melaniesuzanne: (Me at SPWF2014 (by John T Riley))
So, let's see: at the end of September was the Steampunk unLimited event in Strasburg, PA. The beau and I scooted up there after seeing his friend's band Hard Proof in a teensy, tiny venue called Tropicalia in DC. Doors opened at 7pm, we arrived at 8pm, and the friend's band didn't take the stage until after 10pm. We weren't able to stay for the entire set, unfortunately, as we had a three hour trip ahead of us (including the metrorail trip back to Virginia to retrieve my car). But while we were in the U Street corridor, we did stop by for my first taste of Ben's Chili Bowl. Thankfully, we got our order and seats before the drunk crowds packed the place.

So, midnight road trip into Amish country. The beau did a fantastic job of keeping me entertained and awake which was good when I needed quick reflexes to avoid a very confused buck on I-83. We got to the hotel so late that I wasn't the least bit tempted to move in, which is my usual M.O.

The event itself is fairly small but, in all fairness, this is only its second year. We strolled about in our finery and were asked many times for photographs. We hopped aboard the steam train for the 45-minute trip to Paradise and back, taking in the scenery and waving to pedestrians. I crossed paths with [livejournal.com profile] danabren, who was absolutely stunning in her white and black ruffles, and picnicked with [livejournal.com profile] psalite and LJ-less Kim. Courtney, Kevin, and Liam joined us for a bit on the train, but left the site before we finished picnicking.

The photographer from Steampunk World's Fair found us and made us stand still for lots of photos. )

There wasn't much in the way of attractive-to-me vendors which was very good for my pocketbook, and after enjoying another chat with [livejournal.com profile] danabren and having more photos taken, the beau and I retired back to the hotel for a MUCH needed nap.

Dinner was at an Amish restaurant not far down the road and was absolutely delicious if incredibly heavy -- do you have any vegetables that aren't starches? -- and Kevin, Court, Sean the beau, and I spent several hours afterward brainstorming group costume ideas for next year's Steampunk World's Fair.

Since we'd seen and done everything we wanted to see and do on Saturday, the beau and I enjoyed a leisurely drive down routes 30 and 15 for the trip home on Sunday. Since we weren't on any kind of schedule, we stopped in Gettysburg for lunch and a wander up and down streets and talked about going back to Gettysburg for a proper daytrip in the not-to-distant future.

The event offerings were small, but it was well-attended and held at an absolutely lovely venue. I would love to get up there early enough on Friday evening to participate in the Victorian ball, if that is held again, next year.
melaniesuzanne: (Adventure Time: FinnXFionna)
After our stint with Mr. Campbell, PG and I wandered vendor floor and artist alleys. I accosted and was accosted by lots of fellow Adventure Time cosplayers. It was GREAT being the only Flame Princess in attendance, rather than one of several Fionnas, if I may say so. Here are some of my favorite shots:

What time is it?? )

PG and I continued wandering the floor until it was time to queue up for a photo with Ron Perlman. The photo below is actually our second photo with Mr. Perlman, who was concerned that I'd been eating too many carrots. I saw the photographer push the button aaaaaand I blinked. I knew that I had blinked as the shutter ...shuttered... and figured that oh, well, I'll have a photo with Ron Perlman where my eyes are closed. But nope. Those kind photography folks grabbed us before we rounded the area to nab our picture and hauled us back into line for a redo. I felt so bad about wasting everybody's time because of my goof, but they were all so sweet about it, and Mr Perlman grabbed Charlene and me tightly and told us "Come on in closer, ladies." Check out the size of his mitts. His hand is as big as my rib cage! And he's a total sweetheart. Absolute doll. That is my DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BLINK smile, by the way.

Don't blink. Don't even blink. )

It was way past time for lunch and as we set off in search for sustenance, I crossed paths with the female half of the cosplay panel from Friday night. She gushed over my costume and said, "You've signed up for the costume contest, yes?" I hemmed and hawed. She repeated, "You've signed up for the costume contest, YES??" Um, not yet, but I will! Pleased with that answer, she let us continue our quest for food.

PG and I retired to our room for a rest after lunch and I fretted and fumbled a bit and finally decided that YES, I would sign up for the costume contest. With that decision made, I reworked my wig a bit so it wouldn't pull so hard on my hair while PG changed out of Elle and into "Generic Princess".

Generic Princess gets friendly with Peppermint Butler )

We shopped, took lots more pictures and had lots of photos taken of us, and crossed paths with the female half of the cosplay panel who again asked if I'd signed up for the contest. D'oh! I hadn't, and time was running out. Thankfully, the cap hadn't been met and I was added to the list. Now the stage fright kicked in, heh.

The wait for the contest to start burned off most of that fright, though. It took forEVER for things to get underway, and I was #107 in the queue. Oof. There were some cool (and pretty) people in line around me, though, and we made our own fun.

So pretty. )

Walking onto the stage wasn't nearly as frightening as I'd thought it might be. In fact, when the MC announced, "From 'Adventure Time', it's FLAME PRINCESS!" the crowd went WILD. I wasn't sure what I'd do when I hit the marks on the stage, but I couldn't help but beam when I hit the mark at the center of the stage and held up my little fiery purse for everyone to see. The panelist who pressed me so hard to enter was one of the judges and stopped me to ask questions about my cosplay history and the costume. That was pretty cool of her to do, I thought.

I love this photo. )

I didn't win -- the superheroes/villains and Space Marine took the honors -- but it was a total blast being in the contest. I'm definitely doing that again! PG told me afterwards that she had heard lots of chatter from people being excited about the Flame Princess wandering around. Hee! We then snagged a VERY late dinner and I called dibs on the shower as soon as we got back to our room because if I had to spend one more minute in that make-up (it was going on twelve hours at that point), I was going to go mad.

Sunday was pretty quiet and we both wore civvies, nerdy civvies to be sure, but not costumes. I did my hardcore shopping and enabling PG to spend more money than she was comfortable with (heh heh). The ride home was pretty quick and uneventful, mostly because I passed out from sheer exhaustion and left the driving to PG. We both can't wait for the next con!
melaniesuzanne: (Adventure Time: FinnXFionna)
A couple of weekends ago, [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I ventured off to Richmond for a comic convention. We'd initially planned to see Norman "Daryl Dixon" Reedus and Alan "Wash" Tudyk, but the two gents had to drop out due to filming schedule conflicts. In the final stretch before the con, we learned that Ron "Hellboy" Perlman and Bruce THE CHIN Campbell were going to attend. OH YEAH!

For cosplay, I built a Flame Princess ("Adventure Time") ensemble. I based the overdress on a Simplicity sundress pattern with adjustments to the neckline and a complete change of the hem while the underskirt was from a poodle skirt pattern with extended panels. This project included two firsts for me: setting in a zipper and applique. The zipper was WAY easier than I'd ever imagined it could be. Applique, on the other hand... if I never have to applique again, it'll be too soon. (And since I plan to remake the outfit, I will have to applique again.)

Flame Princess in all her cartoon-y glory. )

PG and I got to the con in time for an entertaining panel on cosplay which was fairly well attended. I asked the panelists how one goes from cosplaying for fun to participating in costume contests. The answer was "You go to the information desk between the hours of X and Y and sign up for the costume contest." Alrighty then!

After the panel, we zipped over to our room and I got to work on my Flame Princess wig. Between issues with my dress and late work nights (seriously, I left work at 8pm the night before the con and then spent another hour and a half on the phone with my boss when I got home) leading up to the con, the wig got not attention until the night before wearing it. I felt like I was in my own personal episode of "Heroes of Cosplay" especially when I had to stop working on the wig and hit the hay so that 1) the glue could dry and 2) I wouldn't be an insufferable zombie beeyotch for Saturday.

The wig, during. )

We had to be in the photo op line for Bruce Campbell at 11:30am which meant my getting in the shower by 9am to give myself enough time for the as-yet-untested make-up application, dressing, and hair. My brain fretted me awake at 7am and I got back to work on the wig. I managed to finish it up by my self-imposed 9am deadline. Thankfully, the make-up went on WAY more smoothly than I'd thought possible and I was ready well before we needed to skedaddle. PG suited up as Elle Driver and we sauntered over to the convention hall and jumped in the first portion of the non-VIP line for Bruce Campbell.

Flame Princess & Elle Driver )

The whole photo op experience reminded me of the scene from "A Christmas Story" with the department store Santa. We weren't grabbed by frazzled elves or hoisted, spun, and placed upon Bruce's knee, but everything was very rushed in that HO HO HO sort of way before we were shoved down the chute, I mean directed towards the exit. I did, however, ask Mr Campbell if I could hug him before we took off. He looked kind of alarmed which I read that as being creeped out about being touched and I told him it was okay that his answer was no. He was concerned about my body paint and said we could air hug, which we mostly did. I say "mostly" because my left breast wound up making contact with his side. I'm never washing that boob again.

BRUCE
melaniesuzanne: (Love)
I keep wanting to write here on LJ, but all that comes out of my fingertips are giddy burbles about how happy I am. What a problem to have, eh?

Life is so good right now. Even when it's not sunshine and roses, it's still good. I've been working on making my needs and feelings clear even when they seem stupid or irrational or too needy. We've finally gotten past the point where I am surprised by how receptive the beau is when I bring up these uncomfortable-to-me topics. This isn't to say that he agrees with everything I propose, but he gives me the courtesy of listening and then presents his point of view so that we're both on the same page. I appreciate that he doesn't play games, and I can believe in his dedication and dependability.

That all sounds so clinical, but it's a revelation to have a transparent relationship. And it doesn't hurt either that we're both completely mad about each other.

Hi!

Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:25 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Banjolele mouse)
How are you? I'm good, really good. My summer has been pretty full with a couple of business trips, ten days of vacation in the deep south with my family and friends, and miscellaneous weekend shenanigans.

Mom and Pete have moved in to the lake house (it's on a river, actually) full time and the changes they've made to the place since last summer are simply breath-taking. It was so nice having an actual dock to use for getting into and out of the boat. And relaxing with a book on the top deck of the dock under an umbrella was nearly heaven on earth. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, though: Mom came down with a terrible stomach bug which laid her low the first night I arrived. Pete caught it the next day and Aunt Trish the day after. I came down with the ick that evening. Luckily, it appeared to be of the 24-hour variety and I was back to nearly 100% by the time I needed to drive up to Memphis to see best friend, best friend's beau, and my dad. I even sneaked over to the Memphis house (which is on the market) for one last peek at my teenage-years home.

I got to see all of my siblings at the lake and Mom's brother and his girlfriend stopped in for a couple of days as they journeyed from Vicksburg, MS to Putnam Valley, NY. I believe that at one point we had twelve adults, three children, four dogs, and a cat in the house.

The weather was absolutely glorious with comfortably cool air temps -- especially for July! -- yet warm water temperature. We tubed and skied (I actually got up and skied for a little bit for the first time in probably 15 years) and drove the jetski (first time I'd ridden or driven the thing) and climbed up a 20 foot cliff to jump off a rock back into the water. We have no idea who put the rope there, but it seemed sturdy enough!

The trip was just the right amount of family time, and I can't wait to see everybody again at my aunt's cabin for Thanksgiving.
melaniesuzanne: (Adventure Time: FinnXFionna)
In early June, the beau and I trekked out to a photographer friend’s home for a few hours of goofing around in front of the camera. We had a blast unleashing our inner post-apocalyptic teenagers.

WHAT TIME IS IT?? )

This is what 40 year old goofballs look like. )

I can barely refrain from making “self love” jokes since Finn and Fionna are essentially the same character… However, I do adore this picture of us. )

(Indoor photo by Chip York Photography and outdoor photos by Monika Townsend. Jake & Cake plushies by XOFifi.)

And because I’m so proud of it, I have to share a few photos of the sword I (okay, we) made for my Fionna cosplay. It started as a sketch on a piece of cardboard so that the beau had the appropriate shape and dimensions. He drew the individual pieces on another piece of cardboard and cut them out. I assembled the parts with layers of masking tape.

From cardboard... )

He glued in a stabilizing dowel and I taped everything up. He then hit the sword with a few coats of primer. I used six different shades of pink on the planes and edges and five coats of spray gloss to make the sword look crystalline. Et voila!

...to crystalline sword. )

As this was the first non-fabric accessory I’ve made, I don’t think I could have done so well without the beau’s expertise and guidance. We made a good team and I’ve got all sorts of warm fuzzies about the props we’ll be making for future cons and next year’s Steampunk World’s Fair.
melaniesuzanne: (Me at SPWF2014 (by John T Riley))
The 2014 edition of the Steampunk World's Fair was held in lovely Piscataway, NJ, over May 16, 17, and 18. I didn't know exactly what to expect and I enjoyed just about every moment I was there. Granted, I don't consider what I've made or worn up to this point as "steampunk" and view my participation in the steampunk scene, such as it is, as a neo-Victorian verging on quaintrelle. This will, hopefully, change with the plots and plans I have brewing for next year's ensembles, but more on that later.

Read more... )
melaniesuzanne: (Peacock me)
hat-peacock4

This bad boy took about ten hours of construction. I started with a plain straw hat from Michael's Arts & Crafts and, using this tutorial as a jumping off place, I covered the crown, outer brim, and inner brim with cotton fabric left over from a waistcoat I'd made for my beau. I covered the joints around the base of the crown and just under the brim with braided gimp. I then sewed one side of the brim to the crown, hiding the stitches in the gimp.

That was an absolute pain in the keister, let me just say. There was SO MUCH dried glue that I had to sew through. I needed a thimble to push the needle in and then small pliers to pull the needle out on the other side.

Eventually, I felt that the connection was secure and moved on to lining the inside of the crown with scraps of black linen. I covered the transition join between linen and cotton with another length of gimp. At this point, I'd been working on the hat for about four hours and was too pooped to continue. Feathers would wait until the next evening. )
melaniesuzanne: (Peacock me)
While my beau has been constructing a Zulu War-era military dress uniform in prep for the World’s Fair, I’ve been completing accessories for the both of us. Last night, I put the finishing touches on my peacock hat, decorated my bowler, and sewed up two bow ties for himself.

The bowler took about an hour, I guess, with getting the feather spray wired and glued into place, the ribbon set just right, and the flower attached. The gold ribbon I chose for the band was much too yellow and bright when I compared the hat against the jacket I will wear it with and I knocked down the brightness with some “Black Cherry” craft paint. I am positively squeeful about the gorgeous coppery color it became and how well it coordinates with the feather spray. The rose, which a friend spray-painted black, looked dull against the hat and I dry brushed it with some metallic gold craft paint. I’m fairly happy with the results; although, I’m fighting to keep from applying more geegaws to it.

The two ties took about two hours to construct, are made of cotton fabric quarters with fusible interfacing, and come from Miss P’s tutorial and pattern. SO easy! At this point, I’ve made three ties for my beau and will probably knock out another this evening so he’ll have one to coordinate with a garish waistcoat he fell in love with at the thrift store.

hat-bowler

I’ll post photos of the peacock hat later. It’s pretty massive and took about ten hours to construct.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
Ten years and nearly five hours ago, I married a man I thought was the great love of my life. And it is true that we were in love, for a time, anyway. Enough that I thought we could weather what life threw at us. As time passed, however, we grew at much different rates and our differences became greater than our similarities. Our respective values became harder and harder to reconcile. It took several more years for me to realize that I couldn't live with that spouse for another thirty years. My innermost me was all but snuffed out and, with my being so practiced at willful ignorance/obliviousness/stubbornness, I wouldn't let myself acknowledge that fact until a year ago.

Ten days ago, a judge in Fairfax County, Virginia, signed my petition for divorce. I didn't find out for sure until last Friday when my lawyer's paralegal emailed with confirmation from the clerk. The vicious part of me really wanted for the divorce to be signed and entered on 1 May 2014 for symmetry's sake. And while numbers are silly constructs, that vicious side is satisfied with "ten days before the tenth anniversary." The gentle side, though, found an unexpected landmine in the wee small hours of the morning and I had a little cry. I poked at my feelings, trying to figure out what was going on. I don't think I was mourning or regretting... Maybe it was merely the last of the milestones.

I am happy that the tumult of this particular life experience is behind me. I am happy that it wasn't excessively bitter or ugly. I am happy that my innermost me survived to not only fight another day but to thrive. I am happy to have had the love and kindness of friends and my family to help steady me along the way. I am happy to have the love and friendship of someone whose path crossed mine at the end of last year and who I hope will be able to keep pace with me for a while yet. And now that I no longer feel like I have to keep secrets, I am really and truly happy.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
Back in October, I mentioned being interviewed for the local hospital system's magazine. Then in November I met with a photographer to have some pictures taken to go along with the article. I'd hoped to get copies of the photos, but alas that was not to be. However, a friend who received a dead tree version of the magazine in January was kind enough to scan the article and sent me a copy in which the picture under the cut was included.

Read more... )

It hurts my feelings to see that before picture. It's hard to believe that I let myself get that large and I didn't acknowledge it. I mean, I know I was big, but I never felt big, you know? Plus, I didn't have any health problems aside from pain in my knees and my right foot. I had plenty of energy and could walk a few miles with little issue and ride my bike for miles and miles.

At the time of the after photo, I'd dropped from a size 22 to a size 12 in pants, from a 2XL to a Medium in shirts, and had shed 95 pounds. I've lost another pants size and and four more pounds in the three months since (which actually happened in December; I haven't lost anything else since then). Despite my surgeon saying otherwise, I really do think my surgery-induced weight loss has stopped and I'm okay with that. Now starts the hard job of maintaining.

Other things that are going on: I've FINALLY learned to slow down when eating so that food no longer gets stuck and I don't have to pretend to be a bulimic. I've learned what "full" feels like and how to stop eating when I reach that level despite how good the food may taste. My energy is better, but I haven't been been on my bike(s) since October, so I don't know far I can just yet. (C'mon warm weather!!) My hair is still thin and a few strands jump out when shampooing, but I have lots of baby hairs coming in to hopefully replace what I've lost over the past eight months or so. Emotionally, my self-confidence continues to be high and I'm working with a therapist to root out why I overeat and fix that hole within myself so I don't buoy back up to that starting weight.

Howdy!

Jan. 6th, 2014 12:49 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
Goodness gracious. The last time I posted was in October? Well, let's get caught up on the highlights shall we?

  • I traded in my 2012 Beetle for a 2013 Beetle convertible in October. It's almost the same car (and package, warranty, etc) except that it is a year newer, has leather interior, and is a soft-top convertible. I drove it with the top down for the first week I owned it (after which point, rain moved in to town and I was forced to leave the top up). There are times when I miss the better aesthetic of the hardtop (and the trunk space!), but come the warm weather months I will be in heaven scooting around in my little dream car.
  • I spent a fantastic week at my aunt's North Carolina cabin for Thanksgiving where we had eleven adults, five children, five dogs, a cat, and a hamster. We got about an inch of snow the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it was absolutely magical. We played lots of games, ate lots of food, drank a lot of booze, and shared a lot of love. It was exactly the Thanksgiving holiday I wanted and needed.
  • I traveled to Memphis for Christmas with my family. I'd fretted and agonized over what to do for Christmas since that's such a family-oriented holiday and isn't terribly conducive for taking in "orphans". Mom's birthday gift to me was airfare to come home. My nine day visit was the absolute perfect amount of time and I got to do almost everything that I wanted to do from spending a day with my father's family to seeing my bestie Scott multiple days to seeing old friends from high school a couple of times and, of course, spending lots and lots of quality time with my family. I even participated in a 4k fun run/walk through the Starry Nights light show with my brother David and his wife Melinda on my last night in town.
  • I rang in the New Year at Courtney & Kevin's with a small group of friends. We played Cards Against Humanity for hours, gabbed about steampunky/pseudo-Victorian things, and turned on the tube just in time to see the ball drop. I received a wonderful New Year's kiss.

    Looking ahead, I'm ready to get the basement cleaned out and made a habitable space as it's been languishing in disrepair for far too long (four years as of last September, to be exact). After I evict all the left-behind trash down there, I shall patch the ceiling and walls, slap paint on those walls, get some carpet installed, and call it a useful room. Mom thinks I should move my craft supplies down there and make it my new craft room. I think it would make a lovely workout space. There's no reason I couldn't do both, to be honest. Oh, and a place to put the bikes that isn't the dining room (although, hauling that 50 pound loop-frame bike up and down the stairs is less than pleasant...) So many possibilities there.

    I've registered for the Steampunk World's Fair in NJ in May and am pretty pumped. I'm tagging along with Court and Kevin and a couple other friends who are mostly dropping out of the SCA and are focusing on neo-Vic costuming. I do hope that other events will pop up between now and then because I've acquired a lovely wardrobe and am eager to put it to use.

    That's all I can share for now as I should gently ease back into journaling, heh.
melaniesuzanne: (Happy Birthday!)
And you, Gentle Readers, get a face full of ME as your gift.

Last Sunday, [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I hit Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for shenanigans and Howl-o-Scream. SHENANIGANS, I say! )

On Saturday, I attended a Halloween party. Some people seem to think I'm a villain at the moment. Well, if one is to be a villain, one should be a DISNEY VILLAIN. Enter... )

It was pretty freaking cool that most people didn't know that was me when I first swept in to the party. Heehee!

And then today was my actual birthday. I spent the day at a steampunk picnic in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. It was absolutely glorious day, weather-wise, and the company and nibblies were divine. The cemetery is full of mausoleums and statuary and gorgeous tombstones. Such a fantastic backdrop for gothy photos. I don't have any action shots yet (they're all on Courtney's phone), but here's a quick selfie I snapped before heading out.

steamy
Can you believe Court GAVE me that coat? Oh, I am a lucky, lucky woman.

Also?

Oct. 14th, 2013 04:14 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
This happened:


Things got a little out of hand with the hair dye on the 1st of October. And then they stayed completely in hand during the touch up on the 11th. It's amazing how the right tools and a little bit of experience make a process go so much more smoothly.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
As of this morning, I have lost 91 pounds which puts me just a skosh beyond my original goal. I've dropped five pants sizes, four bra band and undies sizes, and have shrunk from 2XL to Medium in tops from Target and Kohl's. My calves are small enough that not only can I wear boots with "standard-sized" shafts but I can also tucks jeans into those boots.

I was about to complain about what my unclothed body looks like, but that seems ungrateful or disrespectful or something of that ilk. Instead I will focus on my endurance slowing growing day by day and that I can carry a full laundry basket up both flights of stairs in my townhouse without panting. That's MUCH more important to focus on.

I'm participating in a charity bike ride with [livejournal.com profile] alienor on Saturday and am super excited to ride in a completely new-to-me environ with a friend whom I haven't seen in ages. It's fifteen miles with three stops: easy peasy.

What else...? Oh, a magazine associated with the INOVA hospital system will interview me on Tuesday about my experiences with the program, my surgeon, and the process. I'm a little nervous about that -- believe it or not, but I do have a hard time talking about myself -- but also highly flattered.

Sessions

Sep. 5th, 2013 11:48 am
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
I've been seeing a counselor to help me Figure out who I am and learn how to recognize and work around a lifetime of faulty coping mechanisms, etc. Today we bounced ALL OVER the place as I told her about the reading I'd done about relationships while at the lakehouse as well as a few anecdotes of recent conversations with friends which have shown me how I should react rather than how I have been reacting.

We'll hand wave that whole "should" thing for the time being.

It turns out that my friends have been teaching me valuable lessons along the way which I didn't notice until my counselor pointed them out. )

Where do I go from here? Well, more work with the counselor to be sure. I want to be as healthy -- physically and mentally -- as I possibly can and be a better friend to both those people in my life as well as myself.

Updatey

Sep. 4th, 2013 11:44 am
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
Scott had movers come to the house Friday to take the larger pieces of furniture and boxes of books, etc to his new domicile. When I had work to do or a concall on which to participate, it was fine. When I needed to actually talk with Scott, I fought to keep from choking up. It's still weird to see missing bits of furniture, artwork, and books but I've started coming up with ideas how to rearrange furniture to revamp the spaces into my own and not trigger memories.

I spent the holiday weekend at my folks' house on the Tennessee River in Cherokee, Alabama. Mom and I worked on a puzzle, fixed a wind-chime, saw "The Butler", and enjoyed lots of quiet time on the swing. She also took me to a local outlet store where we found a BUNCH of cute clothes for me that she got me as an early birthday gift. The visit was good for clearing my head and filling up my weekender bag.

This weekend there will be a steampunk-themed croquet and picnic in the semi-local area. Some friends who are VERY into this particular scene have invited me along and I am looking forward to meeting new people. I found a blouse and skirt at Dress Barn which will not only work for the office but also harken to a kind of Gibson Girl sort of aesthetic. I also picked up some adorable boots at Target which will be perfect for both real life and play. I just need to figure out the accessories because it's aaaaall about the accessories for me.
melaniesuzanne: (I'm on a bike on OBX 10/5/11)
Famous last words, heh.

The weather was GLORIOUS on Saturday and I couldn't in good conscience stay indoors or merely get a mani-pedi so I grabbed my trust Lily bike and took off for the trails. Because the sun beat down pretty mercilessly -- despite the cool temps -- I chose to head east on the W&OD trail which has more tree cover. As I approached the Sugarland Run Trail exit, I decided to change my plan and explore that particular set of trails.

The one and only time I've been through that area was when Scott and I explored during a fair day last December (or was it January?). Except for where I had to cross Elden Street, the trail area is completely wooded but not a close wood which would be stifling. The trees are tall and thin and the breeze coming through was lovely. Not much in the way of wildlife beyond squirrels. I overtook one jogger and passed another jogger and two cyclists in the secluded woodland (which is in the heart of Herndon, VA).

The trail system isn't well-marked and I wound up taking lots of off-shoot trails into neighborhoods which meant I had to retrace my path to get back on the route. Due to the trees, lots of areas of the trail are littered with leaves. It was in one of these areas that my adventure came to a much more exciting and painful conclusion.

A carpet of leaves hid broken pavement and I hit my brakes too hard as I lost control. I went over the handlebar and landed on the right side of my face and body. The bike then landed on me. It took a few moments for the initial shock to abate and then I wrestled my bike off me. I lifted my head and noticed some gruesomeness. )

I phoned a few friends and finally found someone at home. [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl was my savior. I pushed my bike about three-quarters of a mile out of the trail system to get to an actual street where she picked me up and rushed me over to Reston Hospital's ER. That stay took about three hours, I think? I got a CT which seems to be pretty standard after a bike crash and because the doctor worried I might have fractured my right cheek/orbital or jaw and x-rays of my right shoulder, ribs, right pinkie, and right knee which are all places with significant road rash/torn skin and where I winced when the doctor poked me.

Happily, nothing on me was me was broken and my chin required twelve stitches. As of Saturday night, the swelling started. My right knee looks like I have two patellae and my right cheek is HYOOGE. As of this morning, my chin is swollen into my neck and my right cheek was starting to bruise. I'm going to have SPECTACULAR bruising as the scrapes fade. The stitches should dissolve in a week or so and the doctor thinks the resulting scar will fade in a year or so.

I'm leaving my bike dismantled for a while (had to take the front wheel off to get it in [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl's car) so I won't be tempted to ride before I'm healed and before my bike shop can check her out to make sure she's not broken. I'm very sore, dull surprise, but will live to ride again.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
...then I'm going to act like it's autumn. I have swapped out my typical capris/crops for actual (slightly too big) jeans and added a scarf to the ensemble. Oh, how I love scarf weather.

Perhaps I'll take the bike out for spin after work. I really should start bike commuting again, but I've gotten spooked about playing in morning rush hour traffic for some odd reason. I'm not sure if it's my worry about my depleted stamina or what, but I'm afraid. Of course, the way to overcome my fear is to face it head on, and yet... I'll prep my bike tonight and see how I feel in the morning.

Things at home are as peaceful as can be expected. We are rarely in the house at the same time and that seems to be for the best. My friends have kept me busy over the past week with a trip to the Prince William County Fair, a sushi dinner, and a home-cooked meal. Every one of you are precious to me. I'm not sure what's going on this weekend; maybe I'll go to the zoo or explore Skyline Drive or any other number of low-cost adventures.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
My four month surge-versary was Monday and things are going pretty swimmingly. I've been in a stall for a few weeks now, but my surgeon doesn't want me worry about it. In fact, when I said that I should hide the scale, he said I should throw it out the window. I panicked that I've lost my 60% of weight (which is the average for gastric bypass), but he assures me that I have another fourteen months to go. Yes, the loss will slow, but it will continue.

I really should have taken measurements at the start so I could see *that* change.

As mentioned elseweb, during my check-up yesterday, my surgeon asked if I watch "True Blood". When I said yes, he replied that I'm starting to look like Sookie. Heh. I think the only things Anna Paquin and I have in common are our blonde hair, dark brown eyes, and funny noses, but I'll take the compliment.

In related news, I have FINALLY organized the HUMONGOUS pile of too big clothing which have been languishing in the craft room. The pile was huge. )

Sooo... I think I'll host a "come take my gently used clothes" day in the near future. Maybe 10 Aug? ([livejournal.com profile] reedrover come on over any time after work if you don't want to traipse up here on a Saturday. I'm free every evening but the 6th.)

My stamina is improving with the assistance of extra protein. I'm able to ride my bike about six miles before I need to break for half a cheese stick or a few swigs of a protein shake. Last night's ride was juuust shy of eleven miles and I was pretty weak and shivery by the time I got home. Happily, bounced back pretty quickly and am looking forward to getting back on the bike (if the storms hold off) or my toning video (if they don't).

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Mary F'ing Sunshine

August 2015

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