Breakin’ the Law

A couple weeks ago, our local vape shop was busted by the feds for daring to sell juice for ecigs that they hand crafted themselves right in the shop, without also having gone through the tedious, lengthy, and exorbitantly expensive (for a small business) process of acquiring the proper bits of paper. I’d been expecting it to happen, but the husband, who didn’t know about the owner’s “fuck the man” attitude, was shocked to find the store closed with governmental signs posted all over it about the bust. Sad day for a bunch of folks, and not just us.

I’m 100% down with people needing licenses to sell consumables to the public. Stuff needs to be safe, and consumers need to know exactly what is in the things they are putting in their bodies. But the process to get that done for ecig juice is ridiculously out of reach of any local small business. I’m convinced this is by design. They don’t want people getting their nicotine locally at small businesses. They want people addicted to nicotine created by large companies, preferably those associated with the existing tobacco industry. I prefer to buy juice crafted just for me, on the spot, by a human being I’ve developed a friendly relationship with and who can/will be forthcoming with answers to any ingredient questions I may have.

Anyway, our vape shop getting busted by the feds created a bit of a crisis. While our shop will be reopening (selling only approved juices), they are having some downtime, and there’s really nowhere else in town we want to buy what we need. There’s certainly no one else breaking the law, and I’d don’t know squat about the companies who have gotten licenses to manufacture nicotine products or said products, so a lot of research has happened the last two weeks. I’ve discovered a few things, most of which don’t make me happy. Ok, none of which make me happy, but I’m trying to not be too cranky about it all.

If you can find ecig juice with more than 6 mg, it’s a miracle. Part of the reason for this is the propensity of a certain kind of vaper … the sort taking drags off what appears to be a pipe bomb … and their desire to constantly be creating giant plumes of “smoke”. The other part of it is that lower nicotine levels leads to the selling of more juice to people who want more nicotine than that. A 60 ml bottle of 12 mg juice lasts me two months, maybe three. I’m not a heavy vaper, and I don’t amuse myself in my downtime by blowing huge clouds of smoke around. I think that same amount lasts the husband a couple of weeks. So I’ll be interesting to see what happens when we have to use 6 mg juice.

The other thing I discovered is that single flavor juices are apparently not a thing in the licensed juice world right now. If it is, I haven’t been able to find it. I’ve always kept two flavors on hand. A nice rich vanilla and a clean, crisp peppermint. I don’t need custard or cupcake or pancake. Just the vanilla, thank you very much. Can’t find that. It’s all mixed with berries or milk or other things I don’t want. I did find peppermint, but it took some searching. So now, in addition to having to figure out which companies are making juice I’m willing to put into my body, I have to find one that makes a flavor I don’t dislike. The struggle is real.

And see, I knew all this was coming … with our hardware being discontinued and our vape shop breaking the law, which is why I was in the process of giving up nicotine. It’s a hard thing to do when you don’t really want to do it, but when one of my vices becomes a hassle, I drop it. Procuring nicotine has now become a hassle. It’s stressing me out. I self medicate with nicotine to relax. I don’t want to spend weeks pouring over long lists of flavors I don’t want and juices containing things I don’t want to also consume with my nicotine. I’m willing to trade a few years at the end of my life for maximum enjoyment in the present, but not if the whole process of doing it is stressful. I am also not terribly addicted to nicotine. It’s been a real on again/off again relationship over the years.

All the same, I live with a true nicotine addict who isn’t likely to give it up until he’s in the grave, so I had to find some juice somewhere. Fast. I went to the online store we get our ecig hardware from, and lo and behold, they sell juice too. I’d never noticed. I looked through hundreds of flavors from a variety of companies, and 99.999% of them either made me roll my eyes or gag. I did manage to find a peppermint flavored one, and I settled on getting a bottle of s’mores and one with a weird name that’s suppose to be chocolate, vanilla, and peppermint. It’s as close as I could get to single flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint that the two of us have always used, and really none of it is close at all.

The new juice arrived today, and while I won’t get to try the other flavors until my cartomizer runs dry, I did immediately fill my peppermint dedicated ecig, and it’s good. Maybe even great. You can’t really mess up straight peppermint. I hope the others are at least adequate, because I’d hate to have to find a new supplier and new juice at the same time. Besides, I suspect in a few months our local vape shop will quietly begin selling hand crafted juice again, just significantly more on the down low. Or maybe not. I’m trying to quit anyway, so if the juice all sucks, and I hate everything, quitting will become much easier. Ok, not actually easier, nothing easy about giving up nicotine, but I will then most definitely stop wanting to vape.

Missing: The Best Dress Ever

I spent much of my day simultaneously playing No Man’s Sky and working on my web site. What I should have spent a bit of time doing today was getting together my outfit for the ballet on Saturday night. The plan … after trying on everything I own and even considering buying something new … was to wear my black Calvin Klein sweater dress, accompanied by whatever accoutrements to fit the season we happen to be having the moment I prepare to walk out the door (maybe summer, maybe winter … anyone’s guess). Well, after goofing off all day, I go to the bedroom to get out the dress, and it where I expected it to be. I resisted the urge to panic. Surely, I just put it in another drawer.

Every drawer was opened. Each piece of clothing was touched (more than once). Still no dress. Panic began creeping in around the edges. It’s my favorite dress. Ever. It’s the only dress I have ever happily worn without complaint. I love my Calvin Klein sweater dress! It can be dressed up or down and is perfect for every cold weather occasion! What will I wear if I can’t find it? I carefully searched all the drawers again. Unsurprisingly, the dress was still not in the chest of drawers.

I gazed upon the closet doors. I’d have had to be out of my mind to hang the dress in the closet. Never hang a sweater dress. They stretch in terrible ways, and they never recover. Don’t ask how I know. It’s a tale of tragic woe. I checked the closet anyway, and thankfully, I hadn’t had a moment of total insanity and hung my favorite dress on a hanger. All the same, still no sweater dress. Panic was doing more than creeping in at this point.

I’d now spent well over an hour digging through all my clothing (I even checked the linen drawers), and not only had I not found the dress, I had no idea what I might have done with it. I flopped on the bed and stared at the ceiling. What the hell would I wear to the ballet? Was I doomed to either wearing something I don’t actually like … or spending tomorrow frantically digging through my fabric stash and sewing something new? Neither option seemed acceptable.

The husband arrived home from work. I set upon him as soon as he opened the front door and explained my dire crisis. He suggested we go buy a new dress on Saturday. As if I can just walk into any store and find something that actually fits me and that I like well enough to pay money to own! I’ve been shopping for new clothing for months and have found nothing! I shambled back to the bedroom and rustled through the drawers some more, as if my sweater dress might magically appear out of thin air. It did not.

As I prepared to try on all possible outfits again, resigned to the fate of having to wear something I’d already decided I didn’t want to wear, I noticed the lingerie chest and had a thought. Did I put my favorite dress of all time in one of those drawers? Doubtful. I mean, why would I? That’d be a silly place to keep it. I decided to check anyway. Might as well be thorough.

Top drawer … hand knit winter hats and gloves. No dress.

Second drawer … hand knit scarves and socks. No dress.

Third drawer … silk scarves and fancy belts. No dress.

Fourth drawer … something wrapped in tissue paper. What the actual hell? I pull back the top layer of paper, and there … carefully folded with a little lavender potpourri packet on top … was my Calvin Klein sweater dress! Date night was saved! I could go to the ballet, be comfy, and have fun! I might even look moderately stylish and put together!

Now all I have to do is wait to see what the weather decides to do Saturday night, so I can pick appropriate hosiery and shoes. I’m sorta hoping it’s cold enough to warrant black tights and my black boots, but it’s been in the 70s at night all week, so maybe not. May even be too warm for a sweater dress, but I’m wearing it no matter what. It truly is the best dress ever, and I’ll be returning it to its special drawer where it will wait patiently, wrapped in tissue paper with a little lavender potpourri packet on top, until the next time I don’t know what to wear to a social event.

Hopefully, I don’t forget I put it there next time I need it!

Just Babbling

After two weeks of nasty, cold, wet and gross, winter weather, suddenly it’s hot enough I’ve had to open windows to cool the house off. At night. The windows are open right now. I’m sweating. I don’t like it. Could it just pick a season? I am thankful to have had some sunshine though. It’s greatly improved my mood.

This week isn’t going to plan. Do they ever? Yesterday, while I was attempting to watch tutorial videos to remind myself I know how to do things, the internet went out. It was off and on until early evening. Not remembering I know how to do things slowed down today’s doing of things. So now I’m behind on the weekly plan. I’ll never catch up.

Then, like the idiot I am, I stayed up way too late last night playing No Man’s Sky, and 7 am felt like it came even earlier than usual. It was a two coffee sorta day. Didn’t help much, but I did manage to get a few household tasks done before I dropped from fatigue. Not any of the important ones like the weird sound the furnace is now making, or the sudden loss of water pressure in the kitchen, but I’m sure the husband will appreciate having clean underwear.

So I’ve been over on Mastodon for about a week now, and I think I like it? All the people who tell you that it doesn’t matter which server you join though, they are lying. It matters. If I’d have just joined some random server, I think I would have hated it. It is very different. It does take some getting used to. I’m figuring it out. At least I haven’t encountered any Nazis or other bigots, and that’s been nice.

I guess I don’t actually have much of anything to report! I just felt like babbling, and I can’t get back to writing long winded posts of substance, if I don’t first get reacquainted with writing something longer than a Tweet. So I’ll babble when I feel like babbling.

Side Note: Still working on putting together a newsletter. Still working on a new site design. Also still working on the knitting project, and my work table is half cleared, so maybe some other artsy craftsy stuff soon. I hope so, anyway.

Such Length!

Last night, the husband noted my hair is now well below my tailbone. It’s brushing the top of my thighs … longest it’s ever been. It’s true I didn’t do my annual trimming of four inches this year, as the ends were not split and had grown very evenly. I thought that when I stopped putting my hair up in a bun every day and just let it hang down wild and free it would be utterly destroyed, leading to needing to cut a lot of it off. Perhaps I even hoped for that, because I can’t seem to cut lots of my hair off until it must be done. Alas, the opposite has happened. It now appears that the constant bun wearing was actually damaging my hair! Now I know!

I do need to find a way to get it out of my way though. I can’t wear the topknot anymore. Causes headaches and scalp pain. My hair is just too heavy for that now. Aside from leaving it completely free, I do deploy a low ponytail or simple braid, but that still leaves a lot of hair to get into things. I’ve not yet found any way to fully contain it that doesn’t lead to scalp pain or headache, mostly because I also need it to be super simple to do. I am inept at working with my own hair, and my hair has a willful mind of its own. If I keep wearing it fully down though, there’s going to be a hair tragedy at some point.

I’ve also been working on accepting my hair as it is. This is actually the bigger challenge. While I may want perfectly straight and silky hair, that is not the hair I was born with, and I refuse to use chemicals to achieve it. So I should learn to love the hair I have, and that hair has texture. It’s what happens when wavy fine hair gets too long/heavy and the the waves can’t form. I’ve considered using products to help form waves, but then I’d have to wash my hair more often than I do, and let me tell you, washing butt length thigh length hair is tedious and irritating. The days of me washing my hair multiples of times a week is long over. Ain’t nobody got the time or energy for that these days!

Anyway, I was just brushing my hair and trying to decide what to do with it, because I have to go out into the world today and run some errands. Had some thoughts and thought I’d share. I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging and sharing whatever silliness pops into my head. It feels weird. It’ll stop feeling weird eventually. I used to post multiples of times a day about all manner of boring mundane subjects. I’d like to get back to that. For some crazy reason, my friends enjoy it.

And now I better make some lunch, so I can get to those errands. At least we have sunshine today! I’ve missed the sun so much. Hope it sticks around a while, but I bet not.

Too Much Turkey

I’ve been quiet, haven’t I? Well, the eating of Thanksgiving foodstuffs took a few days. It was our first one with just the two of us, and I might have made far too much of everything. We’ve been in a food coma, taking naps, and playing video games for days. Been kinda nice, actually!

Last night was the first night we ate something other than turkey, green bean casserole, potatoes au gratin, and stuffing. I made taco salad. I wasn’t hungry at all, in fact I may never be hungry again, but the husband feels it important to eat at least one or two meals a day. I suggested we finish off the pecan pie for dinner, but he wasn’t into the idea. Said it wasn’t “healthy” or some such. Pfft!

The other reason for so much silence is the redux versions of the No Man’s Sky expeditions have started, and the very first one … Exobiology … is my all-time favorite. Naturally, I just wanted to do that and nothing else, which I did for 25 hours and 45 minutes. In between the naps and eating, of course. I started the thing knowing I’d want to keep playing the save, so I took longer than usual to get through the scenario goals. There was also a lot of time spent shambling around on planets watching sunsets and seeing pretty views, because those are both integral to my No Man’s Sky experience. My original Exobiology save is now the one hopping through galaxies (have recently arrived in #50), but I’m not sure what life mission I will give this one. Maybe I get back to base building? I haven’t done much of that lately.

Anyway, here’s my favorite moment from the expedition … contacting a space sentience. I saved it for last, because it leaves a memorable experience.❤️
A small, boxy, chrome and pink spaceship with vertical solar panels for wings encounters an enormous spherical space sentience, it’s outer skin transparent with a hexagonal texture, its interior filled with dancing points of light, and at its center a roiling mass of pale blue ribbons glowing brightly.

And now it’s Monday, and I have a million things I need to get done this week. I’m not wanting to do any of them, of course, because it’s impossible to get moving after four entire days of eating and extreme laziness. Holidays are great, until they’re over!

Addendum: I am still working on setting up a newsletter for all my friends who are now spread everywhere on the internet. It’s been more of a bother than expected, but I’ll eventually get it sorted out. Or I’ll find some other solution to the problem.