SQUEEEE!

Ladies and Gentlemen…Nurk is in stores now.

Specifically the Barnes & Noble in Cary, one of our major suburbs.  Apparently Borders doesn’t have it out yet, and my small-local-independant bookstores don’t have it in yet either–they’re holding to a ship date sometime closer to the June 1st thingy. But I went out to hit the art supply store and get lunch, and on a whim, with a very patient Kevin in tow, hit my local B&N.

They didn’t have it on the shelf. Not terribly surprised, I was preparing to slink out, but Kevin hauled me up to the information desk and explained the situation to the very nice woman there, while I hid in the corner trying not to make eye contact with anyone. (Ironically, I was standing next to the “Local Author” display of the romance section, which means that two of Deb’s books, with “Autographed Copy” stickers on ’em, were staring back at me. Heh.) She called over to the Cary store, (I hid behind Kevin) confirmed that they DID have it in stock, (“I have the author standing right here–she’s very sweet, and her friend is insisting he’s going to take her over to your store so she can see it on the shelf…”) and then shortlisted it for order at her store if I’d come in and sign it when it arrived. Which I agreed to do.

We thanked the very nice woman and made our exit, (or, in my case, nervous retreat.)

“We’re, um, going to Cary, aren’t we?” I asked meekly.

“Yes, we are,” said Kevin, steering me out of the store.

“You really don’t have to–“

“I know you, and if I don’t come with you, you won’t go.”

“…okay.”

And so we went to Cary, and I spotted the cover from about fifty feet away, on the new releases shelf, at the bottom, and did the dance of infinite squee because–DEAR GOD, it’s in Barnes & Noble, and they have those EVERYWHERE which means that it’s like all over the country and real physical people who exist in places other than the internet* will actually SEE it, and…um…SQUEEEEEE!

Kevin had to locate the nice woman running the children’s section so that I could sign the books, because I had more or less lost the power of speech by that point, and was staring into the middle distance in a vague haze of disbelief. (It looks just like the copies I have in the box in my living room. I didn’t expect it tolook any different, it’s just…I mean…DUDE! See, there I go with the speech again…)

And then on the way home we wound up at Quail Ridge Books, mostly because Kevin was giving directions and I was following in a daze, so it’s just as well that he did not say something like “And now, off the side of the overpass,” or “Into that bridge abutment” because I suspect I might have followed orders without thinking about it. Except then we were at Quail Ridge, and we went in, and they didn’t have it either, and Kevin hauled me up to the information desk AGAIN–

(I can never allow him and Carlota in the same room, or I will wind up on a book tour planned, conceived, and executed while I am staring vaguely out the window trying to figure out if that’s a black-capped or Carolina chickadee. I am surrounded by people who are enthusiastic about marketing my work. Thank god. I am HORRIBLE about self-promotion. It seems so terribly immodest…)

–and they had it on order, but not for a few weeks, and took me information if I would come in and sign it, which is apparently something bookstores like, rather than a dreadful nuisance (or perhaps they were just humoring the shaven-skulled gentlemen with all the tattoos and his obviously mentally defective associate, I don’t know.)

“You have to understand, people who work in bookstores like books as much as we do.”

I mumbled something towards my feet, but I suspect he’s probably right.

So, um…

OHGODITSAREALBOOKSQUEEEEEEEE!!

*Not that I don’t love you all, obviously, but YOU KNOW how it is–no one on the internet is entirely 100% real to you until you meet them in person and your hindbrain registers them as a walking human being, not a Turing machine with a username. I think it’s just you have to see people move and breathe and hear them talk before your brain files them properly. Evolution has not caught up with the internet yet.

Website Schtuff

So as some of you may have noticed, Nurk seems to be available…well…tomorrow.

This was something of a surprise, since I thought it was a June release. Apparently June is not quite as late as it used to be. Possibly this is Amazon jumping the gun (they’re known to do that) but it’s also just possible that the book is out, since a reader who works in a bookstore said there were copies in the back room.

And this is…well…actually, this is great in the “yay! It’s out!” sense, but not so great in other senses, because A) there’s a whole lot of complicated mojo with how book sales are calculated over time that may be confused by the early releases, and far more importantly, B) my website is linked in the back of the book, and THERE ARE BOOBS ON IT.*

And also profanity. And a lot of other stuff that probably isn’t appropriate for the 8-10 age range of Nurk, who shouldn’t be surfing the web unsupervised anyhow, but at the very least I needed to plaster a warning on the site so that I didn’t have an irate parent after my head because their little darlin’ came toddling in and asked “Mommy, what’s “fetish” mean?”

The upshot of all of this is that a few days back I grabbed my webguy by the virtual labels and gibbered something about Nurk and releases and minors and my god, I couldn’t possibly go through and manually strip out every occurance of the word “fuck” on Metal&Magic, this was MADNESS, heeeellllllpp!

He rose magnificently to the occasion and so there is now a clickthrough on the front of M&M,** and he’s been slapping together UrsulaVernon.com at high speed, despite the fact that he initially thought he’d have a full month to do it.

(The most galling thing, of course, is that I have known for months I’d have to set up a website for Nurk, and I kept not doing it. It has been suggested, with great merit, that none of this was actually REAL to me until the box of books actually thunked down on the floor of my living room and I went “Oh crap. I think it’s actually a book.” This does not excuse me in the least, but at least I understand why there was no urgency at all.)

So! The upshot of all this is that if you go to www.metalandmagic.com you now get a little warning clicky. My apologies. I realize that every time somebody has to click through something, you lose people, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

The other upshot is that the updating of Metal & Magic is temporarily on hold until we get ursulavernon.com up and running smoothly.

And also, the wallpaper contest WILL get judged, it just slipped down a notch on the priority front with the whole gibbering panic thing.

*The website, not the book. There are no boobs in the book. Actually, I think all the females actually met on-screen are reptiles.

**This doesn’t sound like much, except that doing so required navigating a lot of completely disorganized junk on the server to find out where to PUT the thing, a job that could only be done with my ex-husband on the phone, at 11:30 at night, trying to get directions and change permissions and whatnot. When I do the customer testimonial, I’ll be sure to stress the above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty bit.

Ahhh….

So today I did something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, threw on the Boots of Doom and the standard black tank top and hit Goodwill to go skirt shopping.

I love Goodwill these days, since I’m bloody sick of buying a new wardrobe every three months, and it has the added advantage that if you buy something, the worst case scenario is that you get it home, look in the mirror, go “What in the name of GOD was I thinking?” and you’re out all of three bucks, which you donated to charity anyway.

Plus there’s the sheer entertainment value of seeing some truly hideous clothing on the rack and going “SWEET GOD, WHAT IS THIS ABOMINATION!?” And occasionally trying it on anyway.

The downside, of course, is that the clothing has often had the tag laundered so many times that you can no longer tell what size it is or what the care instructions are. I am very cavalier about care instructions–everything basically gets machine wash cold and tumble dry low, unless stated otherwise–but sizes are nice to know. (Although you can then ignore them half the time, because the usual problem of women’s clothes sizing is about fifty times worse at a thrift store, where everything can be presumed to have stretched or shrunk or on rare occasions, both simultaneously. The size 1 skirt fit rather well, the size 6 did not.) Otherwise you find yourself trying to wedge yourself into something that gets halfway up the thighs and is suddenly laughably tight, and that you must now reverse the process, a situation made in no way easier if you happen to be wearing knee-high boots with double rows of spikes on them at the time.

Even this, however, is preferable to the False Hope Scenario, where you get the thing up and buttoned and discover that no, it’s definitely too small, not just cut close, and you now look like a plaid sausage with a rather goth label, or–increasingly often, these days–that it’s too large and if you take a single step outside, the skirt will slither off your hips and fall gracefully to the floor, much to the amusement of anyone in the vicinity.

And the dressing rooms are poorly lit and the doors generally don’t lock worth a damn, so you find yourself hanging onto the handle and yelling “Occupied!” every few minutes. (This can be particularly exciting when combined with the above, and you find yourself hobbled together at the knees, clinging to the doorknob, wondering why the hell you wore a thong today anyway.)

But shit, where else can you get a half-dozen skirts for $25?

Given my unexpected but apparently pronounced fondness for tartan, I look rather like a Catholic schoolgirl, although between the boots and the tattoos, the effect is less “naughty” and more “may have done time for knocking over a convenience store,” but undoubtedly that’s somebody’s fantasy somewhere, so I’m not really inclined to complain.

Was walking up the walkway to my apartment this morning, and found my path blocked by a belligerent Canada goose.

I took a step. It opened its beak and hissed.

Now, I don’t mess with geese if I can help it. I’m not particularly scared of them, but I respect them in the same way that I respect swans and Cape Buffalo.* These are one of nature’s Right Bastards. Nevertheless, I did have to get into my apartment. I took another step.

It hissed again, and waddled forward.

“Oh, hiss hiss,” I said. “What’s your major malfunction, anyway?”

Not surprisingly, the goose did not see fit to respond. However, a second goose stood up from behind a shrub and joined the slow-motion assault.

They hissed.

I hissed back.

There was a brief moment while the geese snapped their beaks shut, and I cannot swear that they did not exchange baffled glances–“What did it just say? What kind of accent IS that, anyway?”–but by then I’d gotten another two steps around them, and discovered the cause of their belligerence, as four football sized goslings emerged from under the shrubs.

“Awwwwww…” I said, thoroughly charmed.

“Hisssssss…” said the geese, thoroughly annoyed.

“Fine, fine,” I said. “I see your point,” and retreated. Had to go the long way around the side of the building, traipsing across the lawn, but hey, such is life. One doesn’t mess with goslings if one wants to keep one’s shins in proper working order, after all.

Spring has obviously sprung.

*Which I am scared of, but fortunately they hardly ever block the way to my apartment.

*grumble* Bloody Staples sent me PHOTO black instead of MATTE black ink, so now I’ve got to wait another day before finishing out the Taxman print run. Muthas.

Today, painty painty painty. Which is getting tricky because the sky is so grey and heavy that I just want to take a nap (despite having been awake for all of…oh…THREE HOURS.)

Sometimes I wonder how I lived in Oregon all those years, when grey knocks me flat on my ass these days…

Because one can of worms is never enough!

Okay, gang, I’m off to spend an evening canoodling with my significant other, and will not be on the internet.

Please be civilized to each other in the prior post, I beg of you, while I’m not here to bounce. This is one topic where emotions run really high, and I don’t want to have to close threads because I think it’s an important topic to discuss, and we’re all basically on the same side. If the conversation DOES get ugly, it’s okay to say “I don’t see anything productive coming out of this,” and step away.

It’s okay to be pissed. Just be polite.

However, before I go, for the purposes of discussion, one thing I’ve run across in this discussion (and other posts related) that I hardly ever run across is fear vocalized on the part of men that they’ll be accused of rape or sexual harassment when they’re just tryin’ to get lucky as best they can.

Now, my kneejerk reaction is to scoff a bit, I confess–that’s a kneejerk, and I make no bones about it–because, well, being female, my fear is that some dude is gonna rape me, then carve me up like a christmas ham in the basement and wear my skin around like a little hat. This is the sort of thing I worry about. My kneejerk, therefore, is something like “Pfff! You think YOU have problems?”

And that may well be unfair. Hell, granted that fear is not a zero-sum game, it’s definitely unfair. Everybody has a right to be scared of ill treatment.

But–thing is–every single woman I know, with no exception I can think of, knows somebody who has been sexually assaulted or abused. In fact, with VERY few exceptions, that person is either somebody close to her, or her own self. These aren’t stories, this is…y’know…something that we basically just live with. Life sucks, lots of people get hurt, we brazen on through because the only alternative is to curl into fetal position and weep for humanity.

However. It occurs to me that I may be doing men a disservice in general by dismissing this fear just because it seems like women get so much more of the short end of the stick. Suffering, too, is not a zero-sum game. So. I’ll ask two questions then:

A) If male, are you afraid of being falsely accused of rape? Is this a Major Fear–i.e. something you worry about every time you’re trying to get to know a woman? (Hell, is this something you worry about if you’re, say, alone in a parking garage with a female in the next aisle getting into her car?)

B) If either gender, do you personally know anybody who has been falsely accused of rape? (Not friend-of-a-friend stories, but you, yourself, are at least the level of on-line acquaintanceship with them.)

(Okay, two and a half.)

Somebody’ll probably suspect that this is a snarky passive-aggressive way to get men to admit that this is a load. It’s not. Honestly. I’m genuinely curious. For all I know, a staggering percentage of men really do go into a relationship in mortal terror that they’re going to end up with their testicles in a vise. I KNOW what it’s like to be female, but I’ve never yet been male (at least not in this life!) and I honestly don’t know what my own response to the discovery that this might genuinely be a widespread problem would be. 

My turn in the can ‘o worms…

Okay, are we all tired of hearing about the Open Source Boob Project yet? Yes? Thought so.

For those who have blissfully avoided this discussion lately, the OSBP was a thingy that somebody dreamed up, presumably in a post-Heinleinian daze, about how it would be lovely if women at conventions would let you touch their breasts. And they were discussing this and some chick in the group said “Okay, feel free,” and it was lovely and there were boobs and boobs are good things, as everybody knows, and somebody dreamed up an opt-in option whereby women who were cool with you asking if you could touch their boobs would wear little buttons at conventions, and there would be free range boobage for all (or at least those who had bathed recently) and life would be glorious. (There are links to this all over LJ–somebody might be so kind as to post a link to the original in the comments, I’m not gonna go digging.)

This idea got shot down about as quickly as you’d expect it would, for all the reasons of sanity, i.e. “Do you know how friggin’ creepy that would be in practice?!” and “We have minors at conventions and do you REALLY want to spend the rest of your life on a sex offender’s list when the captain of the local vice squad strolls in and sees you groping his fifteen-year-old daughter?” but it also opened the large and ugly can of worms that can only be handled with words like “privilege” and “consent” and “harassment”, as if the words are very long tongs that we are handling some very toxic stuff with.

Now, I am not skilled with this kind of language. I can make words into a story or a joke or an aesthetically pleasing phrase–I am very poor at making words into a biohazard suit. You have to build that sort of thing very cautiously. You have to lay down each word to carefully exclude what you DON’T mean instead of singing paeans to what you DO mean, so that nobody gets offended, or more importantly, so that when they DO get offended, they’re actually getting offended at what you meant, instead of at the thing that they instinctively get offended about, which wasn’t what you meant at all, but you didn’t build the biohazard suit carefully enough to exclude it.

I’m bad at that shit. I got through my feminist post-modernist perspectives in anthropology class by the skin of my teeth and the grace of a prof who gave me a C because I kinda needed the class and I can’t imagine she wanted to see my frustrated bafflement at 8 in the morning for two semesters running. I like words too much. I can’t DO that sort of thing to them. It’s cruel. (It’s the opposite trouble with clay. Clay, to my mind and my fingers, wants to be utilitarian. I cannot make abstract sculptures out of it, no matter how much the prof wants them. Clay  is alive, and it wishes to be useful.)

Maybe it’s the difference between being an artist and an architect–artists just sling the stuff around and then hang it on the wall when it looks about right. Architectural words have to be meticulous and load-bearing and convey the meaning with precision and clarity and not fall down when you poke the clauses with a stick. Artist words just have to ding something in the subbasement of the soul, and the reader will generally cut you some slack while they fill in the rest of the space.

…man, I totally got off on a tangent there, didn’t I? Never mind. Ignore the last few paragraphs. (See, I told you I was bad at that shit.) Back to boobs. Just keep in mind what I said about me and words. I cannot build a biohazard suit, and I am not good at joining these kinds of intense conversations. I’m glad somebody’s having them–christ, am I glad!–but I just gotta muddle through by the skin of my teeth. My apologies in advance if I say something stupid and put my foot in it (or in arrears, if I’ve done it already, for that matter.)

I think the project was a laughably bad idea. Probably well-intentioned, in a doofy “I just read Stranger in a Strange Land, and boy, it would be cool if we didn’t have all these hang-ups,” kinda way (and hey, we were ALL that age once) but obviously you just can’t do that kinda crap because when it goes wrong, it will go Very Very VERY Wrong, with the explosions and the screaming and the PTSD. Our social conventions may be weird, complicated, ridiculous things, and god knows, I dispense with a lot of them, but plenty of them are in place for a reason, and the simple fact is that if you come up to a majority of women and ask if you can touch their boobs, they will get A) pissed, B) terrified, or C) all of the above, and the number who will instead opt for D) flattered and amused will be a definite minority.

But I’ll say that the intentions were probably pure, in the sense that I’ve known a fair number of men in my time, and “I like boobs!” really is a pure emotion in many straight members of the species, entirely devoid of extraneous thought or emotional baggage, in much the same was that some women like chocolate or shoes, and I personally like socks and Balinese demon masks. Love of boobs may be hardwired. (Okay, I’m SURE it’s probably hardwired.) In most cases, I don’t think it’s got a damn thing to do with the objectification of women or anything else–I think they just plain like boobs. Sometimes the human psyche is just that straightforward.

Me, I like men. But I can’t see an Open Source Cock Project getting off the ground worth a damn. And before guys leap to the “Hey, that’d be AWESOME!” conclusion, I want you to think about how you’d feel if the average chick at a con–not the supermodel, honey, but the one with acne and a few extra pounds and the great personality–came up and started pawing your junk. In public. Maybe this is a straight male fantasy, but even with a woman that might be considered attractive, in actual REALITY, as opposed to the porno flick playing 24-7 behind the eyes,* a lot of the guys I know would be backing away going “WHOA! Ah–uh–heh–really not interested–thanks–” and making a dash for the men’s restroom and the whole situation would be awkward beyond measure.

Now think about the LEAST attractive women at a con.

Now compare the low end of female attractiveness at a con with the low end of male attractiveness at a con, ‘cos trust me, you’ve generally got us beat hands down on that one. If you can honestly say that you would take part in a project that might involve one of the unwashed guys in a stinking undersized Sailor Moon costume asking to feel your naughty bits, then you, sir, are a better man than I and I will make no bones about the fact. You get a free pass on the rest of the conversation, go get a cookie and feel free to sit the rest out. (This all assumes you’re a straight male–think how it would be for gay men. If empathy fails, please picture unwashed Sailor Moon guy again. There we go.)

And if all that hasn’t dissuaded you, please ALSO consider the fact that we’re going to talk to each other about the size of the junk thus pawed, and compare notes, and the phrase “Damn, he was hot, pity he’s hung like a church mouse,” will likely come up. (Yes. If you didn’t realize that women do discuss these things amongst themselves, I’m sorry to have to be the one to enlighten you. There, there. Size really doesn’t matter after a certain point, honest, but if all we’re doing is the grope test, you don’t exactly have the chance to prove what a tender/sensitive/manually dexterous/no, really, dude can fuck like a rutting wildebeest lover you are, now do you?)

…and once again I got off topic. Well, I warned you.

Okay, back to boobs, and the open source boob thing. I can’t say how anybody should feel about this. I can’t say how the execution should or could be handled well, or if it’s inherently flawed down to the bone, or if there is a subrace of enlightened souls–possibly the same folks who can handle polyamory gracefully without it turning into a raging monkey clusterfuck–who could pull it off so that everybody was happy and there were boobs for all.

I can tell you that I have a really nice rack, and there are exactly two men who get to touch it, and one of them is my gynecologist, and that there is no future, however enlightened, where that is likely to change.**

And I can also tell you that if I were at a con, and some guy came up to me, and said “Can I please touch your boobs?” I would stare at him for a second and then I would break into hysterical soul-crushing laughter and say “What? Can you what? NO! Of course not!” and depending on how well-lubricated I was at that point, might or might not follow it up with further braying laughter and “What the hell are you thinking?” and furthermore, I’d spend the rest of that con telling everybody and their brother about this nasty little troglydyte with no grasp of the social graces. Shit, I’d be trotting THAT story out for years, along with the one about the guy with the alien implant in his head, whenever the booze started flowing.

This would definitely not be very nice of me, but…well…I know myself, and that’s what I’d do. I’d be so completely dumbfounded that anybody would have the complete social gracelessness to say such a thing that hysterical amusement would be my only refuge.

Otherwise
I’d have to admit that I was creeped out and freaked out and maybe even felt rather degraded by the notion, (Do I? I don’t know. It’s squishy and scary and maybe the assumption that I SHOULD feel flattered is part of what’s degrading. Shit, I don’t know, and I don’t want to play anymore.) and nobody likes admitting they’re scared, and we’re somewhat past the era when I could say “What!? What kind of trollop do you think I am!? My seconds shall call upon you at dawn, sir!”*** and smooth the whole thing over with bullets.

Hence the laughing. Because–well–I HAVE to turn something like that, at least in my head, into “harmless little worm with no social intelligence” because otherwise it turns into “fuck, I’m in asituation where strange men think they can touch me,” and that sets off all the alarm bells. There’s a particular set of hairs on the back of my neck, and when they stand up, I  know to bloody well listen, and I can guarantee that the minute that actually happened to me in real life (or whatever value of real life a convention is) those hairs would start doing a samba.

As a commenter on this whole fiasco said, very succinctly and with rather cruel accuracy, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.”

And the only thing I see coming of something like the open source boob project is that men WILL get laughed at, and women WILL get scared, and at the end of the day, the situation’s just much more unpleasant for everybody.

(See, this is why I like furry cons. Never. Comes. Up.)

ETA: I should just mention, for the irony of it all, that I made this post topless, not because of any erotic reason but because my bloody sunburn hurts. *snort*

*I will not say all men have this, but I am told a great many of them do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We are as we are made, and you’re talking to a woman who once had an orgasm at a stop-light while thinking about…well, we won’t get into what I was thinking about, but anyway, I will not be casting stones from THIS side, trust me.

**We’ll make exception for the fitters of various bodice-like clothing, who get the same professional free pass as the OB/GYN.

***Okay, definitely gotta stop with those Regency romances…

The Saturday Report

Went out to a little local folk art fest thingy this afternoon with Kevin and his kids. (He has two boys. Fortunately they’re in the same vague age range as my kid brother Max, which puts them in arguably the least personally alarming subset of the species. And were I much more of a furry than I am, I’d put in a vote for Kevin’s totem as some species of good-natured but highly efficient herding dog.*)

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, watched chainsaw carving being done. This is more fun to watch when you have not just been woken out of a sound sleep by it, as happened the last time, over a decade ago, when a buddy of my folks, Ken Hunt, came up and decided he was going to carve a large-breasted deer woman,** using a chainsaw, at about eight in the morning. Ken was an odd fellow, but an amazing sculptor when he put his mind to it. (No, I couldn’t find any photos of the deer woman. He did this one gigantic wooden laughing Buddha located in a Chinese restaurant in Salem, OR if you’ve ever seen it, though–impressive. as. hell.)

Generally any time I see an art form done, I get an urge to try it, but fortunately for all, I do not have any immediate desire to grab a chainsaw. This is a good thing. I have neither the space nor the time nor the spare appendages that I would require for such. When we can grow new limbs in a vat, I may take it up, but until then, I think I’ll just have to watch from afar. (Not afar enough, possibly. I’m still picking cedar chips out of my cleavage.)

Unfortunately, it seems like despite four years down here (god, has it been four years already?) I’m still not acclimated to the sun. I applied sunscreen twice–TWICE!–and I’m still a rather pleasant shade of grapefruit pink. The most amusing bit is that I was wearing a chunky turquoise necklace, and now have a lovely line of irregular white across my sternum. Heh heh heh. Also got a touch of heat stroke, but fortunately I recognized what that was as soon as I got a touch queasy and stopped sweating. (You don’t get out of Arizona without learning THAT one…) Nuthin’ bottled water can’t fix, fortunately.

What REALLY weirds me out is that my shoulders and collarbone fried like a fritter, and my face didn’t at all. Apparently regular ‘ol sunscreen slathered on wilted under the solar onslaught, and my friggin’ 35 spf makeup sailed through without a qualm. I can’t even claim that it’s due to my face being more all-weather, because my scalp at the part in my hair fried too. CoverGirl powder foundation, we are impressed.

So now I’m pink and slightly raw, but I have aloe and in a few minutes, I shall celebrate the lifting of the drought by taking a nice bath with a cheap historical romance novel.*** An excellent day all around. I have accomplished pretty much zip today, mind you, but I regret nothing! Nothink!

And I can assuage my guilt by running prints of the Taxman while I’m in the tub.

*Forrrrrtunately, I’m not that furry. Really.

**This is not making any headway on that not-a-furry thing, is it?

***I hereby recommend Amanda Quick for those lookin’ for a historical romance. They’re clever. And Deb, in her ongoing desire to convert me to the genre, loaned me about a dozen of ’em.

It’s been quite awhile since I did any scent blogging here. Part of that is that I’ve been busy as hell, and then there was a chunk of hayfever when I wouldn’t have been able to tell if I smelled like ambrosia with undertones of elephant manure. But I’ve started up testing again, trying to retest some of the BPAL’s (trying in the hair, where it’s supposed to change somewhat less–mixed results there, I must say) and today a reader sent me some samples of Lush’s solid perfumes.

So far, the Lush “Silky Underwear” is not bad–kind of sweet vanilla and powder, I’d say. Goes a little sweet on my skin for my tastes, but not unpleasant. I do like the solid perfume application form, very nice.

I also have “Go Green” and “Karma” samples — smell like fresh cut grass and spicy orange/patchouli respectively — I’ll test those out over the weekend and report back!

Also, Villainess’s Dulces en Fuego body cream? Pure. Awesome. Bitter chocolate and vanilla with some spice thrown in. I love that one. Was not as impressed by “Byzantium” from Villainess, alas…it just smells like soap to me. But the Dulces en Fuego is a definite winner.

Just a reminder, gang–last day for the wallpaper contest submissions!

There have been some FANTASTIC entries, and I’m despairing of picking a winner…we may be lookin’ at a whole slew of honorable mentions…

And in other news, the Taxman print run is exactly halfway done. We’re gettin’ there…*gives Mr. Printy CPR*