to the last level there. I'm currently working on becoming Poet Laureate, and then I need to grind enough echos to buy an Overgoat to replace the one I used up getting the Ubergoat. At least the Poet Laureate grind pays reasonably well, unlike SOTC, which burns money like lead tablets engraved with the unholy language of the stars themselves. Once I have Poet Laureate, I can change my specialization and overcap Watchful, Dangerous, and Shadowy in turn, and then I can go for Paramount Presence. (I have most of the requirements for that except for the stat overcapping, so it should go relatively quickly.)

After that, there's nothing left but to grind for Hesperidean Cider, and wait for more new content. Or maybe finally play Sunless Seas and Sunless Skies.

Lessee, what else is going on? I have a couple of pairs of jeans with those annoying non-existent pockets, and I altered them to have real pockets. How exciting.

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Ren Faire Time!

Kathy and me in Ren Faire togs. (Kathy's wearing part of her steampunk wardrobe, since hers isn't done yet.)

Costumes!Collapse )

I've got a few more additions and modifications to make on mine, but it's mostly complete, and I'm pretty happy with it.

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