Here are my first attempts at nail polish flowers.

Nail polish flowers

In terms of colors, I like the red and dark purple (the one next to the white flower. The purple on the other end is more violet, but it doesn't show up well in the picture), but my hair's too dark for them to really stand out, so I think I'll use mostly white and yellow flowers. Smaller petals are easier to cover, but larger ones are translucent, which I think is prettier. I'm going to try some other methods for forming flowers and painting the petals, see what works best.

Attempts to create a dragonfly and a more complex flower did not go well, but I'll continue to try.

Jul. 13th, 2014

My dad showed most of the extended family how to pick locks. My five-year-old nephew successfully opened a padlock. He doesn't understand how locks work or what he's doing, but he can pick them.
For my birthday, my parents gave me DVDs of classic Disney shorts. Dad argued with Mom at first, saying I was an adult and wouldn't want those, but then he heard me reminiscing about "Johnny Fedora" and withdrew his objection. My sister was sitting next to me when I opened them, and we both got excited and started singing "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf" and "Lambert the sheepish lion". She's already told me she's going to borrow the DVDs.
I have a new art project. I found instructions on how to make a nail polish flower crown and it looked relatively easy and inexpensive, so I'm trying it. You just twist some wire into the shape of flowers, brush nail polish across the petals (this is a bit tricky and can take a few tries--you need the brush to touch both sides of the petal so it forms a film, like with soap in a bubble wand). Once it dries, you use floral tape to twist everything together, maybe add ribbons, beads, and/or rhinestones, and you have a flower crown. I bought some wire and a variety of cheap nail polishes and made a few flowers as a test, and am getting the hang of it. I'm also going to try making a puddle to dip the flowers in. I'll run out of polish faster that way, but I'm planning on bringing the supplies with me on vacation and showing my little cousins how to do it, and dipping should be easier for them. I probably won't make crowns with them either, just barrettes or pendants or something.

I'll post a picture once my crown is finished.

Jun. 21st, 2014

Conversation between my parents:

Mom: If you were stranded on a desert island, what book would you want with you?
Dad: "How to Build a Boat".
Mom: I think you're missing the point.
Dad: It's a good answer!
Mom: *sigh* If you were on vacation for a very very very long time...

Today I put frozen banana and mango in the blender. While the blending process was more difficult than the internet had led me to believe (the blades forced the frozen fruit up and then just whirled around without doing anything, so I kept stopping to scoop out the puree and force down the big pieces. Eventually we added milk, which helped), the end result was a sweet and creamy dessert. I should have used more mango and less banana, and it froze solid when I put it back into the freezer instead of staying ice cream-like like the one recipe said it should. This may be because of the milk, although it's odd that milk would make something less ice cream-like. I'm looking at other blenders/food processors to see if I can find something small (we don't have much kitchen storage space) that would work better than what we have now. I might also try buying different blades for the blender or chopping the fruit up into smaller pieces before freezing it. Still, in spite of the trouble with the blender, I'm calling this a success and am planning to experiment with other fruits.


They've finally released the soundtrack to "The Muppet Movie" in MP3 format! This is the highlight of my day.


Learning new things

Elf girl
I took a lock picking class. Now I want a moat. With sharks. Locks are a joke. At first you think, "Oh, these are super simple practice locks. Real locks are harder." But no. The first three are super simple. The next three are padlock and front door locks, and I still got them open in under a minute. It's a surprise the first time. You just wiggle the picks around, getting a feel for things, and suddenly the lock's turning. You can buy tougher locks, with tricky pins and oddly shaped key holes, but more experienced lock pickers can open those too.

It was kind of fun though. It's a useful skill I will hopefully never need.

I also took a scuba diving class. That did not go as well as lock picking. I don't like being underwater. When I was little I would never jump in to the deep end, never swam underwater. When I was about 12, I forced myself to practice, and once I started wearing goggles I got much better. I go underwater, even swim a bit, but I still try to keep my face above water most of the time. I thought it was getting water in my eyes that bothered me--wear goggles or keep my eyes closed and I'm fine--but apparently it's being underwater for any length of time (and getting water in my eyes, and up my nose, and I'm not crazy about mouthfuls of chlorinated water either). I just didn't feel like I was getting enough air. I was breathing fine, but my chest still felt tight. And then we were supposed to practice cleaning our masks underwater, and taking the mouthpiece out and putting it back in, and I did not like it and kept standing up (we were in the shallow end of a pool) so I could breath and wipe the water from my face. I tried it. I'm giving myself points for stepping outside my comfort zone. Now I can stay in my comfort zone for at least a year before I have to try something else new and scary.

I was going to take an ice carving class, but it was cancelled due to low enrollment. I think that's horribly unfair, punishing the people who did enroll. It's not my fault other people didn't sign up. Punish those people. Hopefully it will be offered again.

Apr. 25th, 2014

Rainbow Raider
Wow. It's been a long time since I posted. I keep meaning to post, but then I get distracted.

I have a new niece, and I'm going to be the godmother! I haven't figured out what to get as a baptism gift yet. My sister and brother-in-law are not very religious, and neither am I; the baptism is more about tradition and keeping the religious members of the extended family happy than it is about beliefs, so a Bible or rosary won't really be appreciated. I'm hoping I can find a toy lamb or angel (so far the stuffed lambs have been scary and the angels have been glass or ceramic), and I'll probably give them a gift card too.
I redid my bedroom last summer. It started with a new filing cabinet and a second-hand curio cabinet. In the process of clearing space for the new furniture and organizing papers, I decided it really was time to get new bedroom furniture. A bigger bed meant a new mattress and bedspread. The new furniture is a dark cherry, which would not look right against the dark blue carpet, so new carpet it was. And since the new carpet is a rather bland tan (but so very soft and plush), I needed to paint the walls something more colorful. And then I needed new curtains to match the new everything else. It was an expensive month. But it looks good. The walls are a brighter greener than I expected, but it works with the rest of the room.
I am applying for a new job. I've applied to two so far and will keep looking for more possibilities. I hate writing resumes and cover letters. As if they weren't bad enough, the two I've applied to so far have online assessments. So after you've uploaded your documents you get to answer a little quiz about how much experience you have with the duties of the job. It's something like this:

How much experience do you have as a boat painter?
a) I am a boat painting master. Young painters fight for the chance to be my apprentice. There's a paintbrush named after me.
b) I have years of experience. I can paint a battleship all by myself.
c) I'm a lowly apprentice. I'm not allowed to paint without supervision, but it's been months since I last got my foot stuck in the paint can.
d) I've never seen a boat and I can't tell the difference between a paint roller and a rolling pin.

There is no option "e) I have never painted a boat, but I have painted houses, cars, jets, and small woodland animals. I can paint plaid." So even though I could do the job, it looks like I can't, because my experience and skills are in related areas, not the incredibly specific areas they asked about. Still, I'm hopeful about the second job. There's probably a lot of applicants, but I should have a chance at least.

That pretty much sums up the last year. New bedroom furniture, new niece, on the hunt for a new job.

Health update

I'm alive. I hurt.

I told the doctor to look at the cyst and remove it if it was an endometrioma. The doctor said the whole procedure should be an hour at the most. It was two. Not that I remember anything between getting settled in the OR and waking up in the recovery room. They offered to let me stay in the hospital overnight, but I said I wanted to go home. And then I fell asleep. This happened two or three times. Apparently anesthesia takes a while to wear off. We arrived at the hospital at 3, the surgery was at 5, and we didn't leave the hospital until after midnight.

The cyst was an endometrioma, and there were other bits of endometriosis in other areas. They removed the cyst but left most of the other spots of endometriosis, I think? I think the polyp turned out to be a fibroid. I'm not sure what the difference is. And I think one of my fallopian tubes is blocked. I was pretty out of it while they were explaining things. Mom and Dad told me some of what they said, and I have a summary sheet, but I'm still confused. I'll get the details when I have the follow-up appointment.

I have four small incisions in my belly, plus the holes in my hand and my arm from the IVs. No bruising, at least. My throat is raspy from the tube (I have no memory of the tube), and my neck is sore, either from the tube or all the time I've spent sleeping. I'm coughing less though, which is good. Coughing hurts. Laughing also hurts.

I hurt less than I did yesterday morning. My legs were shaking when we got home from the hospital, and my hands started shaking when we arrived at the hospital and shook off and on all day yesterday. They seem steady now.

I have no appetite. I'm eating, because I'm supposed to, but I'm not hungry. I threw up yesterday morning and nearly threw up the night before, but since then everything's staying down.

I'm mostly okay now. I may even go to the weekly family gathering tonight.

More surgery stuff

Last Monday, I had an ultrasound to see if there's been any change. This Monday, I called the doctor's office to see if they had received the results, since I usually hear within a few days, and one time it took longer it turned out they hadn't received the results (radiologist's office swore it had been sent, doctor never saw it). The person I spoke with on Monday wasn't allowed to check that part of my files and said someone would call me back. Tuesday I called again, and this time they called me back to say they had received the results, and the doctor would call me. This morning the doctor called. I'm a little annoyed at how long it took, although at least she apologized a few times.

The cyst has finally started to shrink. So now I have a choice: I can go ahead with the surgery, I can have the polyp removed and continue the "watchful waiting" for the cyst (more ultrasounds, yay), or I can have them make one incision to insert a camera and look around, and if it looks like a complex hemorrhagic cyst we go back to watchful waiting and if it looks like an endometrioma they go ahead with the surgery to remove it.

pros and consCollapse )


Snoopy writing
I made marshmallows!

They aren't done yet, but the pre-chilled stuff was good. Tasted like marshmallow fluff. I used this recipe. The egg whites really do make it fluffier. I think there's a bit too much vanilla though. Clean-up was easier than I hoped--a few minutes soaking in hot water dissolved most of the sticky stuff.

I'm going to try the graham cracker recipe for Thanksgiving. I would have liked to make it at the same time as the marshmallows, but I don't have time this weekend.
I saw Wicked! It was fantastic. I highly recommend it. I want to see it again. And then write essays about it. That's normal, right? (It's the repeated use of "good", especially in non-moral-judgement or superficial ways, and how it reflects the characters' values and makes both "good" and "wicked" meaningless).
I'm ahead in NaNo, but I'm away for the weekend (hence the marshmallow-making), so I might not get much done the next couple of days.