Mardi Gras is this week, peeps, and you know what THAT means:
Time to make Fat Tuesday live up to its nommilicious name!
Although I found so many gorgeous masquerade cakes this week I've decided today will be less Mardi Gras and more carnival masks in general. That way I can show off ALL the colors.
Speaking of which, let's kick off with a classic:
(By Petit Cali Cupcakes)
Ahhh. Gold leaf, black lace, and red roses were meant to be together.
Or for something kicky:
Love the topsy turvy design here; doesn't it look like it's dancing?
You guys, these textures are everything:
What are those on the bottom? Glass drops? And the berry sprigs are perfection.
Here's one inspired by fire and ice:
I like the reversed colors and patterns on the mask.
And another stunner:
(By Kelvin Chua of Vinism Sugar Art)
Look at those metallics! Ah! And the butterfly mask matches the one on the cake board!
A sweet pastel number:
(By The Frostery)
So many cute elements - see the striped handle for the top mask? And I'm digging the random confetti bits sprinkled around.
If you're looking for wedding inspiration, I've got you covered right here:
(By Ana Paz Cakes)
And this next one is - dare I say it? - peachy keen:
Those are all handcrafted sugar flowers - can you believe it? So gorgeous, I want one to wear!
And finally, I don't know how they did this next one, but I think I'm in love:
(By Clairella Cakes)
Look at that oh-so-subtle leafy texture, and those colors! Ah! Reminds me of old-fashioned marble paper, or a soft watercolor painting. And while I'm collecting cake things to wear, I'd like that top mask, pretty please. :D
Hope you all enjoyed! Have a sweet Sunday, and a merry Mardi Gras!
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Some of my favorite new submissions this week:
I won't tell you how long I thought this was a sideways H:
I also won't tell you how long I stared at this one:
...before John finally pointed to the post-it.
However, I *will* tell you John spent the same amount of time thinking this was a perfectly nice cake, and wondering why Natasha sent it in:
So clearly we're still meant for each other.
Thanks to Katelyn W., Michelle D., & Natasha P. for seeing how many of us had our coffee this morning. Also, there's no WAY that's an H on #2. NO WAY.
There are two that occupy adjacent spaces.
"As long as we both want it."
That's our time commitment. If both of us no longer want the relationship, it's time to work on dismantling it with the same consideration and love we put into constructing it. If so many as one of us no longer wants it, it's time to end it.
And as long as we both do want it, that means putting in the work. Being present. Taking care. Tackling the problems that pop up.
And there will be problems. But we don't have to face them alone anymore.
"Together. As we do with all things."
Even when we still have to do a specific part alone, the principle stays with us. The hard things are a little less hard with someone holding your hand.
Momma gave us this birthday tip
Her face stern, her hand on her hip
"When serving horse cake
"With this kind of face
"Well, sonny, don't give me no lip."
Gumdrop was gloomy and tense
Her flight was one filled with suspense
With wings on one side
No physics applied
But whoever said magic makes sense?
This pony gives no end of grief
Its texture defies all belief
Missing legs, is it now?
Should we call it a cow?
Because wow does it look like ground beef.
Ted is a unicorn with sass
His friends like to say he's a gas
The life of the party
Whenever he's farty
And rainbows shoot out of his a$$
Thanks to Amanda L., another Amanda, Brio G., & Sarah L. for finding everyone's next birthday cake request. Take note, bakers: Rainbow-Farting Unicorns for EVERYBODY!
Have you ever wandered through a bakery and thought, "Man, I could really go for a cake shaped like an arm holding a cup of hair right now"?
Well if so, then YOU are a very disturbed individual. Seriously. Maybe you should talk to someone.
But also, you're in luck!
Now, I know what you're thinking, and I completely agree. TOTALLY. But where would we even get a robot monkey at this hour?
You may also be wondering where the hair is.
There it is!
("I see...THE GRIM. And he's shedding like crazy.")
I'd say it looks like someone plucked out their mustache, but only because there are children present and I wouldn't want this to get too...public. (HI, KIDS.) I'd also go out on a limb and say this baker has single-handedly created the most disarming assault on the funny bone yet - but only because puns make me snort-giggle.
But in case that's not enough hair for you, fear not; there's more!
Er, I mean...talk about a hairy situation that must have taken a lot of elbow grease! Haha!
K, I think that's all I've got. SO, let the Professor Trelawney jokes...begin.
Thanks to Julia for reminding us of our universal right to bare arms. (Ok, that's the last one. Promise.)
Well sure, but in the bakery's defense, we don't know what was on Madeline's list.
I mean, maybe it looked like this:
Things Sunshine Likes:
3) Clashing Colors
4) Writing With Her Feet
5) Staring Into The Abyss
6) Disproportionate Sizes
7) Rough Plaster Walls
8) Ransom Notes
9) Being Forgotten Until The Last Possible Second
See, if THAT was the list then you've gotta admit: BANG ON.
Thanks to Madeline & Sunshine, who I hope finally gets a giggle out of her sweet sixteen tragedy.
Have you noticed unicorns and rainbows are all the rage again lately? There are unicorn cafes, unicorn drinks - heck, I even spotted a unicorn grilled cheese. o.0
Isn't enough enough?
The answer, of course, is no.
NO AMOUNT OF UNICORNS IS EVER ENOUGH.
Yes, this Lisa Frank-loving woman-child is jumping on the technicolor bandwagon today, peeps, because look at these unicorn macarons:
They have Fruity Pebble manes! Ahhh!
And look at this watercolor drip deliciousness:
Pastel rainbow heaven!
You know that thing where someone takes one awesome thing and mashes it together with another awesome thing?
Well, I give you:
(By Vickie Liu)
Unicorn Ice Cream Cone Cookies.
Or how about these sweet little cake pops?
(By Just Add Sugar)
The little rosy cheeks! Ah!
A lot of so-called Unicorn treats are really just rainbow-colored food, and while I will never complain about rainbow-colored food, I do like that this Sweetness at least has a twisty unicorn horn on top:
Those rainbow tiers are perfection! And do I spy cotton candy? OooOOOoooh.
Who else suddenly wants to nuzzle a cupcake?
(By Lady Berry Cupcakes)
Now, I'm not saying these donuts really look like unicorns, but they're so stinkin' cute I think we can agree they score a Hole-In-One.
(By Christina's Cupcakes)
Get it? A hole in one? AAAAAI'll stop now.
I've never really been onboard with "naked" cakes... until now:
(Featured here, but the baker isn't listed. Anyone know?)
D'awww. If ever a cake deserved to be naked, it's this one.
And finally, let's end with the cake that turned me into a starry-eyed six-year-old again:
It has meringue wings! And a mermaid crown! EEEEE!!!
Happy Sunday, everyone! May your week be as magical - and as colorful - as these unicorns!
Some of my favorite new submissions this week:
Ever get the feeling something's missing?
Like the second cake Jessie ordered?
Or any semblance of reading comprehension?
LEGO Batman is all the rage right now, so here:
...something to rage over.
(Or maybe sh** a brick? I'll show myself out.)
And finally, when you ask for "The Cake Is Not A Lie," (a classic Portal reference) and get what I'm pretty sure is the creepiest thing I've ever read:
Just keep telling yourself that.
While you wrestle with that nightmare fuel...
...appropriate Portal song is appropriate:
(If you're super confused right now, play the game. Trust me. It's amazing.)
Thanks to Jessie A., Jeff E., & David E. for the most perfect song setup of all time. This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: "HUGE SUCCESS."
It's time for another one of our chats, bakers. You know, the ones where I give well-reasoned arguments for why you shouldn't wreck things, and you completely ignore me?
You're like my cats, only armed with piping bags instead of hairballs.
No, Professor Fluffypants, no!
Still, as long as I keep lecturing Tonks and Lily on proper puke placement ("The tile! AIM FOR THE TILE!") I may as well keep tilting at this particular windmill.
SO... zebra stripes.
(By Sherry O)
These are zebra stripes, bakers.
I point this out because a lot of you seem to confuse the two:
...and nobody wants sperm on their birthday cake, you guys.
No, thank you.
OH COME ON.
(Who let Professor Fluffypants in here?)
Bottom line, bakers: next time someone asks for zebra stripes, DON'T USE BUTTERCREAM.
Use an airbrush instead!
Thanks to Laurie P., Barb, Lauren M., Elizabeth, Amber G., Holly C., D'andra B., Courtney G., & Jana W. for showing us what's black and white and wrecked all over.
Reading a wreck can be like deciphering code. Except it's a code where the sender doesn't necessarily know what she's saying, either.
Some are easy:
Others take a little more work:
(Do we need to go over this again?)
And some are downright inscrutable:
That settles it: No more caffeine for Mary.
Now, this clearly says "CoNgrat's Spr 2K9 Noo of the Theta Tall of Kappa Alpha Psi To be Kontrua."
But it's all Greek to me.
(Well, half Greek. All inexplicable, half Greek.)
So in conclusion,
My thoughts exactly.
Thanks to Missie S., Megan B., Tina H., Jessica R., and Jeremy N., for helping us clear that up.
Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:
* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth
( DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )
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Not feeling the love today? Then here, try these Valentines on for sighs.
'Cuz nothing says romance like necrotic tissue!
Another sure-fire mood-killer? Faded pictures of screaming children on motorcycles:
He's yelling, "EWW WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING??"
Maybe you don't want to kill the mood so much as make it really, really confusing:
"Weight 4 me?" "Weight 4 me?" How does that even make sense? I mean, look, I love puns. "Bee Mine" with a honey bee? I'm on board. "I love EWE" with a lil sheep? Adorbz. But what the heck is "Weight 4 me" with a heart lifting hearts? Is this just so meta my brain can't handle it? Who even says "wait for me" on Valentine's Day, much less says it so often they need a visual play on words? How is this a thing? Who thought this was a good idea? AAAAUGGH!
[patting hair back into place]
And finally, when you just plain want to be a jerk:
See, it's funny, because nobody loves them! The person who ordered this cake, I mean.
You know, the one covered in pink icing. (We hope.)
Thanks to Jenn W., Gabrielle N., Candi, & Jamie G. for giving us a good idea what NOT to do.
The main feature of this class, in the eyes of the neurologist and my counselor, has been the CBT aspect of it. Apparently the number one thing that cures insomnia is CBT. So everyone was hopeful. (I had specified to the neurologist that I would in fact be running anything suggested in the CBT past my Supervisor and my therapist. Which was a good call to have made.)
It turns out that when Guide Dog Aunt loaned me a book on sleep a few years ago, the one that pointed out that there was not in fact any moral value to any specific sleep schedule, and that instead of saying stuff like "I'm lazy because I sleep until noon", one should look at it in terms of "My most productive hours are in the evening, and I schedule my life in a way that suits my sleep schedule" -- that general tool of re-framing the guilt and fear around sleep is in fact the very CBT that this class relies on. So, unfortunately, the CBT that I had hoped would be new information was not, in fact, new information at all. The book specifically addressed Negative Sleep Thoughts. The class then expanded the concepts of re-framing runaway negative thought chains in a better light, which is also a Fishmum trick that I've been teaching my little fishies and my partner...
The other main leg of this class is meditation and the relaxation response. I believe that I can trace my habit of meditative breathing in particular to the summer when I read ... some Heinlein book or other ... and thought that taking up meditation would be a grand idea. The latest that could have been was 1996. Then I formally took up meditation (and learned all of the techniques discussed in the meditation unit of this class) in 2001-ish, when I went to DeVry to
The main new information I got out of the class, in fact, was that sleep-maintenance insomnia was recently discovered to be associated with a sleep-time body temperature that has not dropped as it ought to for that part of the night. And I do, in fact, routinely overheat while attempting to sleep. Which means that if I'm in bed and even slightly think that I might not get to sleep soonish, I should immediately go and get the ice pack, and not try to be a hero.
Also, low doses of sedating antidepressants are also used as sleep medications. The instructor was down on this practice, because antidepressants are only good for people with depression. FUNNY THING, THAT.
Pretty much all the rest of the class was review, and (due to my internets research) I was often in possession of more detailed information than the instructor. I came to feel that I could probably have taught the class myself, given the curriculum.
The first class was pleasant enough. I think there were about ten of us. One woman came in late, and borrowed a pen from me. We had a pleasant chat while she was waiting for her husband to pick her up. She's sleep-deprived to the point that she can't safely drive, and caretaking for her autistic son has done a number on her sleep schedule and ability to stay asleep.
I reviewed the materials in the packets for the four weeks. The second week, the cognitive re-framing, was going to be hard, since the materials blithely suggested that "most people" could get away with abbreviated amounts of sleep with nothing more terrible than a loss of creativity and a bad mood. Pro tip: when your patient reports ( very bad effects ) tied to as little as one night of abbreviated sleep while under stressful circumstances (and the current Republican administration is nothing if not stressful circumstances) telling the patient that everything is probably going to be okay if they blow sunshine up their own ass is life-threateningly bad advice. So I realized that I had better sit next to the door in case I had to step out of the room.
During the second class, the instructor was trying to impress upon us the way that a poorly timed nap can fuck up your sleep schedule pretty badly. My friend said that this was going to be a problem for her: you put her in the car (as a passenger) and she passes out pretty much instantly.
"It should be easy to stay awake in the car!" said the instructor.
"Well, life is hard."
At this juncture, I decided that the most constructive action I could take was going to be going and sitting in the hall for a bit (and angrily texting my partner). I came back in after about five minutes.
Later in the evening, the instructor planned to lead us through more meditation/relaxation, to include the rest of the class period. I abruptly realized that I did not actually feel that making myself vulnerable to and in front of this instructor was a good idea, and grabbed my stuff and left the building.
In the third class, I sat by the door. (My friend did not show up for this class, or the following week.) When the meditation/relaxation section arrived, I popped both headphones in and proceeded to listen to podcasts, and only emerged when that bit was done. At the end of class, I asked the instructor about the bits in the next one, saying without explanation that I would not be taking part in the relaxation exercise, and would likely leave the room. He said when the long one would be, and there would be another short one later.
In the fourth class (tonight), I sat by the door, and took a chair with me when I popped out for the duration of the exercise. The instructor came and fetched me when it was done. And I did other things for the short one.
I did ask, this time, what he recommended to keep you awake when the sleep pressure is high but it's a bad time for a nap. And if there were resources on being a millennial and not having a whole house to work with in terms of keeping stress out of your bedroom. (Do something loud. And, probably, somewhere.) I asked about next steps. He recommended the meditation class, or the anxiety class. "That really doesn't seem to be a recommendation geared for someone who has been practicing meditation for fifteen years," I said, smiling aggressively.
He recommended tai chi.
"That's really rather along the same lines," I said, still smiling.
There was a class evaluation form, which asked about how much we learned from the class, and how helpful it was. It was ... not.
So I'll be asking my GP, my counselor, and my psychiatrist about next steps, then. Now that I've taken this miserable class so they'll take me seriously.
John and I are celebrating Valentine's day a little differently this year, minions.
See, John's having surgery this afternoon, so tomorrow he'll be trussed up sleep-drooling in the recliner, while I eat chocolate and plan elaborate scenarios to convince him the zombie apocalypse happened while he was unconscious.
If you're wondering how this is different from any other Valentine's, then clearly you know us well and we should hang out sometime. (I could use fresh zombie faces.)
Yep, our Valentine's day will include lots of complicated straps and ice cubes and... hang on, that sounds kinky.
What I mean is, we're going to be trying out some new machinery in the bedroom.
But not like that.
Look, I'm just going to be restraining John in a loving manner and force-feeding him heavy narcotics along with macaroni and cheese, but DON'T GET THE WRONG IDEA.
We're both consenting adults.
And I'm sure John will be fine.
Anyway, just didn't want to give you guys the wrong idea.
Also, I just realized I never mentioned John's surgery is on his shoulder, so my BRILLIANT title pun has gone unappreciated this entire post. Curses.
Thanks to Jen K., Jennifer H., Joan J., Alessandra V., Maggie L., Chenoa C., & Elisabeth W. for reminding us that sometimes, love hurts.