Oct. 25th, 2012 07:06 pm
margotvankapelle: (fairydust)
I just ordered our niece's birthday gifts...I like this whole "discretionary income" thing.  She's turning 9 this year.  NINE!  Jeez, I remember when she was just a tiny baby!

(I got her a DIY "Personalize your own messenger bag" thing and a "Make your own chocolate" kit.  I figured they might appeal to a very girly and craft-y proto-nerd.  Yep, she takes after her aunt in that respect. :-P )
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
There is one Very Special Snowflake on my FB who posted about the Todd Akin debacle I posted about earlier today and he keeps on with strawman arguments and rape apologism and Godwin's Law and I am currently grinding my teeth down to little bitty nubs.

Anybody have a spare bazooka they're not using?  I'll bring it back as soon as I am done.
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Are you fucking kidding me? 

I have many feelings on this.  They are all rage.

32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape per year is not "rare", and the 32,101 women whose lives are directly affected should be trusted to make the decisions that are right for them, not have to kowtow to what a delusional representative who has never met them, never heard their stories thinks is the right decision to make on their behalf.

Also, "legitimate" rape?  GTFO.

Hon. Todd Akin
117 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Voice: (202) 225-2561
Fax: (202) 225-2563

Um. Well.

Jul. 30th, 2012 03:57 pm
margotvankapelle: (sun)
We went through this house today.  It's a couple of blocks from Boe's school; we can see the roof of the school building from one of the back bedrooms.  It's also in an "urban renewal" zone, which tends to be code for "crime tends to be high", but in looking at the statistics, this little area is a growing oasis of lower crime rates than elsewhere in the zip code.  There are crazy amounts of tax exemptions and credits one can claim as well as some of the lowest housing costs in the city.

Let's face it:  Is it possible to have brand-new stick built construction anywhere else in the entire flipping United States for less than $90,000?  Yeah, didn't think so.  Besides, it is just the architecture that Boe and I really like and he fell in love with the place as soon as he walked in the door. 

  This house (and its companion house at 2412 Gay St.) have sat empty for the past 4 years; they were originally closer to $130,000 but then the housing market went to crap and basically everyone lost interest in buying real estate.  So the nonprofit group that owns these properties is making down payment assistance available as well as very favorable lending terms through a partnership with the Urban League.

So we've applied to be considered for the house at 2416 Gay.  We'll see if they approve us; the worst they can say is "no".


Jul. 5th, 2012 11:43 pm
margotvankapelle: (bollocks)
I checked the weather forecast for the next couple of days and nearly fell over.

Al Gore?  You can have your freaking global warming back; we don't want it.

Okay, game plan is to hole up in my bedroom all day with the critters, since three of the five are elderly.  Any panting, heat exhaustion type symptoms and they go into a cool shower with me.

Voila, my plans for the weekend.

Note to self:  The next house will have central air.  This is ridiculous. 
margotvankapelle: (cheesegrater)
We were hit pretty hard -- about 3 PM yesterday that storm rolled through complete with green sky and horizontal rain. There was a tornado sighted in Allen County, and in all honesty, I have never seen such a large group of people with such a poor sense of self preservation and priorities as WalMart customers.

Naturally, the PERFECT place to shelter oneself during a tornado warning is in the frozen section -- you know, with all the glass doors? And the number of people I had to actively tell to please NOT bring their grocery carts into the shelter area of the store boggled my mind.

Anyway, the power is still out at my workplace; it's estimated that the power should be on by midnight Wednesday into Thursday. I had to collect the written cake orders due tomorrow and make them at the only Walmart in the city that still has power. We lost power at home, but it was restored rather quickly (4 AM) so we didn't lose any perishables. My folks are still without power, but they have a generator to keep their refrigerator and freezers running.

So it was less than fun.!/photo.php?fbid=295491870546769&set=p.295491870546769&type=1&theater

This next one is actually a couple of streets over from where I live...!/photo.php?fbid=10151075809111613&set=p.10151075809111613&type=1&theater
This one was about half an hour southeast of Fort Wayne:!/photo.php?fbid=4185458921467&set=a.1847234347314.111988.1434344535&type=1&theater

ETA:  Have a pic gallery:

margotvankapelle: (roses)
Even if the photography is total crap.

Life must be terribly difficult as part of the Powell household:


OMG yay!

Jun. 27th, 2012 11:16 am
margotvankapelle: (roses)
Still no word on the teaching job for Boe, but hey, the day is young.

What I'm REALLY excited about is the arrival of a couple of GORGEOUS silk Venetian gowns from the always wonderful [ profile] rvqavalon.  I bought both of them a while ago and life just kept interfering with the gowns' delivery.  Well, they got here yesterday.  I figured the red-burgundy one for Mel and the red-gold one for myself.  (Although with Mel's behavior of late, I'm tempted to keep both for myself out of principle.) 

Both of them fit like a glove.

I am thrilled.  I mean, like, I haven't been this happy about ANYTHING in a long, long time.

SO. MUCH.GORGEOUSNESS. OMG.  Pictures forthcoming.
margotvankapelle: (Default)
At this time tomorrow, our Melmel will be back home with us. SO EXCITED.

In other news, my favorite cousin found out today that she is having boy/girl twins, so I'm over the moon for her and her husband. Ok, ok, there's a tiny touch of jealousy, but that's my issue to deal with, not hers to put up with.

Posted via

margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
For the record, one can watch the full documentary -- which I highly recommend -- here at PBS.  I loves me some public broadcasting, yes I do.

As all y'all know, I am going to be a nurse.  Having been interested in the body, all its weirdness, and all the Very Bad Things that can happen to the body, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on about epidemiology, the history of medicine (as I am interested in both history and medicine, the history of medicine is Very Much Relevant To My Interests indeed), plagues, pandemics, and assorted bacterial/viral/fungal Happy Fun Times resulting in the deaths of populations.

To say vaccines are worse than the illnesses they prevent is total, complete, and utter hogwash. 

Let's take the most famous example, the disease so feared it was the first to be eradicated from the globe:  smallpox.  Smallpox killed up to 60% of those infected and up to 80% of infected children.  It was implicated in 35% of cases of blindness in human history.  What is relatively unknown to most people is that in order to eradicate smallpox, governments began to require mandatory vaccination -- no exceptions.  In 1843, Massachussetts put the first madatory-vaccination law in place, and other states soon followed suit.  Within 60 years -- by 1897 -- the United States was almost completely free from smallpox.  The last naturally-occuring case of Variola major (the more deadly of the two strains) was diagnosed in October 1975.  The less-deadly Variola minor was last diagnosed in a naturally-occuring case on October 26, 1977.  Both cases were on the other side of the globe:  one in India, one in Somalia.

For those playing at home, that is within my lifetime.  I am only 34 years old.  We're not talking about hundreds of years ago, or even a hundred years ago...we are talking about less than 40 years in the past.  In the history of the world, that's practically nothing in the grand scheme of things.  And now most doctors or nurses wouldn't know what smallpox even looks like in the field.  They've never encountered it before, except perhaps in a footnote in an epidemiology class.  Maybe.

So that right there argues that vaccines are a damned good thing where the good of humanity is concerned.  Now let's look at some of the other vaccines, the ones to prevent diseases that have NOT been eradicated.  The ones the CDC still recommends.

Pertussis.  Whooping cough.  Sounds relatively innocuous, wouldn't you say?  Oh, it's just a funny-sounding cough, right?  Want to hear something that will make your chest ache?  Here ya go.  Pertussis really doesn't have any particular treatment beyond comfort care once you're infected...but that cough can make you vomit, faint, the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes to rupture, break your ribs, and asphyxiate to death on your own throat secretions.  Imagine coughing so hard your ribs break. The worst part about the whole disease is that babies that are too young to be safely immunized are the ones most at risk...because pertussis vaccinations don't give you lifelong immunity, most parents can carry pertussis -- and can wind up passing it along to their children.  In fact, in fatal cases in which a pertussis carrier can be identified, up to 80% of the time it is a family member of the dead infant who unknowingly exposed that baby to pertussis.  I can't imagine what sort of pain that must be for a family.

Measles.  Yeah, that rash that your grandmother lived through, but you probably didn't have to -- because your parents vaccinated you.  Sure, measles doesn't have a high rate of complications in healthy adults, but what about that person sitting next to you on the bus...the one you don't know is immunocompromised, because most people don't go around with a "I had a transplant and am on antirejection drugs" signs.  In immunocompromised populations, the fatality rate from measles is around 30%. 

While I'm at it, since the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine is the primary one Jenny McCarthy et al. froth at the mouth most about, there is such a hullabaloo raised about autism caused by vaccination and it is rage-inducing.  These people go on and on about vaccines causing autism, because apparently there's nothing worse in the world that autism.  I beg your pardon?  Autism is somehow worse than death?  Or causing pregnant women to miscarry is okay as long as your kid is neurotypical?  *flail*headdesk*flail*  These anti-vaccination people don't seem to realize -- in fact, their health depends on -- the herd immunity that the rest of the (vaccinated) population provides. 

So to say I Have Issues with anti-vaccination tropes is a little bit of an understatement.
margotvankapelle: (beholdthenight)

Well, on Sunday I was on the northeast side of town at our local fail!Joann Fabrics, picking up fabric for a last-minute Halloween commission (one of my co-workers wanted to come to work as William Wallace in Braveheart), and my dad called me.  Now, for the record, Dad never calls me*, so when he does, I make quick in answering the phone.

"What's on fire?" he said.  Dad is not known for messing around when in phone conversation -- he hates talking on the things.  Typical guy, you know how it goes.

"Huh?  Nothing, so far as I'm aware.  What's going on?"

"Something near your house is on fire, and I was curious if you knew what was burning.  We're on our way to check it out -- it's pretty impressive."

"Uh, Dad, it's not my actual house, is it?"

Dad chuckled.  "No, it's not your house...I would have mentioned that right off the bat if it was your place."

"If that's the case, I'll join you in checking it out."

Well, he was absolutely correct.  It wasn't my house -- it was an insulation company within a half-mile of my house.  It was the largest fire I've seen in person in quite some time.  Dad and Bitz had been coming out of church on the northwest side of town when they saw the smoke plume, and Dad being Dad**, he was extremely interested in scoping the whole situation out.  He managed to find an exceptionally good vantage point across West Jefferson Boulevard, where I met up with them.  I sat in their car and Dad told me all about the tactics the different fire personnel were using, the difference between a variable-nozzle hose and a smooth-bore nozzle, his estimation of how many gallons of water per minute were being pumped, how modern bunker gear has evolved from what he used to use back in his firefighting days, some of the situations in which he was nearly killed, different attack techniques for different fire situations, and so on.  I'm sure Bitz was bored to tears, but I was fascinated***...I rarely get to hear tales of Dad's firefighting experiences and I was so young when he was on the fire department I can't really remember it****. 

I told Dad that one day soon, I plan to schedule a day for just the two of us to sit down with a tape recorder and let him go on about his firefighting experiences.  I'd like to transcribe those recordings and make copies of both the voice recording and the transcription to give to the local Firefighter's Museum, the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress.  While the latter two will undoubtedly stick the recordings and transcripts somewhere in their basements, someone somewhere might eventually do research on a really nifty transitional time in the history of American firefighting and might find Dad's oral history useful.

*I think the last time Dad called me was in 2009 when we were coordinating travel for my brother's wedding.

**Dad was on the New Haven, Indiana volunteer fire department back from the late 1970s until the late 1980s, so he was on the department while it transitioned from a small VFD to combined FD/EMS service and the study of fire science really started to make headway.  By the time he retired from the FD, he was their photographer and arson investigator in addition to his other duties on the FD.

***I cheerfully admit that I adore and hero-worship my dad to the point that if he asked me to jump off a cliff, I'd do it, no questions asked. 

****Let me put it this way...I was young enough for most of his FD service that I remember imagining that Dad's bunker pants would suddenly start walking on their own a la Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

margotvankapelle: (regency)
You know that Halloween costume I wanted to get done by Friday?  The Regency-era frock I wanted to do?  It's done -- buttonholes, finished seams, trim, and all.  I started about 11 am and just finished it.  The sleeves aren't super-incredibly-accurate, but they're flattering and that's the important bit.  I don't think I'm going to get the spencer done, as I have a paisley wrap that will do in a pinch, and if given the option, I'd like to make a really ridiculous bonnet instead.

The colors are dark purple cotton broadcloth, with a purple/lavender/antique gold trim at the sleeve cuffs, waistband, and bottom quarter of the skirt.  I'm sure Bitz will take photos, which I will naturally upload for criticism commentary.  The silhouette of the frock, so far as I can tell, is leaning towards the mid-to-late 1810s, as does the color scheme. If I get around to it, I might add some false flowers to the trim on the skirt in order to highlight the deliberately wavy trim placement like this dress, but I still have a wizard's robe to make for Boe and today was my last full day off before Saturday. 

Oh, and?  I was able to make the frock for about $15.  The fabric is $1.50/yard stuff from WalMart, and the trim is a lovely woven one given to me by [ profile] ciorstan back in the day.  The little bit of lace at the sleeves came frm my stash, as did the buttons.
margotvankapelle: (irrational)
I really don't know how I did on my latest math test (taken this morning).  I forgot the freaking distance formula (distance between 2 points); this is something one learns in high school...I know we covered it last semester in my remedial algebra class.  How is it that I can be so stupid?

All of the formulas I was freaking out about and writing over and over in order to avoid forgetting them? Yeah, only 1 was on the test.  *headdesk*

Stupid, stupid, stupid.
margotvankapelle: (centrifuge)
So, I've been sick, right?  And while the antibiotics are doing their thing, I'm still hacking crap up, you know? 

Did I mention that my Microbiology class has a lab component?


Guess who is pretty darned stoked about culturing her own sputum sample, and doing all sort of fun staining to the smears?

:D :D :D

That'd be me.  *buffs nails*
margotvankapelle: (nocatfarts)
Because I cut the bust and waist about 3 extra inches too small.  But the bodice is mostly done and I'm starting in on the skirt right now.  By the time I hang it up tonight, I should have everything done except hemming and lacing rings.

The linen is so stretchy that the topstitching I've done to keep the lining from rolling has left the top and bottom of the bodice edges all warped and wavy.  But with the whole cutting it 3 inches too small thing, the edges will smooth out once it's on a human being insead of laid flat on a table.

ETA:  1:15 AM.  I have the bodice and skirt constructed and the pleats pinned.  By some miracle, I'll be able to do rolled pleats on the back of the kirtle skirt.  That's an unexpected bonus.  Also, Odin is a nasty cat and the living room reeks.  I think I am going to go outside and have a cigarette in olfactory self-defense.  Then shower and bed.
margotvankapelle: (walmart)
My workplace is mentioned in my icon.  I am a cake decorator.  I am not a miracle worker.

So why do people expect me to make them a wedding cake for tomorrow?
margotvankapelle: (ooooooo)
1. Boe is never truly happy unless he has a major project in the works. We have just mailed off to the state attorney's office an application to incorporate a not-for-profit organization. What is going on? Click here!

2. Boe suprised me on Tuesday by meeting me at the door with some paperwork in hand. The paperwork was an application to regularize our marriage in the Catholic Church, and the rest of it was the schedule for the RCIA program. Boe wants to become a Catholic. I'm still stunned...this is something I never expected or looked for. 

I've gotten my first round of homework done, and my abnormal psych class promises to be a lot of fun, except for the giggly Goth Lite teenage girls behind me making inane comments sotto voce the entire class.  I'm trying to decide if I want to do my research paper on Reactive Attachment Disorder or on the Attachment Therapy controversy.
margotvankapelle: (housekeeper from hell)

So, in the 48 hours that RGG has been aware that he will be moving out no later than 8 PM on August 12, he was at the computer playing some sort of fantasy wizarding game all day yesterday (we're talking well over 15 hours, here).  How do I know?  I was here all day yesterday.  Today, he has spent what appears to be all day at the computer, playing yet another fantasy wizarding game.  He was playing it when I left for work this morning, he is still playing it as we speak.  According to Boe, who asked RGG, RGG has not left the house in those 48 hours.

It appears, so far as I can tell, that RGG has not even begun to look for a place to stay.

Boe and I were chatting this evening, and things really became crystal clear to me when Boe told me that RGG had tried to come to a gentleman's agreement with Boe to allow him to stay past the 12th if RGG was unable to find a new place by that time.  Apparently, one of the things that RGG said to him was that I couldn't throw [RGG] out because it wasn't my house. 

Let me write that out again, just in case you missed it:  

According to RGG, this roof over my head is not my house.

 It's Boe's house, and Boe wasn't the one to write out the notice to vacate, so really, RGG just needed to pay the past due rent and everything would be okay again.  Boe, bless him, just took one long look at RGG and told him that I (Krista)  have made the mortgage payments on the house for the past year with money I earned, so I can damned well do as I please in a house I am paying the mortgage on.  Boe finally stood up for me and told RGG that he (Boe) completely supports any and all decisions I make, especially when my happiness is at stake.  So, yes, RGG would indeed have to leave no later than 8 PM on the 12th, and furthermore, Boe fully agrees with the decision to evict RGG.

Things really clicked for me when Boe was telling me this little anecdote, and I realized that every request I have made of RGG he has double-checked with Boe.  And that also explains why RGG doesn't cook for himself, or clean up after himself, or anything like that...he's expecting me to do it because that's women's work.

That pathetic motherfucker's a misogynist of the first water. 

I daresay that he will be stunned when Boe drops him off at the Rescue Mission Shelter the evening of the 12th and his stuff is on the front porch.  Meanwhile, I will be changing the locks.  I'm a smart girl and I know how to use power tools.  Fear me, RGG. Fear me.

margotvankapelle: (asshat)

I have finally hit the end of my rope with Random Gamer know, Mr. Shits-his-pants?

So within the past three weeks, he has left the toilet seat and lid up -- and a fecal suprise dissolving in the toilet bowl -- eight times.  Keep in mind, we only have the one bathroom.  Also keep in mind, I have three cats and a dog...a dog that likes to drink out of the toilet if the seat and lid are up.  A couple of the cats are also interested in drinking from the World's Biggest Drinking Fountain, given the chance.  The first couple of times, I reminded Random Gamer Guy that hey, the pets will drink out of the toilet bowl, so put the seat and lid down; while I'm at it, flush, willya? 

I guess because I have ovaries, Random Gamer Guy decided not to take me seriously...until my husband managed to baptize his own ass with filthy water during a 2 AM why-bother-turning-the-light-on-I-have-lived-in-this-house-ten-years-I-can-manage-to-use-the-bathroom-just-fine-in-the-dark trip.  Boe sat down, got his butt soaking wet, and turned on the light to mop up the water he splashed all over the floor.  That's when he discovered Random Gamer Guy had taken a crap, left the seat and lid up, and not bothered to flush. So Boe had a chat with Random Gamer Guy, gave him what-for,  and pointed out that RGG will make our pets sick if he continued the bathroom passive-aggressiveness.  

It's happened six times since, and tonight was the final straw.  In addition to the toilet shenanigans, Random Gamer Guy has not paid his rent.

I am so evicting him.  In my municipality, I am supposed to give him 10 days.  That' all I am willing to give him.  My critters are my babies and he is endangering their health.  Dude's gotta go.

I must say, I felt a certain dark pleasure when writing out the notice to vacate the premises.  We'll see how everything goes.


margotvankapelle: (Default)

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