Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy World Goth Day!

It's a gray, overcast, slightly chilly Thursday morning here in Hayward, and I'm at work looking goth to the teeth -- fishnets, spikes, bones, boots and all.  Just call me Abby... ;-)

Get your Goth on, and celebrate World Goth Day with me!!

In honor of the day, I give you one of my favorite songs (which is NOT by Voltaire, no matter what it says on YouTube), the classic "If I Only Were a Goth"!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

An Outfit Post for 2014

I just came across some pictures taken in October/November 2013, and realized I hadn't posted them!  So here is an outfit post for you:

I love the spiderweb tights above, but they're not really tights so much as strings woven into a pattern, with nothing holding them together!  So I'm wearing a sheer pair of regular pantyhose under them to keep them "anchored" and prevent my toes from going right through them and rubbing to death on my shoes.  They look and feel much better this way.  (Shirt: Etsy; lace skirt: private LJ sale)

The black shredded pants have fishnet sewn behind the slits so it looks like I have tights on under them.  (Shirt: EcoThrift; Pants: Torrid; Studded belt: private LJ sale; Rose necklace: Etsy; Rosary necklace: Hot Topic)

Silly, I know, but it WAS October!!  (Shirt: K-Mart; Pants: Torrid; Skull socks: JoAnn Fabrics)

The last one is a closeup of the skull, so you can see that it's actually made of cats!!  And yes, it's navy not black.  (Shirt: Torrid; Pants: EcoThrift)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Dark Candles... also TIKI !!!

I love candles!  And thanks to The Curious Professor Z and a review post she did long ago, I was introduced to a wonderful online candle store called Dark Candles. These candles come in many scents that you won't find anywhere else, and are created especially "For Those Who Prefer the Dark".  

I've tried quite a few of their candles (I'm into votives and tealights), and I have to say that I LOVE many of the scents.  Unfortunately, I've also found that while some candles' scents are quite strong and fill the room properly, others just seem to barely have any scent at all. I'm not sure whether it's the individual scents themselves, or whether the quality of the pouring is what makes the difference, but the strength of the scent is uneven and varies, not from candle to candle, but from scent to scent.  (I know, I'm using the word "scent" too much, but I'm not sure how to explain this properly.)  So although I may love the actual smell, there are several fragrances I won't buy again because they were so weak that I had to stand over the candles to smell them.  That being said, there are many wonderful fragrances that are worth your time and money to check out.  AND they have a "Shadow Card" program.  You get one Shadow Card for every $10 you spend; when you have ten cards, you mail them in and get $10 off your next order.  Sweet!!

The fragrances I order on a regular basis are: Full Moon, Dracula, Arachne's Garden, Dragon's Blood, Forbidden Fruit, and Black Rose.  All these scents are totally YUM!!  (Yes, even Dracula, just don't go there, okay?)

Right now, Dark Candles is having a 20% sale on all orders over $20, AND, in honor of the upcoming Summer, they have brought back a special collection.  Here is the blurb from the e-mail I got this morning:

The calendar says it's spring, but the weather here at the Dark Candles Mansion is not cooperating!

To get us all in the mood for warmer weather and some fun, we are bringing back our Tiki Collection Pack! Stop by and check out South Seas, Singapore Sling, Sneaky Tiki and Civil Savage!

This collection pack will only be available until August 31st. Also, just because you asked, available for a limited time is Forest Breeze, a welcoming scent of the threshold between meadow and forest. Very neutral and inviting!

Enjoy 20% off all orders over $20.00 with the coupon code: TIKIMAY14 

Now, I have NO idea how long the sale is going to last, so I suggest you order ASAP. And Meagan, check out that tiki collection before it goes away!  ;-)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do I Really Look THAT Old???

On Friday, May 9, 2014, I went through another one of those annoying life passages...

I was driving up to Clearlake (again) to collect and pay my mom's bills and visit her for Mother's Day.  As usual, my first pit stop was at the Jack in the Box in American Canyon, just on the other side of the Vallejo city limit.  Also as usual, after using the ladies' room, I bought a bottle of water, which is $1.59 + tax for a total of $1.72.  I ordered from the same lady I frequently see there; she's at least my age, probably a bit older.  But this time the total came to only $1.18.  Weird.  I sneaked a look up at the menu board, but it still said $1.59 there... huh??  Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, however, I paid the $1.18, grabbed my bottle and left.

As I got into the car, curiosity got the better of me (it's my cat nature).  I checked the receipt and nearly choked, then burst out laughing; she had deducted 50 cents as a "senior discount"!!!  Seriously???  She didn't ask me if I was over any particular age, and I was wearing my usual jeans and a gothy t-shirt.  I certainly did NOT look like a "senior" anything!  Well, I had no idea what their age limit is, so I decided to enjoy the joke, the water, AND the discount.

After I got home, however, I couldn't resist the urge to go onto Mr. Box's website and check their senior discount age limit.  When I did I was sorry... Do I really look like I'm at least 55?????  Yes, I know that 52 isn't that far off, but still, I've got SOME pride.  Martin assures me that I don't even look 50 yet, but either that lady was reading my tree rings wrong or something looks older than it should.

Anyway, I've spent all this week dressing in some of my awesome gothy spring/summer clothes, and I feel MUCH better now!  Hmph... Senior, my @$$!  (However, this will NOT stop me from starting to ask about senior discounts at other places.  Why not pay less if I can do it legally??)

Monday, May 5, 2014

May: "I'm SO Goth..."

Here's the purrrfect kind of cat for goths.  I give you... SKELEKITTY!!!

Of course, black cats are my ultimate favorites  (and MUCH easier to find...)  ;-)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Wild Weekend

Saturday morning I left for Clearlake (again).  I'd been getting weird vibes and feeling nervous all morning, like there was something "wrong", but I couldn't put my finger on anything.  I got onto the freeway, and was doing 70mph through San Leandro (about 10 minutes out from home), when a loud "PING" somewhere in or under the engine got my attention.  At first I thought it was just a rock, but then I started having problems maintaining speed.  She'd been rather sluggish and jerky when I accelerated onto the freeway, but this was different... suddenly I felt that something was not connected right to the gas pedal.  I pulled off the freeway, called Triple-A from a gas station, and got a tow home.  I HAD to get to Clearlake that day, as I had people coming to finish clearing out Grandma's house on Sunday.  Fortunately, my son and his girlfriend were coming up later in the day, so I got a ride with them.  I had to come home Sunday night instead of Monday, but that was okay.  Whew.

When we got to Grandma's house Sunday morning, we found the back door and screen wide open and the outside doorknob missing.  Someone had obviously broken in, but it couldn't be seen from the street so the police driveby hadn't noticed it (assuming they DID drive by as requested).  Fortunately, the valuables that had been in obvious places were already removed, so whoever broke in probably didn't get anything.  This was confirmed when we found various hidden valuables during the cleaning process, including the silverware (real silver), and a piece of folded tinfoil stuck into a bunch of cards on the kitchen table that concealed almost $400 in cash!  I'd have missed that, but the two people I hired to help are VERY honest, and while Jim could easily have concealed it, he quickly brought it to my attention.  We also found my grandfather's Bronze Star, another box of letters he wrote to Grandma while he was at Camp Roberts and then in Italy during WWII, and several small things my mom wanted.  The only thing we didn't find was Grandma's "good" jewelry, and that might be in the safe deposit box, or she might have given it away or sold it.  She had several jewelry boxes full of stuff, but I took that out for safekeeping before she died, and most was only costume anyway.  We're not going to worry about it.

When I told my mom about the money, she told me to keep it, and use it for repairing the van.  She is the executor of Grandma's estate, so she could do that.  She said that I'd been busting my behind doing all the work for both her and Grandma (which is true), and that I should be compensated for the wear and tear on the van.  Thank you!!

So Monday I took the van in to have her repaired.  She'd been running very rough for a few weeks (yes, it started during all this running around to Clearlake), we had leaking coolant, and I figured she needed a tuneup, but we didn't have the cash.  I did give her an oil change earlier this month AND bought a new battery last week, but neither solved the problem.  Now, between the money from Grandma's house and Stuart paying his April rent (finally!), I actually didn't have to worry about the cost too much.  Turned out the sparkplugs and ignition coil were almost dead, so they did the tuneup and replaced everything, to the tune of $500.  When we went to pick her up, we found out that he hadn't known about the leaking coolant hose when he called but the guys fixed it along with everything else.  Since he'd already given us the estimate and it had been approved, he couldn't charge us for the coolant hose replacement, which would have been another $50-55, so we got that for free!  I'd have felt bad except that the diagnostic alone was $95, which is rather high, so I didn't feel they got ripped off.

Now the van is running beautifully (knock on wood!), I'm DONE with Grandma's house and almost done with the rest of her business, and when I go up again in two weeks (on Mother's Day weekend), I should be able to relax a bit more and spend more time with my mom.  She is doing extremely well, and the doctor has expressed cautious agreement that she might be able to go home by the end of May.  woo-HOO!!!

I'm feeling extremely blessed now.  I didn't have an accident when the van conked; I was able to get to Clearlake on schedule and meet my obligations; we found everything we wanted and/or needed to find in Grandma's house, which is now OUT OF MY HAIR; I got the money to fix the van and the work has been done; AND I got to spend time with Stuart and Kori.  I feel like I've lost 40 pounds!!!  :-)

Thanks to all, living and otherwise, who made this possible!!  And thanks to all of you who have been sending prayers, energy, and general good juju to me and my family.

A blessed Beltaine/May Day to all!

And just to make this a slightly gothy post, I give you this pic I made on some random site awhile back.  The funny thing is that last year I bought a black strapless sundress with pinky/purple skulls-and-crossbones on it!  This would totally be me, if only I was drawn that way...  ;-)